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In August of 2021 will be a four-year ordeal that began with a breaking through (tolerance) of the SSRI medication (Celexa) I was on for 20 years.  During this four-year period, I experienced over 75 symptoms associated with psychotropic medication withdrawal and at two different times was at zero quality of life.  Once for five months (within the first year) and the once for four months (in year two) three months after my last dose of medication.  I have been treated by a Psychiatrist, several counselors, two functional medicine doctors, two nutritionist, two specialists with psychotropic medication withdrawal,  a geneticist and spent over a year and a half treated by a Dr. who specializes with hard-to-treat depression and anxiety cases.  I have been on several strict diets (anti-inflammatory, vegetarian) and taken countless supplements.  I have been tested for many possible underlying conditions.  Although my condition has improved slowly (many symptoms have abated) I am still impaired living with severe insomnia, depression and anxiety on a daily basis.  Concentration, speech, motivation, fatigue are all residual issues that continue to come and go with no predictable pattern but as of late cognition, speech and energy level have all improved.

 

Prior to taking psychotropic medications, I lived with dysthymia (PDD) with major depressive episodes until 34 years old.  I was not aware of the condition until that time.  Looking back it effected my motivation, outlook on life, self-confidence and career decisions.   I took Celexa for 20 years and it worked well for about 12-15 years.  A whole new world of consistent positive emotions opened up soon after starting the drug.  The last five or so years I was emotionally numb with no real highs but depression, insomnia and anxiety were not factors.  It should be noted that for about eight of those years the dosage was 80 mg.  

 

In the summer of 2017, I noticed increased anxiety levels and insomnia had returned similar to when I when on medication.  I then realized I was breaking through the medication.  Agitation and aggression also started increasing.  My psychiatrist then prescribed multiple medications over a period of five months. I experienced intense acute withdrawal symptoms.  These drugs included Lexapro, Cymbalta, and Prozac.  I stopped all meds after five months in December of 2017 for a period of one and a half months (symptoms intensified).  At the end of the month and a half, I tried Ketamine infusions and my quality of life was reduced to zero. This intense period lasted five months.  During this five-month period, new and previously prescribed drugs were given including Prozac, Trintellex, Lexapro, Klonopin (5 mg.), and Trazodone. In May of 2018, I began a slow taper with an organization to come off all medications.  The taper ended in August of 2019.  The order of the taper was Trintellex, Trazadone, Klonopin, and Prozac.  During the taper, a number of symptoms lessened but would return later with varying intensity and duration (e.g., visual distortions, brain zaps, dizziness, numerous cognitive issues).  However, after the taper, several symptoms slowly increased in severity including insomnia (severe), depression (moderate to severe), concentration (moderate), anxiety moderate to severe), depersonalization/derealization (moderate).   The symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression were the most constant. Immediately after my taper, quality of life was reduced significantly (close to zero).  This in spite of working with a functional medical doctor and nutritionist for treatment.  Three months later, I reached zero quality of life again and in the winter of 2019 I went to a clinic that specialized in hard to treat cases in hope they could help.  My condition improved slowly but not much.  I was put on supplements to address sleep and high free copper levels.  The treatment for free copper lasted over a year with zinc supplements reaching 250 mg before it was determined my free copper levels were down.  Sleep problems remained unchanged.  After two years of being treating I was still severely symptomatic and was told I was one of only 10% of patients that they were not able to help.  In desperation and on recommendation, I reached out to an organization the deals with genetic testing.  They put me on more supplements in which I reacted negatively.  

 

Currently, insomnia remains bad.  I wake every night after about three hours with an intense mixture of negative emotions (e.g. anxiety, depression, guilt, shame) that have no basis in circumstances.  My sleep is tumultuous at best, waking multiple times before experiencing electrical like sensations about 45 minutes prior to waking.  Most mornings I cannot go back to sleep because of these sensations.  My sleep hygiene is very good and has been for a while.  Nothing seems to help in this area.  I take magnesium and have taken a number of other supplements and natural sleep aids, but none have worked.  However, I now go through withdrawal if I forget to take the magnesium.

 

In summary, this August it will be four years.  Two of which have been medication free.  My symptoms have improved in number, intensity and duration.  However, I still deal with insomnia, depression and anxiety in varying patterns.  I do have some windows but never a full day and have not slept through the night except once in 4 years.

 

Trying to discern withdrawal symptoms from underlying symptoms is challenging.  Sleep was never a problem prior to taking medications and nothing close to what I live with now.  I do not understand why is so bad when I have practiced excellent sleep hygiene for a while. The anxiety and depression have similarities to my pre-existing condition but also have major differences.  For example, I can be dealing with a situation in the morning that seems to be causing depression or anxiety and in the evening I am thinking about the same situation and feel neither anxiety or depression and can view the situation in rational emotionally stable state.  I am very strong in my belief about my identity but will sometimes experience strong emotions of insecurity that I know are absolutely baseless and absurd.  The same goes for anxiety and depression.  The emotions seem to have a mind of their own.  There is a strong disconnect between what I know to be true and my emotions.  Like fearing something that you know is rationally nothing to fear. 

