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Athena

Athena: journey through depression and antidepressants ...

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dj2010
On 03/04/2018 at 10:37 PM, Athena said:

Thank you DJ, yes I will continue trying the Epsom salt baths. About the magnesium again...

 

What kind of problems were that, do you remember? Linked to sleep?

 

I am glad your sleep has been better lately, 6-7 hours is great, I really hope I will get there. I hope your feet bath helps while away. I had better nights thursday and friday (about 5-6h total but not consecutive) but now I am back to one night zero sleep, one night 2x 2h... (sigh)... I called the doc to maybe increase the thyroid med back to where it was right away instead of waiting a whole month to do the tests, I really don't think it helped that I reduced that.

 

Take care DJ

Hi Athena, just had a quick search and most people are fine with the glycinate and some people have had reactions, see links below, but if you are fine with it then best sticking to it,

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/?page=12&tab=comments#comment-308453

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/12407-survivor1-sleeping-after-trazodone-and-benzo/?page=9&tab=comments#comment-340703

 

I am glad you are having some decent nights sleep,

 

how are you at the moment?

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Athena

Thank you for your help DJ. I am not well. One night out of 2 I don't get any sleep and it's a living hell. The more the night advances, the more my heart is pounding, my head is racing, my face feels warm, Iam so thirsty, have horrible body jerks and I am like on speed and so stressed. This crazy insomnia has lasted for 9 months now. I thought I was doing everything well with my WD so far, I don't understand what is happening. I had an intense bout of insomnia the winter before for 3 months too which stabilised after I updosed 0.1mg, I should have stayed there for many many months I know that now.  But I had made my cuts smaller and more time between. Is this "just" WD you think? Be patient and endure still? Will it improve? My god I am scared.

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direstraits

so sorry you're suffering like this....it's awful.

I feel like I'm losing this battle....I'm so scared too.

xx

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dj2010
1 hour ago, Athena said:

Thank you for your help DJ. I am not well. One night out of 2 I don't get any sleep and it's a living hell. The more the night advances, the more my heart is pounding, my head is racing, my face feels warm, Iam so thirsty, have horrible body jerks and I am like on speed and so stressed. This crazy insomnia has lasted for 9 months now. I thought I was doing everything well with my WD so far, I don't understand what is happening. I had an intense bout of insomnia the winter before for 3 months too which stabilised after I updosed 0.1mg, I should have stayed there for many many months I know that now.  But I had made my cuts smaller and more time between. Is this "just" WD you think? Be patient and endure still? Will it improve? My god I am scared.

sorry to hear this Athena, yeh that feeling of being on speed and the jerks is awful, I had that most of the time, I actually had a hypnic jerk when falling asleep last night, my wife even commented on it,

 

what dose are you on now? have you talked to the mods about doing a small updose?

 

yes this is withdrawal so don't panic and start thinking its something different,

 

have you read AliG's thread? she went through years of severe insomnia and she is doing great now,

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/8303-☼-alig-surviving/

 

take care

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Athena

So sorry you are suffering too ds.

DJ yes, it is awful. I am now on 1.6mg Paxil. I already did a slight increase from 1.5 to 1.6 in January after 5 months of this crazy insomnia, so I'm not sure it would be indicated right now?

 

I have read pieces of AliG's thread , I'll try to read more it might give me strength.

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mogfish

Hi Athena. Sorry to see that you are suffering so much. I just want to check in and give you some hope and encouragement. I am now just over 4 years free of Pristiq and I can honestly tell you that I am doing really really well. I believe that I have made a full recovery. 

I went through what you are going through now with the pounding heart, insomnia, and wired and tired feeling. I believe mine was adrenal fatigue and this was backed up with blood tests that showed very high levels of aldosterone. I believe that for me, taking high dose vitamin c 3000mg daily and the herb ashwagandha were very beneficial to me in supporting me through this phase. 

Athena, if I could offer you one piece of advice, it would be to listen to your body rather than everyone elses opinions as what works for one may not work for another and you will just become overwhelmed with all the information. 

You will be healing day by day but won't always notice. It was only a few weeks ago that I realised that I don't have waves anymore and I honestly don't remember the last one!! Now that's a fantastic feeling. 

I try not to re visit the dark times I went through whilst coming off pristiq and instead focus on rebuilding my relationship with my now 19 year old daughter who was deeply affected by my behaviour whilst taking and coming off antidepressants. I have turned my life around in the last 2 years. I have moved close to the beach and walk along the water daily, my relationship with my daughter is strong and getting stronger, and I'm healthy and content. 

I don't come on here anymore but I have been getting notifications via email of your progress and just wanted to give you some hope and encouragement.

