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☼ EagleWolf Hello from Australia. Advice appreciated.


EagleWolf

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Greetings Everyone :D

 

Hoping that everyone is faring well on their respective tapers.  I am currently tapering a Benzodiazepine (Valium) and have managed to come down from a whopping 30mgs to 8mgs in 9 months.  I am going really well in the lower numbers, however, I have a major problem with weight gain from Avanza (Remeron/Mirtazipine).  Over the last 9 months I have been steadily gaining weight, despite maintaining a pretty decent exercise regime.

 

Sadly it has come to the point where I have gained a massive and unbelievable 40kgs in total.  The sugar and carbohydrate cravings are absolutely brutal and relentless. 

 

In retrospect I have been 'carb loading' as I have found that the benefits of carbs in general have assisted with the benzo taper, in that they bathe the brain in that lovely hormone 'serotonin'. 

 

Previously, in a detox setting, I dropped from 60mgs of Avanza to 30mgs overnight with not too much drama, a couple of nights of heart palps and being uncomfortable.  I guess I was lucky in that I was only on the 60mgs for 7 days (prior to that I had been at 30mgs for 4 months or so).

 

I have arrived at this site seeking advice on where to go next?  I am desperate to remove the Avanza, but do not really want to cease the benzo taper as I have worked incredibly hard to get down to where I am today.  I also developed tolerance very quickly when originally placed on benzos without any patient disclosure.  Therefore, I feel compelled to forge ahead.

 

I know that it is considered very unwise to taper two drugs at once, but really, very seriously need to address the Avanza issue due to the horrific weight gain.

 

Basically, I am wondering if I could perhaps shave off 1/4 of my dose, by going from 30mgs down to 22.5mgs, staying there for 6 weeks and seeing how things go?

 

I am really perplexed as there seems to be two very different and opposing schools of thought in this battlefield.  Many say taper the a/d first, then the benzos.  Likewise others say that an a/d cushions the blow when coming off benzos? 

 

Wondering if anyone has successfully managed to slowly (incrementally) taper their a/d while doing a sensible benzo taper at the same time?

 

I was thinking of the following withdrawal regime, based on the fact that I managed to half my dose of Avanza previously without too much discomfort.

 

30mgs down to 22.5mgs - hold 6 weeks (continue benzo taper)

22.5mgs down to 15mgs - hold 6 weeks (continue benzo taper)

15mgs down to 7.5 mgs - hold 6 weeks (continue benzo taper)

7.5mgs for 3 weeks stop.  (Complete benzo taper)

 

I have not taken any other a/d prior to the Avanza, other than 3 days of Zoloft (boy that one did not agree with me at all).

 

I have recently seen a prominent Addictionologist who has informed me that I should be able to immediately go to 15mgs, hold for 2 weeks and then off!!!! (Some big red flags there).

 

Any information or advice greatly welcomed. 

 

I wish you enough.......

 

EagleWolf

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello EagleWolf and welcome to the forum.  Congrats on reducing from 30 mgs to 8 mgs diazepam.  Good work. But you need to keep in mind the last mgs are the most challenging.  I'm stuck on .4 mgs of diazepam, though I will be starting to taper and kick the last remnant in a week or two.  I got into trouble when I tried to simultaneously taper Lyrica, which is another psychotropic. 

 

As someone who has tapered off 4.5 mgs of K, and who lost 60 lbs, then gained 90 lbs, and subsequently lost 60 lbs.. (I'm now stable at 127 lbs and will hold)... I have never noticed an impact on my benzo taper.  I'm wondering where you are getting your information about carbohydrates mitigating benzo WD symptoms.  I have not read anything to this effect.

 

As you do not report any side effects from the low dose of diazepam, but do have problems from remeron, you would best start to taper that medication using the 10% reduction Alto recommends.  Of course you can go slower or faster depending on how well you do.  Folks on benzo forums have a bias and recommend tapering benzos first, while those on AD sites recommend going off that class first.  I have been this forum for 18 mos., and previously spent 18 months on a large bezo forum.. Taper the AD first  as it's more activating and you are having side effects, weight gain.  Also, ADs do not cushion benzo WD.  Some years back, Ashton said ADs are helpful. She has since changed this position, but unfortunately has not made a formal correction due to her own health issues.

 

Again, do not simultaneously taper both medications because if you have WD issues, you will not be able to tell which med is causing the difficulty.

 

Hope this helps some..

 

Skyler

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I agree with everything Skyler said.  It's much better to taper the AD first, and then the benzo.  Here's our topic on tapering Avanza (Remeron in the U.S.):

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2028-tips-for-tapering-off-remeron-mirtazapine/?hl=Remeron

 

Benzos do cushion the AD taper, but not vice versa.

 

It is very unwise to taper two drugs at once.  If you start having withdrawal symptoms, how will you know which drug to increase or stop tapering?

 

I think your tapering plan is a bad idea, and I recommend that you hold on the benzo and begin tapering Avanza at 10% or less of the current dose and hold for at least a month.  You may be able to go faster than this, but you won't know until you start and there's no point whatever in rushing ahead and making yourself sick.  Sometimes, larger decreases are manageable at the higher doses, but the lower the dose, the more difficult it is to cut.  Setting up a schedule in advance is probably not going to work either.  The best way to go is to try that first drop, see how it goes, and proceed one step at a time.  Listening to one's body is very, very important.  Tapering is a very individual matter and no two people will successfully taper in exactly the same way or at the same rate.

 

I understand that you're anxious to lose weight, but the misery of withdrawal just isn't worth going too fast.  I personally tapered off Lexapro too fast and was almost completely disabled for several months.  I'm still having some withdrawal symptoms eighteen months out from my last dose of Lexapro.  I wouldn't wish what I went through on anybody.

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

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


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

 

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

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

 

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Look into gluten free, it will kill your carb craving in a week !

2007-2012started Effexor xr 225mg -150mg- Varied2months of Taper,(March 22/2012 Off Med/in W/D)Currently No medicationMarch 22/2012- August 16/2012 - Totally Off Effexor( Rough Rough time) Reinstatement for a week(didn't work)****** New Doctor******* Very nice/helpful and in touch.Tried Zoloft- No successAUGUST 17/2012- STARTED 37.5 EFFEXOR FOR ONE WEEK - NOT GOOD < STOPPED.Started Buspar Oct 11th 2012----10 mg for the first 7 days and then 15mg a day---- Taking a new route----Racing thoughts - Gone.Oct 9th ( Done Zoloft,wellbutrin week project trial to feel better) - OFFICIALLY OFF ANTI DEPRESSANT !Oct 26 - Raised Buspar to 20mg a day- Tolerating wellJan 2nd 2013-

Reduce Buspar until full off march 20th 2015 Off all medication !

Tried natural supplements to no avail

Gluten/sugar free since december 2013

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Eaglewolf,

 

Welcome to the forum - nice to see another Aussie here!

 

All the advice above is spot on, especially about going super slowly. Withdrawal symptoms have a way of sneaking up on you, especially as you reach the lower doses.

 

I wish you the best of luck with your taper.

 

take care

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Thank you for the kind replies Skylar, Jemima, Mr Anxious, and Basildev, :)

 

Wow, you have all really given me some serious 'food for thought'. I dread the thought of having to hold the benzo, but it would seem from what I have read on the forum to date, that it is the only way to proceed.  The lesser of two evils I guess.

 

I will spend some time perusing the thread provided by Jemima.

 

EagleWolf x

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, EagleWolf.

 

I can't improve on any of the advice above. Please keep us posted on how you do.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello Friends, Fellow Travellers and Journeymen,

 

 

I thought I should post an update in relation to my dual taper.  As of today,  20th of September I am at only 15mgs of Avanza!  Which means that I have managed to taper 50% of my dose in just over 5 weeks.  For those who may not know, I have a medical crisis which means I must come off the Avanza ASAP, therefore I am doing a careful but essentially rapid taper.

 

I have also managed to remove an additional 0.50mgs off my benzo whilst cutting the Avanza.

 

The first cut from 30mgs to 22.5 hit me hard.  I had some of the most bizarre withdrawal symptoms, as an example, I normally do not have much dairy in my diet, I've long been a convert to almond milk, but within 24 hours of doing the cut, I was craving dairy like a mad woman (for want of a better term..lol).

 

I also had what I can only describe as a 'perma flu' for around 9 days, accompanied by horrible lethargy and malaise.

 

However, here's the good bit, the cut down from 22.5mgs to 15mgs has barely registered.  Slight nausea and very thirsty, but otherwise I am actually feeling GOOD!  In fact I feel so much less 'toxic' from just cutting half.  I can only dream of how wonderful it is going to be once I am totally 'free range' again.

 

 

I am much more lucid, have clarity of mind and feel positive about the future - the fog is clearing already.

 

 

I would also like to mention that I am able to distinguish between the two withdrawal symptoms/syndromes very easily.  The withdrawal from Avanza is vastly different from a benzo cut, each with its own set of 'miscreants' showing up with regularity.

 

 

I know that it is generally frowned upon to do a dual taper.  However, I thought I should post in case anyone else is ever in the situation of having to come off an anti depressant for medical reasons whilst also doing a benzo taper.  It can be done, but you need to monitor things very closely and be extremely kind to yourself.

 

 

Be Well.  Stay Strong.  One day we will all get to Zero!

 

Eagle

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • Administrator

Good to hear your Avanza reduction is going well.

 

I would not change the benzo dosage at the same time. This introduces confounding factors into your taper and may interfere with your Avanza tapering if your system gets sensitized by benzo withdrawal.

 

Please hold on the benzo until you are off Avanza.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Good to hear your Avanza reduction is going well.

 

I would not change the benzo dosage at the same time. This introduces confounding factors into your taper and may interfere with your Avanza tapering if your system gets sensitized by benzo withdrawal.

 

Please hold on the benzo until you are off Avanza.

 

Thanks Alto and I do hear you on the 'hold' re the benzos.  Today has been exceptionally tough, in fact it has been one of the worst days I've had in a long time.  The sedation @ 15mgs is astounding, I can barely keep my eyelids open and feel like someone's gonged me on the head with a sledgehammer, I feel kind of concussed. 

 

Any ideas on how to conquer the sedation without using any stimulants?  Ewwww, I hate this feeling of being so highly sedated, someone, please tell me the sedation eases up with the lower doses?

 

Eagle x

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • 3 months later...

Update:

 

Presently sitting at 2mgs of Valium.   Projected jump date 29th March 2014.  (If I can hang out that long, coupled with the fact that I may jump at 1mg, which would mean 15th March as a jump date).

 

Avanza at 12.5mgs.  Convinced this does nothing at all, except make one FAT.

 

Some 'great' days.  Some utterly 'despicable' days.  Complete mixed bag.

 

Mentally feel good, physically not so good.  Worst w/d symptom is fatigue.  Fatigue like someone is exsanguinating me....... slowly and methodically.

 

Excited and anxious about jump.   Hoping for the best, bracing for the worst.

 

Sincerely hope that all members are doing well in their respective journey's.

 

Eagle x 

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for the update EagleWolf,  I'm glad you are doing well, in spite of some bad days and a few symptoms. 

 

I would like to echo Alto's suggestion from last September, perhaps you could hold the Valium for now, while you taper off the last of the Avanza. 

 

If you are already on a benzo, holding it at a steady dose can often cushion some of the withdrawal effects of the anti-depressant.  Withdrawal symptoms often become more problematic as the dose gets lower and many people find they need to slow down a bit.

 

How often per day do you take the Valium?

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Thank you for the update EagleWolf,  I'm glad you are doing well, in spite of some bad days and a few symptoms. 

 

I would like to echo Alto's suggestion from last September, perhaps you could hold the Valium for now, while you taper off the last of the Avanza. 

 

If you are already on a benzo, holding it at a steady dose can often cushion some of the withdrawal effects of the anti-depressant.  Withdrawal symptoms often become more problematic as the dose gets lower and many people find they need to slow down a bit.

 

How often per day do you take the Valium?

 

 

 

 

Hello Petu,

 

Hope you are well.  I take the 2mgs of Valium at night.  I believe the Avanza is causing more harm than good at this stage, but to be honest, I am terrified of holding the benzo.   If I had some kind of guarantee that I would not go into 'tolerance' I would definitely hold and recommence on the a/d withdrawal. 

 

I guess at only 2mgs it is classed as 'therapeutic' but experience tells me that 2mgs is still plenty powerful.

 

The only way out is through, that is for sure.

 

Thank you for the kind words. :)

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • Administrator

Do not jump off that benzo. Taper well below 1mg.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Eaglewolf... I'm going to take one more shot at being heard on this.  What symptoms have you had in the past that make you think you had tolerance withdrawal? I read your blog and it appears you a miserable adverse reaction at the top of your taper, is this what you call TD?  I was really sick before I began.tapering, my issues were dose dependent (4 mgs K), and I was in tolerance..( if that means one no longer has a good response, but instead feels awful). If you read my thread, you will know this was a real struggle for me.. I gave Alto a run for her money because she advised me to hold the benzo and cut Lyrica.

 

I was terrified of holding because another site I regarded highly lived and died by this mantra, always cut, cut, cut, slowly mayhap but keep moving forward. To hold for more than a month was folly. And they also told people not to get impatient and jump at .5 mgs diazepam because that really wreaked havoc with many people.. On this they were absolutely correct.  And EW, you are at 4 X that.

 

I cut  .25 mgs diazepam every 4 weeks from 3 mgs. until I hit a wall at 1 mgs, this because I did not realize Lyrica needed tapering, (tinnitus which is a WD symptom of both bled thru, and compromised my taper).  I held for many months at .4 mgs. diazepam.. to NO ill effect..  From 1 mg. to 0, I tapered at .1 mg a month... .025 every week. Obviously I used liquid diazepam to accomplish this.  If I had not tapered at the above rate, I would have been very ill. You need to listen to your body, if it's hurting, slow the !@# taper!

 

Hope this helps some..

 

PS.. sorry to the non-benzo types.. any further discussion will by me on this will be on the benzo sub forum.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Gosh, talk about rain upon one's parade.  I posted my update as I am proud of my achievement. I thought that other members might like to see my progress.  It has not been easy tapering from 35mgs  down to 2mgs.  Then again, little about tapering off mind altering drugs could be considered 'easy'.

 

I will  cease benzos in their entirety on my projected jump date.  I will be at approximately 0.50mgs at that time.  I have followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

 

I was honest in my summation of how it has been, some days are 'great' and some days are 'despicable'.

 

Why all this fuss to slow down?  I am okay, as per the above.  Maybe you have forgotten that I am also battling toxicity?

 

Toxicity doesn't allow for slow decrements.  I am 'listening' to my body and it is screaming out to me 'Get this stuff out' - the message it sends me is to go 'toxic'.

 

Skylar - what a shock from you!   You, above all other members on this board questioning the authenticity of another members TW?  That is so profoundly disappointing.  It really is.  Tapering is not black and white.  For some people 'holding' and 'updosing' do not work. For some individuals liquid tapering makes them worse, not better.  That is fact.  I was one of those people.

 

I was in TW, there is no doubt about it.  I think it is way out of line to insinuate that I simply had an 'adverse reaction' at the top end of the taper.  If you call being bed ridden, unable to communicate on even the most basic level, losing 35kgs in 1 month and subsequently losing all control over your bodily functions 'miserable' then you must indeed be an Amazon Warrior.  

 

You call it 'miserable', I know it to be TW.   I have been to the depths of hell and back while in TW. I thought you had too.  Maybe not?    Please do not insult me by appearing to be condescending, asking 'what makes you think' you were in TW.  It is fact that I was.

 

I will now leave this board and conversation.  Slower is not always better. Holding doesn't always work.  Updosing is a crap shoot. Fact.

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi EagleWolf,

 

I'm not sure if you will return to your thread or not, but I will post this just in case, and also for the benefit of anyone else who may read your story.

 

First, I hope you continue to do well with your taper off medications, you have done well so far and I don't think any of us here mean any offense or disrespect.  We have all suffered, made mistakes, learned things too late and want to protect others from making the same mistakes, even if every situation is different.

 

A few hours ago, I didn't know anything about TW (tolerance withdrawal), but I just learned what the term means and read some related material.  It seems to be a term related to 'addiction' and is used mainly in discussions about benzo withdrawal.  But its quite a complex and controversial issue.  I found a fairly simple and easy to understand discussion of it here:

 

Explanation of benzo tolerance and withdrawal by Colin on benzobuddies.org: http://www.benzobudd...hp?topic=9706.0

 

After reading that, it made sense to me why someone withdrawing from only benzos would consider continuing to cut, if holding for a long time had resulted in continuing symptoms.  Personally, I wouldn't call it TW because I don't think its technically any difference from 'tolerance addiction', but as part of a system for for benzo withdrawal, it does make some sense to give it a different name in order to encourage a behavior which may actually be beneficial to the majority of people in that situation.  By majority of people, I mean people who are ONLY coming off benzos and have not previously come off other medications and may already have complex issues with nervous system dysfunction.

 

If you are here on the SA site, and are tapering from a benzo, its because there are other medications involved and so its more complicated than for someone only dealing with nervous system changes caused by a benzo.

 

This thread from the benzo section makes this quite clear:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2233-benzo-tolerance-withdrawal-during-tapering-does-it-exist/

 

It makes it clear just how NOT clear the situation is.  There is more to take into consideration once you add other drugs and previous withdrawal to the mix.  Every case is then unique with many factors which need to be taken into consideration.  I might be biased, but I think this is the best site where you will get the kind of individual help you need if there has been a somewhat complex drug history.

 

I've still got a lot to learn and maybe TW does actually exist, but when compared with potential long term nervous system destabilization from the effects of previous or current cutting of other medications too fast, I think that a few months of TW is the lesser of two evils.  Protracted withdrawal can go on for years and there's nothing we can do about it. 

 

I hope things continue to go well, please stay in touch and keep us updated.

 

Petu.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I Agree......I think the benzo will be the lesser of the evils.I can at least eat and sleep a little...flower

C/T Celexa and Trazadone on Jan.29th 2014
Prescribed 1mg of Klonopin every 6 hours on Jan.29th
Began tapering Klonopin April 18th..stretching time between doses...at first one hour for 2 weeks then a half hour for app.10 days then another half hour 10days later.
Presently at .25 three times a day..6 2 and 10pm. Trying to stabilize.
Also still taking gabapentin 300mgs 2xs a day..

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  • 6 months later...
  • Administrator

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

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

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello Alto, Team Members and Forum Members,

 

I am popping in to provide an update.   I am medication FREE and am feeling really, really good!   Life in general is GOOD again!  I'd like to tell anyone who is struggling with coming off their medications, that it can be done, freedom and wellness can be yours. 

 

You can regain your old life; there IS hope at the end of that long, often burdensome tunnel.  The other side is as bright and beautiful as you can imagine.  The other side is a blank canvas, waiting for you to paint your masterpiece.

 

I have been very lucky,  in that, I was able to taper the  remaining Avanza (Remeron) quite quickly after coming off the benzo.   I stepped off the Valium on 2nd May 2014 and finished my Avanza taper shortly after, on the 20th of August, 2014.

 

While it is not popular here, I did manage to do a dual taper, and for me, it worked well.  I was quite judicious in how I conducted the taper and I feel that was the key to my ultimate success. 

 

I have some interesting reflections, I'd like to share.........

 

1 week after stopping the Avanza, my sleep returned to almost normal.   While tapering and even down quite low, sleep was terrible and I experienced awful agitation.   I always thought it was the Avanza, causing the agitation and lack of sleep , but  I couldn't be sure, as I'd completed a benzo taper too. 

 

As soon as the Avanza was gone in its entirety, my regular sleep pattern returned.  Today, I go to sleep within 15 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.  It is the most wonderful feeling to be naturally tired, jump into bed and go to sleep - it's a novelty - I am enjoying it and forever grateful for this small luxury.  I am grateful for natural sleep.

 

For me, I was able to very clearly and definitively distinguish between benzo withdrawal and anti depressant withdrawal, they were entirely different in symptomology and 'feeling', this allowed me to conduct the dual taper. 

 

Good quality, organic Ginger helped me so much, it was almost a panacea in some cases.  I swear it works an absolute treat for nausea and inflammation, I don't think I could have completed my tapers without the assistance of Ginger.   The best part of this, is of course, that Ginger is all natural!   I am grateful for powerful, natural remedies.

 

I started having regular reflexology treatments in the last six months of my taper, these treatments also really assisted me in terms of my general health and wellbeing.  I noticed a feeling of 'wellness' or at least increased 'wellness' within 48 hours of the treatments.   I am grateful for natural health care practitioners.

 

My hair is back to being thick, full and voluminous.   It started coming back into condition as the Avanza was leaving my system.  If you are experiencing hair thinning or hair loss, rest easy, it will come back - mine has!  I am grateful for my tresses. 

 

I'm losing weight!   This is fantastic as the weight gain I had encountered was shocking and I mean shocking.  Overall, I gained around 40kgs during this journey, today, I have lost about 10kgs in 5 weeks, I hope this keeps up and I return to my normal weight.  I am being very careful with my diet now and have been laying off the carbs, which I so craved while on the Avanza.    I'd like to add, carbs were my friend when in benzo withdrawal, a hit of carbs, always, without exception, made me feel better.  I am not entirely sure why, but for me, carb loading helped my withdrawal symptoms, and my body seemed to 'need' them.  Interestingly, I don't 'crave' carbs as I did previously. 

 

So many things have changed, sometimes, I sit back and reflect upon this life altering journey, which I was forced to take.  Yes, it does change you at the core, but some of that change is good change.   I am far more understanding of others illnesses now.  I am far less judgemental.   I am more compassionate.  I'd like to think, I am a better person.   I'm humbled. I'm grateful.  I'm appreciative.

 

It feels fantastic to be able to say "I am good, I am really good', when someone asks me 'how are you?'  At one point, thick in my taper, I didn't think I would ever be 'good' again.  Trust me, one day, you too will be able to say 'I am good'..........it's something to fight for.   I am grateful to be feeling good.

 

I wish everyone here at SA, health, happiness and good tidings. 

 

Love from a 90% healed EagleWolf x

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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what an amazing post ,well done you deserve all the credit for your recovery.

Thankyou for posting it gives us stuck in the loop much hope  :)

2012 put on Citalopram and diazepam for 3 months for "depression" after filling in a 3 minute form at the doctors, had a massive reaction with panic attacks and extreme anxiety,never suffered panic attacks or anxiety before citalopram.Told to quit cold turkey which led to two hospital admissions during 2012/2013

December for 6 months Seroquel dosage adjusted up and down 50mg ,150mg ,100mg, caused severe tinnitus ,told to quit cold turkey

2013 January for 12 months Lorazapam given to me like sweets,told to quit cold turkey

2013 May Zoloft for 6 months ,told to quit cold turkey, reinstated 50mg tapered 2nd time over a month (to fast but I survived)messed up my sleep

Zyprexa April 2103 5mg until august 2014 ,dropped by doctor down to 2.5mg for one month went well but sleep was very poor for 3 weeks

End of 2015 I had to reinstate back up to 5mg due to constant insomnia that wouldnt go away Started a slow taper and found an understanding doctor who listened to me while I reduced
May 2016 drug free, sleeping and doing well in life again, it can be done http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12078-finally-off-zyprexa/

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  • Administrator

Very good to hear, EW. Please visit and let us know how you're doing.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello Everyone,

 

I've received a couple of messages in relation to how I am going.   I am thrilled to report that I am 100% healed. 

 

I am happy, healthy and have resumed my previous lifestyle.  I am once again teaching in the adult education sector.  I'm passionate about adult education and grateful that all of my mental faculties have returned twofold.  In fact, cognitively, I feel even stronger than I did previously, to clarify, my short term memory is fantastic, I am able to absorb and retain new information easily and without too much effort.  I am able to employ all of my VAK learning capabilities and feel that a higher level of consciousness is present at all times.  I feel much more 'present' to life in the now.

 

In terms of general health, I could not wish for a better result, sleep is glorious, I am able to take 'nanna naps' and still sleep a whole 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. 

 

I once again stand tall and proud.  My strong posture and sturdy body is back.  I run, I jump, I smile. I laugh. 

 

I'd like to reassure members who are struggling.   Healing is not only possible, it is there for the taking. 

 

I know it sounds passé' and contrived, but please listen to your body, it will tell you what rate is right for you.  I am truly one of the lucky ones, I did a dual taper and tapered quite quickly, that worked for me, it may not work for others.  I listened to what MY BODY was telling ME.

 

I am very proud that I 'backed' myself.  Many people told me to slow down, however, the drugs were making me so sick, I knew I had to quickly, yet safely remove them to become 'whole' again.

 

On the 2nd of December, I celebrated 7 months free of Benzos.   On the 20th December, I will be 4 months free of Avanza.  

 

I am 100% emphatically, categorically healed.  With careful planning, you too, can be free of these heinous, life altering drugs.

 

Be well.  Stay Strong.  Live!

~Fear No Man - Protect all Beasts~

 

Benzo Free! 

Jumped from 0.25mgs of Valium, having followed the Ashton Protocol all the way down.

2nd May, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Avanza Free!

Jumped from 2.0mgs on 20th August, 2014.  So Far, So Good.

 

Dec 2014, 100% Healed.  Feeling wonderful and back to my old self.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thank you for coming back with such a wonderful update EW.  I'm happy to hear that you are even better than before, it seems like you are evidence that going through difficult times can make us stronger better people.

 

I briefly scanned through your thread, but couldn't find any information about how long you were on the drugs for, it would be helpful to know this to put your whole experience in context.

 

I hope that in the future you will come back and write your story for our Recovery success stories section.

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I am so happy for you EW, go and live your new life and be happy.

It means so much to us when someone comes back to say they are healed, thank you.   :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Administrator

That is such good news, EW. Please come back in a bit and put your story in the Success Story forum.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 11 months later...
  • Administrator

I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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