Jump to content
Icandothis

Icandothis: Which taper route to go?

Recommended Posts

Icandothis

Hello, 

I know it is normal to have fleeting withdrawals , currently experiencing the brief head zap and squeezing sensation.  Of course, it is making me second guess doing this and then I remind myself of my determination and if I don't forge ahead I will always be stuck in this cycle.  My question is do I continue with a 10% cut of my current dose once a month (which is what I am currently doing, well actually just under 10%) and just hold longer or should I cut even less than 10% once a month?  Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

What is your head zap pattern? How often, how long, daily?

 

Head zaps indicate the amount of your decrease is too big or you're decreasing too often.

 

It looks like you've been pushing too hard on going off fluoxetine after the switch. You should probably hold on reductions for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

The zaps just recently started I may get one randomly one day here and there and the head sneeze kind of feeling has been the past few days off and on....I have been following a slightly less than 10% decrease every 4 weeks

So even less than 10% every four weeks is too hard for me ?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Your nervous system is saying "whoa, too many changes."

 

If the zaps etc. last only a few days after a change, and then you feel pretty good, then you're tolerating a decrease acceptably.

 

If the withdrawal symptoms persist, the decreases are too big. You might want to updose slightly, hold for a while, and think in terms of 5% decreases.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

ok thank you very much fo your advice :)

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

I have been tapering for a few months now...I do notice some annoying personality quirks and more importantly notice that I am rather intolerant to hearing upsetting things, like I want to avoid anything that may make me potentially nervous, upset, or annoyed...

It's almost as if I can't handle listening to any such things. I wouldn't say that I am unpleasant and grumpy to be around I find I am more sensitive . Is this my nervous system readjusting to my slow taper or could it be that the Fluoxetine I was taking curbed it? I do not want to stop my taper because I am determined. I think if it is possible that even with a slow taper my nervous system can be reacting and manifesting this way, I can accept it as part of the process. please advice or experience if anyone noticed such an odd thing? Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
bubble

Hello Icandothis,

 

I have merged your new thread with your original one. It's one thread per person and this makes it easier for us to follow our progress.

 

I went through your posts and looked at your timeline. I would say it's the same things as before. Increase in symptoms indicates that however slow we think we are going and however small reductions we think we are making it's still to much and too fast for our brain to catch up with.

 

It means that longer hold is in order and that it would be good to consider even smaller cuts in the future. This is especially true for lower doses such as the ones you have reached now. I call what you describe irritability. It's one of the most common early withdrawal symptoms and a sign that our brain isn't happy.

 

This thread explains why it's important to go extra slow at low doses. (just scroll down to the graphs: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

 

Everything what MammaP and Alto wrote for you before still applies so I'm copying it as a reminder. All in all, you are doing very well and with longer hold this symptoms will also go away.

 

Withdrawal comes in windows and waves, and  it is a sign that you are healing when the waves are 

reduced to what I call 'ripples' . My personal experience is that the waves are becoming less intense and are

much easier to live with. I don't cut if I am in a wave and hold until I have been stable for a few months. 

It is a long long taper for me but I would rather do that than go back to the hellish waves because of tapering too fast!

.

Keep the cuts small and hold until you have felt stable for a good few weeks and you will get better.  The last

bit is usually hardest but when you have liquid it  is much easier to cut by minute amounts. 

 

 

Your nervous system is saying "whoa, too many changes."

 

If the zaps etc. last only a few days after a change, and then you feel pretty good, then you're tolerating a decrease acceptably.

 

If the withdrawal symptoms persist, the decreases are too big. You might want to updose slightly, hold for a while, and think in terms of 5% decreases.

 

 

What is your head zap pattern? How often, how long, daily?

 

Head zaps indicate the amount of your decrease is too big or you're decreasing too often.

 

It looks like you've been pushing too hard on going off fluoxetine after the switch. You should probably hold on reductions for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello,

Is there anyone that can provide topic names to look up, advice etc.?  Been feeling rather anxious and my triggers are worrying about health issues....and I am finding that I am obsessing and worrying about the worst , I find I am not as in much control with being able to talk myself away from my fears and allow worry to cease because even if there is something health wise wrong with me, worrying about it won't change it...I want to learn how to be able to take what comes and be proactive instead of living in constant fear of impeding doom... and I am finding myself having difficulty deciding if what I am experiencing is withdrawal and my nervous system being upset or if it is my old me (why I went on the medicine in the first place) creeping back in...I was so determined to try to live and deal with life without medicine and I am now for the first time since I started this process questioning if I am doing the right thing.  I feel like I am a prisoner in my own thoughts...I plan on remaining on my current does and not decreasing this week like I would have normally  (decrease by 10% once a month)  I really want to be encouraged that I am experiencing this because of my body adjusting and NOT because I am doomed to remain on medicine.   :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Reflex
Hello, 

I know it is normal to have fleeting withdrawals , currently experiencing the brief head zap and squeezing sensation.  Of course, it is making me second guess doing this and then I remind myself of my determination and if I don't forge ahead I will always be stuck in this cycle.  My question is do I continue with a 10% cut of my current dose once a month (which is what I am currently doing, well actually just under 10%) and just hold longer or should I cut even less than 10% once a month?  Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello,

I am not sure that you meant to answer my post but I had the same feelings you had couple of years ago when I decreased too much too quick ...to answer your question that is a hard one and is something I have thought about myself ....personally I think I may next time I decrease ....cut by 5% once a month this way I feel like I am still doing something often but allowing my body to more gradually adjust...since I had problems once I got to 5mg.....I had already decided that when I got to that amount I would cut smaller increments than 10 just because the symptoms last time were awful....I am due for a cut but am having really hard time emotionally and having feelings of all my old worries creeping in and been quite anxious so I am going to wait a bit before I start again...I currently feel like I am doomed to remain on medicine and trying hard to work against it...I can't tell if it's my nervous system reacting, the past me with my anxieties coming out or if I am entering perimenopause .....

Share this post


Link to post
Reflex

Hi

It's great to finally find someone on here almost exactly in same position. I.e tapering from Prozac. I am behind you as I started my reduction from 5ml in Dec.

I do find being on Prozac different to citalapram. I too am concerned to never experience withdrawal effects again. As soon as I feel slightly different in my mood or physically I am wary that they are starting again.

My main concern is that I am more vocal and I am worried that I will say something out of place.

I have asked for support from close friends and family both at home and in the workplace to gage my reactions and behavior and let me know if I am doing something out of character.

I hope you have a supportive network?

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Oh my goodness...I just reread your thread and realize you are a teacher as well!

As for being more vocal...I am noticing that as I am getting older I am becoming this way as well and find that my fuse is shorter with people and I tolerate less. I don't have an extremely strong network for support as I fell unless you are ging through it yourself it is difficult to understand ..I have in the past been told that my fears are just something that I need to stop having ...if it were that easy

Btw reading through your symptoms brings me back ....they were what I felt and were awful!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Thank you I appreciate it Altostrata

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

How does one get over the feeling that they are just destined to take medicine for the rest of their life???

I am trying so hard and see that the things that I mentally could not let go of and are the reason I got on the medicine in the first place are the same emotions that are back. I don't want to take medicine forever but also feel like I will never be "some sort of regular " as I once was many years ago ....

I don't want to take the medicine yet don't know how to cope without it.

The things that set me off are things related to health , I always worry that if I am told something, I always go to the darkest worst scenerio and I am exhausted at dealing with myself so I can only imagine what others think.

Does anyone find their "old demons" resurface and if so are there tips aside from the obvious eating well (which when I get worried and anxious, I can't eat anyways let alone healthily), exercise , meditation, etc. I try at these things yet find at my anxious moments I can't get out of my own mind to do any of them...

Is the solution taking short term medicine which I have never tried when I get out of control ...., staying on medicine forever, or take more vitamin supplements and hope that therapy sticks ?

Thank you for listening !

By the way I have held at my current dose and have not made a cut

I already take vitamins

And find that most times I can be "normal" it's just when I have doctor appointments and if there is a problem or I need a test I automatically think the worst..

I only have these anxious times during these times, but my goal is to learn how to take life at is comes and no matter what comes, I want to be able to handle it and not crumble emotionally

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello, 

Has anyone experienced muscle twitching when lowering medicine, even when doing so in tiny increments?  It's just happening in one leg and it doesn't hurt so much as it is annoying :)

If I know it could be that, I could just let it go mentally, thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Reflex

Hi

Yes I have started experiencing twitching and cramp in my legs at night since my last couple of reductions.

 

What about waking at 4.44 in the morning each day? Do you experience this?

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello Reflex

Thnank you for responding. Are you experiencing this in one or both legs? I feel it in one upper thigh and sometimes it feels like a heavy leg thing as well. I noticed this twitching before, it went away and then came back....

Currently my sleeping is ok, I may briefly wake up at different times but fortunately go back to sleep. I did notice the last time when I lowered too much too fast, and then reinstated , my sleeping was horribly off, I had bouts of insomnia....

how are you doing with weaning?

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello

Please I could use some help

I have been decreasing by 5% of my current dose every two weeks this last drop seems to have affected me getting uneasy feeling anxiousness wooziness naseous and these things come and go

My question is

Do I stay and hold at this dose and because it is only a 5% decrease and hopefully my nervous system should hopefully adjust more quickly being such a minimal cut

Or do I need to go back to last dose (from two weeks ago) and wait till that stabilized and start to microtaper

I am looking for what will bring me relief the quickest as I just started a new job and need to be able to feel "normal"

Please advice thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

You can do either. It does seem like your nervous system would like a vacation for a bit from drug changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello,

Thank you for responding...from experience and your wealth of knowledge do you know which tends to give relief faster-going to previous last dose from two weeks ago (does this matter time wise) or to ride this out? If I don't go back to the original last dose, am I looking at a long recovery to stabilize?

How long would you recommend to take a vacation from drug changes, thank you!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Riding it out will mean riding it out. I don't know how long that will take. You'll have to look back on your symptom pattern after decreases -- do you get mild symptoms for a few days and then they go away? Or is this something different?

 

I can't predict how you'll react to an updose, either. I wish I could. Unfortunately, you'll have to make your best guess of which turn to take.

 

As you've been making decreases every two weeks, I would suggest a hold for a couple of months, after you stabilize.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello,

This is something different typically I had been fortunate with my decreases up to this point, I might get a twinge of something but that is it. This has been few days and more intense.I am fearful of this feeling lasting months....last time when I attempted before I found this site I had decreased by 50% and it was several months before i started to feel relief and I updosed back to 10 mg

I am scared of losing all those months again "of life" like I did but I guess maybe because I have been doing it in smaller increments maybe it will not be as severe as before?

 

I will definetly not be making anymore cuts for awhile! I didn't think it would take more than 2 years but I guess my body has decided differently

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

I was taking supplements like fish oil magnesium etc. but have been lazy for a month or so....since my body is in this state is it ok to start them up again or will this overload my body more?

Share this post


Link to post
Fresh

Hi Icandothis , how have things been going for you? Did you take a tapering holiday?

It seems that a good long hold is beneficial every now and then to give things a chance to settle.

 

Best wishes , Fresh

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello,

Thank you for your post, I just started to taper again at only 2.5% and did so for two weeks to see how it would go. I do not know if that is considered micro tapering. I did a tapering holiday for the holidays. I have noticed that so many of my old thought patterns have come back and have been trying to learn to cope with them and help myself instead of feeling that I "need" the medicine to take care of them (although this is how I feel often ....and so defeated). It just seems like it will be years before I am able to taper and have the nagging thought of whether once all is done...I will need to go back on....

Now that I took a break should I try to go back to my 5% drops instead?

Share this post


Link to post
Fresh

That's totally up to you. Dropping by smaller increments is more fiddly , but you get much less fallout

in terms of symptoms. If you're working and managing a constructive life , the most important thing is

to preserve that.

 

Could you update your sig. with your current dose for us?

 

Many people slow down at the business end of a taper - you might choose to do 2.5% drops every 2 weeks

if that's easier to accommodate.

 

I suspect many of us have the concern in the back of our minds that we may crash after we eventually stop. I choose not to dwell on that - it doesn't help me. But it does encourage me that there's no point trying to rush the process along.

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello

Thank your for responding my signature is current and up to date. I did a cut today and am at 2.64mg=.66ml.

I am concerned about the things I emotionally feel now ...as they are happening while I decrease the amounts...

Tonight I had to put down my so special and dear cat and I am heartbroken and this certainly isn't easy during tapering

I don't know how I will successfully manage life without medication on the emotional end and my loss tonight is an example of me not being able to cope....

Thank you :(

Share this post


Link to post
Fresh

I'm sorry about your cat Icandothis.

 

To be honest , I would be much more concerned if you felt nothing and were not heartbroken.

Feeling bad in this situation is not an example of being unable to cope ,it's an example of how a humanbeing experiences the loss of a beloved pet.

 

If you feel things are spinning too fast , just taper 2.5mg per month , if you're more comfortable with that. You are the master of controls here.

 

You will need to have another crack at your signature I'm afraid. I'm sure it's a typo , but we just

started 2016.

When my dog died years ago , my nanna said the sweetest thing , and I want to share it with you.

She said "Of all the people in the world he could have ended up with , what lucky pet to have spent it's life

with you. You gave it a wonderful life. Your cat was blessed."

 

:)

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Thank you it was a typo and I fixed the year. I know what you are saying about it being normal to be heartbroken I just become consumed by my emotions and was having much anxiety with it. I feel like I am an over the top sensitive person and. Do not like that about myself. I appreciate the kind words that your grandmother said to you. I know in time I will enjoy the words but right now it's too raw for me. Thank you for the advice as well regarding the drops....it seems that no matter what I do or what I decide , I second guess myself and never feel I make the right choice...Since lowering the medicine I see how much of myself that I want to change about myself and without the regular dose of medicine I am forced to confront it its just hard sometimes to experience the rawness of it and not cave to the desire to "numb" myself.

Apologies for the long winded response, just heartbroken :(

Share this post


Link to post
SquirrellyGirl

Hi Icandothis!

 

I just did a fast read through your thread and see similarities between us!  For me, though, it was when I was in protracted withdrawal from venlafaxine (Effexor) that I began to not like what I was seeing, didn't want to be that person, and realized my problems had been with me for years but had been numbed down by the drugs.  And so I began a journey, and it involved learning to truly love and accept myself. When I read what you wrote, it makes me feel sad because you write of judging yourself.  I used to be my own worst critic!  I think a good majority of those of us who ended up on meds are very sensitive people, and we fault ourselves too readily.

 

And so I am going to point you to my favorite cure for this, Eckhart Tolle!  I put this thread up in the Symptoms and Self-Care sub-forum so it would be easy to point to.  Eckhart is just a fantastic teacher of these concepts but he is not the originator.  The gist is that our thoughts cause us suffering, and that when we stop identifying with our "thought form," we can end our suffering or at least change how we cope with day to day stresses.  So, give these audios a listen and see if they don't bring you a bit of inner peace and comfort.  From there, some guided meditations for self-compassion may be in order ;-)

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10992-eckhart-tolle-the-pain-body-and-mental-suffering-during-withdrawal/

 

I know that place you are at, where it is so hard to be with yourself.  But there is hope. When I took that first Prozac 20 years ago, I put off doing the work that really needed to be doing.  Oh, I was in therapy, but whether it was the wrong kind or the drugs made it impossible to integrate the therapy, I just never did the work that needed to be done all along,  I used to be that person that people would say to:  Just think positively!  And I would grimmace, "sure, easier said than done!"  Well, I think I've turned that corner, never thought it could be done! You can, too!

 

SG

 

SG

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Squirrelly Girl you hit it right on the head...referencing your first paragraph.....as I lower on the medicine I become increasingly critical of myself ...a self loathing

As for Eckhart Tolle love him...I have over the years tried many self help and alternative things and while they do resonate with me...my problem is having the acquired skill-technique stick ...that is where I faulter...

I so very appreciate the link and most certainly will listen and seek out more info

 

Exactly I did the therapy and medicine together but just like you said did not fully do the work and make it stick

 

 

Are you still on meds?

 

I wish I could treat myself with the kindness I treat others.....

Thank you so much for your help

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello

Can anyone offer advice? I have slowed my taper....and do small increments when I do make a dose decrease and am noticing that so many of my "things" that had caused me to take this medicine in the first place have resurfaced and are actually staying... Before they would be fleeting now it's becoming more of my norm and I'm mentally exhausted ...feel so close to just wanting to give in and take this medicine indefinitely and get some emtional relief ....I have a tendency toward health anxiety and I have ruminating thoughts that are hard to "shut off". I can't figure out if this is withdrawal (even though I see so much of my behaviors that I had before the medicine ), perimenopause or just old things resurfacing as I get lower in my dosage. I feel doomed to being victorious with stopping the medicine and feel discouraged that I may finally reach the end point only to have to go on medicine again...please any help would be greatly appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag

icandothis:  You've done a terrific job of managing your taper.  It may be that you need to hold for a while at this dose and continue to expand and develop your non-drug toolkit:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

At what dose did these symptoms start to occur fleetingly?

 

If you have to continue on a low dose of fluoxetine for longer than you'd hoped to control the iatrogenic symptoms, it's always better than being on a higher dose.

Share this post


Link to post
Icandothis

Hello scallywag (great name and pic BTW). Thank you so much for responding and for providing not only encouragement but useful links...I can't really recall when they started to be fleeting maybe in the past year or so but lately they are more prominent and stick around. So as for dose I would say close to where I am now in the 2 ml range -since I decrease in small amounts. I was questioning up dosing but I will try to stay at what I am and hold....its been two years so far....seems like I may be trying to get off of this for the rest of my life....what is frustrating is trying to figure out if these are withdrawal symptoms masking themselves as previous behaviors and mindset or just returning to the person I was prior to getting on the medicine...wondering if remaining will even out these emotions or just continue to cause more mental stress...its just daunting and makes you question if it's all worth it or whether to succumb to the meds. As of late I am not living up to the name I chose for myself on here .... : (. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

One way or the other, it would benefit you greatly to see if you can learn how to manage those thoughts, perhaps with a CBT therapist, meditation, or other therapy, or you will be back on the drug treadmill.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy