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

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Aria

My Sleep Update:

 

My sleep is still intermittent and it's due to the long term use of psychotropics. It awful to want to sleep and can't. I am so hungover, tired and cranky the next day. Then the next night sleep may evade me again. I have the worst trouble getting to sleep and then I wake up in a startled mode several times a night. Sleep gets heavier around 6-7 AM and I have deep REM. I had read it would take 2 years to heal coming off benzo (what I took for sleep) and this was the last drug I tapered off. Any info saying the time frame for our bodies to adjust to being drug free and natural sleep patterns? :huh:

 

If any of you have something that has worked for you please let me know. Supplements?? Certain sleep strategy? Thanks.


Poly drugged for 18 years with every psychiatric drug in the PDR. C/t off Seroquel, tapered trazodone, celexa, dalmane, ativan (among others) and have been drug free for years. I thank the heavens I survived.

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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Altostrata

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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ellenr

Yoga and sleep improvement.Yoga and sleep improvement.

 

Yeah, when I was doing daily kundalini yoga, after a couple of months, I started sleeping 5-6 hours a nite. May not sound like much, but it was better than I had slept in years. (had been sleeping 3-4 hours a nite.)

 

then I stopped doing yoga. now, due to stress in my life - I literally can not sleep at all except by dosing off in front of the tv. I know sleeping front of tv is bad, but when I get into bed I become wide-awake.

 

I decided today to ask my md for some sleeping pills. In over 10 years of this problem I never thot of resorting to pills, but it has become impossible to function.

 

Here is a kriya which is "for conquering sleep". I can't make myself try it, and merely looking at the sheet at bed-time does not work! :-)

If anyone tries it and finds it effective please let me know.

 

http://www.pinklotus.org/-%20KY%20Kriya%20for%20conquering%20sleep.htm

 

 

ellen

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compsports

 

Yoga and sleep improvement.Yoga and sleep improvement.

 

Yeah, when I was doing daily kundalini yoga, after a couple of months, I started sleeping 5-6 hours a nite. May not sound like much, but it was better than I had slept in years. (had been sleeping 3-4 hours a nite.)

 

then I stopped doing yoga. now, due to stress in my life - I literally can not sleep at all except by dosing off in front of the tv. I know sleeping front of tv is bad, but when I get into bed I become wide-awake.

 

I decided today to ask my md for some sleeping pills. In over 10 years of this problem I never thot of resorting to pills, but it has become impossible to function.

 

Here is a kriya which is "for conquering sleep". I can't make myself try it, and merely looking at the sheet at bed-time does not work! :-)

If anyone tries it and finds it effective please let me know.

 

http://www.pinklotus.org/-%20KY%20Kriya%20for%20conquering%20sleep.htm

 

 

ellen

 

Hi Ellen R,

 

I have come very close many times to asking for sleeping pills so I definitely understand your situation.

 

Interestingly, taking a long walk outside in bright sunny weather yesterday helped me sleep enough hours even though once again, I fell asleep too early and didn't use my apap machine 100% like I really need to. But everytime I woke up, I was able to get back to sleep.

 

Might something like this work for you? I realize due to logistics, it can be hard to do this everyday. But I am going to try somehow to do something.

 

CS


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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eatgarden

From our friend Gianna Kali's blog Beyond Meds https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/recipe-for-a-good-nights-sleep/

 

Recipe for a good nights sleep

 

5 cups Epsom Salts

 

1 cup Baking Soda

 

Poor both ingredients into a large tub and fill with water as warm as you can tolerate comfortably.

 

Soak 10 to 20 minutes.

 

Go to bed and pass out. Sleep delightfully deeply for 7 to 9 hours.

 

No kidding. This works for me like nothing else has. Epsom salt baths are widely talked about in withdrawal groups and circles as well as alternative medicine sites. The thing is no one ever really says how much to use. This is a whole lot of Epsom salts.

 

We found sources of bulk salts and the baking soda both. It can be pretty darn cheap.

 

This knocks me out. Now it may be because I’ve never tolerated much magnesium supplementation and most of us withdrawing from psych drugs need mag really bad. Not everyone’s gut can handle supplementation with magnesium though.

 

When magnesium is taken in through the skin it completely bypasses the gut and so there is no gastro discomfort.

 

....

So give this a shot. I’m utterly shocked at the difference it’s made.

 

It also gets rid of my body pain. I have really bad pain that seems to be similar to those who are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. And in point of fact this bath is also recommended in fibro circles. I have no idea what my pain is caused by but I’m assuming it’s simply the withdrawals and hope it will eventually pass.

 

The bath makes the pain remit long enough for me to fall asleep.

....

 

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eatgarden

I have not tried your recipe for the bath but it sounds very good. What I do that works well for me is a Yoga exercise: I lay down on the floor with a pillow for my head and raise my legs up along the wall; I do get as close to the wall as I possibly can and stay that way for 15 minutes. I don't understand why it works, it just does and I recommend it! :)

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Altostrata

Thanks, eatgarden. That yoga exercise was recommended to me, too.

 

When you can, please introduce yourself in the Introductions section. Thanks for joining us.


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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GiaK

Help for insomnia (and psych drug withdrawal triggered sleeplessness) http://wp.me/p5nnb-8Fd

 

Collected info and resources...tips for healing

 

Perhaps one of the hardest parts of severe withdrawal syndrome and often a part of just about any and all withdrawal from psychiatric drugs is the insomnia most people face at one time or another. It can be so severe as to be quite dangerous. Learning to soothe and ease the body back into sleep or at the very least rest becomes an issue of survival.

All the below suggestions may be helpful to anyone dealing with insomnia from any source as well.

 

http://beyondmeds.com/2013/02/05/help-for-insomnia/


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Altostrata

Excellent info, thanks, Gia.


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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Nikki

Maybe we could post here on how we are managing with sleep and give some recommendations rather that reading thru everyone's post.

 

Sleep can mean the difference between feeling rotten and ill and feeling rejuvenated.

 

PS...I am having trouble spelling since this drop and fiasco that ensued.I spelled rejuvenated incorrectly.

 

When I work alot I sleep.

Meditation CD's help.

Need to go to bed before 9pm.

I need more than 6 hours of sleep.

Exercise,fresh air, ocean or pool water helps with sleep

 

Stress keeps me up. Worry, fear, ruminating over issues mostly finances.

If I know I have to do something urgent I have trouble falling asleep.

If I have a Doctor's appointment the next day I have trouble.

It's mammogram time and when I make that appointment it affects sleep.

 

I did take a Xanax last night (which I never do) PNurse suggested it after my recent fiasco and I slept like a log and I needed it.

 

Where are you at and what are things we can do for sleep?

 

Hugs


Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Skyler

I did take a Xanax last night (which I never do) PNurse suggested it after my recent fiasco and I slept like a log and I needed it.

Nikki, forgive me for being blunt, this forum has a section devoted to helping people get OFF benzos. Insomnia is a primary pathway leading to dependence, but you do not give any caveats. Rather, this is the third post mentioning xanax since you filled the script yesterday. Are you trying to convince yourself it's okay? Your psych nurse is NOT your friend.

 

WARNING. Benzos build tolerance and dependence with as much as one week regular use. UK guidelines are for 2 weeks use, with one optional refill (unfortunately this prohibition is not always followed). Unfortunately Big Pharma has a stronger grip in the US and we do not have the same protection in place. Benzos with a shorter half life, including Xanax build tolerance faster. See this 'nugget' posted 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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GiaK

it's true that taking benzos is a slippery slope...it's also true that we must do what we must do along this path...

 

I often took emergency doses of this or that for a long time...I had 6 years of coming off drugs and once I was off I virtually never slept for 2 years...I was in dangerous and severe crisis routinely...pretty much daily. I was bedridden and could not leave the house for ANYTHING...no exageration...and yeah, I took emergency baby doses of all sorts of things while I could tolerate stuff...

 

the alternative was screaming all night long and freaking out the neighbors...seriously...it was ******* ugly

 

I've not needed to do that for a long time now...

 

I don't think anyone should be chastised nor feel chastised for doing what they need to do to survive.

 

I never felt I could openly talk about what I absolutely had to do in order to survive...I thought that sucked and I still do.

 

coming off drugs is dangerous at times...sometimes very dangerous when sleeplessness occurs...we do what we must...I know I am not alone in taking emergency doses...and also I know that those of us committed to coming off drugs that have to do that still get to where they never need to do that again.

 

we do what we need to do...

