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imac

☼ Imac: protracted WD survivor

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imac

Hi everyone,

I thought I'd stop over here and say a quick hello to introduce myself to those who don't know me and say hi to those who do.

I am a fellow refugee off the boat from pp! LoL

I had been an active member there since I ct'd 12.5 mg of Zoloft on September 4th, 20111.

I am still in protracted WD and recovery for almost 40 months now after using various ssri's for a period of 13 years. Within that timeframe I had hit poop out twice and i ct'd twice. In the end, I did a fast taper from 75mg to 12.5 mg of Zoloft and then ct'd thinking It was a very reasonable dose to drop off from ( little did I know).

Today, at close to 40 months off, I am finally seeing some good windows. I turned a crucial corner at 36 months off. I still deal with a lot of physical symptoms and a handful of mental ones as well well but I am no longer living in 24/7 mental anguish and torture. I'm still here to get support and extend my wisdom and experience to others as well!!

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mustangwoman

Wonderful to see you imac!!

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Ever

Yo imac! :)

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Jopro

Good to see you lmac x x x

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mammaP

Hello imac, welcome to SA  :)

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Songbird

Hello imac, fellow boat person here!

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Britt

Hi i Mac ????

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bubble

greetings from me too. I'm very happy to hear about your recovery and happy to have you here. 

Best,

Bubble

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Altostrata

Welcome, imac.

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ladybug

Hi, imac! I'm so thrilled to hear you are experiencing good, long windows now. That's awesome.

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nz11

Greetings imac.

Glad to see you here and thrilled that things are getting better for you.

Look forward to comparing notes as usual. snap!

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DizzyGirl

This will be an interesting topic for me, because you are a long term sufferer too. What are your main symptoms right now if I may ask?

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imac

This will be an interesting topic for me, because you are a long term sufferer too. What are your main symptoms right now if I may ask?

Hi Dizzygirl. As of right now I still have a lot of residual physical symptoms. Just as your name, lots of dizziness, nausea, major head symptoms ( crement head, tinnitus, static, feeling swollen and on fire, headaches/migraines), insomnia ( getting much better), heart palps and head rushes and feeling like I have low sugars ( but I don't). Bp fluxuation issues. All these things though I must say have started to get breaks. They're not constant anymore which tells me it won't be permanent. I suffered with severe DR/DP and that neuro fear/ terror, Unrelenting gross physical anxiety, akathisia, crazy OCD thinking ( You name the mental sx and I had it) for 3 straight years and back in September they almost all diminished to nothing within a week. ( after a truly terrible and long 3 month wave)

I truly believe we will all heal. It's just a different timeframe and pattern for most of us. I'm sorry to hear that you're another long termer. What kind of things do you still deal with regularly? Did you ct or are you still tapering?

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dalsaan

I suffered with severe DR/DP and that neuro fear/ terror, Unrelenting gross physical anxiety, akathisia, crazy OCD thinking ( You name the mental sx and I had it) for 3 straight years and back in September they almost all diminished to nothing within a week. ( after a truly terrible and long 3 month wave)

/quote]

 

I'm find it amazing how things can change (good and bad) so quickly! It's something for yes to all hold onto when we think something is never going to end

 

D

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WinningThrough

This is truly inspirational, Imac. It really shows what's possible. Thank you for sharing this with us. It sounds like you've had a horrendous time. Its wonderful that it all started vanishing so quickly after being so relentless.

 

Your post has helped me a lot, thank you.

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imac

Np winning. Anytime. Ask me anything. I am trying to understand how this site works right now. Maybe I should set a notification should anyone post in my topic. I Think this is my topic lol

It's amazing how non linear this is also. At least for me it's been very non linear. I have had windows the first FEW years but so brief and it felt like a switch going off and on. That scared me to no end. I used to feel so discouraged when many would say they've turned that corner at 18 months. My true corner was 36 months. If I got to turn a corner then EVERYONE else will too.

