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Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"


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My hero!

 

Shep 'gets' it.  I've been so long on blogs where everyone participating is an asshat, so coming here outta the blue (no--notice from AS about some media event) and read those so true words, displaying untold courage and grace. 

 

Glad things are better, Shep.

 

me, too.  But still very very susceptible to stress and still can't count on being "OK" for any planned activity. 

 

Stress brings on the usual symptoms. 

21 years of various psych meds.

Currently experiencing 'withdrawal syndrome' from 14 years of 0.5mg Klonopin: 1 q hs

Tapered over a year and a half dry cutting.

Hx of Imipramine (nightmare) (1992) Zoloft,(1992) Paxil (difficult to d/c)(2000) Effexor(2004-5) (also very difficult to d/c) Lamictal(2004-6), Neurontin(2004-6), Depakote(2006-2012), Remeron(2007) Various sleeping pills at different times...

 

UPDATE

Month 40 post Benzo taper

 

there have been windows, sometimes weeks of feeling 'almost normal' and the BLAM

 

windows and waves, indeed

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Link to Benzo Forum Thread -  Shep's Journey   Leaving Plato’s Cave   In Plato’s famous “Allegory of the Cave,” a group of human beings are chained since birth in a dark cave where

I'm not Shep (and I don't play her on TV), but I'm pretty confident she will share my view that your next best move might be to fire your doctor.  3.5 months is NOTHING when it comes to withdrawal fro

Yes, my recovery accelerated toward the end and although I still have some mild to moderate symptoms during waves, they are also resolving. I'm going into the "rearview mirror" stage of recovery where

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On 8/6/2020 at 12:25 AM, Moonpie said:

It is so good to see you back Shep! I understand about needing to take time off . You do so much for everyone on this site and give so much of yourself. You are such an inspiration and help in carrying on when things get rough. If Shep did then  I know I can too! I am happy you mentioned about distraction. I've been feeling very guilty about watching Amazon Prime and YouTube videos, basically just vegetating. It is definately a distraction!  I watch a lot of documentaries about people's lives in other countries and individual challenges. There are times everything is okay and then there are times I can't see the light at the end of tunnel. I'm finding there are so many variations with these drugs in the tapering that there are times I think,. am I going crazy. I was telling my daughter today I do not even want to think where I would be right now if I had not found this site. Thank you for all your support and help. Continuing to move on. At a snail's pace but moving LOL.

 

Sounds like you're finding ways to cope, Moonpie. But don't feel guilty about distracting! We'd much rather see folks finding safe distractions than catastrophizing. As your symptoms improve, slowly, over time, you'll find your distractions boring and you'll start to seek out other ways of spending your time. You'll have the energy and motivation to do other things out in the real world (as much as possible during the pandemic) and making more connections. 

 

It happens naturally as you recover. Until then, embrace your distractions and make it to the next day and then the next. Eventually, you'll be at the finish line. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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On 8/6/2020 at 7:43 PM, Amira123 said:

Shep, did the weird thoughts of people looking like mannequin and buildings looking weird go away? How do you feel now about people and the world? I read some posts of your thread and i can relate alot to these strange thoughts, i know they are not true but i can't imagine thinking about people and the world in a different or positive way. Do you have anything you want to tell me regarding this?. Thanks :)

 

On 8/8/2020 at 2:56 PM, Amira123 said:

Sorry for asking alot of questions @Shep

did you have neuro-terror, neuro-fear and neuro-guilt during WD?

 

Yep, the weird mannequin people and shifting buildings went away, LOL. It was all part of the psychiatry's acid trip.  

 

Knowing that withdrawal causes derealization makes it much easier to navigate through the symptoms. It's actually much more frightening when you don't know what's going on (I didn't find out what was wrong until much later in the withdrawal game). 

 

This is the best video I found when I felt myself sliding into complete depersonalization:

 

How Do You Define Yourself? video (4.5 minutes)

 

Of course, everyone finds their own ways of coping and things that make them feel better during withdrawal, but the concept of dp/dr being a way to experience different levels of connection with the universe was my way.  It's a very human experience to seek out.

 

And that lowered the scariness of this symptom a great deal. I'd encourage anyone suffering due to this symptom to seek out ways of self-soothing to get through. That combined with radical acceptance is the key. That will also help with all of the neuro-emotions you listed. Many of these symptoms are very interrelated and finding ways of self-soothing is the best path forward. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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On 8/7/2020 at 6:52 AM, composter said:

Powerful words here. I will add your book suggestions to my reading list. 
 

Amazing what an expert you have become with benzo tapering especially though you CT’d everything. (If I’m reading this correctly?)


