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Inactivity may make sympathetic nervous system hypersensitive


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Regular gentle exercise, such as walking, helps the nervous system to regulate itself.

 

But on your way to healing, don't overdo the exercise -- more is not necessarily better.

 

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/how-inactivity-changes-the-brain/?_php=true&_type=blogs&src=me&ref=general&_r=0

How Inactivity Changes the Brain

NYTimes.com January 22, 2014, 7:42 am By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

A number of studies have shown that exercise can remodel the brain by prompting the creation of new brain cells and inducing other changes. Now it appears that inactivity, too, can remodel the brain, according to a notable new report.

 

The study, which was conducted in rats but likely has implications for people too, the researchers say, found that being sedentary changes the shape of certain neurons in ways that significantly affect not just the brain but the heart as well. The findings may help to explain, in part, why a sedentary lifestyle is so bad for us.

 

Until about 20 years ago, most scientists believed that the brain’s structure was fixed by adulthood, that you couldn’t create new brain cells, alter the shape of those that existed or in any other way change your mind physically after adolescence.

 

But in the years since, neurological studies have established that the brain retains plasticity, or the capacity to be reshaped, throughout our lifetimes. Exercise appears to be particularly adept at remodeling the brain, studies showed.

 

But little has been known about whether inactivity likewise alters the structure of the brain and, if so, what the consequences might be.

 

So for a study recently published in The Journal of Comparative Neurology, scientists at Wayne State University School of Medicine and other institutions gathered a dozen rats. They settled half of them in cages with running wheels and let the animals run at will. Rats like running, and these animals were soon covering about three miles a day on their wheels.

 

The other rats were housed in cages without wheels and remained sedentary.

 

After almost three months of resting or running, the animals were injected with a special dye that colors certain neurons in the brain. In this case, the scientists wanted to mark neurons in the animals’ rostral ventrolateral medulla, an obscure portion of the brain that controls breathing and other unconscious activities central to our existence.

 

The rostral ventrolateral medulla commands the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which among other things controls blood pressure on a minute-by-minute basis by altering blood-vessel constriction. Although most of the science related to the rostral ventrolateral medulla has been completed using animals, imaging studies in people suggest that we have the same brain region and it functions similarly.

 

A well-regulated sympathetic nervous system correctly directs blood vessels to widen or contract as needed and blood to flow, so that you can, say, scurry away from a predator or rise from your office chair without fainting. But an overly responsive sympathetic nervous system is problematic, said Patrick Mueller, an associate professor of physiology at Wayne State University who oversaw the new study. Recent science shows that “overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system contributes to cardiovascular disease,” he said, by stimulating blood vessels to constrict too much, too little or too often, leading to high blood pressure and cardiovascular damage.

 

The sympathetic nervous system will respond erratically and dangerously, scientists theorize, if it is receiving too many and possibly garbled messages from neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla.

 

And, as it turned out, when the scientists looked inside the brains of their rats after the animals had been active or sedentary for about 12 weeks, they found noticeable differences between the two groups in the shape of some of the neurons in that region of the brain.

 

Using a computerized digitizing program to recreate the inside of the animals’ brains, the scientists established that the neurons in the brains of the running rats were still shaped much as they had been at the start of the study and were functioning normally.

 

But many of the neurons in the brains of the sedentary rats had sprouted far more new tentacle-like arms known as branches. Branches connect healthy neurons into the nervous system. But these neurons now had more branches than normal neurons would have, making them more sensitive to stimuli and apt to zap scattershot messages into the nervous system.

 

In effect, these neurons had changed in ways that made them likely to overstimulate the sympathetic nervous system, potentially increasing blood pressure and contributing to the development of heart disease.

 

This finding is important because it adds to our understanding of how, at a cellular level, inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, Dr. Mueller said. But even more intriguing, the results underscore that inactivity can change the structure and functioning of the brain, just as activity does.

 

Of course, rats are not people, and this is a small, short-term study.....

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

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

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I've done well with walking this month and it has helped with my colon function (which has been very disturned). 6 days a week I go to the large grocery store and push a cart with 5 gallons of spring water around the store for 30 minutes or more. When the weather improves i will walk outside. This regular exercise has made a huge difference for me in the last 3 weeks (which have been very terrible). I hope I will continue walking when I am not so acutely miserable because right now I am in a bad way desoerate to get better so it is more easy to motivate myself to go and walk.

"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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Good to hear it's helping some, alex.

 

I imagine walking massages our innards, in a good way.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Good to hear it's helping some, alex.

 

I imagine walking massages our innards, in a good way.

Alto could you break down how article is relevant to withdrawal... I have some ideas but this is a topic that has always be difficult for me... yes I am asking you what does it mean to use here... in simple language as today I can't get it into my head... I know what you will say will be speculation still I would like to hear you opinion.  Thanks

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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I told my husband today that I feel that the stronger I get physically the more it seems my autonomic system can heal. I do yoga and I walk and swim...

 

I gently push these days (not a good idea early on and I listened to my body to the point of being bedridden for a long time...my body needed that too at one time...)

 

anyway now I have the distinct feeling that my body is telling me to get as physically fit as possible. I was an athlete before I got drugged and then sick...so it feels like that is what I will be again...

 

my autonomic system is talking to me...wanting it... 

 

in any case, it's still moving in baby steps but it's wonderful to move and exercise in as many ways as I can.

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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btdt, many suffering from withdrawal symptoms have autonomic instability and overactive sympathetic nervous systems. This article explains how exercise can help stabilize sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Good to hear it's helping some, alex.

 

I imagine walking massages our innards, in a good way.

Yes, I think so. And I push the cart which also seems to help by forcing some abdominal contractions to turn the aisles and such. I got back from walking today a short while ago, and went to bathroom afterwards. I do miss the sun which has been missing a bit here this winter. I am really, really looking forward to the spring for the outside exercise and the sunlight.

"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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I told my husband today that I feel that the stronger I get physically the more it seems my autonomic system can heal. I do yoga and I walk and swim...

 

I gently push these days (not a good idea early on and I listened to my body to the point of being bedridden for a long time...my body needed that too at one time...)

 

anyway now I have the distinct feeling that my body is telling me to get as physically fit as possible. I was an athlete before I got drugged and then sick...so it feels like that is what I will be again...

 

my autonomic system is talking to me...wanting it... 

 

in any case, it's still moving in baby steps but it's wonderful to move and exercise in as many ways as I can.

That is wonderful to hear. :-)

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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Barbarannamated

I, too, have had many months that it seems my body is telling me to go very easy, lay down. Ive been in one of those times since a very stressful holiday when I pushed too hard.

 

My problem is the guilt and boredom that comes with being sedentary, especially after a relatively good period when I've been able to get outside on my own a few times per week.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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  • 2 weeks later...

btdt, many suffering from withdrawal symptoms have autonomic instability and overactive sympathetic nervous systems. This article explains how exercise can help stabilize sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.

Just found this thread. Thank you. Alto, please advise what to do in my case. Seems the slightest upset, whether emotional, imagined, or actual physical exertion, oftentimes still stimuates the dysregulation I've been experiencing. Is this the same as HPA axis dysrgulation? Spending lots of time in bed, on the couch, and only gently walking through the store if my BP/adrenaline surges are quiet, otherwise I feel that rush of adrenaline/panicky buzz, and sure enough - my BP will be up, and irregular heart beats accompany it. It dissipates with rest, so I'm afraid to exercise. Yet inactivity can cause hypersensitivity of the parasympathetic nervous system? 

Took A/Ds between 1988-1992 & '92-2011
2011 tapered off Cymbalta 20mg. 
2013 tapered off Seroquel (sleep) 12.5-25mg after 9 yrs. 
2013 tapered off prn Xanax 0.25-0.5mg while reducing Seroquel.
PRN/sporadic use of Xanax x 13+ years. MD said take "as needed" or taper off 4-6 wks and stop. What a joke.
Reinstated Xanax 0.25-.5mg for sleep after a month benzo-free due to sleep deprivation. Continued PRN. 
Currently: 0.5mg at 11 pm, 0.125mg at 7am & 3 pm (0.75mg total)

 

 
 

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Walking will help regulate the nervous system. Don't push yourself, take it easy, and while you're out, enjoy the fresh air and sights around 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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  • 4 weeks later...

 

btdt, many suffering from withdrawal symptoms have autonomic instability and overactive sympathetic nervous systems. This article explains how exercise can help stabilize sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.

 

Just found this thread. Thank you. Alto, please advise what to do in my case. Seems the slightest upset, whether emotional, imagined, or actual physical exertion, oftentimes still stimuates the dysregulation I've been experiencing. Is this the same as HPA axis dysrgulation? Spending lots of time in bed, on the couch, and only gently walking through the store if my BP/adrenaline surges are quiet, otherwise I feel that rush of adrenaline/panicky buzz, and sure enough - my BP will be up, and irregular heart beats accompany it. It dissipates with rest, so I'm afraid to exercise. Yet inactivity can cause hypersensitivity of the parasympathetic nervous system?

I have the exact same problem. I can't walk too much or my stress response activates and I put on more weight. But then being sedentary makes this worse? What the hell does my body expect me to do??

Lexapro & Wellbutrin ~2003-2012

Switched from Lexapro to Prozac early 2012

CT all meds mid 2012, manic episode; put on every bipolar med known to man June-Aug 2012

Stopped meds CT Aug 2012

50 mg Lamictal Nov 2012

Ativan 0.5mg/PRN Dec 2012 (up to 2mg by May 2013)

Lunesta Jan-June 2013, CTed

Trazodone 100mg June 2013

[non-psych: Nature-Throid/Cytomel Dec 2012-June 2013; progesterone cream Nov 2013-pres]

current:75mg Lamictal (raised to help with benzo withdrawal)

1.6mg Ativan (very slowly tapering)

30mg Trazodone (holding)

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btdt, many suffering from withdrawal symptoms have autonomic instability and overactive sympathetic nervous systems. This article explains how exercise can help stabilize sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.

