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leavingorganon

Hello all.

 

I've been on various meds since 2005 when I was 21. I was put on Remeron because of what I now see as situational anxiety due to then-undiagnosed ADHD. I think it's time for me to leave this state and move ahead. 

 

The trigger for this desire is a recent cognitive assessment I did where I found out that things that were once easy for me intellectually are now harder, which is especially concerning for someone who's always been over-achieving and has "being smart" as an integral part of their identity. My short term memory is really bad with all of those medications, and what drove me towards doing the assessment is struggles at work that have been going on for the last three years.

 

Though the assessment was the acute trigger, there are larger themes at play that made me really struggle the last few years. My sense of self is vague and undefined. I used to be much sharper and brighter, passionate, and awake; qualities that I feel are lost under the haze of artificial neurotransmitter modulation. I'm at an impasse that simply can't be overcome by adding a new med every few months (believe me, I tried). I feel like I'm half the person I used to be at work and at life. I crave authenticity and clarity rather than an artificial sense of (over)confidence. 

 

Despite all of that, I really feel some gratitude for the journey. I did a lot in these 15 years in spite of/because of (can't tell at this stage honestly) these meds, including getting two master's degrees and meeting really wonderful people throughout. I try to avoid an attitude of being anti psych meds as they are really helpful in some life situations. I actually don't plan on going off the ADHD med I'm currently on, and I'm even open to the idea of being on an anti-depressant in the future if needs be and I can tolerate it.  

 

I recently gave stopping Remeron a try (jumped from 3.5mg dose or thereabouts, wasn't doing accurate cutting and weighing back then), and was actually doing fine (the most salient withdrawal symptom was itchiness, which is honestly fine). This went on until sometime in the second week when the usual acute withdrawal symptoms came at me (akathisia, insomnia, nausea, etc). Before that, I experienced a lovely sense of lucidity and intellectual playfulness that made me feel 20 again. I had the loveliest conversation with my best friend, without the recent robotic disinterest that these meds seem to cause me. I decided afterwards to reinstate, get off the other problematic meds I was on first (Klonopin and Latuda), regroup, then tackle the Remeron gently. 

 

For the last few months, I've been collecting stories of people who successfully overcame this mess as well as quotes from the Baylissa's book. I've also been training my faith, acceptance, and non-resistance/non-anticipation muscles. I am currently reading Hope and Help for Your Nerves, and determined to come up with a plan with my therapist to stock up on coping skills. This endeavor is, in essence, part of a greater desire to live a life that is built around my abilities (whatever those may be after I'm done with my tapering) and interests, instead of hysterically and aggressively going after situations that are overly ambitious but ultimately destructive for me. This, to me, is the reason I went on and continued to be lulled by these meds for a decade and a half. I really don't care about material ambitions at this point; I just want a pleasant and meaningful life. 

 

I've successfully got off Klonopin after a year of (low-dosage, 0.125mg every two or three nights) last month. I've also got off Latuda this week and I'm doing generally well.

 

I do realize that I'm still not completely clear off of these meds, so my plan is to resume my tapering etc. after some weeks. 

 

When I started, my goals were as follows:

 

1. Stop benzodiazepines (DONE)

 

2. Overcome polypharmacy

 

3. Stop Remeron

 

The order of 2 and 3 doesn't matter to me, though I'm currently leaning towards stopping Remeron first as I've been on it the longest and maybe staying on Brintellix while getting off of it can lessen the withdrawal symptoms. 

 

So yeah, this is my introduction post. Thank you for reading. 

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mstimc

Hi Leaving, and welcome

 

I had much the same reasons for getting off Paxil.  My job (I'm retired now) was very mentally challenging; accuracy was essential.  Additionally, I was a manager and couldn't let my anxiety/OCD interfere with my responsibility to my crew.   It took me three tries and two years, but I did eventually do a successful taper  through support from  a group like this, a great therapist, and a lot of prayer.  It does take perseverance but it can be done!

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leavingorganon
On 1/16/2020 at 11:45 PM, mstimc said:

Hi Leaving, and welcome

 

I had much the same reasons for getting off Paxil.  My job (I'm retired now) was very mentally challenging; accuracy was essential.  Additionally, I was a manager and couldn't let my anxiety/OCD interfere with my responsibility to my crew.   It took me three tries and two years, but I did eventually do a successful taper  through support from  a group like this, a great therapist, and a lot of prayer.  It does take perseverance but it can be done!

 

You give me hope.

 

You mentioned relying on prayer. I find that some spiritual framework is really important to me while I attempt this. Some connection to god/source/the universe helps in the isolation and pain (physical and mental) getting off of these meds can cause.

 

Though I promised my self to not compare my experience with other, I can't help but ask, did getting off Paxil eventually clear your cognitive issues?

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mstimc

Hi

 

I recently discovered the “Abide” channel on YouTube that has a lot of faith-based meditations.  Great for falling asleep in a positive frame of mind.

 

Yes, stopping Paxil and therapy helped me regain my cognitive abilities, especially when it came to weighing options and making decisions.

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Shep

 

Quote

So, currently: 7.5mg Remeron, 10mg Brintellix, 30mg Dextroamphetamine (for ADHD, don't plan to get off of that) 

 

Hi, Leavingorganon. Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

The above quote is from your signature. Please include the date you started dextroamphetamine in your signature. Was it before all of the other drugs or after? 

 

What time(s) of the day are you taking these drugs? This is important because there are two "major" drug interactions between dextroamphetamine  and vortioxetine (which is Brintellix), as well as between Remeron and vortioxetine.  Please see the drug interaction checker:

 

Drug Interaction Report

 

A book that comes highly recommended here is Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic (pages 218-227 contain info specific to "ADHD").

 

Scroll down on that webpage and you'll find links to scientific research, as well as videos. While the "ADHD" drugs like dexroamphetamine show short term gains, the long-term outcomes are not good and many people find themselves polydrugged and even completely disabled, as the research and the lived experience of people coming off these drugs show. 

 

More information specific to "ADHD" from the Mad in America site, which is a website dedicated to providing research and alternative solutions to the biomedical model of psychiatry: 

 

Mad in America - ADHD info

 

You'll need to weigh the pros and cons of staying on stimulants for life. You may want to research alternatives for handling difficulties in concentrating. Considering you are now dangerously polydrugged and seeing the impact on your health, you may find alternative ways of coping to be more helpful to you. Also, as we get older, our ability to metabolize these drugs is decreased. I'm very concerned about these major drug interactions, so these are just some things to think about and resources for you to read as you decide what path you wish to take. 

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leavingorganon

Hi Shep,

Thanks for the information; I appreciate the time you put into the response.

 

The major drug interactions I see in the report are related to serotonin syndrome. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are the standard interactions between basically any two serotonin-modulating drugs, right? Regardless of anything,  my goal as I mentioned in my intro post is to get off of both Remeron and Brintellix which is all I can do for the interaction warnings you so thankfully provided.

 

Regarding the ADHD meds, thank you for the heads up and the links. It is definitely something I'll research more, but my current priority is to get off the ADs as they are more problematic in my case. To answer your question, I've been on the dextramphitamine for the last month only, but I was on Concerta before that for about a year. 

 

I am trying to navigate through this to the best of my abilities, which will require that I keep a cool head and avoid any needlessly alarmist information that can only make the experience worse for me. I am here because I want to get off those meds, that's well-established. I don't need further convincing as to why I should do that. I definitely do appreciate your kind assistance however. :)

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Shep
5 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

Regarding the ADHD meds, thank you for the heads up and the links. It is definitely something I'll research more, but my current priority is to get off the ADs as they are more problematic in my case. To answer your question, I've been on the dextramphitamine for the last month only, but I was on Concerta before that for about a year. 

 

Please update your signature with this information. 

 

5 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

I am trying to navigate through this to the best of my abilities, which will require that I keep a cool head and avoid any needlessly alarmist information that can only make the experience worse for me.

 

Understood, Leaving. But none of the information being provided is "needlessly alarmist."  If these drugs didn't come with serious problems, this site would not exist. 

 

If you need to take a break, please do so. It's important that you take care of yourself so you don't feel overwhelmed by the information being provided. I wish there was a way to sugarcoat this information and make it more palatable, but the reality is many people are harmed by these drugs. By providing you with this information, you are equipped to make the right decisions for your own health. 

 

By going slow and doing a safe taper, you'll be able to come off these drugs and heal. So even though some of this information is difficult, that doesn't mean that your withdrawal will be difficult. You're doing the research and getting information so you can so a safe, harm-reduction type of taper. 

 

 

11 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

The major drug interactions I see in the report are related to serotonin syndrome. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are the standard interactions between basically any two serotonin-modulating drugs, right?

 

Yes, this is true. What you're taking is a version of something called "California Rocket Fuel."  This is the intentional combination of two antidepressants, one sedating and one stimulating. 

 

About going off mirtazapine plus venlafaxine (Effexor) aka "California rocket fuel"

 

 

7 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

Regarding the ADHD meds, thank you for the heads up and the links. It is definitely something I'll research more, but my current priority is to get off the ADs as they are more problematic in my case.

 

In what way?

 

1 hour ago, Shep said:

What time(s) of the day are you taking these drugs? This is important because there are two "major" drug interactions between dextroamphetamine  and vortioxetine (which is Brintellix), as well as between Remeron and vortioxetine. 

 

Please provide this information. It's possible what you're describing as "problematic" with the antidepressants are actually drug interactions, which we may be able to help you with by spacing the drugs out. Without knowing when you take them, we aren't able to advise you. This will be your first step in what you need to do prior to tapering.

 

Some more threads to read over as you feel able: 

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Tips for tapering off Trintellix (vortioxetine), previously called Brintellix

 

Tips for tapering off amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)

 

What we need:

 

  • Please update your signature with the date and doses for when you started dextramphitamine and for when you were on Concerta
  • Please let us know what time(s) of the day you are taking your drugs

Please continue to use this thread to provide updates and to ask questions. 

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Altostrata

Hello, Leaving.

 

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages? How are you feeling now that you reinstated Remeron, then went off Klonopin and Latuda?

 

How do you feel after taking vortioxetine?

 

 

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leavingorganon

Shep, thank you for your understanding.

 

19 hours ago, Shep said:
  • Please update your signature with the date and doses for when you started dextramphitamine and for when you were on Concerta

 

Done. 

 

19 hours ago, Shep said:
  • Please let us know what time(s) of the day you are taking your drugs

 

I'm currently on a 2-week vacation from work, so my schedule is a bit changed. When I'm working, my usual schedule is as follows:

1. 8:30 to 9:00 am: Wake up

2. 9:00 to 9:30 am: Take the Brintellix and 15mg of the Dextroamphitamine.

3. 9:30 am to 10:00 am: Have breakfast, which can include caffeine. Switched to green tea from coffee in the last month.

4. 12:30 to 1:30 pm: Have the other 15mg of the Dextroamphitamine

5. 1:30 to 2:30 pm: Have lunch

 

And at night,

1. 10:00 to 11:00 pm: Take the Remeron and have dinner. The dinner after Remeron is because of the increase in appetite it seems to cause me

2. 12:00 to 1:00 am: Go to sleep

 

15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, Leaving.

 

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages? How are you feeling now that you reinstated Remeron, then went off Klonopin and Latuda?

 

Hi Altostrata, thank you for stopping by.

 

After reinstating the Remeron and going off the Klonopin and Latuda, I guess I'm doing okay. The symptoms I experience are the occasional heightened anxiety that can last for an hour or so, as well as some really minor tremor in my index finger that doesn't last for long. I actually only had those symptoms and only had them yesterday, so I'm pretty lucky I guess. I realize that I'm still not on the clear, so my current goal is to reach a baseline of stability before proceeding with any tapering.