Love how you organized the post and much congratulations on doing so well!

 

Yes, you are indeed reading correctly. I would not say I'm an expert, though. I'll leave that to those who tapered and have that history. I just hand out the tapering information that I learned from others along the way. Collective learning and sharing over the decades has created a wealth of information to shatter the myth of "mental illness" and all of psychiatry's lies. 

 

By the time we get through this, we all become experts on the non-drug coping aspects. 

 

Thank you for your kind wishes and I'm very glad to see your moderator star! 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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20 hours ago, hacilar said:

My hero!

 

Shep 'gets' it.  I've been so long on blogs where everyone participating is an asshat, so coming here outta the blue (no--notice from AS about some media event) and read those so true words, displaying untold courage and grace. 

 

Glad things are better, Shep.

 

me, too.  But still very very susceptible to stress and still can't count on being "OK" for any planned activity. 

 

Stress brings on the usual symptoms. 

 

Thanks, Hacilar. Stress is hard, that's for sure. But over time, stress intolerance does get better. Test yourself in spaces where you feel safe to fall, and then branch out slowly. 

 

Perhaps find solace in the unplanned for now. Quality is more important than structure. 

 

I have a feeling you "get it," too, and that definitely works to your advantage. 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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@Shep I have alot of respect for your experience and how you interpreted it, very inspiring!

 

 

10 hours ago, Shep said:

but the concept of dp/dr being a way to experience different levels of connection with the universe was my way.  It's a very human experience to seek out.

 

And yes, even though DP/DR can be one of the most frightening sensations a human can experience, i agree alot with your sentence above,  it is very eye opening and changes your prespective about life and everything, it is like a deeper connection with the universe.

 

I really wish if you could tell us someday more about how this experience changed you on a spiritual and mental level.

 

 

 

Sending you love💕

Cymbalta 30 mg- 60 mg 

June 2016- October 2018 ( Cold Turkey) 

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I much appreciate hearing from a member whose "signature symptom" has been DP/DR. I've struggled off and on (months or years off and on) with derealization (living in a dreamscape) since age 19 (and almost certainly related to complex trauma in childhood). The DR has been much aggravated since fast tapers off Effexor and Wellbutrin nearly 15 months ago. Thanks warmly for tips on DR healing.

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg (poop-out  April 2013).

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos. To 450 mg tapered to 0 in 3 wks no w/d trouble.

Lexapro 2014 30 mg Cymbalta 2014.

Neuro-Feedback 2015 May-Sept, no ADs 5 months, no significant benefit, rather increased anxiety during and after; Buspirone 2015 40 mg STOPPED after several months.

Venlafaxine Dec. 14, 2015 – May 23, 2019 150 mg.

Bupropion/Wellbutrin Mar 2017 – July 19, 2019 300 mg; Lorazepam 0.5 a few days only, stopped 08/31/2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, taper from 20 mg started 01-2020, linear 10% every 4 wks., tapered 6 to 4 mg 6-29-20, 4 to 2 mg 7-15-20,  2.0 to 1.8 mg 08-26-20), updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 (11-16-20)

Naltrexone (for derealization) 10/27/20, STOPPED after 10 days; B12 1000 mg STOPPED 10-29-20; D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3; Magnesium Chelate, 250 mg; L-methylfolate (Deplin) 15 mg STOPPED 09/3/20; Inositol (pseudo B8) powder 4 tsp (water solution sipped throughout day), started 11-12-20; ashwaganda, 1/2 caplet started 01/14/21.

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On 8/17/2020 at 2:27 PM, Edmunds said:

I much appreciate hearing from a member whose "signature symptom" has been DP/DR. I've struggled off and on (months or years off and on) with derealization (living in a dreamscape) since age 19 (and almost certainly related to complex trauma in childhood). The DR has been much aggravated since fast tapers off Effexor and Wellbutrin nearly 15 months ago. Thanks warmly for tips on DR healing.

 

Your welcome, Edmunds. If you're using mindfulness techniques to help you cope with this symptom, you'll come out of this experience much stronger than you came in. A lot of trauma issues can be greatly aided by the exact same coping techniques that help you navigate the very unpredictable and sometimes frightening world of dp/dr. So it's a symptom that can teach you a lot along the way. 

 

By looking at it as a teacher symptom, it becomes less frightening and you may even welcome upticks in dp/dr as a way to strengthen your skills. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Thanks very much, Shep,  for that encouraging reply.

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg (poop-out  April 2013).

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos. To 450 mg tapered to 0 in 3 wks no w/d trouble.

Lexapro 2014 30 mg Cymbalta 2014.

Neuro-Feedback 2015 May-Sept, no ADs 5 months, no significant benefit, rather increased anxiety during and after; Buspirone 2015 40 mg STOPPED after several months.

Venlafaxine Dec. 14, 2015 – May 23, 2019 150 mg.

Bupropion/Wellbutrin Mar 2017 – July 19, 2019 300 mg; Lorazepam 0.5 a few days only, stopped 08/31/2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, taper from 20 mg started 01-2020, linear 10% every 4 wks., tapered 6 to 4 mg 6-29-20, 4 to 2 mg 7-15-20,  2.0 to 1.8 mg 08-26-20), updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 (11-16-20)

Naltrexone (for derealization) 10/27/20, STOPPED after 10 days; B12 1000 mg STOPPED 10-29-20; D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3; Magnesium Chelate, 250 mg; L-methylfolate (Deplin) 15 mg STOPPED 09/3/20; Inositol (pseudo B8) powder 4 tsp (water solution sipped throughout day), started 11-12-20; ashwaganda, 1/2 caplet started 01/14/21.

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Thank you Shep. I never looked at it that way.  And there have been windows where it was boring.  You always help!!!  HUGS

1.5 mg Ativan - .5 mg  three x daily -start date 9/16 - taper start 2/17.  1/07/2017 tapering A.m. and pm doses .001 every 4 days.  Prescribed for a thyroid medication mess up made thyroid go crazy for 8 months.
Also on Buspar .5 divided into 2 even doses AM and PM- Start date 9/2016 - Lexapro .PM - 5 mg start date 11/2016 increased to 10 mg 2/17.

Current: 3 doses  doses at 8AM - 2 PM and bedtime (varies) reduced from pill weight  from .069 to .035 on each dose. Tapering .001 every 4 days of midday dose.  As of 1-29-2018 .011 - AM and PM dose .030, holding. 

Current, 5/2/18: Ativan a.m. dose .030 and p.m. dose .018 (tapering by weight. ) Tapered off midday dose 3-15-18. Tapered off p.m. dose 7-16-18. Over half way tapering off last dose - morning dose. All other med doses remain the same. OFF ATIVAN! 11-16-2018

Very very sensitive to Ativan. 

1-1-2019 Began tapering Lexapro.  .001 mmg every 4 days. 9-15-19 At .093 in weight from beginning weight of .152.  Still tapering .001 every 4 days 1-1-2020 .069

N.P. Desiccated Thyroid.  12-22-17 reduced  from  75 mg. to 67.5 daily  Bio-identical female hormones. Bi-est/Prog cream 1 time daily.  .04-6-2020 Lexapro at .050 in weight. Buspar .5 divided into 2 doses am and pm  4-22-2020 Lexapro taper .047  6-15-2020 Lexapro taper .037  8-21-2020 .020  10-10-2020 .012 Lexapro taper 11-6-2020 .007 11-19-20 .005 holding for 15 days 11-28-2020 reduced N.P. Thyroid to 60 mg

My intro: Moonpie:. Need help and supporting tapering off of Ativan

My benzo thread: Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering

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17 hours ago, Moonpie said:

And there have been windows where it was boring.

 

LOL, this is true! If you don't like boring, then looking at withdrawal as an adventure will work to your advantage.

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Shep, I meant it was boring to watch tv and be on the internet LOL.  Withdrawal is TOO much of an adventure to me!

1.5 mg Ativan - .5 mg  three x daily -start date 9/16 - taper start 2/17.  1/07/2017 tapering A.m. and pm doses .001 every 4 days.  Prescribed for a thyroid medication mess up made thyroid go crazy for 8 months.
Also on Buspar .5 divided into 2 even doses AM and PM- Start date 9/2016 - Lexapro .PM - 5 mg start date 11/2016 increased to 10 mg 2/17.

Current: 3 doses  doses at 8AM - 2 PM and bedtime (varies) reduced from pill weight  from .069 to .035 on each dose. Tapering .001 every 4 days of midday dose.  As of 1-29-2018 .011 - AM and PM dose .030, holding. 

Current, 5/2/18: Ativan a.m. dose .030 and p.m. dose .018 (tapering by weight. ) Tapered off midday dose 3-15-18. Tapered off p.m. dose 7-16-18. Over half way tapering off last dose - morning dose. All other med doses remain the same. OFF ATIVAN! 11-16-2018

Very very sensitive to Ativan. 

