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CopingMechanism: Overcoming Tardive Dysphoria – where the hell do I go from here?

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CopingMechanism

Hello everyone, I first got started on Celexa in May 09 after my mind slipped into an inescapable panic state induced by an accidental overdose of the anti-histamine diphenhydramine. I should of know way back then, after a few weeks, then I should of stayed away from all drugs and given my brain a chance to calm down and repair itself on it’s own, but I was truly, truely frightened that I had down some serious damage or I was on my way to the depths of psychosis.

 

So I went to my GP got diagnosed with anxiety disorder. I switched to Cymabalta in November 09 after a personal event triggered an intensification of agitated depression which had never really left despite treatment with Celexa. Sticking with Cymbalta was, again, an irrevocably stupid decision - but I had faith in the psychiatrist who was prescribing me these things. Suicidal ideation was commonplace both in an experiential context and in circumstantial context – my anxiety was so severe I just wanted out and I was astounded to what life had been reduced to.

 

On cymbalta I felt tired but wired with a generalised irritability and massive cravings for sugar, which when I gave in and ate only triggered an intensification of irritability. I look back during this period and I’m struck with just how bizarre and Kafkaesque the whole experience was. Why the hell didn’t I get of the ******* thing earlier? I weaned off Cymbalta in in June 2010. However, the suicidal panic now morphed into a suicidal malaise and all-consumng tiredness, severe anhedonia, and an inability to concentrate - which has stuck with me since.

 

I got put on Zoloft in Oct’10, 4 months after my last drug, and after a visit to a GP where I told me him I was suicidal and planning to go through with it. He sort of shrugged and just told me to go back on a med. The Zoloft induced both akathisa and a “despair beyond despair” at my situation. I flew out to Thailand with the intention of having a last hurrah and then taking myself down to one of the gun ranges and putting a .357 round into my frontal lobe. (Guns aren't readily available in the UK) I flew home when my parents found out where I was, despite my (I thought) well-constructed plan to deceive and explained to them the extent of which I was struggling.

 

We sought the services of a psychiatrist whom I thought was progressive and looking at the bigger picture. By now, I was mostly concerned with the brain fog and chronic fatigue - which prevented me from most activities which might have led to an improvement with my lot in life - which led me to conclude my problem was neuro-endocrine based. I agreed to a low-dose of Lexapro, some compounded thyroid hormone and about 20 different supplements to treat any bodily pathologies. Despite this ambitious protocol, there was very little change in mood.

 

I tried to stay working but got overwhelmed again and my suicidal ideation reached a zenith. I flew back out to Asia with my father, this time to Cambodia but to join a volunteer project building houses. I figured a dose of 3rd poverty might take my mind….off my mind. This time I also agreed to start lithium. It was a humbling experience for sure but I was still weak, foggy, anxious and depressed. I also felt intensely guilty at being in my depressed state amongst so much poverty and in a country with the worst auto-genocide in history. I also picked up a stomach infection which led to post-infectious gastroparesis which I have been struggling with since.

 

Early in 2011 I discontinued the lithium, at the time we hadn’t worked out the stomach problem and where concerned the lithium could be causing the GI stuff. I continued with Lexapro in the AM and 25mg amitrypltine to get me off to sleep in the PM. Life was just a haze punctuated by bouts of panic and despair. My ability to work and socialise properly had all but disappeared by now, so I got used to life being what it was. At the beginning of 2012 I decided to take a break from AD’s, they didn’t seem to have improved my lot in life much, maybe coming off them would do some good. This was when my concern, finally, about TD started - I continued to feel like absolute ****. What if the drugs were the problem all along?. It wasn’t until a few months ago that the epiphany really took hold and I realised the full horror of what I subjected myself to. I realised the whole thing was being exacerbated by the very treatment that authority deemed to be of help.

 

Back when I came off Cymbalta in 2010 I just assumed this was my depression anxiety ramping up and the exhaustion was a natural extension, but now I was still horrendously depressed and the other **** kicked in. I curse myself that I didn’t see the connection the first time round and have spent another 2.5 years on psych drugs….. Note, I tried a few drugs of now more than about two weeks duration in 2012. Again this was before the idea of drug-induced harm became cemented in my mind.

