Jump to content

Healingcontinues

Recommended Posts

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg September 2021-October 2021 (adverse reaction)
 

I was originally put on medication by a psychiatrist for chronic fatigue, however, over the years I developed anxiety and panic attacks which I had never experienced before and I thought the medication could be to blame. I followed poor tapering advice from a doctor. After several months of horrible symptoms I was told I was ‘relapsing’ for a mental health condition I never had but reacted badly before luckily discovering SA.

 

Current symptoms: anxiety, test tightness, insomnia/sleep problems, fatigue, brain for, visual snow, gut issues

 

Symptoms that have improved: panic attacks, akathisia, tachycardia, tremors, fainting, weight loss, muscle twitches, SI, pain over entire body, terribly itchy rashes 

 

Supplements: Magnesium Glycinate, melatonin 0.3mg

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Healingcontinues
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  SSRI drugs tend to activate the nervous system, so your anxiety and panic could very well have been from the Zoloft.  Tapering off drugs too fast tends to destabilize our nervous system, which may be why you had the adverse reaction to Lexapro after that.  What adverse reaction symptoms did you have when you went on the Lexapro?  Were you on it over 4 weeks?  Did you go off cold turkey? 

 

Are you or have you been on any other drugs?  

 

Here is some important information about how these drugs actually work.  This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it's so important to taper slowly and carefully, and be very cautious about changing our doses: 

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:

 

Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

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


Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

Because these drugs caused you a lot of problems, I believe you best bet is to take good care of yourself, and give yourself plenty of time to continue to recover.  It sounds like you've had quite a bit of improvement already, which is great. Please do check out the non drug coping skills like - it has quite a few healthy and natural ways to cope with and reduce these symptoms.  I have some that have helped me with insomnia: 

 

My Insomnia Tips

 

Insomnia has been the worst part of WD for me.  Here is what I do to help.  

 

1) don't get overly anxious about it.  Realize that eventually, your sleep will improve.  Insomnia won't kill you, although it can make you pretty dang miserable.  Anxiety about sleep just makes the problem worse.  I know, easier said than done. I don't always do this, but I try.  Practice acceptance.

 

2)listen to very soft relaxing music at a very low volume.  

 

3)don't worry about what time it is.  Don't look at the clock.  

 

4) I try to stay active during the first half of the day.  I take a walk (mine is one hour) after breakfast every day.  Then, as the day goes on, gradually slow down.  Several hours before bed, I only do very relaxing things, like read, or just sit and relax.  This helps to set our circadian rhythm.  Try to get outside and get some light exposure during the day, too. 

 

5) Avoid toxic, negative people.  Avoid stress when possible, although I know a lot of stressors are unavoidable.   For me, this can really help me to relax better.  

 

6) I stay away from MSG and aspartame.  These are exitotoxins which overstimulate the nervous system.  They are in a lot of our modern processed foods.  I try to eat more whole and natural, and not as many processed foods.  Also avoid processed meats with sodium nitrate, etc , such as hotdogs, ham, bacon, and sausage.  These can keep you up at night too.

 

7) avoid eating large amounts of sugar and processed carbohydrates.  This causes your blood glucose to spike up, which causes your pancreas to create insulin to control your blood sugar, which then causes your blood sugar to drop too low, and then your to create adrenaline to try to regulate your blood sugar.  Adrenaline keeps you awake because it is an activating hormone.

 

9) too much sodium (salt) can cause your blood pressure and heart rate to rise, and make it hard to sleep.

 

 

Here are some links to help with anxiety: 

 

Emotional Spirals

 

Acknowledge Accept Float

 

Music to Calm Anxiety

 

Breathing Technique for Anxiety

 

Meditation

 

"Change the channel" -- dealing with cognitive symptoms

 

 

 

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

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

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

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

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

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

Link to comment

Thank you for the lovely welcome @getofflex

 

I have been reading things on SA for many months now, absorbing as much information as I can and have learnt so much. SA is such a valuable resource and platform with unbelievable information and wisdom. I am happy to be here and appreciate everyone who is involved. 
 

Yes, the Lexapro was a disaster from the get go. From the moment I took it it caused incredible anxiety and insomnia. As you say, I believe my adverse reaction to is was due to my already sensitised nervous system after the already too fast Zoloft taper. It had been a few months where I was taking no antidepressants before the Lexapro fiasco, and I had been miraculously sleeping well up until then.

