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Considerations about "Stability" - Stop jumping around!


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  • Mentor
Yesyes123

"My withdrawal symptoms are so bad, I tried X and it didn't work, so I changed it to Y and it made me even worse, so I am now doing Z hoping to get better by the end of the week!"

 

Every time I see someone say things along these lines, I truly feel bad for them.

 

This type of behavior is like playing ping-pong with your brain and Central Nervous System, as people sometimes say around here.

And I don't mean only with psychiatric drugs - that goes for supplements, sleep patterns, food, etc.

 

"Stability" - this post by the amazing @brassmonkeyis spot on, as everything else he puts out.

 

"For some people who are very sensitive to changes in dosage, it may take two or three months for people to stabilize after such an adjustment.  Some people will take even longer."

In this quote he's referring to stabilizing after dose changes in psychiatric drugs - but similar patterns can be seen in many other things, such as supplements.

I often see people taking fish oil or other supplement for 3 days and complaining that it "didn't work" or made them more anxious...

In such short period, there is really no way to see the effect of the substance on you (unless you have a clear, strong and definite adverse reaction immediately).

 

Your body likes stability.

That's the main idea here. If you keep jumping around with supplements, doses, diets, excercise routines, etc, you will very hardly find stability.

 

You need to find something that seems to work for you and stick with it for a while in order to truly benefit from it.

You will definitely have to do some experimenting in order to find what works for you - but that does not mean you are allowed to try every single thing in 1 week hoping to get better sooner. It will take some time... for some, shorter. For others, longer. But we all get there eventually.

 

I have personally only started to see benefits in fish oil after nearly 2 months of taking the same dose daily.

 

Something to think about!

 

 

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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Rusty1

Excellent post.  I wish every new member would read this as when I read through the issues they are dealing with this may as it may be the number one mistake that is made and the most helpful to get them back on track.

 

I have experienced how fragile stability can be and even seemingly minor changes at times have had severe instability.

 

One example in my experience is that I had been taking Vitamin D prior to withdrawing and kept taking it during withdrawal.  I had bought it from Costco so I had about 3 years worth of pills.  Lol.  Not thinking or noticing that these would be less effective over time, when they started running out I went out and bought new Vitamin D in the same strength.  My body immediately recognized it was too strong and my body was too sensitive.  It caused a severe physical reaction and I was unable to take them.  I tried a couple times and could not cross taper to the new pills.  So I actually had to slowly reduce the dose of my Vitamin D by inserting a syringe into the gel cap and taking out some - amazing that stopping cold turkey on Vitamin D was unbearable!

 

Our CNS is so stressed during this period that even amazingly benign things to the rest of the population can be major triggers for us.

Thank you for your post.  I certainly understand and appreciate that advice.  I hope everyone is able to read it and take advantage of the recommendation.

40 yo Male. Started Paxil about 15 years ago. 10 mg (pill weight .125 - .129 g). 5 yrs wanted less side effects, doctor took me off Paxil over couple week period and put me on Wellbutrin. Not good. Went back on Paxil. Relieved my symptoms, but didn't work as well and more side effects. Severe reaction between Paxil and Zomig Summer of 2012. Head was affected during warmer days (cloudiness, confusion, pressure). Began 10% withdrawal 10/24/12.

Withdrawel helped many symptoms, but also added side effects: nausea, dizziness, tiredness. Hyper-anxiety started January 2014.

Went through a 2 year period of de-realization (2016-2018).  Rarely any windows.  
Current dose: 0.00 as of 4/10/21.  Made a lot of progress in my withdrawal symptoms the last 2 years of my taper.  I think doing a liquid taper helped stabilize things on the lower doses.  A lot of my symptoms have reduced significantly.  Hoping for even more improvement now that I am off.
My thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8909-rusty1-paxil-withdrawal-help-and-advice-welcome/#entry150222

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Hopepersists

Thanks for posting this @Yesyes123 

 

As a newer member of the site, I definitely relate to the wish to want to try different things to see if it will help with my withdrawal.  I’ve taken the moderators advice to heart, but even today I found myself wondering if I should try changing up the way I take Mg to see if it will help.  😁

 

patience is a new work-in-progress skill for me.  

2014-2021 .0625mg Xanax as needed

2017 20 mg Celexa, 2018 10 mg

June 2020 - 15 mg Celexa 

Sept 2020 10 mg Celexa (2 week taper of alternating 15/10 doses)

1/6/21 15 mg Clx, 1/28/21 10 mg no taper

Late Feb 15 mg Celexa reinstatement 

Late March - 1 week 15/10 mg taper

3/31/21 15 mg Celexa
4/30/21- 15 mg split dose (7.5 am & pm)

5/28 - 15 mg, transition 5 mg to liquid

6/22 14.5 mg, 7/12 14.4 mg

200 Mg Glyc, probiotic, 2,000 IU Vit D, 2,000 mg fish oil, 1000 mg Vit C, 1/2 Cortisol Manager 

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  • Moderator
getofflex

This thread is brilliant.  Thank you for posting this.  I'm going to include this with every reply to newbies.  I've seen this happen so much, and it can really screw up an already unstable nervous system. 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • Mentor
Yesyes123

@Rusty1 @Hopepersists @getofflex Thank you, thank you!

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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Matheus

Is stability good if you reach poop-out?

Jan 2017: started paroxetine 20mg

Back and forth several times

 

Aug 2019: paroxetine 20mg and zolpiden 6,25

 

Oct 2020: cold turkeyd both paroxetine and zolpiden ( big crash now i am in)

 

Feb 2021: cold switch from paroxetine to venlafaxine( 37,5): didnt work at all

 

March 2021: decided to go back to paroxetine out of despair: venlafaxine 37,5; paroxetine 40mg and zolpiden 6,25( current medication)

 

 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

If you are experiencing poop-out, it means the drug has worn out its effect on your body. It is a type of stability, but may not feel good. You're in between a rock and a hard place. You might consider slowly tapering off.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Mentor
Yesyes123
On 5/17/2021 at 12:28 PM, Matheus said:

Is stability good if you reach poop-out?

 

Stability is always what we aim for, but if you have reached poop-out it means the drug isn't working anymore so I don't see why you'd stay on it on the long term. The only option in my opinion is to slowly and safely taper it off

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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  • Mentor
Yesyes123

“Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner. Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong. There is nothing so efficacious that it can be helpful while it is being shifted about. And in reading of many books is distraction.”

 

by Lucius Annaeus Seneca 

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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when the screaming pain is so totally off the charts that you need a change ANY change then the ping pong is actually unavoidable. if you've not dealt with forced hospitalization and drugging you might not know what it's like to be out in those extremes. We have to make choices to keep ourselves out of institutions for example. They'll kill us and we know it. When someone is experiencing those extremes the only way forward is through a crazy bouncing back and forth with the extremes slowly becoming smaller. I have always worked with folks who experience extreme states...long before I came off drugs and started this work. I am also one of them. We are not all alike. I wish to god that what I'm sharing here wasn't true. This is actually why I don't work with folks directly very often anymore. Too many of the folks who contact me are like this because they know I get it. I sustains the PTSD  for me because I too have had to deal with it myself. 

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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  • Mentor
Yesyes123
4 hours ago, GiaK said:

when the screaming pain is so totally off the charts that you need a change ANY change then the ping pong is actually unavoidable. if you've not dealt with forced hospitalization and drugging you might not know what it's like to be out in those extremes. We have to make choices to keep ourselves out of institutions for example. They'll kill us and we know it. When someone is experiencing those extremes the only way forward is through a crazy bouncing back and forth with the extremes slowly becoming smaller. I have always worked with folks who experience extreme states...long before I came off drugs and started this work. I am also one of them. We are not all alike. I wish to god that what I'm sharing here wasn't true. This is actually why I don't work with folks directly very often anymore. Too many of the folks who contact me are like this because they know I get it. I sustains the PTSD  for me because I too have had to deal with it myself. 

 

You're a hero, I'm glad you made it out of that hell!!

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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  • Mentor
Yesyes123
10 hours ago, Yesyes123 said:

"nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine"

 

I find it amazing that this was said literally thousands of years before AD's existed.

July 2015 - Started Escitalopram 10mg (Lexapro) at age 15. Took it everyday until July 2020 (5 Years)

July 2020 - Turned 21 started tapering off until August (TOO FAST TAPER/ ALMOST SAME AS COLD TURKEY)

August 2020 -  Clear Manic episode (nothing absurd or life threatening)

September 2020 - Start feeling a bit weird

October 2020 - Crashed. The absolute worst time of my life. 

Late October 2020 - Reinstated Escitalopram 10mg. Perscribed Antipsychotics (Lithium, Seroquel) REFUSED

Early November 2020 - Psychiatrist wrongly upped the dosage to 15mg. Still taking 15mg / day as of today. 

