Jump to content

Mia1: hope in early recovery


Mia1

Recommended Posts

I started taking MMJ two years ago to help “manage” my anxiety so I could come off of 50 mg of Amitriptyline and .50 of Klonopin. My doctor was completely on board with this as he said it’s “natural” and really wanted me off Klonopin. This past February I ended up accidentally overdosing on MMJ and started to hallucinate. I was told my metabolism must have changed and that I would have to readjust the dose. Even in my state of mind I knew that was a horrible idea and CT’ed the MMJ. I had NO idea what I was doing or what was in store for me. I was put on 2 mg of Abilify and was told that it would help “speed the withdrawal process.” I never even decreased the Amitriptyline or Klonopin the entire time I took the MMJ. I was told after a month to just stop the Abilify.

I can’t even attempt to describe the terror I felt the next two months. I had de realization, depersonalization, disordered thinking, panic attacks, it goes on and on. I didn’t sleep AT ALL the first month and then the second month I was getting 1-2 hours a night. I didn’t even know that it was physically possible to go that long without sleep. I developed paradoxical insomnia as well as a fear of insomnia. I stopped the Ability after one month. I decided by the third month I would taper the Amitriptyline since I initially took it for sleep and it wasn’t helping. Did I mention I had NO idea what I was doing? I went from 50mg to 6mg in two months. I honestly was about to throw in the towel at this point and go on an antidepressant but then found this site. I knew at this point I was in PAWS from MMJ but didn’t realize cutting the Amitriptyline this fast was a contributing factor. I thought that this was my “mental illness” coming back. I increased back to 10 mg in July and am holding steady. I am currently on 10 mg Amitriptyline and .50 mg Klonopin.

Seven months later I still have a lot of issues. More importantly I have a lot of hope. I worked with a wonderful hypnotist and am at the point where I don’t worry about sleep. I eat well and exercise every day. I practice gratitude and am learning to live in the moment. I still wake up every 1-2 hours a night; most nights I fall back asleep and I am grateful for that. I’m learning to observe my thoughts and use my anxiety and fear as guides. I am already the strongest person I know. I’m only starting my journey but wanted to share early hope for those that may be struggling with acceptance. I also want to thank everyone on this site, you have been a part of my journey.

Edited by Gridley

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Lamictal, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Ability.

 

Current medication:

Amitriptyline: 50 mg 2015-5/20. Decreased 50mg to 25 mg first week in May, 25mg to 12mg second week in May, 25mg to 10mg third week in May, 10mg to 8 mg fourth week in May. Stayed here for a month and reinstated 2 mg in July.

1/21 9 mg

Klonopin: .5 mg since 2001

 

Supplements:

Magnesium citrate: 250 mg

Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Mia1.  You have a great attitude, and that will stand you in good stead in this process.  Eating well is very important.  Regarding exercise, some members find strenuous exercise too stimulating and do better with more gentle exercise like a walk in nature.  Whatever works for you.

 

What re your withdrawal symptoms?

 

To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.  A list format is best.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

You system has been through a lot, and you need to hold steady on your current doses of Amitriptyline and Klonopin until you stabilize, a process that can take several months.  So that you have a better idea of what you're experiencing, here is some information on withdrawal and the healing process.

 

What is withdrawal syndrome.

 

Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

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 explain the healing process really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Brain Remodelling 

 

Once you've stabilized (and, again, this can take several months), you'll be ready to taper.  We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your current dose every four months.  Some can go a bit faster and some have to go slower.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

We recommend tapering only one drug at a time.  Otherwise, if problems arise you won't know the cause. Generally, we suggest tapering the more activating drug first, leaving the more sedating or neutral drug in place to taper later.  Tricyclics like Amitriptyline and benzos like klonopin are both sedating drugs, so you'd need to decide which to go off first based on how the drugs are affecting your system.  You don't have to be concerned about this now.

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

For future reference, this link is specifically about tapering Amitriptyline.  

 

Tips for tapering off amitriptyline

 

At present we don't have a link about tapering Klonopin, but you'd taper it using the same 10% approach.

 

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 complete your drug signature, ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post

Thank you Gridley for your response and the great information you provided me with. I had been exercising at the gym prior to this so was able to ease back with no issues. I also do nature walks and stretch yoga. I don’t consume caffeine. After reading other posts on this site I started to take magnesium and fish oil, which has been very calming to my nervous system.

 I’ve added my drug signature and included supplements I’m taking. Yes, I’m planning to stay on this dose for at least six months and will follow your advice to taper by 10%, I definitely need to heal. My current symptoms are anxiety, de realization, dizziness, nausea, difficulty concentrating, intrusive thoughts and sleep disturbances. I’m currently sleeping 6-8 hours most nights but wake up every 1-2 hours. I’m happy with my progress.

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Lamictal, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Ability.

 

Current medication:

Amitriptyline: 50 mg 2015-5/20. Decreased 50mg to 25 mg first week in May, 25mg to 12mg second week in May, 25mg to 10mg third week in May, 10mg to 8 mg fourth week in May. Stayed here for a month and reinstated 2 mg in July.

1/21 9 mg

Klonopin: .5 mg since 2001

 

Supplements:

Magnesium citrate: 250 mg

Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator

@Mia1  

 

The symptoms you describe are typical withdrawal symptoms.

 

I've found this restorative yoga pose helpful with anxiety.

 

10 minute Restorative Yoga for Relaxation | Up the wall

 

 

 

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post

Fantastic, I’ll take all the help I can get!! Thanks again.

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Lamictal, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Ability.

 

Current medication:

Amitriptyline: 50 mg 2015-5/20. Decreased 50mg to 25 mg first week in May, 25mg to 12mg second week in May, 25mg to 10mg third week in May, 10mg to 8 mg fourth week in May. Stayed here for a month and reinstated 2 mg in July.

1/21 9 mg

Klonopin: .5 mg since 2001

 

Supplements:

Magnesium citrate: 250 mg

Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

 

Link to post

Hi, I really need some advice today. So I’ve been on Amitriptyline 50 mg for about 5 years and as stated in my introduction I attempted a ridiculous fast taper going from 50 mg to 8 mg in two months and then going up to 10mg once I found this site. I have had a significant amount of anxiety but have been coping with it. The past couple of days I have been experiencing panic almost all day and it is disrupting my already disrupted sleep. I am wondering if I can/should go up another 2 mg? I would appreciate any help.

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Lamictal, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Ability.

 

Current medication:

Amitriptyline: 50 mg 2015-5/20. Decreased 50mg to 25 mg first week in May, 25mg to 12mg second week in May, 25mg to 10mg third week in May, 10mg to 8 mg fourth week in May. Stayed here for a month and reinstated 2 mg in July.

1/21 9 mg

Klonopin: .5 mg since 2001

 

Supplements:

Magnesium citrate: 250 mg

Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
7 minutes ago, Mia1 said:

I am wondering if I can/should go up another 2 mg?

There are going to be windows and waves (ups and downs), and stabilizing after an updose takes several months..  One possibility is to wait another day to see if symptoms calm down.  If they don't, you could updose 1mg to start.  If you feel you have to, you could updose today.  You might get relief within a day or two, but it takes 4 days for the new dose to reach full strength in your bloodstream and a few more days for it to register in the brain.  Give the 1mg updose time to work.  Let's see how you do on 11mg before considering going any higher.

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post

That sounds like a good plan, I really appreciate the quick response. 

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Lamictal, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Ability.

 

Current medication:

Amitriptyline: 50 mg 2015-5/20. Decreased 50mg to 25 mg first week in May, 25mg to 12mg second week in May, 25mg to 10mg third week in May, 10mg to 8 mg fourth week in May. Stayed here for a month and reinstated 2 mg in July.

1/21 9 mg

Klonopin: .5 mg since 2001

 

Supplements:

Magnesium citrate: 250 mg

Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

 

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Mia1: hope in early recovery
  • 1 month later...

@Gridley I wanted to update you where I am now. I decided against going up on the Amitriptyline as anxiety and panic were my main reasons for going on medication in the first place. I have been working on positive non drug coping skills that have been effective. I feel I am now withdrawal normal so will be reducing my Amitriptyline 1mg starting tonight. I think I will hold here about three weeks and see how I feel. Any thoughts? I really appreciate your help and support!

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Lamictal, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Ability.

 

Current medication:

Amitriptyline: 50 mg 2015-5/20. Decreased 50mg to 25 mg first week in May, 25mg to 12mg second week in May, 25mg to 10mg third week in May, 10mg to 8 mg fourth week in May. Stayed here for a month and reinstated 2 mg in July.

1/21 9 mg

Klonopin: .5 mg since 2001

 

Supplements:

Magnesium citrate: 250 mg

Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

 

Link to post
  • Moderator
7 minutes ago, Mia1 said:

so will be reducing my Amitriptyline 1mg starting tonight. I think I will hold here about three weeks and see how I feel

I'm very glad your coping skills are helping.

 

It's better to reduce using a 10% of current dose rate rather than a straight 1mg cut.  

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Dropping 1mg a month sound like a nice slow taper, and if you were on a much higher dose it would work well.  It's fine to drop from 10mg to 9, but 10mg is the last dose when dropping by 1mg would be within the 10% rate.  After that, I'd recommend using the percentage rate.  

 

10mg is right at the top of the most sensitive part of the taper. Something like 85% of the drug's effectiveness happens in the first 10 mg, so making even a small change can have a big effect symptom wise. Decreasing by a straight 1mg also accelerates the amount that you  would be decreasing each time making it rougher and rougher with each drop. Decreasing by a percentage, however, decelerates the amount of each drop and makes things gentler on your system.

 

I would also hold for 4 weeks rather than 3 to let your system acclimate itself itself to the lower dose.  Symptoms can be delayed, and four weeks is safer to let things settle down.

 

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 1986-1991 CT, soon reinstated.  CT 2000. RI 1 mg 2011-2016.  Sept. 2016  0.625mg X 3

Nov.27, 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover + change to one 18.75mg dose, w/1 month hold.

Feb. 9, 2021, begin 10% every 4 weeks taper.  Current dose as of Feb. 23: 16.0mgai.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (0.44mgpw).  Aug 2016, discovered SA, holding at 16mg.  Taper is 78% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega, 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.

Link to post

Oh wow, I really appreciate this. I will wait 4 weeks and then decrease by 10 percent going forward. Definitely want to minimize any W/D. It’s incredible all the information you have, I really appreciate your time. And congrats for getting off Lexapro!!

Been on medication since 1999. Previous medications include Remeron, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Lamictal, Xanax, Ativan, Valium, Ability.

 

Current medication:

Amitriptyline: 50 mg 2015-5/20. Decreased 50mg to 25 mg first week in May, 25mg to 12mg second week in May, 25mg to 10mg third week in May, 10mg to 8 mg fourth week in May. Stayed here for a month and reinstated 2 mg in July.

1/21 9 mg

Klonopin: .5 mg since 2001

 

Supplements:

Magnesium citrate: 250 mg

Fish oil: 1200 mg

 

 

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy