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Vagus Nerve Stimulation


Nadia
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Comments made by Alto on several threads about how she's gotten relief from stimulation to her vagus nerve with acupuncture got me looking into what those acupuncture points might be (Alto, do you get ear acupuncture or are there other body points?). Googling this I read that implanting a device that stimulates the vagus nerve is being used to help people who suffer from epilepsy and depression.

 

That procedure is supposedly extremely expensive and of course invasive, so I've been looking up other ways of stimulating the vagus nerve. Apparently, you can do this just through deep, slow belly breathing. Click here for one method.

 

Over the past year I have sometimes been able to do deep breathing, usually when I am walking, that leaves me feeling with a sense of relief and well-being. Almost like a bit of a high. Not a too-much-oxygen high, but more like a sense of deep calm and well-being nearing on pleasure (like swimming in the ocean and then lying on a warm beach). I can't always get it right, but right now I tried deep belly breathing and felt it again. I don't know how well it would work if I was deep in AM anxiety, but I'm going to try it. As soon as I stop doing the breathing the feeling disperses, but I think if I did this a few times a day I could probably get my anxiety levels down.

 

Apparently you can also stimulate vagus nerve endings in your ear with your finger, by doing the Valsava maneuver, and by carotid sinus pressure (which can be dangerous).

 

Google for more info! There is everything from how yoga helps stimulate the vagus nerve to interest in it in relation to Kundalini awakening. (Not sure what to think about kundalini awakening, but the link is a good read anyway.)

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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My acupuncturist does full-body acupuncture. He has an MD and a PhD in neurophysiology.

 

Please let me clarify: He's given me treatments to CALM and STABILIZE vagus nerve activity, not to stimulate the vagus nerve!

 

The symptoms he was dealing with were spells of disorientation, buzzing in the chest, palpitations, or tachycardia accompanied by a lot of stomach gas and belching. (Also known as "autonomic dumping.")

 

Because the vagus nerve affects both heart rate and stomach activity, he thought my vague nerve was "irritated," which is a bad thing. (I don't know what irritates it. I am suspecting sitting a long time at the computer might be involved.)

 

I don't know what would happen if you stimulated your vagus nerve.

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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I also was thrown off by the term "stimulation", but apparently it is somehow sending a signal through the vagus nerve to have it exert a calming influence. For example, the deep breathing and the Valsava maneuver slow heart rate and lower blood pressure. There are a ton of links from everything from the Mayo clinic to the wiki article that have good info.

 

Your acupuncturist sounds amazing!

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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I forgot to mention that this morning I tried a combo of a lying down "power pose" and the deep breathing technique I posted a link to, with very good results. The only problem is I feel better, so I relax and am able to doze off, but then as soon as I do the anxiety starts again and wakes me. I'm hoping for eventual long term benefits, though.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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That sounds like a good way to train your body to relax, Nadia.

 

I talked about the vagus nerve with my acupuncturist today (yes, he's very knowledgeable, thank you!). He said traditional Chinese medicine isn't based on anatomy, so there's no exact analog in acupuncture for calming or stimulating the vagus nerve.

 

He did speak in terms of the sympathetic (activating) and parasympathetic (calming) nervous systems. By reading different types of energy, traditional Chinese medicine seems to mobilize one or the other or harmonize them, and this affects the vagus nerve.

 

Sorry, he couldn't be more precise than that!

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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I recently heard a teleconference by the center for mindful eating (TCME.org) and the presenter (Donald Altman) also mentioned deep, belly breathing for twenty minutes as a way to press on the vagus nerve which will/can produce serotonin.

I have tried it and I don't know if it produces serotonin or not but I know I feel more calm after breathing like that for a while; not just taking a few breaths.

It couldn't hurt.'FM

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  • 4 months later...

I just posted something written by By Gopi Rao about how yoga effects the vagus nerve...

 

I know that yoga does profound stuff with my nervous system, one way or another. I can feel it. Of course deep healing does take time by this method :)

 

About Yoga and the Vagus Nerve

http://beyondmeds.com/2013/03/20/about-yoga-and-the-vagus-nerve/

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thanks for bringing this subject to discussion.

I suffer from chronic depression and have been on SSRIs on and off (more on than off) for nearly 13 years. For most of this time I was in darkness about the reasons behind my illness, which is the case with most mental illnesses as you know.

However, In the last few months I have increasingly come across ideas and facts and become aware of the relationship between the vagus nerve, daily habits, positive thinking and depression.

Essentially I have found the mind-body factor that causes my suffering, and I am determined to learn more about it and reverse the trend.

There is a breathing technique called sudarshan kriya (in its simplest version it takes about 20-25 minutes) that I learnt and have practiced for 4 months now that has outstanding effects in my physical and mental mood.

This technique is a great massage for the vagus nerve, and of course for oxygenating and energizing the body.

 

Research about the matter is growing considerably. Here is an article that explains the relationship pretty well:

http://www.thevirafoundation.org/images/Trauma_Treatment_Breathwork_Part_I.pdf

 

You may also be interested in the research that Dr Barbara Hendrick has been doing for years, it has been an eye opener for me:

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21567876-you-can-it-helps-think-well-yourself-first-place-think-yourself

 

Yoga is a great stimulator of all organs, muscles and nerves, but the combination of yoga and breathing is especially good for the vagus nerve. Positive thinking is the third pillar, which is why the introduction of meditation in any kind -but apparently more effective with loving/kindness mediation- in the habits has a well proven impact.

I could sense this before and now I can actually feel it and understand it!

 

Best wishes,

Jose

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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breathing, is, indeed part of yoga! I agree it's a big part of my healing too. I'm going to look up the particular kriya you're doing now...thanks for the info

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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oh...it's the art of living people...I really wanted to learn that but they came over to my house and couldn't deal with how sick I was...and besides that I felt that paying $350 to learn a breathing technique from a guru that has millions of followers and riches comparable to the Catholic Church was highway robbery. Still I was disappointed...I really wanted to learn and have heard other good things about it.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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you know...

 

the kriya is clearly very powerful...as with all powerful things that affect the body it seems it can go either way...that is, be good or bad...

 

here are some disaffected members from Art of Living who have a different take on the kriya...frankly the people that visited me seemed off...and very much blindly guru worshiping...they gave me the creeps and they were not tolerant of my illness either.

 

just be aware if anyone wants to pursue:

 

http://aolfree.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/is-sudarshan-kriya-safe/

 

http://artoflivingfree.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/sudarshan-kriya-is-it-freeing-or-frying.html

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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oh...it's the art of living people...I really wanted to learn that but they came over to my house and couldn't deal with how sick I was...and besides that I felt that paying $350 to learn a breathing technique from a guru that has millions of followers and riches comparable to the Catholic Church was highway robbery. Still I was disappointed...I really wanted to learn and have heard other good things about it.

 

$350!!! Jeez, that seems robbery.

I learnt the Kriya in a $70 course of them. I did feel what you mention, this blind worshiping thing -sectarism- but what I was after was the breathing technique, and it is good. I don't follow these people.

The article I linked above describes the technique well. Having said that, when it comes to the fourth component of the sequence (the sudarshan kriya itself) it says that it is very difficult to describe and it needs an instructor.

This I is not true. It's pretty simple.

 

I'm referring to and practising the short kriya, which has these four components and takes about 25 minutes. The long kriya is a different matter. I was told it should not be done more than once a week. I have only tried four times in 5 months and have felt a good effect afterwards, but can see how it may be a little too much for some people.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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so you think if I carefully read the paper you linked to I can figure it out?

 

I'd like to experiment...very carefully...I do trust my body.

 

thanks very much, again, for the info, Jose.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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is this an accurate description of it?