1-1-2019 Began tapering Lexapro.  .001 mmg every 4 days. 9-15-19 At .093 in weight from beginning weight of .152.  Still tapering .001 every 4 days 1-1-2020 .069

N.P. Desiccated Thyroid.  12-22-17 reduced  from  75 mg. to 67.5 daily  Bio-identical female hormones. Bi-est/Prog cream 1 time daily.  .04-6-2020 Lexapro at .050 in weight. Buspar .5 divided into 2 doses am and pm  4-22-2020 Lexapro taper .047  6-15-2020 Lexapro taper .037  8-21-2020 .020  10-10-2020 .012 Lexapro taper 11-6-2020 .007 11-19-20 .005 holding for 15 days 11-28-2020 reduced N.P. Thyroid to 60 mg

My intro: Moonpie:. Need help and supporting tapering off of Ativan

My benzo thread: Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering

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10 minutes ago, Moonpie said:

Shep, I meant it was boring to watch tv and be on the internet LOL.  Withdrawal is TOO much of an adventure to me!

 

I hear you on that! But the adventure isn't forever. You'll be okay. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I needed those word from you so much today!  😊

 

1.5 mg Ativan - .5 mg  three x daily -start date 9/16 - taper start 2/17.  1/07/2017 tapering A.m. and pm doses .001 every 4 days.  Prescribed for a thyroid medication mess up made thyroid go crazy for 8 months.
Also on Buspar .5 divided into 2 even doses AM and PM- Start date 9/2016 - Lexapro .PM - 5 mg start date 11/2016 increased to 10 mg 2/17.

Current: 3 doses  doses at 8AM - 2 PM and bedtime (varies) reduced from pill weight  from .069 to .035 on each dose. Tapering .001 every 4 days of midday dose.  As of 1-29-2018 .011 - AM and PM dose .030, holding. 

Current, 5/2/18: Ativan a.m. dose .030 and p.m. dose .018 (tapering by weight. ) Tapered off midday dose 3-15-18. Tapered off p.m. dose 7-16-18. Over half way tapering off last dose - morning dose. All other med doses remain the same. OFF ATIVAN! 11-16-2018

Very very sensitive to Ativan. 

1-1-2019 Began tapering Lexapro.  .001 mmg every 4 days. 9-15-19 At .093 in weight from beginning weight of .152.  Still tapering .001 every 4 days 1-1-2020 .069

N.P. Desiccated Thyroid.  12-22-17 reduced  from  75 mg. to 67.5 daily  Bio-identical female hormones. Bi-est/Prog cream 1 time daily.  .04-6-2020 Lexapro at .050 in weight. Buspar .5 divided into 2 doses am and pm  4-22-2020 Lexapro taper .047  6-15-2020 Lexapro taper .037  8-21-2020 .020  10-10-2020 .012 Lexapro taper 11-6-2020 .007 11-19-20 .005 holding for 15 days 11-28-2020 reduced N.P. Thyroid to 60 mg

My intro: Moonpie:. Need help and supporting tapering off of Ativan

My benzo thread: Moonpie: Need help Ativan weight tapering

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your story is an inspiration for me.I hope one day I can be healed too :)

2012 - 2016

Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After CT I had my first mania attack.)

2016 - 2017

Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After CT I had my second mania attack.)

October 2017 - January 2018

Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After CT I had a movement problem)

March 2018 - April 2018

Bupropion (150 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (My movement problems were resolved but I became angrier than usual while I was using them)

April 2018 - July 2018

Prozac (20 mg) + Aripiprazole (5 mg) (Both CT) (After I CT'ed because of different problems which were related to my vision and finger jerks my movement problem came back.)

September 2020 - ...

I'm on Sertraline (50 mg) + Aripiprazole (2.5 mg).

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14 hours ago, madmert9 said:

Your story is an inspiration for me.I hope one day I can be healed too :)

 

I'm sure you can be healed, too, madmert, with time and lots of self-care. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Hi Shep,

 

keeping it quick as im in the throws of a psychosis a minute :) 

 

felt compelled to register and join after stumbling on your thread through google...

 

read it all, everybodies comments and all your tapering stories 

 

BIG THANKS

 

I guess it distracted me a little, ill be back when i stabilise and im coming off quitiapine 200mg finally because its given me TD and im gonna die from parkinsons or some related motor function disease :P so yeah....

 

yesterday  relapse on amphet after months due to impending doom at the thought of having parkinsons at 33 (obviously) fed up of self medicating with cannabis after 15 years... TIME FOR CHANGE (even if it is to late)

 

If I can contemplate a meds withdrawl, whats stopping weed eh.... 

 

So happy to have stumbled on this community... I think this is just what I need as my current medical provider is a NAZI 

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On 9/12/2020 at 2:09 AM, MattLad said:

So happy to have stumbled on this community... 

