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Blueflower Postpartum anxiety+withdrawal


Blueflower

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Hello,

This is Blueflower.  I am not sure where to go from here. After the birth of my daughter, I noticed weird mood symptoms during the pregnancy like waking up every night at 3 am and seeing ghosts and feeling terror.  I would eat something and fall back asleep.  After her birth something was completely off in the hospital.  I felt empty and completely terrified.  I was trying to breast feed her on demand and this some how ended up in me staying awake for a week straight.  I had the inability to sleep at all.  I would pass out and then an electric shock from my spinal cord would zap me awake.  I was having hallucinations of monsters going over the baby and of her head contorting.  I was having severe panic attacks and terrible intrusive thoughts like maggots crawling out of the trash can.  My Obyn put me on zoloft and ambien.  The ambien saved my life.  I stayed on the ambien for awhile because the zoloft made me feel wired.  I saw one horrible psychiatrist who told me to just keep taking the ambien and zoloft together.  I got my obgyn to switch me to lexapro.  That made me feel drowsy and allowed me to quit the ambien.  I substituted this for a little melatonin.  The lexapro, while calming, gave terrible intrusive thoughts of their own color.  Like I would be falling asleep and my brain would be like, "Hey check out this torture scene!"  I knew this was from the lexapro and not the post partnum anxiety because it really had nothing to do with the baby.  My own post partnum issues are mainly intense worry about the baby.  I stayed on lexapro for 3 months and was told I would not have any withdrawal symptoms.  I found a psychiatrist who helped me taper.  She said to cut it at 50 percent for a month and then 50 percent for another month.  She had me take a lot of supplements like 5htp and vit D.

 

My first month was hell and included suicdality.  My second month was also hell and I did taper a little more slowly for that month by doing a 30 percent decrease.  I did not really know how to cut a pill at 10 percent so I did the 30 percent and used the supplements.  I saw a counselor as well.

 

It has been 4 months since my last dose of lexapro.  I have definitely gotten better, no more brain zaps.  I still have panic attacks but am not sure what is from withdrawal or is still post partnum anxiety.

 

I still have the inability to tall asleep without tryptaphan and melatonin.  I feel an increase in nervousness like clock work every evening.  I feel like I am getting wired and hyper vigilant.   I tried taking seriphois just recently and that just made me feel more wired.  I don't know when it is ok to taper from these supplements.  My goal is to take them on an as needed basis.  I also do not have mental health benefits anymore so no more counseling.  

Are there any women in this situation?  I did not find any support on the postpartum mood disorders board. It seems those women are all happily medicated.

It has been 8 months, when will I be able to have a glass of wine, go out on a date with my husband and fall asleep like a normal person?

It seems I am battling the hormonal disorder that came from pregnancy and then the withdrawal from lexapro.  I feel emotionally ok and can get out of panic attacks and am doing ok with worry over the baby.  I now just have all the physical discomfort or withdrawal and evening anxiety.

 

Edited by scallywag
tags added

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Blueflower, welcome to surviving antidepressants.  What a nightmare time you've had!

I've been on some meds myself that have had me seeing and thinking all kinds of horrible things.

so I can empathise. It is so sad that some women go through this at a time when they should be 

happy and content. 

 

I am not  experienced enough with post partum issues or supplements so can't offer advice 

but just want to say hi. You are in the best place and will get lots of help and support. Alto

and the team are the very best there is and will be able to help. 

It will help if you can put your med history in your sig line so they can see at a glance 

what you have been on, when they  started and when they stopped. Here's a link that explains

how to do that. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I'm glad you are here, hugs MammaP

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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You might want to check out Kelly Brogan's website, www.kellybroganmd.com. She specializes in integrative perinatal psychiatry and is also familiar with drug withdrawal. She just did an interesting e-seminar, it might still be possible to purchase access to it. Good luck...what a horrible way to enter the joys of motherhood, I am so sorry.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Blueflower.

 

Very sorry to hear of your troubles. It does sound like the tides of hormones overcame you.

 

How are you doing with your baby now? Do you have any help at home? Is your family nearby?

 

Often when people are suffering from withdrawal syndrome, we suggest reinstating a very small amount of the drug to stabilize their nervous systems, then very gradual tapering. How much Lexapro were you taking?

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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Hi,

Thank you for your replies.  I added my sig.  As you can see I have had 4 months of withdrawals for something I was on for only 4 months.  I have thought about reinstating but am not sure what and how.  If I take a low does lexapro then I might have those terrible intrusive thoughts again.  I  also have no idea of how to shave pills into 10 percent chunks.  (Withdrawal and motherhood makes me not so good at math).  I am getting better but I am that person that has it bad (no windows) with gradual, minuscule improvements.  I can't just lie in bed because I work full time and have 2 children to take care of.  The postpartum mood disorder forum offered no help because they all complain about how hard it is to have a mood disorder and to take care of a baby but they have their antidepressant to help.  I just have withdrawals on top of everything else.  My husband switched jobs and so I have no more mental health benefits and I didn't want to see a regular doc who will have no idea about antidepressants.   I will start seeing a counselor when he gets those benefits.

 

I have gotten way better with the help of 5htp.  I read the mood cure and got a lot out of it although I have like every mood problem in that book due to having the baby, withdrawal from lexapro, and a pre-existing PSTD.  I am a very highly emotionally aware person and so the using logic thing helps me.  I just tell myself, "those thoughts are not real."  I have been having some anxiety over how long I can keep taking the natural supplements like melatonin.  I am hoping that I can taper those and use them as needed.  I am thinking maybe at the 6 month mark I can gradually start lowering my use of natural supplements.  I currently take 100 5 htp and 3 mg of melatonin.  I have added lactium in there because I have a major nervous state that starts every evening.  My main concern is that I just feel like I don't have my life back.  I have a low grade depression and I have anxiety attacks about twice a week.  My husband is a great support but it is hard on him.  I try to be a good and patient mother (I was great before all of this) but I still have that extreme irritability.  When that happens I just have to go and take a shower and make green juice (from a juicer).  This helps a lot.  My counselor told me that I can go and apologize to my son and husband if I am too grumpy and short with them as saying sorry can help repair the relationship so I just do this and I try to explain that I don't feel well.  I have an easy baby but I wish I could enjoy her more, but I feel ill a lot (like the flu).  In fact I got a cold last week and could not tell the difference between how I normally feel and having a cold.  I am just wondering what to do as time goes on.  I am trying to figure out how to manage supplements long term, I really think this will be a year or more of withdrawal.  I might considering seeing an acupuncturist for help with adrenal issues but didn't want to purchase a ton of Chinese herbs.  I am just trying to be a good mother and not get fired from my job due to being a wreck.  Eventually I will get my old self back, maybe....

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Blueflower. Here is the link to reinstating http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3079-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-stop-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

It is best to reinstate a tiny amount first, maybe even just 1mg to start. Lexapro is available in a liquid if you can get hold of it. This would make it much easier 

to get the dose right by using an oral syringe and make tapering easy. You can make your own liquid too, just takes a little time and concentration if you can find enough of either! 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

 

I think you are right to avoid more supplements, it would be hard to tell if any adverse effects were withdrawal or the supplements.

You also withdrew from Xanax, which I understand can be quite traumatic. No wonder you are feeling awful!

You are doing a great job of holding it all together, family, job AND withdrawal. You are one very tough cookie! 

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Thanks for your encouragement. I tried Effexor in college for 4 months and I felt crazy, I quit cold turkey and I nearly passed out from the withdrawals. I tapered with Prozac and essentially failed that entire semester of classes. I wish I had remembered that whole experience in March when I had the baby but I was so severely sleep deprived. I think this is why withdrawal has been hard because my body has already been shaken by pregnancy. I don't think I am going to reinstate mainly because I have no mental health benefits and things have gotten slightly better. I also am trying to loose weight. I noticed last night I did not start feeling flu symptoms and anxiety until 830 pm which is getter later and later each day.

 

I did not mean to say that women in the post partum forum complain, many have it way worse than me with post partum psychosis. I often think about things like oh that thought is from my withdrawal or that thought is post partum anxiety. If I ever have a normal thought or a feeling of happiness I try to hang onto it and to expand it. Like we are all going to look at lights and drink hot chocolate. That makes me feel happy. I also like buying the baby clothes and washing and folding them because it gives me a sense of security. I do things like constantly sip peppermint tea and hot showers any time I feel body aches. I think the mind body connection is so strong that my theory is that if you can get anxiety from experiencing stress and trauma then deliberately experiencing happy things and well being can help your brain as well. One of the reasons I quit my meds is because I wanted to feel happiness.

