Jump to content

BinxBolling hello


BinxBolling

Recommended Posts

Hello. About 2 years ago, I discontinued (without taper) the celexa and wellbutrin I'd been taking for around 3 years. I had never heard of withdrawal syndromes; a few years before I had discontinued wellbutrin alone (had never been on an SSRI) with little incident except, perhaps in retrospect, a little anxiety and insomnia. But, 2 years ago: I didn't get the brain zaps, but within about 3 weeks I went into what I now know to be a severe, protracted withdrawal syndrome---extreme insomnia, dizziness, headache, serious cognitive impairment, internal tremor, agitation, etc.

 

I didn't have any of these symptoms before beginning treatment. I merely had mild/moderate depression. After the withdrawal begain, most psychiatrists just thought I was "anxious"---though again, I had no clinically meaningful anxiety before the medication---and I was put on (or back on) a series of SSRI medications and other sedating ADs like Remeron and Trazodone to try to help, in particular, with the insomnia. After 2 months of being off the SSRI my system now couldn't tolerate any---they made me burn, gave me terrible muscle twitches, increased dizziness, etc. In fact, a pervasive feature of my neurological difficulties over the last 2 years has been insane sensitivity to any psychotropic drug, even sensitivity to many supplements and higher doses of vitamins.

 

I also drank a lot of alcohol during the first months of withdrawal. I had been in the (perhaps unfortunate) habit of a glass of wine or two before bed to put me quickly to sleep; when the extreme insomnia set in I tried to up the amount of alcohol to help me fall asleep at night. Obviously that made things worse. The insomnia got so bad by the 2nd month that I would go several nights without an hour of sleep, and never got more than 3 hours. This from a person who had slept 8 hours a night for his entire life. The insomnia has gotten much better, but the two most persistent and unrelenting features of the withdrawal over the last years are a sort of dizzying, painful pressure in my head that never disappears but can be a little better or little worse, and a sort of burning internal tremor all over my body that also never disappears.

 

Both my personal and professional life have been, frankly, devastated. I won't go into details about that except to say that I have nearly had to quit my professional career due to pervasive cognitive impairment (difficulty reading, in particular). I am currently on a sort of partial medical leave.

 

About a year ago, I finally found a thoughtful psychiatrist who had seen similar cases, and she told me what I already suspected: that this was a tardive reaction to the SSRI. She pulled me off the SSRI that had been reinstated (but that was making me feel worse and which had never corrected the problem it created), tried a number of non-serotonogenic drugs and supplement treatments for insomnia, cognitive impairment, tremor, depression, etc, but little has worked. The insomnia has slowly abated, and the agitation improved, but I feel this horrible pressure in my head all day every day; I live in a sort of headachy, dizzy fog, as if I daily had the worst hangover of my life and then tried to counter it with three pots of coffee.

 

Neuropsychological testing confirmed cognitive impairments inconsistent with my general intelligence, or with mere depression and anxiety, especially in the realm of attention, memory, processing speed, and visuo-spatial processing. I exercise almost every day, eat well, have given up alcohol altogether, but improvement is coming slowly, and often feels entirely stalled. I've done neurofeedback for 8 months now to little avail. I've also tried dozens of supplements, but those haven't helped either.

 

I'm certainly interested in advice from anyone who has had this sort of long-term problem, especially if that includes cognitive impairment (attention, memory, processing problems), or persistent headache and tremor. Best wishes to all of you in your recovery.

 

Binx

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Binx

 

Welcome to the site. You will find lots of info as well and friendly and helpful people

 

Many people experience the kind of memory and cognitive issue you raise. Here is a link to a thread on these symptoms Memory/cognitive

 

I haven't experienced the other symptoms you talk about. I do have memory problems. Hopefully others will chip in soon if they have experienced some of the things you raise in your post

 

Feel free to search through the site and ask questions

 

Cheers

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, Binx -

 

I'm sorry to see that you're having such a hard time with antidepressant withdrawal. Welcome to the forum.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Hello, Binx, welcome.

 

You might be interested in this topic:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

Are you able to tolerate magnesium and fish oil? How about melatonin?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Thanks for the welcome.

 

I can tolerate magnesium and fish oil but they don't seem to make any difference. Can't tolerate melatonin. I've been on fish oil for 1.5 years.

 

As for windows, I'd be interested to hear when more prolonged sufferers first started having them. It seems like "good" or "better" for many means "less bad," and that's certainly the case for me; what I'm wondering is when people first started having pockets of normal. I've been in withdrawal for 2 years (though I've only been off pointlessly reinstated SSRIs for 1 year), but have yet to have 5 minutes that approach anything resembling normal, especially when it comes to cognitive/mental clarity. I think if I could get to that point I would have more hope.

 

B

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment
  • Administrator

The windows will gradually get closer and closer to normal.

 

How much fish oil are you taking?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

One gram a day now, as many as 4 grams/day in the past. (I saw a naturopath early on who thought all my problems would be solved by fish oil and whey protein. And that I probably had mercury poisoning from eating too much tuna.)

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment
  • Administrator

See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

Fish oil capsules contain the omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA. For nervous system support, take 2,000-3,000 mg EPA + DHA a day. You may need to look at the label and add up the amounts of EPA + DHA in a capsule. Usually, this amounts to 4-6 capsules of fish oil per day.

Take with 400IU vitamin E a day.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Are there any other important vitamins or supplements for stabilizing or repairing the nervous system? I've tried a number of things over the last 2 years, but if I didn't see and effect after 2 weeks or so I usually quit. But I wasn't focused on the nervous system.

 

Binx

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

I've been trying the lamictal therapy for 4 months now, and it hasn't really seemed to do anything at all. Has anyone tried low doses of the drug Riluzole? My understanding is that it also works on the glutamate system.

 

At this point (2 years in) my symptoms don't seem to have that much to do with ANS dysfunction, and I wonder what that means in terms of treamtment. I no longer have meaningful anxiety, my insomnia has been gone for almost a year, and I never really had many of the symptoms some describe (heart palpitations, blood pressure trouble, digestive trouble, autonomic dumping, etc.) Fish oil, magnesium, etc---none of the supplements that seem to have helped others have had any discernible impact on me, though I have taken them faithfully for a long time.

 

What remains is: a relentless, tremulous pressure in my head, and a sort of burning, tremulous ache that radiates throughout my body (basically a permanent headache that is much more than a headache), emotional numbness, non-existent libido, and cognitive impairment (attention, memory, processing difficulties).

 

Still looking for some sort of micro-dosed medication that might make a dent in these symptoms. If lamictal doesn't work, is there anything else that should be tried?

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Binx, I moved your post here, to your topic, so it wouldn't get buried in Journals.

 

How much lamotrigine have you been taking?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

I've mostly been taking 6.5 mg per day. I've tried to go up to as much as 12.5, but that makes the pressure in my head worse. At 6.5 I can't tell a difference one way or another.

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

As for the windows, Binx, mine started at about five months out from doing a too-fast taper off of Lexapro. I had been on Remeron for four months over lapping with Pristiq for five months, and then Lexapro for ten months. There was no going off and on or up- or down-dosing during that time. I believe the latter might postpone getting windows for several months more, although no one really knows.

 

My first windows lasted only a few minutes, perhaps three to five, but they gave me hope that I could get better. And I have. I am very close to being back to normal now at sixteen months out from my last crumb of Lexapro.

 

I'm not clear on your drug history, so if you could, please put it in your signature, like so:

 

Puting Your History In Your Signature

 

Being off and on the drugs for several years could definitely make a difference as to when you might start experiencing windows.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator

I'm sorry, I can't suggest any other medications that might help you.

 

See our Symptoms and Self-care forum for other ideas.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Many thanks. I suppose it's just going to take a lot of patience.

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Acupuncture might help.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

Link to comment

Binx hello and welcome

 

When I worked (briefly, very briefly) at Hospice, during Orientation we were told that the combo Alto mentioned (fish oil coupled with Vit E)would help offset memory problems.

 

I have memory issues and forgot :o about the mixture which I should really go on. I am on Celexa and I think it and other ssri's do play with our memories. I understand meditation can improve memory (something I was doing regularly, but do not have time for right now)

 

Google Mindful Meditation.

 

Nikki

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

 

What remains is: a relentless, tremulous pressure in my head, and a sort of burning, tremulous ache that radiates throughout my body (basically a permanent headache that is much more than a headache), emotional numbness

Any chance that exhaustion from your work could be a part of this? I experienced similar symptoms and nothing seemed to alleviate them but 1) rest & relaxation 2) massage..... the effects of the massage was relief that only lasted days... but it was almost a necessity to continue to function.

 

 

non-existent libido,

I would talk to your doctor about this .... again... a demanding job can cause/ exacerbate this.

 

I am glad that anxiety & insomnia are not a part of the equation.... what is left though, as you described above, can be just as frustrating because you are close enough to "normal" to function but actually feeling "normal" is still out of reach. I understand this feeling all too well.

 

I personally found some of the self help suggestions a life saver.... soothing baths with music ( I also used lavender drops) , gentle exercise such as yoga & gentle stretching with deep breathing, watching / being in nature , anything to take my mind and escape from daily stresses ( work & idiots) was helpful.

 

RU

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

Link to comment

Many thanks for all the suggestions. I already practice a number of these things---coherent breathing, mindfulness, etc. I've tried the bath techniques. Have also tried acupunture to no effect. Rest doesn't actually seem to help much. I'm an academic on an academic calendar, and I spent my whole last summer doing very little, since I'm not well enough to work on my research. And that was difficult, because there wasn't much to distract me from the intense and unrelenting physical discomfort.

 

It may be that I had an underlying condition or brain vulnerability that made this withdrawal particularly problematic. West Nile Virus antibodies were found in my CSF, and a couple neurologists think that I most likely had an infection that made its way into my CNS and has created an inflammatory reaction that won't go away. It's difficult to get at the problem of causation: as we know from this website, very few physicians seem willing to believe that a severe withdrawal syndrome could last this long and have such distressing effects, yet many of my symptoms differ from experiences here. There seem to be some attentional pathways that were seriously disrupted, because concentration and processing is quite difficult, and difficulty with attention is connected to the severity of discomfort. Yet it wouldn't be quite accurate to say that it's merely the pain that's distracting me. I have a friend with primary daily headache (no connection to medications) and her experience is much different than mine.

 

Anyway, I appreciate all the thoughts. Still looking for my first "window."

-300 mg Wellbutrin 2002-2005 (withdrew cold turkey with only mild complications)

-150 mg Wellbutrin, 10 mg Celexa 2006-2010

-Discontinued both cold turkey Jan 1 2011

-Unsuccessfully reinstated Celexa March 2011, but stuck with it until Jan 2012.

-Remeron 7.5 since Jan 2013---only thing that puts a dent in perpetual headache and "akathisia"

6.5 mg Lamictal since Dec 2012

Link to comment

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy