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Path2lifeagain: withdrawal setback?


Path2lifeagain

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Path2lifeagain

Hello everyone. I’ve been lurking around this site since 2015 when my life came crashing down. I was close to joining last year (2019) to post a success story but unfortunately I am now here looking for some answers and help. 
 
Here is my history:

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

 

After completing my taper I began to slowly improve until tinnitus struck in May of 2017. Tinnitus became the center of my life for the next year and a half. It was all I could think about. Looking back at it now I realize it bothered me so much because I was still in withdrawal and the severity of the tinnitus at the time was actually a withdrawal symptom.

 

By the end of 2018 I was still improving and 2019 I felt I was recovered.  I stopped thinking about withdrawal. This is where I started making my regretful mistakes. I began a new stressful job in September of 2019.  From the very start of the job my nervous system was telling me no but I didn’t listen, I kept pushing forward. By February I started to feel a little down so I tried taking St. John’s wort. Took it for two days and stopped because I thought I was having a bad reaction. Still to this day don’t know if I had a bad reaction or if I would have started feeling that way anyways.  But that was the first taste of withdrawal again since my recovery. I “recovered” from that, kept my job and kept pushing forward. Had a few decent months but then around July - August began to feel off, a weird type of depression that is hard to explain began to creep in, then in mid October things took a nose dive. I became severely depressed, anxious, and began losing sleep. It felt like the depression I had during withdrawal, it felt chemical.
 

I have had a few days since then where symptoms seem to just instantly disappear  for a few hours to a day then just as quickly come back. Almost like a quick window/wave period. It feels different though, it doesn’t feel like it did during withdrawal, there no feel good manic stage. 
 

I’m currently in a deep state of depression which is probably being exacerbated from being sick with covid for the past 3 days. I feel completely hopeless and have so much regret for throwing my recovery away. 
 

So I guess I’m here looking for some positive vibes or some reassurance that this is a temporary setback because at this point I really don’t know what is going on. My mind is telling me “this is the new you”. Are setbacks like this common this far out? Does anyone know of anyone who had similar setbacks and gone on to recover? Is this withdrawal or could this be a new condition? 
 

Please, no stories of anyone suffering 5 years later from a setback. Just too much to hear right now. 
 

Thank you 

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Path2lifeagain: withdrawal setback?
  • Moderator

Welcome to SA, Path2lifeagain.  I'm sorry you're feeling so bad.

 

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.  You can simply copy the 5-line history you gave in your post, plus any other pertinent information, and use the following link, then press save.

 

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.

 

It appears to me from your post that you have suffered a setback into withdrawal, likely triggered by the stressful job situation.  Healing from these drugs takes a long time, and during that time our systems remain very sensitized and vulnerable.   The fact that you had a few decent months, that you had days when the symptoms disappear and that you are experiencing some windows are all very encouraging signs of healing.  Also, your perception that the depression feels chemical is a strong indicator of withdrawal and not a new condition.  It's the drugs, not the "new you."   So, yes, the setback is temporary.

 

Setbacks can occur at any point in recovery, and a setback two years or so out is not that far out in the withdrawal and healing scheme of things.  These two links explain the healing process really well:

 

 

 
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. 

 

 

 

Add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems. Get supplements that are single ingredient (not mixed with other types of supplements).

 

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 April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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.

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Path2lifeagain

Thanks for responding Gridley. It’s so disappointing to have a setback 3 years after finishing my taper. Do you know if anyone else who had a setback this far out? 

I heard someone on here say “treat your nervous system like crystal”. I wish I did.

 

Please people when you get there (and I know you all will) listen to your body, go easy, take care of yourself, and never take your recovery for granted. Our nervous systems are going to be fragile for some time, even once we feel normal again 

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

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  • Moderator
1 hour ago, Path2lifeagain said:

It’s so disappointing to have a setback 3 years after finishing my taper. Do you know if anyone else who had a setback this far out? 

I can't find it now, but there was a post today about remaining sensitive after healing.  It featured a quote by Alto about this reality.  Healing does take a long time, and I would venture to say that setbacks three years after finishing a taper are more the rule than the exception.

 

Just found it:

Ibnabu: an inquiry 

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 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 April 10: 13mgai.  Taper is 31% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan. 2016 began every 3-weeks 10% taper, down to 16mgai (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.

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Path2lifeagain

Need some opinions

 

Hello everyone, 


I’m in the midst of a pretty big setback after being off meds for 3.5 years. I was close to posting a success story but I guess that will have to wait for now.  A lot of stress had built up over the past year which has led me to where I am now.  
 

It’s been 5.5 years since I’ve been going through the ups and downs of this drug withdrawal. I have 3 young children at home who are growing up quickly and it kills me to think of how much time I have lost during this process. I want to cry every time I think about it.
 

There’s so many things running through my head right now. How many more years is this going to go on? How many more years should I wait for recovery? Is this even withdrawal anymore or is it me? I know no one can answer these questions, but I just want my old life back.
 

I  think about reinstatement often as a last resort but I know how risky it is and I wouldn’t say I’m even close to the point yet  of actually reinstating. However,  if at some point in the future I  decide to reinstate to improve my quality of life, how would i go about doing it this far out?  Would I use the same drug (zoloft)? If I were to reinstate a micro amount of say 0.1 mg and slowly move up how much would that mitigate the chances of adverse reactions? Are there any indicators of who would not react well to reinstatement, such as certain sensitivities? Does anyone one know of successful reinstatement’s this far out? Maybe I’m crazy to even think about reinstatement after coming this far. Idk. 


BTW - aside from tinnitus my symptoms have been mostly emotional with very little physical symptoms and do not have many (if any)  sensitivities. 

 

Thanks you 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

Only 1 Introduction topic per member.  This keeps your history in one place and means that you don't have to repeat your story.  Thank you.

 

Edited by ChessieCat

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus
6 hours ago, Path2lifeagain said:

 

A lot of stress had built up over the past year which has led me to where I am now. 

 

 

My suggestion would be to find a counsellor who can teach you life skills/coping skills.  I had many life stressors over a period of about 15 years, and then I started on an AD.  If I had received appropriate counselling, support and been taught the right skills I probably would not have ended up on an AD.

 

Please check out this topic:

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

6 hours ago, Path2lifeagain said:

 

I  think about reinstatement often as a last resort but I know how risky it is and I wouldn’t say I’m even close to the point yet  of actually reinstating. However,  if at some point in the future I  decide to reinstate to improve my quality of life, how would i go about doing it this far out?

 

 

A question that you might ask yourself:  Is part of you "dreaming" that reinstating might solve all your problems, and I mean all of your problems?  Even people who have never taken an AD change over time, experiencing changes, life stressors and emotional ups and downs that they need to learn to cope with.  There is no magic solution or pill for these.

 

Only you can make the decision about whether to try a reinstatement.

 

Please read Post #1 of this topic:

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

 

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post
Path2lifeagain

Thanks for responding Chessiecat. I know there is no drug that can solve all my problems. I guess I’m just worried of always feeling the way I feel at the moment and my mind is looking for a plan B. I’m worried because I saw a few people mention on here that once you have a setback this far out it’s very difficult to get back to where you were. Have you noticed different? 
 

I guess my plan would be to reinstate to get rid of the worst of the feelings so I don’t waste anymore time feeling like this as my kids grow up and then eventually taper even slower than I did off a very small dose. 
 

Im also so confused not knowing if this is even related to withdrawal at this point.I so wish I took care of myself over the last year. I was given a gift of recovery and I feel like I threw it away :( 

 

 

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

Link to post
Path2lifeagain

 Im starting to realize that my fear of the withdrawal symptoms and fear of returning to the state of mind I was in in 2015 are making my current symptoms much worst. I feel like Im stuck in this perpetual cycle where I’ll get a window then throw myself back into a wave with negative thoughts. My thoughts alone seem to be enough to trigger a flight or fight response.
 

I don’t know what is what at this point but I know I’m determined to get through it. I was in a much worse place before and came out on the other side. I will do it again!


 

 

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

SA strongly encourages members to learn and use:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

You might find it helpful to do relaxation techniques throughout the day.  As you practise them they become more of a habit.

 

This website has some excellent self help resources (scroll down to see the list):  https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/selfhelp.htm

 

This webpage has a labelled diagram showing what can happen to different areas of the body when we are anxious.  Knowing what the different reactions can help us to recognise what is happening sooner.  https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/anxiety.htm

 

One thing that I think can be helpful.  Several years ago my daughter was worried about me after my dog died.  She told me to check in with myself throughout the day to see how I was feeling so that I could reduce the stress/anxiety before it built up.  So in a similar vein I think it is helpful to use non drug calming techniques throughout the day regardless of whether you are feeling stress or anxiety.  This is how I picture it:

 

Waiting until it builds up:

Ooooooooo you might not be able to bring it all the way down so it might look like this Oooooooooooo

 

  or calming through the day:

 

oooooooooooooooo

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post
Path2lifeagain

Thanks so much for the response ChessieCat. I’ll definitely check out the links and practice mindfulness as much as I can. 
 

What you say about checking in with yourself throughout the day and reducing stress throughout the day to keep it from building up makes a lot of sense. As for me, I’m constantly checking in with myself, almost to the point where I’m obsessing over how I feel, constantly scanning waiting for the slightest change and I think this is causing me a lot of stress.

 

I think I need to find a happy medium where I’m checking in and taking steps throughout the day to reduce stress but not constantly obsessing. 


 

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

When you check in with yourself you need to learn to respond to it, not react.

 

Do a search for difference between reacting and responding.

 

It might help if you create a list of what you will do when you check in with yourself.  For example, if I notice this I will try this.  Even just something as simple as checking your basics needs and asking yourself am I:  hungry, angry, lonely, tired (HALT acronym). 

 

You might find something helpful here:

 

https://www.happierhuman.com/self-care-checklist/

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post
Path2lifeagain
On 11/26/2020 at 6:54 PM, ChessieCat said:

When you check in with yourself you need to learn to respond to it, not react.

 

Do a search for difference between reacting and responding.

 

It might help if you create a list of what you will do when you check in with yourself.  For example, if I notice this I will try this.  Even just something as simple as checking your basics needs and asking yourself am I:  hungry, angry, lonely, tired (HALT acronym). 

 

You might find something helpful here:

 

https://www.happierhuman.com/self-care-checklist/

Thanks ChessieCat. I’ll try practicing this 

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

Link to post
Path2lifeagain

So I was at my rental property today mowing the lawn for the last time for the season. As I was line trimming the front hill I looked up at the front steps and had a memory from 2015 when I was at my worst. I pictured my son who was 3 years old at the time sitting on the front steps watching me work. As this memory came to me I broke down and started crying. 
 

I don’t know if its because I was thinking of the horror I felt at that time, or because I’m still having symptoms 5 years later, or if it was because I was thinking of all the years I lost to this process. Its almost like I was mourning a time when my son was 3, thinking about times I will never get back. Maybe it’s neuroemotions, maybe it’s the depression talking. IDK
 

I’ve been going through this for more than a 1/3 of my 14 year olds life, more than half of my 8 year olds life, and all of my 5 year olds life. Even though there’s been a lot of goods times in these past 5 years I always wonder what it would have been like if this never happened. It makes me so sad when I think of it and so angry at myself for ever taking this drug. 

 

 

2007 - 2015 Zoloft 50mg for mild anxiety 

2015 - ct. severe symptoms 6 weeks later 

reinstated, stabilized, began slow taper

2015 -2017 slow taper with window and wave patterns of stabilization 

Completed taper in March 2017

Link to post
  • Moderator Emeritus

It's could be a combination of everything.

 

One thing that I have found helpful for me in general is reminding myself that:  I did what I did then with the knowledge I had at that time.

 

Unfortunately we can't go back and change the past.  But what can help is to try to think of it as a fact which is objective, rather than emotionally, which is subjective.

 

And even if antidepressant drugs weren't involved simply because we are human (and it happens to everybody not just "us") there would always be things that happened in our past that would upset us, make us angry, trigger us, etc.  I know there are some silly things from my childhood that do, eg when I went to a Tupperware party with my mum because I had taken the day off school when I was about 12.  A vase got broken at the house we were at (it was in the front foyer just inside the door) and the hostess thought I had done it.  Thankfully my mum believed me when I told her that I hadn't.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 17 Apr 2021:  Pristiq 0.2665mg  now holding each dose for 3 weeks

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

Link to post
  • 4 months later...
JustBella

@Path2lifeagainJust saw this steam.  You have captured my fears as well.

I hope you are doing better.

@ChessieCatthis may seem like a ridiculous question, but I am fairly new here and trying to learn all I can

 

do you know if a successful reinstatement reverses the horrible sensitivities we develop?  

Mid and late 1990s various antidepressants including Prozac, Pamelor, Zoloft, Trazadone for brief periods of time  Usually one month or less with no taper.

1998 to August 2020   .5 mg lorazepam, first PRN then daily. CTed Jan 2015 RI March 2015 (6 wks): CTed October 2016 RI Nov 2016 (3 wks (October 2016). 10 month taper begin Oct 2019 finished Aug 10, 2020. 2000 to Sept 2015 periodic use Escitalopram 10 mg.  Brief periods, 3-6 months, with rapid tapers or cold turkeys.Oct 2016 Cymbalta and Remeron for a period of about 2 weeks. Stopped cold turkey.Nov 2016 to October 2017 10 mg escitalopram.  One month taper

Last 2 ½ years:

Ongoing daily .5 lorazepam originally began in 1998 PRN, then daily 2008.  March 2019 to August 2019 10 mg escitalopram; rapid taper about 3 weeks. Sept 2019 to Sept 2019 Pristiq 25mg, taken 2 weeks then a every other day taper for one week.  25 mg trazadone for one week, no taper.  Zoloft 25 mg for 5 days, no taper. October 2019 -August 2020 10 month taper from .5 lorazepam.

Currently taking Valsartan 40 mg daily and Preservision AREDS2 one capsule daily.

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