 

22 January 2021: 

Beginning to stabilize on 15mg/day Escitalopram (Lexapro) 🧠

Taking 25mg Magnesium Citrate 4x per day / 2000mg Vitamin C Prolonged Release + Kiwis + Fresh Fruit / Salmon everyday for Omega3 Fatty Acids

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator
getofflex

Tough It Out

 

We live in a world where the internet and media lead us to think that we should live a life free of pain and troubles.  But, is this realistic?  Has life on earth ever been easy and fun all the time?  No.  Most of us went on psych meds to take away mental anguish.  For many of us, this worked, at first.  But then, for one reason or another, we needed or wanted to get off the drugs.  However, most of us found that getting off of these drugs was not so easy.  The medical people usually recommend a very fast taper, and most of us who try that end up with significant withdrawal symptoms.

 

Unfortunately, we then try to find a solution to take the pain of withdrawal away quickly and easily.  We jump back on the drugs, try a different drug, try a bunch of supplements, etc.  But, isn’t this what got us into trouble in the first place?  Trying to use drugs to fix the trials and tribulations of life?  Thus, we end up on a carousel of more drugs, and the problem just grows bigger.

 

What I see so much now, and it disturbs me, is that when people get uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, they want to go right back to the drugs to take away the uncomfortable symptoms.  But in a lot of cases, this can lead to our nervous systems becoming even more sensitized and even to kindling, which causes worse pain and suffering.   It ends up just prolonging the problem and making it worse.  The drug was what caused the problem in the first place.  I think perhaps the basic underlying problem a lot of us have, is to avoid and escape pain.  Perhaps we need to take a different approach to pain and discomfort.  Pain and discomfort has been with us since the beginning of time.   And unfortunately, avoiding pain and discomfort can work in the short run, but in the long run can cause much worse pain and misery and suffering.  So, I’m calling on all of us to try and toughen up, and put up with some pain and discomfort now, in order to avoid worse pain and discomfort in the future.

 

One caveat - there are cases when a temporary reinstatement is called for, because it can reduce severe withdrawal symptoms.  I’m not talking about that.

 

I’m calling for us to get away from this notion that we need a quick fix to make our problems go away.  For me personally, there was a good reason I was anxious and depressed.  I needed to deal with that directly. The pills only masked the pain - they did not cure the problem.  It was like taking a pain killer to deal with a cancer.  I needed to deal with the cancer directly by removing it, not by just killing the pain the cancer was causing. That is why we suggest non drug coping skills.  These help us deal with the pain of living in a non drug way, and get at the root of the problem instead of just taking away the pain.

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08

Benadryl 50 mg, Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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  • Moderator Emeritus
Rhiannon

I totally understand the desperation that drives us to try ANYTHING ANYTHING to stop the suffering. I have been there, I have done it, I may do it again, who knows. But I have really found that time and peace is what works best for healing, for me, and for the majority of people we meet here.

 

And I think it makes sense physiologically. These drugs are not in any way biological molecules. They aren't fixing our neurophysiology, they are disrupting it.  At some point, the disruptions, no matter how well intended, are just more perturbations of a system that is already spiraling out of control. More perturbation isn't going to fix the problem; the perturbations ARE the problem.

 

I just posted the following on a member's Intro thread but it's applicable to this, and I'm lazy so rather than rewrite it I will just put it right here:

 

 

"If you try to imagine this from your brain's point of view, it's a lot of changing and ups and downs in a pretty short period of time.  I think our nervous systems react to those kinds of changes by trying to adapt, by turning genes on and off to try to adjust various receptors and transmitters and what have you, in order to regain homeostasis. Since evolution never equipped us to cope with the chemical changes caused by these kinds of drugs (since they are new in human history) these adaptation processes really can't be very efficient and they are probably not fast. Definitely not "multiple switches and ups and downs in one year" kind of fast.

 

So it really doesn't seem that strange to me that after only 2 months after the most recent drug change--after a history starting 10 years ago, and the past year with multiple disruptions and large changes--you aren't feeling normal and hunky-dory yet. And I kind of doubt that any further changes at this point would do you any good. I think the changes are the problem.

 

My hunch is that your best bet at this point is to just hold still and stabilize and give your poor nervous system a break from further changes. It may overshoot up and down for a while in attempting to get back to a healthy state.  I think the best bet is to give your actual natural processes a chance to do their thing."

 

Not that it's easy. But I'm not sure there's a better choice, at least with the state of the science as it is today.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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