 

I have many questions that I probably already know the answer, but I will throw them out for your feedback. 1. Did the poly drugging exacerbate the withdrawal/healing process.  2. What about the ketamine? That drug sent me off into the abyss of torturous emotions.  It was like I was being brutally tortured non-stop for five months night and day.  The emotions were beyond description. Zero peace and joy. 3. Are my current symptoms (they still can be very debilitating and intense) uncommon this far out from being off meds?  4.  I did a slow taper and was told I would probably heal quickly only to go back to zero quality of life three months later.  Any thoughts?  5. Although most of the people who have tried to help have been well-meaning, none have been able to significantly alter my condition. I have appreciated their encouragement and compassion, but their treatments have not been able to move the healing needle.  Most supplements inflated my symptoms or did nothing at all.  The free copper diagnosis and treatment did bring a little relief but only a little.  6. I have read that sleep is one of the last things to return to normal, but four years later it still is bad.  Any thoughts?

 

Feel free to ask questions or make comments.  Thank you for taking the time to read.

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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  • getofflex changed the title to MTSNOW: Introduction
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a peer owned and run forum of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  I'm deeply sorry to hear about all the pain and suffering these drugs have put you through.  You have come to the right place.  The fact that you have been drug free for the past 2 years is truly phenomenal.  This shows great patience and endurance on your part.  

 

3 hours ago, MTSNOW said:

In the summer of 2017, I noticed increased anxiety levels and insomnia had returned similar to when I when on medication.  I then realized I was breaking through the medication.

 

The above 2 statements seem to contradict each other.  The first one implies that you were no longer on the med.  Were you actually trying to taper the drug during this time, or were these symptoms occurring while you were on the full dose of the Celexa?  Or did you go off the Celexa at this time? (summer of 2017)

 

Thank you for giving us your detailed drug signature.   

 

Here is some information about how these drugs actually work.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

 Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Also, as we are recovering, we suggest keeping things slow, simple, and stable, not just with drugs, but with diet, exercise, daily routine, etc.  . This is extremely important. 

 

Keep it Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

When we recover, there are times of feeling OK mixed in with times of feeling bad.  This is called windows and waves.  That is why many of your symptoms come and go.  The video above should give you a good idea of why this happens. 

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

I've given you quite a bit of information here.  Please read through it, and mull it over, and we will take it from there. In the meantime, take care of yourself, and take heart.  We in this forum have been through this, and we understand first hand the pain and discomfort you are going through.  Please know that the brain is amazing in it's healing abilities.  It takes time, but healing can and will happen. 

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

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

Since this is long, I'm doing it in 2 parts.  I'm very happy to hear that many of your symptoms have abated.  It shows that you are recovering, and your brain is healing.  

 

3 hours ago, MTSNOW said:

1. Did the poly drugging exacerbate the withdrawal/healing process

Most definitely.  

 

3 hours ago, MTSNOW said:

2. What about the ketamine? That drug sent me off into the abyss of torturous emotions.

Ketamine is one of the date rape drugs, and it causes amnesia.  I can't imagine this drug being a positive thing for anyone.  Here is a thread about ketamine.  

 

ketamine

 

3 hours ago, MTSNOW said:

3. Are my current symptoms (they still can be very debilitating and intense) uncommon this far out from being off meds? 

I don't believe they are uncommon, especially for the drug history that you have.  The nervous system is highly complex, and it can take years to recover from being repeatedly poly drugged.  

 

3 hours ago, MTSNOW said:

4.  I did a slow taper and was told I would probably heal quickly only to go back to zero quality of life three months later.  Any thoughts?

We at SA suggest a taper of no more than 10% of the current dose, no more than every 4 weeks. so that the reduction amount becomes exponentially smaller.  When there are multiple drugs complicating things, it takes even longer for healing and recovery.  This link explains why we suggest this taper protocol. 

 

 Why Taper by 10% of my Dosage  

 

3 hours ago, MTSNOW said:

5. Although most of the people who have tried to help have been well-meaning, none have been able to significantly alter my condition. I have appreciated their encouragement and compassion, but their treatments have not been able to move the healing needle.  Most supplements inflated my symptoms or did nothing at all.

Unfortunately, our health care system today is driven heavily by a profit motive, and is basically run by the insurance companies.  Pharmaceutical companies make huge profits off these drugs.  Drug companies are in bed with the government and insurance companies, and unfortunately they influence how doctors are trained.  So many if not most doctors are brainwashed to believe these drugs are good, and have little to no knowledge how to properly get their patients off the drugs.  Here is more info about supplements and WD.  

 

Tests, Supplements, Treatments, etc.

 

3 hours ago, MTSNOW said:

6. I have read that sleep is one of the last things to return to normal, but four years later it still is bad.  Any thoughts?

Withdrawal often takes a long time.  This link will go into the various factors that affect withdrawal.  I've been trying to get off Lexapro for the past 4 years, and my sleep is still affected, although not as badly as it was.  

 

How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take

 

Withdrawal Insomnia

 

Also, you mentioned poop out.  Here is a link about that:  

 

Poopout or Tachyphylaxis

 

 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

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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Hi Getofflex,

 

Thanks for the reply.  The wording in my statement in question was poor.  In 2017 I had been on medication for 20 years and started to breakthrough.  I knew I was breaking through as I was experiencing similar symptoms that prompted me to go on medication in the first place (i.e. insomnia and anxiety levels increased).  

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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  • Moderator

Got it - no problem.  By breakthrough, I assume you mean the original issues for which the drug was prescribed started to return?  

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

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

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

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

I was diagnosed with high free copper levels and put on supplements (zinc, selenium, moly?) to bring the levels down over a year and a half ago.  I was told it is a genetic condition where my body does not get rid of excess copper.  It took over a year to get my copper levels down to acceptable ranges and in the end I noticed some but little difference.  It seems my withdrawal syndrome overrides everything else.  Based on the Dr.s recommendation, I continue to take the same dose of supplements (e.g. 250 mg of zinc).  I'm wondering if I should stop the supplements.  One additional tidbit.  I noticed every time I increased my zinc dose, my symptoms would worsen for a week or so.  

 

Interestingly, I tried fish oil with vitamin E the other week and my symptoms flared up. 

 

I understand SA's supplement recommendations, but does anyone have additional thoughts specific to my situation?

 

Thanks,

 

CURRENT SYMPTOMS: Insomnia persists with intense negative emotions throughout the night, anxiety and depression ar heavy in the mornings and takes a while for it to lighten up.  Cognitive functioning has gotten worse with difficulty focusing, concentrating and making decisions.  It had improved.  I get overwhelmed with minor tasks/conversations easily especially when symptoms are high.  

 

 

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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  • Moderator

Supplements are also a big money maker, and they are not regulated the way that Rx drugs are. There is no guarantee as to their strength, or their purity.  I'm not familiar with your medical condition related to copper.  Based on your experience with zinc, it sounds like it is affecting your nervous system, at least to some degree.  If it were me, I would gradually back off of the supplements one at a a time.  That way, if it causes problems, you will know what the cause is.  It may be that your nervous system is still trying to recover from the various psych drugs that you have been on in the past.  It can take many months to years to recover from this, and the more drugs we have been on, the more time it tends to take.  .  I would also make a point to eat a variety of whole healthy foods to be sure I get the proper nutrition.  

 

On 8/3/2021 at 8:15 AM, MTSNOW said:

Interestingly, I tried fish oil with vitamin E the other week and my symptoms flared up.

Our systems tend to become very sensitive and unpredictable, which is why we suggest when you start a new supplement, to start with a low dose and see how it affects you.  Does the magnesium seem to help?  

 

On 8/3/2021 at 8:15 AM, MTSNOW said:

Insomnia persists with intense negative emotions throughout the night,

What is your sleep pattern?  Have you read the link I gave in a previous post about WD insomnia?  That is tough - insomnia has been a biggie for me, as well.  

 

I'm sorry to hear about the depression and anxiety early in the day.  I'm glad it gets better as the day goes on.  Here are some links that may help with that: 

 

Neuro Emotions

 

Managing the Morning Cortisol Spike

 

Here is an excellent post by one of our highly experienced mods Brassmonkey about sleep:  

 

Brassmonkey on Sleep in the Modern Age

Edited by getofflex

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

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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Hi getofflex,

 

Thanks for dropping me a line.  My sleep hygiene is very good and I have tried a number of natural and practical things to improve sleep.  I have read quite a bit regarding sleep on this site and I have not found anything new that I have not already tried.  I usually am able to fall asleep easily.  I go to bed early (9:00-9:30 p) and rise around 6:00a each day.  Typically I will sleep 3-4 hours and be woken up with combination of heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, guilt and shame.  All negative emotions with no basis in reality.  Many times I am also hot or sweating.  I've have learned not to put too much stock in my thoughts at the time of these emotions because I know they are baseless or an extreme exaggeration of circumstances (hope that make sense).  I have also found accepting them for what they are and thinking/speaking/meditating on the goodness of God and his love for me helps lesson the intensity some or at least keeps me from going into an emotional spiral. These emotions seem to inspire all sorts of negative thoughts.  To put it more scientific terms, these emotions and accompany thoughts/beliefs are pure bull ****. :).  After the initial wave of negative emotions, it will take me 2-3 hrs to fall back asleep only to wake soon after.  These negative emotions slowly subside to the point of calm but most nights I am still unable to go to sleep when in the calm state.  About half the time, I start getting what feels like electrical tension (cortisol spikes) for about 45 minutes prior to waking at 6:00 usually exhausted.  I sometimes try to sleep in for about an hour but most of the time if I'm experiencing the electrical tension, it is horrible sleep and 15 minutes feels like an hour.  I can't even take a nap many days due to these spikes.  Periodically, seemly without cause, I will only get one or two hours sleep and paradoxically at other times I might get 5-6 hours sleep with little tension or negative emotions.  These times are anomalies.  Ironically, when I do get close to "sound sleep" my depression is almost always worse the next day.  Generally, I have not been able to identify any specific cause and the pattern is predictably unpredictable.

 

I don't eat late, get on the computer or TV close to bed time, and currently take magnesium.  I have tried all sorts of natural sleep aids and cortisol reducing supplements and nothing helps.  Magnesium has not helped much but now if I try to stop taking it or forget I have intense withdrawal symptoms.  I have tried calming sounds, kept my room dark and made sure my bedroom is calm and comfortable.  Still nothing moves the sleep problem.  NOTE:  This is not an exhaustive list of tools I have tried for sleep.

 

Some nights I have woken up either angry or in a rage.  Other times I feel like I'm losing my mind or at the very least am confused.  If I forget and eat something I know I'm not supposed to (e.g. chocolate) it is usually met with horrible symptoms lasting the entire night.  I guess the only thing I can do is keep searching and hope something changes soon.  

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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  • Moderator
On 8/6/2021 at 6:30 PM, MTSNOW said:

All negative emotions with no basis in reality

Sounds like classic WD neuro emotions to me.  See the link in my previous post. 

 

On 8/6/2021 at 6:30 PM, MTSNOW said:

Many times I am also hot or sweating.

I feel you on this one.  Same here.   This link goes into that:  Body Temperature Dysregulation

 

Here is a link with lists of common WD symptoms.  Perhaps it will reassure you that this is normal for WD. 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen WD Symptom Checklists

On 8/6/2021 at 6:30 PM, MTSNOW said:

I've have learned not to put too much stock in my thoughts at the time of these emotions because I know they are baseless or an extreme exaggeration of circumstances (hope that make sense).

Yes, this makes total sense.  That's great, this is a good coping mechanism.  

 

On 8/6/2021 at 6:30 PM, MTSNOW said:

 I have also found accepting them for what they are and thinking/speaking/meditating on the goodness of God and his love for me helps lesson the intensity some or at least keeps me from going into an emotional spiral

You have some great coping skills that will serve you well in this widthdrawal.  I also focus on God to help my anxiety as well.  It really helps.  the Bible is wonderful for this. 

 

On 8/6/2021 at 6:30 PM, MTSNOW said:

 I start getting what feels like electrical tension (cortisol spikes) for about 45 minutes prior to waking at 6:00

Yep that's the early morning cortisol spike.  Also common in WD.   Early Morning Cortisol Spike

 

I'm very sorry you are having these sleep issues.  I know from experience how much that sucks.  I assume you have tried melatonin.  Here is some info on that: 

 

Melatonin for Sleep

 

Oftentimes, the only thing we can do is have patience, and tough it out and wait it out.  This WD is very challenging and stubborn.  However, in time, with proper self care, and avoiding other mind altering substances, you will recover.  I'll leave you with this link on acceptance.  It won't cure the WD symptoms, but it will make it much easier to cope with them.  

 

https://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/radical_acceptance_text.html

 

 

Please do not tag me, unless it is an urgent question about tapering or reinstatement. 

 

***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 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, breakfast, 3 PM, before bed

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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  • Administrator

Hello, MtSnow.

 

(I changed your log-in, we don't permit all-caps. Did you intend to refer to the mountain?)

 

Do you have Wilson's disease?

 

We cannot advise you on treatment of a real metabolic disease. But you might have your supplements reviewed by the medical doctor (not a naturopath) who is addressing this, the zinc appears to be a high dose.

 

What is your current daily schedule (o'clock) of drugs, supplements, etc.?

 

What is your current sleep pattern?

 

How has your sleep pattern changed in the last 6 months?

 

 

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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2 hours ago, getofflex said:

Sounds like classic WD neuro emotions to me.  See the link in my previous post. 

 

I feel you on this one.  Same here.   This link goes into that:  Body Temperature Dysregulation

 

Here is a link with lists of common WD symptoms.  Perhaps it will reassure you that this is normal for WD. 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen WD Symptom Checklists

Yes, this makes total sense.  That's great, this is a good coping mechanism.  

 

You have some great coping skills that will serve you well in this widthdrawal.  I also focus on God to help my anxiety as well.  It really helps.  the Bible is wonderful for this. 

 

Yep that's the early morning cortisol spike.  Also common in WD.   Early Morning Cortisol Spike

 

I'm very sorry you are having these sleep issues.  I know from experience how much that sucks.  I assume you have tried melatonin.  Here is some info on that: 

 

Melatonin for Sleep

 

Oftentimes, the only thing we can do is have patience, and tough it out and wait it out.  This WD is very challenging and stubborn.  However, in time, with proper self care, and avoiding other mind altering substances, you will recover.  I'll leave you with this link on acceptance.  It won't cure the WD symptoms, but it will make it much easier to cope with them.  

