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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

 

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

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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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  • Administrator
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

 

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

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  • Administrator
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

 

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

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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

 

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

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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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@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

 

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

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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

 

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

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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

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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@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

 

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

Link to post

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