 

and sometimes we really really wish we could talk about it but can't and maybe if we try we sound funny doing it...or disingenuous or something...because we feel scared and alone.

 

peace.


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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GiaK

here is a post that has lots of suggestions for sleep:

 

Help for insomnia (and psych drug withdrawal triggered sleeplessness) http://wp.me/p5nnb-8Fd

 

lots of suggestions...and I never need to take tiny doses of this or that anymore but I do still sometimes have severe insomnia.


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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GiaK

briefly, avoid hospitalization at all costs because once you're in there you have no control over what goes in your mouth (or worse yet what is shot into your butt)

 

an occasional drug ingested by choice is a much better deal.


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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peggy

sleep is a big issue with me - in the beginning - 28 years ago, i attributed my first depression to sleeplessness and i had a conversation with someone who also said the same thing and she told me a nightmare story about her depression that i panicked about thinking - 'oh no, that will happen to me'! And so, not sleeping was the central issue for me in all my depressive episodes and i have had to work hard to get over this. I could never take anything to help me sleep, even a sedating antidepressant as my anxious thoughts would say 'you only slept because you took'.... so, the anxiety over that would start as soon as i woke up until i couldn't sleep again. Interestingly i always did sleep - not well perhaps, and it sometimes took a while, but i did always sleep.

 

When i don't sleep well now, i try to remember that sleep is a natural thing and our bodies will do all they need to do to get what is needed - eventually. For me, i often don't sleep well (or much) when i am travelling, but i don't feel the same fatigue or anxiety around it - that leads me to the conclusion that it isn't acutally the sleep thats the problem it's actually anxiety.


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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strawberry17

I would have to hold my hand/s up and say I have taken the odd tamezapam in a crisis. I get approximately one script a year from my doctor, and it lasts the whole year or longer, just sometimes it gets me out of a hole when I've got work or something the next day.

I've had a lot of axiety centred on sleep and how the heck will I function at work on no sleep...it becomes a nasty downward spiral, but the reality now is I do mostly sleep well, and when I do have a rotten night I remind myself that it's ok, I can still function, and I will catch up the next night.

To answer your question Nikki something that works really well for me is exercise, if I've been for a bike ride or a session on the x trainer, but not too late in the day, I find I generally sleep very well.


*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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compsports

GiaK,

 

Your post is very timely as I have decided to ask my sleep doctor when I see him in a few weeks for a prn prescription of a sleep med. Not sure which one is best to take with apnea.

 

I have come to the point where i am barely existing and have tried everything I know to get any type of sleep on the machine or off of it. It is not working and my sanity is at stake.

 

I know it is not a permanent solution as I need to figure out how to get my therapy optimized. But right now,I have no choice and it sucks. That is why your post means everything to me.

 

CS

 

it's true that taking benzos is a slippery slope...it's also true that we must do what we must do along this path...

 

I often took emergency doses of this or that for a long time...I had 6 years of coming off drugs and once I was off I virtually never slept for 2 years...I was in dangerous and severe crisis routinely...pretty much daily. I was bedridden and could not leave the house for ANYTHING...no exageration...and yeah, I took emergency baby doses of all sorts of things while I could tolerate stuff...

 

the alternative was screaming all night long and freaking out the neighbors...seriously...it was ******* ugly

 

I've not needed to do that for a long time now...

 

I don't think anyone should be chastised nor feel chastised for doing what they need to do to survive.

 

I never felt I could openly talk about what I absolutely had to do in order to survive...I thought that sucked and I still do.

 

coming off drugs is dangerous at times...sometimes very dangerous when sleeplessness occurs...we do what we must...I know I am not alone in taking emergency doses...and also I know that those of us committed to coming off drugs that have to do that still get to where they never need to do that again.

 

we do what we need to do...

 

and sometimes we really really wish we could talk about it but can't and maybe if we try we sound funny doing it...or disingenuous or something...because we feel scared and alone.

 

peace.

 


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Jemima

briefly, avoid hospitalization at all costs because once you're in there you have no control over what goes in your mouth (or worse yet what is shot into your butt)

 

an occasional drug ingested by choice is a much better deal.

 

Amen.

 

I have also taken the occasional emergency dose of an antihistamine or Ativan or even alcohol. Sometimes the pain becomes too great and it's better to gamble with a drug than end up scaring someone who calls the police. Hospitalization is the absolute worst thing that can happen.