 

My last drug ingestion was Tianeptine in November.

 

My question to anyone who has any suggestions and or experiences is in my title – what the hell do I do now? I’m a complete invalid. Living at home with a parent at 25, unable to enjoy much of anything at all, I can’t lose myself in a movie like I did years ago, my mind is just inexplicably turned inward and focused on it’s own arid desolation and fogginess. Reading is a significantly challenging endeavour and writing is difficult (it’s taken me about a week to knock this up into something coherent and semi-legible).

 

I’m just having such trouble formulating a strategy which might give me a chance of getting well again. Just reading this site has given me a bit of hope in that people can get their lives back on track. There’s people here that appear to have got off far harsher drugs and had been on them for longer periods, so I need to keep a perspective of sorts, I’m just terrified at this stage that I’m past the point of no return and that putting what was a fragile brain/mind to begin with in drugs might just have been…… Any help or words of wisdom are appreciated. Thanks for reading. Jack

Edited by scallywag
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Nikki

Jack you are so young and that is in your favor. Jockeying around on and off meds can cause what you are experiencing.

 

I have to re-read your post. Others who are more familiar with the meds you were on will be along shortly.

 

I took Lexapro. Getting off of it induced an anxiety I had never experienced. Suicide ideation is a product of psych meds, mostly in getting off of them, however the wrong drug can cause it while on it. This happened to you.

 

In reading your story again, I realize that I too, jumped on the medication merry-go-round.

 

Hang in there. You can recover.

 

Hugs

Nikki

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Karma

Hi CM and welcome to our community.

 

First, you need to stop beating yourself up for seeking professional help and following their guidance. If you had known then what you know now you might have made a different decision. You did the best you could do at the time.

 

Many members of this community have experienced anger over what the medical community has done to us. But holding on to the anger doesn't help us heal. Please don't beat yourself up about the decisions you made in the past.

 

It does sound like you were switched from one drug to another without a proper taper. Your symptoms sound like they were withdrawal symptoms rather than your original condition returning. Unfortunately, we see this a lot because the medical community is not taught to recognize withdrawal.

 

If I am reading your story correctly, you stopped ADs in early 2012 - did you taper off of them or did you just stop them cold turkey? What was the last drug you were on, at what dose and for how long?

 

You will heal over time, you need to be patient and take care of yourself. See the Symptoms and Self-Care forum http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/.

 

When you feel up to it, please add your medication history in your signature http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/. That will help members and moderators in giving you advice.

 

There are other moderators more versed in Tardive Dysporia than I and they will be along soon to provide additional support and guidance.

 

Karma

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CopingMechanism

Jack you are so young and that is in your favor. Jockeying around on and off meds can cause what you are experiencing.

 

I have to re-read your post. Others who are more familiar with the meds you were on will be along shortly.

 

I took Lexapro. Getting off of it induced an anxiety I had never experienced. Suicide ideation is a product of psych meds, mostly in getting off of them, however the wrong drug can cause it while on it. This happened to you.

 

In reading your story again, I realize that I too, jumped on the medication merry-go-round.

 

Hang in there. You can recover.

 

Hugs

Nikki

 

Hello Nikki,

 

Thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated.

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Altostrata

Welcome, CM.

 

Is it emotional anesthesia that you're experiencing?

 

It sounds to me like you were very sensitive to antihistamines and the antihistamine family -- modern antidepressants were developed from antihistamines.

 

You may or may not have withdrawal syndrome per se, but the same type of autonomic dysregulation. We see that this does resolve over time. There are a few things you can do to help, one being to do what you can to stay calm, in a positive frame of mind, and to take care of yourself.

 

What symptoms of gastroparesis do you have now?

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CopingMechanism

Hi CM and welcome to our community.

 

First, you need to stop beating yourself up for seeking professional help and following their guidance. If you had known then what you know now you might have made a different decision. You did the best you could do at the time.

 

Many members of this community have experienced anger over what the medical community has done to us. But holding on to the anger doesn't help us heal. Please don't beat yourself up about the decisions you made in the past.

 

It does sound like you were switched from one drug to another without a proper taper. Your symptoms sound like they were withdrawal symptoms rather than your original condition returning. Unfortunately, we see this a lot because the medical community is not taught to recognize withdrawal.

 

If I am reading your story correctly, you stopped ADs in early 2012 - did you taper off of them or did you just stop them cold turkey? What was the last drug you were on, at what dose and for how long?

 

You will heal over time, you need to be patient and take care of yourself. See the Symptoms and Self-Care forum http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/.

 

When you feel up to it, please add your medication history in your signature http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/. That will help members and moderators in giving you advice.

 

There are other moderators more versed in Tardive Dysporia than I and they will be along soon to provide additional support and guidance.

 

Karma

 

Hey Karma,

 

Thank you very much for the welcome.

 

Yes, I'm doing my best to let go. It's just the isolation, you know? That your illness is unique in its causative factor and there are few people to idnetify with in real life abd fewer who believe you, but I'm preaching to the choir here I guess. Sorry to digress...

 

I 'tapered' from every drug I was on for, I think, a grand total of about two weeks per drug. I was never on huge doses for any of them, but yeah, the tapers I did do were very short for all.

 

Last drug, and thus taper, was Lexapro, which I was on for 14 months. The dose wasn't massive at 5mg, and my taper IIRC was 2.5mg over two weeks then I stopped altogether.

 

The only drug that gave me harsh withdrawls was cymbalta. Think I tapered that for about a month from 60 mg (I think)

 

Sorry about the hazyness of some of these details - my cognitnve abilities arent great these days.

 

I'll work my way through the links as I can and will get my sig sorted.

 

Thanks again for the welcome, and your time.

 

Jack

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CopingMechanism

Welcome, CM.

 

Is it emotional anesthesia that you're experiencing?

 

It sounds to me like you were very sensitive to antihistamines and the antihistamine family -- modern antidepressants were developed from antihistamines.

 

You may or may not have withdrawal syndrome per se, but the same type of autonomic dysregulation. We see that this does resolve over time. There are a few things you can do to help, one being to do what you can to stay calm, in a positive frame of mind, and to take care of yourself.

 

What symptoms of gastroparesis do you have now?

 

Hey Altosrtata,

 

Hmmm..I'm not sure about emotional anesthesia, certainly any positive emotion hasn't been felt in 3 years, I just feel empty and disconnected, but I also sufer from extreme anxiety and a weird sort of hyper-sensitivity to everything.

 

Have had allergy issues since I was a young kid, and frequnelty take anti-histamines, could this be a problem?. I've read a bit about histamine intolerance and the drugs even affecting the histamine recpeptors. Can't wrap my head around that right now. If you or anyone else know more about what I'm attmepting to touch upon then that would be helpful.

 

Yeah, autonomic dysregulation is right I think. I've heard the term before and I think it's apt. I'm just so sensitive to stimuli in such a bad way, and totally unable to regulate mood or and attentional motivations. Like I said before, with the anxiety and the anhedonia. I find it very diffciult to relax in anyway whatsoever - it's like my nervous system is permanently ramped up, thus keeping a positive frame of mind just seems an impossible and alien task, but I'm trying. I'm still overwhlemd by all this, tbh.

 

With the gastropareis my main symptoms are regurgitation (burping up partially digested food) and nausea.

 

Thank you for your time.

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CopingMechanism

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention - Insomnia. This is terrible.

 

I am on 0.3mg clonidine to get to sleep, plus 3mg melatonin - this is the only thing that let's me fall asleep.

 

I don't know what the status of clonidine is with regards to 'harm'. I think it's okay - but I just don't know anything anymore.

 

I have used benzos, infrequently, in the past. But I've never allowed myself to be prescribed them longer term.

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Altostrata

If I were you, I'd avoid taking antihistamines. They also affect the gut. It seems you need to let your gut heal itself, too.

 

One of our members, GiaK, has been doing a lot of research in gut healing. See her blog http://beyondmeds.com

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CopingMechanism

If I were you, I'd avoid taking antihistamines. They also affect the gut. It seems you need to let your gut heal itself, too.

 

One of our members, GiaK, has been doing a lot of research in gut healing. See her blog http://beyondmeds.com

 

I'll try phasing them out. My bouts of random itchiness can get pretty nasty though, I'll have to see if I can fight through those.

 

Thanks for the link.

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Nikki

For the itchiness, I've posted this before, but trust me it is worth it.

 

Take oatmeal (dry) from the box. Put it in a blender and pulverize it. Add alot of it to a bath and soak in it.

 

Or - take a handful add water and make a paste the consistency of mayonnaise and put it directly on the itchy area and leave it for a good while.

 

This is as old as the hills remedy and it works wonders.

 

Nikki

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CopingMechanism

For the itchiness, I've posted this before, but trust me it is worth it.

 

Take oatmeal (dry) from the box. Put it in a blender and pulverize it. Add alot of it to a bath and soak in it.

 

Or - take a handful add water and make a paste the consistency of mayonnaise and put it directly on the itchy area and leave it for a good while.

 

This is as old as the hills remedy and it works wonders.

 

Nikki

 

Thanks for the tip, Niikki.

 

Will definitley try this.

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CopingMechanism

Anxious as hell today.

 

Poor nights sleep.

 

Did lot's of housework to distract myself from my mind/mood as much as possible.

 

Feeling desperate.

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CopingMechanism

Hey Altostrata,

 

I take mag citrate in the evening, yes.

 

I've tried fish oil a few years back to little success - but what the hey, no harm in adding it back in I suppose....

 

Also, regarding the anti-histamines is there any requirement to taper these? My use has been infrequent over my life, like maybe once a week, but sometimes going weeks without, but more frequently during bad attacks. I use cetrizine.

 

Thank you for your time.

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Altostrata

If you're only using an antihistamine occasionally, I wouldn't worry about it.

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CopingMechanism

If you're only using an antihistamine occasionally, I wouldn't worry about it.

 

That's good. One less thing to fret over.

 

Also, could you reccomend a particular brand of fish oil?

 

Doing some reading on this now, it seems for mood support up to and including 2000 EPA is required. I didn't dose this high before - probably half that.

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CopingMechanism

Hi Coping Mechanism welcome to the forums, sorry you've suffered so horribly. If you're in the UK like me, I have been using these fish oil capsules for some years now:

 

http://www.vegepa.com/vegepa_pure_epa.php?n=VegEPA&indi=0

 

Hey strawberry17,

 

Thanks for the link.

 

That seems to tick the boxes - I'll try their brand.

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strawberry17

I've been taking 4 capusles a day for years now, I believe you can take anywhere between 2 and 10 a day but I imagine it would get a bit expensive if you took that many :)

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CopingMechanism

To update,

 

I'm at a very, very low point.

 

Totally non-functional in terms of depression, and anxious to the point of absurdity. Gastroparesis is making meal times feel like russian roulette and I still itch like hell all over for some reason.

 

Drove out to a secluded spot with a cocktail of lethal drugs I acquired some time ago, and was very close to gunning the whole lot. The thought of ruining my parents lives is the only thing that keeps me hanging in right now.

 

I think I need to consider going back into the belly of the beast (on meds) for awhile to see if I can get to a better place and then come off again.

 

All the self-care, therapy and supplemental interventions just feel like pissing into the wind right now.

 

I am desperate and totally unsure where my personal demarcations lie between withdrawal, tardive anhedonia, genuine MDD and plain old blistering unhappiness.....

 

Sorry for the mini-rant. But don;t know where else to vent....

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Jemima

All of us who've gone through withdrawal have had these kinds of days and would agree that they are miserable and hard to tolerate. However, in my opinion, this inability to tolerate unhappiness is what gets us in trouble in the first place. Life is just not all that terrific most of the time for most people, and somehow, accepting that makes the misery more tolerable. Muffling the unhappiness with drugs doesn't help us tough it out and grow from the experience.

 

Due to your history of near-cold turkey withdrawals and drug sensitivity, going back on an antidepressant could very well make you feel worse. And please consider that antidepressants cause anhedonia. Their primary effect is to blunt the emotions, or "take the edge off" as my doctor put it. Continuing to take them will just make the emotional numbness worse and longer-lasting.

 

Here are some topics I recommend reading:

 

Anhedonia

 

Neuro-emotion

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

I hope that reading these will help you to cope better and understand that things will gradually get better as your nervous system heals, although the progress can be jerky. I'm sorry that you're going through an especially bad patch right now, but do hang on and expect better things to come, even if we don't know exactly when that will happen.

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Nikki

Reading your post makes me want to find a solution for you right now. Please keep the thought of your parents in the forefront of you mind.

 

Have you spoken to them about how you are feeling? Let them know, don't keep them in the dark.

Sharing this with them may help to cut the pain or grief you are experiencing in half. You know, like you have them in your corner.

 

Can you find a group setting for counseling or a private setting for talk therapy? This too may provide you with some relief.

 

As for taking medications,only you can make that decision, as you have seriously considered suicide on two occasions.

 

You said Cymbalta as not good and some of the others you tried weren't helpful. I post this often, because I don't like to take anything if I don't learn about it first. You can log onto crazymeds.com for information and blogs on psych meds.

 

If I can think of anything else I will post it for you. Can you get yourself out the door and go for daily walks? It can help.

 

Hang in there......

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strawberry17

I have no words of wisdom that haven't already been said by Jemima and Nikki, many of here have been in similar very black places so you're in the right place to talk freely.

I agree about talking to your parents, I have two sons, one of them a young adult, and I know I would WANT to know if he was feeling suicidal, they sound like caring people, or is there anyone else you can talk to in real life about how you really feel?

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CopingMechanism

All of us who've gone through withdrawal have had these kinds of days and would agree that they are miserable and hard to tolerate. However, in my opinion, this inability to tolerate unhappiness is what gets us in trouble in the first place. Life is just not all that terrific most of the time for most people, and somehow, accepting that makes the misery more tolerable. Muffling the unhappiness with drugs doesn't help us tough it out and grow from the experience.

With all due respect, reducing the entirety of all of this to some moral failing or some solipsistic arena for personal growth - your "inability to tolerate unhappiness is what gets us in trouble in the first place" - is pretty damn myopic. Speak for yourself if you want, but I got started on things due to uncontrollable anxiety - not some existential pining for happiness. Granted, I stayed on them for too long and came off too quick, I take responsibility for that, but again, please don't conflate my issue. I'm well aware I'm not the only one suffering, and indeed, there are those who are far worse off, but I don't need platitudes.

I'm not looking for gushing amounts of sympathy, or any round-about validation here, but I am trying to solve a problem. I'm well aware that life is 'just not all that terrific most of the time for most people', thanks.

 

Due to your history of near-cold turkey withdrawals and drug sensitivity, going back on an antidepressant could very well make you feel worse. And please consider that antidepressants cause anhedonia. Their primary effect is to blunt the emotions, or "take the edge off" as my doctor put it. Continuing to take them will just make the emotional numbness worse and longer-lasting.

I feel terrible beyond words right now. I may have to get back on to take the edge off, try and get some routine back into my life, and then safely taper off at a later date. Desperate times require desperate interventions. If you think going back on AD's in any capacity, and in any context, is always a bad idea, I respect and acknowledge that, and will factor that in when I make a final decision. However, I can't make any assumptions about anything right now.

 

 

Here are some topics I recommend reading:

 

Anhedonia

 

Neuro-emotion

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

I hope that reading these will help you to cope better and understand that things will gradually get better as your nervous system heals, although the progress can be jerky. I'm sorry that you're going through an especially bad patch right now, but do hang on and expect better things to come, even if we don't know exactly when that will happen.

 

 

Appreciate the links, but I read them when I first joined.

 

As of 16 months, there has been no 'windows' for me, and things are getting worse. Chalk it up to a moral failing if you want, but it seems apparent I can't afford to bury my head in the sand with this.

 

Once again, I'm not looking for validation for getting back on meds, but I am looking for insight beyond just ride it out. Just because I don't thing I'll be able to ride things out much longer.

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CopingMechanism

Reading your post makes me want to find a solution for you right now. Please keep the thought of your parents in the forefront of you mind.

 

Have you spoken to them about how you are feeling? Let them know, don't keep them in the dark.

Sharing this with them may help to cut the pain or grief you are experiencing in half. You know, like you have them in your corner.

 

Can you find a group setting for counseling or a private setting for talk therapy? This too may provide you with some relief.

 

As for taking medications,only you can make that decision, as you have seriously considered suicide on two occasions.

 

You said Cymbalta as not good and some of the others you tried weren't helpful. I post this often, because I don't like to take anything if I don't learn about it first. You can log onto crazymeds.com for information and blogs on psych meds.

 

If I can think of anything else I will post it for you. Can you get yourself out the door and go for daily walks? It can help.

 

Hang in there......

 

Nikki, appreciate your response and concern.

 

My parents are already aware of my despair and I'd rather spare them the gory details. It's the pink elephant in the room, but acknowledging it further would only bring about more worry and despair.

 

I'm in talk therapy but it just isn't useful in my current state. Unsure of how to amend this.

 

Yeah, doing an hours walk daily plus half an hours meditation without fail. I just can't bust through this.

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strawberry17

CM reinstating a drug might be the answer, it's worked for me on occaisions, and when you're in the place you're in where nothing but nothing is touching it, no amount of positive thought, meditation, vitamins, exercise etc etc etc and I've been in that place as well in the past, it might be worth a shot. Trouble is, no one here can predict the outcome of doing that, it might be the answer, it might backfire, but we'll try and support you whatever you decide.

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CopingMechanism

CM reinstating a drug might be the answer, it's worked for me on occaisions, and when you're in the place you're in where nothing but nothing is touching it, no amount of positive thought, meditation, vitamins, exercise etc etc etc and I've been in that place as well in the past, it might be worth a shot. Trouble is, no one here can predict the outcome of doing that, it might be the answer, it might backfire, but we'll try and support you whatever you decide.

 

Hey Strawberry,

 

Really appreciate your insight, thank you.

 

Yeah, the whole thing feels like a horrible impasse, with each direction basically a gamble.

 

Will make a decision by the end of the week.

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Brain

Just wondering what you ended up doing, CopingMechanism. I hope that you're feeling better.

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AlasLlama

I am chiming in a few months later, hoping you are all right. I have been in a very similar place and managed to get out of it... Here is what helped me under "emergency" conditions, when I was intensely suicidal after 12 years on antidepressants:

 

First, I switched from conventional therapy to EMDR. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Densensitization and Reprocessing. In EMDR, the patient sits in front of a moving light, often with sound and other sensory inputs added as well (my therapist used vibrating buzzers held in each hand). The high-tech stuff helps the patient enter a state of deep relaxation. The therapist then talks the patient through various issues--but it is much more scripted and to the point than traditional talk therapy--the EMDR therapist is looking for very specific cues and responses. EMDR uses NO medication... in fact, my EMDR therapist told me that the word on the street at their conferences is that they want patients off medication if at all possible. I felt better after only a couple of EMDR sessions. After a couple months of sessions, I was well on the road to recovery. After a full course of sessions, which took about a year, my severe depression was in remission, and my severe social anxiety went away and never came back. When I started working with the EMDR therapist, I was still on medication, but about half way through I began to taper myself off (it was Effexor, nasty withdrawal effects!) and ultimately stopped it entirely.

 

Another thing that worked for me, way better than expected, was a device called a "sound and light" system. I had the sense that a lot of my distress was driven by sleep deprivation, but sleeping pills do not work for me and I did not want more pills anyway. After poking around on the Internet for a while, I ran across research on sound and light systems. These use patterns of sounds and lights to calm or stimulate certain parts of the brain (the system consists of a set of goggles and headphones hooked up to the programming). The research seemed solid, so I bought a system (you can get this without a prescription) and hooked it up. It worked *really really well.* Sleep. Nice.

 

Other things that I used to buttress all of this... Omega Three supplements (I use a vegan algae-derived supplement rather than fish oil), choline supplements, Vitamin D (from sunlight if possible, but I have to supplement in the winter), exercise, outdoor activity (exposure to natural light early in the morning), and neurofeedback therapy.

 

Neurofeedback therapy is also supposed to be good at addressing anxiety and depression, though my experience with it was after my crisis had passed and I was in the "dealing with lingering effects" stage, so I didn't describe it in detail here.

 

I do hope you are doing all right.

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Altostrata

AlasLlama, you really must start some topics in Symptoms and Self-care. Your experiences with these therapies are invaluable.

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Edted

Dear Copingmechanism:

It's been a while since your last post. Please let me know how you are doing. I have seen my son go through periods of extreme dysphoria and have some idea of what has been useful and what hasn't. There are answers.

Ed

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Edted

Dear CM:

My son's post to you follows. Much of it deals with the coping mechanisms he has found for the profound somatic difficulties which he has needed to address because they have interfered with the changes he has wished to make in his inner world view.

You have, as I have understood from your posts in this thread; a reliable grasp of the biological horrors, induced by these poisons. It is a tragic truth that physicians must heal themselves. Your current physiological disruptions require gentle rebalancing; as mine continue to require. Possible avenues for exploration include, but are not limited to, the following measures:

Liver and pancreas are areas impacted by this Pharma disaster. Consider them "ground zero". There are also areas which have degrees of "fall out". Such as, the adrenal glands, gut, and skin. For me, addressing the areas with less fall out first, proved more effective. If you notice a lack of motivation, of "rubber to the road".... struggling to get traction, consider your kidneys a possible starting point. Please notice: thirst and urinary frequency/urgency. The lithium was particularly hard on the kidneys. Consider a reduced sodium diet to give them a much needed rest. Taking care to drink plenty of water. Carrying a water bottle keeps gulping thirst at bay; reducing muscular fatigue and cramps. Exercise, in moderation, will provide better grounding for recovery of hepatic function. Diet is crucial. Consider your gut a rusting, eroded pipeline that occasionally leaks and, thus, absorbs poorly. The water pressure in this "house", through no fault of its own, sucks. If you are like me, we have a tendency to take some good knowledge to extremes. Protein is your friend and so are good carbs. Oatmeal was a critical piece of my mornings (and continues to be essential). Eschew it in the morning at peril of the quality of sleep. Here I'm echoing insights from "selfish brain theory", which has a Wikipedia stub.....worth digesting...wink. Fungal infections are a common antecedent to unbalanced diets and unbalancing drugs. Consider your gut in a state of blight, which requires equally immediate attention and vigilant maintenance during this process. Peppermint, ginger, and vitamin C are powerful allies, to be used in moderation. At this phase, limit fruit intake to morning hours in sparing quantity with the following exception: for noon through evening snackage; berries, tomatoes, kiwis, and melons. Most of the nutritional insight I have is the result of trial and error with myself...so please take any further advice with acknowledged grain of salt. Coffee, dairy and alcohol are highly problematic. Although I don't advise rapid withdrawal from them, I do suggest a careful, measured attrition with these dietary enemies. If you find any or all of these difficult to reduce, you haven't experimented enough. I still drink coffee and eat dairy because they are more difficult challenges for me. If you experience benefit from these food/drugs, don't rock the boat, though here are some possible avenues out of the jungle: alcohol; your blood sugar is currently a high amplitude, low frequency wave....cinnamon, almonds, and good fats/ oils are powerful tools....Omega 3 is frequently emphasized because Western diets and food production methods load us with Omega 6. Canned coconut milk, Omega 3, and Omega 6 work together. Although you may have an adequate supplemental source of Omega 3, you must integrate Omega 9 for ideal results. Meal suggestion: red meat fish, sautéed in coconut oil or coconut milk with an equal helping of your favorite green vegetable (cruciferous are best, but any are good) over brown rice. Do not get behind the wheel or "operate heavy machinery" because you may experience an other-worldly exhaustion, if not the first time, with few repeated efforts. Permit yourself left-overs, if your sleep interrupts, and accept that your body has been deprived of this sleep for so long that it needs this relief. Milk/dairy; (seems particularly difficult for men). I suspect the reason is an hormonal difference, and incumbent strategy of neuroendocrinology. DHEA is a very dangerous and powerful tool I cannot, in good conscience recommend, though I have experimented with highly variable results, and consider it a volatile last resort in dealing with dairy. The moderate approach, as always, takes more time, but establishes a more lasting result. Consider, if you must, a calcium and vitamin D supplement (although I've noted you take/took a calcium supplement, and get sunlight on your walks). Much better than supplementation, as holds true for any nutritional advice, is diet management. Yogurt is best; cottage cheese (almost as good), and sour cream...just next. I have no opinion about butter, so see what works as you cook. Coffee: (this will sound strange, but true for me, as I've reduced my daily intake drastically, but haven't conquered it yet), green tea is absolutely brilliant. Pekoe or oolong get you there and Earl Grey is (seems to me) an ideal first step (or English Breakfast if you prefer). Furthermore, inter-diem calls of nature to arm ourselves with caffeine are best met with chocolate. Enjoy your favorite sort without guilt or panic. If you prefer the milky sort, only keep track of the daily dairy and sugar intake. Chilli is a wise addition to cocoa, as is nutmeg(which, as you may know, has anticholinergic properties, not to be underestimated). Be particularly careful with this "medicine" (nutmeg). If you have any doubt of its potency, dash it into a small cup of red wine (ethanol accelerates its uptake and bio-availability)...use appropriate caution. Back to Chilli...which is a promoter and mild irritant of the bowel... It also is useful as an appetite suppressant and has helped me reduce (though not eliminate) my nicotine intake for reasons I can only speculate. I am happy to provide any further experiential insights regarding somatic recovery. Please note that physical activity must be sustained but gentle. I walk an average of 1 mile daily, but suspect, for various reason (won't belabor now) that Yoga is ideal. Moving on, you have been ( as I have, and each of us on this forum) experienced a profound trauma, worthy of examination. This trauma is the stuff of nightmares. It is the very Minotaur, chasing us through our unsolved labyrinths. We were betrayed and cursed, and denied our very names. The rage you feel is a rage few, thank God, could know; however, I swear that in this nightmare (trapped within the walls of this labyrinth) with monstrous hell at your heels, you will escape, not through some deus ex machina, or some paper crane of peace, but through the floor. Your depth will blast those walls to kingdom come because beneath the rage each and every sinew of that monster is pain. You mentioned Kafka and you are changing too. Gregor Samsa had this problem too. Transformation is not some con or charlatan's alchemy. Samsa's shell was a husk he felt, because he could not worship fool's gold or false authority. Jonah too (your reference to the "belly of the beast") was stuck in a leviathan. What a horrid punishment for his unrealized self-worth! Many times I have said (aloud and in the hollows of my bashing brains), "If there is some loving God, why, oh why, have I been sent to hell"? The answer came, for me, slowly, with pins and needles, and because I dare not preach, can only say, "Have hope". You will feel joy again, even when you've forgotten how. Remember, even when you cannot see the stars by day (or even at night), that they remain as you have. Through your hell, you are intact. You are bruised, but not broken. You have been beaten, but not crippled, and you are maimed, but not murdered.

Be exquisitely kind to yourself, even though you feel you don't deserve such kindness. Your courage will see you through this long and lonesome day. I will be of any help I can. If you want to PM my Dad, I have told him it would be OK for him to respond with my email address.

Faithfully yours,

Cal (not my real name, but the one my dad uses for me on this site)

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Altostrata

Ed, please thank Cal for that excellent contribution.

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Meimeiquest

Dear CM,

 

Hope you're still lurking about! I'm so sorry to read your story. The anti-histamine connection and hives make me think of what Gia has written about histamine intolerance. She has info here and at beyondmeds.com. Just a thought....

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CopingMechanism

Still here. Still hanging in, by a thread.

 

Insomnia, I think, is the real keystone in all of this. If I can somehow just achieve better sleep, then I'm sure I'll see some improvement across the board, right now though, I still can't catch a break.

 

I'm going to have a sleep study done in a few weeks to rule out any organic cause, though I don't have much faith though and wager it's all down to protracted withdrawl. Believe it or not, sleep doc did agree past polypharmacy could of been an etiology, though I chose not to mention withdrawl specifically, the guy is still a psych doc and said he would have suggested ECT back in 2011 after failed responses. Go figure.

 

I just can't seem to get over the hump either way, and decide what - if any- supplement/med/herbal route to go down; beyond what I'm doing already.

 

Also getting an endoscopy next week to check up on my stomach. The carnival plays on.

 

Sorry for lack of responses and updates. Even writing something as brief as this takes some effort.

 

I'm still ambivalent and angry about life right now, trying to shift to a more optmisitc attitude, but my intellect and emotions are playing hard ball.

 

Best,

 

CM

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