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What does healing from withdrawal syndrome feel like?

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bromor

Great, well written article! Full of hope for healing :)

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nz11

I seem to recall seeing that at prior place its seems very  'Iggy-ish' from memory.

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btdt

For those not inclined to read the entire article, and to whet the appetite of those who might be convinced to do so ;) here is a succinct summary (from the conclusion):

 

 

The broad idea here is that 

1) Healing is happening.

2) The sensations that feel like injury are NOT injury. They are the CORRECTION of nerve injury.  They just "fire off" as they heal.

3) We can use some things to cope.

4) It's going away in time. 

 

I know this is not a "fix" to the feelings.  There is nothing anyone could say to me while I was IN pain that made the PAIN better.  All I could do was cope and cry and try to get through it.  But knowing it's normal and that I'm not getting worse; I'm getting better - is always something I benefit from knowing.  

 

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

Since you have inside information from study and some personal experience do you have any comments for those of us who have been doing this years past being drug free and still have not healed...any ideas or comments.  

We are here some much less then we use to be but we are around. 

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apace41

Since you have inside information from study and some personal experience do you have any comments for those of us who have been doing this years past being drug free and still have not healed...any ideas or comments.  

We are here some much less then we use to be but we are around. 

 

 

Btdt,

 

Just to be clear, that story is not mine but one that was posted elsewhere.  I have some moments of improvement and others where I have my doubts that I need to beat back and knock down.

 

I wish I had all the answers or even many of them.  I don't and think what is happening to so many people, largely without any knowledge of society in general, is horrible.  I can only say that I believe that the brain is an incredible organ and that given time and an environment in which:

 

  • nutrition is good,
  • sleep (as possible) is adequate,
  • exercise (to the extent tolerated) is undertaken,
  • stress is minimized and
  • connections with others (again, to the extent tolerated) are made and strengthened

the brain will work to the extent it can to rewire itself and find a level of homeostasis.  Neuroplastic change is a process that will invariably vary from one to the next based on factors that have yet to be fully quantified.  For some, change will be linear and obvious with the proverbial "windows and waves" pattern being evident.  For others, there will be long periods of no improvement and even deterioration before improvement takes place.  Perhaps it is because I HAVE TO believe that healing will occur, or perhaps it is because I have read too many stories of people who have healed, that I believe we are all capable of healing and WILL heal.

 

Those who have been in a protracted state for longer are simply slower to undergo neuroplastic change.  There have been many examples of people who showed no improvement for long times only to see rapid improvement after that time.  The key for me is that one needs to really believe that they will, in fact, heal.  The power of the mind is incredible in that regard so do whatever you need to do to instill that belief in yourself. 

 

If you are interested in reading something that will give you a sense of how strong the mind can be in healing, read Lissa Rankin's "Mind Over Medicine."

 

I wish I could give you more specifics but they don't exist.  I do believe you will heal, btdt.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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btdt

It was not the original post but the ablib I was talking about and this line

 

"But knowing it's normal and that I'm not getting worse; I'm getting better - is always something I benefit from knowing.  

 

I guess you were just repeating what was said .. for a moment I was confused and thought you knew something from your studies 

thanks for the reply

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grandmaD

What an excellent and encouraging post.  I am going to put the summary on my fridge!

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FightingForHope

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone here, this site is a godsend, reading the stories and information is helping me survive this hellish isolation and confusion. Thank you!!!!!

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Ali4

Reading this was amazing!! I have hope and a better understanding of what's going on. Thanks you!

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sottovoce

Yes! I found that incredibly thorough, helpful, and powerful.  

 

For others who would like to read it, but may be daunted by its length: here are some things I found helpful-- anchors of encouragement and understanding:

 

1) An understanding of the central roles of glutamate and GABA, and many other facets of the brain's chemistry; a refined sense of the interconnectedness of the body-mind; and inspiration to become a student of my own process; from my body, my feelings, thoughts, to my chemistry.

2) A powerful metaphor for visualizing what is happening during withdrawal, and accurately and skillfully framing it for myself as it is happening.

3) A way to share this process with friends and family so that it is clear to them what I'm experiencing and how they can help.

 

Thank you!

s.voce

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btdt

 

Yes! I found that incredibly thorough, helpful, and powerful.  

 

For others who would like to read it, but may be daunted by its length: here are some things I found helpful-- anchors of encouragement and understanding:

 

1) An understanding of the central roles of glutamate and GABA, and many other facets of the brain's chemistry; a refined sense of the interconnectedness of the body-mind; and inspiration to become a student of my own process; from my body, my feelings, thoughts, to my chemistry.

2) A powerful metaphor for visualizing what is happening during withdrawal, and accurately and skillfully framing it for myself as it is happening.

3) A way to share this process with friends and family so that it is clear to them what I'm experiencing and how they can help.

 

Thank you!

s.voce

 

I think I did all these things at one point or some point... at this point however they feel pointless maybe I am just tired or maybe it is the poor memory or the recent not so recent drug reactions... people get sick of my sharing year after year... it gets old I can't reframe at  this point I told them I would be done in 3 years it is almost 9....I think I am getting the feeling of why pd are not staying here it may be what I just wrote.

peace I know you mean well... 

 

What if everybody is not healing... ok throw your shoe at me or send the internet police... but at some point shut up btdt... kill joy 

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Junglechicken

An excellent description of the healing/recovery process. Accessible and not scary. Thank you.

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compsports

BTDT, I relate to everything you have said.     As an FYI, you might want to look into joining facebook SA as you might find that better meets your needs.   I tried to PM you to talk more about it but it said you are not able to receive messages.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9786-i-started-a-private-facebook-group-for-sa-members-only/

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Alexander

Love the line "Healing is happening".   I need to believe this when a lot of the time I feel like my WD is stuck in a long wave that doesn't seem to end.

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btdt

BTDT, I relate to everything you have said.     As an FYI, you might want to look into joining facebook SA as you might find that better meets your needs.   I tried to PM you to talk more about it but it said you are not able to receive messages.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9786-i-started-a-private-facebook-group-for-sa-members-only/

I am not on Facebook I don't like the site and always advice everyone to not join fb sites as they give away your information rather they sell it... I don't need that.. why do you think it would better serve my needs?  What does it do besides expose my personal identity to pharma and anyone else with buck?

I message box is full I will clear out some messages... sorry about that. 

peace

ps there is no such thing as a private fb site... it does not exist or so I am told. 

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btdt

This is wd...my fav

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megb

Who wrote the longer article do you know? Where did it come from? A great read... very encouraging & excellent metaphors. 

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btdt

Years ago when I was having symptoms of wd that looked like benzo withdrawal people thought they could not be caused by Ads we are learning they are much the same...plus I quit Klonapine the same day as effexor thing is I had been it the benzo to treat sweating a symptoms of tolerance to effexor and had only been on it a short time. 

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frasier23

I have problem to understand how its possible to heal and become old/better self after stopping meds.

 

There is a new baseline for all emotions, sleep hunger etc after medicine. And body/brain doesnt know old baseline when meds are stopped .

 

Can someone please explain how after cold turkey of medicine X my body will regulate back to how it was pre medicine. Or is the theory just that it will be better than on medicine?

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SquirrellyGirl

I'm no neurobiologist so maybe someone with more accurate info will come along.  I do have a BS in biology, and I do know that the body has optimum operating ranges, whether it be hormones, neurotransmitters, blood pH, and the like.  The body seeks homeostasis, and it is when the body becomes out of balance that we have disease processes.  The whole reason we are in trouble from taking these meds is because the nervous system seeks homeostasis once the drug is introduced.  The drugs throw neurotransmitters into extremes, too high in the case of SSRIs. The body recognizes this and makes oppositional changes to try to bring about homeostasis, because the concentration of serotonin in the nerve gap needs to be such that nerves fire properly.  When you take the drug away, there are extremes in the opposite direction, causing the symptoms.  What has happened to the nerves with the remodeling while on the drugs is essentially nerve damage.  It simply takes a whole lot longer for the nervous system to heal itself and bring about homeostasis again, I think because it isn't just a matter of changing one neurotransmitter, but the cascade of interactions that messing with one level has across all of our biochemistry.

 

I think this post from benzobuddies.org sums it up nicely, though about benzos - everything is inter-related, as I said, so it is very relevant.  What is happening in your brain?

 

SG

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Sheri755

What an encouraging thread!!

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Fightingawar
On 2/11/2014 at 2:20 AM, Petunia said:

What does healing feel like to me?

 

Its like waking suddenly at 6am with my mind fully alert, body tense and shaking on the inside as fearful thoughts start to roll along, one after another, reminding me that I'm still broken, today isn't going to be the day my life is fixed.  But then at some point I realize that I have just slept through the entire night, when that wasn't always the case.  I remember the nights when I would wake at 3am, 4am and 5am and not be able to go back to sleep, those nights are rare now.

 

There are those days where I'm feeling slightly better and I push myself to do a few of the things I need to do, but then suddenly feel exhausted, So I lay down and fall asleep.  Then wake up suddenly, not knowing where I am or what day it is.  Then I remember, look at the time and realize that I have been asleep for a whole hour, during the day, two months ago that wasn't possible.  Up until very recently, my body has been hyper-stimulated during the day and unable to fall asleep, it must be starting to settle down.

 

Healing from withdrawal is like spending the morning feeling so bad I'm not sure how much longer I'm going to be able to take it, but I hang on and get through each moment, trying to find things to distract me, to occupy my terrified mind and keep it calm until suddenly, I find myself outside raking up leaves in the sun and I realize it doesn't feel as bad as the last time I raked leaves.

 

I come inside and jump in the shower with only slight hesitation.  Then half way through washing my hair realize that a year ago, it took me several days to build up the 'courage' to get myself in the shower, and that the fear I felt through the whole process had been overwhelming.  Now there is no fear during the actual process of showering, only some frustration because of the slow running drain and coming to terms with the reality that one of these days I'm going to have to handle calling a plumber.... but not today.

 

Healing from withdrawal feels like not healing at all and being certain that I'm going to be like this for the rest of my life and wondering if I'm going to have the strength to endure it.  But then finding myself driving in my car, completely relaxed, not worried about anything, remembering how at first, driving anywhere caused a continual state of panic until I got back home. I would put things off for days if I could, just so I could avoid the added stress.  Now, there is some residual fear associated with driving, caused by the memory of actually having to do it in such an intense state of fear, but once I get in the car, I relax.  It wasn't driving which caused the fear, the fear was there anyway.  A secondary fear was created out of the horrendous experience of having to drive around while being in a state of panic, I don't recommend it.

 

Healing is like feeling really awful and believing that its just getting worse and worse, until I think back carefully or read back through my thread or journal and see the truth about just how bad it was, compared to now.  It only seems like its getting worse.  Maybe its because its been going on so long, its wearing me down and wearing me out.

 

Healing is like walking backwards somewhere with your eyes closed.  You have no idea where you are heading, and you don't know where you have been until you get somewhere else and open your eyes for a few moments and look back towards where you came from.  Then you close them again and keep going.

 

Sometimes healing feels like I am standing still while the rest of the world races by, leaving me behind, and I panic.  But then I calm down and notice that no one is going anywhere.  Everyone else is racing around and around in circles and I'm sitting calmly and peacefully in the center, knowing that everything I need is right here.

 

 

Wow this is exactly how it is, I cried and cried reading this

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

❤️  Tis.  Beautiful, eh?   Love you Petunia!

I'm glad you got to release some tears, Fighting.

 

Well, I've been post zero now since December 2016.

 

........Healing feels good. 

Life can sometimes be difficult on the other side though.......something I have learned.  It's not always fair....... yet we learn to accept, and go on, and have faith.  I mean I am thankful I have an "other side" to consider now.  Some folks never get to learn this stuff.  This before and after psych care, or some of these medications thing.  I kind of feel "lucky".  A lot of good experiences along the way.  Both sides.  Truly.

 

Not what I ever planned though.  So much for all that.  Planning and conforming.  Although, if I say so myself........I conform.  Maybe I'm unconventional.  Yes, that sounds better.  I have had to go way out of my comfort zone sometimes.  And can.  Wow.  It works and helps and keeps me thriving.

 

I can choose now........and shift my perspective/perception.    Well, I can't always choose joyous but I CAN choose to shift.  And then do so.  Out into the light or even half light.  The "middle road" so to speak.  Not always as quick as I'd like to but soon enough.  Much sooner than when I was medicated....... and thought I had a bonafide fixed point "illness".

I have tools to use to do this as well.  To help me shift.  And a much........oh so much stronger Spiritual sense of things(NOT religion mind you, although that is okay too).  A guide maybe.  Which now lives within me.  And a few people, supports if you will........ever changing........but people........and respect and compassion for others........then it comes back......you know?

 

I've been through a lot of very difficult stuff since I finally arrived here at surviving.  I think I do better at Life in general than ever before.  Oh, not perfect.......just better.

 

It's a good feeling.  Healing.

 

I have to be honest though and tell you.........if I presented myself to a Dr. of any kind, especially shrink, or even most therapists(I have one still on file)........during my initial coping "mess of a self" period(when hard stuff happens now).........B)  I mean I just don't go there, do that anymore........depend on a Dr., or Shrink, or even therapist to fix me, when times are hard.  It's usually just crying or lack of focus due to transient intense feelings.  Or wanting to avoid again.  Or isolate.........oh boy, that one never does ME any good.  Or fall back on the discipline that I have to keep.......eating right, exercise, chores, etc.  The good things.......more self discipline and chores.

 

It's a great feeling.  Healing.

 

Idk.  It feels good even when Life throws me.......Healing.

 

Love, peace, healing/inrecovery, and growth,

manymoretodays

Edited by manymoretodays

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FarmGirlWorks
13 hours ago, manymoretodays said:

I can choose now........and shift my perspective/perception.    Well, I can't always choose joyous but I CAN choose to shift.  And then do so.  Out into the light or even half light.  The "middle road" so to speak.  Not always as quick as I'd like to but soon enough.  Much sooner than when I was medicated

@manymoretodays, that is exactly what I've been cultivating recently -- the middle road, the neutral mind. Kundalini yoga is talking about that lately and I finally can hear it. In fact, I was thinking myself into excitement the other day and I realized fast that it was just a way not to despair. But then I went to the neutral mind to calm down that yo-yo effect. It is new to me and definitely will take LOTS of practice. Like a lifetime or so 😉

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manymoretodays
Posted (edited)

B)  Well yah......I reckon we get all the time we need. 

I don't know much about Kundalini yoga.........yet.  So many paths.........all leading the same way.  And awesomeness to you today!

Oh, the "middle path" and the good red road.  The good red road goes with recovery and of course recovery is healing.  And I hope it's a Native American term.  And thank you for the in or outgoing for us in Inipi/sweat lodge style @FarmGirlWorks

Edited by manymoretodays

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emergingfromhell

My therapist used a good analogy - she reminded me of how cuts heal. 

If you cut your arm and you’ve never done that before, the healing process might be quite scary. 

The blood clots, the area inflames, a scab forms, etc…but the truth is that all the while, regardless of how bad it may look, the cut is getting better.

I definitely have times when the healing scares me, when I wonder if I’ll be like this forever, when I feel hopeless. During those times, I have a tendency to freak out, google psychiatric disorders and realize all the symptoms resemble one or another, worry my family and friends, etc…and essentially pick at the scab. The panic causes more panic. I am doing my best to be patient and trust the process. 

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peng

Yes, "picking the scab" - great analogy.

Well done and thanks to you, emergingfromhell and your therapist.

Don't pick it - you'll only make it worse, folks!

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gardenlady

Do our brains start to heal while we taper or is it delayed until we are completely off the AD?  

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emergingfromhell
4 hours ago, gardenlady said:

Do our brains start to heal while we taper or is it delayed until we are completely off the AD?  

 

They can heal while tapering if you go slowly. I dropped to a certain level then gave myself time to stabilize there, let my brain adjust to the new dose, learn how to start compensating for it etc, tried yoga and meditation and therapy etc, and then when I leveled a bit, lowered more...I’m on the lowest dose of Prozac and the lowest of Wellbutrin and am taking a loooong break now. 

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GirlfromD

What a great thread! Do people feel like themselves again after they are healed? No depersonalization etc. and not like a totally different person. I just don't feel like the person i was before these meds yet, but wish to return to my good old self.

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India
On 4/7/2014 at 4:38 PM, Bellisimo said:

First time this depersonalization hit me i got soooo scared thought i was really going insane, it was sooo frightening, i can say that this symtom is for me the worst symtom ever in recovering! It happened to me ALOT earlier but comes in waves now, sometimes im present for a long time then i suddenly loose myself and the enviorment

This gives me so much hope. Like Altostrata says it feels like I don't recognise familiar places and everyone looks strange. It is a constant exercise in not giving into the contextual and secondary fear around it that adds 'secondary suffering'. I agree though that progress is retrospective and not linear. I felt better swimming in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and felt life again.. brief moments where life felt 50% real as opposed to 0% ... And when I was able to read several pages of Camus's novel "l'etranger" one day. That is progress. So up and down. 

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GirlfromD
On 10/8/2018 at 12:05 AM, India said:

This gives me so much hope. Like Altostrata says it feels like I don't recognise familiar places and everyone looks strange. It is a constant exercise in not giving into the contextual and secondary fear around it that adds 'secondary suffering'. I agree though that progress is retrospective and not linear. I felt better swimming in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and felt life again.. brief moments where life felt 50% real as opposed to 0% ... And when I was able to read several pages of Camus's novel "l'etranger" one day. That is progress. So up and down. 

I feel the same way as you, and i must agree with you, that what Bellisimo said about it gives hope also, also to know that she has healed today and probably dosn't get bothered by this symtom anymore. For me it feels like i'm disconnected all the time and have a hard time being present also, familiar places seems strange and such. But hopefully we will heal from this too. It's great that you feel 50% real sometimes, that's progress!  

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Bellisimo
On 10/11/2018 at 4:37 PM, GirlfromD said:

I feel the same way as you, and i must agree with you, that what Bellisimo said about it gives hope also, also to know that she has healed today and probably dosn't get bothered by this symtom anymore. For me it feels like i'm disconnected all the time and have a hard time being present also, familiar places seems strange and such. But hopefully we will heal from this too. It's great that you feel 50% real sometimes, that's progress!  

Hey there everyone! 
iam free since 5 years or so and I haven´t felt that in ages! It is wonderful and beautiful! Iam healed today, working , can function and so on. Living my happy life. It is hard looking back when I was so sick with all these symtoms, I developed hypocondria, went to doctor alot but all tests came back negative. I just could not believe it but it was true, i was just suffering from withdrawal.

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GirlfromD
On 10/18/2018 at 1:42 PM, Bellisimo said:

Hey there everyone! 
iam free since 5 years or so and I haven´t felt that in ages! It is wonderful and beautiful! Iam healed today, working , can function and so on. Living my happy life. It is hard looking back when I was so sick with all these symtoms, I developed hypocondria, went to doctor alot but all tests came back negative. I just could not believe it but it was true, i was just suffering from withdrawal.

Hi Bellisimo 😊 This makes me so happy to hear! I'm so glad that your life is great and your'e still fully functioning and able to work, this gives SO much hope. I'ts so tough with these waves, although things have gotten easier with time though its still hard, also this feeling of changing personality etc. Did you feel like through your withdrawal that you went through stages with different feelings that were intensified? I myself cried a lot in the beginning, then anxiety, sadness and finally now anger. I don't now if this is just my feelings adjusting. What happened when you finally noticed that you were healing?                                           

wish you all the best 😊

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