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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areyouthere

 

I have also taken the occasional emergency dose of an antihistamine or Ativan or even alcohol. Sometimes the pain becomes too great and it's better to gamble with a drug than end up scaring someone who calls the police. Hospitalization is the absolute worst thing that can happen.

Holy crap. This is one sad statement about health care in this country in regard to antipsychotics. When will they get a freaking clue...


Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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alexjuice

briefly, avoid hospitalization at all costs because once you're in there you have no control over what goes in your mouth (or worse yet what is shot into your butt)

 

I've heard the exact same said about the United States Armed Forces. Well, not the butt part ... same sentiment though.

 

EDIT: In seriousness, yes, avoid all institutionalization: asylums, jails, hospitals and so forth.


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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GiaK

not drastic...when people read the tone in which some hard-core anti-drug dogma is delivered it becomes unsafe to be real on these boards...my response was not just about this thread but hundreds of similar ones I've seen over the years all over the net that create an unsafe environment for people going through severe withdrawal...

 

consider it a nip in the bud

 

I actually wrote a post I've been wanting to write for a long time about this issue...it will post sometime in the next few days.


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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alexjuice

not drastic...when people read the tone in which some hard-core anti-drug dogma is delivered it becomes unsafe to be real on these boards...my response was not just about this thread but hundreds of similar ones I've seen over the years all over the net that create an unsafe environment for people going through severe withdrawal...

 

consider it a nip in the bud

 

I actually wrote a post I've been wanting to write for a long time about this issue...it will post sometime in the next few days.

 

I didn't interpret Barb's comment or direct my comment in the spirit of shutting down talk of emergency intervention. But I was agreeing that the topic had veered from tips for improved sleep, as forum threads are likely to do.

 

But on that subject: It's my opinion that there's merit to discussing risk of 'emergency interventions' and clarifying positions.

 

There are some around the web who suggest benzos can mitigate the SSRI w/d symptoms, though usually the propoents disclose that the cost is then benzo dependency.

 

I have concern for anyone using benzos PRN for sleep or anxiety. I don't condemn anyone for it. I am somewhat concerned about the slippery slope but, for me, as someone struggling still with a benzo taper I get physically ill to think of someone taking benzos with the foreknowledge of the degree of suffering they've caused me and a lot fo others on this board. I think, it's understandable that we posters in the midst of benzo w/d symptoms are not going to respond happily to news that one of our frieds just took a benzo.

 

Like most people, I see from my own situation -- I acutely wish I hadn't restarted benzos -- and from my side, I can't imagine why anyone would ever take one ever. That's an emotional sentiment based on my the distress I'm struggling with.

 

But Nikki, you're not in my shoes, you're in your shoes.

 

I peronally am not going to discourage the conversation. Everyone's gotta do what they think they need to do. I think it's a potentially combustible topic though as it would be if someone started seroquel PRN for sleep.

 

Nikki, I am sorry this is such a difficult time for you. I support you in your recovery and I know that you are doing your best to take care of yourself. I'm certain I'm not the only one on this forum who cares for you deeply either.

 

Best,

Alex


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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GiaK

right...Nikki is in her shoes...

 

we all see, very clearly the devastation these drugs wreak...that's why when one is up against the wall it's pretty clear they feel they have no other option...

 

I know that most of my pain was caused by benzos...and I never hesitate to tell people that...they hear...so they don't need my judgment about their choices when it's clear they know what that drug did to me and in turn the potential of that drug harming anyone, including them, if they choose to take it.

 

and of course it's also understandable when we want to do just that (judge and warn and control) and I am by no means free of having feelings that want to control those I love and care for if I think they might harm themselves with the use of psych drugs.

 

I do, though, try to step back before expressing any of those feelings...and no, I'm quite sure, I'm not always 100% successful.


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Altostrata

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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Jemima

Nikki,

 

I hope you won't be turned off by the wild ride this post has taken. I know that you're in an especially vulnerable spot after suffering some symptoms from a decrease in AD dosage, so please don't go away mad because a few members overreacted to your occasional use of a benzo. Benzos are addicting and very tempting when you're going through withdrawal, but I managed to avoid addiction and the subsequent hell of withdrawal, and I believe that you are also wise enough to use them judiciously. Unfortunately, many of our members have been duped by doctors who prescribe these drugs PRN, as if they are harmless. NOT!!!

 

As for sleep, after 14+ months off of Lexapro, I still sometimes have trouble falling asleep and use whatever is handy to get there. Still, I often wake up at 4:00 AM and can't get back to sleep. I think a lot of this is due to not having anything to which to look forward when I wake up, which is another AD-related withdrawal problem - anhedonia. So far, nothing much excites me except emergencies, and that's not a good thing.

 

May you have many nights of sound sleep and pleasant dreams!


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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Jemima

...when people read the tone in which some hard-core anti-drug dogma is delivered it becomes unsafe to be real on these boards...my response was not just about this thread but hundreds of similar ones I've seen over the years all over the net that create an unsafe environment for people going through severe withdrawal...

 

consider it a nip in the bud

 

 

And I thank you for that, Gia. I don't want to see this forum turn into a scary place where people can be "flamed".


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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peggy

well, I for one am glad this topic has been started - thanks to Gia's post and then Alto's summary of all the posts above, i found something i hadn't heard of before - Lactium. Sleep has been a bit of an issue for me lately - well, perhaps not sleep so much but feeling anxious in bed, so i went out today and got some Lacitum. :)


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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GiaK

Okay...I did a post that wraps up my thoughts on this...

 

again...this was inspired from YEARS on these boards...not just this thread which served as a poke to finally write it:

 

Dogmatic anti-meds stance can be dangerous

 

http://beyondmeds.com/2013/02/24/dogma-anti-meds/


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Rhiannon

Back on the sleep part of this thread: One thing that has helped me has been learning about something called something like "sleep unawareness." Or something like that.

 

It's actually really common, and it's where you think you're awake even though you're actually cycling in and out of sleep. But your brain just pieces together the parts of the cycle where you're awake and you experience them as continuous. It's a neurological thing that's going on so you actually experience yourself as continuously awake, even though if you were hooked up to an EEG it would show that you're cycling through sleep stages.

 

I've discovered that when I'm in that state, if I think "I'm not sleeping, I'm not sleeping, I've got to sleep, I have to go to work tonight" and focus on that, I actually wake myself up more. I'm kind of learning to relax and say "maybe I'm actually sleeping more than I think I am..." and for me, when I relax into it, and allow the moments of wakefulness to just "be" and not see them as "oh no I'm awake again"--it seems to help me actually drift into a more solid sleep.

 

Just a little piece of something that's been helpful to me. To realize that maybe I'm actually sleeping more than I realize, which helps me to relax and sleep even more.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Georgia

Things that have helped me sleep:

>Avoiding oral magnesium supplements, especially glycinate, has been very helpful, even though small doses of citrate seem to be OK.

>Avoiding high doses of vitamin D.

>I found GiaK's recent post on histamine interesting, since I have noticed that certain yogurt bacteria disturb my sleep. The psychiatrist's site (see link GiaK posted on the Histamine thread http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3503-histamine-intolerance/page__st__30) has some info on histamine and yogurt.

>Avoiding MSG.

>Limiting gluten in diet

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compsports

After going back and rereading old posts that my favorite sleep doctor, Barry Krakow, posted on another board, I am now totally convinced that my pap therapy is nowhere near optimized. So unfortunately for me, all the positive affirmations are worthless.

 

Hopefully, my sleep doctor will have some answers when I see him next week.

 

By the way, I found this exert from Dr. Krakow's post regarding psych meds very interesting:

 

http://www.cpaptalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27266&p=243752#p243752

 

""Drugs. If you've been on sleep aids or other psychotropics such as antidepressants and anxiolytics, there is no question you're likely to have less delta and REM on your diagnostic studies as well as your titrations, compared to what you might if you were drug-free. I have no bias against these drugs, because they serve their purposes for those who use them, but I'm disappointed that the psychiatric community is so reluctant or ignorant about their effects on sleep architecture. It is very difficult to convince a patient to taper off these drugs to find out if they could get more delta and REM, but when I work closely with a prescribing psychiatrist, we can at least come to a consensus to consider this approach down the line. And, that would raise the question, "just how long would the person need to be off the meds to see changes in delta or REM?" Usually a month, but I don't know that anyone has seriously looked at this through research protocols involving long-term users going off meds for a long time.""


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Karma

What I have found really valuable is setting a healthy sleep pattern.

