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Arbor: dealing with PAWS


arbor

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  • Moderator

Hi--I'm so glad this site exists.  I took my last dose of Prozac on December 15, 2018.  3 days later, what I call the Horror, began.  I had been on ssri's for over 20 years during which time I had become constantly sick.  It never occurred to any doctor that my illnesses were medication related.  Eventually I began to link studies of the ssri's to my problems.  I tapered over a 6 month span, and now realize with the discovery of SA that it was probably too quick.  I'm frightened because I still don't sleep well, suffer from akinesia, bone-crunching depression, suicidal ideation, especially in the night and mornings,  tinnitus, extreme weight loss, blurred vision, and obsessive ruminations.  This mental state is a million times worse than anything I experienced before starting on Zoloft.  At that time, my husband had been diagnosed with Huntington's Disease, and during the first 2 years Zoloft did seem to help me cope.  After that, it never worked the same, though the dose was consistently increased.  Eventually my doctor had read that Zoloft was associated with an increased risk of stroke in those over 60, and he switched me to Prozac.

 

Over these years I lost my hair, had an oophorectomy for cysts on my ovaries, had appendix removed, two heart attacks, and was put on Enalapril for HBP, Metformin for diabetes.  I always had digestive problems during this time--including hiccups!  And terrible sweating--

 

Three days after my last dose of  Prozac, I was admitted to ER with BP of 250/150ish.  Administered clonidine.  Back to ER again about a week later with same high BP which had never gone down.  My urine was pink.  My body and mind could barely function.  I  was given a diagnosis of Serotonin Syndrome by the ER toxicologist.  Since then I have tapered off the Ace inhibitor in 2019, and Metformin, the last dose being in March 2020.    About 8 months in, it seemed I might be improving somewhat, but the final withdrawal from Metformin has set me back again.  A couple of months ago, the mental nightmare had become so unrelenting I considered reinstating, but haven't.

 

I still can't watch movies, read novels, or enjoy music the way I did.  But the good news is that my blood pressure is now normal.  This month I've slowly returned to my job part time after nearly a year away. 

 

Thank you for all that you all contribute here.  I hope I can offer support as well.  Your journeys mean a ton to me--life rafts, in fact.

 

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from July to December)

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

 

Happy to be here, Arbor 

 

 

Edited by Gridley
added drug info from 2nd post (hidden), resized font, added spacing

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Arbor.

 

To start, using the following link, please put the drug information in your post into your drug signature.  That way, it will appear with all your posts, which is helpful to the moderators.  Please also include dosages and the rate at which you tapered the Prozac, Gabapentin and Citalopram and the final dose you were on when you stopped taking these three drugs.

 

The symptoms you describe are typical of withdrawal.  This likely stems from your fast taper of Prozac and also possibly from the  Gabapentin.  You will heal but unfortunately we can't predict how long it will take.  Time is the cure.  So that you have  better understanding of what you're experiencing, here is some information on psychiatric drug withdrawal and healing from it.

 

Protracted Withdrawal or PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndrome ...

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  

 

We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 

 

Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.

 

This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 
 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gridley

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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  • Moderator

Thank you, Gridley so much for your reply.  I'm doing my best to understand how to get my meds list onto a signature.  I thought I had done so.  Now when I try to add anything, nothing works.  Also, stupidly, I wrote Citalapram instead of Enalapril.  How to I fix that?

Appreciatively,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, arbor said:

I'm doing my best to understand how to get my meds list onto a signature.

Sorry, I forgot to provide the link.  Here it is.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

Please add the dosages if you have them.  Don't forget to press "save" when you've finished.

 

1 hour ago, arbor said:

Also, stupidly, I wrote Citalapram instead of Enalapril.  How to I fix that?

 

Everywhere in your post that says "Citalopram" should read "Elanapril"--is that correct?  If so, let me know, and I can make the changes.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Gridley said:

Everywhere in your post that says "Citalopram" should read "Elanapril"--is that correct?  If so, let me know, and I can make the changes.

Yes, thank you.

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Moderator
18 minutes ago, arbor said:

Yes, thank you.

Done.

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg 

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Jan. 11, 2022: 5.4mg 

Taper is 71% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg and holding.  

Taper is 80% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


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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  • Moderator

thank you, Gridley, and for being there--(I'm just acquainting myself with your thread, and marvel at your progress.)

yours, Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Arbor: introduction
On 8/21/2020 at 6:44 PM, arbor said:

I still can't watch movies, read novels, or enjoy music the way I did.  But the good news is that my blood pressure is now normal.  This month I've slowly returned to my job part time after nearly a year away. 

 

I'm glad things are a little better! going slowly is the way to do it.

 

I eased my way into music, last year only being able to tolerate gentle classical guitar or something - these days when I feel sorry for myself, I try to feel grateful that now I can enjoy any kind of music - hard rock included. 

 

reading, I am still not back up to ...well, don't know if I was ever normal but I read some challenging things!

 

last year I started with children's books I had already read, as new ones were too hard. could NOT focus! found old Ginnie & Geneva for free at openlibrary.org, that kind of thing. 

 

 

now, I read new novels all the time and can write posts about them in reading groups.  if I push myself, I can read some challenging things, but not too hard. 

 

I'm glad you found this group. I haven't been regular here lately, but I saw your PM and wanted to read your thread.

keep posting! 

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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  • Moderator

Thank you, Jackie.  I really appreciate this.  I'll try some guitar music.  I used to love classical guitar.  Also, I love that your so-called Bipolar 11 went away when you cut the lexapro--

 

 I've been reading your thread all morning.  Your journey really touches me.  Are you still working as a caregiver?  I can't think of a job I respect more.  Is the Dalles working out for you?  I realize you're focusing more on life and less online, so I don't want to take you away from that.  Your encouragement has been a big help.  

Thank you.  

I'm having a hard time focusing this morning.  I feel so frightened that this deep despair will never leave.  You had been reading Claire Weekes, so I'll look up her work today.

Sending you warm pre-Covid hugs,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Hey Arbor!

I just wanted to thank you for posting on my thingy. I didn't know how to call you out with the "@" symbol to say thanks, so I'm posting here. 

 

I think our situations are quite different, but I just wanted to say how impressed I am by your courage in coping with all this. My god, you've been through the wringer! Makes my complaints seem like peanuts. Of course, the feeling of hopelessness and despair can feel horribly similar for everybody, even if their situations are different. But I just wanted to point out that for you to be here today posting, going back to work, adding bits and pieces to the recovery process - all that is itself a remarkable achievement which indicates your own strength, courage and will. You are inspirational! 🙂

 

I hope you continue to make progress. 

15+ years Citalopram 10mg (sometimes 20?)

2019 Citalopram 5mg. No problem reduction.

2020 Citalopram 5mg to zero. (Feb)

2020 (Feb - mid Oct): Very rare use of 0.125 or .25mg Xanax for really bad symptoms

2020 (Feb - Nov): Occasional use of "Nytol" sleep aid (an antihistamine). 

2020 Failed reinstatement: Escitalopram by accident (not Citalopram).  

 -- using a scale, started July 27 0.5mg, doubled every week or so to reach 5mg by Aug 30. Too fast - terrible depression, quit.

2020 (Oct-current): Supplements:

 -- Morning: Magnesium 300mg, Omega 3(483 EPA, 360 DHA +Vit E) Night: Liquid Valerian/Passiflore/Escholtzia - French organic herbal sleep aid, 1.9mg LD Melatonin 

2020 Current - new Citalopram reinstatement. (Accidentally started with Escitalopram before realizing and switching to Citalopram Oct. 30)

 -- using pipette method: Oct 30, 0.25mg; Nov. 4th, 0.375; Dec. 1st 0.5mg, Dec. 21st 0.75mg Jan 19: Decide reinstatement fail: Jan 21 0.625mg, Jan 28: 0.5mg Feb 8 0mg

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  • Moderator

Good morning, HardTimes, 

This was a particularly difficult morning after difficult sleep, so finding your message has been such a boon (first time I think I've ever written that word).  Gratitude from the bottom of my heart.  I don't know that I could continue if it weren't for this site, and for messages like yours.  I'm hoping and believing your reinstatement will go well.  Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/28/2020 at 8:03 AM, arbor said:

Thank you, Jackie.  I really appreciate this.  I'll try some guitar music.  I used to love classical guitar.  Also, I love that your so-called Bipolar 11 went away when you cut the lexapro--

 

 I've been reading your thread all morning.  Your journey really touches me.  Are you still working as a caregiver?  I can't think of a job I respect more.  Is the Dalles working out for you?  I realize you're focusing more on life and less online, so I don't want to take you away from that.  Your encouragement has been a big help.  

Thank you.  

I'm having a hard time focusing this morning.  I feel so frightened that this deep despair will never leave.  You had been reading Claire Weekes, so I'll look up her work today.

Sending you warm pre-Covid hugs,

Arbor

 

 

Arbor, I though I had things set so if you post I get a notification but apparently not. I'm so sorry I just saw this post now. I can't keep up with all the people and everything on the internet! 

 

I currently work as an Occupational Therapy Assistant and the job here is not working out in a long term way. it's OK for now but hours are low and at some point I have to make a guess about what to do next, when nobody knows what's going to happen. 

 

but this thread is for YOU - please post about how you are finding Claire Weeks and generally about yourself. 

 

(I can't focus for a damn this morning, this hazardous air quality has been going on too long!!) 

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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  • Moderator

Thank you, JackieDecides--Can you believe what we're going through now with the fires?  Not only brain fog, but brain smoke--days on end.  Where will the displaced survivors find new homes--

The Claire Weekes approach is making a big difference.  Not giving my fear power.  I think w/d triggers the brain's fear centers, so I'm accepting that I have to ride out my anxieties and not make stories out of them.  Hardest at night and in the morning.  This site is so helpful in letting me know that others have gone through--many still are, and more will--the same thing, and it's not just about me.

 

I am routing for you finding a better job situation.  Job stability makes such an enormous difference.

Best wishes,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Hi Arbor! 

Just wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about you lately. I'm glad to hear you've found an approach that is proving helpful. Though I'm sorry that you're in a place filled with fires and smoke! I don't know if it is helpful to have something else like that to focus on - sometimes larger, exterior issues can help take us "out of our heads" for a little bit, even if it is a very hard situation for so many. 

 

You're absolutely right about trying not to let the anxieties snowball into "stories"! Easier said than done though, I know. I find it particularly difficult in the mornings. From what I've read on hear it looks like what is happening is that the hormone cortisol is released in the early AM to help us wake up, but because my nervous systems is hypersensitive, I overreact to it and wake up way too early, way too hot, and often very grumpy, irritable and somehow nervous about trying to get anything done. As the day goes on things often improve, sometimes to the point where I simply can't believe I was being so strange just a few hours earlier! Coming to the realization of just how "chemical" our perspectives and anxieties are is one of the real eye-openers of this whole process for me. 

 

Hang in there, and I like that phrase "ride out my anxieties and not make stories out of them". Good stuff!

 

15+ years Citalopram 10mg (sometimes 20?)

2019 Citalopram 5mg. No problem reduction.

2020 Citalopram 5mg to zero. (Feb)

2020 (Feb - mid Oct): Very rare use of 0.125 or .25mg Xanax for really bad symptoms

2020 (Feb - Nov): Occasional use of "Nytol" sleep aid (an antihistamine). 

2020 Failed reinstatement: Escitalopram by accident (not Citalopram).  

 -- using a scale, started July 27 0.5mg, doubled every week or so to reach 5mg by Aug 30. Too fast - terrible depression, quit.

2020 (Oct-current): Supplements:

 -- Morning: Magnesium 300mg, Omega 3(483 EPA, 360 DHA +Vit E) Night: Liquid Valerian/Passiflore/Escholtzia - French organic herbal sleep aid, 1.9mg LD Melatonin 

2020 Current - new Citalopram reinstatement. (Accidentally started with Escitalopram before realizing and switching to Citalopram Oct. 30)

 -- using pipette method: Oct 30, 0.25mg; Nov. 4th, 0.375; Dec. 1st 0.5mg, Dec. 21st 0.75mg Jan 19: Decide reinstatement fail: Jan 21 0.625mg, Jan 28: 0.5mg Feb 8 0mg

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  • Moderator

Dear HardTimes!  Your message must've arrived exactly when I was waking and struggling with the very same symptoms you described.  I so appreciate your putting it into words, and already , receiving your message, I feel better.  Thank you for the well wishes about the fires.  Portland is just smothered under a dark thick poisonous mass.  I'm glad for you that you're in France.

Meanwhile, this is big news that you are now drug free.  Please let me know if I can be helpful.  

Thinking of you,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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On 9/16/2020 at 1:18 PM, arbor said:

The Claire Weekes approach is making a big difference.

I'm so glad for you! what book or books are you reading?  

 

and I never thought I'd type this, but I am so glad to say our air quality it up to "Unhealthy" for the first time in over a week! I see you guys are getting rain and that has to be good. 

 

 

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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On 9/17/2020 at 5:58 AM, HardTimes said:

As the day goes on things often improve, sometimes to the point where I simply can't believe I was being so strange just a few hours earlier! Coming to the realization of just how "chemical" our perspectives and anxieties are

 

loved your post, HardTimes, very good explanation of the morning anxiety

Currently taking Ramapril (blood pressure) 5 mg twice a day

Omeprazole 10 mg AM and 20 mg PM  (the taper has gone nowhere after the first cut)

Famotidine   once a day (and I still needs tums sometimes)

magnesium 200 mg at night

as of yesterday 2 fish oil capsules "EPA-DHA 1000"

 

off Lexapro as of 5/2018  - last dose had been 5 mg every other day for a couple years

 

highest dose had been 20 mg at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, which went away when I cut the lexapro down to 15 mg. 

 

I spent years on Paxil before Lexapro (can't remember dose), briefly on Effexor and Abilify and others I have forgotten. in fact, when I was diagnoses with BPII I was put on all kinds of things which made me feel so bad I stopped them cold turkey within maybe 3 or 4 weeks, thank goodness. since then I've known these pills were terrible and I weaned down the Lexapro with zero help or support over I'm not sure how many years. 

 

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  • Moderator

Hi JackieDecides,  I'm reading Hope and Help for Your Nerves.  Yes, the air has finally cleared.  All my windows are open!  I hope your day is  going well.  I'm having some difficulty with the fact that I've just found out that a dear friend of mine has terminal pancreatic cancer.  She's the second person I know in this situation, both of whom were taking ssri's.  I found a study online showing an association between ssri's and incidences of pancreatitis which is a predisposing factor associated with an increased risk of cancer.   I'm not saying there's a correlation in their cases, but the rage I feel towards the pharmaceutical industry is difficult for me to handle at times.  Above all, I want to find peace with all this.

May you have good health and happiness--

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator

After hearing that Louise Gluck had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I found this poem about recovery on the BBC

 

Do you know what I was, how I lived?  You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.

I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn't expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring--

afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy

in the raw wind of the new world.
 
End
 
I look forward to us all reclaiming our health again....

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Mentor
Quote
2 hours ago, arbor said:

After hearing that Louise Gluck had won the Nobel Prize for Literature, I found this poem about recovery on the BBC

 

It makes me cry... Very true and gentle poem... I join your prayer!🙏

July 2015: the 20mg citalopram for great stress begins

After two years I start tapering (slow but without medical advice) and I guess wrongly. First up to 10 mg, then 5 mg and 2 mg (liquid solution) and skips

January 2020 (I don't remember exactly the day): off citalopram (last dose 2mg).

June 2020: adrenal crash. The beginning of Hell on Earth

 

Current supplement:

- saffron pill (20 mg) + vit. E, omega 3 (EPA + DHA) 2g, magnesium bisglycinate 300 mg, iron , vitamin D3 (2500ui) +K7 (50 ui), vitamin C (1g) + quercitin (25 mg), theanine (as necessary).

 

Try meditating / mindfulness, walking every day, CBT/ACT, massage.

 

"E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle" ("And so we went out to see the stars again")

(Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy , Inferno, XXXIV, 139)

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  • Moderator

Thank you for your response, Leila.  My best wishes to you as we find our way through this challenging "winter"--

Warm hug,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Moderator

Hi arbor and welcome,

I loved your poem share above, so also quoted it here:  Meaning through poetry(favorites, published

We also have another topic, linked in the first post ^, to members written poetry, which is great.

Neither have seen much action, lately, so I am attempting to revive topics like those a bit.........AND loved the one you shared.

Both in the Finding Meaning forum.

Best, L, P, H, and G,

mmt

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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  • Moderator

Thanks manymoretodays--for alerting me to this link.

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

Link to comment

Hi Arbor,

I thought I'd reply to your comments on my intro pages here, as you talked a bit about your own situation and thought it might make more sense to have it all in your own site. 

 

Sounds like your insomnia is even worse than mine. Can you describe it a bit more? Is mostly it the kind where you wake up way too early and are still sleepy, but too wound up to sleep? Or is it mostly the kind where you just cannot get to sleep at all? Sounds like a bit of both, you eventually get to sleep, but then only stay there for a few hours?

 

I guess the other thing to bear in mind in all this is that it also makes a big difference how the insomnia impacts the following days. We are all familiar with the idea that we are supposed to get 8 hours of sleep, but this can fluctuate wildly depending on individuals, and also age. As you get older, you simply need less sleep (though you might be more inclined to have a nap in the afternoon). Teenagers, by contrast, need a tonne of sleep, particularly REM filled morning sleep (so we shouldn't be forcing them to early school days!). Some, like @dataguy, appear to have adapted quite happily to getting something more in the range of 4-5 hours, and no longer feel that it is unhealthy to get something less than 8. Mathew Walker's Why We Sleep is a very good and very trendy book on the subject, and if you can't read it now I know there are youtube videos of him talking. He's sort of a sleep superstar at the moment!

 

Very intersting what you say about being unable to read certain books. If you'd like, you could clarify that a bit: Did you used to read a lot of novels, but now you find you can't? And is it because you can't concentrate, or you get a headache, or what? In my own case, I've had a somewhat similar experience: I'm a voracious novel reader, and love contemporary "literature" type stuff. But during the bad periods, I've found I just can't seem to keep up with some of them. I couldn't focus on the more complex ideas, or any of the fragmentary styles of writing. For a while I started just reading John Grisham novels, as they are much more story driven and easier to get lost in. But I've also found that, maybe because my emotional setup is so wired right now, I somehow sometimes connect to the stories too much, and get absurdly upset about what is happening to certain characters! Really strange. I've found something similar with TV: Where certain shows were once fine for me, now I find them too violent, too sinister and bleak. 

 

Anyway, reading buddhist books makes a LOT of sense, as they likely emphasize all sorts of things that are very good for mental health in general - detachment, calmness, disinterestedness. Buddhism is a VERY deep well from which you can draw almost endlessly, and I'm glad you've got that. The worthlessness racing mind that you experience at night needs fighting with such things! And also bear in mind how much good you are doing on this very site! It might not be what you expected to be doing at this point in your life, but I can see that you are posting on a lot of people's pages and sharing a lot! This alone makes you very worthwhile! And the person in the future you are currently in the process of becoming needs for you to hang on and go through all this terrible stuff in order to become who she is and have those adventures she is going to have. Remember that the self-destructive voice, while very much a part of you, is only seeing one part of the picture, and is very much under the influence of an unhealthy neurochemical balance! It can sometimes be a very loud voice, and hard to ignore, and when it wants to stomp and shout I guess you sometimes have to let it. But keep in mind that it is only one of the voices, one part of you, and the one you have presented to me is very much not her! The person I've met (you) is full of life and hope and eager for more good days, and I encourage you to be nice to her!

 

And I'm so glad you have a cat! I don't have pets, but live in a rural area where I can go visit cows (very, very good buddhists) and cats and dogs and various creatures. As sometimes revolting as the human world can be, the natural world, even in the form of a simple housecat, can be a source of great wonder and comfort. 

 

Ok, now I really do need to get out before the day is gone. Chin up!

15+ years Citalopram 10mg (sometimes 20?)

2019 Citalopram 5mg. No problem reduction.

2020 Citalopram 5mg to zero. (Feb)

2020 (Feb - mid Oct): Very rare use of 0.125 or .25mg Xanax for really bad symptoms

2020 (Feb - Nov): Occasional use of "Nytol" sleep aid (an antihistamine). 

2020 Failed reinstatement: Escitalopram by accident (not Citalopram).  

 -- using a scale, started July 27 0.5mg, doubled every week or so to reach 5mg by Aug 30. Too fast - terrible depression, quit.

2020 (Oct-current): Supplements:

 -- Morning: Magnesium 300mg, Omega 3(483 EPA, 360 DHA +Vit E) Night: Liquid Valerian/Passiflore/Escholtzia - French organic herbal sleep aid, 1.9mg LD Melatonin 

2020 Current - new Citalopram reinstatement. (Accidentally started with Escitalopram before realizing and switching to Citalopram Oct. 30)

 -- using pipette method: Oct 30, 0.25mg; Nov. 4th, 0.375; Dec. 1st 0.5mg, Dec. 21st 0.75mg Jan 19: Decide reinstatement fail: Jan 21 0.625mg, Jan 28: 0.5mg Feb 8 0mg

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  • Moderator

Thank you for this, Hard Times--A bunch of things have come up for me at work, and I haven't been able to respond as soon as I like.  Mainly, I want to say how much I appreciate your thoughts and words.  Yes, I used to have an avid reading/film life.  It was a big part of my connection with friends.  During the first year of w/d I turned to my equivalent of Grisham, which were a few mysteries.  Then I just gave those up as well.  Since w/d began, and even a bit before that when I was becoming sicker and sicker from what turned out to be iatrogenic causes, I was losing the ability to engage, to focus, and to maintain my usual equilibrium.  Even now--because of these issues--at 23 months, I can only work part time.

I wonder how the medical world expects people who have suffered so much at their hands to trust taking Covid vaccines.  I've never been against taking vaccines before, but when I hear that someone like Pfizer may be making them, I probably won't be easily persuaded.

I'm glad you have the solace of the natural world around you.

Hope you're doing ok--

Arbor

 

Edited by ChessieCat
reformatted font

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/19/2020 at 8:17 PM, HardTimes said:

Hi Arbor,

I thought I'd reply to your comments on my intro pages here, as you talked a bit about your own situation and thought it might make more sense to have it all in your own site. 

 

Sounds like your insomnia is even worse than mine. Can you describe it a bit more? Is mostly it the kind where you wake up way too early and are still sleepy, but too wound up to sleep? Or is it mostly the kind where you just cannot get to sleep at all? Sounds like a bit of both, you eventually get to sleep, but then only stay there for a few hours?

 

I guess the other thing to bear in mind in all this is that it also makes a big difference how the insomnia impacts the following days. We are all familiar with the idea that we are supposed to get 8 hours of sleep, but this can fluctuate wildly depending on individuals, and also age. As you get older, you simply need less sleep (though you might be more inclined to have a nap in the afternoon). Teenagers, by contrast, need a tonne of sleep, particularly REM filled morning sleep (so we shouldn't be forcing them to early school days!). Some, like @dataguy, appear to have adapted quite happily to getting something more in the range of 4-5 hours, and no longer feel that it is unhealthy to get something less than 8. Mathew Walker's Why We Sleep is a very good and very trendy book on the subject, and if you can't read it now I know there are youtube videos of him talking. He's sort of a sleep superstar at the moment!

 

Very intersting what you say about being unable to read certain books. If you'd like, you could clarify that a bit: Did you used to read a lot of novels, but now you find you can't? And is it because you can't concentrate, or you get a headache, or what? In my own case, I've had a somewhat similar experience: I'm a voracious novel reader, and love contemporary "literature" type stuff. But during the bad periods, I've found I just can't seem to keep up with some of them. I couldn't focus on the more complex ideas, or any of the fragmentary styles of writing. For a while I started just reading John Grisham novels, as they are much more story driven and easier to get lost in. But I've also found that, maybe because my emotional setup is so wired right now, I somehow sometimes connect to the stories too much, and get absurdly upset about what is happening to certain characters! Really strange. I've found something similar with TV: Where certain shows were once fine for me, now I find them too violent, too sinister and bleak. 

 

Anyway, reading buddhist books makes a LOT of sense, as they likely emphasize all sorts of things that are very good for mental health in general - detachment, calmness, disinterestedness. Buddhism is a VERY deep well from which you can draw almost endlessly, and I'm glad you've got that. The worthlessness racing mind that you experience at night needs fighting with such things! And also bear in mind how much good you are doing on this very site! It might not be what you expected to be doing at this point in your life, but I can see that you are posting on a lot of people's pages and sharing a lot! This alone makes you very worthwhile! And the person in the future you are currently in the process of becoming needs for you to hang on and go through all this terrible stuff in order to become who she is and have those adventures she is going to have. Remember that the self-destructive voice, while very much a part of you, is only seeing one part of the picture, and is very much under the influence of an unhealthy neurochemical balance! It can sometimes be a very loud voice, and hard to ignore, and when it wants to stomp and shout I guess you sometimes have to let it. But keep in mind that it is only one of the voices, one part of you, and the one you have presented to me is very much not her! The person I've met (you) is full of life and hope and eager for more good days, and I encourage you to be nice to her!

 

And I'm so glad you have a cat! I don't have pets, but live in a rural area where I can go visit cows (very, very good buddhists) and cats and dogs and various creatures. As sometimes revolting as the human world can be, the natural world, even in the form of a simple housecat, can be a source of great wonder and comfort. 

 

Ok, now I really do need to get out before the day is gone. Chin up!

Dear Hard Times,

I went through your signature.

You are suffering withdrawal symptoms ever since you stopped the thing entirely.

As my signature could related to yours,I would like to hint you that,if you reinstate a small dose,wait to steabilize ,then tappering would bring you from all the withdrawal ,like it worked for me.

You can ask me for small dose tappering tips if needed.

 

Cold turkeyed risperidone (1m.g)and trihexyphenidyl combination drug out of ignorance,In August 2016 after one month use.

Withdrawal symptoms settled at dreamful,disturbing sleep.

Thus introduced to olanzapine for sleep.Started using olanzapine out of ignorance.

Tapering olanzapine 10 m.g from February 2017.

May 2018 :Still suffering dreams,Still tapering olanzapine at 0.625.100ml water+2.5 mg olanzapine. June 2018 22.5ml=0.57mg.July 2018 20ml,August 2018-17.5ml,September 2018-15ml,October 2018 10 ml,December 2018 7 ml, BrassMonkey slide method so far at lower doses.2 nd December cold turkeyed , only to reach minure doses as reinstatement to cutshort endless tapering process.4rth December started 1ml.

Almost no symptoms and sleep is better,So started 0.5 ml from 17-12-2018.

"0"from31-12-18.Re birth happened from 10- 2020,as rejuvenation took whole2019.Completely recovered now.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Arbor!

It has been a very long time since I've checked in with you, and I just thought I'd see how you are doing if you are in the mood to respond. Don't feel obliged if you don't want to. You're just somebody who was there when I first found this site, and I think you seem to be a very kind, warm person in spite of all the crap you've had to deal with. To still have any goodness at all is kind of amazing, and something to be proud of!!

 

I think of you from time to time, and I really hope you have had a few decent "windows" or at least some halfway decent times over the past while.

 

Peace to you!

-Hardtimes

15+ years Citalopram 10mg (sometimes 20?)

2019 Citalopram 5mg. No problem reduction.

2020 Citalopram 5mg to zero. (Feb)

2020 (Feb - mid Oct): Very rare use of 0.125 or .25mg Xanax for really bad symptoms

2020 (Feb - Nov): Occasional use of "Nytol" sleep aid (an antihistamine). 

2020 Failed reinstatement: Escitalopram by accident (not Citalopram).  

 -- using a scale, started July 27 0.5mg, doubled every week or so to reach 5mg by Aug 30. Too fast - terrible depression, quit.

2020 (Oct-current): Supplements:

 -- Morning: Magnesium 300mg, Omega 3(483 EPA, 360 DHA +Vit E) Night: Liquid Valerian/Passiflore/Escholtzia - French organic herbal sleep aid, 1.9mg LD Melatonin 

2020 Current - new Citalopram reinstatement. (Accidentally started with Escitalopram before realizing and switching to Citalopram Oct. 30)

 -- using pipette method: Oct 30, 0.25mg; Nov. 4th, 0.375; Dec. 1st 0.5mg, Dec. 21st 0.75mg Jan 19: Decide reinstatement fail: Jan 21 0.625mg, Jan 28: 0.5mg Feb 8 0mg

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  • Moderator

Such wonderful words--Thank you!  HardTimes.  Plus your message arrived on my birthday, so a gift in that sense as well.  I've hesitated to write on my timeline because I haven't wanted to depress others as we go through this.  While a few things have improved for me, the main issues of insomnia, hypersensitivity, and anhedonia haven't gotten better.  For some reason I thought that I'd be moving on by now as I'm following the SA protocols pretty closely.  I'm not sure who my moderator is, but since DataGuy has been helping you, I tag along, gathering info from him, and then of course, everybody else as well.  I felt an immediate affinity with you because as you mentioned, we started posting on SA around the same time.  I felt for you being plunged into withdrawal whereas I'd been going through it for some time. 

 

When I feel particularly despairing I wonder about reinstating, and did speak to a psychiatrist whose attitude was so cavalier and indifferent, to say nothing of ignorant, that I didn't follow through.  My case may be somewhat different from others' in that my body reacted to AD's (unbeknownst to me) by causing fibrosis in my heart valves.  They also made a mess of my gut.  Therefore, reinstating has never seemed like a good idea--unless there's no other way and I become suicidal.  So far, getting through the nights and early mornings alleviates the SI.

 

I feel like I've lost so much of my prior life and now my present and future to w/d.  It takes all my energy to keep following the protocols offered here as well as keeping my thoughts quasi positive, ie, open to the abstract notion of recovery.  I think to myself, I can live with neuropathy in both feet, tinnitus, and prematurely wrinkled skin, but the touchy negativity, humorlessness and creative dullness of the akinesia is very, very hard.  So when I got your message, I felt so grateful, and grateful too that I could say, HardTimes! I'm having hard times--and that perhaps it would be ok to complain.  I downright cling to messages from the Success Stories.  On some level, I apparently believe recovery is possible.  I also believe that I will emerge from this horror sooner, and with less damage if I can hold off on reinstating, given that I'm now in my 25th month from zero (AD) and 7th month from metformin (which effects the circadian clock and is also reported to have antidepressant qualities.)

 

Here are those things that have improved.  I'm no longer losing weight.  The nightmares aren't as frequent.  I can hold my temper better again.  The tinnitus has gotten quieter.  I no longer have diabetes or HBP.  My gut is seemingly healthy.  The best medicine for me I've noticed is kindness.  Human and animal kindness does consistently more for my sleep than any herb or supplement--and it seems I've tried a zillion...   But Kindness though--doesn't it seem like Big Pharma has been able to find a gap--or open seam in contemporary culture, and drive a wedge?  (Of course, I can't presume on other countries, and am referring mainly to what I see in the US...)

 

All my best to you, HardTimes.  It's so horribly unfair that you're having to be hijacked by withdrawal and the uncertainties surrounding reinstatement.  You will get through this.  I still feel it strongly.

Warmly,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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Hey Arbor!

Thanks for posting and keeping us all up to date. I completely understand your reluctance to post and the fear of somehow bringing other people down. I too have avoided posting some of the darkest stuff I've felt for fear of contributing to anybody else's problems, particularly when it comes to the "ending it all" feelings that so many of us have experienced. But I think in hindsight that might be a mistake? There are surely lots of people here whose words of encouragement in response to such posts might very well make a big difference. I've absolutely no training in any of that stuff, but I've been in a similar place, and in my own experience even just writing about it can be helpful, to just get some of it out somehow. If you ever want you can also just "direct message" me (or anybody else you feel comfortable with) so you can get dark stuff out without fear of ruining anybody else's day. IT IS TOTALLY OK TO COMPLAIN!!! Geez louise, if you can't complain about THIS, what can you complain about? Let yourself! People do care and want you to survive, so reach out if you like!!

 

As for reinstatement: I've tried reinstating after 6months and then again at 8 months, and it is not a miracle solution by any means. Given that your track record and overall health situation is so much more complicated than mine, you might well be right that reinstatement would just add to problem after being off for so long. But I've not got enough experience and the words in your signature are all gibberish to me - maybe @DataGuy or one of the other moderators can sort of assign themselves to your case and give you more specific advice? Don't be afraid to actually reach out to somebody specific you trust, or even Alto herself! But I will say that it seems one of the big risks for people recovering (rather than just trying to taper) is that they change the variables in their systems too frequently and by too much in an effort to find a quicker route to health. From what I've read, and to an extent from my own experience, this can lead to increased anxiety ("have I got the dose right? What about adding a little more X?" etc.). So likely you are doing everything right, and the fact that you are indeed able to follow the "SA protocols" so closely is, I think, a reason to be proud of yourself! I'm not being patronizing, I really mean it. I find it really hard to stick to the program, as it gets so tedious for me and I give up too easily. The fact that you've stuck it out is a sign of your serious inner strength. Its like you've become a bit of "Zen monk" of some sort - sweep the stairs until you finish, then start again. The actual process of going through the various healing activities eventually become a kind of goal into themselves. The goal isn't just the healing, the future, a return to the "normal" world, but some sort of acceptance of the present and appreciation of the immediate activity somehow. Easier said than done, of course, and I'm no exemplar in this at all! But you might be!

 

As for me: When I posted a couple days ago it was after a bad/weird night, which was only one bad night, but I interpreted it as a return to the long series of really bad (zero sleep) nights, and kind of freaked out. However, the next night was pretty much fine (at least by recent standards), and last night was too. I'm in the morning of what is looking to be at least a two-day window, for absolutely no reason that I can think of. The chaotic nature of this recovery is so confusing! 

 

So I really, really hope that for your birthday you get a little bit of a window of some sort too! And if not, just keep rocking that Zen approach: A "birth" day is just another day; time to sweep the stairs!

 

I wish you peace!

15+ years Citalopram 10mg (sometimes 20?)

2019 Citalopram 5mg. No problem reduction.

2020 Citalopram 5mg to zero. (Feb)

2020 (Feb - mid Oct): Very rare use of 0.125 or .25mg Xanax for really bad symptoms

2020 (Feb - Nov): Occasional use of "Nytol" sleep aid (an antihistamine). 

2020 Failed reinstatement: Escitalopram by accident (not Citalopram).  

 -- using a scale, started July 27 0.5mg, doubled every week or so to reach 5mg by Aug 30. Too fast - terrible depression, quit.

2020 (Oct-current): Supplements:

 -- Morning: Magnesium 300mg, Omega 3(483 EPA, 360 DHA +Vit E) Night: Liquid Valerian/Passiflore/Escholtzia - French organic herbal sleep aid, 1.9mg LD Melatonin 

2020 Current - new Citalopram reinstatement. (Accidentally started with Escitalopram before realizing and switching to Citalopram Oct. 30)

 -- using pipette method: Oct 30, 0.25mg; Nov. 4th, 0.375; Dec. 1st 0.5mg, Dec. 21st 0.75mg Jan 19: Decide reinstatement fail: Jan 21 0.625mg, Jan 28: 0.5mg Feb 8 0mg

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  • Moderator

@HardTimesThank you for this wonderful, wonderful message.  You really nailed it for me and what I'm experiencing!  Today I'm sweeping the stairs and laughing rather than groaning.  I will contact you through the private message.  Thanks for the offer.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping your window lasts awhile.  No matter what, it's a sign of healing.

All my best,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Mentor

 

On 12/10/2020 at 12:19 PM, arbor said:

feel like I've lost so much of my prior life and now my present and future to w/d.  It takes all my energy to keep following the protocols offered here as well as keeping my thoughts quasi positive, ie, open to the abstract notion of recovery.  I think to myself, I can live with neuropathy in both feet, tinnitus, and prematurely wrinkled skin, but the touchy negativity, humorlessness and creative dullness of the akinesia is very, very hard. 

Hi Arbor

One thing I learned on my journey through WD and recovery is to focus on and value the present.  It took me three years to wean off Paxil and learn to handle my anxious thinking, but that was a small sacrifice compared to the rest of my life.  You will get yourself back--your sense of humor and creativity are still there, just masked by the temporary, albeit awful, symptoms of withdrawal.  Nothing can touch your true self.  You will recover!

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • Moderator

@mstimcHello--Thank you for sharing this with me.  It rings true.  When I can just break all of the despair down and focus on the immediacy of the present moment, you're right, I can discover an oasis--minute though it may be--where after all, I'm alive, breathing, and the world is here around me.  Thank you!!!!

 

I hope you are well.  I really appreciate that you have returned to support those of us undergoing withdrawal.  I feel fortunate--The support and wisdom I've received here has helped me go forward.  Words can't express my gratitude.

Warmly,

Arbor

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • Mentor

Arbor, this really is a great site for support and guidance, especially when you need it most.  During my recovery, I greatly benefitted from a similar site called Paxilprogress (it shut down a few years ago).  I think those of us whoa have experienced anxiety, medication, withdrawal and recovery are in the best position to understand and empathize with others in the same situation.  

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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  • Moderator

Hi @arbor, happy belated birthday! 🎂

 

I hope you have not felt too neglected by moderators. Seems you may have fallen through the cracks in the transition period, but I am glad that @mstimc has found you and has made some helpful comments. Thanks for tagging me @HardTimes. We don't want any members to be neglected here, but since we are all volunteers and have limited resources, sometimes it happens, unintentionally.

 

Anytime you need help or want a particular question answered, feel free to tag me or another moderator and we will do our best to answer it. I hope you enjoyed your birthday and continue to get better. It's a great sign that your BP is back to normal and that you no longer have diabetes. Maybe you just have really good genetics : )

 

My mother developed what I believe to be SSRI-induced diabetes and to my knowledge still has it about a year after withdrawal. I basically had to fight with everyone to get her off it once she got the diabetes diagnosis, including the doctor (without being able to speak directly to her, my mother wouldn't let me). She is 60 and has always been in terrific shape, so I take your metabolic recovery as a great sign. 

 

I have tried to read most of your posts here, but I'm not sure I saw what coping strategies you have tried from the site and which you use regularly. I did see that you mention Buddhism, and that's great. Honestly, to me it seems you are doing very well, given what has happened and where you are in the process. Hope to hear an update from you soon and looking forward to helping if you need it : )

 

Edit: I was also curious what caused you to taper off the metformin? Most doctors believe it to be pretty useful for people with type II diabetes (erroneously, Cochrane Reviews notes that it has never been shown to improve any patient-relevant outcomes). I am also interested to find out at what point in your withdrawal the diabetes resolved. Thanks and congrats on being off!

 

 

 

Edited by DataGuy
Additional Q

Remeron - 2004-2005 (bad withdrawal)

Clonazepam - 2005-2018 (jumped around March)

Olanzapine - 2014- late 2017

Domperidone - 2008-2018

Many drugs in between including Lexapro, other benzos and z-drugs.

Still suffering post-withdrawal from Clonazepam (Klonopin), Olanzapine and Domperidone. 

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  • Mentor

Glad you mentioned coping strategies, @DataGuy.  Arbor, when I found the right therapist who helped me adopt CBT practices, it was a life-changer.  I still CBT tools when I feel myself falling into anxious thinking.

Tim C

Started Paxil for GAD in 1999

Unsuccessful taper attempt in 2006

Paxilprogress helped with a successful taper completed in 2009

Using therapy and CBT to manage my anxiety

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Thank you, @mstimc and @DataGuy, I feel really supported.  These past few days have been harder than usual I think because of the toll from little sleep.  The encouragement here makes such a difference.  Usually I walk everyday from an hour to an hour and a half, but today was challenging.  I did manage to get out there, and the generous gloom of December at this latitude, was comforting.  Now, somewhat recharged, I can be more specific about my coping strategies.  Perhaps you'll see something I've missed.  Because the moderators are already so busy, I'll address the list to @mstimc and add a PS at the bottom for @DataGuy.

 

1.  I eat healthfully which includes protein, whole grains for the gut, celery for blood pressure, greens for anemia and platelet problems (which have resolved since zero AD's.  I was having to get iron infusions prior to quitting)  High liver enzyme problem has similarly resolved.  My gut has straightened out.  Olive oil, avocados, lots of fruit, fish, etc.  I'm not drinking alcohol or smoking.

 

2.  Intermittent fasting:  16 hours between dinner and breakfast.

 

3.  Daily exercise especially outdoors on nearby trails.

 

4.  Weekly acupuncture including some CBT.

 

5.  Supplements:  Magnesium, omega 3's, vitamin C, benfotiamine, taurine, lipase (blood tests show mine is low)

 

6.  A few very close friends.

 

7.  A wonderful cat.

 

8.  Buddhism and sangha.  Daily meditation and dharma talks.

 

9.  EMDR handheld device which helps when I can't sleep.

 

10.  Deep breathing exercises (Wim Hof and others), again, especially when I can't sleep. (Tried cold shower--once)

 

11.  Visit SA a lot.  And print out posts to read especially when I first get up in the morning (usually the most excruciatingly vile part of the day)

 

12.  Claire Weekes techniques like Rag Doll.

 

13.  Sometimes the background sound recordings recommended by Altostrata.

 

14.  Have kept a journal.  (A record, but mainly an extended howl.)

 

 

Imagine!  All this--and still, the poisoning of the medications runs deep.

 

@DataGuy, re diabetes.  Different doctors diagnosed me with both 1 and 2, as well as, 1.5.  Basically, I wasn't producing much insulin, but I didn't need to take it as long as I took Metformin, and ate few carbs and no sugar to keep my HbAic close to 5.7.  It was found that I was also under-producing IGF-1.  The latter has somewhat improved since zero AD.  My insulin hasn't been tested recently, but my HbAic is now at 5.7 without Metformin.  The doctors themselves suggested I stop Metformin because after zero AD, my HbAic was getting too low which is associated with hypoglycemia, stroke and other problems.  There are no studies on discontinuing Metformin.  I did find studies linking diabetes to AD's, and can share those.  

 

About the pancreas:  I found a study associating AD use with higher incidents of pancreatitis and a further association of pancreatitis with pancreatic cancer. I investigated because I have just lost another friend (taking AD's) to pancreatic cancer.  I'm not making correlations, I'm looking to see if studies are available.  I realize my experience biases an exaggerated wariness. 

 

Thank you, again, @mstimcand @DataGuy--I feel so grateful that you are there.  I send my best wishes for your health and happiness--

Arbor

 

 

 

 

 

Zoloft: 1995 - 2015

Prozac: 2015 - 2018 (tapered from 40mg x day on July 31 to 30mg on August 31 to 20mg on September 31 to 10mg October 31 to 0mg on  December 15, 2018

Gabapentin: 2016 to 2019  (tapered from 300mg x day to 150mg on August 31, 2019 to 75mg on September 15 to 50mg on September 31 to 25ishmg on October 15 to 0mg on December 1, 2019

Enalapril: 2010 - 2019

Lipitor: 2017 -2017

Metformin: 2000 - 2020

Liothyronine: 2007 - 2019

Levothyroxine: 2000 - 

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  • arbor changed the title to Arbor: dealing with PAWS

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