  •  autonomic dysfunction:
  • dizziness and fainting upon standing up (orthostatic hypotension)
  • inability to alter heart rate with exercise (exercise intolerance)
  • sweating abnormalities, which could alternately be too much sweat or insufficient sweat
  • digestion difficulties due to slow digestion. Resulting symptoms could include loss of appetite, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, and difficulty swallowing.
  • urinary problems. These can include difficulty starting urination, incontinence, and incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • sexual problems. In men, this could be difficulty with ejaculation and/or maintaining an erection. In women, this could be vaginal dryness and/or difficulty with orgasm
  • vision problems. This could be blurry vision, or the failure of the pupils to react quickly enough to changes in light.

 autonomic dysfunction

It controls specific bodily organs to prepare us for fight or flight. These reactions are beyond the control of our consciousness and can be responsible for weird physiological symptoms.

The SNS dilates pupils of our eyes, shuts down the digestive organs, increases heart palpitations, relaxes the smooth muscles of bronchi and bronchioles, leading to “breathing problems”. The smooth muscles of the digestive tract is inhibited, so peristalsis stops, sphincter of the bladder also contracts and the bladder wall relaxes. This may lead to involuntary defecation, also known as encopresis. Blood vessels supply to the skeletal muscles are dilated. An overactive SNS is likely to open up blood vessels and flood your face, neck and ears in blushing. Other possible symptoms are: dizziness, shaking, trembling, (as when giving a talk in front of people), digestive disorders, swallowing problems, nausea, vomiting, or fear of vomiting or diarrhea, arrhythmia (irregular heart beats), ticks and restless legs, excessive sweating, depersonalization, incontinence, impotence, repetitive thoughts, ruminations, Anhedonia. It is obvious that these mental and bodily reactions helps to prepare the body for strenuous and quick actions in the face of environmental danger. The SNS diverts energy away from the vegetative to the muscular system.

Please note that in anxieties we see many symptoms – such as heart palpitations, stomach upsets and digestive disorders and so forth – that are the works of the SNS. Actions on the digestive system is often referred to as the Enteric Nervous System

Seems I have had both and still do at times... I had to look it up and yes I have likely done this 100 or 200 times by now ... expect I may look it up again too in the future. 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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maybe it is food..

The Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) – the other branch of the Autonomic Nervous System – on the other hand reverses the SNS and counteracts the SNS. This system is triggered by the neurotransmitteracetylcholine, which may be a important piece of information to people suffering from Bipolar Disorder. See:Bipolar patients. See notes below. The Autonomic Nervous System and its effects on organs see imagehere.

Thus this fear reaction is an important survival mechanism in the face of real danger.

The question is how is this related to anxiety attacks or the irrational fears that can wreck people’s lives.

The clue is adrenaline. The question is why should the body produce excess adrenaline out of the blue, without any trigger in the environment, causing us to have unexplainable anxiety attacks, phobias and heart palpitation? Hypoglycemia can cause to dump magnesium into urine, upsetting the delicate magnesium-calcium balance. This can trigger excess adrenaline secretion and contribute to hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart palpitations, anxiety and mood swings. (Hemat RAS 2003, page 38 and here). When magnesium is deficient, calcium can leak in soft tissue and cause damage – that is calcification. Mark Mayer p15

The function of adrenaline is to convert sugar stores in our body in the form of glycogen into glucose.(Seeimage)

The reason for this is that brain is very sensitive to glucose levels. Although the brain represents only 2 per cent of the body by weight it requires about 60-70 per cent of available glucose in the body to energize the biochemical machinery of brain cells. (Stryer 634).

Glucose is the forerunner of Biological Energy called (ATP), which is essential in the manufacture of the relaxing and feel good neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.

Thus when the brain (in fact the HPA axis) senses a low blood sugar level it will send an hormonal message to the adrenal glands to pour adrenaline into the system. This raises blood sugar level and will feed the brain again, but it also causes us to feel fearful without an external object of fear. The fear is irrational.

Adrenaline not only activates the SNS, but is also a focusing hormone, forcing us to focus on any possible “danger” at the expense of anything else. It causes us to “ruminate”. Thus excess adrenaline production also lies at the root of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Thus now the question is why is the brain starved of energy causing it to trigger stress hormones??

There are many reasons for this, because there are many medical conditions that interfere with the proper absorption of glucose, such as the various digestive disorders, heavy metal intoxication replacing zinc substrates, coeliac disease, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The list is unending.

However the majority cases of of energy starvation in the brain is due to Insulin Resistance, which blocks the transfer of glucose (and other nutrients) across cell membranes. This can lead to the hypoglycemic syndrome, with its multitude of psychological and physical symptoms.

This condition can be tested with the four hour Medical Test for Hypoglycemia. It can also be tested with theNutrition Behavior Inventory Test (NBI) and the Hypoglycemia Questionnaire. If you score high you are likely to be hypoglycemic.

The non-drug treatment of this condition is going on a Hypoglycemic Diet.

This goes to show that the various forms of mental illnesses (really brain diseases) are due to a Nutritional Disorder.

http://www.hypoglycemia.asn.au/2011/anxiety-and-the-autonomic-nervous-system/

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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