 

I was only on the Lexapro for 3 weeks- the first week at 2.5mg, the second at 5mg and the 3rd week 5-2mg (I had such a reaction to it my GP told me stop it in a week and gave me a weeks worth of liquid Lexapro to do this).

 

During these 3 weeks I was also given diazepam (I have no idea which dose as I was in the worst state of mind at this point), as I was told that this would help me sleep. I took this nightly for 3 weeks, although it did not help me sleep. Once that didn’t work the GP gave me amitriptyline 10mg for 2 weeks to ‘reset’ my sleep. This too did nothing. I therefore also essentially cold turkeyed off these too. 

 

I do not remember exact dates, but I have taken no psychiatric medication of psychoactive substance since October 2021. It has been horrific to say the least, but as you mentioned I am seeing improvements. The following 6 months were nothing short of psychotic and I essentially tried to do what I could to remain out of hospital, despite many people tell me it would be the best place for me to be. How I was not admitted is still beyond me.
 

Thank you for all the good tips for insomnia. I have been doing most of these already, after haven read it on here. My sleep is still hugely unpredictable and these are several nights a week that I lie awake. A good night now is 5-6hrs, a bad night 3-4hrs, a terrible one total insomnia… however 4-5 hours seems to be the norm. I did, to my amazement have a wonderful 7 hour sleep a few nights ago for the first time in a year. I have to say that I am discouraged that my sleep would be so poor this far out. 
 

Acceptance that this is the way that life will be for some time, reading the information/successes on here, and noticing that certain symptoms have dropped off the ridiculously drawn out list that I had seems to be the only thing that has carried me through to this point… despite doing so with very little grace for the most part. 
 

I had a question about the use of melatonin actually that I couldn’t seem to find on the melatonin topic. Is this something that your body can become dependent on? Will your pineal glad stop producing its own melatonin after prolonged use? And is this something that will also have to be tapered off? I have read a lot of conflicting advice online, and wonder what SA’s take is on this?

 

Thank you for the support and for holding the space for all members.

 

Take care. 

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@Healingcontinues  Welcome to SA.  It is so good to hear you had enough fortitude to stay out of the hospital. The courage to hold strong and try to heal from your temporary chemical brain injury.  You are doing remarkably,You did such a fast taper of Zoloft and start, stop some more drugs and using a benzo for 3 weeks...

Here is a great story I think you might find helpful  What is Happening in Your Brainhttp://What is happening in your brain?

I have it printed out to go back to help remind me my craziness has a reason---- Well at least some of it LOL:blink:

 

On 6/13/2022 at 4:20 AM, Healingcontinues said:

was originally put on medication by a psychiatrist for chronic fatigue, however, over the years I developed anxiety and panic attacks which I had never experienced before and I thought the medication could be to blame. I followed poor tapering advice from a doctor. After several months of horrible symptoms I was told I was ‘relapsing’ for a mental health condition I never had but reacted badly before luckily discovering SA.

Why on earth do they put people on ssri for fatigue.  Maybe a good blood workup to see if there is a lack of natural mineral, vitamins, hormones.  I mean a thorough blood work up-specialists. 

 

You should watch this interview with Robert Whitaker author of Anatomy of a Epidemic 

https://youtu.be/5VBXWdhabuQ   

Sounds like your drug was causing the anxiety and panic issues. And the "New Mental Illness" was from the WD 🙄

 

Here is a link about taper and Withdrawal with Mark Horowitz 

https://youtu.be/PSjYH044-2Q

 

Hang in there♥️

 

 

Read Your Drugs Might Be Your Problem by Peter Breggin and David Cohen 

 

😊

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  through 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  Trazadone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/16 ct

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   Magnesium glycinate 300 to 400mg a day

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg  Sept/25  4.75mg   Oct/19 4.69mg  Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg  5/2 3mg  6/1  decreasing by .02ml  daily for 15 days to get to 2.70mg  7/1 decreasing .02ml daily for 15 days

Link to comment

Thanks for your welcome and all the information @Greatful😊

 

I’ve seen most of those videos but will be sure to look at the ones I haven’t so thank you for those too.

 

I recently read the following books which were all terribly sad, but also inspiring. They gave me much hope for the human capacity of resilience and strength.

- Baylissa Frederick: recovery and renewal 

- Matt Samet: death grip

- Beverley Thomson: antidepressed


I am hugely shocked with how much research and evidence there is, yet so many people in the position of prescribing either do not know about, or have ever been taught the contrary… or are in denial of course. 
 

I found the following document quite distressing. You would hope that the British parliament would do more with the anecdotal evidence brought forward, especially seeing the figures on antidepressant use during covid.

 

http://prescribeddrug.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/APPG-PDD-Survey-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-experiences.pdf
 

I hope that you are doing as best as can be in your healing journey @Greatful. You are in my thoughts today ❤️

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment

Today I find myself bored. I’ve been sitting with these feelings all morning pondering about where they are coming from. Am I seeing glimpses of my old self returning? A few months ago boredom never visited my consciousness as that was chaotically crowded with thoughts of survival. Am I simply just fed up of this tedious, monotonous reality that has been going on for over a year? Perhaps my distraction manual has maybe become a bit repetitive and I should try and push the boundaries a bit more. What is that triggers a wave, more symptoms, or a set back…Oh hey there fear and ‘what ifs’ thoughts… I guess you’re still here too. I imagine it like life is a tight rope that we are all tip toeing on right now- one side healing, the other withdrawal, all trying to apprehensively keep moving forward. 
 

Anyway, I’m bored of it and craving a life of adventure and spontaneity. Accept. *yawn and sigh*. 

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment
  • Moderator
15 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

The following 6 months were nothing short of psychotic and I essentially tried to do what I could to remain out of hospital,

It's a good thing you kept yourself out of the hospital, as they quite likely would have just thrown more drugs at you, and put you back on the drug carousel.  

 

15 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

A good night now is 5-6hrs, a bad night 3-4hrs, a terrible one total insomnia… however 4-5 hours seems to be the norm.

Your sleep will slowly improve.  Mine has, and I am a Lexapro veteran myself.  Lexapro is a hell of a powerful drug - 2x to 4x stronger, milligram per milligram, than other SSRI's.  

 

15 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

Acceptance that this is the way that life will be for some time, reading the information/successes on here, and noticing that certain symptoms have dropped off the ridiculously drawn out list that I had seems to be the only thing that has carried me through to this point… despite doing so with very little grace for the most part.

From what you write here, it sounds like you are very strong and resolute, and are handling this thing quite well.  

 

15 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

I had a question about the use of melatonin actually that I couldn’t seem to find on the melatonin topic. Is this something that your body can become dependent on? Will your pineal glad stop producing its own melatonin after prolonged use? And is this something that will also have to be tapered off? I have read a lot of conflicting advice online, and wonder what SA’s take is on this?

I honestly don't know.  My husband, a retired pharmacist, doesn't think our bodies stop producing melatonin even if we take it.  I'm not sure about tapering off of it.  

 

Keep it up, I think you are doing great.  Please keep it touch. 

 

 

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

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

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

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

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

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator

Something to note about sleep: today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere, which I believe you are.  I notice my sleep worsens at this time of the year, because the days are so long, and the nights are short.  Our bodies need darkness to produce melatonin, so it is harder to get a good night's sleep.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

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

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

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

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

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

Link to comment
3 hours ago, getofflex said:

From what you write here, it sounds like you are very strong and resolute, and are handling this thing quite well.  

I think I needed the ‘evidence’ of healing to get me to this space and to be able to trust the process. It’s only now that I am not in the 24/7 terror that I feel that I have the capacity to engage in SA without just being an onlooker. So a big thank you from 9-month-ago me too for all the help from everyone on here too.

 

3 hours ago, getofflex said:

Your sleep will slowly improve.  Mine has, and I am a Lexapro veteran myself.  Lexapro is a hell of a powerful drug

This is encouraging to know. I am so sorry you have/had to go through this too. You have my upmost admiration for plodding on with it yourself, and helping hundreds of others along the way. Kudos to you. 
 

3 hours ago, getofflex said:

Something to note about sleep: today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere, which I believe you are.  I notice my sleep worsens at this time of the year, because the days are so long, and the nights are short.  Our bodies need darkness to produce melatonin, so it is harder to get a good night's sleep.  

