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Nadia

The importance of recognizing you're feeling good

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Nadia

Hi everyone,

 

As I've gotten better over the past 3+ years after quitting antidepressants cold turkey and having really bad problems with severe anxiety, insomnia, and other withdrawal symptoms, I've realized how important moments of happiness and contentment have been to my recovery. Of course, feeling happy or even content seemed completely impossible at first, and attaining them even now is still sometimes a challenge. But, looking back, I can see clear patterns of measurable, lasting improvement after periods during which I somehow managed to feel good. Usually, these moments involved reconnection with friends and traveling, taking time off work, and finding things to do that made me feel a sense of fulfillment, even if it was precarious and fleeting.

 

A few months ago, I came across a fascinating article that talks about the importance of positive social connections to our health. It turns out your body turns genes off and on depending on how you subjectively experience your environment, sometimes even hours after, and this can have a tremendous impact on your physical and mental health. It is a long read, but a very worthwhile one!

 

Here's the link:

The Social Life of Genes

 

What is SO difficult in recovering from antidepressant withdrawal is that the withdrawal makes us feel so miserable. Precisely what we are desperate to recover from is overwhelming negative physical and emotional feelings. So... what can you do?

 

In case it helps anyone, I'll describe some of the things that helped me (often tips given on this forum). Don't expect to have big results, especially at first. The important thing is that you keep trying. Try to notice and appreciate anything resembling a positive emotion (or even neutral) as much as you can, even if it only lasts a few seconds. If you fail, don't worry... This isn't about getting it right, it's about generating more positive emotions little by little. Sometimes you can fake your way through them, sometimes they'll come to you and you'll be surprised.

 

1. Taking magnesium salts baths to relax. Try to concentrate on the pleasant sensation of water surrounding you, on the warmth. If it doesn't feel good, don't worry. Just think that it IS good, that it will be good again someday.
2. Look at flowers and trees and nature, really observe them.

3. Spend time with animals.

4. Smell things you like or remember liking before. Don't worry if you don't get a positive response. Just observe what it brings up in you. If it is negative, don't judge it, just let it go.

5. Reach out to others, either here or in your life, as much as you can. At the end of the day, try to find anything positive about an interaction you had, even if it seems insignificant. Don't dwell on the negative stuff.

6. Take walks, trying to be present with what is around you.

7. Listen to calming, pleasant music... don't overdo it, though. I often would get things "stuck" in my head, so if you're in the worst stages of withdrawal, start small. Maybe wind chimes, or the the sound of the ocean, and just for a very little bit.

8. Do something to help someone else, however small, and then reflect on it that night. Tell yourself you should feel good about what you did, even if you don't believe it.

9. Whenever possible, enjoy food. At first you might be having severe digestion problems. I was having strange taste distortions at first, but with time I found that treating myself to something delicious really made me feel good (just make sure it's healthy and something that won't make you feel worse... excessive sugar, etc.). One of the first things that I started feeling a desire for was food and nature. I found my body asking for things it probably really needed, like dark leafy greens and celery or fruit.

10. Have a cup of tea (something you can tolerate) or a glass of water and really concentrate on the sensations of drinking it, think about the good it does your body.

11. Spend as much time as possible NOT thinking about withdrawal. Distract yourself with books or TV shows or just looking out the window. One of the first things that I was able to enjoy was the first season of Downton Abbey and Jane Austen novels. One day I realized I was looking forward to reading a new chapter or seeing another episode, and though it was a weak feeling at first, it grew into a greater desire, which was amazing after feeling completely dead for a long time.

12. Try learning something new, without expecting any results. I started taking drawing classes, and though I often get frustrated and even break down crying when I'm doing something, I later look at what I did and see small moments of success that make me feel good. Even better is when I'm able to let go and "not think" and just let my body experience what it is doing.

13. Enlist someone to cheer you on. When you're in withdrawal, people can be incredibly critical and frustrated with your lack of progress. If you have a good friend or family member who is willing, ask them to help you. My mother forced me to go on walks and just kept repeating I was going to beat this and I was going to be OK... she really helped me survive the first few months of hell!

14. Enlist other people to help you with basic tasks or back you up with work when you're in deep crisis. I kept working at first, and I was making a lot of mistakes, so I would have someone "check my work" before I turned it in. Especially during the months I was getting very little sleep, it was a life-saver to have this support.