Id also like to add what I have come to realize ( yes it's taken me years) , is that not only time heals all but the way you look at it day to day and minute after minute. It sounds crazy but I learned to separate WD completely from me. Kind of like the Id and the ego. Always reminding myself ( the me who is scared and who notices all these crazy uncontrollable things happening to my mind and body) that my awareness is my true self And soul. All that other puppeteer of control of my mind and body crap is just WD and what the ssri damage has done.

Have also heard many say they suffered for 3-4 even 5 years and then had a very fast recovery.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

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imac

 

I suffered with severe DR/DP and that neuro fear/ terror, Unrelenting gross physical anxiety, akathisia, crazy OCD thinking ( You name the mental sx and I had it) for 3 straight years and back in September they almost all diminished to nothing within a week. ( after a truly terrible and long 3 month wave)

/quote]

 

I'm find it amazing how things can change (good and bad) so quickly! It's something for yes to all hold onto when we think something is never going to end

 

D

 

It's quite a phenomenon how permanent it feels when we are "stuck" in that parallel universe ( that's what it feels like). Even windows feel permanent. Like WD is at such a distance away. Then like a light switch you're back into the parallel universe. It has become reversed for me now in the last 4 months. I am now I would say 80% window and 20% wave or baseline. It used to be just minutes or hoursI every once in a while Id feel normal again.

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imac

I will need to take some time and post a more detailed description of my last 3 years. Sadly all my stuff was lost at pp and it's betyvhard for me to go back and relive the last 3 years in order to provide a good picture. Many from pp though can vouch I've beena very very tough case. As I'm fairly vocal. I've always posted the good the bad and the ugly.

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imac

Does anyone know how I can change the name of my topic? I wanted to add a blurb after my name!! Thanks

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

What would you like to say in your "blurb'?

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Done!

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imac

What would you like to say in your "blurb'?

Thank you!

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SelmaLady

Thank you so much for this post.  Having recovered from a brutal c/t Valium w/d where I saw NO improvement for 3 1/2 years, I agree that the brain seems to be able to reestablish some semblance of normality around that time.  By four years I was functional again too.  So so good to know that this pattern holds true for SSRI recovery too.  I will be reading your recovery road many times over to remind myself that the brain does know how to fix itself.  So happy for you that the worst is behind you. 

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Petunia

Hi imac,

Ladybug suggested I read your thread.  I'm sorry you have to be here, but I'm glad you are and thank you for starting your journal here.  I'm also a long termer and getting scared I will never recover, so what you have written so far has given me more hope to hang onto.

 

About a year ago, I was reading journals on PP and I remember reading some of yours, I remember I related to a lot of what you were going through and now its wonderful to know that you have turned a corner and are getting better.

 

It's quite a phenomenon how permanent it feels when we are "stuck" in that parallel universe ( that's what it feels like). Even windows feel permanent. Like WD is at such a distance away. Then like a light switch you're back into the parallel universe.

 

I love how you describe this, its so bizarre how sudden these switches happen and unless you've actually experienced it, its impossible to imagine.  I've only had maybe 3 of what I would call real windows, but the one I most remember is one afternoon I was in line at a check out at a grocery store.  As usual, I was feeling like I was on an LSD trip, my perceptions all weird, fight/flight response in full swing, just wanting to get out of there and get home, then suddenly as I was about to swipe my card to pay, the switch in my brain went, and I was back to 'normal'.  I remember feeling a huge rush of relief to be back to normal, believing that I was now going to be ok.  Instead of going home, like I had planned, I went and got something to eat and bought a new rug for my living room.  While driving home, nightmare world suddenly returned.

 

I also like what you wrote here:

 

It sounds crazy but I learned to separate WD completely from me. Kind of like the Id and the ego. Always reminding myself ( the me who is scared and who notices all these crazy uncontrollable things happening to my mind and body) that my awareness is my true self And soul.

 

I've also had to learn how to do this in order to survive, but its not easy, especially when I'm suddenly overwhelmed with terror/dread, for no apparent reason, my cognitive capacity is severely compromised and I can't remember anything, it sometimes takes a while to remember, sometimes I don't manage it and I'm left thinking the symptoms are me for eternity.

