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How much should I push myself? Good sense from Baylissa (Bliss) Frederick

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Altostrata

Bliss led the Recovery Road withdrawal support organization in the UK for many years. This was recently posted on Facebook, reposted with Bliss's permission.

 

The question is "Should I push myself physically or not to support my recovery?"

 

 

This is a brilliant question and one I have asked myself many times over the
years. The conclusion I have come to is that both schools of thought are
relevant and applicable based on the individual's situation - i.e. intensity
of symptoms, history/pre-existing problems.

For example, I always encourage people to do as much as possible in terms of
normal daily routines like getting out of bed, wearing regular clothes, etc.
things that will help to make them feel as close to normal as possible.

I also agree with you and think that avoiding stress is very important. In
addition, there are certain things that I discourage people from doing
because I've had so many reports of them causing flare-ups and funnily
enough, this includes vacuuming! Add to that mowing the lawn, drilling and
anything else that causes vibrations. So if the symptoms are extreme, I will
suggest cutting these activities out along with caffeine, alcohol and the
other culprits.

If the person has a history of agoraphobia, it is good if s/he can get into
the habit of venturing out - baby steps. usually starting with maybe just a
short walk down the street or even just sitting outside, and then adding a
bit more.

One thing I use as a guide is when the person starts to complain of being
"bored". Usually in acute withdrawal it is difficult to do much because the
symptoms are so intense and trying to cope means there is no room for
boredom. But as the person begins to feel better, the natural inclination is
to do more. If nothing is done, boredom will creep in. So once I hear the
word "bored" I usually suggest doing some activity - finding a hobby, going
for walks, sitting in the park, etc.

Anything stressful, strenuous or uncomfortable should be avoided, especially
early on as mentioned before. I do think it is important to start doing more
as time passes and the healing becomes evident. But it should be an activity
that promotes wellness like yoga, tai chi, gentle walking, learning a new
hobby like water colour painting or anything that will soothe rather than
stress. Then, in time, more can be done.

Some people are able to do a lot and this keeps them motivated. Exercise is
great for depression and anxiety but I have seen rigorous exercise land
people in bed. Some people are able to walk long distances and some go to
the gym or swim. But for those with symptoms that won't allow this, it's
best to wait.

Usually, the body will let us know when we do too much. I think the
vacuuming is not something you should be doing yet. You didn't have anxiety
or social problems before and so I think as you begin to feel better you
will effortlessly become more active and involved. So don't be too hard on
yourself. Give yourself time. If you begin to feel stuck, then by all means
do more, but if you find you have flare ups in response to some activities,
if I were you, I would wait before trying them again.

I hope this all makes sense. Take good care. Love, Baylissa xxx
 


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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Petunia

Thank you for posting this Alto, its very helpful.  I can see where I have made some mistakes in trying to do things before I was ready.  I tried to start a hobby long before any feelings of boredom, based on advice about hobbies being good.  But my new hobby very quickly became a source of frustration, disappointment, confusion and more stress, both times, first with the crocheting and then with painting.

 

The information about chores which cause vibrations also provided insight, I can manage to vacuum for a few minutes with my small handheld, but when I try and use my large upright, there is an immediate increase in symptoms and I'm forced to stop. I never understood this.  This also explains why I had so much trouble after I was using the electric grass trimmer last year.


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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Nadia

Great post... this for me has been one of the biggest questions in recovery!

As I was just telling someone today, I think what helped me most was thinking of it as a physical injury. If you sprained your ankle, you wouldn't run a marathon on it. But neither would you keep it immobilized for too long, or you would not recover!

 

We are often taught in exercise classes, pilates, yoga, martial arts, etc. to differentiate between "good pain" and "bad pain"... for example, the difference between the pain of a healthy stretch and the pain of pulling a muscle. If we learn to listen to the signals, we can progress gradually, pushing ourselves to handle more and more as we recover. Being patient with our minds and bodies as we have setbacks.

 

With withdrawal, we need to "recalibrate" our sense of what we can handle. Other people might find our limits ridiculous, but you need to learn to both not cower away from challenging yourself AND to defend and respect your real limits.

 

Sometimes with anxiety that was particularly hard for me. Was it fear making me think I should avoid something I would actually feel better if I did do? Or was I up against a real limit? I think I'm often still figuring out the right balance. Sometimes I think I'm ready for something and I realize I'm not (like watching violent TV series). Other times I thought I couldn't handle something and once I did it I was fine (like driving even if I felt extremely anxious about it).

 

It helps to keep in mind that even if you have a setback, it won't be the end of the world (even if it feels like it sometimes!).


'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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dekiru

Thanks for posting this, Alto. It's really helpful.


01/2006 Put on Prozac for anxiety and panic attacks 08/2008 Came off Zoloft after tapering don't remember taper, lost weight, felt like had cold constantly, very panicky, pain everywhere (misdiagnosed fibromyalgia), head funny.05/2010 put back on Zoloft03/2012 came completely off Zoloft followed Dr standard taper- no appetite, lost weight (0.5 stone), flu-like feelings constantly, pain everywhere, head funny, nausea, very panicky, very strong emotions etc Lost 1 stone.04/2013 improving. actually put on some weight and hungry most of the time. Still burning pain joints, stomach upset, headache/feel faint and emotions very strong. Chest very painful too.01/2014 improving still. Gained weight!! Still hungry. Still headache/feel faint and strong emotions and chest/shoulder muscles painful. Periods irregular and very painful. Very tired. Joints burn only if eat refined sugars. Started eating fruits again.03/2014 2 years off. Now intolerances developed to nuts and soya. Permanently hungry, Emotions strong but started healing psychological reasons I was put on antidepressants with therapist. Shoulder pain bad, heady often, very tired.06/2014 flu-like symptoms returned, many intolerances, stomach painful, skin crawling feeling, muscles painful, very emotional. :-((

09/2016 over 4.5 years off, no real changes in symptoms, still much pain, headiness, heart weird, digestion bad, hormones unbalanced, nausea yet very hungry, tired, flu like symptoms etc etc.

<p>taking - vit C, probiotics and digestive enzymesI have Aspergers Syndrome.

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historygal

Recovery and Renewal book- Your essential guide...  by Baylissa Frederick

 

In my research not just about the Gupta programme I found this very helpful book which I would like to share. This lady is amazing she survived protracted withdrawal from Benzo tranquilisers for years. After her horrific ordeal she then decided to take a degree and become a qualified counsellor. Baylissa also set up a charity called Recovery Road In Britain for those suffering Benzo withdrawal as well as Antidepressant withdrawal. The charity deals with calls of withdrawal all the time and through this she has documented peoples symptoms and experiences. Her book describes her journal entries throughout her period of Acute, post acute and protracted withdrawal. Intertwined in this is actual medical information certified by Doctors in Britain (all of which you can Google) which explains in simple terms the process of withdrawal. It is also a self help book explaining duration and recovery times which actually has helped me to come to terms with my own WD. Baylissa explains that the usual natural outcome is recovery but it could take months, years. If you are over exerting yourself drinking alcohol or taking supplements it can all help to blight your recovery.The book all explains about natural alternatives to self help such as Meditation, mindfulness, sunshine boxes, exercise and various other techniques which help to cope with the symptoms. This truly is an amazing book it has sections about employment, friends and family, how to cope with Doctors. its a very informative book and all her knowledge is from her own experience as well as her work with the Charity. In Britain she won a very high court case against a tabloid newspaper who claimed she was blighted by the Benzo drug, but this accusation was false. Baylissa has also helped to campaign and lobby our parliament about Doctors being dismissive about WD. Although, she suffered with benzo WD, the interesting thing to note is that both AD withdrawal and Benzo Withdrawal have the same symptoms, as I read her story a lot of her symptoms I had experienced, although our stories are inevitably different and that is an important point that she makes, is we have to stop looking for someone else who has the same set of symptoms (me included) WD is a very unique journey with varying timelines and recovery processes. I have had the pleasure of emailing her my story and she wrote back and was concerned about me. Every now and then she writes an email, which is great as she is a very busy lady, she genuinely is now devoting her life to educating people about WD. Give it a try, its not too expensive

Edited by Altostrata
added title of book

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Petunia

Bumping a good thread.

 

 This also explains why I had so much trouble after I was using the electric grass trimmer last year.

 

Update:  I can now use my grass trimmer for about 15 minutes at a time without it adding to symptoms.


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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mammaP

That's great news Petu :) 


**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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Barbarannamated

Very interesting about vacuuming. That's one thing I do almost daily as I live in a dusty rural area.

 

On another note.... I had one day about 2 weeks ago that I felt able to run a lot of errands that took several hours. I felt very accomplished and thought I'd sleep great because I tired myself out physically, but it had the extreme opposite effect. I've had some of the worst sleep since then...as if my body got revved up and won't calm down. (May have overdone Fish Oil during that time also).

 

So many Catch-22 paradoxes in all of this.


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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picchy

This is all so similar to ME/CFS it's incredible. I've spent years managing my ME symptoms in the same way, pacing myself, avoiding pushing myself.


Sufferer of moderate ME/CFS since 2005

Started 20mg Citalopram in March 2008 due to bereavement

Was fine since then with no adverse effects or depression - so decided to taper off

Came off it in March 2014 after a five-month taper, which I thought was a long time

Experienced a month of uncharacteristic depression in April 2014

Two months feeling fine

In June 2014 return of depression then an overnight physical crash leaving me debilitated in July

Tried to take moclobemide at low dose for 2 weeks in July but severe reaction

Housebound since then, ME now severe

No meds taken

Female, 38 years old

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crazykatie

That's for the post. Very insightful for me!!


Was on antidepressants on and off from 2000-2007 dx with MDD n anxiety.

2009- had like a physical breakdown. Was exhausted n not functioning properly. Still have depression n had become suicidal. Shrink dx bipolar while I never had a single manic episode. I got at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night. I required that to function since a child. I was admitted to the psych ward immediately. Was then put on a cocktail.

Lithium, lamotrigine, wellbutrin, prozac, depakote, Xanax, trazadone and ritalin.

Went through over 50 shock treatments n put on Invega in addition

Spring 2014, made the decision to try to get off some meds.

11 weeks ago I qt quit invega

10/6 reinstated 150 mg of Wellbutrin

I currently take 40 mg of prozac, 300 mg of lamotrigine, 1 mg of Xanax, 150 mg of trazadone

I am down from three medications. The forementioned others that I was initially put on I stopped prior to 2014.

I am hoping to be med free one day. I do not have any intention of stopping the current ones right now. I'm going to give my body a little more time to adjust.

Progress not perfection!!

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tntd

I see this post if very old so I don't know if anyone will respond but I want to say that I experienced this. I vacuumed and my anxiety went through the roof. Now I don't know how long to wait until I can vacuum, mow the lawn, etc. How far into recover do we need to be before doing these things won't trigger us?


Buspirone to 40mg, Cold Turkey St. John's Wort 600mg Jan 1, 2016. Cold Turkey Buproprion 150SR June 1 due to severe Akathisia that did not decrease with reducing the dosage.

Clonazepam 1.25mg, started daily liquid micro taper of clonazepam on Nov 1, 2016. Changed to sxs based taper 01/17. Slow and steady

11/10/16 .4104 3X day; 11/17/16 .4091 3x day; 11/28/16 .406 3x day; 12/4/16 .404 3x day; 12/11/16 .4028 3x

01/12/17 .39267 3x day holding; 02/25/17 .3902 3x day, holding. .3823mg 3x day. Tapering weekly at .0019mg, as of 09/21/18 .3542mg 3x day.  1/3/2019 .339mg 3x day. 6/25/19 .3307mg 3x day. 8/24/19 .317mg 3x day 2/13/20 .2886mg 3x day

L-theanine 200 mg, L-glycine 500mg 1x day and 1000mg 1x day, vit C 1000 mg sustained release 2x day. Fish oil 1800mg EPA + DHA. Vit E 400 IU, magnesium in various forms. Inositol 3x a day abt 14mg, Taurine 500mg.

5/20/16 Using Cranial Eletrotherapy Stimulation. 2x day 1 hour at level 1. Using Alph-Stim AID. 

 

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