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sunnysideup69

Coronavirus / covid and psychiatric drug tapering & withdrawal

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sunnysideup69
Posted (edited)

ADMIN NOTE March 19, 2020 If you have the symptoms of coronavirus, flu, a cold, food poisoning, or any illness, please exercise common sense and STOP TAPERING if you're in the midst of a taper.

 

MINIMIZE DRUG CHANGES unless you are having a very bad reaction to a drug. You wouldn't want to add drug-induced symptoms to an illness such as coronavirus infection.

 

In this time of pandemic, it's best for EVERYONE to practice social distancing. Do not congregate with groups of people who do not live with you. Stay at 2 meter (6 feet) distance from people in shops and on the street. ANYONE COULD GET VERY ILL, of any age group, and medical supplies are scarce -- there may not be enough to treat you.

 

As this is a site for tapering and withdrawal syndrome, our volunteer peer counselors won't be able to help you -- we don't know how to treat virus infections.

 

If you fall ill with a high fever or constant cough with difficulty breathing, isolate yourself on the presumption you have coronavirus and contact your local medical authorities immediately.

 


 

EXCELLENT MASK PATTERN:

 

The lady who created this video is a retired nurse.  Beneath the video there is a link to patterns for various sized masks.  The video also explains how to measure yourself and how to adjust the pattern.  I've made one and it fits perfectly.  Except that my glasses fog up.  I'm going to add a strip of felt inside which I have seen a suggestion for.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbqkLcPHhcQ

 

This is her website and has all the videos she has made regarding masks.  The is a video about making smaller masks for young people:

 

http://www.fabricpatch.net/face-masks-for-covid-19-relief.htm

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Not wishing to add to anyone's health anxiety here, but am curious about the answer to this. To date, I've been quite laid back and not really 'socially isolated' apart from when in a wave.

I have been wondering whether, as a person in WD, I am more vulnerable to infection? We know these drugs can affect every system in the body and that includes the immune system.

 

Not seeking to sensationalise here but would welcome some rational feedback. How careful do we need to be?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
Added admin note/CC added mask pattern info

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Onmyway
2 hours ago, sunnysideup69 said:

Not wishing to add to anyone's health anxiety here, but am curious about the answer to this. To date, I've been quite laid back and not really 'socially isolated' apart from when in a wave.

I have been wondering whether, as a person in WD, I am more vulnerable to infection? We know these drugs can affect every system in the body and that includes the immune system.

 

Not seeking to sensationalise here but would welcome some rational feedback. How careful do we need to be?

It was interesting that during the first 5-6 month of WD I did not get a single cold. It seemed like I was totally immune to any but that was going around and I wasn't even that self isolated - I'd go out to play board games every day as that was the only thing that kept me sane. I started holding I started getting regular colds. Not more but normal. Then last two weeks have been hammered with an awful cold.

 

So it's possible it's not related or possible that we're more or less protected. I'm just an n=1. With coronavirus I'd caution on the side of social isolation for now meaning move to phone/FaceTime/WhatsApp etc. I've found online board gaming platforms can be quite distracting. Boardgamearena.com. but they do require a certain level of cognitive function which I wasn't always able to summon. 

 

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Ryguy
8 hours ago, sunnysideup69 said:

Not wishing to add to anyone's health anxiety here, but am curious about the answer to this. To date, I've been quite laid back and not really 'socially isolated' apart from when in a wave.

I have been wondering whether, as a person in WD, I am more vulnerable to infection? We know these drugs can affect every system in the body and that includes the immune system.

 

Not seeking to sensationalise here but would welcome some rational feedback. How careful do we need to be?

Im worried too

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Rapini

I've been thinking about this myself. I'm trying to self-isolate as much as possible, but sadly I still have to go to work.

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Altostrata

I don't think the question about immune system compromise can be answered. So far, the evidence is that higher risk is related to higher age.

 

If you are over 60, you are in a high-risk category.

 

Otherwise, if you're tapering or you have withdrawal syndrome, you may feel terrible if you get a serious bout of influenza -- same pertains to COVID-19.

 

In general, since drug supplies might become unstable, you might refill prescriptions for 90-day supply when you can.

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Stormstrong
10 hours ago, Altostrata said:

In general, since drug supplies might become unstable, you might refill prescriptions for 90-day supply when you can.

 

This is quite worrying. Why would drug supplies become unstable? Would this include psychotropics??

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sunnysideup69
12 hours ago, Altostrata said:

I don't think the question about immune system compromise can be answered. So far, the evidence is that higher risk is related to higher age.

 

If you are over 60, you are in a high-risk category.

 

Otherwise, if you're tapering or you have withdrawal syndrome, you may feel terrible if you get a serious bout of influenza -- same pertains to COVID-19.

 

In general, since drug supplies might become unstable, you might refill prescriptions for 90-day supply when you can.

 

Thanks @Altostrata, yes, I think I'm gonna request bigger refills.....seems sensible.

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drugged

I don't know what the law says in other states or countries but I can only get 30 days of my diazepam and my tramadol.  I'm okay for now as I haven't been taking the full amount of either drug but that could change.  

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Heal95

I think the best thing to do is to not worry and stress as that in itself will compromise your immune system. Find healthy distractions and healthy interactions with loved ones and pets. 

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Altostrata

Many US health plans are now offering overrides so you can get more than one month's prescription of benzodiazepines at a time. Inquire at your pharmacist. Your doctor has to phone your plan.

 

With the threat of COVID-19 virus infection, this is a very stressful time. In my opinion, everyone should socially isolate as much as possible. (You can get out for walks as long as there aren't crowds around.)

 

As the staff are also stressed by the international pandemic, I'd like to ask everyone to use search or Google to answer your questions before posting them for staff attention. When you find good answers from reputable sources, you might post them to share with the community.

 

If you develop aches, chills, and fever, please take your temperature. If your temperature is high, it is more likely you are suffering from the flu or possibly COVID-19. As the latter may become a medical emergency, if you are ill more than a couple of days, please phone your doctor or go immediately to your local emergency treatment center.

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sunnysideup69

Stay well, everyone ❤️ Sending lots of love and good wishes.

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Dragon

I don't know about other countries, but in the UK, we are told to self isolate if we have symptoms of Covid 19. The most common ones are a high fever and new cough. We are to stay at home unless the symptoms get so bad we cannot cope alone. If this happens the advice is to stay at home and phone the NHS information line (that is 111) for advice.    We are told definitely not to go to hospital, GP surgeries or pharmacies, as this risks spreading the virus.

 

I presume @Altostrata means specially set up emergency treatment centres for treatment of Coronavirus. Is that what they have in the US ? In UK it's definitely telephone advice from 111 first.

 

Stay safe all.xx

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Altostrata

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The entire region has just gone into lockdown short of Italy's quarantine. We have only a few dozen identified cases.

 

Individuals who have no symptoms whatsoever may be carriers and infect others. Isolating only those showing symptoms doesn't make any sense. Up to 50% of infections come from those who are showing no symptoms at all.

 

Whether your government has announced it or not -- most likely, all will -- it's wise to isolate yourself as much as possible, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently.

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Dragon

Yes, it's best to assume that everyone is infectious. I didn't mean to imply that showing symptoms was the only reason to isolate, just saying what we are told to do if you have.

 

I am isolating as far as possible myself.

 

If you have symptoms you can't cope with at home then get advice over the phone about what to do.

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mstimc
51 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The entire region has just gone into lockdown short of Italy's quarantine. We have only a few dozen identified cases.

 

Individuals who have no symptoms whatsoever may be carriers and infect others. Isolating only those showing symptoms doesn't make any sense. Up to 50% of infections come from those who are showing no symptoms at all.

 

Whether your government has announced it or not -- most likely, all will -- it's wise to isolate yourself as much as possible, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently.

I just saw that on the LA Times' website.  Seven counties in lockdown!  We were there in June.  I can't imagine The City's streets empty!

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mstimc

Portugal is in semi lockdown.  Bars and clubs closed.  Restaurants have to leave every other table empty.  In grocery stores and pharmacies, they're only letting a certain number of people in at any one time; this is to keep social distance and also gives the staff time to clean and restock the shelves.  They're asking doctors in private practice to volunteer for service in the national health system and provide routine services so public health doctors can concentrate on COVID-positive patients.  They closed the border with Spain.   Pretty calm all things considered.

 

I'm much better at dealing with reality than with anticipatory anxiety, so I'm handling it well and practicing recommended hygiene protocols.  I'm an introvert anyway, so binge-watching DVD's is ok with me!

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Dragon

Just further to that,  I think I may have had the C.virus myself already. I am on the 23rd day of a flu-like illness which had a high temperature, sore throat and cough. It felt like nothing else I have ever suffered from before, and I've had flu lots of times in my life. The time it started fits in with the Coronavirus epidemic, which brings us back to the question asked by @sunnysideup69, are we more vulnerable to catching this virus because we are in WD from ADs. Well we feel pretty ill and have some very bad symptoms but whether that translates to a weakened immune system, who knows.

 

My personal opinion is that it probably does make us more liable to catch things, but having said that, a positive frame of mind can probably help protect us from this as it can from many other things.

 

I'm isolating anyway, in case it wasn't that and I might therefore catch it and in case it was and I can still pass it on to someone else. lol

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Onmyway
On 3/16/2020 at 8:52 PM, Dragon said:

I don't know about other countries, but in the UK, we are told to self isolate if we have symptoms of Covid 19. The most common ones are a high fever and new cough. We are to stay at home unless the symptoms get so bad we cannot cope alone. If this happens the advice is to stay at home and phone the NHS information line (that is 111) for advice.    We are told definitely not to go to hospital, GP surgeries or pharmacies, as this risks spreading the virus.

 

I presume @Altostrata means specially set up emergency treatment centres for treatment of Coronavirus. Is that what they have in the US ? In UK it's definitely telephone advice from 111 first.

 

Stay safe all.xx

Yes this is BoJo's BS plan to thin the herd. It's new from last week - used to be tests were given to people exposed. I have a friend who lives with a confirmed covid positive person, has symptoms but is not going to be tested because 111 told him to just self isolate. In the meantime those he was in contact with are unsure if they should self isolate and are going about their business potentially infecting others.

 

So, best idea is to self isolate whether sick or not and hope for the best.

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Dragon

 

 

 

 

13 minutes ago, Onmyway said:

Yes this is BoJo's BS plan to thin the herd. It's new from last week - used to be tests were given to people exposed. I have a friend who lives with a confirmed covid positive person, has symptoms but is not going to be tested because 111 told him to just self isolate. In the meantime those he was in contact with are unsure if they should self isolate and are going about their business potentially infecting others.

 

So, best idea is to self isolate whether sick or not and hope for the best.

 

Absolutely,  everyone isolate if you can.......

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Colonial

When I first started withdrawal I had the same fears: "How can I possibly cope with being sick on top of my WD Symptoms"?

I was astonished to find I went from being a person sick 2-3 times a year to only 3 illnesses in over 5.

I haven't had a regular head cold or sinus infection in over 5 years, just some other things that aren't common viral issues.

 

Now, granted, I'd much rather have a head cold or the flu 2-3 times a year than this, but at least, for whatever reason, I don't get virus' anymore like I used to.

So, I'm hoping nothing will change here.  Although for those of us with the Paxil flu we may have already had it and not even known about it.

If symptoms are mild for 75% of the cases I might not even skip a beat realizing the symptoms were from something else.

 

 

 

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ShiningLight

One thing that has helped my anxiety is getting a finger pulse oximeter. I got it for about $25 on Amazon a few weeks ago before I got sick. When I feel anxious, I use it. It helps a lot as a reality check.

 

For the past week, I've had a weird lower respiratory illness with fatigue, some aches, no fever, dry cough, and now wheezing. No mucous increase at all. I have *never* had a flu like that, and never had the flu in March before. I suspect I have the novel coronavirus, but my MD doesn't. Not bothering trying to get tested in the US. He's given me guidelines for when to call if pulse oximeter readings become problematic. Otherwise, I'm doing usual "flu" care at home.

 

In terms of tapering advice, I've seen it said on this site that it's advisable to hold your dose if you are sick. Remapping the brain is a lot of work.

 

 

 

 

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FindRest
1 hour ago, ShiningLight said:

One thing that has helped my anxiety is getting a finger pulse oximeter. I got it for about $25 on Amazon a few weeks ago before I got sick. When I feel anxious, I use it. It helps a lot as a reality check.

@ShiningLight thanks for reminding me! I forgot I had one but remember how reassuring it was after my heart/lung surgery.  I hope you start to feel better soon. 

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drugged
13 hours ago, Onmyway said:

Yes this is BoJo's BS plan to thin the herd. It's new from last week - used to be tests were given to people exposed. I have a friend who lives with a confirmed covid positive person, has symptoms but is not going to be tested because 111 told him to just self isolate. In the meantime those he was in contact with are unsure if they should self isolate and are going about their business potentially infecting others.

 

So, best idea is to self isolate whether sick or not and hope for the best.

They're not even testing people?  What happens if you're sick at home and you can't breathe?  Are they not admitting anyone to hospital?

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mstimc
3 minutes ago, drugged said:

They're not even testing people?  What happens if you're sick at home and you can't breathe?  Are they not admitting anyone to hospital?

I read on CNN  that up until last week, Britain's National Health Ministry was thinking of letting it spread to build "community immunity" since most people recover.  Of course the down side is thousands of your own people die in the meantime.  

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drugged
1 minute ago, mstimc said:

I read on CNN  that up until last week, Britain's National Health Ministry was thinking of letting it spread to build "community immunity" since most people recover.  Of course the down side is thousands of your own people die in the meantime.  

My God!  Next they'll be painting the doors of people like they did during the plague.  And here I thought we were living in the 21st century not the 13th.  🙄

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mstimc
3 minutes ago, drugged said:

My God!  Next they'll be painting the doors of people like they did during the plague.  And here I thought we were living in the 21st century not the 13th.  🙄

Don't want to hijack the thread with politics, but there are lot more things on Johnson's agenda besides Brexit.  He's always had it in for the NHS. 

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Colonial

I think the best advise is really think of whether it's even wise to made a med change during a pandemic or not when normal helps may not be available.

Online forums will be up, but if You destabilize Yourself to the point that You need a hospital, doctor or extra therapy visits Your putting Yourself at extra risk.

If only because the normal supports are already over loaded at this point as the Mental Health system struggles to deal with the extra panic and anxiety issues.

It may be wise for some to slow down on their taper right now, if Your not going to have the normal community supports in a shut down.

 

Basically put, You don't put any part of Your existence "At Risk" during a shut down, when external support may not be coming.

The extra stress this Virus is creating for many will hit Your CNS hard enough as it is, causing symptom flare ups for many.

Easy as it goes with the med changes right now, Folks. Longer holds and smaller % drops might be wise right now.

 

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mstimc
2 minutes ago, Colonial said:

I think the best advise is really think of whether it's even wise to made a med change during a pandemic or not when normal helps may not be available.

Online forums will be up, but if You destabilize Yourself to the point that You need a hospital, doctor or extra therapy visits Your putting Yourself at extra risk.

If only because the normal supports are already over loaded at this point as the Mental Health system struggles to deal with the extra panic and anxiety issues.

It may be wise for some to slow down on their taper right now, if Your not going to have the normal community supports in a shut down.

 

Basically put, You don't put any part of Your existence "At Risk" during a shut down, when external support may not be coming.

The extra stress this Virus is creating for many will hit Your CNS hard enough as it is, causing symptom flare ups for many.

Easy as it goes with the med changes right now, Folks. Longer holds and smaller % drops might be wise right now.

 

Good advice, Colonial.  Medical resources are being strained and I've seen recommendations to postpone non-critical surgeries and other procedures.  And as you rightly point out, everyone is under a lot of stress right now; adding to that with a taper may not be the best move.

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Colonial

I just know how much worse I am physically from the WD symptoms right now, because I was "forced" to go out and over do it in the "preps" getting ready to quarantine. I "had" to do things all at once regardless of that I didn't feel well enough to be out doing them, instead of doing things during the hours and days when I felt strong enough.  So now the extra physical activity all at once has been hitting Me like a ton of bricks since yesterday.

 

Even if Your not an anxious person per se, the  "Upset" to Our schedules is enough to also upset our symptoms right now.

We'll all get through this together just fine.  We just have to be mindful how this situation by itself is taxing enough. 

Slow and easy on everything else for now.

 

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mstimc
5 minutes ago, Colonial said:

Even if Your not an anxious person per se, the  "Upset" to Our schedules is enough to also upset our symptoms right now.

We'll all get through this together just fine.  We just have to be mindful how this situation by itself is taxing enough. 

Slow and easy on everything else for now.

 

There is just so much going on all at once its easy to be overwhelmed.  Besides the virus itself, there's the social isolation, panic buying and possible economic decline.  My wife and I are 6,000 miles from home and our son is is in grad school in Michigan so that just makes it worse.   Not to mention the leadership in the US has been completely inept when they should have been getting in front of it. 

 

My OCD really flares up in these situations, but I'm trying to stay rooted in reality.  Civilization has endured much worse than this and often comes out wiser for it.  Things will get better, perhaps slowly, but we'll survive.  This isn't the Black Death and we know what causes it.  As long as people act responsibly without panicking things will be ok.

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Ryguy

Theres isnt a whole lot of evidence that our immunity is compromised, our nervous systems are completely dysfunctional, which does lead to stress which can make immunity worse, but oddly enough since in withdrawal i havent been sick more often in fact ive been constantly around sick people and never got sick, my hypothesis is that our immunities are only marginally effected by the stress and i think simultaneously we have autoimmune type problems , my blood work suggests autoimmunity issues even though the doctor cant detect any at all, and sometimes autoimmunity can actually make your immunity stronger oddly enough....your heart is beating faster , akathisia, etc etc...these things might be your body in overdrive, so having pathogens use that body as a place to propagate might actually be more difficult then a healthy resting body. It seems fight or flight mode doesnt necessarily mean a more vulnerable body...no expert here, just thinking out loud. If you dont hsve respiratory problems you shouldnt should worry at all about withdrawal putting you at higher risk for covid. Most of us probably have the quarantine thing down anyway through self isolation

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Katy398
On 3/17/2020 at 9:01 AM, Altostrata said:

Up to 50% of infections come from those who are showing no symptoms at all.

It is because of this that the percentage of fatalities has to be lower. No one knows how many actually have the virus because some have very mild symptoms. 

If we self isolate and follow hygiene protocols, we are doing the best we can to contain the virus. Our health systems need to be able to cope with the serious cases and in the interest of our communities we need to be mindful to free up the health services for those who seriously need it.  

 

We will get through this. We survived world wars, this war we are all fighting together.  It’s a global issue and we can all learn from each other and support each other. 

 

Take care everyone, we have developed lots of coping strategies during our WD journey, they can be useful with this too. 

 

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Altostrata

@Dragon have you reported to your doctor and hospital?

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Dragon

Yes I have @Altostrata.

 

 

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Altostrata

Okay, I hope you start to feel better soon.

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Onmyway
23 hours ago, drugged said:

They're not even testing people?  What happens if you're sick at home and you can't breathe?  Are they not admitting anyone to hospital?

If you need medical attention you go to the emergency room of course. Hospitals have now special pathways for suspected cases. Certain x-rays are designated septic so only used for covid suspected people. Hazmat suits etc. everywhere. All not important cases discharged, no new admissions unless absolutely necessary (so as not to expose patients and so capacity is saved for covid patients). So "if you're not really sick stay home to save space for the really sick people" policy. The ERs are empty unlike other times as people are scared of exposure.

 

 

 

 

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