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Tips to help sleep: so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

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uncomfortablynumb

My blood pressure is pretty low-ish 110/70 and HR is 70bpm. Not sure about cortisol levels. Maybe I could do an AM/PM test.


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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AliG

UC.

I read through this list. I don't know what would fit the description. It is like constant, unrelenting adrenaline pumping but I am exhausted and mental functioning is becoming really difficult.

 

That sounds really normal in withdrawal. In fact it's a perfect description. You could do a cortisol test if you felt so inclined. It may be on the high side which is really no revelation. It's to be expected at this point. Maybe it will be better next year. I just had a full blood panel done - my only visit to the doctor and my cortisol has started to come right down from just a year ago.There have been many other improvements as well since I quit the drugs.


Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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uncomfortablynumb

Thanks AliG,

I am really having a rough time. I am desperate for some kind of relief because I am losing it now. I can only imagine what you went through. Psyc gave me three options - clonidine, seroquel, or to tough it out. The remeron reinstatement has not helped at all. I settled on 3.75mg for the past week but it hasn't helped at all.


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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mFrustrated

I am having issues with waking up at 3am. I go back to sleep, but it takes a while and it's super annoying. I dealt with it right after my initial reaction to ssris, but it got better overtime. I've had a pretty long & hard wave recently and with that, came waking up in the middle of the night. Anyone have ideas on what I can do to help? It's more annoying than anything.


mFrustrated

 

Celexa- 2 days (February 2016)

Paxil- 5 days (February 2016)

Zoloft- 11 days (February 2016)

BuSpar-2 days (June 2016)

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ChessieCat

Have you checked out the links posted in Post #1 in this topic?  Have you read through this topic?


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 17 Oct 2020:  Pristiq 0.56 mg (compounded + liquid)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Findingmyidentity

Hello all. I've been on Paxil for the last 11 years. I started at 20mgs, and then the last 6 years or so i go from 17mgs to about 15mgs. Recently i went down to 15mgs and got terrible insomnia and night twitching. Does this sound like a withdrawal effect or could this be my anxiety about reducing my dosage? Any thoughts? Thank you.

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JanCarol

Topics merged, from:  "Has anyone who suffered with severe insomnia for months from withdrawal, ever healed from it?" by Daisies24


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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uncomfortablynumb

I am suffering horrific sleep deprivation. In the last 25 days, I have had only one night of a few hours of light sleep and the rest none or microsleeps that I am unaware of.  I don't even get the sleepy sensation.  

 

I am not taking any meds and trying to weather the storm. Nothing works anymore anyway.   My drug history is long and complicated and I am wondering if sleep returns even in messy situations like mine.  Really hard just hanging on right now.   


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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DrugfreeProf

The thing is, remember, our brains and bodies are WIRED to sleep. The body knows what to do, and so does the brain, as part of their homeostatic drive and inner wisdom. Unfortunately, psychoactive drugs screw with the homeostasis, literally CAUSING the very imbalances they claim to correct.  Therefore, it takes the body and brain time to re-regulate and re-establish their homeostasis, their intended balanced condition.  You'll get there. At the very least, know that it's virtually impossible for a human being to go on indefinitely without falling asleep. Everything in your nervous system will, sooner or later, cry out for it.


Drugfree Prof

Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Prozac 20 mg for approx 3 months during 2000, withdrew, no w/d sx

Prozac 10 - 30 mg Jan. 2008 - Dec. 2014

Ritalin 30-40 mg Jan. 2008 - Mar. 2015

W/d sx from Prozac started around 3 months after cessation--crying spells, depressed mood, lethargy; resolved in 8 - 12 mos. post cessation

Used and continue to use a TON of alternative methods--meditation, mindfulness, nutrition. supplements, exercise, etc.

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uncomfortablynumb

Hi DrugFreeProf,  

 

It just would be reassuring to know that this is not permanent. Feel like I am dying and cannot function at all.  I have been on and off so many drugs I wonder if my body even knows what homeostasis is anymore. It seems like the worst cases usually can still get at least an hour or two per night.  

Did your daughter feel totally wired and completely awake before getting better?  It is messed up my eyes don't get tired and I no longer have the sleepy sensation.  

I end up questioning if there is something else going on - hormonal, endocrine, psychological (maybe I am keeping myself awake with sleep anxiety or obsessing).  You would think though even if it was psychological I would still have sensations of being tired, but I don't know.   

This has been going on since January when I got off Remeron and all Hell broke loose. Reinstatement didn't work and a whole bunch of drugs were tried and failed one by one.   Ativan worked a bit at first but quickly turned on me.   


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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Happy2Heal
6 hours ago, uncomfortablynumb said:

It just would be reassuring to know that this is not permanent. Feel like I am dying and cannot function at all.  I have been on and off so many drugs I wonder if my body even knows what homeostasis is anymore. It seems like the worst cases usually can still get at least an hour or two per night.  

Did your daughter feel totally wired and completely awake before getting better?  It is messed up my eyes don't get tired and I no longer have the sleepy sensation.  

 

 

hi, my insomnia is not as severe as yours but it was pretty bad at first, and has only gradually improved, however it HAS improved.

 

I too, don't get the sleepy feeling.

 I lay down and if I am lucky, and if my brain is occupied with something that interests me, I will be awake one minute and asleep the next- without ever having that feeling of drifting off to sleep

 

it is often hard to tell when I am awake and when I am asleep.

 

my sleep is very broken but it IS improving and I do believe that you will improve too. it's been painfully slow (all my other symptoms got better much faster)

I know it's super hard right now but you are going to get better.

 

you can see in my signature what I've done to help with the sleep issue.  mods here did NOT recommend that I take the low dose lamictal but I felt I needed to try it, as I'd been on it in the past and was at least somewhat familiar with it.

it was NOT a magic bullet, not by a long shot, but I do believe its made it possible for me sleep deeper and for somewhat longer periods of time (a couple of hours in a row, vs just 20 mins at a time before that)

 

I also added some glycine which seems to help me to sleep more deeply when I do fall asleep.

 

the first 60 to 90 mins of sleep that i get each night are, by far, my best. I have trouble getting back to sleep after that and wake up often but at least i am getting probably 3 to 4 hrs of sleep, sometimes a bit more, and on maybe 3 occasions, as much as almost 7 hrs (those were GREAT nights!)

 

so things should improve for you too. I know it's hard to believe.

 

I had to get to the point where I just didn't care any more if I slept or not, and just accepting the insomnia helped me to be able to get a bit more sleep.

 

i am trying now to tell myself that there is no reason why I can't sleep the whole night. My reasoning is that my thoughts about sleep may be a self fulfilling sort of thing: that is, I believe I can't sleep and so I don't.

 

I have no idea if changing my thinking about sleep will make any difference but I figure it's worth a shot, right?

 

all the best to you


  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictalBrief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 tapered down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again, too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
 

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rupa

Hi uncomfortably numb

I am using olanzapine 5mg just for sleep.Though it is an antipsychotic it is working great for good nights sleep.


Cold turkeyed risperidone (1m.g)and trihexyphenidyl combination drug out of ignorance,In August 2016 after one month use.

Withdrawal symptoms settled at dreamful,disturbing sleep.

Thus introduced to olanzapine for sleep.Started using olanzapine out of ignorance.

Tapering olanzapine 10 m.g from February 2017.

May 2018 :Still suffering dreams,Still tapering olanzapine at 0.625.100ml water+2.5 mg olanzapine. June 2018 22.5ml=0.57mg.July 2018 20ml,August 2018-17.5ml,September 2018-15ml,October 2018 10 ml,December 2018 7 ml, BrassMonkey slide method so far at lower doses.2 nd December cold turkeyed , only to reach minure doses as reinstatement to cutshort endless tapering process.4rth December started 1ml.

Almost no symptoms and sleep is better,So started 0.5 ml from 17-12-2018.

"0"from31-12-18.Re birth would happen from 2020,as rejuvenation would take 2019.

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scallywag

Hi rupa, thanks for sharing how you are dealing with sleep issues.  Just a reminder, we don't encourage getting a prescription for a new medication to treat the problems caused by another medication.  Said more simply, no drug recommendations. ;)


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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uncomfortablynumb

Hi everyone, 

Thanks for your responses. I really don't want to any more drugs to this mess. I should have learned the first time when I got off Effexor and waited it out when that reinstatement didn't work. I was lead to so many drugs after that. Maybe I could have avoided this horrible situation if I had gone super-slow off the Remeron.   

 

I have heard low dose Lamictal can sometimes help. Also heard it is risky just like anything else and it would be another drug to eventually have to come off of. I haven't tried glycine but I may give it a shot.  In desperation, I also thought of Zyprexa but I have heard that it is super-difficult to come off with rebound insomnia.   However, I am happy for those who are doing well on the meds. I just think my brain is pretty much rejecting everything now. 

 

Last night I had my second night in 4 weeks of sleep other than microsleep. Hard to believe I am still alive. It was a couple hours of dream-filled non-restorative sleep. Am I to assume anything other than microsleep as progress?   I hope so.  

 

On top of the insomnia, I am dealing with paralyzing anxiety, depression to the point of anhedonia,  massive pressure headache that sometimes turns into stabbing, and GI pain. Trying to white-knuckle out of this Hell.  

 

 

 

 


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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Happy2Heal

no words, just gentle (((((hugs))))

 

 


  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictalBrief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 tapered down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again, too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
 

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Why

Hi. I'm sorry for you.

It must be terrible to sleep so little.

 

From my tapreing i didn't get insomnya, but instead delayed sleep cycle . Basically instead of sleeping the night i was sleeping the morning.

 

It lasted some months after last dosage cut, then it solved itself.

 

Now i'm sleeping normally from midnight to 9 am, even if sometimes i feel exhausted and i wake up at 10 :30 AM

.

 

I think it will improve with time for yourself too.

I would avoid any more drug, ESPECIALY neurleptics which are the most dangerous and damaging drug.

 

If you really need it, you could try some benzo, but be careful to use them in a stable way (always taking them at same time of the day ), for short period of times, and tapering them (gradual increase and decreases). And do not take short half-life benzos but mid and long-life instead


I'm sorry, didn't write a proper diary and my memory is very bad, can't remember exactly all dosages . Here is a short summary

Drugged since i was 11 yo.

Prescribed several SSRI, neuroleptics, mood stabilizers, benzos.Last prescription was lithium, lamotrigine , 20 mg paroxetine, rivotril

Tapered fast lithium and lamotrigine with little to no symptoms 3 years ago.Since then i'm tapering paroxetine and going through withdrawal syndrome. My tapering was not   stable and that's probably the cause of a lot of acute symptoms i had .

Currently at 0.8 mg of paroxetine

Trying now a micro-taper of 0.02 cuts

15/07/2017 tapered to 0.74  (having waves and windows. Cognitive impairment, akathisia, apathy, anxiety, vision problems, depression, paranoia, obsessive toughts, extreme fatigue,  and some more: all comes in waves except vision problems wich are persistent)

08/09/2017 0.72 mg 28/09/2017 0.70 mg

 

 

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uncomfortablynumb

Happy2Heal - thanks.   Need any support I can get right now. Family and friends have a hard time understanding what is going on and why it is taking me so long to get better.   They can't truly empathize. They seem to think severe insomnia is no big deal. I don't think some people would even be able to handle more than 10 days sleepless.   

 

Why -. It is weird what these drugs do to our sleep.   I can't even nap. There is absolutely no chance of sleep for me in the daylight. Think my body is just too sensitive to light and sound now.   

 

I can't do the occasional benzo anymore. I was intermittently taking Ativan but was dealing with interdose withdrawal.   I don't think starting and stopping meds again will do me any good. Benzo sleep became worse and worse over time and it wasn't restorative.   I regret taking anything after I got off Remeron. If I hadn't done drug trials and the Ativan, I might have seen some improvement by now.   It was pretty much a wasted 6 months.   

 


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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Why

Well considering sleep cycle is dependant of levels of hormones and other chemicals it's not hard to believe the poisons wich mess the whole brain chemistry up would disturb it.

 

By the way lorazepam is one of the most dependance inducing benzos . That coupled with intermittent use must have caused tolerance and withdrawal.

 

Good luck and be faithful your body will fix the damage and pray God to heal you (He is helping me going through this all)


I'm sorry, didn't write a proper diary and my memory is very bad, can't remember exactly all dosages . Here is a short summary

Drugged since i was 11 yo.

Prescribed several SSRI, neuroleptics, mood stabilizers, benzos.Last prescription was lithium, lamotrigine , 20 mg paroxetine, rivotril

Tapered fast lithium and lamotrigine with little to no symptoms 3 years ago.Since then i'm tapering paroxetine and going through withdrawal syndrome. My tapering was not   stable and that's probably the cause of a lot of acute symptoms i had .

Currently at 0.8 mg of paroxetine

Trying now a micro-taper of 0.02 cuts

15/07/2017 tapered to 0.74  (having waves and windows. Cognitive impairment, akathisia, apathy, anxiety, vision problems, depression, paranoia, obsessive toughts, extreme fatigue,  and some more: all comes in waves except vision problems wich are persistent)

08/09/2017 0.72 mg 28/09/2017 0.70 mg

 

 

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Happy2Heal

the videos by this woman have been helping me- well I mean the audio portion, I put them on  and lay down and just listen to her voice

 

she has some that are 2hrs long and one that is 3hrs long. this is great for those of us who have very long sleepless and possibly anxious periods thru out the night or early morning

 

I have been feeling more and more calm as I listen to these.

don't be put off by the "hypnosis" part of these relaxation videos- as she says, ALL hypnosis is self hypnosis.

No one can come along and put you in a trance and make you do/feel things you don't want to feel or do.

 

If I find any video/audio that has triggering words or suggestions, I shut them off immediately and look for one that aligns with what I am wanting to hear, words and ideas that help me relax and feel stronger.


this series of videos have had a lot of suggestions and images of empowerment, calming thoughts, ideas to improve self confidence, etc, that I really wanted and needed to hear, so they've been very useful to me

 

YMMV* of course, depending on where you are in recovery and what sorts of things are important to you

 

 

*your mileage may vary


  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictalBrief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 tapered down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again, too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
 

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merry

Hello, fellow ssri-induced insomniacs!

 

I wanted to share something that might have helped my sleep, in case it could help any of you.  After being away from the pool for a few weeks, my insomnia cleared up--and then when I went back to the pool, I was hit rather hard.  Several sources suggest that chlorine can affect sleep, and it really seems to affect me.  That would also explain why epson salt baths in chlorinated water never seemed to help. 

 

There are a lot of products out there that remove chlorine from water, but from what I read, and my personal experiences, we absorb the most chlorine from pools, baths, and showers.

 

Sleep is still a problem, but much improved!  I hope others can find relief, too, on this terrible journey.


January 2014 Zoloft 150 mg

May 2014 Started tapering

January 2015  Zoloft 54 mg

January 2016 18 mg

January 2017 12 mg

January 2018 7 mg CRASH! 

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uncomfortablynumb

I am now two months off Ativan and everything. I am still hypersensitive to light and never feel sleepy. First month I didn't sleep more than 10hrs total. Second month about 15hrs. I must be getting some stage 1 sleep that I don't even know because I would be ill, psychotic or dead by now. I had a sleepy study done and I had 3hrs total sleep when it felt like not more than minutes. But I had 30 arousals every hour! So no wonder it didn't feel like I had any sleep. It is like my body is fighting hard to stay awake.  

 

I tried medical marijuana, otc aids, tryptophan, and melatonin.  Nothing makes me the slightest bit sleepy so I have given up on everything. Thinking about exercising but it seems to keep people awake. But I guess I won't know until I try.  

 

How long can acute last? 2-3hrs of sleep every night or two would feel much more survivable than this.  


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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Dan998

There is very little known about the science of sleep. We know that all animals need to sleep, but we don't know why it is necessary or the exact mechanisms of how it happens. It is believed that a lot of the body's repair work happens during sleep. There is a cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones that signal to the brain that it needs to go into this recuperation mode.  It therefore makes sense that any disturbance to the balance of neurotransmitters, which is what happens during withdrawal, will interfere with this cascade and prevent the onset of sleep. What seems to happen to a lot of folks in recovery is that sleep has a tendency to return to normal once the production of neurotransmitters and receptors become more stable.

 

Although it may feel like you are not getting much sleep, the truth is that you are probably getting enough through the cumulative effects of microsleep. This is where your brain goes into an altered state of consciousness for a few minutes. You won't even know it has happened. I once fell asleep whilst I was speaking to someone. Literally passed out mid sentence.

 

Does sleep return to normal? Yes, in my case it did. At one point I had pretty much every sleep disorder, all at the same time; insomnia, narcolepsy, light sensitivity, apnea, hypnagogic jerks, snoring, nocturia (frequent urination). I was probably getting 1-2 hours sleep per night. This lasted for about 3 months before things started to improve. It wasn't a sudden improvement, it was more erratic. An occasional good nights sleep (4 hours), followed by more insomnia, then a few more reasonable nights. Eventually, it all starts to click back into place. Your brain knows how to sleep. it's as natural as breathing, digesting food or any of the other autonomic functions. But, it's a slow process. It took about a year before I was getting consistent sleep of 5-6 hours. It's only now, after two years, that I am totally back to normal and regularly get 7-8 hours. Although, I still get a relapse whenever I'm in a wave.

 

I agree about giving up on the sleep meds. They tend not to work for people in withdrawal anyway and can actually exacerbate symptoms. They will make you feel really groggy the following day and you can also develop tolerance and become addicted to them.

 

Exercise has been proven to help people with sleep problems, it has something to do with the hormone endorphin that is released during physical activity which is believed to be very beneficial for initiating and sustaining sleep. While it is true that some people in withdrawal cannot tolerate exercise there are also many who can, you wont know until you try it. Just do enough to get yourself slightly out of breath for 30 mins; a brisk walk, swimming or cycling are ideal. If it goes well then you can slowly work towards doing something more vigorous. I find exercising late afternoon/ early evening works best for me.

 

I know it may feel endless now, but just hang in there and try not to worry about your lack of sleep as this can actually create a negative feedback loop that will make things even worse. Try not to let your whole life revolve around sleep. It won't solve anything. Your sleep will eventually improve of its own accord. 

 

Additional resources can be found on this thread... Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia


2001: 20mg paroxetine
2003-2014: Switched between 20mg citalopram and 10mg escitalopram with several failed CT's
2015: Jan/ Feb-very fast taper off citalopram; Mar/ Apr-crashed; 23 Apr-reinstated 5mg; 05 May-updosed to 10mg; 15 Jul-started taper; Aug-9.0mg; Sep-8.1mg; Oct-7.6mg; Nov-6.8mg; Dec-6.2mg
2016: Jan-5.7mg; Feb-5.2mg; Mar-5.0mg;  Apr-4.5mg; May-4.05mg; Jun-3.65mg; Jul-3.3mg; Aug-2.95mg; 04Sep-2.65mg; 25Sep-2.4mg; 23Oct-2.15mg; 13Nov-1.95mg; 04Dec-1.75mg; 25Dec-1.55mg.
2017: 08Jan-1.4mg; 22Jan-1.25mg; 12Feb-1.1mg; 26Feb-1.0mg; 05Mar-0.9mg; 15Mar-0.8mg; 22Mar-0.7mg; 02Apr-0.6; 09Apr-0.5mg; 16Apr-0.4mg; 23Apr-0.3; 03May-0.2mg; 10May-0.1mg

Finished taper 17 May 2017.

 

I am not a medical professional. The information I provide is not medical advice. If in doubt please consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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uncomfortablynumb

Thanks for the message Dan! It is rough and I am trying my best to hang in there. Obsessing about sleep isn't helping but it is such a desperate need for relief. If I only have to suffer another month before I start getting 3 hours that would be a life-saver. There are so many horror stories of the insomnia lasting years on here and benzobuddies. Matt Samet, Monica Cassini, and Jennifer Leigh are examples.  

 

Is there anything in particular that helped you? Did you experience the constant wired and never tired feeling? This is disturbing. I haven't felt the drifting off sensation in 8 months now.  

 

I am going to start exercising in the mornings first and see how it effects me.  

 

Thanks again for messaging. Need all the help and reassurance I can get now. 

 


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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Petunia

This is what helped me when I wasn't able to sleep:

 

On 7/8/2017 at 7:49 AM, Happy2Heal said:

 

I had to get to the point where I just didn't care any more if I slept or not, and just accepting the insomnia helped me to be able to get a bit more sleep.

 

 

I used to make sure I was comfortable and listen to some kind of pleasant audio all night long, to help keep me calm. For me, it was spiritual talks and semi-boring documentaries. The hardest part was finding enough of the right kind of material to listen to. It needed to be comforting and soothing, but stimulating enough to occupy my mind enough to distract it from anxiously worrying about not sleeping. I would often be awake all night, but would doze off for a minute or two and then be startled awake.

 

Like you, I had that wired feeling. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, but my brain just wouldn't shut down. It was like it couldn't let down its guard for one second. I liken the experience to what it might be like trying sleep while in the middle of combat in a war zone.

 

Using any drugs or herbs for sleep eventually made it worse. But it took me a while to figure that out. I went through the no sleep stage before I had found this site so didn't really know what was going on.

 

My sleep is back to normal now. Over the course of 5 years I slowly went from practically zero sleep per night to now where I'm getting about 8 hours of mostly unbroken sleep.

 

edit: I found this channel last night, full of audio bedtime stories to help you fall asleep. I wish I had found this when I was having sleeping problems. The narrator has a calm, soothing voice and the stories are boring and don't make much sense.

 

Sleep With Me Podcast

Edited by Petunia
adding link

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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Dan998

I was going to write something quite similar to what Petunia said about listening to audio. I found that audio books worked quite well for me. It wasn't so much about the content, although I wouldn't recommend horror or crime stories, it was more about the soothing voice of the narrator. I would have the volume at a level where I could just about hear it. I suppose it works in a similar way to reading a story to a child at bedtime. A reassuring voice that creates a safe environment for the brain to switch off and relax. You'll know when you've achieved some sleep, because the words will become a babble and the story will no longer make any sense.

 

Another thing that really made a big difference was eliminating all the light from my bedroom to prevent those pesky photoreceptor cells from registering daylight and releasing the 'wake up' hormones. When I say blocking out the light, I mean that my bedroom was as black as a cave, so black that I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face.

 

Investing in good quality bedding with a high cotton count is also worthwhile. I found that my skin became extra sensitive at night and scratchy sheets would keep me awake.