 

Do you have any tips for how to remember this, when our rememberer (brain) isn't working very well.  I hope that makes sense :)

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nz11

"Have also heard many say they suffered for 3-4 even 5 years and then had a very fast recovery."

 

Thanks for this little bit of knowledge.

 

sorry you have lost all your update postings they were always a great read and so well articulated ..i think they would have made a great publishable withdrawal  journal.

Sometimes i wanted to print so many things off but never did! Oh dear.

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Muddles

I did read your posts a lot over on paxil progress and would really feel for your intense long term suffering. So pleased to see you have turned a corner.

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imac

Thank you so much for this post. Having recovered from a brutal c/t Valium w/d where I saw NO improvement for 3 1/2 years, I agree that the brain seems to be able to reestablish some semblance of normality around that time. By four years I was functional again too. So so good to know that this pattern holds true for SSRI recovery too. I will be reading your recovery road many times over to remind myself that the brain does know how to fix itself. So happy for you that the worst is behind you.

Hi Selma lady! Thanks for your post. So you have gone through quite a WD experience already and have come out the other side as well. That's great news and encouraging for many currently in the throes. Tbh, I would say WD from ANY and ALL psych drugs can be experienced in the same way. Although I was mainly on PP for support, due to my prolonged horrific symptoms I began to feel left behind by others in recovery ( as well as the lack of acknowledgment of the possibility of wd 3 years later) and I found benzo buddies ( also another fantastic support group site) I'm in SSRI WD but SO much of what I have experienced is even more related to many in benzo WD. It's bazaar but I've been able to relate to them much more. To me that's proof that all psych meds, no matter what kind, can have the same gruesome affect that can last years.

I HOPE I am past the worst of it. LoL. It has been a few months now but I was also shocked to be thrown back into acute at 32 months off. I can say now though, I've had much improvement over a span of time, whereas, before 3 years that was never the case.

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imac

Hi imac,

Ladybug suggested I read your thread. I'm sorry you have to be here, but I'm glad you are and thank you for starting your journal here. I'm also a long termer and getting scared I will never recover, so what you have written so far has given me more hope to hang onto.

 

About a year ago, I was reading journals on PP and I remember reading some of yours, I remember I related to a lot of what you were going through and now its wonderful to know that you have turned a corner and are getting better.

 

 

It's quite a phenomenon how permanent it feels when we are "stuck" in that parallel universe ( that's what it feels like). Even windows feel permanent. Like WD is at such a distance away. Then like a light switch you're back into the parallel universe.

I love how you describe this, its so bizarre how sudden these switches happen and unless you've actually experienced it, its impossible to imagine. I've only had maybe 3 of what I would call real windows, but the one I most remember is one afternoon I was in line at a check out at a grocery store. As usual, I was feeling like I was on an LSD trip, my perceptions all weird, fight/flight response in full swing, just wanting to get out of there and get home, then suddenly as I was about to swipe my card to pay, the switch in my brain went, and I was back to 'normal'. I remember feeling a huge rush of relief to be back to normal, believing that I was now going to be ok. Instead of going home, like I had planned, I went and got something to eat and bought a new rug for my living room. While driving home, nightmare world suddenly returned.

 

I also like what you wrote here:

It sounds crazy but I learned to separate WD completely from me. Kind of like the Id and the ego. Always reminding myself ( the me who is scared and who notices all these crazy uncontrollable things happening to my mind and body) that my awareness is my true self And soul.

I've also had to learn how to do this in order to survive, but its not easy, especially when I'm suddenly overwhelmed with terror/dread, for no apparent reason, my cognitive capacity is severely compromised and I can't remember anything, it sometimes takes a while to remember, sometimes I don't manage it and I'm left thinking the symptoms are me for eternity.