 

I always go to bed by 9:30 PM. I stop using any electronic devices like the computer or a reading tablet by 8:00 PM. We make sure the house is relatively dark with just low light so that we don't run into the cat or the wall. I try to lie down on the sofa and close my eyes to start allowing my body to relax by 8:30 PM and head to bed by 9:00 or 9:30 PM. I go to bed at the same time every night, weekend or week day. I get up at the same time during the week and allow myself to sleep in on the weekends, but no more than 2 additional hours.

 

The body has a normal diurnal pattern of cortisol production. It is highest in the morning and declines during the day until it is at its lowest at night to prepare the body for sleep. That is why PS or melatonin help with sleep ... they lower cortisol.

 

I read somewhere that if you have been in bed for 20 minutes and are unable to fall asleep you should get out of bed and do something different. For me if I get out of bed and go lie on my sofa I tend to be able to fall asleep when I can't fall asleep in my own bed ... no idea why that works. Sometimes I sleep the whole night on the sofa and sometimes I wake and at that point go to bed and fall right to sleep.

 

When I was having night time anxiety over the summer I did find that a sleep mask helped. I didn't think it would because I get up before the sun comes up. It seems that any light stimulation can impact sleep when in that state. I literally used a bandana tied around my eyes for several months. (I no longer need it).

 

Georgia posted to avoid oral magnesium glycinate, but I disagree - I take about 800-1000 mg of magnesium glycinate every evening and it does help me become drowsy. Again, this could be because depending on one's state of sensitivity supplements will react differently. I always caution people in withdrawal to test single ingredient supplements in low doses to see how they react.

 

As to Nikki's other question - when I get consistent sleep I am able to function and can actually find joy. I find that I am now obsessive-compulsive about getting my sleep. Probably an overreaction to when I suffered insomnia for so long.

 

Karma


2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg;
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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GiaK

what Rhi said about sleep unawareness I think is really important...

 

I remember when a woman I know who was ahead of me by a few years in her healing had a sleep study done. She was always telling us she only got 1 or 2 hours of sleep a night...

 

when she had the study done she found that contrary to what she'd thought even that night in a sleep lab she slept 6 hours!! she thought as usual she'd only managed a couple of hours max.

 

that has remained with me always and now on nights where it feels iffy but I'm laying down with my eyes closed I trust that I'm sleeping somewhat more than it seems. Knowing this helps.

 

on another note...as far as a supplement like magnesium for sleep that Karma and Georgia talked about...some people find it helpful (in whatever form) and some don't or in fact find it activating and problematic...this is how we're different and why it's important to remember just because something works for us it may not work for another and in fact it may make another far worse...

 

just pointing out there is no disagreement here...just different experiences...

 

have a good sunday everyone!!


Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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compsports

Hi Gianna,

 

I know alot of people underestimate how much sleep they get but I have found I am pretty accurate. In fact, if anything I overestimate how much I receive probably due to wishful thinking.

 

Anyway, because the quality of sleep is the most important thing, that should be the top emphasis of sleep professionals but sadly isn't. Another post.

 

CS

 

what Rhi said about sleep unawareness I think is really important...

 

I remember when a woman I know who was ahead of me by a few years in her healing had a sleep study done. She was always telling us she only got 1 or 2 hours of sleep a night...

 

when she had the study done she found that contrary to what she'd thought even that night in a sleep lab she slept 6 hours!! she thought as usual she'd only managed a couple of hours max.

 

that has remained with me always and now on nights where it feels iffy but I'm laying down with my eyes closed I trust that I'm sleeping somewhat more than it seems. Knowing this helps.

 

on another note...as far as a supplement like magnesium for sleep that Karma and Georgia talked about...some people find it helpful (in whatever form) and some don't or in fact find it activating and problematic...this is how we're different and why it's important to remember just because something works for us it may not work for another and in fact it may make another far worse...

 

just pointing out there is no disagreement here...just different experiences...

 

have a good sunday everyone!!

 


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Altostrata

Rhi's post was very interesting to me, too. I think I do this, going in and out of sleep but thinking I'm not sleeping at all.

 

I also find mag glycinate helpful.


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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peggy

when i was really anxious about my lack of sleep i read so many articles and books and this thought was a common thread. It really helped me to know that. the line between sleep and wake is a downhill line, not a switch


Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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