 

I managed to trick my brain into thinking that I was going to have a nice lay down in a dark room with a soft bed and listen to a lovely story. It sort of lessened the fear and stress I had about bedtime and insomnia. I would also recommend going to bed and getting up at the same time regardless of whether or not you get any sleep. Brains love routine.

 

I didn't have the wired and never tired feeling, mine was more like wired and tired. Sort of like being awake and asleep at the same time, which gave rise to a sinister dream like state, hallucinations and severe cognitive dysfunction. Not nice, but it's all in the past now.

 

 


2001: 20mg paroxetine
2003-2014: Switched between 20mg citalopram and 10mg escitalopram with several failed CT's
2015: Jan/ Feb-very fast taper off citalopram; Mar/ Apr-crashed; 23 Apr-reinstated 5mg; 05 May-updosed to 10mg; 15 Jul-started taper; Aug-9.0mg; Sep-8.1mg; Oct-7.6mg; Nov-6.8mg; Dec-6.2mg
2016: Jan-5.7mg; Feb-5.2mg; Mar-5.0mg;  Apr-4.5mg; May-4.05mg; Jun-3.65mg; Jul-3.3mg; Aug-2.95mg; 04Sep-2.65mg; 25Sep-2.4mg; 23Oct-2.15mg; 13Nov-1.95mg; 04Dec-1.75mg; 25Dec-1.55mg.
2017: 08Jan-1.4mg; 22Jan-1.25mg; 12Feb-1.1mg; 26Feb-1.0mg; 05Mar-0.9mg; 15Mar-0.8mg; 22Mar-0.7mg; 02Apr-0.6; 09Apr-0.5mg; 16Apr-0.4mg; 23Apr-0.3; 03May-0.2mg; 10May-0.1mg

Finished taper 17 May 2017.

 

I am not a medical professional. The information I provide is not medical advice. If in doubt please consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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fj929

I had severe insomnia for about 18months and then it passed. I now sleep with no issues whatsoever. To survive I used ambien once or twice a week only and it saved me. I would not sleep for a day or two straight and still never felt sleepy. It gets better.


Paxil 10mg 2004-2011

7.5mg 4months

5mg. 4months

2.5mg.8 months no wd issues

Dropped pax 4-10-12

5-9-12 started prozac to alleviate symptoms (no relief)

5-22-12 reinstated paxil 2.5mg

5-28-12 5mg pax (couldn't tolerate sides)

6-22-12 Pax 2.5

6-30-12 Pax O

Cerebrolysin to help with wd at 29 months. Horrible decision much worse.

Still suffering sever Brain fog, Confusion, slow thinking,And just feeling sick and weird (hard to explain),facial twitching, weakness, shaking and jerking

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DLB

I had the exact type of insomnia that you are having, it was horrible and I learned to just live on 1-2 hour a night of sleep for 2 years and it has slowly gotten to the point where I actually get sleepy and tired at night!! What a great thing to feel again!! I also was unable to EVER even doze off for a nap for many years including while on Paxil. What REALLY helped me when I couldn't take it and needed sleep was doxylamine succinate pills. No other sleep aid worked at all. It is the strongest legally available OTC you can get, way stronger than Benadryl type sleep aids. 

Give that a shot and I'm sure it will work.

by the way, I can sleep 6-7 hours now no problem WITHOUT any pills..


Paxil start September 2003 due to Fluoroquinolone adverse reaction that I wish doc. knew what it was. 10mg. most of the time with a few short runs of 20mg. FAST tapered 3 times and finally hit poop out or a reaction to nsaid's in Nov.2013. Started a 10% taper Jan. 2014 and have been ok until Sept 14 and went through a short hell. Now plodding through and looking for the light with unrelenting insomnia and pain, fog, loss of interests....<p>12/20/14 - .8mg.

1/01/15 - .75 mg.

1/15/15 - .42 mg. better sleep now, hope it continues...

2/11-15 - .25 mg. doing really good!! 2 weeks feel 85% of old me!

3/17/15 .14 mg. Knee pain bad!

4/07/15 .05 mg. this is so small now that I am estimating and just licking it off palm small as a "." 

4/13/15 NOTHING !!!! Took my last little micro dose on 4/12/15. ????????????????

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TryingToHoldOn
On 8/12/2017 at 9:36 PM, fj929 said:

I had severe insomnia for about 18months and then it passed. I now sleep with no issues whatsoever. To survive I used ambien once or twice a week only and it saved me. I would not sleep for a day or two straight and still never felt sleepy. It gets better.

How much sleep did you initially get when the insomnia started and how did it progress?  My insomnia began in Dec 2016.  The first 2 weeks I got ZERO sleep.  Then i got 2-4 hours of broken sleep.  Recently, I now suffer 4-5 days without any sleep, one day with 4-5 hours of broken sleep, and then back to 4-5 days without sleep.  It's been 8 months and don't see significant improvement.


Mid 2014 - June 2016 (~ 2.5 yrs): sertraline 75mg. Under advice of my Pysch NP, weaned off in 1 month

Sept 2017 - Feb 2017 (6 months): Latuda (dose 20mg up to 80mg). Under advice of Psych NP, weaned off in 6 weeks (Jan - mid Feb). Tirtated down 20mg every 2 weeks.

Nov 2017 - Feb 2017 (3 months): lamictal 100mg. Abruptly taken off. This was the "wean": 100mg, 50mg, then off

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg for 1 week to bring me out of a severe suicidal depression. Abruptly stopped due to serotonin syndrome. Tried to reinstate 50mg a week later, but the serotonin syndrome symptoms came back. Not possible to reinstate sertraline.

March 2017: remeron 7.5mg. Took one dose that knocked me out for two days. Refused to take it again

February 2017 - March 2017: Ativan 1mg. Took 5 pills total spread out over the course of 3 weeks. No longer taking it.

6/16/18 - 6/26: celexa 1.25mg

6/27/18 - 6/29: celexa 2.5mg, 6/29 had burning and agitation within 30min of dose

6/30/18 - present: celexa 1.25mg

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TryingToHoldOn
On 8/13/2017 at 5:43 PM, DLB said:

I had the exact type of insomnia that you are having, it was horrible and I learned to just live on 1-2 hour a night of sleep for 2 years and it has slowly gotten to the point where I actually get sleepy and tired at night!! What a great thing to feel again!! I also was unable to EVER even doze off for a nap for many years including while on Paxil. What REALLY helped me when I couldn't take it and needed sleep was doxylamine succinate pills. No other sleep aid worked at all. It is the strongest legally available OTC you can get, way stronger than Benadryl type sleep aids. 

Give that a shot and I'm sure it will work.

by the way, I can sleep 6-7 hours now no problem WITHOUT any pills..

Wow!  It took 2 years for your sleep to come back?  Can you tell me a little bit about the progression of improvement.  Please see above at my battle with insomnia.  It's been ongoing for 8 months now.  Thank you!


Mid 2014 - June 2016 (~ 2.5 yrs): sertraline 75mg. Under advice of my Pysch NP, weaned off in 1 month

Sept 2017 - Feb 2017 (6 months): Latuda (dose 20mg up to 80mg). Under advice of Psych NP, weaned off in 6 weeks (Jan - mid Feb). Tirtated down 20mg every 2 weeks.

Nov 2017 - Feb 2017 (3 months): lamictal 100mg. Abruptly taken off. This was the "wean": 100mg, 50mg, then off

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg for 1 week to bring me out of a severe suicidal depression. Abruptly stopped due to serotonin syndrome. Tried to reinstate 50mg a week later, but the serotonin syndrome symptoms came back. Not possible to reinstate sertraline.

March 2017: remeron 7.5mg. Took one dose that knocked me out for two days. Refused to take it again

February 2017 - March 2017: Ativan 1mg. Took 5 pills total spread out over the course of 3 weeks. No longer taking it.

6/16/18 - 6/26: celexa 1.25mg

6/27/18 - 6/29: celexa 2.5mg, 6/29 had burning and agitation within 30min of dose

6/30/18 - present: celexa 1.25mg

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fj929
On 8/21/2017 at 1:55 PM, TryingToHoldOn said:

How much sleep did you initially get when the insomnia started and how did it progress?  My insomnia began in Dec 2016.  The first 2 weeks I got ZERO sleep.  Then i got 2-4 hours of broken sleep.  Recently, I now suffer 4-5 days without any sleep, one day with 4-5 hours of broken sleep, and then back to 4-5 days without sleep.  It's been 8 months and don't see significant improvement.

 

Initially I got very little. Some days it was only 2 hours or less. With the Ambien I could get around 4.


Paxil 10mg 2004-2011

7.5mg 4months

5mg. 4months

2.5mg.8 months no wd issues

Dropped pax 4-10-12

5-9-12 started prozac to alleviate symptoms (no relief)

5-22-12 reinstated paxil 2.5mg

5-28-12 5mg pax (couldn't tolerate sides)

6-22-12 Pax 2.5

6-30-12 Pax O

Cerebrolysin to help with wd at 29 months. Horrible decision much worse.

Still suffering sever Brain fog, Confusion, slow thinking,And just feeling sick and weird (hard to explain),facial twitching, weakness, shaking and jerking

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TryingToHoldOn
4 hours ago, fj929 said:

 

Initially I got very little. Some days it was only 2 hours or less. With the Ambien I could get around 4.

But your sleep is back to normal now?

How are you doing?  I read through your thread,but it looks like you haven't updated in years.  I hope you've seen vast improvement from your WD symptoms.

Take care.


Mid 2014 - June 2016 (~ 2.5 yrs): sertraline 75mg. Under advice of my Pysch NP, weaned off in 1 month

Sept 2017 - Feb 2017 (6 months): Latuda (dose 20mg up to 80mg). Under advice of Psych NP, weaned off in 6 weeks (Jan - mid Feb). Tirtated down 20mg every 2 weeks.

Nov 2017 - Feb 2017 (3 months): lamictal 100mg. Abruptly taken off. This was the "wean": 100mg, 50mg, then off

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg for 1 week to bring me out of a severe suicidal depression. Abruptly stopped due to serotonin syndrome. Tried to reinstate 50mg a week later, but the serotonin syndrome symptoms came back. Not possible to reinstate sertraline.

March 2017: remeron 7.5mg. Took one dose that knocked me out for two days. Refused to take it again

February 2017 - March 2017: Ativan 1mg. Took 5 pills total spread out over the course of 3 weeks. No longer taking it.

6/16/18 - 6/26: celexa 1.25mg

6/27/18 - 6/29: celexa 2.5mg, 6/29 had burning and agitation within 30min of dose

6/30/18 - present: celexa 1.25mg

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DLB
On August 21, 2017 at 1:57 PM, TryingToHoldOn said:

Wow!  It took 2 years for your sleep to come back?  Can you tell me a little bit about the progression of improvement.  Please see above at my battle with insomnia.  It's been ongoing for 8 months now.  Thank you!

Yes, for steady basically normal sleep it took 2 years. It started with 2 hours of sleep per night and the occasional 3-4 hours ( RARE) for about a year while I was at 2 mg. then a year later when I was off for 5 months it got to a steady 4 hours max. With some 2 hours thrown in. Then since then almost 2 years from that point it slowly and gradually improved to my now normal sleep. I get about 6 hours and rarely 7 per night. I never really slept more than that anyways. I now get tired and fight to stay awake. While on this crap I could NEVER even think of falling asleep mid day, now on a rainy crappy day I can watch a movie and fall asleep in daytime again. This was unheard of for the previous 13 years on this crap. 

 

You absolutely will get through this. Sleep will come back. On my absolute worst sleepless times I would use doxylamine succinate for sleep and it works wonders. Only when I really needed it though. I don't believe in poisoning my body with medicines as long as I can avoid it.  You have to just forget about it and roll with it and not constantly worry about it because that adds to it. Just flow with it and it will work out. I was just like you wondering if I would ever get tired again. Hang in there and just be patient. You got this!!

 

Oh, I just read your signature, it seems you have been on a drug cocktail. You must make sure not to keep letting dr.s use you as some experiment. I'm not a doctor and can only give you advice for what worked for me as I never had been on all those meds and never needed to be on any in the first place. Not sure why you went on all them and a VERY small group of people actually do need meds, so I can't tell you not to take them but I can tell you to be real careful in deciding if you are one of the real small amount of people who needs them. I personally try to avoid doctors and medicine now at all costs. Most doctors are completely clueless and are some of the most unintelligent people I have ever encountered. They are robots who can't think of solutions themselves and rely on books entirely and think one size fits all. Also none have a clue about side effects from ANY medicine. 


Paxil start September 2003 due to Fluoroquinolone adverse reaction that I wish doc. knew what it was. 10mg. most of the time with a few short runs of 20mg. FAST tapered 3 times and finally hit poop out or a reaction to nsaid's in Nov.2013. Started a 10% taper Jan. 2014 and have been ok until Sept 14 and went through a short hell. Now plodding through and looking for the light with unrelenting insomnia and pain, fog, loss of interests....<p>12/20/14 - .8mg.

1/01/15 - .75 mg.

1/15/15 - .42 mg. better sleep now, hope it continues...

2/11-15 - .25 mg. doing really good!! 2 weeks feel 85% of old me!

3/17/15 .14 mg. Knee pain bad!

4/07/15 .05 mg. this is so small now that I am estimating and just licking it off palm small as a "." 

4/13/15 NOTHING !!!! Took my last little micro dose on 4/12/15. ????????????????

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TryingToHoldOn
16 hours ago, DLB said:

Yes, for steady basically normal sleep it took 2 years. It started with 2 hours of sleep per night and the occasional 3-4 hours ( RARE) for about a year while I was at 2 mg. then a year later when I was off for 5 months it got to a steady 4 hours max. With some 2 hours thrown in. Then since then almost 2 years from that point it slowly and gradually improved to my now normal sleep. I get about 6 hours and rarely 7 per night. I never really slept more than that anyways. I now get tired and fight to stay awake. While on this crap I could NEVER even think of falling asleep mid day, now on a rainy crappy day I can watch a movie and fall asleep in daytime again. This was unheard of for the previous 13 years on this crap. 

 

You absolutely will get through this. Sleep will come back. On my absolute worst sleepless times I would use doxylamine succinate for sleep and it works wonders. Only when I really needed it though. I don't believe in poisoning my body with medicines as long as I can avoid it.  You have to just forget about it and roll with it and not constantly worry about it because that adds to it. Just flow with it and it will work out. I was just like you wondering if I would ever get tired again. Hang in there and just be patient. You got this!!

 

Oh, I just read your signature, it seems you have been on a drug cocktail. You must make sure not to keep letting dr.s use you as some experiment. I'm not a doctor and can only give you advice for what worked for me as I never had been on all those meds and never needed to be on any in the first place. Not sure why you went on all them and a VERY small group of people actually do need meds, so I can't tell you not to take them but I can tell you to be real careful in deciding if you are one of the real small amount of people who needs them. I personally try to avoid doctors and medicine now at all costs. Most doctors are completely clueless and are some of the most unintelligent people I have ever encountered. They are robots who can't think of solutions themselves and rely on books entirely and think one size fits all. Also none have a clue about side effects from ANY medicine. 

Thank you for your response!  It gives me hope that that my sleep will recover one day.

 

I was put on sertraline for post partum depression.  Then was told I had 'soft' bipolar or bipolar 2 because o had irritability.  In hindsight,  I should have just rode out the postpartum.  I had a low mood, but still very much living life.  The BP diagnosis was wrong and I had a terrible reaction to the medication.  My intro gives a more detailed account.  I was wrongly medicated for an incorrect diagnosis (confirmed by two separate evaluations) and I should have never taken the AD.  I have no quality of life now and I am 1000 times worse off than when I had postoartum due to WD.  I am letting my body recover naturally and just hope I can ride out this storm.

 

Do you feel like you're fully recovered yet?


Mid 2014 - June 2016 (~ 2.5 yrs): sertraline 75mg. Under advice of my Pysch NP, weaned off in 1 month

Sept 2017 - Feb 2017 (6 months): Latuda (dose 20mg up to 80mg). Under advice of Psych NP, weaned off in 6 weeks (Jan - mid Feb). Tirtated down 20mg every 2 weeks.

Nov 2017 - Feb 2017 (3 months): lamictal 100mg. Abruptly taken off. This was the "wean": 100mg, 50mg, then off

Feb 2017: sertraline 150mg for 1 week to bring me out of a severe suicidal depression. Abruptly stopped due to serotonin syndrome. Tried to reinstate 50mg a week later, but the serotonin syndrome symptoms came back. Not possible to reinstate sertraline.

March 2017: remeron 7.5mg. Took one dose that knocked me out for two days. Refused to take it again

February 2017 - March 2017: Ativan 1mg. Took 5 pills total spread out over the course of 3 weeks. No longer taking it.

6/16/18 - 6/26: celexa 1.25mg

6/27/18 - 6/29: celexa 2.5mg, 6/29 had burning and agitation within 30min of dose

6/30/18 - present: celexa 1.25mg

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uncomfortablynumb

Thanks for all your responding and keeping this conversation going. 

 

Petunia - thanks for the audiobook tip. Unfortunately any audio keeps me awake. I never drift out even from boredom. I know your insomnia is pretty legendary. I hope it doesn't take me 5yrs. I just can't imagine that. 

 

Anyone withdraw from ADs and benzos and have their sleep return? 


2006-15 Effexor on and off mostly on. Also tried drugs that didn't work; notriptyline, Celexa, Zoloft, Welbutrin, Abilify, Pristiq, Cymbalta. Weaned off Effexor for last time quickly (2015) - horrible depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Remeron (2016) helped wd symptoms. 
2017 - tapered off Rem over a few mths. Horrible wd symptoms with insomnia. Reinstating Remeron fail. For wd insomnia tried: Trazodone, Elavil, Gabapentin, Seroquel, Doxepin, Valium. Failed. 2mg Ativan at bed intermittent use 4mth.
CT Ativan - off all meds June '17.  Recovered by Oct '17 - well for a yr.
Oct '18-now. Major stresses, drank alcohol. In hell -insomnia, dp/dr, head pressure, anhedonia, no emotions, blank mind.
May/June '19 - 16 doses Rem CT, 10 doses 2mg Ativan. CT

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DLB
8 hours ago, TryingToHoldOn said:

Thank you for your response!  It gives me hope that that my sleep will recover one day.

 

I was put on sertraline for post partum depression.  Then was told I had 'soft' bipolar or bipolar 2 because o had irritability.  In hindsight,  I should have just rode out the postpartum.  I had a low mood, but still very much living life.  The BP diagnosis was wrong and I had a terrible reaction to the medication.  My intro gives a more detailed account.  I was wrongly medicated for an incorrect diagnosis (confirmed by two separate evaluations) and I should have never taken the AD.  I have no quality of life now and I am 1000 times worse off than when I had postoartum due to WD.  I am letting my body recover naturally and just hope I can ride out this storm.

 

Do you feel like you're fully recovered yet?

Well that makes two of us that should never have been put on this crap. They just tried to put my wife on this for menopause and she told the doctor my story and what I have seen on these sites and Doctor says it is not true and that it can't cause what happened to us. Typical no common sense higher educated (indoctrinated) robot. Anyway, don't go near anything and eventually it will be fine. Just do what I said and accept what you are going through and float through it. I know how hard it can be especially when you are up at 2 am constantly ruminating about it. Like I said an occasional doxylamine succinate works wonders when you need it. Unisom is the brand I think. It will knock you right out. Take on empty stomach and it works great. But really try not to use anything unless it is absolutely necessary. Definitely not anything prescribed.

 

oh, and as for me being fully recovered? I can guarantee that I will be writing a success story on my 3 year off anniversary in April 2018. I consistently feel 95% of what I used to. There are some physical effects that some could be blamed on a autoimmune that hit me when I came off. So due to that autoimmune condition which I know came from these drugs I may never say I am 100% but emotionally I am back and enjoying all the things I used to with all the desire to do them again. Slight PSSD too which got way you better with time.


Paxil start September 2003 due to Fluoroquinolone adverse reaction that I wish doc. knew what it was. 10mg. most of the time with a few short runs of 20mg. FAST tapered 3 times and finally hit poop out or a reaction to nsaid's in Nov.2013. Started a 10% taper Jan. 2014 and have been ok until Sept 14 and went through a short hell. Now plodding through and looking for the light with unrelenting insomnia and pain, fog, loss of interests....<p>12/20/14 - .8mg.

1/01/15 - .75 mg.

1/15/15 - .42 mg. better sleep now, hope it continues...

2/11-15 - .25 mg. doing really good!! 2 weeks feel 85% of old me!

3/17/15 .14 mg. Knee pain bad!

4/07/15 .05 mg. this is so small now that I am estimating and just licking it off palm small as a "." 

4/13/15 NOTHING !!!! Took my last little micro dose on 4/12/15. ????????????????

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Laetitia

Dear all

 

Insomnia is by far the worst symptom it ruins totally all my efforts to get better melatonin long- released seems inconsistent it worked one night then last night not one single minute of sleep. Jesus this is just unbearable. I am not even off drugs still on them. I am just scared to read all the horror stories about insomnia because the more you obsess about it the least you can sleep.


1996-1997 Elavil 150 mg, tapered slowly as per doctor's advice - 1999-2005 Prozac 20 mg then 10 mg for a long time then nothing - was not aware of SSRI withdrawal I was told there was no withdrawal with Prozac due to long half life and thus always considered rebound anxiety and insomnia as relapse- 2007 Lexapro 10 mg then 20 mg, anxiety too bad to work, then merry go round of Paxil, Effexor, Xeroquel, Risperdal, any drug on the market even drugs for bipolar ... back to Lexapro 10 mg but pooped out + tinnitus (head ringing) problem appeared in 2010 on any ssri- Anafranil 75 mg Jan-March 2017 at 75 mg better then crashed after 6 weeks (poop out)  stop CT  and switch to Brintellix 10 mg in March 2017 + Nozinan 20 mg and zopiclone 7,5 mg (these two taken for a long time). Extreme anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, panic, social anxiety, derealisation,professional disability lost home job marriage everything. I had to stop Brintellix due to a very bad reaction to it and reinstate Anafranil 75 mg then 37.5 mg since May 2017 because of severe constipation (can't go at all to the toilet) My general problem and the reason why I could never drop meds is because of ocd about sleep, severe GAD social anxiety unable to work since 2012, as a result of chronic use of anti depressants I believe my serotonin is completely depleted and my receptors are dead! Sorry the dates are confusing/ since august started slow taper by 10% every 4 weeks so current treatment is anafranil 60 mg/Nozinan 13 mg/zopiclone 3.75 mg and lexomil 1/4 as needed but try not to take it

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