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The only thing my brain can think of is my 'WD problem' and my symptoms. Even when my symptoms are a little better, I can't hardly think about something else or watch a movie, How do you cope? I think i'm not the only one


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Hey people,

 

The only thing my brain can think of is my 'WD problem' and my symptoms. Even when my symptoms are a little better, I can't hardly think about something else or watch a movie, How do you cope? I think i'm not the only one. It's because I don't feel the same anymore, sensitized nerves+aches+jelly legs for 6 months now.

When I wake up my mind starts immediately with thinking about withdrawal, symptoms, what to do, googling stuff, when it will be over, and so on. I try to focus on other things but my mind keeps sourching for 'solutions/negative thoughts' Even when i'm doing something else my mind is racing with this stuff. Trying to be mindfull but i can do it for 3 seconds. ;)

 

I don't have eye for the world anymore. My wife want a divorce after 10 years. I'm losing my job. It does me nothing, while I loved my wife a lot, I loved my job a lot. But it doesn't exist anymore in my head. Only thing is this 'problem'.

My parents say that I became selfish, they are right, but they don't have an idea of this misery and they don't believe it's from SSRI, my dad took SSRI and had no withdrawal at all, the doctor said it's not possible longer then 4 weeks. So they don't believe me but I gave up on that..

 

When I have sort of a window.. then I can't enjoy this because I know, in a couple of minutes/hours the wave will smash me. How you guys cope with this?

Hope to get some insights.

 

thank you

2019 oct - fluoxetine 10 mg 7 weeks (didn't work)

2020 feb - paroxetine 10mg for 5 months, tapered down in 1 month 9.8mg 9.6mg 9.4mg and so on

2020 oct - paroxetine 10mg after 2 months I restarted the use of it because of WD symptoms 10mg (too much) then the (physical) problems started, after 2,5 months I tapered down in 2 weeks.

since 31 december 2020 - drug free

 

 

Supplements: magnesium Biglycinate 250mg 2 times daily

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Rosetta

It is very hard to not be “selfish” when all one feels is misery.  It’s important to try, in small ways, to show concern for other people, but it won’t be easy.  Depending upon what type of people your parents are, they might respond to “reputable” sources of information.  There have been numerous articles written lately about AD withdrawal.  They are located here https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/15-in-the-media/ and https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/16-from-journals-and-scientific-sources/

 

You will have to look through the articles, but within the last 2 years there have been many.  Often, they don’t indicate how bad the condition can be.  My husband could see that I had suffered a type of traumatic brain injury.  Severe protracted WD operates just like TBI.  Peter Breggin calls the brain impairment caused by the ingestion of ADs CBI, chronic brain impairment.  It comes on gradually, and the person’ s personality slowly changes.  In 2011, he published a paper that discussed the problem as occurring because of long-term use of ADs and other drugs, but we now know that the problem can occur with short-term use of ADs and because of abrupt withdrawal of the drug, regardless of the term of use.  Even in 2011, Breggin stated that a very gradual removal of the drug was important.

 

I’m sorry that neither your wife nor your doctor have been able to see that you have been harmed by paroxetine.  It is very well known that paroxetine causes withdrawal disorder.  Your doctor is poorly informed.  There are a few articles indicating the paroxetine is dangerous to take and withdrawing from it causes illness, short-term.   In fact, it has been banned for children in the UK.  There are doctors who believe that it should be banned for adults.  Here is an article from 2015 implicating paroxetine in prolonged withdrawal disorder. https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/371865
 

Chances are your personality has changed, and you may not be yourself at the moment.  That is quite common upon taking antidepressants.  It may be subtle or obvious, but it is likely that it came about very gradually, and no one noticed until you changed quite a bit.  They probably see this as if you changed over a short period of time and assume you have done so consciously and on purpose.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

If you try to discuss this with your family, they may want to consider the articles and the shocking information in them, or they may not.  News articles such as one by the New York Times stating that ADs are hard to quit would be a place to start.  Hard to quit hardly covers it.  None that I gave seen discuss the fact that going off or ADs can leave one stuck in prolonged withdrawal.  I’m sure people assume that people can just take the antidepressants again, and all is well.  Ha! 
 

News articles are too short to impart the true nature of what is happening to you, so keep that in mind.  Also, it might take a family therapist who is aware of this issue to help your family understand the information in scholarly journals cited in the news articles.  Scientific articles are written in a measured, clinical way that tends to understate the seriousness of the findings to the human being affected by the subject matter. So, they have their limitations for imparting information to family members, as well.  If you a person becomes interested and curious, then the books and websites that clearly show the horror that is ADWD may be something they will read and consider.  Robert Whitaker, Joanna Moncrief, Peter Breggin, and several others have written books or websites that are for laypeople.
 

If your family is angry with you, anything you present may be discounted as an attempt to make excuses for your “refusal” to go back to being who you were.  It is quite possible that your family would rather believe you are responsible for your behavior — inability to work, personality change, and all the rest.  If you were responsible for it, you might change back at will, and they won’t have to deal with the inconvenience or disaster, as the case may be, caused by your incapacity.   Otherwise, the reality is that you are unable to be who they want or need you to be.  That must be quite scary for them, and they have their heads in the sand.  They may be unable to be who you need them to be — inquisitive, curious, open minded, compassionate, empathetic.  
 

This is the sort of situation in which the doctors are most to blame.  They are not inquisitive, curious, open minded, compassionate, or empathetic either.  They are turning people’s families against them by saying what is patently untrue — that paroxetine or other ADs “can’t do this” to patients.  If they admit that ADs can do this, then they are the responsible ones, aren’t they?  You can send the doctor articles, but he won’t want to hear it, and you can’t force him.  Interestingly, some of the research we need to prove that prolonged withdrawal occurs with ADs is being done in the Netherlands.  In fact, it is becoming clear that ADWD mimics benzodiazepine withdrawal.  The same physiological changes occur and are at issue during WD from ADs as from benzos.  Benzo WD and prolonged withdrawal has been known for ages.  It is only through the dishonesty of the AD manufacturers and the reckless indifference of doctors that ADWD has been hidden for so long.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/18/2021 at 9:02 AM, Rosetta said:

It is very hard to not be “selfish” when all one feels is misery.  It’s important to try, in small ways, to show concern for other people, but it won’t be easy.  Depending upon what type of people your parents are, they might respond to “reputable” sources of information.  There have been numerous articles written lately about AD withdrawal.  They are located here https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/15-in-the-media/ and https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/forum/16-from-journals-and-scientific-sources/

 

 

This is the sort of situation in which the doctors are most to blame.  They are not inquisitive, curious, open minded, compassionate, or empathetic either.  They are turning people’s families against them by saying what is patently untrue — that paroxetine or other ADs “can’t do this” to patients.  If they admit that ADs can do this, then they are the responsible ones, aren’t they?  You can send the doctor articles, but he won’t want to hear it, and you can’t force him.  Interestingly, some of the research we need to prove that prolonged withdrawal occurs with ADs is being done in the Netherlands.  In fact, it is becoming clear that ADWD mimics benzodiazepine withdrawal.  The same physiological changes occur and are at issue during WD from ADs as from benzos.  Benzo WD and prolonged withdrawal has been known for ages.  It is only through the dishonesty of the AD manufacturers and the reckless indifference of doctors that ADWD has been hidden for so long

 

 

 

 

 Do we know what proportion of people get protracted withdrawal? I would reckon a small minority. Either way it should be outlined as a risk due to the associated risks and I agree that pharmaceuticals probably play a part in slowing this information from getting out.

 

But we shouldn't blame anti-depressants as being the root of all evil. They do save lives, and most people are bale to come off in a few months without too many issues (ie there are withdrawal symptoms for some weeks and then things get better. Overall, if all doctors could tell their patients to withdraw slowly, they would certainly be beneficial in my opinion.

On 5/16/2021 at 4:34 PM, GVR91 said:

Hey people,

 

The only thing my brain can think of is my 'WD problem' and my symptoms. Even when my symptoms are a little better, I can't hardly think about something else or watch a movie, How do you cope? I think i'm not the only one. It's because I don't feel the same anymore, sensitized nerves+aches+jelly legs for 6 months now.

When I wake up my mind starts immediately with thinking about withdrawal, symptoms, what to do, googling stuff, when it will be over, and so on. I try to focus on other things but my mind keeps sourching for 'solutions/negative thoughts' Even when i'm doing something else my mind is racing with this stuff. Trying to be mindfull but i can do it for 3 seconds. ;)

 

I don't have eye for the world anymore. My wife want a divorce after 10 years. I'm losing my job. It does me nothing, while I loved my wife a lot, I loved my job a lot. But it doesn't exist anymore in my head. Only thing is this 'problem'.

My parents say that I became selfish, they are right, but they don't have an idea of this misery and they don't believe it's from SSRI, my dad took SSRI and had no withdrawal at all, the doctor said it's not possible longer then 4 weeks. So they don't believe me but I gave up on that..

 

When I have sort of a window.. then I can't enjoy this because I know, in a couple of minutes/hours the wave will smash me. How you guys cope with this?

Hope to get some insights.

 

thank you

Yeah I struggle with that too. I think all humans do to some extent: whenever something feels physically painful or wrong, and causes constant discomfort, it's hard to get your mind off it. I am seeing a therapist for this: therapy can't help with changing the actual problem in my mind which will only be healed with time, but I think it can make it faster by improving the way I approach it. 

 

Some tactics:

 

Notice these moments (you are already aware of it which is the first step). Every time you get this, try and assign an image to the voice in your mind telling you to focus on the symptoms / drawing up defeatist thoughts such as 'I'll never get better', 'my mind is permanently broken', 'I can't do this anymore' etc... It helps put things into perspective and take a step back from everything, to realise that these are only thoughts - not a reality. 

 

For example you could choose to picture a little devil on your shoulder etc...  

 

You could try taking three times a day (20 or 30 mins) to write down your thoughts on paper, consider them, write positive statements instead, and things you are grateful for. It's easy to lose track of the good things in life. 

 

For example in terms of positive thoughts, things like:

'Nothing is permanent;  things always get better'

My mind and body are working together to reach a perfect equilibrium which will be achieved one day -> I just need to be patient AND do what I can in the meantime to enhance neuroplasticity.

There will be many more days of anxiety / feeling ... : it's part of the healing process and will make me a stronger person in the long term. -> For me this helps with lowering my expectations and impatience at getting better: I probably won't wake up tomorrow or the day after feeling any better than today, but that's ok, and I can't change that. 

 

Focus on things you love to do: reading a book helps focus attention on something much more than watching a film. If you're able to exercise that's really good too. Conversation with someone you're close to can go a long way too.

 

These are just examples but think about it and find what suits you best?

 

You are entirely correct in wanting to change your attitude towards this problem - it can make your healing faster, but also improve your quality of life drastically while you are still suffering.

 

The link below really helped me when I went through insomnia originally: about acceptance and commitment therapy. 

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07wzmgw

 

This success story also helped: from a lady who experienced really bad insomnia and got better without meds. written by a journalist so we'll written.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/dec/16/how-i-finally-learned-to-sleep-insomnia

 

It's so hard to rewire a brain, but it is in within reach of every one. give everything you have towards this and no matter how much it feels like your brain is letting you down in the short term, it will work in the long term.

 

Hope this helps and good luck to you!

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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Rosetta

@HugHK

It is not a small minority.  About half of the people who try to discontinue suffer WD and half of those suffer severe WD.  This is only a percentage of the people who have tried to stop.  How many have never tried or died trying without knowing that withdrawal syndrome was even a possibility?

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460318308347?via%3Dihub
 

I realize that you are new to this situation, but you are mistaken, very seriously mistaken, when you say that ADs save lives.  Not only are the withdrawal effects severe, but the adverse reactions are severe.  I recommend that you look into the issue a bit more.  The number of lives lost or destroyed may not even equal the number of people whose lives were prolonged by the numbing effect or the placebo effect.  I will post more on my thread if you are interested.  You may wish to read some of the information that is coming out now, but this has been on the radar of people who are thoughtful and concerned since the 1990s.  Getting information about the studies that were hidden because their results would shed negative light on anti-depressants is very difficult.  However, Peter Gotzsche, David Healy, Joanna Moncreif, and a journalist, Robert Whitaker, have been writing about this fraud on the patients prescribed anti-depressants.  

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

Link to post

@Rosetta

 

Hi Rosetta, was going to PM but wasn't able to so will just get back here. 

 

I Had a look at the link: most of these studies look at what happened in the weeks / couple of months after withdrawing. I did state in my message that withdrawal issues were common (which I was personally warned about by my doctor so fair play to her). 

 

This is a huge factor in the results of the study:

 

Other limitations concern the online surveys reviewed. Insofar as people who experience withdrawal may be more likely to respond to surveys our overall rates of duration and severity may have been affected.

 

Everyone on this forum, for example, is here because of what has happened to them, and would be likely to fill out a survey if asked. It's not the case for people that come off easily, because they probably never even go and check in with the doctor (I came off Lyrica cold turkey, felt a bit light headed for three weeks, then fine - never gave it a second thought). Same thing if you follow Facebook groups for these meds: As you'd expect, people who suffer from it are much more vocal due to what they're going through while everyone else just moves on and doesn't think about it. 

 

The second paragraph is very different from my view of the facts on different levels...

 

Of course anti-depressants save lives: people with depression or serious anxiety are much more likely to commit suicide, so that's a direct life saved. Therapy isn't enough for everyone and takes time (months). Some conditions such as bipolar can't really be managed without meds, and would make it strictly impossible to live as a functioning member of society. Just remember that until the middle of the 20th century, people with mental health disorders were called 'mental' or 'mad' and either looked after by their own close family (mom and dad) for the rest of their lives, locked up in psyche wards, or arrested and jailed or even executed for committing crimes.. No matter how bad withdrawals get, I also doubt there are many cases of people dying from them and I certainly haven't read of any (to the contrary of alcohol, Benzos or opioids for example). Clearly it can make life hell for a long time, but that's not quite the same is it... 

 

Sure, big pharma doesn't have any incentives in the difficulty to withdraw getting out to the greater public. But there is no conspiracy between big companies to suppress independent studies (they can't do that) and there are regulatory authorities to oversee studies and highlight any irregularities... that's not to say mistakes aren't ever made, such as the the opioids crisis in the States. But overall they are not conspiring just to boost profits of pharmaceutical companies. 

 

All I need to do is take a look around me to see how anti-depressants have saved the bacon of many people (including my own), and I do thank big pharma for that. (there's a high chance I'd still be stuck at square 1 without them). I am not close to anyone for who the meds didn't work. I also don't know anyone personally that has had issues with protracted withdrawal although as you say some just continue to take the Meds - after all, if it works, it works. My GP and 2 different psychiatrists did say withdrawing can be difficult for weeks but they hadn't seen many cases lasting more than two months - and certainly not among people who had reinstated the medication. It obviously does happen, hence the forum, but most the things I've seen or heard point to the fact that's it's mostly down to being unlucky. I guess it's just a question of being oK with that - which I try to be and get help from therapist for.

 

There's a lot of education to be done on the subject and for this I have found this forum very valuable - however I wouldn't personally choose to go on a crusade against big pharma, as even in the though times I am going through, I do keep in mind they did get me out of a pit of misery in 2019 (in the space of 4 weeks, where I had failed over 12 months, 2 courses of CBT etc). My opinion could change with time, but it's not an uninformed opinion, - just the way I look at things

 

-July 2019: 300mg Lyrica

-November 2019: 50mg Amitriptyline, upped to 100mg in December

-Jan 2020: down to 50mg Amitriptyline

-March 2020: stopped Lyrica successfully.

-May-June 2020: taper down to 0 AMT

-July 2020: back on 50mg AMT

-Dec 2020: 37.5mg AMT

early Jan 2021: 31.25mg AMT

Late Jan 2021: 25mg AMT

March 2021: back to 50mg AMT

Late April 2021: 75mg AMT

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