Hang in there Athena. It will get better. Xo

 

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Athena

Thank you so much for this beautiful message mogfish. You give me oh so needed hope. xx

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Blondiee1915

Hi Athena -  

 

I saw your post on shakeyjerry thread regarding adrenals.  I also struggle with fatigue for a while now .  I take adren all supplement which I think is helping a bit.  Other than that rest and relaxation and clean diet .  Hope this helps

 

b

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Athena

Thank you so much for your input Blondiee. No insomnia or too stimulating then? Good to hear.

 

Looking it up, I see some ingredients might be too stimulating for me. I was taking a mix of herbs only called Adrenal Support, now I am evaluating if all the herbs were ok for me. I might try the Ashwagandha alone.

 

Take good care

 

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BentBuddha

quercetin - THE  worst supplement for affecting protracted withdrawal syndrome I've had in 6years. Something about what it does to serotonin receptor.  I added it to my mix of supplements without much thought as nothing on the bottle mentioned this action. After a downward spiral that i couldn't work out wtf was going on, i had to investigate what i had been doing lately that was different. Finally worked out the only thing was this supplement . Googled the name + serotonin receptor and found the link.

Avoid at all cost

 

bb

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ten0275

Athena, hey.

 

Sorry to hear you have had a rough go of things lately. All supplementation in withdrawal should be exercised with caution, as even the supplements have their own side-effects which can confuse us in determining what is a symptom of withdrawal, and what is a side-effect of supplementation. And there most certainly is not a one-sized fits all model for everyone. As with most everything in withdrawal, what works for one person may not work well for another.

 

In terms of quercetin, I personally have had good luck with it. While it does have an affinity to the serotonin receptors, I found that for me personally, the affect was desired particularly when it came to anxiety and depression. There are some some studies that support this.

 

https://www.wellnessresources.com/studies/quercetin-offsets-anxiety-and-depression

 

But again, this is not a one-size fits all model. As my antidepressant was/is mirtazapine which does a job on the 5-hydroxytryptamine type receptors, I suffered from a lot of histamine-related issues such as headaches, dizziness, dietary sensitivities, and mood issues. Quercetin was a turning point for me in this regard allowing me to return to eating a wide range of foods which previously had triggered histamine-related symptoms.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16258243

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314669/

 

All of this said, I did not supplement much during my acute withdrawal phase which last approximately 12 months. In desperation, I tried a wide variety of supplements straight out of the gate, but could not handle any of them and decided to abandon all supplements aside from magnesium glycinate and fish oil. It was only after the worst of my withdrawal passed that I was able to support my healing with some select supplementation of vitamins and herbs - mostly vitamins. It should be noted that as withdrawal produces massive changes in our bodies and nervous systems, supplements that have been tolerated for some time before withdrawal, or when symptoms were more manageable, may prove intolerable. And conversely, as healing progresses, supplements that were once intolerable can become support structures for further healing.

 

Use caution as your guide in choosing. Time is the best supplement of all.

 

Hang in there,

 

Dave

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brassmonkey

Thank you BentBuddha-- not only does quercetin effect the serotonin receptors in a bad manner it also interacts badly with just about every AD and AP there is not to mention most PPIs and a good number of antibiotics.  This is one that we all really need to avoid.

 

Brassmonkey

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freespirit

Athena,

 

I'm sorry too, that things are so difficult at the moment. Everything changes in time, although it often feels like too much time, when one is in the throes of suffering.

 

I wanted to add my 2 cents about Quercetin. My experience is similar to Dave's. I didn't start taking it until about 6 months after jumping off. It's been hugely important to me, and I've had zero problems with it. Like Dave, I've suffered from histamine issues. Without Quercetin, I've have a diet of about 6 things. Even now, if I cut back to once a day, symptoms reappear. I think it's important to realize that with all supplements, we are all different. What is toxic to one person is healing to another, and vice versa. And what works at one time does not at another. I hope you find whatever it is you need, to help you through this time.

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Athena

Thank you all for your inputs. Quercitin doesn't seem to have done anything.

 

I have been taking Aspirin 81mg when I wake up at night and it seems to help to get more sleep... However lately I have noticed it increases my symptom of tightness in throat, and it makes me anxious and very uncomfortable, not very helpful for sleep... Has anyone experienced that? I really don't know what to do because the aspirin has been my only hope in reducing my insomnia... Thoughts or inputs?

 

I am still struggling very much, especially with insomnia. I am starting my 10th month of this hell. It's very hard to belive it will end.

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direstraits

I'm so sorry,Athena,wish I knew what would help.

thinking of you.

xxx

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Athena

Thank you for your support DS. Thinking of you too. xx

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Athena

Hi all. I had decided to go back to the dose I was of cytomel and deal with it, unless I had proof it was worsening me... Went to see an endocrinologist end of May and turns out I had too much T3 (cytomel) and not enough T4. So cytomel was reduced from 25mcg to 5mcg over a 2 month period, and synthroid was added (now 50mcg). Each time after a decrase in cytomel my sleep would improve a bit, then after a week would be really bad again. So I kept decreasing, thinking when I get to a very low dose it will help. Well I am at this very loow dose now and even though my thyroid labs are closer to 'normal", my sleep has worsened and I'm having the night terrors and hot face and panick and "on speed" feeling again. Does anyone understand this? Can I have a withdrawal reaction from reducing cytomel even if it was too high for me? I feel so trapped, in a catch-22, running in circles... It has been a year of this crazy insomnia. I am barely hanging in there.

 

A thyroid group on FB suggests I take suplements to lower cortisol especially at night. I will do the cortisol saliva test tomorrow. I think I will start with either phosphatidylserine or Seriphos, then add holy basil, then add zinc. 

 

Any opinion/advice would be very welcome.

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Athena

Has anyone recovered from a very severe insomnia? I could really use the encouragement right now...

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Meimeiquest

I find PS to be very helpful.  I usually use NOW brand 100 mg (NOT the soy-free which is worthless) from Amazon.  In a pinch I’ve gotten Designs for Health brand locally when I’ve run out, it’s great but quite expensive.  The NOW has a bit of inositol and something else in it.  Now I take 200 mg at bedtime.  When I was doing worse, I took 500 mg totally/day, 100 mg when I woke in cortisol overload, 100 mg about 3 pm, and 200 mg at bedtime, 100 mg in middle of night. Besides blocking the action of cortisol, PS is also involved in cell membrane health/signaling.  One dr recommends looking at all these things for signaling:  lithium ( tiny dose lithium orotate), Vit B12 (check not too high or low...mine was high, the adenosyl (?) version has been great, in careful doses, I think I don’t metabolize B12 correctly), omega-3s, and PS. 

 

I had quite a bit of nutritional testing done and was really low in glycine.  It’s involved in the GABA/glutamate dance.  I don’t feel it helping, but I take it. I think the capsules were 1000-1300 mg; now I just get the raw product off Amazon.

 

i had trouble with the adrenal support formula prescribed for me, I was taking it 3 times/day and the B vitamins bothered me late in the day.  Also some of the adaptogens have been great, some not.  Lemon balm helped but I had interdosewithdrawal, like a bento.  I try all that stuff one by one.  Progesterone cream helped but my doctor nixed it, she said oral was ok (prescription) because it quickly metabolizes to something else...I haven’t tried it.  I like camomile tea.  I use a really nice sleep mask. I use essential oils.  And I don’t always sleep well, but always some.

 

to me the biggest thing has been finding out all the things wrong apart from withdrawal, I think we’re just more fragile.  My brain went off over scabies, a tick bite, mold exposure just to name a few.  Keep trying and learning, you’ll get there!

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Athena

Thank you Meimei. Many days it's even hard to write here because of the tiredness and the brain fog and well... the desperation.

 

Have you tried CBD? I think I'm giong to try it.

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dj2010

hi Athena, hope you are well, just letting you know been using cbd oil again for the last few nights and it is working again, falling asleep unbelievably quicker, within minutes of trying and waking only 1 time instead of 3 times, fit bit is showing around double deep sleep also, still been awake since 3.30am but fell asleep before 9pm so got a good 6 1/2 hours, i must of been using too much of it when it went paradoxical or I must of needed a break, hoping it continues to work, if you are going to try it then start very slow

 

take care

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Athena

@dj2010 thank you so much for the update. How many drops do you take? Under tongue? How long before going to bed?

 

I have tried CBD one night, just one drop. I slept 15 -30 minutes only that night, but I don't know if it just didn't work, or if it worsened my sleep. I have had to make changes in my thyroid meds, and sleep had been so unstable lately that it is really hard to say. I have had other nights with almost no sleep too. But for now, I am scared to try it again. When sleep is a bit more stable I might try again.

 

Thanks again DJ, take care xx

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dj2010
18 hours ago, Athena said:

@dj2010 thank you so much for the update. How many drops do you take? Under tongue? How long before going to bed?

 

I have tried CBD one night, just one drop. I slept 15 -30 minutes only that night, but I don't know if it just didn't work, or if it worsened my sleep. I have had to make changes in my thyroid meds, and sleep had been so unstable lately that it is really hard to say. I have had other nights with almost no sleep too. But for now, I am scared to try it again. When sleep is a bit more stable I might try again.

 

Thanks again DJ, take care xx

 

hi Athena, I take 3 drops under the tongue at 7pm and sleep for 9ish,

 

if you are finding it activating then you likely have a sativa strain of CBD oil, best using a indica strain at bedtime, heres a link explaining the 2:

 

https://www.marijuanabreak.com/know-the-differences-between-indica-and-sativa-strains

 

you might want to try taking it at dinner time instead, it can take a few weeks for cbd oil to build up in the system and start working properly, you best stay at 1 drop as another member on here I think it was Fontman was doing just 1 drop a day and then after a few days he had a huge panic attack from it

 

I am actually growing my own at the moment in back garden, plant should be ready in a couple months, going to make my own CBD oil then

 

take care

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Athena

Still with the crazy insomnia, almost absent sleep to absent sleep one night out of 2. At the end of my rope doesn't say it.

 

My thyroid meds were changed from 25mcg Cytomel to 12.5mcg Cytomel+ Synthroid 62.5mcg (so that I would have T4 also and not just T3 hormones. Last blood test T3 and T4 were in range, and TSH was 1.33. Is that too low of a TSH in WD? Anybody has an opinion on that? @Altostrata?

Thank you

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Blondiee1915

Hi Athena, 

 

I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  I was searching SA to see if anyone else has this condition and your post came up.  

 

From my personal research my understanding is that TSH is not a good indicator of thyroid issues and you really have to look at T3, T4, Reverse T3 as well as iron, ferritin, B12 and folate levels.  In range does not necessarily mean you are optimal and thus many experience hypo symptoms still being in range but not optimal.  Check out Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM) site for more information and there is also a group on FB called adrenal fatigue and thyroid. 

 

Per STTM optimal values are: 

Thyroid: Free T3: top part of the range

               Free T4: mid-range

               Reverse T3: bottom 3 numbers in range or lower 

               TSH: ignore - will naturally go below range

Iron: Iron approx 110 or slightly less

         % Saturation - 35

         Ferritin: 50s and ideal is 70 - 90

         TIBC: lower 300 (though some stay in 200s)

B12: upper quarter of range

Vitamin D:ideal 60 - 80 

 

Here are some links:

 

https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/tsh-why-its-useless/

https://stopthethyroidmadness.com/lab-values/

 

 

 

 

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bubble

How are you doing now Athena?

 

I've been reading through your thread. Not so many of us old timers around :) You have been through so much but insomnia is so hellish. I hope things have improved. 

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Athena

Hi @bubble, thank you for stopping by on my thread. Sorry for the delay, I had a surgery and on top of the rest I really am exhausted.

 

Yes, we both have been through so much and indeed, not so many of old timers around. I am not feeling well. The insomnia is still hellish and I wonder every night and day if I will ever get good sleep again. I also wonder why this hell is taking so long to subside, having done what I thought was a careful taper. I guess everyone is different.

 

How are you doing dear Bubble? How did the insomnia subside for you?

 

Athena xx

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Athena

Hi @Blondiee1915,

 

Thank you for giving me those informations a long time ago. I'm in a really hard patch.

 

Yes, I had heard about the STTM protocol, but it's so hard to find a doctor who is willing to follow it. Also my insomnia has been so hellish, I am now afraid to change anything in my medication even though my free T3 is in range but not top range, and my free T4 is below range. I find it really hard to manage this at the same time as WD. My iron labs have always been in the very low "normal" so since my surgery I have been taking iron because became clearly anemic. How is all that going for you?

 

Athena xx

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Blondiee1915

Hi @Athena

 

Sorry you are struggling.  Do you have your lab work? There is a group on Facebook called adrenal fatigue and thyroid care.  They look into the labs and give good advice and suggestions.  

 

Your iron might be an issue...  if it is low (like mine) instead of thyroid hormone going to T3 it can go to Reverse T3 instead. A high reverse T3 can cause many awful symptoms.  Same for cortisol.  In order for thyroid med to work you need to have good cortisol and iron.  I would work on getting these optimal.  

 

Are you on natural desiccated thyroid? I forget 

 

It is good you are taking iron.  It will take some time to build up in your system.  It is a slow process, just be patient ❤️

 

I wonder if you have high cortisol at night that is causing your insomnia.  Have you heard of holy basil? It suppose to bring up cortisol assuming it is low.  

 

Which iron are you taking and how many? 

 

How is your B12, folate and vitamin D? 

 

I am doing not so great but that isn’t my own fault.  I went from 10 mg of Luvox to 25 over the weekend bc I was having awful anxiety attacks at work.  That didn’t go to well and now I am back to 15 mg.  Hoping to stabilize.  

 

As far as thyroid I am not optimal either but for now I stopped at 60 mg armour which is a tiny starter dose.  I am working on my low cortisol (taking adrenal cortex) and iron (taking iron pills), but not planning to increase armour.  

 

Hang in there 

 

 

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