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Athena

Athena: journey through depression and antidepressants ...

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Athena

Weird how following a Wellbutrin cut, I often experience this surge of energy. Cut 2mg on Saturday, felt ok-ish. But yesterday, I had so many things done and was unstoppable. However, woke up at 3 this morning after 3.5 hours of sleep. I almost feel bad for writing yesterday I hadn't had insomnia for a long time.

 

Should remember 2 things:

1. Wellbutrin is no longer "easy" to taper for me ( as it used to be, compared to Paxil anyway)

2. Wait until spring (real, spring-like temperature) to cut again. This winter has been crazy on my body.

 

Mucho healing to all. 

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ten0275

Athena, hey.

 

It was my turn to come into your space and time travel-back to when your journey started on this site. You've made a great deal of progress and have really proven your mettle - over and over again. Tremendous spirit. Your drug history fairly resembles mine - except I can't remember everything administered to me over the years. We made for some very good chemistry sets for the doctors to tinker with back before we knew better, didn't we?

 

Thanks for sharing your yoga routine. I like to do a few postures. Interestingly, the best postures for me to hold earlier in withdrawal were the headstand and the plow. I'd get into them easy, even out the breath as best I could, and hold as able. The headstand really helped me when dizziness was an issue. I mean when I would come out of the posture, my head would feel heavy and I'd be slightly dizzy, but as my circulation returned to typical, the dizziness would abate.

 

Quebec! I have twice been to Magog. Orford actually. I lodged both times at a place called Manoir des Sables. I loved it in that I felt as though I was in Europe without ever leaving the continent. I don't speak even a bit of French, but it was fun to just wander around and listen. The road signage confused me a little, but people were friendly. There is a Benedictine monestary there and as I find that sort of chanting (or any chanting really) to be soothing, I went and sat in that space for awhile. Those monks make a blue cheese that is intense. Solid mold-action going on there. I did some dog-sledding and though I rarely ever watch TV in the states, I had to tune into some of the Quebec TV. Crazy programming.

 

For someone whose native tongue is not English, you handle it well. And you do have a lot to say. Unlock that! So as you can, keep up the great posting. When you share your experience, you are igniting yet another lamp that helps illuminate the way for others here now, and those who will come later.

 

Hang in there and all the best.

 

Thrive!

 

Dave

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Athena

Hi Dave!

 

Thank you so much for your beautiful message. It has warmed my heart greatly. You are such a sweet soul!! Thank you thank you. Yes traditional medicine doesn't know what to do with us sensitive souls, but now we know much better!

 

The yoga is so beneficial to me. I used to be very active and physical, but now have lost most of my strength and stamina, so wanted to find something softer... Yoga appeared in my life. With the breathing techniques and the "here and now" philosophie, not only it is helping my body regain some of its shape but it's also helping my mind accepting all that has gone on, and just BE... I love the plow as well! I am not strong enough for the headstand yet, but other postures where you put pressure on the crown of the head do help relieve the mind fog and focus. I am working a lot with postures that help the digestive system, I have a feeling that if it would be more "in shape" I would better assimilate the nutrients that help the healing and be less exhausted... Just a feeling!

 

So you liked it here didn't you! Orford and the Eastern Townships are a nice region. When I feel like moving out of Montreal and get closer to nature, that is one of the regions I would like to move to. Beautiful nature, and also people are just nicer and less stressed outside of the city, as it is anywhere on this planet. Did you know people there or what took you up here? I take it you live in the North-East states? Yes the monks make delicious cheese, and chocolate too! Mmm... Haha even Francophones have a hard time with the road signage in some places around here so it's not just you!!   :P

 

I will try and share more! I think my mind is getting a little bit clearer than it used to be. Plus only in your message I learned 2 new words!! :) I very much hope you are having a good week Dave.

 

Sending  healing winds your way !!

 

Athena

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Athena

Hello all,

 

To my surprise I stabilized fairly fast from the last drop of Wellbutrin. That is, a week or 2 of increased symptoms before going back to my baseline. It gave me time and energy to focus on a problem that has been there for a long time but didn't have (again) time and energy to address it properly. Introducing: constipation!!  One more thing... I will try to skip the details but there really is stuff that has been there for a very long time, it even makes a bulk in my left lower abdomen. So now I spend my days drinking water and prune juice, Aloe vera juice, vinegar with molasses and eating fibrous vegetables, doing digestive yoga, taking walks... I do have an appointment to my MD next week to make sure there's nothing dangerous there, and I admit I have postponed doing that action for months and months, probably due to my absence of trust in any doctors. I have a profound conviction that I know more about what's going on in my body than any of them. I do realize now however how this attitude can be dangerous in certain situations.

 

Aahh sun!! It has arrived. I can see an end to the below freezing point temperatures and it makes the days lighter. Can't wait for those long walks in the park without having to contract every muscle in my body to keep warm. That is energy I will be able to put elsewhere! :)

 

I wish everyone a nice spring-to-come, the season of rebirth. May each and every one of you feel reborn with health and happiness.

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ten0275

athena, hello!

i'm so happy to hear you have stabilized so well after your last drop. that is absolutely fantastic. it's also cool that you can now focus your energy on some other issues that need, um, "movement in the right direction" so to speak. you are doing so many good, natural things to help that situation. i'm not sure if you partake in magnesium supplementation, but boosting your magnessium intake can also help that process. i have utilized magnessium for this very purpose from time to time.

thank you for your last post - it was great and it made me smile. things have been crazy busy of late, so sorry i had not the time to respond sooner. i have one more little canada experience to share with you.

about 5 years or so years ago, i was in northern new hampshire. i was staying in a cabin and observing the amazing amount of moose that congregate, breed, and generally stroll around in that pristine border area. i had heard that over the border in, i think it is chartierville, quebec was a place called "magnetic hill." basically, it is an optical illusion. you park your car on a portion of the hill, put it in neutral, and it feels like you are being pulled uphill. google it if you're interested. anyway, i decided to do this early one morning. i drove up to the border station. it was empty. there was a gate into canada, it was open. i approached. no guard. so i drove right on through. magnetic hill wasn't too far off, so i headed to it and got my fill of its craziness. as i was driving back to the border station, i was surprised to see two armed men emerge as i was attempting to re-enter the u.s. i stopped the car. they informed me that i had entered canada without permission of your nation. that doing so was a violation of international law, and that i needed canada's permission to re-enter the u.s. and as they were telling me this, i saw the canadian border patrol waiting for me back on the other side.

talk about something that will get the intestines working, athena! long story short, your border guards were very friendly. they had heavy french accents, but spoke english fine. they told me that i was unusual (i think they were referring to what i did, but hell, maybe i AM unusual). i needed to fill out some paperwork, they searched my car, deemed me an innocent person, and sent me on my way back to the america.

what a thing!

thanks for your update, please stay in touch, and hang in there!

dave

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Athena

Hello all!

 

Just a quick word to say that I am still here and reading your stories, just not very good at writing about my own one. Lets try a little bit.

 

First, the bulk in my abdomen was not due to constipation. 5 months and many medical tests later, I'm still unsure what this bulk is (which shows a lot about how our medical system is going), but I know it's not in my digestive system. Probably a huge fibroid, but still waiting for the results from the MRI to make sure it's nothing more serious or threatening.

 

Symptoms continue to vary in intensity, but I think warmer days and the longer holds have been very helpful. The insomnia has improved with the last drop of Wellbutrin, which made me want to finish that one off once and for all before reducing more of the Paxil. About 4 more drops and no more W in my life!!! 

 

I have tried to enjoy more the little moments of fun in my life, with the few people who care and "understand more". I have tried to "let go" of the other ones, and also of the things that take too much energy. I have been a bit more focused on what gives me energy. Yoga still takes a big place in my everyday life. I am even going to start a one day a week course to eventually give yoga classes. I'm very excited about that!!

 

Dave I LOVE your story, you are so unusual!! :lol:

 

I wish everyone peace and healing!

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Athena

Hello all, just a quick word to tell you to not give up, be patient, and take as much good care of yourself as you can.

 

Finished one of my 2 ADs 2 days ago. I am seeing the end to this, still far but very real. The finish line is there for each one of you as well, somewhere over there. Hang in there. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Patiently and confidently.

 

Love,

 

Athena

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brassmonkey

Hi Athena-- congratulations on finishing half of your journey. Getting off one of the drug is a really big deal, well done.

 

(((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))

 

Brass

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ravijaua

I would say you came so far from when you started.

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Athena

Thanks for your encouragements guys, it means a lot to me.

 

Hugs and love

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Athena

Hello all,

 

Well, I think I should have taken a little break after I finished the wellbutrin. I went right ahead and continued the paxil taper, but now I catch cold after cold, and even developed shingles. Once again I have to put on the brakes and breeeaathe... I have to say the cold came pretty fast this year and as always since WD, the changes of season are hard on my body. Are you guys in nordic places always cold? I used to tolerate it well, but not anymore. I take hot baths, the hottest I can take! And am hanging in there.

 

Take care everybody.

 

A.

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Athena

I am really struggling right now. I don't think I ma getting any sleep at all. I stay in the getting to sleep phase, but never really get to sleep. I am not recuperating at all. It has been 3 or 4 nights like that. My brain just caùn't stop. And just can't rest. The last drop of paxil was 18 days ago now, so I am not sure about updosing or not. I think that the shingles and the big cold right at the same time of the last drop made it impossible for my body to stabilise. So I'M waiting to stabilise. If there is anything you can think of n terms of sleep aid that I haven't thought of yet please let me know. Each night I am taking magnesium with taurine, 1mg melatonin, a herbal mix of skullcap, oat, holy basil and lemon balm, as well as skullcap extract/tincture and valerian extract.

 

Thank you

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scallywag

I'm sorry to read about the intensity of your latest wave. 

 

When are you taking melatonin?

 

Have you set yourself up for sleep with sleep hygiene tips? Some of those tips:

  • completely dark room -- remove all LED lights (clocks, phones, etc.), block light through windows
  • no exposure to blue light -- television, electronics (phone and computer) screens, 1-2 hours before going to sleep
  • daytime exercise, best is a walk outside
  • exposure to daylight, best is a walk outside

For more ideas, see Tips to help sleep.

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Athena

Thank you so much for your response Scallywag.

 

I have had some sleep night before last, really not bad in fact, 2x 3 hours about. Last night I did not sleep much though, but I think I felt less panicked, maybe because I knew I was able to sleep again from the night before. So I will gladly take a night out of 2 for now!

 

I take melatonin between 9-10 PM, for going to bed at around 11 PM. I do the walk outside around lunchtime and then I do a yoga practise. My room is free of all electronics and as dark as possible, but I am so sensitive to noise that the tiniest noise from the neighbors wakes me up and prevents me from going back to sleep. Thats life I guess.

 

One thing I could improve is turn my television off 1h before bed. I tend to watch funny shows to cheer me up before bed... Probably not the best. Thanks for reminding me.

 

I hope you are doing ok Scallywag. Hang in there everyone.

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scallywag

Melatonin works best if it's taken around dusk, when the hormone typically starts to increase in the body. Once or twice in the summer, I took a split dose -- half at around 7 pm, half around 9 pm -- when the insomnia seemed a little stickier than previously.

 

Have you considered white noise to block out neighbours' rumblings? There are apps for phones & computers available at little to no cost.

 

With the television, you could get actual "rose-coloured" glasses to filter out the blue light. The brand "Blue Blockers" are available online (amazon, and probably others). I found an inexpensive pair of fashion "sun" glasses with orange/pink lenses years ago at a drug store (Shoppers, I think) that seemed to do the trick for me.

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Athena

Thank you for those nice ideas Scallywag.

 

My boyfriend and I are great fans of total silence especially at night, but before we can obtain that in a house of our own, we are stuck in an old city city appartment with neighbors all around, so the white noise is a good idea. I downloaded a 3 hours of gentle rain which I have tried yesterday as I got to bed. It helped me not to grip onto outside noise and focus on the rain sound. It is relaxing. I will look into the pink glasses as well, but for now I turn the TV off earlier and read a book instead.

 

The pattern of one night of 2x 3hours sleep/one night more intense insomnia seems to continue, with the more intense insomnia night improving a bit, that is, instead of only about 1-2 hours sleep at the end of the night because of complete exhaustion, it looks more like little moments of sleep throughout the night with many, many awakenings. I guess that is an improvement, right?

 

Scallywag I have a question for you. I see that you are in Canada too, and dusk at this time of year is not much later than 4 PM... I am concerned that if I take the melatonin even abit later than that, like around 6PM, I might miss my "going to sleep window" if I go to bed around 11... What time do you take yours this time of year?

 

Thank you +++

 

Athena

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scallywag

In the melatonin thread, I posted a link to a blog by a pediatric sleep specialist at Yale/Princeton (?). He explains the sleep and hormone cycles and the timing of melatonin dosing. Have a look:

Melatonin for sleep

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Athena

Thank you Scally. He speaks a bit fast for me, but I basically understood that the best time to take melatonin is around 4 hours before bedtime. So what I'll do is like you did last summer, take 0.5mg at around 7PM and then 0.5mg at around 9PM.

 

The wave seemed to calm down a bit 2-3 days ago, but then PMS started to kick in and sleep got bad again. PMS is worse when the Monthly dosage drop was more difficult, of course. I know I'll feel better when my periods will start.

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Athena

Still struggling very much. Sleep is bad. I manage to get to sleep with all the supplements and sleep preparation but only stay asleep about 2 hours. Spend most of the night trying to sleep. I get another couple hours in the morning from exhaustion.

 

I thought the wave was going away, but with PMS it's worse than it even was. My whole body and nervous system is in constant panic mode. My head and face are burning. I am, of course, exhausted. I am still very tempted to updose, but it might be too late: last drop was exactly 4 weeks ago. Maybe I should be patient and wait for my periods to start. I'm not sure I can take another 4 days of this though...

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AliG

Athena. So sorry, however your signature is a wall of numbers. It does my head in. Anyone that can read that deserves a medal.

 

Could you please simplify this so we can read it and understand.

 

Thanking you in advance.

 

I think you're taking too much . You need to get your own body clock working naturally.

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Athena

Sorry about the messy signature, it is indeed way too long.

 

I will try and make it clearer when my mind is clearer.

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AliG

Athena. I hope that didn't come across in a harsh way. I'm having my own struggle right now and didn't mean to be in any way confrontational.

Hugs,

Ali

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Athena

No harm done Ali. I well know we are all struggling and try to be the best we can. Anyone who tries to help has my respect and huge thankfullness.

 

I sometimes wonder too how my words come out of this very foggy brain, plus with the language barrier it makes things even more foggy for me.

 

Hugs to you too Ali,and wishing better days to everyone. As for me I'll hang on to the routine again for now. Will go get my light and my exercice with a walk in the cold winter.

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direstraits

just wanted to send support and healing thoughts to you....

 

love and hugs,ds

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Athena

Thank you so much Direstraits, it means a lot to me.

 

I feel a little bit better today, less like I am going to explode... the periods are probably coming soon and will surely bring some relief.

 

I hope you are doing better today too DS. We will eventuelly feel a lot better, I am convinced of it.

 

Take good care, a lot of love to you

 

Athena

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Athena

I wish the most peaceful and joyful Christmas to you all, courageous people.

 

My nights are still pretty sleepless so I am feeling like  zombie, but trying to be the most joyful zombie as can be!

 

Love to all,

 

Athena

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Athena

Hi guys

This is hard for me to do, but I have to say I am pretty discouraged right now. I just don't recover from my last paxil reduction. It has been more than 2 months now, and my head just keeps spinning and worrying, my body is in panick state almost all the time, and mostly, the majority of my nights consist of about 2 hours of sleep. I usually stabilise way better than that, not perfect but better. I am lost and in need of more brains to help me figure this out.

 

The last drop was on Nov. 22nd... Is it too late to updose? I can't take anynmore I am becoming crazy.

 

Thanks a million guys.

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Athena

I know my signature is very busy. I finished the Wellbutrin in September, then decreased Paxil from 2.2mg to 2.0mg in October, and then to 1.8mg in November.

 

I also had some appartment issues that increased the stress: noisy neighbors sometimes at night, mice in the ceiling, etc

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Flowers

Hi Athena- thank you for visiting my thread.

 

So sorry you are struggling right now.

 

Just wanted to say that I am struggling too so you are not alone.

 

We are both tapering but you have got down to low levels of the drug which I think can be very tricky. My last drop was in November too and I haven't been that good for 6 weeks now.

 

I really hope things improve for the both of us soon.

 

This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!

 

Take care.

 

Flowers xxxx

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scallywag

Athena, you could try an updose, but I suggest that you continue at your current dose until the symptoms settle down and become more manageable.do it.  Changing doses can be upsetting.

 

Although this topic says it is about reinstating or updosing, the same information applies to the reaction after decreasing:

How long to stabilize after reinstating or updosing.

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direstraits

thanks for visiting my thread,Athena.

 

sorry you're struggling right now...hope it gets better soon.

 

apartments can be stressful,I know...nothing like having your own house.

 

hang in there, it will get better again...paxil is the drug from hell :angry: 

 

hugs, ds

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Athena

Thank you Flowers. Yes, it helps to know we are not alone. This is the hardest thing I have gone through as well, well this and the depression that came before, and that at a point they just mixed together, the depression and the ADs problems, I know that now.  Things WILL improve for both of us, the healing continues...

 

DS, ah yes, apartments... I have had sooo many apartments stories! We are in the process of finding our own house, my boyfriend and I. So yes, there is that stress too, but once we find it will make our lives calmer and more peaceful :) Drug from hell indeed that Paxil.

 

Hugs to you guys, I wish you a beautiful Sunday. xx 

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Athena

Thank you Scallywag. I decided to make a slight updose from 1.8 to 1.9mg. I know changes in dose are not the best, but I was really getting at the end of my rope with really dark and scary thoughts during the night while not sleeping... I am thinking I might still be feeling the end of Wellbutrin in September. Would have been wise to take a break there. Will take the break now!

 

I will let you know how it goes at 1.9mg. Thank you so much for your help.

 

Much healing,

 

Athena

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Athena

Sleep is still very bad, about 2h per night. In addition to the supplements I already take to sleep (melatonin, magnesium with taurine, valerian and scullcap tinctures), I have decided to try l-theanine. I feel really bad and look like a ghost.

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Flowers

Hi Athena

 

How are you doing now? Any improvements since the updose?

 

 

xxxxx

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Athena

Hi Flowers, thank you so much for checking on me. Yes I have been able to sleep a little more since a couple of days and have therefore been a little better. Yet a little bit better feels so good! I am not sure if it's only from the tiny updose. I also have switched the pure valerian tincture I took at night to a mix that contains valerian but also other herbs. Also I have started to take adaptogenic herbs during the day which seem to help as well. I have had 2 treatments of acupuncture as well, so probably helped too. I was so desperate from the 2 hours sleep, I needed to find a solution!! There is still improvement to be done, but I am now in a place where I can be more patient and work for the healing process to do the rest. Phew! Also when the sleep gets easier and better, I will try to decrease and stop the valerian mix tincture and hope my body will find its own capacity to sleep.

 

What about you? Are you feeling any better? How are you?

 

Hugs xxxx

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