15. If you can, take time off work, and try to get out of your usual environment... seek out people and places that make you feel better in ANY way.

16. Allow yourself to be distracted. I got really worked up about eating, sleeping, getting better... to the point I was holding up my own progress. Somehow sometimes I would break out of that and become distracted and afterward I'd realize I had forgotten about my pain and suffering for a moment! Do not underestimate the power of distraction! Sometimes what really helped me was being around people I could not talk to about what was going on with me. It forced me to be in the moment.

17. On the flip side, also allow yourself to complain about how awful you feel with someone safe once in a while. Just let it out, and then move on. Tell the other person you don't need feedback or opinions, that you just need to vent and need a sympathetic ear.

18. At the end of the day, review your day and think of anything that was positive, however small. If there was nothing positive, congratulate yourself for having gotten through it.

19. Allow yourself small moments of giving up. Rest for a moment. Cry, think that's it, you can't take it any more. Then un-give up and keep going. Even the tiniest steps will add up to something. It's going to take time, but you're going to get better.

 

Nadia


'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Meimeiquest

Clicking Like!


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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Barbarannamated

Thanks, Nadia!


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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areyouthere

Great suggestions! Thanks for starting this topic and sharing!

 

RU :)


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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Fitby50

I agree on so many points and have found them helpful myself.  Having this condition makes it hard to not be obsessive with "this condition", but it really serves no good purpose to dwell on it.  Finding distractions and looking for the smallest of positive is so very important!  Healthy eating has made a big difference.  If I eat too much sugar or bad junk, I really notice feeling worse.  Great job Nadia, thanks for the wonderful post! :D


Sept-1990 started my first AD Zoloft never got higher dose than 50mg

Dec-1990 Quit Zoloft  =Nov-1995 Back on Zoloft for Post-partum depression/anxiety

early-1998 Quit Prozac to get pregnant   =Feb-1999 Back on Prozac 20mg

10-1999 Prozac 30mg  =12-1999 Prozac 20mg

7-2001 switch to Wellbutrin SR 100mg

8-2001 increase Wellbutrin SR 150mg

10-2001 adding back Prozac 20mg

5-2003 tapered off Prozac  =7-2003 back on Prozac 20mg

8-2003 Add in Imipramine 25mg then to 50mg    (given Xanax for bad panic episodes

9-2003 Imipramine 75 mg then to 100mg

1-2004 switch to Lexapro 10mg

8-2004 Lexapro 20mg, Imipramine 75mg

4-2006 Adding Wellbutrin 150mg then to 200mg

7-2006 switch Lexapro to Celexa

12-2007Celexa 40mg Wellbutirin 150mg

9-2009 switch back to Lexapro 20mg, WellbutrinXL 150mg

2-2010 stop Lexapro start Celexa 40mg

11-2010 switch Celexa to Cymbalta 60mg

3-2011 Cymbalta 60mg switch to Effexor 37.5 to 75mg

10-2012 thru 12-2012 taper Effexor 75mg to 37.5 and off.

5-2013 start generic Prozac 10mg to 20mg, Trazadone 25mg  BEGIN THE TAPER(6-2013 Prozac 20mg to 10mg, Trazadone 25mg. 7-2013 liquid Prozac 7mg, Trazadone 25mg 8-2013 liquid Prozac 8mg, Trazadone 25mg9-2013 liquid Prozac 5mg, Trazadone 25mg10-31-2013 liquid Prozac 3.25mg, Trazadone 25mg=11-11-2013 liquid Prozac 3.0mg, Trazadone 25mg=12-4-2013 liquid Prozac 2.8mg, Trazadone 25mg=12-13-2013 liquid Prozac 2.5mg, Trazadone 25mg=1-5-2014 liquid Prozac 2.0mg, Trazadone 25mg=(CURRENT/06-01-2014 LAST dose liquid Prozac, Trazadone 25mg)((Aug. 13, 2014 reinstate .20mg of liquid Prozac for crippling anxiety, dread (still on same Trazadone...)supplements are probiotic, Vit. D3 and Fish Oil daily)Aug 19th reinstate 6.25mg Zoloft, Sept. 4th 25mg Zoloft.CURRENT(50mg Zoloft, 25mg Trazadone)

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Altostrata

This is excellent. Thank you, Nadia.

 

Perhaps others can add their own self-soothing tips.


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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Zoe

Thanks for the post Nadia! I'm like Meime- I'd love to have a like button to hit!


 

Jan. 1994 Pamelor

2000 switched to Zoloft 

2011 Zoloft pooped out- Dr. switched me directly to Lexapro15mg -had a horrible 6mths

2013 upped Lexapro to 20 mgs-pooped out

June 2013 Dr. added 150 Wellbutrin to Lexapro.

July 2013 Switched back to Zoloft 100mgs.Was still taking Wellbutrin. Lots of anxiety from the Wellbutrin

July 2013 Started to wean Wellbutrin- off by Sept.

Oct. 2013 added 400 mgs of Neurotin to the Zoloft

Jan 2014 Tapered off of the Zoloft and onto Prozac 30 mgs. Also still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Feb 2014 Reduced Prozac to 13 mgs. Still taking 400 mgs Neurotin

Aug. 2014 Prozac 13 mgs. Finished with Neurotin. .7 Risperadol

 

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Annabel

Thanks Nadia for a great list of tools, I will bookmark it so i can look at it again in a few weeks!!

About 18 months ago i did a Jon Kabat-Zinn MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) course which taught me mindfulness meditation. I have found this to be really helpful. There is quite a lot of his work on you tube and there is no right or wrong way to do this meditation, its just about doing it each day. In the worst of the WD when my head is very fogged and feels like a huge pressure is inside, I sit there and all i am aware of is the huge feeling in my head. So I just sit with the huge feeling and make room for it and accept that this is where i am today. It seems to help calm down my system and help me to stop fighting with myself.


March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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Nadia

I agree on so many points and have found them helpful myself.  Having this condition makes it hard to not be obsessive with "this condition", but it really serves no good purpose to dwell on it.  Finding distractions and looking for the smallest of positive is so very important!  Healthy eating has made a big difference.  If I eat too much sugar or bad junk, I really notice feeling worse.  Great job Nadia, thanks for the wonderful post! :D

 

So true!! I have become a nutrition nut these past couple of years! Sometimes I laugh at myself because I can't seem to talk about anything else. Eating more protein and a huge variety of vegetables and staying away from sweets has made a huge difference. I think I came alive first through the desire for food... I really started craving bitter greens, for example. I've learned to listen to the "good" impulses... now I feel my body instinctively lets me know if I'm overdoing it with the bad stuff and I start craving things like radishes, celery, arúgula... Along with the thirst for nature I think these were some of my first feel good moments.


'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Nadia

Thanks Nadia for a great list of tools, I will bookmark it so i can look at it again in a few weeks!!

About 18 months ago i did a Jon Kabat-Zinn MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) course which taught me mindfulness meditation. I have found this to be really helpful. There is quite a lot of his work on you tube and there is no right or wrong way to do this meditation, its just about doing it each day. In the worst of the WD when my head is very fogged and feels like a huge pressure is inside, I sit there and all i am aware of is the huge feeling in my head. So I just sit with the huge feeling and make room for it and accept that this is where i am today. It seems to help calm down my system and help me to stop fighting with myself.

Yes! I still struggle a lot with meditation. It is only once in a while that I feel actual well-being doing it (Dalsaan's meditation/mindfulness resource is great, by the way), but the whole point is to do it no matter what. The more you practice just sitting with the enormity and chaos of whatever you're going through, the better you get at surviving it on a day to day basis.


'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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Annabel

Yes it seems to help on some level so I try to fit it into each day. I will look at Dalsaan's resource, thanks.


March 2012 Fluoxetine 20mg

June 2012 change to Escitalopram 20mg

August 2012 change to Venlafaxine, Effexor XR 150mg

March 2013 add Ropinirole 0.5mg for restless legs syndrome seriously disturbing sleep

Feb 10th 2014 begin tapering off Effexor 150mg by 25% as per Dr.

Feb 19th 2014 Bad headaches..relief in finding SA site.

Feb 20th Increase Effexor to 131.25mg. Head improves over next few days.

March 28th decrease Effexor by 5 % to 125mg. Brain fog + depression after 10 days but passes by.

May 6th decrease Effexor to 118.75mg depression + brain fog lasting 10 days

June4th-112.5mg, July 21st-106mg,August 30th-101mg

2015 - 5% decrease as able, January 2016-50mg + struggling.

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Barbarannamated

I'm having trouble opening link for THE SOCIAL LIFE OF GENES above. Anybody else?

 

This part looks especially interesting:

 

"A few months ago, I came across a fascinating article that talks about the importance of positive social connections to our health. It turns out your body turns genes off and on depending on how you subjectively experience your environment, sometimes even hours after, and this can have a tremendous impact on your physical and mental health."


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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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Barb, here is the full link:

 

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/the-social-life-of-genes-64616/

 

Pacific-Standard The Life of Society magazine.


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Oh shoot, forgot this site truncates long links.

 

http://www.psmag.com/

 

navigation/

 

health-and-behavior/

 

the-social-life-of-genes-64616/


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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Bellisimo

so wonderful post nadia and great tips!!!


2007 - 2013: was on citalopram (tried to quit a few times, never worked, always went back on. max dose 40mg)

2012-2013: was tapering my citalopram all down to 2,5 mg then quit.
2013/aug: Took  my last pill 

W/D hit me bad after a few weeks off my medicine.

2014/August: 12 months off (much improved)

2015/April: 20months off. ( much improved, still some symtoms comes in waves, but not so intense.)

2015/june: 22months off. FELT different than before, all shakings suddenly stopped, feel much better. a fantastic feeling!

2016/Feb : 2 years and 6 months off, END of my suffering. I feel perfectly fine and back to normal. 
2018/Oct: Iam still feeling great. It is hard to believe my own story when I read back, what I went through!

 

 

 

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Nadia

Thanks! And thanks for posting a working link... forgot to test it. The article really is worth reading!


'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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MissSerene

Nadia: Thank you thank you for this post. I will return to its many great tips time and again. Just re-started tapering after a four-month hold and am not feeling good, so really need it. Will read article, too, and make an effort not to isolate. I have a gorgeous flowering plum tree outside my kitchen window and am going to gaze today at it lovely pinkness!  


Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

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Fitby50

Thanks Nadia for a great list of tools, I will bookmark it so i can look at it again in a few weeks!!

About 18 months ago i did a Jon Kabat-Zinn MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) course which taught me mindfulness meditation. I have found this to be really helpful. There is quite a lot of his work on you tube and there is no right or wrong way to do this meditation, its just about doing it each day. In the worst of the WD when my head is very fogged and feels like a huge pressure is inside, I sit there and all i am aware of is the huge feeling in my head. So I just sit with the huge feeling and make room for it and accept that this is where i am today. It seems to help calm down my system and help me to stop fighting with myself.

Thanks Annabel for the MBSR suggestion.  I will google it and give it a try.  Could really use a distraction right now, in the middle of a bad wave.


Sept-1990 started my first AD Zoloft never got higher dose than 50mg

Dec-1990 Quit Zoloft  =Nov-1995 Back on Zoloft for Post-partum depression/anxiety

early-1998 Quit Prozac to get pregnant   =Feb-1999 Back on Prozac 20mg

10-1999 Prozac 30mg  =12-1999 Prozac 20mg

7-2001 switch to Wellbutrin SR 100mg

8-2001 increase Wellbutrin SR 150mg

10-2001 adding back Prozac 20mg

5-2003 tapered off Prozac  =7-2003 back on Prozac 20mg

8-2003 Add in Imipramine 25mg then to 50mg    (given Xanax for bad panic episodes

9-2003 Imipramine 75 mg then to 100mg

1-2004 switch to Lexapro 10mg

8-2004 Lexapro 20mg, Imipramine 75mg

4-2006 Adding Wellbutrin 150mg then to 200mg

7-2006 switch Lexapro to Celexa

12-2007Celexa 40mg Wellbutirin 150mg

9-2009 switch back to Lexapro 20mg, WellbutrinXL 150mg

2-2010 stop Lexapro start Celexa 40mg

11-2010 switch Celexa to Cymbalta 60mg

3-2011 Cymbalta 60mg switch to Effexor 37.5 to 75mg

10-2012 thru 12-2012 taper Effexor 75mg to 37.5 and off.

5-2013 start generic Prozac 10mg to 20mg, Trazadone 25mg  BEGIN THE TAPER(6-2013 Prozac 20mg to 10mg, Trazadone 25mg. 7-2013 liquid Prozac 7mg, Trazadone 25mg 8-2013 liquid Prozac 8mg, Trazadone 25mg9-2013 liquid Prozac 5mg, Trazadone 25mg10-31-2013 liquid Prozac 3.25mg, Trazadone 25mg=11-11-2013 liquid Prozac 3.0mg, Trazadone 25mg=12-4-2013 liquid Prozac 2.8mg, Trazadone 25mg=12-13-2013 liquid Prozac 2.5mg, Trazadone 25mg=1-5-2014 liquid Prozac 2.0mg, Trazadone 25mg=(CURRENT/06-01-2014 LAST dose liquid Prozac, Trazadone 25mg)((Aug. 13, 2014 reinstate .20mg of liquid Prozac for crippling anxiety, dread (still on same Trazadone...)supplements are probiotic, Vit. D3 and Fish Oil daily)Aug 19th reinstate 6.25mg Zoloft, Sept. 4th 25mg Zoloft.CURRENT(50mg Zoloft, 25mg Trazadone)

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trouper

this was wonderful! thank you! :)  i printed it out to keep with me. :)  i also read it to my husband so he can remind me of these things when i'm not feeling well.

 

another thing that i do which helps:

in my depression class they gave us a little gratitude notebook. every night we are supposed to write 5 things we are grateful for during that day. when my mind is racing in the middle of the night during waves, or when I'm having trouble trying to fight the cortisol anxiety and go back to sleep, i go over the things i am grateful for again. having just written them not long before makes them easier to retrieve. 


on 37.5 - 50mg zoloft/sertraline for GAD from 3/1996 to 4/2013 (17 years) 

too fast taper from 1/13-4/13

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DrugSlave

Congrats Nadia and great post. Great to hear you are doing better.

 

Maybe I need to connect to nature more and stuff like that. I do like hiking and we have a small garden. Also, that article about how social isolation can be the number one risk factor in disease was interesting. I am absolutely socially isolated. I socialize very little compared to my life in the past. Paradoxically, I don't feel lonely because I don't feel well and I don't feel like socializing. I WISH I felt better and FELT like socializing but I don't. So I feel socially isolated, but not lonely. Anyway, it can't be good.


On Effexor since February 2003; Mar/2012 - dropped from 150mg to 131mg; Apr/2012 - 112.5mg; Jul.2/2012 - 94mg;
Oct.21/2012 - 75mg - first started noticing withdrawal symptoms; Nov.16/2012 - 56mg; Dec.11/2012- 37.5mg; Jan.5/2013 - 19mg; Jan.22/2013 - 22.5mg (withdrawal too strong); Jan.23/2013 - 37.5mg (MUCH worse; very sick)
Jan.24/2013 - 30mg; May 26/2013 - 27mg (started 10% method - too much)

Dec.25/2013 - 27.3mg (no relief after 7 month hold; slow updose)

Mar.6/2014 - 37.5mg (3.5 year hold, no improvement);

Nov.2/2017 - 2.5% drop/36.6mg; Nov.30/2017 - 4% drop/35.1mg; Dec.28/2017 - 6% drop/33mg; Jan.25,/2018 - 8% drop/30.4mg; Feb.22/2018 - Held at 30.4mg; Mar. 22/2018 - 10% drop/27.4mg; Apr.19/2018 - 10% drop/24.7mg; May 17/2018 - 5%/23.5mg; Nov.21/2018 - 1.7% drop/23.1mg; Dec.19/2018 - 1.7%/22.7mg; Jan.23/2019 - 2.6%/22.1mg; Feb.27/2019 - 3.6% drop/21.3mg..holding...considering slow updose back to full dose

 

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Nadia

Hi DrugSlave! I entirely understand about not feeling social. I became a complete hermit during the worst of my protracted withdrawal. In some ways that was OK. I think you need to do what makes you feel better in the moment. I could only handle very limited and quiet interaction or I would feel overwhelmed. It's important to seek connection, probably, but this doesn't mean you can't carve out a space of private safety for yourself. And it will do no good if you are social, but are not enjoying it.