 

Do you have any tips for how to remember this, when our rememberer (brain) isn't working very well. I hope that makes sense :)

Hi Petu, I'm so glad that my posts can give you more hope to hang onto. I know how important having hope and faith are in this process. Nothing is scarier when those feel lost! I'm terribly sorry you are still suffering long term as well. Tbh, I don't know many people here yet so I'm unfamiliar with your story. I never had a journal at PP but I've had several very long threads that have Been invaluable for those of us here. Not just my posts but EVERYONES posts to my threads. I guess I should have saved them over but I just didn't have the time to do that. I'm glad that you remember me and some of my experiences at the time. YES I have definitely turned a corner. A very significant one indeed. I still have a lot of rough patches but I no longer feel like I am going to go insane or be stuck like this forever or die from this process. Those sound so ridiculous but in the mind of someone

actually living in that God awful parallel it's very very real. I truly thought I was permanent stuck in that parallel.

I find your story about being in line at the checkout very accurate to what has happened to me more than I can count. You described it perfectly. And I tried LSD a few times ( way way back when I was 17 and a foolish high school student. I am now 40) and it's exactly how I have felt for the better part of the last 3 years, except more of like a BAD lsd Trip that won't ever go away! Rest assured though, you've had moments of that switch going on and off and thats a great sign. I have always held something that a PP recovered member ( LossLeader) once said, very close to me. " I knew that once my symptoms started to leave ( even if they came back) that eventually they would leave for good. And they all did and nothing remained permanent". This wasn't his exact words but I've held into that for ages. I even had the pleasure of speaking with him this past summer ( he must be 8-10 years off now) and he reassured me that WD has long long been gone out of his life. All of it.

Wow. What you say about the fear and terror and cognitive abilities is bang on for me too. I have read so much self help books and have so many resources and tools to use but everytime Id enter that zone, Id instantly forget. Everytime was like the first time. Just as painful too. This made me feel rather weak and always think "what's wrong with me". But then I see how quickly I would bounce back again when my brain was ready to. Tbh, I'm not sure about any tips while living in that parallel because I KNOW it's not a typical / normal mental issue so it simply just cannot be fixed or lessened by CBT or yoga and relaxation etc. Those who've lived through it know this. It still doesn't mean you can't try these things. I still attempted yoga classes and read my CBt books etc because I felt desperate and couldn't sit and do nothing ( no matter how painful). They may not have helped ( and sometimes I felt worse and more discouraged by trying many things and not feeling better) but the one thing they all have done for me was keep me distracted ( even if only for a moment) and helped with time passing because when in that state, every minute seems like a whole day has gone by. As for the fear/terror, you can tell yourself a million times it's just WD and it won't change any of it because again, you're not going thru a normal human experience. Sadly there just isn't a vocabulary for us to use other than fear and terror so anyone who has experienced this will think we mean something else. In our case it's truly the brain misfiring. SoWhat I try to do is keep reminding myself not only is it WD but it's my amygdala ( our fear centre) in my brain that is going through adjustments and its misfiring causing that raw organic fear to be turned on and kept on no matter what. Because of this its so easy to associate our thoughts and feelings now to be terror. That's why even my shadow scared me or thinking of what I had to do that day or getting up to walk to another room. - it's a part of trying to separate yourself from what's going on in the brain. I know it's super hard though and sometimes can't even been done. I don't know how many times I've been frozen in one spot with so much terror. I've come to learn I'm definitely a freezer in a fight/flight situation. The terror totally immobilizes me. Even when I had akathesia I couldn't move due to the terror, yet inside I was on fire and restless to the point where I thought I was die.

I think I've been rambling. I hope somewhere in the midst of this you can find something of value. In all honesty, I would post a lot and talk to my friends at pp. I think it's very important to just keep talking about it. No matter how annoying we can sound ( yes after years and years of the same conversations), SOMEBODY is going to listen or relate and reach out. I've been so fortunate and grateful to have a husband who has never waivered and never told me to stop talking about it. He has been my greatest supporter ( sometimes my only supporter) and has allowed me to deal with this in whatever way I need to.

The one thing I forgot to mention, i don't talk about it much because I don't want to sound like I'm preaching but I believe that I have gotten through this also by the Grace of God. I have started to pray and even go to Church since this nightmare has started and it's helped me a lot because sometimes there really isn't anything left to hang onto but FAITH!!

I hope I have been able

To help somewhat. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime. I am glad to help. I just haven't figured out these notifications yet. I thought I had it turned on but haven't been getting notified and loads of prolls are sending me PM's as well!

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imac

"Have also heard many say they suffered for 3-4 even 5 years and then had a very fast recovery."

 

Thanks for this little bit of knowledge.

 

sorry you have lost all your update postings they were always a great read and so well articulated ..i think they would have made a great publishable withdrawal journal.

Sometimes i wanted to print so many things off but never did! Oh dear.

Me too Markca. I should have printed a lot of stuff off. I suppose there is no way we can go into our old threads now that the site is off the server? Do you happen to know?

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imac

I did read your posts a lot over on paxil progress and would really feel for your intense long term suffering. So pleased to see you have turned a corner.

Thanks Muddles. I still think sometimes how I cannot believe I can feel good and normal again. The little things in life have become such a gift. Like breathing and having a moment to relax and to be able to CHOOSE the feelings you want to have. You never realize how much people take for granted until the capability of such things is taken away from you.

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SelmaLady

 

Thank you so much for this post. Having recovered from a brutal c/t Valium w/d where I saw NO improvement for 3 1/2 years, I agree that the brain seems to be able to reestablish some semblance of normality around that time. By four years I was functional again too. So so good to know that this pattern holds true for SSRI recovery too. I will be reading your recovery road many times over to remind myself that the brain does know how to fix itself. So happy for you that the worst is behind you.

Hi Selma lady! Thanks for your post. So you have gone through quite a WD experience already and have come out the other side as well. That's great news and encouraging for many currently in the throes. Tbh, I would say WD from ANY and ALL psych drugs can be experienced in the same way. Although I was mainly on PP for support, due to my prolonged horrific symptoms I began to feel left behind by others in recovery ( as well as the lack of acknowledgment of the possibility of wd 3 years later) and I found benzo buddies ( also another fantastic support group site) I'm in SSRI WD but SO much of what I have experienced is even more related to many in benzo WD. It's bazaar but I've been able to relate to them much more. To me that's proof that all psych meds, no matter what kind, can have the same gruesome affect that can last years.

I HOPE I am past the worst of it. LoL. It has been a few months now but I was also shocked to be thrown back into acute at 32 months off. I can say now though, I've had much improvement over a span of time, whereas, before 3 years that was never the case.

 

So comforting to read and reread you posts.  It is so good of you to share your recovery and encourage us still at the back of the line!

 

I DID recover to about 85% from my c/t of Valium but it took maybe 7 years to reach a place where I was comfortable with my brain's ability to function in the real world.  But as I looked back on the time of healing, I could see that it began at about 3 1/2 years.  Up until then I was a near vegetable sitting on a couch staring at a TV that I could not understand or spending hours walking around my neighborhood because my brain would not "think" and I felt as tho I were drowning in it.  Add extreme DRDP, almost total memory loss and complete loss of any feelings and I was less than human.  This time I am having to dig my way out of an apparent extreme CNS reaction to a nasal spray ingredient and I have no way of knowing just how this will resolve.  So its off all chems completely with the hope (and prayer) that God will once again walk me out of a nightmare. 

 

Please keep reminding us that the brain CAN heal.  ((Hugs))

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Purplestars22

Hello Imac, I remember you from PP and that you responded to my threads. I relate to your experience, the hardship and I have never let go of Faith or hope even on my bad crashes. I am so happy that you are feeling so much better and enjoy reading your threads. Your story will give lots of encouragement to me and all the people here. The best of luck to you.

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DizzyGirl

 

This will be an interesting topic for me, because you are a long term sufferer too. What are your main symptoms right now if I may ask?

Hi Dizzygirl. As of right now I still have a lot of residual physical symptoms. Just as your name, lots of dizziness, nausea, major head symptoms ( crement head, tinnitus, static, feeling swollen and on fire, headaches/migraines), insomnia ( getting much better), heart palps and head rushes and feeling like I have low sugars ( but I don't). Bp fluxuation issues. All these things though I must say have started to get breaks. They're not constant anymore which tells me it won't be permanent. I suffered with severe DR/DP and that neuro fear/ terror, Unrelenting gross physical anxiety, akathisia, crazy OCD thinking ( You name the mental sx and I had it) for 3 straight years and back in September they almost all diminished to nothing within a week. ( after a truly terrible and long 3 month wave)

I truly believe we will all heal. It's just a different timeframe and pattern for most of us. I'm sorry to hear that you're another long termer. What kind of things do you still deal with regularly? Did you ct or are you still tapering?

 

I did a cold turkey more than 2 years ago. Your description of feeling to have low sugar really describes it best. It is not really dizziness or fainting. I wouldnt even call it brain fog. It is more like you havent eaten for hours and you need to drink a coke otherwise you cannot concentrate. Do you feel like that too? Is there anything you do against it? Avoid carbs? Increase proteins?

 

One thing that really left me was the Paxil flu. I had it in my first year a lot. Please keep posting. You are good with words. I wish my English would be better.

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imac

 

 

This will be an interesting topic for me, because you are a long term sufferer too. What are your main symptoms right now if I may ask?

 

Hi Dizzygirl. As of right now I still have a lot of residual physical symptoms. Just as your name, lots of dizziness, nausea, major head symptoms ( crement head, tinnitus, static, feeling swollen and on fire, headaches/migraines), insomnia ( getting much better), heart palps and head rushes and feeling like I have low sugars ( but I don't). Bp fluxuation issues. All these things though I must say have started to get breaks. They're not constant anymore which tells me it won't be permanent. I suffered with severe DR/DP and that neuro fear/ terror, Unrelenting gross physical anxiety, akathisia, crazy OCD thinking ( You name the mental sx and I had it) for 3 straight years and back in September they almost all diminished to nothing within a week. ( after a truly terrible and long 3 month wave)

I truly believe we will all heal. It's just a different timeframe and pattern for most of us. I'm sorry to hear that you're another long termer. What kind of things do you still deal with regularly? Did you ct or are you still tapering?

I did a cold turkey more than 2 years ago. Your description of feeling to have low sugar really describes it best. It is not really dizziness or fainting. I wouldnt even call it brain fog. It is more like you havent eaten for hours and you need to drink a coke otherwise you cannot concentrate. Do you feel like that too? Is there anything you do against it? Avoid carbs? Increase proteins?

 

One thing that really left me was the Paxil flu. I had it in my first year a lot. Please keep posting. You are good with words. I wish my English would be better.

Your English is perfectly fine Dizzygirl ;)

Those low sugar feeling episodes ( which is just a mimic not the real thing) feels horrible doesn't it. In waves it's constant for me and I feel like I have to constantly eat. Protein works best for me. I carry almonds with me everywhere. Even beside my bed. When I get up I need to pop a few before I get up from bed or I get that feeling right away. I stay away from the sugars and find the best way to combat it is have high protein I my meals. Sometimes eating nut butter with a banana helps also. Or a hard boiled egg.

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imac

Hello Imac, I remember you from PP and that you responded to my threads. I relate to your experience, the hardship and I have never let go of Faith or hope even on my bad crashes. I am so happy that you are feeling so much better and enjoy reading your threads. Your story will give lots of encouragement to me and all the people here. The best of luck to you.

Thank you purple star, I wish you well too. I know how hard this can be. We are very fortunate to be lucky enough to know about this and have so much support here ( or any other site) from one another. :)

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Petunia
I don't know how many times I've been frozen in one spot with so much terror. I've come to learn I'm definitely a freezer in a fight/flight situation. The terror totally immobilizes me. Even when I had akathesia I couldn't move due to the terror, yet inside I was on fire and restless to the point where I thought I was die.

 

Thanks for mentioning this, I've often been confused about if what I'm experiencing is actually akathisia, because even though I get the feeling of wanting to get out of my own body, I don't pace, apart from a few times when its become unbearable. 

I think I'm a freezer too freeze.gif

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