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The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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Bear1975

1 year and 3 months afer I started reducing respiridone.  Was on 0.5mg one at night and one in morning.  1 year ago I reduced to halthe morning and 9 weeks ago I am down to half in morning and half at night - so 0.25 twice a day.

 

The waves are so up and down.  I have an amazing 2/3 weeks and then a crap 2 weeks and it continues.  Just had  a good 2/3 weeks and since sunday feel terrible - flu like, headache, flat, brain fog, can't concentrate and emotional.

 

When will this get better??????

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Nelly

I hope it does get better for you.

I was just thinking exactly the same,  and thought I would take a look and see how others are feeling. I thought it was just me, and the way I am, and until finding this forum realise it’s the  effects of AD and withdrawal. I just think I have to live day to day. I don’t plan too much because I don’t know how I will be. I hate life. I’m tired. 

I hope you feel better soon. Xx

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getofflex
On 5/4/2015 at 9:36 AM, JanCarol said:

 

 

The waves will come, the windows will come, the waves will come again, and so will the windows.  You breathe in, you breathe out.  You are alive.  Let your brain have it's own schedule, don't try to pin it to a calendar or a clock.  I believe that to do so, will actually hinder its repair - but to let go - will help it heal more quickly.  (just my belief)

 

 

Thank you for this.  It is very helpful to me right now.  

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persistente

Back to wave. So far not so bad as before. Anxiety, depression, apathy. I have been having them in my waves for nearly 2 years now. It doeas not really feel like that at the moment but I am doing much better than at the beggining of this hell.

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Wassimlapino

Its been 4 years since i stoped zyprexa 5 mg ct , and 3 years since i stoped imipramine an antidepressant ...

at first i had no waves windows pattern , ive been having very bad withdrawl for 1 year with almost daily suffer and panic feelings , windows started to show up very slowly at my 3rd year off but they were short and the misery was still..

now at the bwgining of 4rth year waves are shorter comparing to what it has been , it shows up every 2-3 week and lasts to a maximum of 3 days ( it was much longer) ...

although my waves are short , im sorry to say my windows arent full of joy or emotions full with deep euphoria or highness ..

i can feel calm and pretty stabilized during a window but if i manage to be in a stressful situation i would fall back very bad and way deep ...

may god guide me through this battle , its taking time and years outta my life 

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persistente
On 9/6/2019 at 10:54 PM, Wassimlapino said:

Its been 4 years since i stoped zyprexa 5 mg ct , and 3 years since i stoped imipramine an antidepressant ...

at first i had no waves windows pattern , ive been having very bad withdrawl for 1 year with almost daily suffer and panic feelings , windows started to show up very slowly at my 3rd year off but they were short and the misery was still..

now at the bwgining of 4rth year waves are shorter comparing to what it has been , it shows up every 2-3 week and lasts to a maximum of 3 days ( it was much longer) ...

although my waves are short , im sorry to say my windows arent full of joy or emotions full with deep euphoria or highness ..

i can feel calm and pretty stabilized during a window but if i manage to be in a stressful situation i would fall back very bad and way deep ...

may god guide me through this battle , its taking time and years outta my life 

you must have been very brave and strong person to stay off everything, not having windows at all for such a long time...i am glad you are so much better now

 

i have been having windows from the beginning of wd and it was hard enough to believe this is wd and not relapse

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You are so strong to have fought your way through the paws so far with so few windows, persistente! 

Give yourself a huge oat on the back, and a hug from me!

Your ability to have good emotions will come back, ad they assured us on this wonderful site, so do not get discouraged.

For me, the really negative ones came back first and we're sputtering and spurting uncontrollably at first, and most of the time I have to focus on not over-emoting and destroying relationships.

Lately, I have begun to feel good emotions more and more, but they are sort of fading in and come and go.

I am talking about love, joy, peace, thankfulness. I am also learning to mentally remind myself that for example this is a time to feel thankful, etc.

That is how it is working for me, anyway. And as you know from this forum everyone is different.

Keep plodding along, persistente, and it will pay off in time. Lack of emotions is really hard! You have come this far, and the only way to a normal life is THROUGH this mess!

Psalms 65 is a great reminder.

Blessings ☺️

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persistente

Thank you Tweet but you probably wanted to applaud to Wassimlapino.

 

Anyhow, we are all brave and strong and we deserve to heal. We just need to stay patient. 

 

 

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Onmyway

I'm wondering if the veterans are still reading this and if I can tap into your wisdom @brassmonkey, @Petunia @Rhiannon regarding the so-called 8/10 month wave. Have you had/observed in others such a wave while still tapering after a cold turkey (5 month taper from 40-0mg of citalopram) and a small dose reinstatement (2.5 mg) and tapering at the recommended rate from the reinstatement dose? Things had gotten a bit better for me over a 2.5-3 month hold and predictable in terms of symptoms with resumed tapering but I am back to intense cortisol mornings, relentless nausea, pins and needles, depression, emotional spirals, detached from reality feelings (what feels like a milder form of DP/DR). I'm not planning any drops (have been holding for almost 5 weeks now from the last 10% drop) and was expecting that I would be miserable for at least a couple of more years but was hoping that the level of misery would not be as high as what it was in the first 4 months and what it is now. Thanks in advance for any input and may all of us have some peace and calm.

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brassmonkey

Hi Onmyway-- I'm sorry to hear that you're having a bad wave right now.  The 8/10 month wave is associated more with a slow taper then with a CT/RI.  The symptom pattern from a CT/RI can be so intense and unpredictable that it is hard to build a time line for when things will happen.  The best we can do is the Windows and Waves pattern that we talk about.  It sounds like you've been hit with a bad wave and a long hold is called for. That hold could last several months before things settle out.  The whole healing/recovery period from a CT/RI is not going to be acute misery.  As time passes things will heal and the symptoms will decrease.  It can be hard to see at times but there will be a steady improvement in your WDnormal baseline that can be observed over time. A CT/RI is a rough way to go but things do get better.

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Onmyway
On 9/18/2019 at 7:53 PM, brassmonkey said:

Hi Onmyway-- I'm sorry to hear that you're having a bad wave right now.  The 8/10 month wave is associated more with a slow taper then with a CT/RI.  The symptom pattern from a CT/RI can be so intense and unpredictable that it is hard to build a time line for when things will happen.  The best we can do is the Windows and Waves pattern that we talk about.  It sounds like you've been hit with a bad wave and a long hold is called for. That hold could last several months before things settle out.  The whole healing/recovery period from a CT/RI is not going to be acute misery.  As time passes things will heal and the symptoms will decrease.  It can be hard to see at times but there will be a steady improvement in your WDnormal baseline that can be observed over time. A CT/RI is a rough way to go but things do get better.

Thank you so much for your kind reply BM! I have been hanging onto your words of comfort even though I didn't get to respond until now. I am holding until I stabilize as it's no way to live like this. Things got a bit better and then worse again since I posted this but I somehow think that my resilience is wearing off. I also don't get the good evening windows as much and things have been to "I'd rather not live if I have to live like this" a couple of times. I very much appreciate your words of wisdom and I'm holding, holding until it's necessary... 

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Edmunds

My psychiatrist had me taper off venlafaxine/Effexor in mid May 2019 after 3.5 years of taking it. We did this taper in 3 weeks. Then in mid July we tapered off bupropion/Wellbutrin, which I had taken for slightly less time. We did that in 3 weeks as well. WD followed and continues as of mid November 2019. On the advice of this group, I am staying on 20 mg of Prozac (which was to be the substitute for Effexor), until I feel more stabilized than I do so far. Recovery in waves and windows is occurring but of course very slowly.

 

My symptoms during the first 5 months: recurring, persistent anxiety surges almost every day; 2) heavy DR, which for me is perceptual fogginess, disconnect from the world "out there", and a feeling of my head stuffed with cotton balls; somewhat blurry vision; fatigue most of the time (current exercise is serious yoga and walking); neuro-emotion manifested in crying episodes in the morning; cortisol anxiety spikes for a short time after waking; moderate diarrhea. I have not had panic attacks, insomnia, brain zaps, or weird depersonalization episodes.

 

Window days or hours (the window opening a crack!) were few until the past two months. About that time, the neuro-emotion crying pretty much went away. In the past three weeks, I have had no visceral anxiety surges, though continued periods of low level anxiety. Diarrhea has given way to several BMs a day. (Is that a known pattern?) The DR, blurry vision, and fatigue remain as they have been for the past 4-6 months. I wonder if anyone shares this sequence of anxiety as the first symptom to decrease, though I know I can have another wave of it? During these past 3 weeks I have also had days or hours of window opening, when the low-level anxiety, stuffed head, and lack of energy stopped or diminished.

 

That's where I am as of November 19, 2019.

 

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Snorky

My “wave” following failed reinstatement of v low dose of amitriptyline has been so bad and so long, I’m now sceptical as to whether it is a wave. It’s been going on solidly for a few days, intensifying existing symptoms and adding new ones. The other factor is the very obvious path downwards over time.

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Tom37

Anyone gone into a long wave where the symptoms are the same all the time but they vary in intensity? I mean like a few days of them being lower in severity and then a few days higher in severity? My waves until now have been quite defined and then I return back to baseline with symptoms that are different than the wave but at the moment it’s the same symptoms just so up and down but no baseline in between.....or am I having windows and waves in a large wave....who knows.

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Tom, I have had this.

Sorry you are having a problem with it.

Seemed like one long, long, weeks long wave with varying intensity.

I viewed it as yet another hellish 

attempt of the wd to discourage me into getting back on the poison.

It's your brain fooling you.

Hang in there and you will outlast it as you have so many smaller waves.

This really seemed to start happening after I began to see myself feeling better overall. 

Be encouraged. When the dust settles you will still be standing, and this mess will be only a bad memory.😉

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Also, 2 days ago I came out of one of those that lasted 6 weeks. Feel way better than when I went into it.🙂

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Tom37

Thanks @Tweet I saw you had been in a wave for a while so really pleased you have come out of it and feeling even better than before it started. I’m about 4 or 5 weeks into one so hopefully ends soon.

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gardenlady

In all my years of tapering and withdrawal, I've never had a window.  I can't imagine what it would be like.  I just get worse the lower in AD dose that I am despite going very, very slowly.  

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Snorky
6 hours ago, gardenlady said:

In all my years of tapering and withdrawal, I've never had a window.  I can't imagine what it would be like.  I just get worse the lower in AD dose that I am despite going very, very slowly.  

V odd that everyone on this forum talks the language of windows and waves, holding on to the evidence of recovery afforded by the windows. I’m different to you in being CT for three months (excluding recent four week reinstatement that proved to be a disaster). I just naively thought there would be some respite in some of the crippling symptoms as my CNS tried to get back to normal. That is not how it is panning out. Been on sick leave for three weeks, with prospect of this becoming longer term. Massive escalation of physical and mental side effects. Can’t tolerate much longer.

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sunnysideup69
57 minutes ago, Snorky said:

V odd that everyone on this forum talks the language of windows and waves, holding on to the evidence of recovery afforded by the windows. I’m different to you in being CT for three months (excluding recent four week reinstatement that proved to be a disaster). I just naively thought there would be some respite in some of the crippling symptoms as my CNS tried to get back to normal. That is not how it is panning out. Been on sick leave for three weeks, with prospect of this becoming longer term. Massive escalation of physical and mental side effects. Can’t tolerate much longer.

 

Hi Snorky. I definitely go through windows/ waves patterns. I think you CT'd Amitryptiline? A friend of mine CTed Citalopram which involved 4-5 months of pretty relentless hell, not windows at all. Then up and down improvements, so the windows/waves came later. I know it's not the same drug, but her experience definitely sounds atypical, also.Sorry you're suffering, hoping it eases somewhat for you  very soon.

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Snorky
3 hours ago, sunnysideup69 said:

 

Hi Snorky. I definitely go through windows/ waves patterns. I think you CT'd Amitryptiline? A friend of mine CTed Citalopram which involved 4-5 months of pretty relentless hell, not windows at all. Then up and down improvements, so the windows/waves came later. I know it's not the same drug, but her experience definitely sounds atypical, also.Sorry you're suffering, hoping it eases somewhat for you  very soon.

Thanks. Worried it won’t ease, as symptoms only going in one direction. On a knife edge now, as utterly unbearable at moment, but terrified about risks of reintroducing a new (or old) AD. This is the worst I’ve felt in 30 years.

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eboyd

I am 16 months post reinstatement failure.  I had to go on medical leave a couple of times.  Now, I miss time at work during high symptom days when I can't function and work days where I can muscle through.  I have windows now which is nice and am super productive those days.  Hang in there.  It gets better.

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Snorky
12 minutes ago, eboyd said:

I am 16 months post reinstatement failure.  I had to go on medical leave a couple of times.  Now, I miss time at work during high symptom days when I can't function and work days where I can muscle through.  I have windows now which is nice and am super productive those days.  Hang in there.  It gets better.

Hi

 

Just posted update in the symptoms forum. There is no prospect of working through this. Feel ghastly in the house, could never function in work with these symptoms.

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gardenlady

Slow tapering is agony...being on the drug makes me sick and non-functional and tapering it is even worse.  I can't imagine how I'll survive 2+ more years of tapering as I get worse the lower in dose I get.  Not to mention however many years of recovery will be required after being off the drug.  I've lost my family, friends and home because of psychiatrists and their poison drugs and am completely alone with no one at age 67.  

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Gemma92
3 hours ago, gardenlady said:

Slow tapering is agony...being on the drug makes me sick and non-functional and tapering it is even worse.  I can't imagine how I'll survive 2+ more years of tapering as I get worse the lower in dose I get.  Not to mention however many years of recovery will be required after being off the drug.  I've lost my family, friends and home because of psychiatrists and their poison drugs and am completely alone with no one at age 67.  

You are not alone. You have me and I will walk through hell right beside you! 

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gardenlady

Thank you, Gemma!!!

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getofflex
On 12/7/2019 at 8:28 AM, