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Petunia

☼ Petunia: recovering from 13 years of antidepressant use

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ten0275

@Petunia, what an amazing, amazing, amazing update. thank you so much for posting it. it is so inspiring and i think you are indeed darn close to the full-on recovery story. :) i am 2 months off all drugs as of this thursday and still lightly symptomatic in intervals, but feel continued healing happening as well. to read how you have progressed and endured and progressed more adds much-needed confirmation to the process, how it goes, and how it resolves. thank you, thank you thank you.

 

hang in there,

 

dave

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delsol

This is great to read. I just got reacquainted with this site today, after much struggle and many months not reading things here. I am grateful to read stories by people who look at their trials and tribulations, their challenges and successes, as an ongoing process.  Right now things feel so hard for me, with these med changes. I hope to someday post here in a few years that I've gotten much better. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, reading success stories helps me to stay afloat. 

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Altostrata

Petunia! So good to hear. It's been such a long, long road. You've given us so much here, thank you.

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Leo1983

@Petunia

 

Hi,

 

How long were you on meds all together? Also how long were you on Lexapro.

 

Pleased to see improvements.

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JackieDecides
On 8/11/2019 at 9:51 PM, Petunia said:

Sleeping in late is one of those pleasures in life everyone deserves to have sometimes.

 

 

I think this is true and measure how I'm doing by how sleep is going.

 

you do sound like you are maybe so recovered it's time for a success story thread. but, maybe there is no clear line. 

 

what matters is you are better and thank you for sharing it with us! 

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Petunia

If I could remember how to do it, I would change my avatar to a new window picture. It's been 2 months since I last updated and I've had another positive change, so thought I would write about it.

I''m either in a really good window, have turned a corner or my recent drastic change in diet has done something good. I don't want to jump to conclusions yet, but I started feeling much better right after I changed my mostly plant based diet to a meat based ketogenic diet. Ethically, I didn't really want to, I'd been heading on a path towards raw veganism for a while, but after doing a lot of research, I started wondering if a change in diet might help with my remaining symptoms, which were extreme fatigue, low stress tolerance, low energy, mild to moderate joint and muscle pain, cognitive issues, and morning dread and anxiety. I seemed to have been left with a kind of chronic fatigue condition and my recovery seemed to have plateaued there - much better than being in the thick of cycling withdrawal symptoms, but still very limited in my functioning and quality of life.

 

Anyway, long post kept short, I've been eating keto for about 10 days now and I'm feeling great! Everything has now resolved, apart from the pain, that has improved somewhat too, but not gone completely. I"ve been keeping my net carbs to under 20 grams a day, getting most of my calories from healthy fats and eating a moderate amount of protein. Still eating very clean, with whole foods and no packaged or processed anything. This change in diet has forced me to take all grains out of my diet, and I'm wondering if that might have helped too.

 

Anyway, time will tell, if this improvement sticks, I will be writing my recovery story in a few months I guess.

 

I'm sorry I don't visit here much these days, but thank you for the ongoing support and encouragement.

Edited by Petunia
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Goosie

Glad you are feeling better!   I was vegan before I got sick but have been eating meat since.   I  feel like it is helping but it is still taking a really long time to recover.   I figure the brain needs protein to rebuild itself.    

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Cocopuffz17

That is awesome to hear. More success with diet change... even more so with removing grains from the diet. A lot of grains are inflammatory and have lectins which cause a lot of digestive issues/inflammation. Glad to hear of your continued healing! 

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Longestroadhome

I was vegan for a long time but stupidly followed the advice of some plant based doctors and went low/ no oil. I swear it made my mood much worse and probably didn’t help my skin either. I swung the pendulum and went keto for a while but have settled comfortably following Dr Gundry’s Plant Paradox diet. He promotes good fats, especially olive oil and also a healthy amount of fish. I feel much better eating this way.

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Cocopuffz17
8 hours ago, Longestroadhome said:

I was vegan for a long time but stupidly followed the advice of some plant based doctors and went low/ no oil. I swear it made my mood much worse and probably didn’t help my skin either. I swung the pendulum and went keto for a while but have settled comfortably following Dr Gundry’s Plant Paradox diet. He promotes good fats, especially olive oil and also a healthy amount of fish. I feel much better eating this way.


Hey! Me as well. I changed my nutrition and could not believe the difference in the way I felt. How long have you been eating Plant Paradox ? 

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Rhiannon

PETU!!!!! So great to hear from you! 

 

I am thrilled to hear about your recovery. Thank you for coming back and sharing it with us. Yes, you should write a recovery story. You can always update it as things continue to improve.

 

I guess I should update mine, actually. I'm on lower and lower doses. Tried to jump off Xanax and had to reinstate and then the same with citalopram, but I am on such low doses of both of those that the drug itself is really not affecting me much at all, so my quality of life is pretty good. Still struggling with anxiety issues and some sleep issues, but I also have CPTSD due to childhood abuse, so anxiety has been a lifelong friend, and my sleep is really not much worse than my nondrugged friends who are about my age, so I consider myself pretty fortunate.

 

And my life circumstances are pretty good, I have a good job and am able to work full time still, and have a safe place to live, and some projects I'm excited about, and I'm growing and healing in several different directions, so I feel like after 20 years of being stuck in survival mode and misery on the drugs, I am finally getting to be myself again at least about 80% or so.

 

Anyway it is SO LOVELY to hear from you! And to hear how well you are doing. Thank you.

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Longestroadhome
1 hour ago, Cocopuffz17 said:


Hey! Me as well. I changed my nutrition and could not believe the difference in the way I felt. How long have you been eating Plant Paradox ? 

Yay! Another PP ❤️ I have been eating this way for nine months now. I enjoy the food so much. I love Darleen’s recipes, she runs the PP recipe sharing Facebook group and has so many delicious food ideas. How about you?

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Cocopuffz17
1 hour ago, Longestroadhome said:

Yay! Another PP ❤️ I have been eating this way for nine months now. I enjoy the food so much. I love Darleen’s recipes, she runs the PP recipe sharing Facebook group and has so many delicious food ideas. How about you?

Awesome! Did you notice a huge difference in your well being physically and mentally after starting ? I was BLOWN away. It’s what gave me the courage to come off of my medication. I keep mine very basic right now, but I will slowly add things as my WDs subside. 

 

I just hit a year! Oct 14th was my 1 year and I know I would not be off this medication if it were not for the this doctors different view on eating. I even notice when I slip and eat unapproved foods I feel awful and WDs spike. 
 

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Longestroadhome
On 10/19/2019 at 8:03 AM, Cocopuffz17 said:

Awesome! Did you notice a huge difference in your well being physically and mentally after starting ? I was BLOWN away. It’s what gave me the courage to come off of my medication. I keep mine very basic right now, but I will slowly add things as my WDs subside. 

 

I just hit a year! Oct 14th was my 1 year and I know I would not be off this medication if it were not for the this doctors different view on eating. I even notice when I slip and eat unapproved foods I feel awful and WDs spike. 
 

That is awesome 🙏❤️

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Petunia

I just popped back to my journal to warn of impending incoming recovery story and found it's been hijacked by some kind of PP cult 😀,  just joking, it sounds interesting, I will have to check it out. Yeah! changing my diet has most definitely helped, although I don't know if its because of what I've added or what I've taken out. But it's working, so I'm sticking with it. I recently tried adding back in a lot of plant matter, because I miss it. I love big salads with lot's of 'stuff', but it caused some digestive problems and a drop in energy and mood, so I'm back to keeping the leafs low.

 

I hate to admit this, because I love animals and don't want to eat them, but in hindsight, I can see that the times in my life when I've been the most mentally and emotionally unstable have been the times when I had the least amounts of animal foods in my diet. Personally, my brain just seems to need some healthy animal fats in order to function well.

 

It was great to hear from you Rhi, if you are reading this. You were one of the first people to reply in my journal and I will always remember how kind and supportive you were. You gave me my first bit of hope and confirmation that this was withdrawal and that I would get better. I'm glad you are doing better now, our journeys are very different, you are a tapering expert and I'm a CT survivor.

 

Anyway,  just wanted to update for the new year.... 2020 will be the year I declare victory and plant my recovery flag.

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Shep
3 hours ago, Petunia said:

I hate to admit this, because I love animals and don't want to eat them, but in hindsight, I can see that the times in my life when I've been the most mentally and emotionally unstable have been the times when I had the least amounts of animal foods in my diet. Personally, my brain just seems to need some healthy animal fats in order to function well.

 

I'm the same way, Petunia. As much as I love animals and don't want to eat them - I was a vegetarian for 32 years - I also feel better now that I'm no longer a vegetarian. 

 

3 hours ago, Petunia said:

Anyway,  just wanted to update for the new year.... 2020 will be the year I declare victory and plant my recovery flag.

 

This is awesome, Petu. I look forward to reading your success story! 

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Elyssa143

@Petunia

Im so glad your doing so well! This is fantastic and I look forward to reading your success story as well. I too have tried the plant based diet and believe I do better lower carb and meat and fat. Could you explain your dread feeling? I have a similar feeling in my chest that makes me feel rather hopeless and like i dont want to do this anymore. And kind of dreading how much longer i can do this. Also can you kind of explain what your daily diet looks like? Please and do you take any vitamins? I appreciate your time and help! Have a great day

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Longestroadhome

Apologies for the PP cult post 😂😂 Before I saw that you had posted I remembered you and how I wrote on your thread, completely ignoring your story and going on about MY diet 🤐 how rude of me. I came back to apologise then saw that you had posted. 
 

I am so happy for you that you are feeling better. If eating a certain way is helping then keep doing it I say! 
 

looking forward to your success story 🙏🙏

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Petunia
On 1/17/2020 at 12:38 AM, Elyssa143 said:

@Petunia

 Could you explain your dread feeling? I have a similar feeling in my chest that makes me feel rather hopeless and like i dont want to do this anymore. And kind of dreading how much longer i can do this. Also can you kind of explain what your daily diet looks like? Please and do you take any vitamins? I appreciate your time and help! Have a great day

 

Hey Elyssa, I'm sorry you are going through this too. I just looked at your signature, Sertraline was the first anti-depressant I was given. You are coming up to 2 years off, I'm sure you will start feeling better soon, I started noticing some improvement at 2 years off.

 

For me the dread feeling was like you would probably feel on the morning of your own execution or some similar awful, hopeless situation with no escape. I would wake up every morning immediately plunged into this state of doom and dread for no reason. It was a combination of heaviness in my body and a very doomy, gloomy mood. The difference between this dread feeling and 'normal' fear was the attached sense of hopelessness. I guess you could say it was a combination of intense fear, hopelessness with an inability to see beyond. Thankfully, I used to start feeling better as the day progressed, and by evening, the dread had usually subsided for the day. This brief period of daily relief reinforced my knowledge that this was a temporary state, and not just how I was now. I remember sometimes waking up in the middle of the night, maybe around 2am and feeling completely normal as I went to the bathroom. I would feel relieved, thinking that the ordeal was over, and I would mentally plan what I would do in the morning, usually something that involved going out. But then every morning I would wake up with the dread and not be able to move from my bed for hours. Occasionally I had to go out early in the day, and when this happened I would be in a state of intense panic, my brain not working properly, unable to think clearly, my body would be shaking, I would be going hot and cold, sweating, looking around for the source of the danger. If I was driving, I would be thinking my car was about to explode. But over time this symptom has improved. I've always had the same pattern of feeling worse when I first wake up and improving as the day progresses, but slowly the intensity of the dread has decreased. During windows I didn't get this dread at all and would wake up feeling calm and enthusiastic about my day, but I didn't get many windows, at least not early in my recovery.

 

Diet: I have a bulletproof decaff coffee for breakfast. (with cream, Stevia and MCT oil). I've just started being able to have a little caffeine again, so twice a week I have a 'real' coffee, but only level 8 caffeine strength, it's taken this long to be able to tolerate caffeine. Lunch will usually be some kind of low carb salad with organic, grass fed meat, like free range chicken or meat loaf made with grass fed meats. The meat loaf I make contains GF beef liver, brains, GF lamb... basically anything grass fed and high in nutrition. On weekends I will sometimes eat bacon and eggs (pasture raised eggs), or smoked salmon and eggs.

 

Dinner will be similar to lunch, or sometimes I make a pasta dish with Slendier low carb pasta, which is made from konjak. I make a pesto sauce with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, almonds, and basil. I just planted some basil so hopefully I will be able to use fresh basil soon.

 

I sometimes make sandwiches with a low carb, very seedy bread. Before I found that, I was making my own keto bread, there are plenty of recipes on the internet.

No grains and high quality, grass fed, pasture raised animal foods as much as possible. Oh! almost forgot, I try and eat some wild caught, oily fish regularly, but wild caught is expensive, so I settle for farmed sometimes.

 

I'm cooking with coconut oil, butter, olive oil or beef fat. The only flours I use now are almond or coconut, and I make a few deserts with these. The only sweeteners I use now are Stevia, Monk Fruit or Erythritol.

 

I just found a source of unpasteurized goat milk, and I've been having that in my decaff tea. It's a little higher in carbs than cream or almond milk, but the nutrition in it is very good. I made some bone broth a while back, sometimes I have that for breakfast. Last night I used it as the base for egg drop soup.

 

I've really cut down on the smoothies, because they were filled with a lot of fruit and veg. I still have them occasionally now, but they only contain low carb vegetables and no fruit. Sometimes I will put in a very small amount of berries. The base is almond milk and I use either whey or pea protein, cacao for chocolate flavor. Stevia for sweetness. For about a month I was using an app called CarbManager, to make sure I was getting my macros right, but I don't need it now.

 

I currently take vitamin C, Magnesium, kelp and I was taking CoQ10, but I don't think it was doing anything, so I stopped. The only 2 vitamins/supplement I'm certain have helped during my recovery have been Magnesium and Taurine, which I no longer need, the rest I'm still not certain about.

 

I hope some of that is helpful 🙂

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So I logged on today to cancel my recovery story warning. I think I jinxed myself by writing it. It's all ready to go, but now I've been hit with another wave, it's quite  bad, sending me to the couch to play games and watch videos. Anything beyond necessities are on hold again. So I can't in good conscience upload a recovery story when I'm obviously not recovered yet.

 

I'm still much better though, and although this wave is bad, compared with recent waves, it's still nowhere near as intense and incapacitating as symptoms were during the first several years of recovery. It's a mix of physical and emotional symptoms. A return of some symptoms which had gone, in a milder form. This seems to be my pattern, symptoms will stop for a while and then return briefly at a lower strength, then stop and return again in decreasing spirals of intensity.

 

This might not actually be worse than recent waves, I've taken on more responsibility and activity lately, so perhaps it just seems worse because of the increased stress. Something I'm able to do now, which wasn't possible at first, is recognizing what's going on and adjust my expectations accordingly. During waves, my tolerance level for everything decreases, it used to be very confusing. But these days, as soon as I realize 'it's a wave', I'm able to turn up the self care and self compassion, let go of my expectations and wait for the storm to pass. It usually takes a while to realize what's going on though, the last time I thought a wave had hit turned out to be a head cold.

 

Thanks for the support, comments and encouragement. Hang in there everyone, it does get better.

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rapunzel2
On 10/9/2019 at 4:51 AM, Petunia said:

If I could remember how to do it, I would change my avatar to a new window picture. It's been 2 months since I last updated and I've had another positive change, so thought I would write about it.

I''m either in a really good window, have turned a corner or my recent drastic change in diet has done something good. I don't want to jump to conclusions yet, but I started feeling much better right after I changed my mostly plant based diet to a meat based ketogenic diet. Ethically, I didn't really want to, I'd been heading on a path towards raw veganism for a while, but after doing a lot of research, I started wondering if a change in diet might help with my remaining symptoms, which were extreme fatigue, low stress tolerance, low energy, mild to moderate joint and muscle pain, cognitive issues, and morning dread and anxiety. I seemed to have been left with a kind of chronic fatigue condition and my recovery seemed to have plateaued there - much better than being in the thick of cycling withdrawal symptoms, but still very limited in my functioning and quality of life.

 

Anyway, long post kept short, I've been eating keto for about 10 days now and I'm feeling great! Everything has now resolved, apart from the pain, that has improved somewhat too, but not gone completely. I"ve been keeping my net carbs to under 20 grams a day, getting most of my calories from healthy fats and eating a moderate amount of protein. Still eating very clean, with whole foods and no packaged or processed anything. This change in diet has forced me to take all grains out of my diet, and I'm wondering if that might have helped too.

 

Anyway, time will tell, if this improvement sticks, I will be writing my recovery story in a few months I guess.

 

I'm sorry I don't visit here much these days, but thank you for the ongoing support and encouragement.

 

Wow! I´m exactly the same - my withdrawal symptoms mimic very closely chronic fatigue syndrome. I got very frightened when reading about it, thinking I have just broken my body and now I have cfs. But I guess a more balanced view about it is that it´s withdrawal which will heal in time. My symptoms are also: fatigue, post-exertional malaise or excersise intolerance, low stress tolerance, depression, pain in my body (muscles and joints), puffiness (eyes, fingers, legs are swollen), irritability, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, etc.  

 

I was doing Wahls protocol II level last year for half a year (about 60% of energy came from fat, 12% from protein and 28% from carbs - it´s not totally ketogenic but much higher fat content) and actually I was able to withdraw with astronomic speed (for me) at that time - I felt much less withdrawal symptoms, especially fatigue, and also depression. unfortunately I was doing very many things at that time and attributed my wellbeing to other factors. right now it seems that it was still due to diet. I read that cfs is helped by ketogenic diet. then I started to analyse and realized that this wahl´s protocol might have been a reason for having an easier time with withdrawal on spring 2019.

 

I have been severely ill with withdrawal now for half a year, after jumping off (after 6,5 years of slow withdrawing). I just started again on Wahl´s protocol and it seems to be helping although it´s early to tell. I have done it for a week and at the moment the depression part has eased up quite a bit. of course, it can just be a natural window. 

Have you measured how much you are eating fat, carbs and protein? Are you totally ketogenic or is it just high fat diet?

 

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Goosie

My symptoms also look like chronic fatigue.   After what came before this is a walk in the park even though I am essentially disabled because of the extreme fatigue.  It’s been getting better slowly.  I hope the diets help for you.  I’ve been doing high fat high protein , but not following a specific diet.   I used to be vegan so this is quite a change.   

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