Happy summer solstice! The longest day of the year, but aren’t they all in withdrawal eh? 😁

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment
26 minutes ago, Healingcontinues said:

The longest day of the year, but aren’t they all in withdrawal eh? 😁

 

Lol! Nice one, @Healingcontinues  -- indeed 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@Healingcontinues

 

4 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

I am hugely shocked with how much research and evidence there is, yet so many people in the position of prescribing either do not know about, or have ever been taught the contrary… or are in denial of course. 
 

I have no words to explain their ignorance.  Someday I would like to have a conversation with my new Psychic doc and see how much she understands Withdrawal, what is adverse effect, could the drug be causing mental, physical issues, how many of her patients did she tell when they are trying to taper off or even when dose changes "their mental issues are coming back"  or they now have a " new mental issue" that is showing up.   What about the drug poop out- oh yeah they just need to a add a new drug to boost the one they are on.  Does it ever cross their mind that they should get off the drug that's not working.....It's not working how much more simple is that. 

 

I have Baylissa's book Recovery and Renewal.  I look through it off and on.  The reminders are helpful.  Have you been to her website?

 

The mod's might want you to put your diazepam and  amitriptyline in your signature.  This shows a start-stop of the drugs and can be a factor in your WD symptoms.  

Have a good day🤗 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  through 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  Trazadone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/16 ct

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   Magnesium glycinate 300 to 400mg a day

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg  Sept/25  4.75mg   Oct/19 4.69mg  Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg  5/2 3mg  6/1  decreasing by .02ml  daily for 15 days to get to 2.70mg  7/1 decreasing .02ml daily for 15 days

Link to comment

@Healingcontinues

 

So nice to have you here. I enjoy reading your posts. 

How are you going?

 

I've noticed your question about melatonin here and elsewhere. Before I started taking it I shared your concern about possible dependency. I also looked for info that could unequivocally confirm or deny and had trouble finding anything.

 

Ultimately I decided to go ahead with trying melatonin. I have confidence in Altostrata's writing on the topic, trusting that Alto's research is so meticulous, with such a robust knowledge base and profound lived experience. I figured that if it could help decisively now, a minor risk around the unknown is worth it. 

 

At this point I've been taking 2mg melatonin at bedtime regularly for about 7 months, give or take. It's made a world of difference. It doesn't solve/fix/cure WD insomnia but it allows me to reliably fall asleep at a reasonable hour and get an average of 3-4 hours a night. I'm guessing you can appreciate what an improvement this has been. (Reading through your thread what you describe as your good, bad, and normal sleep averages sound very similar to mine.) More than anything the predictability/stability that melatonin offers is very welcome. There are still nights once in a while where I barely sleep, due to a wave or general WD mystery, but when it's so rare it feels more manageable. 

 

I no longer worry about the dependency/tolerance issue. For now it's so helpful and I'm just glad there's something to make sleep a bit easier. I don't know how long WD is going to last (and I try not to think about it), but even if it takes another couple of years of melatonin use for my sleep to normalize, I'm okay with that. I haven't noticed any related side/adverse effects. If I need to taper farther down the line I'll deal with that when the time comes. 

 

Are you still feeling bored and needing new entries for your distraction manual? How about distracting by sharing your distraction manual? I am imagining a weathered, leather-bound notebook and would love to get a peek inside, if you feel like sharing. (No pressure.)

 

Healing is happening <3

A.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Link to comment

Hi @Ariel,

 

Thank you for popping by to say hello :) I am sorry for the late reply- It's been a mixture of not finding the momentum to do it (the chore of getting the laptop out as I hate writing on my phone, and not having the 'umph' the last few days, for lack of better words). Such a paradox really- my last post being about boredom and all. The mental and physical fatigue has been really tough the last few days, and I feel like I am constantly walking through tar with an extra 100kilos. Or that I'm a pack mule in the desert carrying all my 'WD baggage". I'm exhausted.

 

On 6/23/2022 at 12:31 PM, Ariel said:

Ultimately I decided to go ahead with trying melatonin. I have confidence in Altostrata's writing on the topic, trusting that Alto's research is so meticulous, with such a robust knowledge base and profound lived experience. I figured that if it could help decisively now, a minor risk around the unknown is worth it. 

This is what i settled on too. If it can help to get some rest so that I can deal with all the other WD stuff easier, then so be it for now. 

 

 

On 6/23/2022 at 12:31 PM, Ariel said:

If I need to taper farther down the line I'll deal with that when the time comes. 

Exactly. We shall cross this bridge when if and when it comes. I do really miss sleep though haha!

 

 

On 6/23/2022 at 12:31 PM, Ariel said:

 

Are you still feeling bored and needing new entries for your distraction manual? How about distracting by sharing your distraction manual? I am imagining a weathered, leather-bound notebook and would love to get a peek inside, if you feel like sharing

I feel like a right cliche as my manual (diary) is in fact a weathered, leather-bound notebook :D It's a notebook I got from my Grandmother many many years ago but never used as I felt it needed to be saved for something profound...and apparently this experience seemed adequate. I remember when I was freshly off the drugs having these enormous outpours of emotions and memories, and thinking that these needed to be put down on paper. 

 

Now that I can physically do more I like to go for a walk and do a meditation each day. Several times a week I will do yoga- I've been doing yoga for many years already and have really been try deepen my knowledge of this a lot the last few months, exploring different lineages and reading many books about buddhism. I've gotten into gardening this year and am now the proud owner of a herb/veggie garden, and yesterday I planted 8 sunflowers. Remarkably/ridiculously, in the worst of withdrawal, I bought a new house with my partner. This needed a LOT of work done to it. In the beginning I was not interested in the slightest and too incapacitated to do anything.....there have been many very questionable design/interior choices made during this time that I now look at and go 'what was I thinking'. So the last few months I have been re-painting the painting, and trying to create even a little bit of cohesion in the house. Luckily, we have had very few visitors in the last half year as I feel I'm not ready for that yet. I've been reading a lot, doing a bit of research, and I am currently doing an online course from Gabor Mate. It might sound like a lot, but it really isn't and for many hours of the day I sit at home alone asking 'now what?'. But, compared to 6 months ago this is a different life, and I am thankful for that at least.

 

I hope you have had a relatively good few days @Ariel. I will pop over to your feed and have a look there. Hugs to you! 

 

 

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment

Meditation companion for today. Grateful for this.

Zaffy.jpg

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment

@Healingcontinues

 

What a gorgeous creature, thank you so much for sharing this photo!

 

17 minutes ago, Healingcontinues said:

The mental and physical fatigue has been really tough the last few days, and I feel like I am constantly walking through tar with an extra 100kilos. Or that I'm a pack mule in the desert carrying all my 'WD baggage". I'm exhausted.

 

You describe this so well. Oof. I'm sorry. 

 

How are you finding the melatonin, if you've already begun? 

 

18 minutes ago, Healingcontinues said:

Now that I can physically do more I like to go for a walk and do a meditation each day. Several times a week I will do yoga- I've been doing yoga for many years already and have really been try deepen my knowledge of this a lot the last few months, exploring different lineages and reading many books about buddhism. I've gotten into gardening this year and am now the proud owner of a herb/veggie garden, and yesterday I planted 8 sunflowers. Remarkably/ridiculously, in the worst of withdrawal, I bought a new house with my partner. This needed a LOT of work done to it. In the beginning I was not interested in the slightest and too incapacitated to do anything.....there have been many very questionable design/interior choices made during this time that I now look at and go 'what was I thinking'. So the last few months I have been re-painting the painting, and trying to create even a little bit of cohesion in the house. Luckily, we have had very few visitors in the last half year as I feel I'm not ready for that yet. I've been reading a lot, doing a bit of research, and I am currently doing an online course from Gabor Mate. It might sound like a lot, but it really isn't and for many hours of the day I sit at home alone asking 'now what?'. But, compared to 6 months ago this is a different life, and I am thankful for that at least.

 

Thank you for sharing this. 

Congratulations on your garden! Beautiful work. 

This all does sound like a lot, incidentally, but then again most anything sounds like a lot to me. I still don't do much. 

I appreciate your sharing, it's inspiring. 

Hopefully also when you look at it you can see how strong you are with everything you're able to manage.

And one day you'll look back at this and marvel that you're able to do more! 

 

Sending you hugs, and wishes for relief, peace, healing <3

A.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Link to comment
6 hours ago, Ariel said:

How are you finding the melatonin, if you've already begun? 

So I’ve been sticking with it for about 2 months now. I can’t really say if it’s making much of a difference, or if sleep would have naturally improved on its on. It does usually make me sleepy, but doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve been falling asleep quicker. I haven’t had any odd side effects from it that I know of though which is positive. I will stick with it.

 

6 hours ago, Ariel said:

This all does sound like a lot, incidentally, but then again most anything sounds like a lot to me. I still don't do much. 

It did for me too when I wrote it down. I’ve been doing more that I probably give myself credit for. I remember going to see the new house last September with my partner and having severe akathisia… literally running though the viewing trying to get it over with. Then back in November having an appointment at a kitchen company and having to rush to the bathroom to pop a benzo because I couldn’t sit still and was on the verge of a panic attack. I wasn’t sleeping at all at the time- People must have thought I was sick and insane! I sure as heck felt it. 
 


 

7 hours ago, Ariel said:

Sending you hugs, and wishes for relief, peace, healing ❤️

Thank you, dear. Today was a better day 💕

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment
  • Moderator

From reading the last few posts, it sounds as though you are definitely having healing and improvements!  It sounds like you are doing some great things, with the walking, gardening, taking the online course etc.  Keep up the good work.  

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

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

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

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

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

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

Link to comment

1st of July 2022

 

Another month, another chapter of this horrible process behind me. I feel like this month there has been a bit of a plateau in healing, compared to the last few where I could slowly see things improving each passing month.

 

I have been reflecting a lot on 'what he h*ll happened', and do believe that I had a serious adverse reaction, and perhaps even a kindling effect, from the lexapro last year. I should have stopped immediately, but was told and honestly believed it would relieve the zoloft withdrawal. It causes so many other problems: complete insomnia, akathesia, SI, tremors, visual disturbances, panic attacks, a resting heart rate of 130bmp which sent me to the hospital, cognitive impairment, coordination/balance issues... all in 3 horrible horrible weeks. Hindsight sucks. Drugs really suck.

 

This last week anxiety, chest tightness and palpitations have been much stronger again. The week prior was riddled with terrible fatigue. It really seems like it one or the other at the moment. My sleep has also been worse- approx 4 hours per night. I do notice that my sleep comes in cycles where I have 10 days of relatively ok sleep (5-6 hours), then a week of terrible sleep again. Last night I went to bed at 23:00 and didn't drift off until around 04:00, and woke 06:00. My partner tried to comfort me yesterday with something along the lines of "you can use the time awake to do things you like- read, meditate, watch movies etc", and I just felt pure rage towards him. No...it's 04:00 in the flipping morning and all I want to do is blooming sleep! In moments like that positivity and optimism are not welcomed.

 

When I do feel like I am about to nod off I keep getting shocked awake again/experience a falling sensation, and the anxiety and palpitations kick in. Is this what is known as hypnic jerks? Is there anything that can help with this, other than time?

 

My hair is still falling out like crazy. I think in the last year I have lost 50%, if not more of my hair. It is definitely falling out at the root, strands EVERYWHERE, and I have blocked the shower twice this week (although YAY for 2 washes in one week!). I didn't have myself down as someone who would be so attached to their hair, but I have to say I feel really down about it. I have bald spots and it is making me insecure. I have been putting off going to get a haircut for half a year already, even though it so thin and stagily, and in dire need of some maintenance work. I am just embarrassed what a hairdresser would think. I really hope that the falling stalls soon and baby hairs start to grow. I have 'given up' appearance wise in many ways- nothing matters much when you don't have your health. Everything else just seems so insignificant and trivial.

 

Now that the weather is getting warmer I'm noticing how sensitive I still am. The heat makes me so lethargic, and I burn really easily which I never used to do. The brighter days seem to make my eye-floaters worse and I am blinking non-stop. Sunglasses don't seem to help much, and make my eyes water a lot which is quite bizzare.

 

Anhedonia seems to come and go. I have had several days this month where I've gotten completely overwhelmed by it all and all I could so is wail all day. I try to just let it out on these days and allow the feelings of rage, resentment, desolation and jealousy surface. I told my partner yesterday that the anxiety was particularly bad and he asked 'but what are you anxious about?'... I just said I don't know. I didn't have the energy to tell him yet again that the anxiety I feel isn't from my thoughts, but from a drug that I took many months ago already, windows and waves etc...He does his best to support me and comprehend, which I am so grateful for (I feel so deeply for the ones who have to endure this alone), but he cannot understand or recognise in the way that members on here can. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all who have offered me kindness, encouragement, nurturance, reassurance, and this space. I am forever grateful. 

 

Big love to all.

