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Sacredohana: Intro


sacredohana

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sacredohana

Hello all, I am so grateful to have found this site as I start to delve into all the information here and your stories, I am buoyed with a sense of homecoming. Having mostly been making it up as I go along on my solo journey away from anti-depressants I am so very glad to finally have some company.

I was prescribed antidepressants when I was 14 and have been on and off them ever since. I am now 45.

I have never been entirely comfortable with taking anti-depressants but like so many believed the story of a pre-disposition and a chemical imbalance in my brain and so for the most part resigned myself to the idea that I would be medicated for the rest of my life.  The times that I attempted to withdraw from the drugs served as evidence that I couldn't survive without them as my depressive symptoms returned so severely and so back on them I went.

In 2020, I was introduced to Dr. Kelly Brogan's work and at last - a light at the end of the tunnel. I became determined to be drug free.

By this time I was taking 100mg of Pristiq and I began what I thought was a slow enough taper in Oct 2020 by reducing by 25mg every few weeks. By end of Jan 2021 I was down to 25mg but finding sleep quite difficult and my anxiety levels were on the rise. In Feb 2021, I lost my job and this caused my anxiety and insomnia to become extreme to the point where I was very close to my wits end.  In a desperate state, I was put under the charge of a psychiatrist who increased the Pristiq back to 100mg and added 200mg of Seroquel to the mix.  I was so very disappointed with this outcome.  Fortunately, I quickly found a naturopath who specialises in helping her clients withdraw from psychotropic drugs.  She worked with me using a kinesiology protocol called NAET which found I was allergic to pretty much everything including the Pristiq, B-vitamins, magnesium, serotonin, melatonin etc. She treated me for the allergies and has worked with me to taper off the Pristiq entirely and I am now holding at 100mg of Seroquel.

I am currently finding life quite hard. I feel like my 14 year old self again.  The one with all the old hopeless feelings that initiated the doctors to prescribe the anti-depressants in the first place.  My insomnia has been very bad and this has caused me to feel so depleted and unable to cope with daily activities.  My anxiety levels are very difficult to manage and if I do get them under control they seem to be replaced with depression and hopelessness.

In August 2021, I became so desperate that I went back to my GP who prescribed me Mirtazapine. Big mistake. While it initially helped with insomnia it made me feel dead inside.  When it stopped helping the sleep I returned to my naturopath with my tails in my hands.  She took me straight off it (only 2 weeks on) and now I am just waiting and hoping for some improvement to my mood and sleep issues.  I have started work with a sleep coach who uses CBT and sleep restriction to treat the insomnia.  In truth, at times I doubt that I can do this - I do fear for myself and my future and am struggling in my search for meaning.  I do hope though that I can update this soon enough with something more positive.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • Moderator

Dear @sacredohana, 

welcome to SA. I am so sorry you are feeling so miserable. No wonder given the external pressures with the job loss, the drug withdrawals and the insomnia and emotional symptoms that it causes. Take heart, you can get better. It might take a while to get there though. 

 

Can you please tell us what your current symptoms are and what  specific things you are doing for them in more detail. 

I am really glad that you are looking for help for your insomnia and working with a CBT insomnia specialist. CBT can be quite helpful. 

 

Our advice will diverge from what your naturopath has told you regarding withdrawal. I don't understand what it means to be allergic to b-serotonin, magnesium or melatonin  - these are compounds that you already have in your body (your body produces melatonin to regulate your activity levels over the day) and you CAN'T be allergic to them. If you were allergic to magnesium you'd be dead - magnesium is used in numerous reactions in your body every second and you can't escape it. These statements are completely unfounded and, to be more blunt, total nonsense and if this person told you this, I'd suggest you stay as far away from that person as possible for the sake of your own health and safety. 

 

Was this person also the one who advised the fast taper to 100mg of desvenlafaxine in 3 months? And has tapered you off of 100 mg of seroquel in 2 months? No wonder you are suffering. You are dealing with severe withdrawal symptoms. Pristiq is one of the hardest drugs to come off of and one needs to be very careful with it. We advise a very slow taper of drugs at no more than 10% of the the previous dosage every 4 weeks. 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

Why taper? SERT transporter occupancy studies show importance of gradual change in plasma concentration - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants

 

This may help you understand what is happening to you 

How psychiatric drugs remodel your brain - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

What to do now? 

 

You have two options to relieve some of your symptoms. You can updose on seroquel - increase your current dose from 100 to 125 and see if that brings some relief. Since you have stopped Pristiq over almost 3 months ago, reinstatement of that is risky even if possible. You may try to go back on 1mg of Pristiq and see if that makes a difference but we don't advise making two drug changes at the same time. Because drug changes are risky - they have the potential to make things worse, it is important to make small changes and wait to see the effects. If it were me, I would try the small dose of desvenlafaxine first, wait for a few days, keep good track of your symptoms and see whether it makes things better. You can stop it if it doesn't. @Altostrata, what do you think? 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Can you pls add mirtazapine to your signature - that has also added to the destabilization and it is important for us to know. 

 

I have to go now but pls read the links that I have posted above and see. I would advise that you stop reducing your seroquel and if you choose not to updose or reinstate, you should stay on the same dose for a long time  - a few months at least. All these changes have destabilized your nervous system and it needs stability and a way to rebalance right now. Here are a few tips on what works for managing emotional symptoms without meds. 

 

Hope you get some respite soon, 

OMW

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, @sacredohana

 

You have been taking Seroquel daily since February, is that correct? 

 

When did the insomnia start? 

 

How much mirtazapine were you taking? Did it help you 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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sacredohana

Thank you for the welcome @Onmyway& @Altostrata - I am amazed at how much support there is here. Thank you.

I have been taking Seroquel since Feb 2021 which was prescribed "off-label" for sleep. The first night I took 50mg and it worked a treat - instant lights out. Then the next night 50mg didn't work so I tried 100mg. This worked but then didn't. So I took 150mg. I complained to the psychiatrist that I couldn't just keep upping the dose so we decided on capping it at 100mg.  It took me a few weeks to reconcile myself to taking it - to give in to being drugged.  I have updated my signature to include supplements and the short stint of Mirtazapine. I was given a "see how you go with a 15mg dose" by my GP. My dad is on it to help him with sleep and he "recommended" it to me. I remember him complaining of having very vivid disturbing dreams and I found that I did too when taking Mirtazapine even for a short time.  It did help with the insomnia for the first week. I was so sad and disappointed with myself for going back to my GP and taking the drug that I was fighting it all the way.  The second week I felt so dead inside that I just couldn't continue with it.

@OnmywayI understand why you are skeptical of my natural therapy practitioner however she has been the only glimmer of light I have had during this whole process.  You can research NAET here.  Maybe it is voodoo/placebo but I have felt cared for by her practice and this has given me hope and healing.  It does sound as if the withdrawal has been done a little too quick and with too big a drop each time and I will take care with the next stage of the process by holding now until I stabilise.  The idea of reinstating Pristiq doesn't light up for me.  I am also reluctant to increase the Seroquel but will keep both options in mind.

My main symptoms are insomnia & emotional pain in the form of anxiety - this is extreme at times - tightness across chest and into arms & panic attacks, hopelessness, irritability, very sensitive to triggers, rage, social withdrawal, lack of pleasure in all things, lack of drive and enthusiasm, disconnected to feelings of love, very down on myself - highly self-critical.  The only physical symptoms I have experienced are a strange "thud-like" sensation in my head at night when I am falling asleep and also brain fog during the day particularly when I was on a higher dose of Seroquel and the initial taper of that drug. It made me feel as if I had dementia.  In general, I feel I have lost a fair degree of intellectual acuity - I am forgetting words and names and can't hold a conversation as I used to.  I can't process stressful situations very well.  And there is a lot of stress in my life right now - needing to work but not feeling competent, lockdown still here in Melbourne, kids at home remote learning etc. I am desperate to get myself better so I can deal - I am single and I need to be functioning to make ends meet.  I often feel that I can't even cope with the simplest of decisions - like what shall we have for dinner?

What I have become aware of as I read through the threads on this forum is how much I am negatively reacting to all these symptoms which is adding a whole other level of anxiety and fear and making it all so much worse.  I have known for some time that I am someone who holds on very tightly to things and I have been working on accepting and releasing rather than holding and fighting.  I came across a beautiful song/mantra today that was a god send and helped me "change the channel"...


I release control And surrender to the flow : Of love : That will heal me

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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Altostrata

When did the insomnia start?

 

What times o'clock do you take your drugs and supplements, with their dosages?

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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sacredohana

I've updated my signature again with more info about supplements and dosages.

 

I realised I got confused with the levels of Seroquel in my intro. The original dose was 100mg (not 200mg as previously stated).  I reduced to 50mg and holding.

 

I am predisposed to insomnia. I had several bad bouts which began 6 months after the birth of my second child (2009) which I put down to parental anxiety & frequent night time feeds and then 12 months later I started a new business and this triggered more anxiety and sleeplessness.

 

The next big round of insomnia was when I tried to come off lexapro - which in retrospect I realise was withdrawal.

 

My sleep has never been amazing since but completely manageable.  The pattern has always been to initially fall asleep but then to wake quickly and not be able to drift off again.  I wonder how much the quality of my sleep was effected by the Pristiq.

 

The very latest insomnia began January 2021 as I was DIY tapering Pristiq and was exacerbated by the loss of my job coupled with getting myself out of a relationship. I was in a lot of frustrated pain with the insomnia and what was happening in my life.  I lost weight and became quite desperate. That's when I was prescribed Seroquel on top of the Pristiq.