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You are doing great, it's lovely that you can be so positive and turn negative thoughts around.  

I know you weren't being negative about the post partum forum, withdrawal is different and needs

different support. Post partum depression and psychosis are very traumatic and disabling but also

different from withdrawal. 

 

Keep checking in  and let us know how you are coping. It's always good to see someone improve

and you have a great way of finding positive things that might help others too, like folding the baby

clothes makes you feel secure, that's lovely.  :)

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

 

 

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

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

2002  effexor. 

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

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

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

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

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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  • Administrator

Blueflower, it seems you might be one of those people who are extremely sensitive to serotonergics from the start. Perhaps reinstatement is not a good idea for you.

 

Please look at our Symptoms and Self-care forum for ideas about how to cope with your symptoms, which so many of us share.

 

Many people do well with fish oil and magnesium supplements, seehttp://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/ 

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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Hi,

I just posted my story in the intro section about having postpartum anxiety and withdrawals from lexapro. I got some responses that talked about reinstatement. I read that thread and it seems not to be an option for me as it has been 4 months. I would also probably reinstate with something other than lexapro maybe Prozac. Prozac helped me with tapering in the past with no ill effects from a short period of taking Effexor in college. That was not after having a baby. I still have post partum anxiety but I also still have withdrawals symptoms 4 months after stopping lexapro. I can tell the difference between the two. I just get very bad anxiety like clock work every evening and panic attacks during the day with flu like symptoms. The PPA is more centered around the baby's well being and comes and goes based on more emotional reasons. I am way better than I used to be but am just feeling defeated because I still have to take care of my baby and 3 year old. My question is could a low dose reinstatement still help after 4 months? If I just have a damaged nervous system is this permanent or will time heal my nervous system? I do have a psychiatrist that I can ultimately talk this over with but any opinions or advice will help me advocate for myself. What do people do who have withdrawals for months and months? It has only slightly gotten better and I don't know if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I do take supplements and I feel anxiety over taking those long term, but don't know what else to do.

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Administrator
I just get very bad anxiety like clock work every evening and panic attacks during the day with flu like symptoms.

 

This is a very typical withdrawal syndrome pattern.

 

There's no way to tell if taking any psychiatric drug is going to alleviate your withdrawal syndrome. When we talk about reinstatement, we mean taking the same drug within a short amount of time. Another SSRI could help, or it could make you worse.

 

If you decide to try Prozac or any other antidepressant for your symptoms, take a very, very small amount, 1mg for example, to see how it affects you -- despite anything a doctor might say. Withdrawal may have made your system hypersensitive to any neuroactive drug. Doctors seldom understand this.

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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Is there anything to do about it other than time?

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

Link to post

You're taking omega 3's and magnesium? Gentle walks and good sleep Ina very dark room on a regular schedule....that's easy for a working mom with a new baby! A healthy diet with lots of vegetables. Anything you can do to decrease cortisol production.

 

You're doing a good job with a heavy load...I hope someone will have some other ideas.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Administrator

My intuition is you also need a social network that is supportive. Can you join a group for new moms?

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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  • 3 months later...

Ok, so I just updated my sig, but i am in a very dark place right now. After a horrifying reinstatement of lexapro a couple of months ago I consulted a natural path. My main issue is severe anxiety at night and insomnia. I was given inisoltol and nac. I was taking 15 grams of inisoltol powder and nac 600 mg 3 times a day. This may seem like a lot but I felt it was ok because it came from the natural path and he said he understood sensitive nervous systems. 15 g of inisoltol is what is suggested for anxiety. This worked out great and I had several weeks of deep and healing sleep. I was able to taper nearly off of the ambien. I did testing and found out that I have elevate cortisol and glucose. This cortisol I believe became elevated after my one week of no sleep last year after giving birth and has remained high through withdrawal. I also don't have any other hormonal imbalances. For the past two nights my supplements went paradoxical so that in the pm I developed severe anxiety. I had to take Xanax, ambien, and melatonin last night to sleep and I really did not sleep. I am devastated and do not know what to do. I have a job that I can't loose and children to take care of.

By the way I have tried nearly every other supplement talked about for anxiety and they all caused adverse reactions. I like magnesium but it does not do much. I tried Lactium and could try it again but it did not do much. My cortisol is high because of not sleeping but I can't sleep due to cortisol being high.

 

I don't know what to do tonight. This has been 3 days of poor sleep and my anxiety is bad.

I did see my psychiatrist two weeks ago who recommended lamictal. I tried taking 5 mg and this caused problems with sleep like I felt very aware while sleeping. She suggested that I just take the lamictal like at a normal dose and so I took 25 mg and felt like I was on crack, but actually happy, it was weird. I did sleep in a very light way.

I want very much to take something and have relief.

Should I try like 1 mg of lamictal? That is as small as I can cut it.

I got refeif from the inisoltol and nac but was taking a lot. Would a smaller dose get me back into being able to sleep or will taking these supplements at all be bad now?

I cannot take a Xanax again tonight and I do not know what to do.

I will probably take the 3mg of melatonin and ambien tonight, but they didn't work last night due to such severe anxiety and so that is why I took a Xanax.

I need to get back to where ambien and melatonin work again and then I can start my ambien taper again I was down to point .5 and ready to drop it but that was on high doses of nac and inisoltol. I dont know how much to reduce these supplements. Should I stop all together or try it at low doses since they were working? Should I add a really low dose of lamictal? I really didn't give this a fair shot last time and it might help my constant alerting reaction.. I just want to sleep, I am completely devastated.

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Blueflower, I merged your new topic with your original one, its one introduction thread per member.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Are you still taking 2.5mg Lexapro?

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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No, I took that dose as a reinstatement in nov. It was hell. I have no more options. I have not had sleep for 3 nights due to a bad reaction to inisoltol. I have high cortisol levels. I wish I was back on that antidepressant. I am completely miserable and don't know what to do. It's like you get desperate when you can't sleep. I did acupuncture today and so we will see if t that helps. I am too tired and anxious to even be with my children. I spent over 1200 dollars at the natural path and things were working and now I feel completely defeated. I took a Xanax last and I know that is contributing to the anxiety today. I will need to take ambien tonight and then start the taper again. The inisoltol was my key to getting off the ambien. I am just trapped in terrible circles. I am also rambling.

Do I have a terrible anxiety disorder that is causing high cortisol or just high cortisol from things like severe sleep dep and severe withdrawal? Please don't tell me how terrible ambien is. It is way better than Xanax. I will start tapering again I just have such high cortisol in the pm. I cannot let things go. I have to be a mom and I have a job. I am hoping that once I get thru this recent bad reactions my plan is to keep it simple with magnesium, fish oil, and daily vitamin. I have not decided if I want to keep taking a microdose of lamictal. I had luck with nac but have stopped that and will take a little soon to see if that went paradoxical as well. I get all nervous about taking the nac and the microdose lamictal at the same time as they both work on glutamate. I cannot tolerate anything that raises seratonin at all. I think that is what happened with the inisoltol. I think it helped my seratonin to be processed better or something. I was in such a good place on 15 grams until this bad reaction. I was sleeping better and doing art! I tried a little bit this morning 3 grams and it caused me to feel whoozy. I am so depressed. It was exactly a year ago today that I had not slept a week straight after giving birth and I took my first ambien.

As far as support groups goes for post partum they all seem like they are happily taking Zoloft and doing fine. I should not have come off that lexapro. I should have stayed on and enjoyed my baby. At least I slept without ambien. Now what on earth can I take? What doctor do I see? I don't know if this is bad anxiety or still like a protracted withdrawal and effects of stress. How am I suppose to lower my cortisol levels if I can't sleep? How am I suppose to sleep with high cortisol? My natural path rec licorice and rhodiola. I am hoping .5 ambien and melatonin will allow me to sleep tonight. I flushed my Xanax down the toilet because I want one so bad and it will only lead to more anxiety. I have to do a ketogenic diet because my cortisol gives me constant high blood sugar. I have insulin resistance and yet I do not ever eat sugar! This is from high cortisol. Do you think walking in the am, magnesium, and acupuncture could slowly lower cortisol? I am also going to start taking metholfolate because I have that MTHFR thing. I have the double one the homozygous one. I am sure I sound crazy and probably being on the computer is not good for cortisol.

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Blueflower,

I'm sorry you are going through this.  You don't sound crazy.  You are having some severe symptoms, are frightened, confused and desperate.  You have a baby to take care of and don't know where to turn for help.

 

Do the best you can to relax, you will get through this.  I don't have any experience with lamictal, were you taking it and then stopped?

 

I'm actually a little confused, it sounds like you have been taking a lot of different medications and supplements, so its not surprising that your nervous system is destabilized.  Hopefully, someone with more experience will be able to suggest something.

 

Herbs and supplements which can benefit a stable nervous system often cause paradoxical effects for people in withdrawal, alternative medicine doesn't understand this.  We don't recommend licorice and rhodiola, there are topics here on both of these and most people don't do well on them.

 

Irregular use of Xanax and Ambien is probably making your symptoms worse, due to rebound effects.  Whatever you are taking, needs to be taken on a regular basis, or not at all.

 

Gentle exercise, like walking can be helpful, if you are able to do it, also magnesium can be calming.  A lot of us are struggling with high cortisol, there are no easy answers apart from doing whatever you can to to reduce stress.  Have a look through our symptoms and self care section here for some ideas to help you calm down and relax:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/8-symptoms-and-self-care/

 

I hope you get some sleep, or at least some rest tonight.

Petu.

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

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

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

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



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

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Blueflower, do not worry about the result of the cortisol tests. What we see is that naturopaths often are not any more knowledgeable about withdrawal syndrome than any other kind of doctor. Don't take what your naturopath told you as gospel.

 

What exactly are you taking every day, including supplements?

 

Yes, inositol can go paradoxical. Your nervous system needs to settle down. Try not to take Ambien, because it can rebound or go paradoxical too.

 

How about a meetup group for new moms, not post-partum depression?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To sum up my situation I had a baby over a year ago and had very severe post partum anxiety and insomnia.  I was given ambien which saved my life (I had not slept in a week and was hallucinating and crashing down into sleep and crashing awake).  I would have needed to go to the er for severe sleep dep.  I also started on lexapro had many side effects but then stabilized for 5 mos.  I tapered and had severe withdrawal which I used melatonin and tryptophan for a while.  I over did it on the tryptophan and then got bronchitis and was not sleeping.  So i started to take ambien out of desperation.  I have to maintain my job and take care of my children.

So I have taken around 5 mg of ambien since january (3 mos.) In that time I worked with a naturalpath and have tried different supplements like inisoltol, taurine, and phenbutin (all to try to get off of ambien).  Each of these supplements worked and then caused anxiety.  The ambien has always worked to put me to sleep.  I tried, briefly, (again out of desperation) to go back on medicine (in addition to ambien).  I tried neurontin but this cause anxiety.  So, either way i go I have anxiety.  I think that my nervous system tollerates 5 mg ambien but nothing else.  Last month, when inisoltol was working I had nearly tapered off of ambien! But I took it again when the inisoltol caused anxiety.  I am going to see an integrative psychiatrist next week.  I do not have the same symptoms of PPA that I had (not as worried about the baby) it seems I no longer have withdrawal symptoms (no brain zaps).  I just have high gluclose and get very anxious/hyper at night.  Last month when i had almost tapered off of ambien i felt a lot better.  So I am taking the 5 mg ambien.  (I cannot just stop this cold turkey) and am hoping to take 5 mg for a while and then I will go to 2.5 and then keep tapering.  I am trying to find a supplement gentle enough to help me taper this, because I am terrified of severe sleep deprivation (this is not just fear of not sleeping or being tired).  I also have higher cortisol at night (I can just feel it).  So i have a good magnesium supplement to help at night and I have just tried lactium in the morning.  I might try glycine a very small dose, but I don't know.  I am hoping some therapy can help me with being ok with insomnia because that is the only way I can get off of ambien.  Does anybody have any experience with tapering ambien, because obviously I don't want to take months to get off of something I have been on for 3 months, ambien is one of those things that I need to get off of, but obviously don't want to taper too fast, so I don't know what to do.  I already has sleep hygeine, excercise, and healthy diet.  I don't think ambien is going paradoxial it is jut not as effective.  If it goes paradoxical then I will really be screwed and

have to be checked into the hospital.  So hopefully my new psychiatrist can help.

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Administrator

Hello, Blueflower.

 

It sounds like you are still having some hypersensitivity related to withdrawal syndrome. This is making it difficult for you to go off Ambien.

 

The sleeping drugs are two-edged swords. Like benzos, they can cause rebound anxiety when they wear off every day. And, if you're physically dependent on them, they will cause rebound insomnia when you lower the dose.

 

If I were you, I'd taper the Ambien like any other psychiatric drug -- 10% at a time. See http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

This will very gradually get you off the Ambien so you don't have rebound insomnia from that.

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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I thought about doing that but then I will be on ambien for 10 more months, I have only taken it for 3 months. I already have rebound anxiety it seems at 10 mg. so most nights I am able to use 5 mg but that is when supplements work. It seems that I could taper ambien faster than months. Is there somewhere in between? Have people tapered ambien and can help me? I will get a taper schedule from my new psychiatrist, but am wandering about others experiences. I can handle a few nights of poor sleep or no sleep.

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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  • Administrator

Your system might be vulnerable because of the earlier drug changes and withdrawals. You might want to try 10% every week or so.

 

You'll have to negotiate this with your own nervous system. I would not push it if I were you.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I thought about doing that but then I will be on ambien for 10 more months, I have only taken it for 3 months. I already have rebound anxiety it seems at 10 mg. so most nights I am able to use 5 mg but that is when supplements work. It seems that I could taper ambien faster than months. Is there somewhere in between? Have people tapered ambien and can help me? I will get a taper schedule from my new psychiatrist, but am wandering about others experiences. I can handle a few nights of poor sleep or no sleep.

For all intents and purposes, Ambien is a benzodiazepine, and the drug is tapered like any other in the class. As Alto says, don't go any faster than 10% a week (a month or more if there is any sign of WD). I was on Klonopin for 20 years and had to taper off very slowly. Hopefully you can go at the pace Alto describes, but your CNS is sensitized, so don't be surprised if you need to do a full taper for amounts below 5 mgs. The thing about benzos and z-drugs is they have a lot of lag time issues.. a too fast taper can catch up with you a couple of weeks, or even a month out, when reupping the dose is not as helpful. You may want to read some of the material in the benzo sub forum. And all the best, I can empathize about a long taper at this point.. it would seem like 10 months is a long haul for a mediation you have only taken for a few months. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/forum/29-members-only-benzo-tapering-discussion/

 

You also may be interested in http://www.patient.co.uk/health/benzodiazepines-and-z-drugs

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

There is no harm in starting slow and conservative and then if you see you are fine with that and there are no negative reactions, you can always speed up and it might not take 10 months.

 

But try not to focus on timeframes but what your body tells you. Let that guide you. If your body ends up saying it's 10 months, listen to that too.

Current: Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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Are there any opinions about switching over to Valium for a taper off of ambien?

 

If I can get down to less than 5 mg ambien and sleep it is not hard to keep taking. I was on 10 mg for 1 week, last week. Last night I took 7.5 as a good starting place because I have mainly been at 5 mg for the past 3 mos. i took melatonin and magnesium with this and slept in broken sleep. I am just going to stay at 7.5 for a while.

Would switching to Valium be a good idea or would that open up for an addiction to a benzo?

I am home on spring break right now and my children are at day care. I feel sad that I don't have them home with me.

I realize now that it was the lexapro withdrawal that lead to cortisol induced insomnia and now 3 mos of ambien I still have high cortisol and anxiety. I had a severe mood disorder from giving birth but it seems those specifics anxieties are gone. I have insulin resistance due to chronic sleep dep and not diet. I eat mainly paleo.

I am hoping someday to be normal.

I have seen a natural path and psychiatrist they both have tried to treat my anxiety. Why did not one of them say, maybe it's the ambien?

March 3 last year had a baby, severe insomnia for one week, hallucinations, extreme panic

Took lexapro and amien

Lexapro 10 mg for 4 months

Tapered to 5 mg for one month then quit

Severe withdrawal

Tryptophan helped with sleep

In November, went paradoxical severe panic attack at 2,000 mg

Tried a very low dose still had panic

Reinstatement of 2.5 lexapro very bad suicidal thoughts extreme anxiety

Consulted natural path had some success with inisoltol and nac but then went paradoxical

Recently had to take Xanax and ambien just to sleep only barely worked

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