Drug history:

zoloft 2015-May 2021 max dose 200mg (3 month fast taper)

lexapro 5mg August 2021-September 2021 (adverse reaction, CT)

amitriptyline and tempazepam- September 2021 (1 week because of severe insomnia. Did not help. CT)

2018-September 2021 Intermittent use of benzodiazepines (mainly oxazepam, do not know exact dates approx 1-2 per week, although many months without any in between)

Link to comment
  • Mentor

@Healingcontinues

 

Congrats on making it through another month. It's crazy how the days sometimes can be long and slow but the weeks go by fast.:blink: 

 

 

Your story starts out similar to mine.  A to fast a taper and then drug trials. Just like you  I tried to make the Lexapro work. 

I wish I would have taken the chance of a added WD and just stopped it after the month of trying to make it work.  Held at 5mg and was totally miserable.  Now stuck on tapering off. What a nightmare.

 

3 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

My partner tried to comfort me yesterday with something along the lines of "you can use the time awake to do things you like- read, meditate, watch movies etc", and I just felt pure rage towards him. No...it's 04:00 in the flipping morning and all I want to do is blooming sleep! In moments like that positivity and optimism are not welcomed.

 

I can so relate,  they may feel like they are helping by making  suggestions when all you really need is validation and emotional support.  This has to be hard on them too.  Watching someone they love hurting and there isn't anything they can do to fix it. 

When I talk about how I am feeling   i.e depressed, angery, panicky  my hubby is good at calmly pointing out," that's just for right now", or "it will pass". This has been going on for sooooo longgggg that he is right the moods and symptoms are always on the move,  still sometimes I'm not sure if I want to punch him or agree with him.  Depending on my mood It's almost a comfort at times when he says it, it's like it is a affirmation/reminder that, yes this will pass, or at least not be as intense  OR  anger, resentment that they just don't understand that  you just want to feel good or at least functional.  Yeah the symptoms might move around, intensify and lighten up but never fully go away.😒  

 

3 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

I have 'given up' appearance wise in many ways- nothing matters much when you don't have your health. Everything else just seems so insignificant and trivial.

Thank you for sharing this.  I can't seem to find the energy to shower.  Yesterday I showered and my hair was tangled so I just left it , let it dry natural LOL  and combed my bangs. I have shoulder length hair.  Sadly my house is suffering the same way.😓 My goal is to make it through each day. 

 

Is that a picture of your horse? My sister had horses when I was young, I did a lot of riding.  I use to think (before this nightmare) I should find  a horse barn to volunteer just to be around them.  Now I just don't know if I would have the energy to.  I would love to hear more about your horse. 

 

You can do this one day at a time.♥️

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  through 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  Trazadone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/16 ct

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   Magnesium glycinate 300 to 400mg a day

Lexapro   Sept/01/2021  4.90mg  Sept/25  4.75mg   Oct/19 4.69mg  Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg  2/24  3.8mg   3/21 3.4mg  5/2 3mg  6/1  decreasing by .02ml  daily for 15 days to get to 2.70mg  7/1 decreasing .02ml daily for 15 days

Link to comment
  • Moderator
9 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

This last week anxiety, chest tightness and palpitations have been much stronger again. The week prior was riddled with terrible fatigue. It really seems like it one or the other at the moment. My sleep has also been worse- approx 4 hours per night. I do notice that my sleep comes in cycles where I have 10 days of relatively ok sleep (5-6 hours), then a week of terrible sleep again

Our symptoms do tend to morph and change as we recover.  And, it sounds like you are experiencing the common windows and waves pattern of recovery.  I understand the frustration with not sleeping - that was my worst symptom.  I gave you insomnia tips in a prior post.  Here is SA's link on insomnia: 

 

Tips to Help Us Sleep - Withdrawal Insomnia

 

9 hours ago, Healingcontinues said:

I've gotten completely overwhelmed by it all and all I could so is wail all day. I try to just let it out on these days and allow the feelings of rage, resentment, desolation and jealousy surface.

I think it is good that you are letting your feelings out. I know I was trained as a child to repress my feelings, which led to depression, which led to these nasty drugs.  

 

Please realize that this situation, as awful as it is, will not go on forever.  Eventually it will get better, very gradually, in fits and starts.  Have you read any of the success stories?  Go to the homepage, about halfway down. 

Please do not tag me, unless it is a question about tapering or withdrawal.

 

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

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone on occasion, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

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

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

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

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy