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pugglesworth

pugglesworth: greetings from the land of 'meditation gone bad'

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pugglesworth

Hi everyone.

 

Thank you for reading my introduction.

 

I've had an odd initiation to psyche meds. I'm middle aged and was rather healthy prior to my breakdown. I exercised five days a week, numbers were good, was generally 'relaxed' and comfortable in my skin and had a great marriage. Then, in the summer of 2015, I decided to try meditating. I had been studying Buddhism for awhile and a book I was reading stated that, if you really want to study Buddhism, you need to start meditating. So, that's what I did. I went to our local community meditation center and began a small meditation practice. About six months into it I started getting very anxious. I had no idea why. My blood pressure went up and I was put on the first regular prescription I've ever been on: Lisinopril. The anxiety continued and began increasing. My blood pressure kept rising. I asked my doc if it could be the meditation. He said "Not possible: meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety." I started seeing a therapist (first time) and asked the same question. I received the same response. I knew I should quit meditating, but everyone I talked to said that couldn't be the issue. So I continued.

 

In the winter of 2016 I had what I call my 'Long Night' which was actually a week of altered mental states, completely unbalanced thought patterns and anxiety that went through the roof. I kept working and tried to keep my act together, but it was very difficult. The meditation teacher at the community meditation center said I was going through something called 'Dissolution' and congratulated me. He put me in touch with a more authoritative teacher (a person widely known in meditation circles) who confirmed this. Unfortunately neither of these people were much help. I looked all over the Internet and in books for answers, but the altered states kept occurring (even without meditation), my blood pressure was through the roof, I wasn't getting any sleep and my personal life was falling apart. I kept going to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. One morning my wife asked me if I was going to work and I broke down crying. She took me to the ER. The doctor there had compassion and said he thought he knew what was wrong with me and gave me an Ativan. For the first time in months, my blood pressure went down and I felt better.

 

I went to see a psychiatrist in the spring of 2016. He put me on Celexa and Klonopin. He gave me some Ativan for my panic attacks. The Klonopin was needed until the Celexa reached a therapeutic dose. When I was ready to get off the Klonopin he introduced Buspar. Tapered off the Klonopin (no problems). I was on both of those for about two years after I quit the Klonopin. Everything seemed OK. In January of 2019 I started getting nausea and a headache. Just low-grade stuff, but consistent. And they slowly were getting worse. By the summer of 2019, it was pretty bad. I talked to my psyche doc about coming off and he agreed. We started with the Celexa and that taper went fine; however, Buspar was another story. I tried coming off that and I got very sick: felt like I had the stomach flu. I was home for three days. And that was just by cutting Buspar down to 30 mg from 45 mg. So we reinstated and decided we'd try Lexapro. I was sick on Lexapro, but gave it a couple of months. Quit it cold-turkey. He moved me to Zoloft in January 2020 (which I had high hopes for as my wife takes it), but that also made me sick. I decided to 'ride it out' for 3 months to see if the side effects went away, but they didn't. During this time I reinstated Klonopin (0.5 mg per day) as only the Buspar was treating my anxiety. I finally decided I was done with Zoloft and tapered off. My psyche doc retired.

 

I got a new psyche doc. He decided we should wipe the slate clean and start new. He recommended I get off the Buspar as I may be experiencing 'Serotonin Resistance'. Began tapering that this summer (July 2020) and, after three months, I am off it (last dose 9/8/2020). I feel terrible, but not all the time. Depression seems to be 'soul crushing' around lunch, but slowly gets better. I feel anxiety when I wake up, That slowly gets worse, but kind of 'ebbs and flows' throughout the day. Muscle pains, cramps, dizziness, but no problem sleeping. Seems like I have problems breathing at times, but I actually don't. I feel bloated and full most of the day, but still manage to eat a bit. My chest hurts (I have a cardiologist so my heart is fine), guts burn and stomach is as hard as a rock at times. Other times (like now), not so much. I exercise when I can (was on the treadmill yesterday and took a long walk Monday). Evening and night seem to be OK. That is when I typically exercise (summer in AZ). My wife and I watch our shows and go to bed. I took 7.5 mg of Buspar this morning just to see what would happen. It seems like I had less physical symptoms such as my stomach, chest and gut felt fine most of today. The 'soul crushing' depression came and went. For that I usually just disassociate with the feeling, watch it as a disinterested third party and it eventually goes away. At least that is what works for now.

 

The anxiety: that remains fairly consistent. Comes and goes in waves. I've been anxious since I was a kid, so I'm kind of used to it. I feel it a lot more since I had my breakdown.

 

The depression SUCKS! I'm not used to that at all.

 

Buspar withdrawals SUCK! Not used to those either.

 

My marriage is still great. It would be nice to have sex again.

 

That is my story.

 

Thanks, again, for your time.


Celexa, 40 mg since 2016. Tapered Jun - Aug 2019

Klonopin, 2 mg since 2016. Tapered Jun - Aug 2017. Reinstated 0.5 mg Jan 2020.

Ativan, 1 mg (as needed for panic attacks) since 2016

Lexapro, 20 mg Sep 2019. Quit Nov 2019

Zoloft, 100 mg since Nov 2019. Tapered Apr - Jun 2020

Buspar, 45 mg since 2016. Tapered Jul - Sep 2020

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Gridley

Welcome to SA, pugglesworth.  

 

You been on and off many drugs, so it's difficult to ascertain what's causing what.  The symptoms you describe--depression, anxiety, muscle pains, cramps, dizziness, breathing difficulties, bloat, chest pain, sexual issues, gut issues--are consistent with psychiatric drug withdrawal.  Your tapers of Celexa in 2019, Zoloft in 2020 and Buspar in 2020 were quite a bit faster than what we recommend, which is no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks, and any or all of these three fast tapers could be the cause of your withdrawal symptoms.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

So that you have a better idea of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal.. 

 

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.  

 

These links explain the healing process really well.

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Physiological dependence on benzodiazepines can begin within two to four weeks of regular use and can also result from intermittent use.  If you've been taking it regularly since January, 2020, it is likely you are dependent.  If you decide to go off it, it's important that you taper slowly, and again we'd recommend the 10% taper.  It's important not to cold turkey a benzo on which you're dependent.

 

Regarding anxiety, here are some links to help you cope.

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes
 

VIDEO:  Peace from Nervous Suffering - Claire Weekes (1 hour) (http://sendvid.com/vgquc1dg)
 

Anxiety Stuff - all kinds of stuff about anxiety attacks and things that help …

 

10 minute Restorative Yoga for Relaxation | Up the wall

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Oct. 21, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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pugglesworth

Hi Gridley.

 

Thanks for the welcome and thank you for the links.

 

I came off my drugs under my psyche doc's supervision; however, it appears that his competency was lacking in this area. My symptoms come and go and are, for the most part, manageable. The depression is new and definitely SUCKS. I am committed to be off Buspar as it was making me sick. I do think I am going through Buspar withdrawal as:

  • I've taken Buspar the longest
  • I had bad withdrawal symptoms before when reducing my dosage
  • Most of these symptoms didn't start until I began tapering (albeit too quickly)

When I did some 'Internet Investigation' about Buspar withdrawal the Mayo Clinic stated:

 

(Stopping Buspar abruptly results in) withdrawal symptoms such as increased anxiety; burning or tingling feelings; confusion; dizziness; headache; irritability; nausea; nervousness; muscle cramps; sweating; trouble with sleeping; or unusual tiredness or weakness

 

I don't have headaches, sweating or trouble sleeping. I do have everything else including depression, torso pain, perceived trouble breathing, bloating and so on. The torso pain tends to move up and down my torso: stomach, gut (intestines) and back to the chest. It's not there all the time. As I'm typing this out I'm relatively symptom free except for my gut is tingling and cold. I may also have some holdover from the SSRI's I came off of. My instincts tell me to stay the course and let my body heal as best it can. Maybe in a couple of months do the 10% taper with the Klonopin. I doubt the Klonopin is doing much at this point.

 

You wouldn't happen to have any links on depression would 'ya?


Celexa, 40 mg since 2016. Tapered Jun - Aug 2019

Klonopin, 2 mg since 2016. Tapered Jun - Aug 2017. Reinstated 0.5 mg Jan 2020.

Ativan, 1 mg (as needed for panic attacks) since 2016

Lexapro, 20 mg Sep 2019. Quit Nov 2019

Zoloft, 100 mg since Nov 2019. Tapered Apr - Jun 2020

Buspar, 45 mg since 2016. Tapered Jul - Sep 2020

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Gridley

@pugglesworth

 

Unfortunately, doctors very little about tapering psychiatric drugs or withdrawal.

 

Your instinct about staying the course seems to me to be a good approach. The fact that your symptoms are manageable is a very good sign.

 

Regarding tapering the klonopin, you might want to wait longer than a couple of months until you are more stabilized.

 

Here are some links on depression.  Depression is a common withdrawal symptom. For more links, Google SurvivingAntidepressant.org depression

torvikk: depression as withdrawal symptom? - Introductions ...

How I am coping with depression - Symptoms and self-care ...

MikeyB: getting through withdrawal related depression and ...

 

 

 


Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Began taper using Brassmonkey slide 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  

Current from Oct. 21, 2020 at 0.025mg

Taper is 99.875% complete.

 

Lorazepam 1 mg 1986-1991 CT, resumed a few months later. CT 2000.  1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept, 2016 increased to 0.5 X 3 in split dose. Sept. 2019 increased to 0.625 X 3 after crossover to new brand

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 15mg.  Aug 2016, discovered SA, updosed to 25mg and holding.  Taper is 66% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, vitamins E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, 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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pugglesworth

So, I figured I would keep adding to this thread to help keep track of my progress, symptoms and keep a dialog going.

 

I downloaded the spreadsheet of symptoms and I'm keeping that updated as well.

 

It hasn't been quite three weeks since my last dose of Buspar. I'm still experiencing anxiety in the morning (due to cortisol I'm guessing). My breathing issue seems to be getting worse and I'm definitely fatigued during the day. I know I can breathe fine as I take a deep breath and my last doctor visit showed the oxygen in my blood was fine. The depression has lessened a bit, but my body aches all over. I listened to the 'Withdrawal Symptoms' video and found out that Buspar, according to the video, actually makes withdrawal symptoms worse. Whether that means taking it during withdrawals or coming off Buspar itself I do not know. I'm getting dizziness and hot/cold flashes (although I got those sometimes while taking the drugs). The bloating and gut problems have decreased.

 

Maybe listing symptoms by bullets would help:

  • Chest Pain - consistent
  • Breathing Difficulties - increasing
  • Muscle Pains - consistent
  • Dizziness - consistent
  • Depression - decreasing
  • Anxiety - consistent
  • Fatigue - increasing
  • Nausea - decreasing
  • Bloat - decreasing
  • Gut issues - decreasing
  • Cramps - decreasing
  • Irritability - consistent
  • Burning/Tingling - consistent
  • Acid Reflux - increasing

That looks better and will help me keep track. Maybe I'll update every week or so.

 

I am still managing as I continue to work, exercise as much as I can and do chores around the house. Today was a rough morning (as I had a number of meetings to attend at work); however, evening may be more tolerable.


Celexa, 40 mg since 2016. Tapered Jun - Aug 2019

Klonopin, 2 mg since 2016. Tapered Jun - Aug 2017. Reinstated 0.5 mg Jan 2020.

Ativan, 1 mg (as needed for panic attacks) since 2016

Lexapro, 20 mg Sep 2019. Quit Nov 2019

Zoloft, 100 mg since Nov 2019. Tapered Apr - Jun 2020

Buspar, 45 mg since 2016. Tapered Jul - Sep 2020

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