 

These are the symptoms related to withdrawal, but there are also the symptoms that I have been experiencing as a constant for the last few years. These are mainly a general sense of hopelessness, and mainly, some cognitive issues such as bad concentration and short term memory (or working memory? whatever it is that helps recalling information related to everyday work, word recall, etc) as well as emotional numbness. I have a few theories: 1) I've been over-medicated, 2) I was put on and taken off many drugs in the last few years without gradual tapering, and 3) the Remeron specifically has that effect on me as I can remember incidents of me noticing the change when I started it 15 years ago, as well as the recent experience of clarity that I experienced in my two-week trial without it.

 

15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

How do you feel after taking vortioxetine?

 

I honestly feel.. nothing. At least nothing noticeable. 

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Altostrata

Why do you take vortioxetine and dextroamphetamine at the same time?

 

When you switched from Pristiq to vortioxetine, how did you feel? Why did you make this change?

 

You do realize your difficulty in sleeping without Remeron might be related to the amphetamine?

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Shep

Leaving, thanks for updating your signature.  I'm confused about this line:

 

Quote

November 2019 - January 2019: Latuda 9mg

 

Do you mean January 2020? 

 

 

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leavingorganon
On 1/20/2020 at 1:57 AM, Altostrata said:

Why do you take vortioxetine and dextroamphetamine at the same time?

 

When you switched from Pristiq to vortioxetine, how did you feel? Why did you make this change?

 

You do realize your difficulty in sleeping without Remeron might be related to the amphetamine?

 

I take the vortioxetine and dextroamphitamine at the same time because dr prescribed them to be taken in the morning. Do you think that's bad?

 

When I switched the Pristiq to vortioxetine, I honestly don't remember having any adverse effects except the initial nausea caused by the latter. The reason I switched is because I was having cognitive issues and the doctor suggested vortioxetine because it supposedly has cognitive enhancing effects.

 

For the third point, I didn't have sleep problems until late in the 2nd week without Remeron. You might be right, I don't know.

 

I've been having a couple of hard days where I've been obsessing about the cognitive difficulties I seem to be having. I feel hopeless, scared that all the meds and switching between them has caused irreversible brain damage. Will I have to quit my job? etc. etc.

 

 

 @Shep: Apologies, I've updated my signature. 

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Altostrata

Drug adverse reactions are not irreversible brain damage. Usually they go away when you take away the drug.

 

When you take two drugs at the same time, it increase the risk of drug-drug interactions, see Drug Interaction Report

 

Here are your potential drug interactions with Pristiq instead of vortioxetine. They are very similiar. Most likely, they are the cause of your "cognitive difficulties."

 

It seems you went off Remeron and switched to dextroamphetamine at the same time? Please update your signature with this information. Then you quit Latuda a month later?

 

Why were you taking Latuda? Did you ever question the competency of your psychiatrist?

 

What is your current sleep pattern?

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Shep

@leavingorganon How are you doing? 

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leavingorganon

@Shep and all,

 

I have an update. Due to me not tolerating the Brintellix anymore, I went through a rapid taper down to 5mg. I'm currently on my 3rd week on that dose and the only withdrawal symptoms I have experienced are episodes of hopeless depression and low energy, and the occasional disturbed sleep.

 

I realize that I have been going hard and fast at this so I will definitely be holding for a while to give my CNS a chance to stabilize. I effectively rapidly tapered off (low dosages of) Klonopin, Latuda, and half my Brintellix in the span of 6 months. Though I haven't really experienced any major withdrawal symptoms, I don't want to push my luck.

 

I'm thinking the hold should be for a couple of months, but we will see. Would appreciate if you guys have an opinion about how long it should be. After that, I plan to follow the 10% taper process. Do you guys think that's an overkill?

 

(It might be worth mentioning that scaring myself through looking at other people's stories were part of the decision to take it easy and follow a more gradual tapering schedule).

 

I'm also thinking hard about how I can restructure my life to not be chronically in "need" of this trash. Basically figuring out the manageable mix of stress and the need to have some sort of fulfillment, and how to get that. 

 

@Altrostata The reason that the psychiatrist put me on Latuda was to supplement the other meds to help me overcome the sense of dissatisfaction I have which I realize now is because of being on too many meds. Regarding his competency, I honestly was too much of an overly medicated, desperate zombie to fight back. I reached a point of thinking that it all doesn't really matter; all any of this **** is doing is numbing me to live a mediocre, sterile, "bearable" life.  About my sleeping pattern: I sleep around 12 and wake up at 8 in the morning. It's generally good, with the occasional night in which I wake up at 5 and can't go back to sleep. Nothing unbearable. 

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Shep
1 hour ago, leavingorganon said:

Due to me not tolerating the Brintellix anymore, I went through a rapid taper down to 5mg. I'm currently on my 3rd week on that dose and the only withdrawal symptoms I have experienced are episodes of hopeless depression and low energy, and the occasional disturbed sleep.

 

Please note that antidepressants often come with delayed withdrawal, which may not appear for several months. So these types of rapid reductions may not create withdrawal symptoms until much later on. 

 

1 hour ago, leavingorganon said:

I'm thinking the hold should be for a couple of months, but we will see. Would appreciate if you guys have an opinion about how long it should be. After that, I plan to follow the 10% taper process. Do you guys think that's an overkill?

 

Considering all of the drugs you've recently come off of or rapidly reduced, holding for a couple of months sounds good, if not longer. Please give yourself enough time to know if you're going to be hit with delayed withdrawal, since reinstatement doesn't always fix a too-quick taper. 

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leavingorganon

Hello everybody. 

 

I have some updates.

 

1. The idea that doing too fast of a taper can result in protracted withdrawal is messing up with my head. As a result, I upped my Brintellix dose to 7.5mg on *checks notes* the 15th. I am struggling with deciding on which point to stabilize at and consequently start the 10% taper point from. Looking at my google sheets, I was on as high a dose as 20mg somewhat recently (December). (Will update my signature with this info.) I have this compulsion to go back to 10mg and start from there. This is mostly because of some of the symptoms that I will describe in the second point.

 

2. Currently, my days look like this: I wake up at 8 with "morning dread" which is effectively a mixture of anxiety about the worrying topic of the week, and a strong sense of existential depression and hopelessness that there's anything I could do can change my current situation to the better.  I have the Brintellix, go to work, stop at a coffee shop and have some oatmeal for breakfast and take 10mgs of dextroamphitamine. This seems to snap me out of the morning hopelessness and I function okay for a few hours (I sometimes take another 10mg of dextro later in the day to help me function). Around 2 or so, lethargy starts to set in and I start to feel pretty dull and foggy. After work, and depending on how stressful the whole day was, anxiety starts to intensify. This can last for a couple of hours or all the way until around 11 when I take the Remeron. I sleep decently, with the occasional night of disturbed sleep. 

 

3. I'm not sure what to make of the symptoms above. I'm not sure whether they are Brintellix withdrawals, Remeron tolerance withdrawals, CNS sensitivity due to the general changes I did with meds in the last year, or just situational. They remind me of when I was on Remeron only when it stopped having any anti-anxiety properties and was basically just a sleep-aid. I am in a uniquely stressful situation at work where I've been thrown into a role that I wasn't trained for, and I've been struggling with that in the last few years. Add in a dash of office politics due to a new director and people strategizing to establish certain team dynamics in their favor. This breeds hyper-vigilance, and because of everything, my negative emotions are so easy to trigger and can be hard to manage. A social interaction with said director can start a spiral in which I start to get anxious and angry. I've been reading about how to manage those spirals but wouldn't mind any links, books etc that can help me learn more.

 

4. At this point, I'm not sure how to proceed. Mods, do you think I should up the Brintellix to maybe make things less harsh? Though I'm yet to resume tapering, I keep thinking that maybe it's the Remeron I should taper first, not the Brintellix. But I don't know. If you guys have an opinion on that, it would also be amazing. :)

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Shep
22 hours ago, leavingorganon said:

1. The idea that doing too fast of a taper can result in protracted withdrawal is messing up with my head. As a result, I upped my Brintellix dose to 7.5mg on *checks notes* the 15th. I am struggling with deciding on which point to stabilize at and consequently start the 10% taper point from. Looking at my google sheets, I was on as high a dose as 20mg somewhat recently (December). (Will update my signature with this info.) I have this compulsion to go back to 10mg and start from there. This is mostly because of some of the symptoms that I will describe in the second point.

 

Yes, tapering too fast can result in more likelihood of protracted withdrawal. However, making too many changes too abruptly can, as well. This can lead to kindling, which is repeated trauma to the nervous system. Basically, you wear out your nervous system by too many changes. You were at 10 mg Brintellix in December and then reduced it by 50% in January to 5 mg and then upped to 7.5 mg in February and are now thinking of going back up. 

 

On 2/7/2020 at 6:37 AM, leavingorganon said:

Due to me not tolerating the Brintellix anymore, I went through a rapid taper down to 5mg.

 

This is what you wrote just a few weeks ago about being on 10 mg before you reduced to 5 mg. So going back up to 10 mg again doesn't make sense. 

 

If your symptoms are manageable, I would recommend staying at 7.5 mg and holding for awhile. Give your nervous system time to adapt. 

 

 

 

22 hours ago, leavingorganon said:

2. Currently, my days look like this: I wake up at 8 with "morning dread" which is effectively a mixture of anxiety about the worrying topic of the week, and a strong sense of existential depression and hopelessness that there's anything I could do can change my current situation to the better.  I have the Brintellix, go to work, stop at a coffee shop and have some oatmeal for breakfast and take 10mgs of dextroamphitamine. This seems to snap me out of the morning hopelessness and I function okay for a few hours (I sometimes take another 10mg of dextro later in the day to help me function). Around 2 or so, lethargy starts to set in and I start to feel pretty dull and foggy. After work, and depending on how stressful the whole day was, anxiety starts to intensify. This can last for a couple of hours or all the way until around 11 when I take the Remeron. I sleep decently, with the occasional night of disturbed sleep. 

 

The morning dread is common and relates to cortisol. 

 

Waking with panic or anxiety - managing the morning cortisol spike

 

It can also be related to low blood sugar from not eating since the night before, so you may want to have breakfast when you wake up instead of having breakfast at a coffee shop. At least get a bit of protein in you first thing in the morning and see if that helps. Many of us seem to be prone to having more blood sugar regulation problems during withdrawal. 

 

Also, taking varying doses of Dextroamphetamine is not recommended. You really need to take the same drugs at the same times of the day every day. This also relates to kindling. The more changes you make, the more susceptible you are to kindling your nervous system. Not to mention rebound symptoms from when the dextroamphetamine wears off, as well as increasing anxiety (which stimulants are notorious for doing). 

 

22 hours ago, leavingorganon said:

3. I'm not sure what to make of the symptoms above. I'm not sure whether they are Brintellix withdrawals, Remeron tolerance withdrawals, CNS sensitivity due to the general changes I did with meds in the last year, or just situational. They remind me of when I was on Remeron only when it stopped having any anti-anxiety properties and was basically just a sleep-aid. I am in a uniquely stressful situation at work where I've been thrown into a role that I wasn't trained for, and I've been struggling with that in the last few years. Add in a dash of office politics due to a new director and people strategizing to establish certain team dynamics in their favor. This breeds hyper-vigilance, and because of everything, my negative emotions are so easy to trigger and can be hard to manage. A social interaction with said director can start a spiral in which I start to get anxious and angry. I've been reading about how to manage those spirals but wouldn't mind any links, books etc that can help me learn more.

 

Your symptoms sound like a mix of withdrawal, drug interactions, rebound symptoms, and situational stress. 

 

So you'll want to focus on the things you can change. You're doing well by learning to handle spirals, but I would also focus on taking your drugs consistently and not making any changes for awhile.

 

Here are some links to help cope. It sounds like you've already done some reading, so some of these may be threads you've already read:

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals

 

"Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms

 

Relaxation exercises, guided meditations, calming videos, sleep hypnosis

 

Dr. Claire Weekes is very good for managing anxiety: 

 

Dr. Claire Weekes - How to Recover from Anxiety

 

Dr. Claire Weekes - YouTube list

 

Pranayama Breathing for Anxiety and Depression

 

And you can find tons more here:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

If you're feeling overwhelmed by your job, you may want to look into finding one that suits you better. Withdrawal from polypharmacy can take years to taper and recover from, so you want to do all you can to make sure you're nurturing your nervous system, as best as you can. Continuing to use stimulants to keep up will only get you so far. Concentrate on what your brain/body needs first until you heal. And then you'll be unstoppable. But for now, your brain/body is sending you signals that you're pushing too hard and too far. 

 

Let your symptoms be guides and teachers and they will help steer you in the right direction.

 

 

 

23 hours ago, leavingorganon said:

4. At this point, I'm not sure how to proceed. Mods, do you think I should up the Brintellix to maybe make things less harsh? Though I'm yet to resume tapering, I keep thinking that maybe it's the Remeron I should taper first, not the Brintellix. But I don't know. If you guys have an opinion on that, it would also be amazing. :)

 

It may help to re-read your thread, taking note of the problems of the two major drug interactions and also, re-read the link Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first? 

 

The goal is to preserve sleep, so coming off the Remeron first is not recommended, since that's helping with your sleep. 

 

This is the best advice I can give you for tapering your specific cocktail of drugs, in this order:

  1. Dextroamphetamine
  2. Brintellix
  3. Remeron

 

But for now, stabilizing on your current cocktail without making any more changes or varying any of the doses is best. 

 

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leavingorganon

Thank you, Shep, for your response; it's super helpful and I appreciate your help a lot. The Claire Weekes playlist is a great help especially. 

 

I don't think this thread has an "audience" (not that it has to have an audience) and that this website is more concerned with the mechanics of withdrawal (not that it's a bad thing), but I feel it's important to share the good things with the hope of helping a future lost soul that comes across it. I make no pretense about how far along this process I am; I'm aware that being on two meds is pretty far from being in the throes of acute withdrawal. But I want to say that I've been doing really well this week. I experienced almost none of the symptoms I described in my previous post (waking up with dread, extreme evening anxiety, etc). I feel pretty lucky in that regard, and also energized to resume the taper sooner than I initially anticipated.

 

What worked best for me is avoiding unnecessary stress triggers. I know that I have a low threshold for stress at the moment, so I'm being mindful.

 

I did wake up pretty early today and couldn't get back to sleep, but that had minimal impact on my functioning. I use a CPAP machine when I sleep and it definitely improves the quality of sleep I end up getting. I have this theory that the sleep problems I had as a college student that drove towards Remeron were because of an undiagnosed sleep apnea: I distinctly remember the sensation of momentarily stopping to breathe and consequently being yanked out of my early sleep stages and the panic that that would cause. 

 

I had a phone call with a lady who has a "surrender"-based spiritual practice and we talked about the general existential state I'm currently in. She had an especially calming effect on me: she was very centered, serene, sympathetic, yet firm about her values and definition of what constitutes a good life: all things I aspire to be. She asked me if I was on meds, and I said yes. She said she used to be on them too. But they made her a zombie, so she stopped. She didn't know that, but this had a profound effect on me. Just knowing that there is someone who survived this and lived to lead a meaningful life is all I need to know. I wish there were more narratives about how withdrawal is a temporary (even if intense) problem, and that we can go on living a good life afterwards. Oh well. 

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leavingorganon
11 hours ago, leavingorganon said:

I don't think this thread has an "audience" (not that it has to have an audience) and that this website is more concerned with the mechanics of withdrawal (not that it's a bad thing)

 

Meant to say: I don't think this thread has an "audience" (not that it has to have an audience) and I know that this website is more concerned with the mechanics of withdrawal (not that it's a bad thing)

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Shep
13 hours ago, leavingorganon said:

Just knowing that there is someone who survived this and lived to lead a meaningful life is all I need to know. I wish there were more narratives about how withdrawal is a temporary (even if intense) problem, and that we can go on living a good life afterwards. Oh well. 

 

You'll find many stories like this here: 

 

Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal

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