 

What I took away from the article, what seemed to me to be the underlying theme, is that our PERCEPTION of what we experience is what matters:

 

“That’s a really important part of this: To an extent that immunologists and psychologists rarely appreciate, we are architects of our own experience. Your subjective experience carries more power than your objective situation. If you feel like you’re alone even when you’re in a room filled with the people closest to you, you’re going to have problems. If you feel like you’re well supported even though there’s nobody else in sight; if you carry relationships in your head; if you come at the world with a sense that people care about you, that you’re valuable, that you’re okay; then your body is going to act as if you’re okay—even if you’re wrong about all that.”

 

I think studies show that social connection enhances health because humans are social animals in general. But there is plenty of individual variation. Some people enjoy their alone time. Other people feel good when they are in a room filled with hundreds of people. As I've recovered, I've wanted to be more social, but I still prefer settings of 2 to 6 people at most. And whether I like who I am with makes a huge difference. Many times, being alone with a book is what's going to put me in that good place, not hanging out with someone.

 

The important thing is to figure out what makes you feel good, or is even an infinitesimal step toward feeling good. Sometimes this means challenging yourself to do things you are too steeped in negativity and pain to want to do, but it also means listening to your gut feeling about what is truly beneficial for you. You need to break out of a negative cycle if you are down-spiraling, but also respect your limits. Maybe this means a 5 minute conversation with someone in whose presence you feel good. Maybe it means a walk alone in the woods.

 

The key thing is that what makes your body steer toward health is feeling good about your surroundings and yourself. At each stage of your recovery, finding what "does this for you" can be different, and it can be entirely different for different people!

 

___

 

Yay for beautiful plum trees, for mindfulness, for making lists of things to be grateful for!! Don't expect big results, just keep exercising steering toward feeling positive.


'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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DrugSlave

Nadia, my wife read my intro thread where someone mentioned your post to me. She tracked down your post, printed it, and put it on the fridge. :) She is encouraging me to follow it and wants to follow some of it herself. Thanks again.

 

I absolutely agree that is the perception of our experiences that matters. I have read that before and believe it through my own experiences and observations. There is scientific evidence to back it up as well.

 

Social connections are very important. I think I need to push myself a little more on that front. I need to joke more too....it's so hard to break out of the negative cycle as you say...

 

"The key thing is that what makes your body steer toward health is feeling good about your surroundings and yourself. At each stage of your recovery, finding what "does this for you" can be different, and it can be entirely different for different people!" - wow, that is some good stuff there....you are quotable :)


On Effexor since February 2003; Mar/2012 - dropped from 150mg to 131mg; Apr/2012 - 112.5mg; Jul.2/2012 - 94mg;
Oct.21/2012 - 75mg - first started noticing withdrawal symptoms; Nov.16/2012 - 56mg; Dec.11/2012- 37.5mg; Jan.5/2013 - 19mg; Jan.22/2013 - 22.5mg (withdrawal too strong); Jan.23/2013 - 37.5mg (MUCH worse; very sick)
Jan.24/2013 - 30mg; May 26/2013 - 27mg (started 10% method - too much)

Dec.25/2013 - 27.3mg (no relief after 7 month hold; slow updose)

Mar.6/2014 - 37.5mg (3.5 year hold, no improvement);

Nov.2/2017 - 2.5% drop/36.6mg; Nov.30/2017 - 4% drop/35.1mg; Dec.28/2017 - 6% drop/33mg; Jan.25,/2018 - 8% drop/30.4mg; Feb.22/2018 - Held at 30.4mg; Mar. 22/2018 - 10% drop/27.4mg; Apr.19/2018 - 10% drop/24.7mg; May 17/2018 - 5%/23.5mg; Nov.21/2018 - 1.7% drop/23.1mg; Dec.19/2018 - 1.7%/22.7mg; Jan.23/2019 - 2.6%/22.1mg; Feb.27/2019 - 3.6% drop/21.3mg..holding...considering slow updose back to full dose

 

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arwen

Thanks Nadia, you are the best!

 

I find listening to music very useful. When I was younger, I was listening to music all day long... I didn't have internet or a computer home, I was single and not much to do outside work.. So music (and dancing  alone on music) were an important part of my spare time. 

 

Then I forgot it. Last couple of years were the worst from this point of view. But one day, a couple of weeks ago I, I remembered. I recovered some cd-s from a box that has not been opened for a while, and I bought some mp3 online with old music that I used to like so much. It is so therapeutic! Plus the exercise that I get dancing :)

 

I feel like something very good happens in the brain when we listen to music. Like the neurons are firing better, in harmony, healing.


July 2011 - nasty anxiety crisis (lost job, became not functional, couldn't exit the house alone)

August 2011 - started 10mg Paxil  and October 2011 - 20mg (one month on 20mg)

November 2011 - starting slowly to decrease the dose at the pace my body supported. Down to 2.5 mg in January 2013 (17.5, 15, 12.5, 10, 7.5, 5, 3.7, 2.5) - at least one month at each step. Unpleasant, but functional, got a new job almost immediately

April 2013 - stopped completely, crashed after 2 weeks, and reinstalled 2.5mg, recovered fast.

September 2013 - started decreasing again, slower, down to 1 mg in December 2013

December 2013 - free of Paxil

March 2014 - another crash, exactly 3 months after stopping, after 2 weeks of horrors, reinstalled 1 mg - feeling better after one week.

March 2014 - July 2014: going slowly down: 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.77mg, 0.64mg

end of July 2014 - Paxil free, hopefully forever this time.

.

 

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bubble

great thread! we can never get enough of priceless little things that make all the difference.

 

reading about dancing (very true), reminded me of singing. Even if one doesn't have much of a voice or sings melancholy songs. I used to sing in a church choir but when in WD and messed up with meds, I simply couldn't imagine myself doing it.

 

This Easter I made an effort to go to church for a good sing and it was nice hearing my voice again. I would also say my brain cells were readjusting in a nice way while doing it. Singing in a choir also has the additional benefit of breaking isolation: you can enjoy the benefits of social interaction without being overly exposed to it.

 

This is also true for joining some other groups which encourage minimal but beneficial interaction: a yoga class always works better for me than solitary attempts. Or a hiking club: the group energy helps you to move but long stretches of time are spent walking in silence without having to actually interact with people. I find it balances nicely the need for alone and together time. 


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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SouthernFreeze

i can agree with the Jon kabat zinn Annabel, i read his book that was done with some other medical professionals "the mindful way through depression" and "full catastrophe living", the 8 week meditation programs that i have continued with have been a real help to my life in general.

 

I noticed Nadi mentioned walking in the woods and getting in touch with nature.

What i have done is brought a camera and have found it very therapeutic to go out for walks alone and take photos of beautiful landscapes, trees, waterfalls, sunset/rises and so forth.

It's a nice thing to do in itself and can be a bonus and reminder of that nice peaceful time when you see, and maybe print one of the photos that has turned out good or is special to you


10 years on various anti-depressants

5 years Effexor xr

tappered of 150mg in 6 months

nothing for two weeks

Reinstated 15 beads for 50 days

Tappered off then clean 2-3months

gradually went back up to 13 mg 3 years

bridged fluoxetine 10mg

2 week tapper

1 year clean

reinstated 5ml dispersed fluroxatine for 6months

 

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AmyK

Thankyou for this post, Nadia!


Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

 

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

 

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg

2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg

2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg

2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg

2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg

2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

 

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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Doloi

Thank you, Nadia. I am early into a cold turkey withdrawal that now involves some reinstatement but to no great effect. Your suggestions look to be a valuable resource. Thank you, again


2005 to July, 2014: Lexapro 40 mg daily

July, 2014 to October,, 2017: Lexapro 30 mg daily

September 21 and September 30: 2 serotonin syndromes interrupted by one week on Lexapro at 30 mg

October 1 to October 31 2017: cold turkey no Lexapro

November 1 to December 15 2017: reinstate Lexapro from 1.25 mg to 20 mg

December 15, 2017 to present: 20 mg Lexapro

January 15 2018 to present: .5 mg Risperdol daily

2005 to March, 2017: Clonopin 3 mg daily tapered down to 0 mg over nine months.

October 15 2017 to present:  Klonopin .5 mg daily

 

 

 

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papaloapan

Wow Nadia, thanks a lot for the first post of this thread. Incredibly just by reading it I felt better. Also reading the whole link of "The Social Life of Genes" made me feel better by knowing that our perception/framing can make us feel better or worse regardless of the situation.


Nov/30/17 started Q-MIND (quetiapine) IR tablets 100mg 0-0-1. 

Dec/1/17 started pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50mg tablets 1-0-0. Jan/4/18 started tapering pristiq by alternating dosages

Jan/5 & 6/18 changed to quetiapine XR 300mg. Jan/7&8/18 changed to quetiapine XR 150mg. Jan/9/18 went back to IR quetiapine 100mg 0-0-1.

Jan/14/18 started with 1.5mg melatonin 0-0-1, fish oil 1-0-1 and magnesium with calcium capsules 2-0-2.

Jan/20/18 went back to one daily pristiq 50mg 1-0-0

Feb/7/18 started neurovit 1-1-1 (glutamic acid 200mg, HCL lysine 150mg, sodium glycerophosphate 112mg & nicotinamide 30mg) 

?/?/18 started neurovit 1-1-0.   ?/?/18 started neurovit 1-0-0.  ?/?/18 started ginko biloba 40mg 1-0-0

Mar/12/18 at night started 15 drops of tramadol. Each drop = 2.5 mg of tramadol. Mar/13/18 to Mar/19/18: (7 days) 15 drops twice a day (15 drops in the morning and 15 drops at night = 15-0-15). 

Mar/20/18 (1 day): morning 15 drops, night 12 drops = 15-0-12. Mar/21/18 (1 day) 12-0-10. Mar/22 & 23/18 (2 days) 12-0-12. Mar/24/18 (1 day) 9-0-9. Mar/25/18 (1 day) 6-0-6. Mar/26 and 27/18 (2 days) 9-0-9. Mar/28 and 29/18 (2 days) 6-0-6. Mar/30 and 31/18 (2 days) 4-0-4. Apr/1/18 - Apr/5/18 (5 days) 6-0-6 . Apr/6/18 - Apr/10/18 (5 days) 5-0-5. Apr/11/18 (1 day) 4-0-4 . Apr/12/18 - Apr/18/18 (7 days) 5-0-5. Apr/19/18 (1 day) 4-0-4. Apr/20/18 - May/3/18 (14 days) 4-0-5. 

May/4/18 - May/18/18 (15 days) 4-0-4. May/19/18- Jun/1/18 (14 days) 3-0-4. Jun/2/18 - Jun/18/18 (17 days) 3-0-3. 

Jun/19/18 - Jul/7/18 (19 days) 2-0-3. Jul/8/18 - Jul/9/18 (2 days) 2-0-2 . Jul/10/18 - Aug/6/18 (28 days) 2-0-3.

Aug/7/18 - Sep/3/18 (28 days) 2-0-2. Sep/4/18 - Sep/13/18 (10 days) 1-0-2. Sep/14/18 - Oct/18/18 (35 days) back to 2-0-2, Oct/19/18 - Nov/16/18 (29 days) 1-0-2. Nov/17/18 didn't take neurovit and ginko. Nov/18/18 - Dec/6/18 (19 days) 1-0-2. (total in 1-0-2 49 days) Dec/7/18 - Jan/29/19 (54 days) 1-0-1. Jan/30/19 - Feb/1/19 (3 days) 1-0-2. Feb/2/19 back to 1-0-1. Feb/2/19 - Mar/29/19 (56 days) 1-0-1. Mar/30/19 started 0-0-1 

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ChessieCat

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

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

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

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

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

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

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

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Cigale
On 4/10/2014 at 3:25 AM, Nadia said:

18. At the end of the day, review your day and think of anything that was positive, however small. If there was nothing positive, congratulate yourself for having gotten through it.

Thank you @Nadia for your post. I am relatively new to SA and have been pouring over all the resources. Your list is great and I love this one in particular.


2008-2016 - Lexapro 10 mg, tapered to 2.5 mg over one year then CT
Feb 2, 2019 to July 24, 2019 - restart Lexapro 5 mg; July 25, 2019 increase Lexapro 10 mg
Nov 20, 2019 to Dec 11, 2019 - way too fast taper from Lexapro 10 mg to 7.5 mg to 5 mg to 0
Dec 12, 2019 to Feb 4, 2020 - drug free until horrible WD hit
Feb 5, 2020 to Feb 16, 2020 - started Paxil 10 mg, resulted in very bad reaction
Feb 18, 2020 - current - reinstate Lexapro 5 mg to stabilize before taper

 

daily meditation 10-40 minutes, yoga 30 minutes; biweekly CBT & ACT therapy

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