 

http://www.yogawiz.com/pranayama/sudarshan-kriya.html#continued

 

how long should each stage be?

 

I have read this and it seems different from what I was taught. What I learnt and what I practice looks nearly exactly like what is described in the article:

 

Component 1 - breathing making a gutural sound like trying to close your throat while you breath. Breathe in counting 4 in your mind, hold breath counting 4, breathe out counting 6, count 2 while no air in the lungs.

The article says this is done in a 10+10+10 way: 10 times with your hands each side of the waist, then rest for a few seconds, 10 times with your thumbs under armpits and hands open, rest and 10 times with palms against your upper back, elbows pointing upward.

At the course I was told it was 8+8+6 instead of 10+10+10. Honestly I don't think it is noticeable for the beginner (as I am).

What makes a difference is sitting in the thunderbolt pose.

 

Component 2 - bhastrika: still thunderbolt pose, fists next to your shoulders, you breath in very rapidly (like a blow, but with care) while you lift your arms to the ceiling and open your hands, then bring the fists back down to the shoulders while releasing the air rapidly. All through the nostrils. Up and down should happen in around 1.5 seconds. You do three series of 20 ups and downs with a 20 second rest in between.

 

Component 3 - sit in the lotus position or similar, do the ohm three times.

 

Component 4 - the sudarshan kriya itself: breathing normally (no sounds, not taking full inhalations or exhalations), but without stops between inhaling and exhaling, lotus position or resting your back against something like a wall, etc. 20 times in and out at a slow pace (5 seconds per in+out), 40 times medium speed (1-2 seconds per in+out) and 40 times fast (double the medium speed). You do this 20+40+40 series three times without stops.

 

Finally breathe normally for about 3-5 minutes and relax, lying doing if you wish.

 

Some of the confusion comes from using the term 'sudarshan kriya' to refer to both component 4 and the whole 4-part exercise. I'm in the latter.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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so you think if I carefully read the paper you linked to I can figure it out?

 

I'd like to experiment...very carefully...I do trust my body.

 

thanks very much, again, for the info, Jose.

 

I think so. I read the paper before going to the course. At the course I found there were two things I was doing wrong: the position of the hands on the upper back (behind neck but as low as possible is correct) in the thirds round of component 1 and the continuity of component 4.

 

You will see that this sequence is nothing strange when you practice. You need an empty stomach, by the way.

The key to component 4 (what the article refers to as difficult and needing an instructor) is breathing normally but making sure you use abdominal breath and don't stop between inhalation and exhalation.

The long sudarshan kriya, however, is intense indeed. It can make you dizzy, hot, awkward,.. When I went to the course it felt great the first time -aside the dizziness- but some people felt too dizzy or even anxious. It's a lot of hyperventilation, to be honest.

 

Component two does not need to be very forceful, just has to feel strong and powerful in and out. This is up to the person, I think. The moving up and down of the arms helps with the lungs.

 

When I do these exercises I can actually feel how the internal organs are massaged. Since you practice yoga you will be very familiar with this sensation.

 

All the best.

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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A piece of research from 2004 that linked vagus nerve stimulation and the release of norepinephrine (which is one of the targets of venlafaxine, for example):

http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/vagus.aspx

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting link about the breathing technique.

 

Here is another one that a friend shared with me that I am trying to practice regularly:

 

www.wheatbeltaikido.com/DojoDocuments/KiBreathing.pdf‎

 

Look up ki breathing on the internet for other approaches. I find if I do this right it generates a sense of well-being for the duration of the breathing that is pretty powerful. I can't always "get it", but I'm getting better at it.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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nadia,

that URL isn't working for me.

 

can you check it and see if it's right

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Thanks Nadia.

GiaK, the URL seems to work with me:

KI

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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  • 1 year later...

I keep coming to this Vegus Nerve issue in relation to withdrawal in so many different ways it occurred to me it was time it had a home of its own in relation to withdrawal.   Perhaps having its own home will bring with it a spot light on vegus nerve involvement and possible treatment in the withdrawal process. 

 

Perhaps some easier paths for future withdrawal people.  

 

I found this at an Afib site. 

 

"A 2007 research paper “Intestinal Inflammation caused by Magnesium Deficiency” indicates

significant functional changes in the small intestine and in remote organs as well as increased
sensitivity to oxidative stress. From testimonials offered on the BB, we know well how intestinal
disturbances cause various conditions leading to afib and the subclinical inflammation factor is
well known with vagus nerve irritation as well.(5)
Some reports indicate magnesium citrate is highly bioavailable, but it’s also known this form does
not stay in tissues for long. It’s used in the citric acid cycle or Kreb’s cycle and is typically shunted
out of the body quickly. It also has the laxation effect.
When compared to magnesium citrate, magnesium bisglycinate is half as reactive (hypoacidity)
when taken on an empty stomach (600 mg Mg/day) and more bioavailable based on classic
symptoms of hypomagnesmia.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the form of magnesium is just as important as how
much magnesium you're getting. Cheaper forms, such as Oxide and Chloride, are poorly
absorbed and quickly excreted from your body.
 
 for new afibbers, we typically
recommend starting with the Essential Trio which includes magnesium glycinate, potassium and
taurine. Potassium is the key rhythm stabilizer, but can’t function without adequate magnesium.
Periodically, someone posts that magnesium supplementation had no effect on improving their
afib. This prompted me to examine why that might be. What influences might bring about a
negative result? "
 
much more to read on this site. 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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Please stay with me as some of this may not seem like it fits keep in mind we are thinking vagus nerve and its affects... when it is unhappy. 

 

https://hatinring.wordpress.com/2013/02/08/vagus-nerve-imbalancehiatal-hernia-syndrome/

 

"A recent advance in cardiology is the sub-field of Heart Rate Variability (HRV). HRV refers to statistical analyses of five-minute, (or longer), electrocardiograms. HRV analyses and subject follow-up for “all-cause mortality” yielded the conclusion that Heart Rate Variability is perhaps the best predictor of life expectancy. (12) But Heart Rate Variability–and even stress, “stress vulnerability” and “reactivity to stress”–have been demonstrated to be highly dependent on the state of the Vagus Nerve."

 

"From an imbalanced Vagus Nerve, any other organ can begin to malfunction depending on genetic weakness and various other factors."

 

Edited by ChessieCat
removed bgd colour

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • 5 weeks later...

Btdt thanks for posting this information.

I'm convinced of the role of the vagus nerve in depression, and the relation with a/d withdrawal.

In fact I'm pretty sure one the main reasons why abdominal breathing and good nutrition help so much is because of its effects on the vagus nerve. After all, the vagus nerve connects the brain and the gut.

Not sure if I shared this before, but there it goes:

http://helenpapas.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/activating-the-vagus-nerve/

Best wishes. Jose

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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Pretty sure my vegal nerve gets over stimulated from eating. That's why I get shortness of breath and acid reflux after eating I believe. My most uncomfortable symptom.so acupuncture can calm this nerve? I need that. Sorry alto I hope you don't mind me posting this.

I started out on zoloft 50 mg or 20mg (can't remember at that point) and was on it for a few months then decided I didn't want to take it because of the side effects so I cold turkey'd it and then was miserable and reinstated and all my symptoms went away and I felt normal. Stayed on it for a while tried lexapro 5mg for a month or two instead to see if I had less side effects. Then switched back to zoloft 20mg I think and weaned down to 6mg and jumped off too soon because it supposedly wasn't a "therapeutic dose" and was told it would be ok. Then I was going through withdrawal again so I reinstated again after about a month I switched to prozac because it's easier to wean off of supposedly. Weaned off over 9 month from 8mg Prozac. Then two months after stopping it on September 2, 2014. I went into withdrawal.

 

18 months off as of March 2, 2016

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disorder of sympathetics systems and the vagus nerve

 

nervous-system.jpg

for anxiety 

12 years paxil - cold turkey 1,5 month - switch celexa 1 year taper; total 13 years on brain meds 

67 years old - 9 years  med free

 

in protracted withdrawal

rigidity standing and walking, dryness gougerot-szoegren, sleep deteriorate,

function as have a lack of nerves, improving have been very little 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Thanks for this! I just breathed out as hard as I could and then coughed -- and, wow, really felt the well-being and calmness.

nancy

 

Ooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. :wub:

went to dr for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and situational depression 2014

She put me on both Venlafaxine (Effexor) and Buproprion (Wellbutrin)

Found this forum (yaay!) and tapered off 300mg Buproprion to 0 June 2015 -Jan 2016

Now tapering off 150 mg Venlafaxine Nov 2016

 

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oh... I didn't remember this post...it just turned up in my stats...

 

I did an article on stimulating the vagus nerve the other day...on Mad in America now

 

Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve and Thus Chill Out: Simple, Natural, Uninvasive Methods - http://go.shr.lc/1HV3wRL

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tried this lastnight I was at the end of my tether yesterday with cortisol spikes.I must be honest it did help a little.

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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when it's really bad a little matters...I made a habit of collecting LOTS of little things that helped...and I still use most of them 5 years later as needed...I found that it's good to have lots of different tools ... they're not all appropriate for all needs so having many to choose from was helpful.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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I tried this lastnight I was at the end of my tether yesterday with cortisol spikes.I must be honest it did help a little.

 

What are cortisol spikes? Is there something related to the adrenal glands with AD withdrawal?

Since 1990s: Various meds depression/anxiety. A little benefit from Effexor; Zoloft/Sertraline. Unsuccessful tapers

Feb 2015: Neurological crash / Hemiplegic Migraine after Sertraline taper slower than pdoc's suggestion 50-37-25-12-6-0mg.

Found SA. Reinstated 25mg Sertraline

July 2015:  Medical occurrence thought to be due to Sertraline. Told to D/C. Hypomania/anxiety resulted. Reinstated

Sept 2016: Increased to 37mg Sertraline due to depression/anxiety symptoms or more likely withdrawal symptoms

Dec 2016: Insurance company refused to fill 37mg (1 1/2 pills) Given 25mg.

2017: Started taper, got fearful of possible withdrawal effects, stopped.
May 2018: Still dealing with side effects. New pdoc. 25mg Lamictal added to 25mg Sertraline. 5 mg Melatonin added. Feeling better. Would still like to wean off Sertraline and then Lamictal, but holding for now. I have a very sensitive system with meds.

No other meds. Supplements: Multivitamin, Vitamin D, Probiotic, Fish oil.

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Yes Serenity23.

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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  • 6 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Just saw on The Doctors a piece about a vagus nerve stimulator gizmo where music is played in one ear bud and the vagus nerve is supposedly stimulated from the other ear bud...supposed to make you feel calm, good... Anyone heard of such a thing?  Did a web search and only saw reference to epilepsy.  

 

The product is called Nirvana

 

http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/earphones-that-get-you-high

 

Gimmick?

 

SG

Edited by KarenB
merged similar topics

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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  • 7 months later...

Just saw on The Doctors a piece about a vagus nerve stimulator gizmo where music is played in one ear bud and the vagus nerve is supposedly stimulated from the other ear bud...supposed to make you feel calm, good... Anyone heard of such a thing? Did a web search and only saw reference to epilepsy.

 

The product is called Nirvana

 

http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/earphones-that-get-you-high

 

Gimmick?

 

SG

I'm very intrigued and would love to know if it's effective!

Effexor XR 300 (brand) mg & various SSRIs 15 yrs (Effexor XR 300 mg past 10 yrs

Clonazepam, 1.0 mg. am, .5 mg pm. - 15 yrs, 7-17-16- Began .5 three times a day

Vyvanse 60 mg, - 2 yrs, Cut to 50 mg for 6 mths, Cut to 30 mg. on 4-1-16. Tapering.

Approx. 4-1-15 began Effexor XR 300 taper, very slowly for a year. Held at 37.5 for about 3 mths. Cut to 18 mg for 2 wks to 0. WD began 2 wks later. Depression, anxiety, paranoia, low appetite, nausea.

7-14-16-Reinstated 5 beads Effx after 4 mths misery.Pooped out 10 days.

9-12-16-to present- Wide eyed terror, bedridden fear, no appetite/feeling of being full.

10-30-16- Began 15% liquid tapering of 30 mg Vyvanse. (25 mg)

11-13-16- Liquid Vyvanse 22 mg,11-27-16- Liquid 15 mg, 12-12-16- Vyvanse 12.5 for 5 days. 12-16 - 12-29, 15 mg.

11-20-16- Switched back to 1.0 clonazepam am & .5 bedtime

12-30-16- Moved to 15 mg COMPOUNDED Vyvanse.Current 4/11-4/25 7.5 mg.(10% ev 2 wks) Off Vyvanse

Current meds:Effexor XR- 3 Beads, Clonazepam-1.0 mg am, .5 mg bedtime,Vyvanse-(tapering) Estradiol- 2

mg,Progesterone 200 mg,Testosterone 30 mg/ml,Nature Throid- 48.75 mg.(12-21-16-65 mg.) (4-18-17-81.25 mg) Current supplements: Fish Oil-1360 mg, Curamin- 2706 mg.

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  • 7 months later...

Can I ask does the vagus nerve settle down when we heal or is it a permanent problem

Prozac for 18years with break in 1999 for pregnancy. Started to feel unwell with numerous problems 2015 and think I was in a tolerance to drug. Started to come off May 2016 and by June 2016 wasn't able to tolerate any medications at all. Was on Lansoprazole as and when need from 2001 but haven't had to take and wldnt have been able to take since June 2016

 

GP gave sertraline 25mg 6/04/17 loss of appetite, gut pain and then following morning whole body shaking and vomiting. Stopped tablet.

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About 40 years ago, when I was on very irregular shift work, I started to have failing health due to chronic gastritis, reflux then depression.  A neighbour who happened to be a paediatric surgeon said I could get my vagus nerve cut and it would solve a lot of my symptoms.

I never heard any more about that from anyone in the medical professions I saw.

I did have reflux surgery (Nissen's), but it was too late to catch the depression.

Born 1945. 

1999 - First Effexor/Venlafaxine

2016 Withdrawal research. Effexor.  13Jul - 212.5mg;  6Aug - 200.0mg;  24Aug - 187.5mg;  13Sep - 175.0mg;  3Oct - 162.5mg;  26Oct - 150mg 

2017  9Jan - 150.00mg;  23Mar - 137.50mg;  24Apr - 125.00mg;  31May - 112.50mg holding;  3Sep - 100.00mg;  20Sep - 93.75mg;  20Oct - 87.5mg;  12Nov - 81.25mg;  13 Dec - 75.00mg

2018  18Jan - 69.1mg; 16Feb - 62.5mg; 16March - 57.5mg (-8%); 22Apr - 56.3mg(-2%); CRASHED - Updose 29May - 62.5mg; Updose - 1Jul - 75.0mg. Updose - 2Aug - 87.5mg. Updose - 27Aug - 100.0mg. Updose - 11Oct 112.5mg. Updose - 6Nov 125.00mg

2019 Updoses 19 Jan - 150.0mg. 1April - 162.5mg. 24 April - Feeling better - doing tasks, getting outside.  7 May - usual depression questionnaire gives "probably no depression" result.

Supps/Vits  Omega 3;  Chelated Magnesium;  Prebiotics/Probiotics, Vit D3. 

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