 

https://www.dbtselfhelp.com/html/radical_acceptance_text.html

 

 

Hi Lex,

 

Thank you.  Yeah, I think the time factor is the main constant but the one I don't always want to hear at this stage.  

 

Good suggestions.

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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22 minutes ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, MtSnow.

 

(I changed your log-in, we don't permit all-caps. Did you intend to refer to the mountain?)

 

Do you have Wilson's disease?

 

We cannot advise you on treatment of a real metabolic disease. But you might have your supplements reviewed by the medical doctor (not a naturopath) who is addressing this, the zinc appears to be a high dose.

 

What is your current daily schedule (o'clock) of drugs, supplements, etc.?

 

What is your current sleep pattern?

 

How has your sleep pattern changed in the last 6 months?

 

 

Hi Alto,

 

Thanks for the reply.

1. Wilson's disease - no.  Has been checked

2. The supplements were prescribed by a doctor to treat the high free copper levels.  The research for treating free copper is based on the work done at the Walsh Institute.  However, I found the advice on this site to be careful treating underlying conditions when still in the throws of withdrawal to be good advice.  I experienced upheaval in symptoms every time there was a change supplement up-dosing.  I would just ride it out until my system adjusted.  Once my free copper levels were lowered, I felt slightly better but not much.  Sleep patterns were not affected at all.  This process took over a year.

3.  The zinc is an abnormally high does because I was not responding to lower dosages.  Apparently my body was going through the zinc quickly.  In fact, my free copper levels went up during the zinc increase before eventually falling to normal levels.  The Dr. would slowly increase the zinc dosage then do blood tests to measure the results after 6 weeks.  He would check my blood to make sure the zinc (and other key elements) did not get out of wack as well.

4/5. Bed around 9:15-9:30 p  Wake at 6:00 a.  No TV, computer, phone the last 30-45 minutes prior (usually).  Supplements (800 mg of magnesium) prior to bed but I just started breaking the does up in two smaller doses (400 mg each) earlier in the day based on SA recommendations.  I have tried: Katnip tea, lavella, cortisol manager, phosphatidylserine at different times under a doctors care and they did not do anything.  I have not tried melatonin but asked the doctor about it.  I have done hydrotherapy prior to bed which helped made sleep a little more restful but it did not stop the abrupt waking.  As I previously said, the room is both quiet and dark.  I don't just wake up an hour prior to 6:00a, I wake up after 3-4 hours almost every night and not to go to the bathroom but due to an intense wave of anxiety/depression/guilt/shame.  I do not take any drugs including caffeine and the supplements I take are listed in my signature line.  I have been off medications now for 2 years.

6. My sleep pattern is never identical but similar as stated in my earlier thread.  It has been the same for the past 6 months.  Once in a while I will have a calm nights sleep, but this is very rare (maybe twice in the last 6 months).  However, I will still wake up in 3-4 hrs and sometimes two or three more times.  Sometimes I can go back to sleep after the anxiety onslaught, sometimes I can't.   Like Forrest Gump says, Life (sleep) is like a box of chocolates, you never know what youre gonna get.  

 

Hope this answers your questions and thanks for taking the time.

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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  • Altostrata changed the title to MtSnow: Introduction
  • Administrator
3 hours ago, MtSnow said:

I have not tried melatonin but asked the doctor about it.  I have done hydrotherapy prior to bed which helped made sleep a little more restful but it did not stop the abrupt waking.

 

Suggest you try both of these. What we look for is a little bit of improvement. This tends to very gradually reduce the sleeplessness.

 

It's very possible a little melatonin (don't overdo it) might get you up to a few hours of sleep initially.

 

See Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

400mg magnesium is a large dose of magnesium. Suggest you break it in 2 and take 200mg at a time, several times a day.

 

You may already have seen this:

 

Waking with panic or anxiety -- managing the morning cortisol spike

 

Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

 

Path to Better Sleep FREE online for everyone from the US Veterans Administration

 

Music for self-care: Calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep

 

White noise devices for sleep

 

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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Thanks Alto

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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  • 8 months later...

Hello @MtSnow

Stopped by to peruse your thread after receiving your message in mine. Holy moly! You've really been through the wringer. I'm so sorry for your suffering. 

Your last post here is from August last year. How are you faring these days? 

With respect for your brave journey, 

A. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Hi Ariel,

 

Thanks for asking.  August 1st this year will be three years drug free and a little over five years since the my SSRI stopped working, poly drugging ensued, followed by a year and half tapering off all drugs.  It appears I am one of the longer protracted cases still experiencing intense symptoms.  Like you, I look for success stories from someone with a similar background.  I have often wanted to write a success story especially on days (moments) where I thought I was breaking through because I know how important it is for all of us to know it can and will end.   Unfortunately, my short breakthroughs have always been followed by setbacks.  

 

Most of my 73+ symptoms have dissipated except for the most problematic; insomnia, depression and anxiety.  I have had a few days symptom free and many days where I have had a few hours of symptom free windows.  Sleep has changed very little but I am getting a tad more on average but still wakeup (often multiple times) every night with an array of negative emotions.  I still do not emotionally handle little situations in life but am somewhat better.  I look like fine on the outside, but struggle emotionally on the inside (hope that makes sense).

 

Generally, I can say I am better than last year this time, except for a recent two week bought with moderate to severe depression.  I am more functional but most of the time I have to bull through my emotions to do what I need to do.  I have tasted real joy at times but it is still not a common emotion.  I find a massive disconnect between my emotions and what I know to be true but little I can do except to continually remind myself of the truth.  Allowing emotions and the subsequent BS thoughts that come with them to rule only makes the hole deeper.  

 

Your ability to put "words on paper"  describing your and our inner world is a gift that benefits us both.  It gives us a voice to describe the seemingly indescribable.  It is a language that only those who experience can truly understand.  You are always more than welcome to ask questions should they arise.

 

Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

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Hi @MtSnow

Thank you for sharing. 

 

On 4/19/2022 at 9:47 PM, MtSnow said:

I look like fine on the outside, but struggle emotionally on the inside (hope that makes sense).

 

Yup, makes perfect sense. There are times I find myself wondering whether it would be easier if I looked as sick on the outside as I feel on the inside. Sometimes the disconnect between the two exacerbates the feeling of alienation when I'm around other people. Other times I'm glad I don't look sick as it provides an option to "hide" by acting "normal", which can feel like a welcome distraction (it can feel oppressive if you have to act "normal", but it's nice to have as an option if you're free to choose). Anyway, I'm just trying to say I think I get what you mean about the outside vs. the inside. 

 

On 4/19/2022 at 9:47 PM, MtSnow said:

I am more functional but most of the time I have to bull through my emotions to do what I need to do.  I have tasted real joy at times but it is still not a common emotion.  I find a massive disconnect between my emotions and what I know to be true but little I can do except to continually remind myself of the truth.

 

Yes again. I hear you. I also have to "continually remind myself of the truth" -- hard work for sure, can be exhausting sometimes to try to stay on top of things like that. Sigh.

It's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it! 

 

On 4/19/2022 at 9:47 PM, MtSnow said:

Most of my 73+ symptoms have dissipated except for the most problematic; insomnia, depression and anxiety.

 

Congratulations on how far you've come! You are a true champion. It's good that you register and recognize progress.

I'm sorry you're still dealing with insomnia, depression, anxiety.

The process of healing is so mysterious and unpredictable, who knows why X fades and Y remains and then suddenly Z appears. Despite allopathic medicine's arrogant claims to the contrary, our bodies are largely uncharted territories, dazzling in their respective uniqueness and complexity. It's awe-inspiring really.

Just stinks sometimes when we're experiencing something so difficult and inexplicable and beyond our control. When we're in so much pain it can be hard to remember that what we're feeling in our bodies is the appropriate counter-action to a previous reaction, it's the righting-of-a-wrong in process. Like when one president comes into power and messes up the country; and then the following president has to clean up their predecessor's mess; and everyone blames the new president because their term coincides with the mess being at its most visible messiness. That's how it seems with healing sometimes, like a thankless task. I try to remember to give my body credit for its tireless efforts, and since I have no idea what it's doing or how it's doing it, I just gotta trust. 

 

Here's to our healing bodies, heroes all!

A.

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi @MtSnow

Stopping by to say hello. No pressure to respond. Just know someone's thinking of you and wishing you well. 

A.

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Hi Ariel,

 

Thanks for stopping by and asking.  I occasionally read your musings and always find them It's been up and down.  I am seeing greater stabilization in my nervous system but the main symptoms are still present in helter skelter like presentations.  Along with the dominant question everyone seems to have, "will I ever heal?", I also wonder if there are other underlying causes?  What if I heal from the PMWS's and I still find the depression/anxiety still present which seems likely?  I find myself in a quagmire.  The advice to avoid (or be very cautious) trying to identify other causes in the midst of withdrawal is sound as withdrawal symptoms can create non-existent causes and magnify ones that are not that big a deal.  Even if you effectively deal with underlying causes (assuming one can) you still may not feel much relief because the nervous system is so screwed up producing an array of neuro emotions.  I have found this to be very true.  But there does come a time when the nervous system has calmed down enough to start dealing with underlying causes.  However, I just don't know when that time is.

 

In truth, I deal with potential causality regardless of where the emotions originate.  In the past year, I have experience some relief at times only to have the emotions return and finding myself dealing with them all over again.  This is highly discouraging on top of a emotional base bent on melancholy.  Obviously, there are many details in this process of identifying and healing the causes but hopefully you are able to understand the general gist.  

 

Like you, there were reasons (causes) that led to me taking medication to start.  And though I have learned so much in this process and have been able to help others, I still cannot seem to find the answer(s) to my freedom.  I could write a book of what I now know, I just can't write the final chapter.   

 

Whether you are, will be, want to be or something else.  Happy Mother's Day!

 

Blessings

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

Link to comment

Sorry, forgot to add ... always find them enjoyable.  For me ... it's been up and down.

 

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

Link to comment

Hi @MtSnow

Nice to read you. 

 

I was composing a detailed response to your update when I suddenly found that I'd completely ran out of steam. Hahaha! My mind seems to have collapsed in on itself in an exhausted heap in the course of drafting this post. (Good riddance.) 

 

Suffice it to say, I can relate to what you describe. Sometimes withdrawal feels like going around in circles. We keep passing the same questions again and again without any "answer" exits off the roundabout. It's enough to make anyone feel carsick. 

 

Reading your words I was reminded of one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons, by Alex Gregory (trigger warning: psychiatry ahead) --

 

 

26-untitled-alex-gregory.thumb.jpg.83dd9e9a9072ddb2f954c8f683faacb1.jpg

 

Gets me every time. Maybe it'll make you smile, too... ?

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hello there @MtSnow

Thinking nice thoughts in your direction <3

A. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
On 5/8/2022 at 7:21 PM, MtSnow said:

The advice to avoid (or be very cautious) trying to identify other causes in the midst of withdrawal is sound as withdrawal symptoms can create non-existent causes and magnify ones that are not that big a deal.  Even if you effectively deal with underlying causes (assuming one can) you still may not feel much relief because the nervous system is so screwed up producing an array of neuro emotions.  I have found this to be very true.  But there does come a time when the nervous system has calmed down enough to start dealing with underlying causes.  However, I just don't know when that time is.

 

Hi @MtSnow

This line of inquiry is very much on my mind lately, the past few days especially. I find it endlessly confusing to think about (let alone figure out), so for the most part I haven't been pursuing thinking about it. It feels like a knife's edge between (attempted) productive analytical reasoning and rumination-gone-rogue; not sure I can even discern between the two at the moment, let alone choose one over the other.

But I'm thinking about thinking about it, and thinking about you thinking about it, and thinking about me thinking about you thinking about it! Hahaha

(Does WD dizziness make our thoughts spin or is it the other way around? *mind blown*) 

So yeah, wondering how you are, wishing you crispy-fresh, well-spun greens.

A.

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Hi Ariel

 

Good to hear from you.  I hope to get back to you in more depth sometime tomorrow.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.  

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

Link to comment
On 6/17/2022 at 4:50 AM, Ariel said:

 

Hi @MtSnow

This line of inquiry is very much on my mind lately, the past few days especially. I find it endlessly confusing to think about (let alone figure out), so for the most part I haven't been pursuing thinking about it. It feels like a knife's edge between (attempted) productive analytical reasoning and rumination-gone-rogue; not sure I can even discern between the two at the moment, let alone choose one over the other.

But I'm thinking about thinking about it, and thinking about you thinking about it, and thinking about me thinking about you thinking about it! Hahaha

(Does WD dizziness make our thoughts spin or is it the other way around? *mind blown*) 

So yeah, wondering how you are, wishing you crispy-fresh, well-spun greens.

A.

Hi Ariel,

 

I understand your frustration on top of the out-of-control symptoms.   It gets exhausting trying to figure out the causes(s) and solution(s).  The emotional and sometimes physical pain drives us to seek relief.  Trying to understand all of this can be maddening.

 

I have done different things at different times during this hellish journey; simplicity, acceptance, meditation on God’s truth, etc.  I tend towards being analytical so telling me to just accept things is like putting someone in a round room then telling them to go sit in the corner.  Acceptance of my condition (not defeat) was difficult but sometimes all I could do.  However, I found my greatest strength in God.  Although I had times where I wrestled with trusting God, I found when my faith was strong, I was able to handle the toughest times better.  When my faith was weak, I would spiral into the greater depths of despair.   I tried to keep things as simple as possible and not try to do too much.   I spent a lot of time focusing and wondering about the goodness of God and how that directly affects me.  This has been huge contention during the process.  I read a book that shed light on this topic and gave me comfort and hope.  It’s called “God is Good:  He’s Better Than You Think” by pastor Bill Johnson.  This helped anchor my soul and mind and gave me tangible glimmers of hope in spite of how I felt.   Needless to say this was not easy.  Believing the truth that good was coming was difficult when the overwhelming negative emotions that consumed me were producing lying thoughts that said otherwise.  My screwed-up emotions confirmed the lies, but they were still just that … lies.  

 

About a month and half ago, several shifts took place that I am still trying to completely comprehend.  I may write more about it later, but I am still processing and need to give things time.   In short, significant and surprising positive changes have taken place.  Some natural (evidence my nervous system is healing) and some spiritual (this has been mind-blowing).  As a result, I am experiencing more joy and little to no depression.  I still have some other lesser symptoms but with each new revelation, I see and feel significant improvement.  Although I understand most of what has happened, I’m still like … wow, did that just take place.  All of these revelations came when I was connecting with God (prayer) and just trying to discern what God might be communicating.  I really didn’t have an agenda, just trying to spiritually connect.  In one instance, I began to see the root of an underlying condition that was very well hidden (at least  from me).  As I delt with the issue, the depression was gone within minutes.  This is one of the more significant moments of several shifts that have taken place. 

 

Several months ago I was speaking at Christian men’s breakfast on God’s Speaks to Us all the Time, we just don’t know it’s Him or how to listen.  At the end of message, I asked the men to take a moment and relax.  Then I asked them to take a moment and ask God what He thinks of them and then just be still and see if anything comes to mind.  I let them know nothing was wrong with them if they heard nothing or did not want to participate. I then asked if any wanted to share what came to mind.  Some had words or phrases of affirmation. Others said they saw pictures that had great personal meaning.  Some were visibly choked up as they shared.  Not all shared. Not all had anything come to mind.  I spoke with one guy after the meeting who also brought his teenage son.  This man had a very checkered past.  He didn’t say anything during the meeting, so I was curious if anything came to mind when he prayed.  So, I asked if he received anything.  He said yeah, the word “beautiful”.  How ironic.  A man with an ugly past hears from the One who created him that he is beautiful.  He continued, “you know what was really weird, I asked my son if he had anything come to mind and you know what he said … “beautiful””.  I wonder Ariel what the voice of love would say to you if you asked?

 

Our stories are somewhat similar in that we both went on meds due to pre-existing / underlying mental health conditions and we both were on medications long term and poly drugged.  Two questions have ruminated with me this entire time.  1. Will I actually heal from the drug damage done to my nervous system, and 2. Will I return to the same debilitating emotional state I was in prior to going on medications?  Stay tuned.

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

Link to comment

Hi @MtSnow

Nice to read you. 

I am happy to hear of your "shifts". Thank you for sharing <3

 

On 6/19/2022 at 4:36 AM, MtSnow said:

putting someone in a round room then telling them to go sit in the corner

This is such a great image! Haven't heard it before.

It's like a zen koan. Very cool. 

 

Your descriptions of your spiritual experiences are inspiring and moving. 

A lot can happen when we allow ourselves / are able to go quiet. 

I have experienced beautiful surprises and gifts when surrendering to silence, tuning in and listening. 

Thank you for sharing about this, I feel happy for you. 

 

Congratulations on your recent improvements and revelations. 

Wishing you continuous healing, peace, and ease of well-being <3

A.

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
  • 5 weeks later...

Thinking of you @MtSnow

Sending healing vibes <3

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

Hi Ariel,

 

Good to hear from you.  How are things?  What's been on your mind?  I think there is a way to do a private chat if don't want to answer publicly.  I'm just not sure how it works or how private it actually is. 
 

You've been in my thoughts and prayers.

- Diagnosed with MDD and PDD at 35 // Celexa (20 yrs), last 8-10 yrs. was at 80 mg

- Tolerance (SSRI poop out) Aug. 2017

- Aug 2017 - May 2018 (Poly drugged: Cymbalta 20 mg, Proxac 40 mg, Lexapro 40 mg, Trintellex 20mg, Trazadone 150, Klonopin 1.5)

- Dec. 2017 - Jan 2018 Cold Turkey (1.5 months) - Tried Ketamine Infusions

- Zero quality of life for 5 months after Ketamine

- Started slow taper of all meds - May 2018

- Off all meds (Aug. 2018)

- Zero quality of life for 4 months - three months after final taper

- Treated by Psychiatrist, 2 Func. Med. Doc., 2 Nutritionist, 1 Specialist for hard to treat cases, 1 tapering org, 2 counselors

- Diagnosed with high free copper levels - Took over 1.5 yrs to get under control.  Noticed some but minimal change.

- Numerous supplements - made symptoms worse or did nothing. Current: 250 zinc, 600 mg NAC, Mag 800 mg, Mang, Selin. Moly

- Have had over 75 symptoms.  Most have abated.  Still suffer with severe insomnia and daily depression or anxiety

Link to comment

Hi @MtSnow

How are things going?

 

This evening we got a few hours' much-needed rain. 

I went for a walk in the downpour and was graced with a rainbow. 

The snails and slugs were out in full force. It was a festive scene. 

 

You know, people say we heal from WD at a "snail's pace". This is supposed to mean healing happens slowly.

But have you ever really watched a snail traverse any distance? They move at quite a clip relative to their size. 

It's anthropocentric to use the phrase "snail's pace" to denote slowness, it's just human projection and poor reasoning.

If we really do heal from WD at a "snail's pace", our brains being the snails, well that's quite a respectable tempo. 

I think about that every time I see a snail in the park (which is often), and it gives me hope.

 

Another thought I find encouraging is that if healing is non-linear, it should stand that periods of accelerated recovery are possible. 

Sometimes when patience feels challenging I tell myself that the rate of healing is variable and could potentially speed up at any time. 

 

So you see, MtSnow, I am doing my best to keep walking, trying not to step on any snails underfoot, drawing strength from their example. 

 

How are you?

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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