 

Welcome to SA, Matt. I'm sure you'll find the information very helpful in your goal of coming off these drugs. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I'm going to briefly document the worst wave since I wrote my success story. But it's part of the post-zero experience and important to give voice to. 

 

Lots of increases in dp/dr and a number of 3 hour insomnia nights. Also, increases in "heightened awareness" (so-called "paranoia") when biking out of the city and into areas where it turns more suburban and there are lots of gated communities that create this intense "outsider" effect. I'm finding the urban parks much more comforting and the people more "real" in terms of not being "reduced" into fragments by the dp/dr. So staying closer to home, to the city, where it's familiar, crowded, sirened, jagged, masked, and, well, home. 

 

Since the weather is getting darker sooner and a bit cooler, the edging in of fall and winter seems to also be a factor.  The political uncertainty. There are many "gates" out there. Perhaps even echos from Plato's Cave and the mythologies it contains.  The navigation is the important part of the post-zero experience. To not get caught up in feedback loops and to find ways of softening the blows, mitigating the battle fatigue. Or perhaps, getting better at picking the battles and learning to let the rest go. Emotions seem closer to the surface, so in ways, the increased dp/dr seems to be a protective force against too much, too soon. The DP/DR Teacher of the Soul, whom I wrote about in my benzo thread, is close and welcomed. 

 

The nurturing of the nervous system keeps the visuals in quiet spaces. No voices this go round. Nothing dramatic or too unsettling if the non-drug coping skills are kept in play. 

 

I found a really amazing music urban shaman a few weeks ago and have been recently drawn into the musical mind journey for healing: 

 

Estas Tonne - Internal Flight @ 432 Hz video (1 hour, 3 minutes)

 

It's tuned to 432 Hz, which is a healing frequency. There are also versions of Estas' music in 512 Hz, another healing frequency.  It's opening the "gates" and freeing the soul. It works best combined with deep breathing techniques. 

 

Sleep is gradually improving with more downtime and less screen time in the evenings after work. 

 

The post-zero experience requires the lead-up skills that are learned earlier in the game. Since the best windows seem to come from the worst waves, it feels calming to the nervous system to welcome the waves, as much as possible. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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5 hours ago, Shep said:

. Since the best windows seem to come from the worst waves, it feels calming to the nervous system to welcome the waves, as much as possible. 

I'm sorry to read that a wave is hitting you, as you said, a bright window might be on her way ☀️

 

Your path and strenght are very inspiring and I thank you for sharing it.

 

Hugs ❤

2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) (2008 : cold turkey of both)

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (longer half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg)

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

Current medication :  7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020) + 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

 

Website : https://selibererdelapsychiatrie.wordpress.com/

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16 hours ago, Erell said:

I'm sorry to read that a wave is hitting you, as you said, a bright window might be on her way ☀️

 

Your path and strenght are very inspiring and I thank you for sharing it.

 

Hugs ❤

 

Thanks for your kind post, Erell. Yes, the next window awaits. Thanks for reassuring me of that! 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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On 9/15/2020 at 9:49 AM, Shep said:

The post-zero experience requires the lead-up skills that are learned earlier in the game. Since the best windows seem to come from the worst waves, it feels calming to the nervous system to welcome the waves, as much as possible. 

 

@Shep I appreciate your honesty in the post-zero experience. We are still healing post-zero, and our ups and downs in life may carry extra weight in that context. I agree, the skills I picked up through my tapering experience serve me well still today and are a part of my way of life. Your courage gives me courage . . . thank you! 🙏❤️

My suggestions are not medical advice. They are my opinions based on my own experience, strength and hope.

You are in charge of your own medical / healing / recovery choices.

My success story |  My introduction thread

 

ZOLOFT FREE - COMPLETELY DRUG FREE 4/28/2019! - total time on 28+ years

BENZO FREE! 4/7/2018 - total time on 27+ years

REMERON FREE! 12/11/2016 - total time on 15 months

Caffeine & Nicotine Free 2014 / 2015 - smoked for 28 years

Alcohol Free 4/1/2014 - drank for 30 years

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On 9/16/2020 at 11:23 AM, elbee said:

 

@Shep I appreciate your honesty in the post-zero experience. We are still healing post-zero, and our ups and downs in life may carry extra weight in that context. I agree, the skills I picked up through my tapering experience serve me well still today and are a part of my way of life. Your courage gives me courage . . . thank you! 🙏❤️

 

Thanks for your post, Elbee. You have definitely gained some great skills in your own journey. I'm glad you're also finding them a source of comfort during the waves that come and go even after so much healing has happened. And for those of us with long-term drug exposure for so many decades that there's no clear baseline for what it really feels like not to be drugged, it's hard to know what success really feels like. In a way, I'm kinda glad to still be having waves because that means I'm likely going to heal at a higher baseline than I expected. 

 

Don't know for sure, but I'm going to stick to this theory!

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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1 hour ago, Shep said:

 In a way, I'm kinda glad to still be having waves because that means I'm likely going to heal at a higher baseline than I expected 

Shep, you really never ceased to amaze me 😅 You have such an incredibly strong mindset !

 

I'm youger than you, but I relate when you talk about not knowing what real life is. We've been drugged so young.

I'm glad you shared a lot about creating your own baseline, I often refer to your toolkit. 

I've read that you like listening to Mooji you might like listening to Nisargadatta Maharaj, the audiobook called "I am".

 

I send you much love 😊

2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) (2008 : cold turkey of both)

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (longer half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg)

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

Current medication :  7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020) + 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

 

Website : https://selibererdelapsychiatrie.wordpress.com/

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On 9/18/2020 at 11:32 AM, Erell said:

I've read that you like listening to Mooji you might like listening to Nisargadatta Maharaj, the audiobook called "I am".

 

Thanks, Erell! I googled and found this:

 

I AM THAT - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj - Audiobook - Chapters 1-10 video (57 minutes)

 

Just listened to a few minutes and already I'm drawn in. He does remind me of Mooji. Brilliant! 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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On 9/20/2020 at 2:56 AM, Shep said:

 

Thanks, Erell! I googled and found this:

 

I AM THAT - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj - Audiobook - Chapters 1-10 video (57 minutes)

 

Just listened to a few minutes and already I'm drawn in. He does remind me of Mooji. Brilliant! 

 

Glad you like it !

 

I just listened to short extracts at once : I feel like I need to take the time to "digest" what I hear to "feel" it.

 

How are you doing these days, have you found some comfort ?

 

Take care ☀️

2006 : 20mg Paroxetine + Bromazepam(no specific dose) (2008 : cold turkey of both)

2010 : 20mg Deroxat + Bromazepam

2013: Switch from Bromazepam To Prazepam (longer half-life)

2014-June2017 : Prazepam taper, 3% drops. 

2018 to August 2019 : Paroxetine 20mg taper (3% every 15 days).

- 22nd August updosed To 10mg (was at 8.4mg)

25th Sept 2019 To April 2020 : found SA, holding at 10mg Paroxetine. 

April 2020-August 2020 : Paxil to Prozac bridge. Details https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/21457-erell-struggling-with-paroxetine/?do=findComment&comment=499847

 

Current Supplements : magnesium citrate/ fish oil/ evening primrose oil 

Current medication :  7mg Fluoxetine + toothpick Paroxetine (since 20 Aug 2020) + 1mg Diazepam (since 29 Aug 2020)

 

Website : https://selibererdelapsychiatrie.wordpress.com/

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9 hours ago, Erell said:

Glad you like it !

 

I just listened to short extracts at once : I feel like I need to take the time to "digest" what I hear to "feel" it.

 

 

During acute withdrawal, I would go through Mooji's videos and stop them every few seconds to write out what he was saying. I couldn't understand it unless I did that. Like you, I wanted to take the time to digest and feel. It was a helpful distraction and I noticed my intrusive thoughts were echoing what I was hearing and writing. So I wasn't bothered by them. They were comforting. By then, most of the visuals and voices were much calmer, too. 

 

9 hours ago, Erell said:

How are you doing these days, have you found some comfort ?

 

Take care ☀️

 

Thanks for asking, Erell. I'm doing okay. Mostly trying to tread water and float through this wave as much as possible. I slept about 5 hours the past couple of nights, which is an improvement. 

 

Hoping to have a more positive update in a week or two. Slowly but surely, we make it through this. Hope you're doing okay, too. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Awesome encouragement! Thank you! 
Old woman looking for a better way here. This gives me the courage to carry on. 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
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Hello Dear Shep,

First I wanted to acknowledge you and the inspiration you've been for me and so many others. Your mindset and advice has always been so encouraging, and I'm so glad you reached a point in which you could write a success story. I have it taped to my wall- with the list of things you can do now. Also, your relentless reminders to try to stay away from any/all drugs as much as possible really served me well when I was panicking about WD in the first few months. I listened to you (however many times I asked incessantly on the possibility of taking them) and never touched CBD, Lamictal or went back to reinstate the two drugs I was on (since it seemed that would be too confusing/hazardous). I do feel now it was the better choice. 

Anyways, I had a question about exercise. I used to use my elliptical with no problem. Around month 9 (I'm now at month 14) I started having reactions to using my elliptical. In months 9-12, I tried bringing it in slowly, starting at four minutes and working my way up to 10 minutes. The problem is, even when I use it at 4 minutes now (I had to keep stopping for various reasons) I can tell that it ramps me up too much- I get heart palps at night, I don't sleep as well, I feel very tired afterwards. 

Should I just keep trying and wait for my body to adjust? I go at the slowest speed possible, but it still stimulates me far more than just walking does. I'm just wondering because I read about how you had to "taper in" your exercise, too, and I'm wondering what you were battling to have to work up to a half hour. 

thanks,

Armorall

3/21/19 started Bupropion XL 150 mg

3/21/19 started Risperidone 2mg

7/7/19 start Abilify half dose 5 mg. discontinue Risperidone

7/9/19 full dose Abilify 10 mg

7/29/19 discontinued Abilify due to panicky side effects

8/2/19 Began Latuda 20 mg

8/5/19 discontinued Latuda due to similar side effects 

8/10/19 discontinued Bupropion after realizing it was causing the insomnia

From 8/10/19 no drugs whatsoever

Currently taking Magnesium 150mgs daily

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19 hours ago, Cherriekoke said:

Awesome encouragement! Thank you! 
Old woman looking for a better way here. This gives me the courage to carry on. 

 

 

Well, I've never met an "old woman," only WISE women. ;)

 

The fact that you researched your drugs and found this site is proof of that.

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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6 hours ago, Armorall said:

Anyways, I had a question about exercise. I used to use my elliptical with no problem. Around month 9 (I'm now at month 14) I started having reactions to using my elliptical. In months 9-12, I tried bringing it in slowly, starting at four minutes and working my way up to 10 minutes. The problem is, even when I use it at 4 minutes now (I had to keep stopping for various reasons) I can tell that it ramps me up too much- I get heart palps at night, I don't sleep as well, I feel very tired afterwards. 

Should I just keep trying and wait for my body to adjust? I go at the slowest speed possible, but it still stimulates me far more than just walking does. I'm just wondering because I read about how you had to "taper in" your exercise, too, and I'm wondering what you were battling to have to work up to a half hour. 

 

I wish there was an easy answer to this. I like that you're "tapering in" exercise - I feel that's the best way to do it. But it's still possible your nervous system just isn't ready, yet. 

 

And that's okay. The goal is to find some form of movement to keep your muscles as strong and flexible as possible during withdrawal. And this can be yoga, walking, or doing workouts in a chair, like this:

 

Fuzion Fitness with Alexis #31: Chair Workout  video (26 minutes)

 

I wouldn't push your body any more than it can take during withdrawal. During my recovery, I would have months where I could workout rather intensely and then I'd hit waves and I'd stop exercising completely except for yoga and walking. And this would last for months at a time. But then when the fatigue wave resolved, I'd taper back in the high intensity workouts. But anytime the fatigue hit, my goal was to make it through the workday and come home and rest. I did yoga in bed when the fatigue was really bad. 

 

12 Minute Yoga in Bed to Unwind video (12 minutes)

 

Play it by ear and don't beat yourself up when your nervous system is telling you it's time to rest. 

 

Another example of when it's best to let your symptoms be your teacher. Or in this case, your exercise coach. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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6 hours ago, Armorall said:

Anyways, I had a question about exercise. I used to use my elliptical with no problem. Around month 9 (I'm now at month 14) I started having reactions to using my elliptical. In months 9-12, I tried bringing it in slowly, starting at four minutes and working my way up to 10 minutes. The problem is, even when I use it at 4 minutes now (I had to keep stopping for various reasons) I can tell that it ramps me up too much- I get heart palps at night, I don't sleep as well, I feel very tired afterwards. 

Should I just keep trying and wait for my body to adjust? I go at the slowest speed possible, but it still stimulates me far more than just walking does. I'm just wondering because I read about how you had to "taper in" your exercise, too, and I'm wondering what you were battling to have to work up to a half hour.

 

 

obviously not Shep but I can tell you my experience here: during WD recovery, I had to slowly add in gentle slow walks, working up to 30 mins. These were walks at 4mph or less.

 

As for anything aerobic, I still can not do more than a few minutes (1 to 3 mins) at a time, and then only before NOON (or as early in the day as possible) for it to not affect my sleep.

I worked up to doing several sets of a few minutes (interval training, I Think it's called?) back in Feb but have not had access to any equipment since mid March so I cant' say how it would be for me now. 