 

At the moment, I seem to be on top of my sleep (at least for the last week) I have been following the advice of a sleep coach and restricting my time in bed.  Instead of going to bed at 9pm and lying awake until 1:30am - I keep myself awake until 11:30pm and make myself get up at 6am thus increasing sleep drive and disassociating bed and wakefulness.  The other thing I have started doing which has not been advised but that I find helps is making no attempt to "go to bed" but just allowing myself to fall asleep on the couch.  Probably a bit avoidant and not a long term solution but for now it works and I am getting 6 - 7 hours worth of uninterrupted sleep which is amazing.

 

Now that the lack of sleep is not my entire focus, there is a loss of all motivation and fearful paralysing repeated thought forms. I am very down on myself. I am just about managing to keep myself afloat.  I am working with a psychologist and the biggest lesson that I am trying to understand is letting go of control and fighting the feelings that are coming up.

 

How do I change the tags on my posts? I notice I have acquired the tag "youth" which at 45 I don't think I can claim.

 

 

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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sacredohana

@Onmyway @Altostrata I'd like a little hand holding please. I was initially quite disconcerted with the idea of reinstating Pristiq or updosing Seroquel but I am really struggling emotionally and considering your advice around this. I just don't want to do the wrong thing. This journey has wiped out so much of my year already and I don't know if I can cope with anymore disappointments or wrong turns.  Currently, I am at a stage where I just can't hold things together.  I feel so much less of a person compared to who I was.  My life has become so much smaller - I have retreated from the world. I have some major things that I need to deal with and I just don't feel up to the task in the state that I am in.

 

I am more inclined towards reinstating the Pristiq than updosing the Seroquel but oh so nervous about either.  You've suggested trying just 1mg of desvenlafaxine. I must admit that even after reading the topics about tapering I don't understand how I would go about taking such a low dose from a 50mg tablet.

 

If I am to brave out this emotional rollercoaster what are my chances of improvement by simply waiting.  I wait every morning for some improvement on waking.

 

I would really appreciate some more of your input on this. Thank you so much in advance.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • Moderator
5 hours ago, sacredohana said:

@Onmyway @Altostrata I'd like a little hand holding please. I was initially quite disconcerted with the idea of reinstating Pristiq or updosing Seroquel but I am really struggling emotionally and considering your advice around this. I just don't want to do the wrong thing. This journey has wiped out so much of my year already and I don't know if I can cope with anymore disappointments or wrong turns.  Currently, I am at a stage where I just can't hold things together.  I feel so much less of a person compared to who I was.  My life has become so much smaller - I have retreated from the world. I have some major things that I need to deal with and I just don't feel up to the task in the state that I am in.

 

I am more inclined towards reinstating the Pristiq than updosing the Seroquel but oh so nervous about either.  You've suggested trying just 1mg of desvenlafaxine. I must admit that even after reading the topics about tapering I don't understand how I would go about taking such a low dose from a 50mg tablet.

 

If I am to brave out this emotional rollercoaster what are my chances of improvement by simply waiting.  I wait every morning for some improvement on waking.

 

I would really appreciate some more of your input on this. Thank you so much in advance.

Hi @sacredohana

I am so sorry you have been going through all this. It sounds truly horrendous. Sorry i missed your previous message (Please tag me @Onmyway  so that I can be notified when you need me to read/answer something). 

 

With reinstatement there is no guarantee either but this is one of our only tools to try to make things better.

 

It seems like desvenlafaxine is particularly hard to taper at the low doses due to the tablet formulation. I don't have experience with this drug so suggest reading the whole thread here: Tips for tapering off Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants. I wonder if it would be a good idea to reinstate a tiny amount of effexor - venlafaxine. It might be prudent to start with 0.5mg even and see how you react. And more info on reinstatement can be found here: About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had a look at your signature and noticed that you are taking a lot of supplements. Some of them may be making you worse as our nervous system tends to get sensitized in withdrawal. SAMe should be tapered, I think, so maybe best to leave it there for now for stability. I am not familiar with some of them to give any advice  -  i.e. Cognisense and Inkephalin.

 

Why are you taking such a high dosage of vitamin D? Vitamin D can be activating in withdrawal - anxiety/on edge feeling - so I would stop it and see how you react. If you have been taking it at that high a dose, you likely don't need any more right now. You need a much smaller amount than that in general - I think around 400 IU/day so if you decide to take it, try something under 1000 IU or just try to get sunshine. Some B vitamins can also be activating. If you don't have a tested deficiency and are not vegan, I'd stop taking that B-vitamin combo. 

 

Melatonin is generally well tolerated but at much lower doses - you only need around 0.3 mg (yes, not 3, just 0.3mg) and I would avoid Restavit as well since it can also interfere with withdrawal. Any drug/supplement/substance that crosses the blood brain barrier can make withdrawal worse as it can throw the system in bigger chaos. This includes caffeine/alcohol/weed etc. 

 

These may help in the meantime: Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms - Symptoms and self-care - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Regarding how long it might take to recover - we simply don't know. Because your system has had a lot of turmoil recently, it can take months until you see good windows. This is a nice writeup by Brassmonkey.  Are We There Yet? How Long Is Withdrawal Going To Take? - Tapering - Surviving Antidepressants It may be depressing to read but remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And not all of withdrawal is as miserable as you are experiencing now. What we know is that you will get better if you keep things simple and stable and then taper slowly. Everyone is different and some people do get better quicker than others but in general, withdrawal is long and bumpy.

 

Reading some of these success stories may give you hope (below). While I am only one example, I tapered from 40mg citalopram for 5 months, jumped at 5, had horrible symptoms for a month, reinstated at 2.5mg (should have done less but didn't know of SA then) and continued tapering instead of holding and took benzos to help with sleep (both were mistakes). The first 4 months were awful. The next 4 got better (I was by then not changing my dosage) and then I felt at 80% and held for a long time there (over a year) as I had lots of external stressors. Tapering now has brought symptoms again but they are so far manageable. Others have different timelines so this is just an example. I suspect that if I had just held at 2.5mg after reinstatement and not made any more cuts I would have started feeling better (not fully recovered) within a couple of months. Our goal right now is to get you to stability and to better functioning. Full recovery from all of the drugs (tapering etc.) may take years but we can do fine on 60-80%. 

 

Success stories: Recovery from psychiatric drug withdrawal - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Wishing you some respite soon!

 

Hugs, 

OMW

 

PS. The progress on sleep is very important - good job! Sleep helps our brains heal even faster. 

 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

The "youth" tag means you started on psychiatric drugs when you were very young.

 

It sounds like one of your main symptoms, insomnia, is dissipating. Congratulations on the success of your hard work!

 

On 9/14/2021 at 3:47 PM, sacredohana said:

Now that the lack of sleep is not my entire focus, there is a loss of all motivation and fearful paralysing repeated thought forms. I am very down on myself. I am just about managing to keep myself afloat.  I am working with a psychologist and the biggest lesson that I am trying to understand is letting go of control and fighting the feelings that are coming up.

 

These are emotional reactions that are somewhat under your control and not strictly withdrawal symptoms that call for reinstatement.

 

What other withdrawal-related symptoms do you have?

 

Quote

 

Morning - SAMe 400g & Cognisense, Magnesium, Vit D 7000IU, Fish Oil

Inkephalin (Neurotransmitter Suppport) 2 tablets twice a day & Tresos Activated B Pluse

Melatonin 5 - 15mg & Restavit 25mg (Doxylamine succinate) if required at night to help sleep

 

 

You may be overdoing the supplements. High doses of vitamin D and B vitamins in particular can be disruptive to sleep. I have no idea what's in the Inkephalin. Most of these fancy "neuro" supplements are more hype than help.

 

Ordinarily, people do well with melatonin doses that are far lower. More is not necessarily better for any supplements. See Melatonin for sleep: Many people find it helpful

 

You may not need reinstatement of Pristiq or an antidepressant.

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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sacredohana

@Onmyway& @Altostrata

Thank you both for the feedback.  I take on board your thoughts on over doing the supplements.  I have pulled back to just the fish oil & magnesium for now.  The melatonin has become a bit of a placebo crutch that I have come to rely on however there are nights when I don't take it and I sleep so that challenges my psychological dependency on it.  I will try not to resort to the restavit going forward.  I am aware of a need to have something to hold on to.  I am constantly seeking the next idea, therapy or plan of action that will "make me better" hence the number of supplements.

 

My sleep last night was a disaster and today I have been a complete mess.  Feels like a major setback.  I have been fortunate to have connected with another member on here who lives nearby and we went for a walk this morning. She was incredibly supportive as I cried and debated whether I needed to reinstate and she suggested I write more about my symptoms on here for you to see @Altostrata

 

Agitation, Anger/Rage, Anhedonia, Anxiety, Apathy, Brain fog, Brain moving, Concentration loss, Confusion, Crying spells/Weepiness, Depressive mood, Fear (organic)/Impending doom, Insomnia/Sleep disturbances, Intrusive memories, Jelly legs, Jumpiness (hyperreflexia): Obsessive thoughts, Rage/Anger, Terror.

 

On waking I have a split second of "no mind" and then almost immediately I feel this major rush of cortisol and the feelings of terror begin.  The day then becomes about managing that.

 

Something else that plagues me is this narrative about my life being a complete waste. I have somehow allowed my world to become small and lacking in meaningful activities. Some of this is beyond my control - (Melbourne is now the most locked down city in the world).  When I lost my job at the beginning of this year I realised how much of my sense of self was wrapped up in that and the busyness of the work involved kept me distracted.  Without that, I don't know who I am anymore.  I have been waiting for a sense of direction to occur ever since. I don't have a heap of interests and when I try to consider what to do with my life and how to fill it with more meaning I become quite triggered by the distance I am from where I want to be and that I don't believe myself capable of doing the things that need to happen in order to get to that place of deeper meaning and fulfilment. I also find it uncomfortable to even dream about what the future might look like. My anhedonia prevents me from imagining what I might find enjoyment in. Does this make sense to any of you?  It feels like a game of chicken and egg. In order to make my life meaningful I need to get to a place where I am capable of imbuing things with meaning.  And I truly don't know how to live in the meantime. I am just treading water.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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sacredohana

Quick update: I was so exhausted from the lack of sleep that I was able to sleep last night. Around 9 hours. This has become a bit of a pattern. One bad night followed by an exhausted good one. Certainly, when I sleep I am much better able to cope with all the emotional symptoms.

 

I am researching the idea of reinstating a very small dose of Pristiq or Effexor. I so want my life back.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • Moderator

Hi @sacredohana

I completely understand the worries about the symptoms themselves - WD does bring a lot of self-focus - perhaps because it makes us more vigilant for threats or because it impacts parts of the brain that are self-focused, who knows. You don't have to define who you are and what you need to do with the rest of your life right now. Can you give yourself a year or two to decide that? A better functioning brain will be a better advisor and judge, trust me on this one. 

 

The best way to deal with these neuro-emotions is to try to distract. Right now is not the right time to fix everything that is not going well in your life even though withdrawal brings urgency with the neuro-emotions. Give yourself a break, try to find things that bring you joy. It's hard with the anhedonia but try to fake it till you make it - do the things that used to give you joy - walking/cooking/embroidery/watching sitcoms/gardening... whatever it is that ever brought you joy. Your main job now is to help your brain heal and anything that is hindering that process can be relegated to the back of the drawer. What would you do if you had suffered a brain injury? How would you care for yourself? Do that for yourself now. Do check out the non-drug techniques for management of symptoms - the link I posted above. 

 

I like that you are taking care of yourself and are removing supplements - that may help calm the system down a bit. Can you pls update your signature to reflect that. Can you track your symptoms (in Excel perhaps) and see how they change? How are your evenings? It's important to track symptoms (evaluate cortisol mornings on a scale of 0-10 every day, nausea, anhedonia, anxiety etc.) That way you can notice the windows which will give you more hope. 

 

Don't worry about every single symptom and how they may hurt you - they are withdrawal symptoms and while unpleasant, by themselves they are not going to harm you. Sometimes relaxing about the insomnia makes it better (it did for me). New parents survive on minimal sleep for years. So will we. A lot of the brain fog is the result of sleepless nights. Cortisol mornings are awful but remember that they get better as well as the day goes by. A certain level of acceptance is actually helpful. "Ah, it's you again, morning terrors!" (Melody Gardot has an amazing song that I love - "So we meet again my heartache.") I think of it in the mornings :) We need a bit of humor in this nightmare. 

 

Glad that you have connected with someone from the forums here and are meeting IRL and supporting each other. It is really important to get as much help as one can in this nightmare. 

 

Please update us on how your symptoms are developing. 


Big hugs and you are on your way to getting better. 
OMW

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

You are describing withdrawal syndrome. Self-recrimination is a common state in withdrawal syndrome. Some of it is an exaggeration brought on by neurological chaos and some of it may be your attitude towards yourself when you feel you're not performing properly. See

 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system

 

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

 

Ways to cope with daily anxiety

 

Dealing With Emotional Spirals 

 

Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism

 

Where are you with Seroquel? Does it have any effect?

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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sacredohana

@AltostrataThank you for confirming this. There is such reassurance in knowing its withdrawal and that I am not alone with the symptoms.  And having the language to describe them - "self-recrimination" nails it.

 

I am holding with the Seroquel at 50mg.  I have never really enjoyed the drug in my system beyond the initial relief it gave me of being able to sleep.  I feel it may be responsible for "dumbing me down". I have trouble stringing intelligent sentences together and this in turn leads to self-recrimination.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

It would not be unusual for Seroquel to have the effect of "dumbing down". How do you feel when you wake up in the mornings?

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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sacredohana

@Altostrata @Onmyway Thank you both again for continued feedback and support.

 

My mornings I wake around 6am - the cortisol rush is lessening but I feel very low and often weep and bemoan my situation until I can summon the energy to start moving. I don't feel as much brain fog in terms of the effects of Seroquel.  I do however fear they have made me stupid.  I used to have a really quick mind and now its incredibly sluggish and I forget words.

 

I have always meditated in the past and used relaxation techniques.  I find it almost impossible to sit quietly now. I have lost the connection to self that I used to feel. I try other techniques that are more of a distraction for the mind. This is an incredible breathing exercise that shifts my nervous system into a more compassionate condition and which I often do before sleep but also during the day if I find myself particularly anxious.

 

 

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

There is no denying that Seroquel is a psychiatric psychotropic with deadening qualities, that's how it "works".

 

4 minutes ago, sacredohana said:

My mornings I wake around 6am - the cortisol rush is lessening

 

When was the cortisol rush at its peak? How has your symptom pattern changed since you came off mirtazapine 5 weeks ago?

 

Please try not to brood, this is a rough patch, but you will get out of it.

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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sacredohana

@Altostrataand @Onmyway I have made some progress towards reinstating.  There seems to be two options - reinstating a very small dosage of pristiq OR effexor.  On this basis I visited the GP and asked for two prescriptions to cover these options.  I came away with a prescription for 37.5mg of venlafaxine and a prescription with a range of 1 - 5mg of desvenlafaxine to take to a compounding pharmacy.  I determined to get the venlafaxine made up as the idea of counting the beads and having control over the taper this way felt manageable.  However, on cracking open the capsules instead of beads I found three smaller tablets. Now I don't know what to do.  Part of me is taking this as a sign not to reinstate.

 

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

Each of those mini-tablets is 12.5mg. If you split one, it becomes immediate-release. Same with compounded Pristiq.

 

Your main symptom is insomnia, is that correct? It's possible 50mg Seroquel is too high to help you sleep, and less would work better. Other than the very first time, did Seroquel ever help you 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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sacredohana

@Altostratamy main symptom has been insomnia. This has been going on since the beginning of the year, I now believe as a withdrawal from my DIY Pristiq taper.

Once I was put back on 100mg of Pristiq the sleep did not resolve and 100mg of Seroquel was added - there was a short period where I was sleeping but feeling very sedated the next day.

The naturopath felt I was stable enough to begin the taper of Pristiq under her guidance and with the support of supplements and once that was done she started me on reducing the Seroquel.  She suggested a reduction from 100mg to 75mg at first and I immediately couldn't sleep so I returned myself to the 100mg. Then we tried again dropping to 87.5mg and I just kept reducing from there. 

Meanwhile, gradually my more emotional symptoms have increased. I thought at first, they were a consequence of lack of sleep and certainly I am much better able to cope when I have slept well.  However, these depressive feelings feel like they have "set in".  Before when I was feeling more anxious and wired I was at least able to consistently motivate myself to go for walks, runs and do some yoga. Now I am finding that very hard to do.  I sort of don't want to do anything.

I felt desperate with lack of sleep when I went to the GP and asked for help and ended up with the Mirtazapine.  As explained, it made me feel dead inside. I did a double reduction of Seroquel while on the Mirtazapine for the two weeks as I thought (completely misguidedly) that the new drug would support the taper of Seroquel. Little did I understand how I was playing pin ball with my nervous system. How has my symptom pattern changed in the last 5 weeks? All in all, I think there has been a slight improvement in my sleep but a severe decline in the quality of my existence from an emotional and mood perspective.  I am almost at the point again where I feel my only choice to regain my mental alacrity will be to back on a regular dosage of one of the anti-depressants.  At the same time I am so scared to do that.  The idea of taking a very low dose reinstatement felt promising but the realities of creating that small dose are overwhelming me and now not having the beads of effexor feels like a set back. I don't know what to do next.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

Link to post
sacredohana

@Altostrataare you suggesting that I continue to reduce the Seroquel?

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • Administrator
Altostrata

I don't know. You might have withdrawal from the Seroquel reductions, too.

 

How long did mirtazapine help you 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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sacredohana

@Onmyway @Altostrata Update - I tried a reinstatement of effexor at approx 2mg. I almost immediately became super anxious with a burning sensation across my chest, down my arms and electric currents running through my brain. This did not bode well and I did not take another dose. The anxiety has subsided 1 day later.  Whilst I spent an unpleasant 24 hours I think at least this puts the question of whether to reinstate to bed for me.  I will soldier on through the withdrawal process and not reinstate any of these brain altering chemicals.  I will allow myself to heal with time, acceptance, compassion and lifestyle changes.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Sacredohana: Intro
  • Administrator
Altostrata

You are correct, your experiment showed reinstatement of venlafaxine is not right for you.

 

You had reported some success with improving your sleep pattern. What are your most prominent withdrawal symptoms now?

 

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.

Link to post
sacredohana

@AltostrataYes sleep is improving which is amazing. The amplified neuro-emotions continue to be my most prominent symptoms and then my own reaction and negative judgement to the emotional pain.

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

Link to post
  • Administrator
Altostrata

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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  • Moderator
On 10/3/2021 at 7:20 AM, sacredohana said:

@Onmyway @Altostrata Update - I tried a reinstatement of effexor at approx 2mg. I almost immediately became super anxious with a burning sensation across my chest, down my arms and electric currents running through my brain. This did not bode well and I did not take another dose. The anxiety has subsided 1 day later.  Whilst I spent an unpleasant 24 hours I think at least this puts the question of whether to reinstate to bed for me.  I will soldier on through the withdrawal process and not reinstate any of these brain altering chemicals.  I will allow myself to heal with time, acceptance, compassion and lifestyle changes.

Sorry to hear that @sacredohana but at least you did all you could and tried it. What is left now is to follow the non-drug ways to deal with the emotional symptoms. They are kicking my behind at the moment as well together with insomnia. 

 

By the way, are you still taking Cognisense? I just looked it up and some of its ingredients look very suspicious and there seem to be some lawsuits related to them.  CogniSense Reviews: Does It Really Work? | Trusted Health Answers (consumerhealthdigest.com)

Bacopa Monieri seems to mess with neurotransmitters in the brain. 

 

Keep improving :)

OMW

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...

Please help. @Onmyway @Altostrata

Since my last post a lot has happened and I am plunged into very severe anxiety coupled with depression and SI.

I tested positive for covid and have been isolating with my two teenage daughters - one positive one negative.  This is on the back of continued lockdown in Melbourne. Very hard and heavy times. So the positive diagnosis, illness and isolation have been extremely triggering. I have been in a very bad state. It is so hard on my kids seeing me like this in such close quarters. I do not have a partner so I am doing this solo. Lots of calls to Lifeline and very nearly called emergency services a couple of times as my anxiety was so severe.  On the advise of a clinician over the phone I am taking an additional 25mg of seroquel in the morning. (Regular dose - 50mg taken at night) to ease the anxiety symptoms.

My resolve is weakening. I have been talking with a GP and there is a plan in place to have me admitted to a private mental health hospital once I am cleared of quarantine (next Tuesday) where there will be a psychiatric assessment and treatment plan. Another option from the GP is just to work with her and try Lexapro/Zoloft or Agomelatine. I have told her about my withdrawal experience and understanding with Pristiq and that I am just so incredibly scared of what will happen if I take these drugs but at the same time I am desperate. My whole world is collapsing around me. I am having to turn down work (I work for myself) so my income is going to dry up if I can't get myself to a point of coping and it will become increasingly difficult to keep paying the mortgage. I know that catastrophising is a symptom of anxiety and withdrawal but I can see my collapse happening in front of my eyes and I feel powerless to stop it or do anything to improve my situation. How can I get myself out of this hole when it's a struggle to wash a few dishes.  The temptation to try another antidepressant is very high right now. I don't know what to do. 

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

Link to post
  • Moderator

Hi @sacredohana

I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It sounds horrible. I can imagine how the possibility of not being able to care for your girls might be very threatening and exacerbate the chemical anxiety and depression. Putting the uncertainty of not being able to work on top of this, worries about the mortgag and Covid! Covid is also known to impact the nervous system and plunge people into distress even if nothing had been happening before... This all does sound overwhelming.

 

I am glad that you are looking for help and leaning on all of the resources that you have. I'm assuming you've done this solo parenting thing for a while and have a lot of strength and resilience inside and have figured things out before. It's a hard job but you can still rely on your resourcefulness despite the temporary setback.  Is there a support network to help with the kids after quarantine is over? Can someone help take care of you? Can the kids be recruited to help where necessary? How old are they? I grew up with a depressed parent and had to step in at times, it has made me a stronger person in many ways. Your kids are not going to be damaged by this so easily. Please don't worry about that right now. Is there government financial support in case of need? 

 

Covid is scary but for people who are not old and don't have underlying conditions, the most likely outcome is that you will make a full recovery. I had it in March and while it took a while to completely go away, I was back to normal in 6 weeks. Could have been less but I also had another independent infection on top. So you and your kid are most likely going to get out of this just fine.

 

At SA we don't tell people not to go on psychiatric drugs and there are a few people who have gone back successfully and decided to stay. However, for the majority of people, trials of new medicines have proven more destabilizing. Inpatient treatment usually results in multiple drug switches and cold turkey cuts as well as addition of new medicines. I'm worried that it will send you into bigger chaos. Just the reinstatement experiment sent you into a worse state as I remember. I'm also not sure if you can be forced to be treated against your will in your country with things like ECT if you go inpatient. ECT can have some serious side effects.

 

I can't help advise on what drugs to take, how much etc. because I personally don't believe they are useful at all now that I have learned more. But I remember reading that @Altostratahad seen some relief with very low dose lamotrigine (?) so maybe she has some ideas.

 

My advice, and it may sound hollow in the face of such distress, is to accept that this is happening and it will get better with enough time and stability. The symptoms by themselves are not dangerous, they are your body trying to adapt and keep you going. Try not to catastrophise. Recognize that anxiety is just anxiety and try not to feed it further. I know it's easier said than done of course. Have you looked into the non-drug techniques on the symptoms and self care forum? Many members find help in Claire Weeks' videos and books.

 

It's up to you how you want to proceed and I won't judge you if you choose to change drugs or get inpatient treatment etc. I really wish some respite for you. Maybe by the time you are out of quarantine things will be better?

 

Sending you hugs

🤗🤗🤗

 

Edited by Onmyway

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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  • Administrator

So sorry you are having these troubles. You may be at the beginning stages of being ill with covid-19, I'm not seeing why you would make arrangements to go into a psychiatric ward now.

 

Anticipating not being able to work and worrying about it is not a psychiatric disorder. Rather than seeking a medical (drug) solution, why not start working with a psychotherapist about learning how to manage your anxiety? Or you might talk to Sam Leiblich, a psychiatrist in Melbourne who offers psychoanalysis rather than drugs.

 

If your daughters are teenagers, they may be able to be more helpful and understanding than you realize. You might ask them for help now that you're all isolating.

 

On the other hand, your turning to psychiatric drugs as a solution for your present situation may indicate you're not ready to unpatient yourself yet. This is a site for going off psychiatric drugs, please let us know when you're ready to taper off.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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sacredohana

@Altostrata @Onmywaythank you both so much for taking the time to write to me and offer your support and advice. Reading back my emergency post and remembering the state I was in, I am a little embarrassed by myself though I do not feel any judgement here. I guess you are used to members reaching out when they are in crisis and I am in awe of the care in the way you respond.  I so want someone to just tell me what to do and I also know that no one can do that. I am going to have to dig deep within myself to find the answers and make the hard choices that are in front of me.

I take your point about whether I am ready to unpatient myself.  That is quite confronting for me.  I have spent the last year trying to do just that.  Today I feel stronger and less inclined towards admission or reinstatement.

You offer some great practical tips which I will take on board.  I have reached out to Sam today and hope he responds and will look for alternatives in the meantime.

Thank you again. Such gratitude.

 

1990 - 2004 citalopram 2010 lexapro 2016 DIY taper off lexapro 2016 Pristiq
Oct 2020 - Jan 2021 DIY taper off Pristiq 100mg to 25mg
Feb 2021 Pristiq 100mg + Seroquel 100mg
March 2021 began taper of Pristiq to 0mg 06/21
June 2021 Seroquel taper 25mg at a time

4th August - 18th August 15mg of Mirtazapine - Came straight off.

August 2021 50mg Seroquel

1st Oct 2021 - tried a reinstatement dose at 2mg of effexor became highly anxious. Will not continue.

 

Morning - Vitamin C & Fish Oil

Evening - Magnesium & Fish Oil

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  • Moderator

Hi Sacredohana, 

we could tell you what to do but we are not going to bear the consequences of those decisions. If it were me, I would stop changing/adding/removing/tapering drugs for at least 6 months at which point, if feeling better I'd slowly start reducing my drug burden. I would not even consider going into inpatient treatment as it would require that I give up control over my body to the point where I could be drugged and actually lose my reasoning abilities and making sound decisions for myself. I would get help from a psychologist and learn to manage the emotional effects through various techniques and the ones that I can't manage would accept and try to get through. I would take good care of myself by minimizing as much as possible stressful situations.

 

We are operating along different experiences/beliefs/assumptions than your GP or psychiatrist are. If you decide to listen to both, you will end up confused and we can't help you if you are starting to not listen to our advice. You can decide which one you trust more based on your experience. 

 

Our experience here is that in a sensitized nervous system any changes in drugs causes more chaos and hurts people. I do not believe (based on lots of scientific research) that antidepressants are effective in the vast majority of the cases and if they are effective in a very small portion of cases, the side effects/withdrawal issues do not justify their use. I am happy to provide you scientific evidence here if you'd like.

 

I also believe that most distress is temporary and can get better, often on its own, sometimes by changing social/personal circumstances and for the cases where it is debilitating, psychological tools and support can help. Those tools require hard work sometimes (CBT has homework for example) and there are no shortcuts in this battle. 

 

But as in all cases, the choices are yours because you will bear the consequences to these actions, whatever they are. 

 

Hope you feel better soon!

OMW

 

 

If you would like to get a response from me directly please type @Onmyway some place in your message so I get notified of your post. I am not able to follow all of the threads all the time.

 

Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg, xanax prn (rarely used)

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up)

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st citalopram 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, 

citalopram (liquid) 4/14/19 -1.8 mg, 5/8/19 - 1.6 mg,  7/2719 -1.5 mg,  8/15/19 - 1.35, 2/21/21 - 1.1 (smaller drops in between), 6/20/21 - 1.03 mg, 8/7/21- 1.025, 8/11/21 - 1.02, 8/15/21 - 1.015, 9/3/21 - 0.925 (fingers crossed!)

Supplements: magnesium citrate and bi-glycinate

 

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