To me, this is so counterintuitive! I feel like doing aerobic exercise "should" calm down my system and make it easier for me to sleep, and also to lose my pandemic pounds, but even now, 3 yrs out, I can't sleep if I do too much before noon.

I imagine that will change and improve with time,  for both of us

 

 

I am now 3 years past zero.  I hope this isn't too discouraging. I had over 40 yrs on meds, and I am not a strong person physically. I  have always walked a lot, because I don't drive, and I have no problem with stairs (I've lived on the 3rd floor for almost 30 yrs LOL) so I'm not in terrible shape physically, either, I 'm just not athletic or anything like that. Never have been!!! I'm also almost 65 if that makes a difference?

 

You've got the stress of work, so that could be a factor for you too. It sounds like you were able to do more aerobic stuff earlier in your recovery....?  

 

anyway I just wanted to add my experience for what it's worth. I have afib and PVCs and PACs (those started when I was put on  lexapro) so I've got an electrical issue with my heart to begin with, so take that into consideration. Everyone is different. 

 

 

 

 

sorry this is a bit jumbled, just got up (overslept, woohoo! I recall when that wasn't possible!) 

 

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Nov. 2020, loving life ❤️ 
 
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46 minutes ago, Happy2Heal said:

You've got the stress of work, so that could be a factor for you too. It sounds like you were able to do more aerobic stuff earlier in your recovery....?  

 

Thanks for sharing your experience, Happy. You're right that it's so very individual. 

 

Yes, I was doing a lot of aerobic stuff prior to going into withdrawal.  I'm a life-long runner and withdrawal hit me hardest with dp/dr and insomnia, but other than some GI problems early on (treated very successfully with some diet changes), I didn't have many physical problems. I was very lucky in that respect. 

 

For me, withdrawal has been an acid trip of epic proportions. 

 

46 minutes ago, Happy2Heal said:

sorry this is a bit jumbled, just got up (overslept, woohoo! I recall when that wasn't possible!) 

 

Wonderful to read, Happy! I have yet to oversleep, but you're giving me hope it's possible. 

 

EDIT: @Armorall Sorry, I just noticed that Happy was actually addressing YOUR post, not mine. :blush: Hope you'll chime in, too. 

Edited by Shep
added "edit"

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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2 minutes ago, Shep said:

Wonderful to read, Happy! I have yet to oversleep, but you're giving me hope it's possible. 

 

I've been laying low and not posting a whole lot lately, but I had to comment on this as I'm laughing out loud thinking what the "normals" would say if they read this thread.  BUT, it resonates so much with me.  I had a couple of times in the past several years where the alarm actually woke me up and I woke up in an "out of body" state thinking "WTF? -- how in the world did THAT happen?"  

 

I'm looking forward to your first big oversleep, Shep.  It will be a day for celebration!

 

Best,

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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24 minutes ago, apace41 said:

 

I've been laying low and not posting a whole lot lately, but I had to comment on this as I'm laughing out loud thinking what the "normals" would say if they read this thread.  BUT, it resonates so much with me.  I had a couple of times in the past several years where the alarm actually woke me up and I woke up in an "out of body" state thinking "WTF? -- how in the world did THAT happen?"  

 

I'm looking forward to your first big oversleep, Shep.  It will be a day for celebration!

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

LOL, I know, I hear you, Andy. That first big oversleep will indeed be a BIG deal! 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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1 hour ago, Shep said:

Wonderful to read, Happy! I have yet to oversleep, but you're giving me hope it's possible.

 

after so many years of severe insomnia and awful mornings, I honestly thought I would NEVER have that sleepy feeling in the morning, let alone be able to fall back asleep.... and now, it's happening a LOT and I am THRILLED 

I don't usually have anywhere I need to be in the early mornings, so I'm indulging in the extra rest.

It is wonderful and I pray that it happens for you Shep, you so deserve it!

 

 

2 hours ago, Shep said:

The goal is to find some form of movement to keep your muscles as strong and flexible as possible during withdrawal. And this can be yoga, walking, or doing workouts in a chair, like this:

I so wish I'd seen this advice back in the beginning, I lost a lot of muscle mass (and a LOT of wt too) during WD and didn't know that was going to happen (apparently the wt loss alone makes you lose muscle) I would have tried to do something with hand weights.... By the time I got into some sr classes like Bone Builders, I was already so weak. :( 

 

anyway, you always give the best and most thoughtful advice Shep, I am so grateful for all the time that you have devoted to this forum helping others

 

❤️

 

  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
  • Nov. 2020, loving life ❤️ 
 
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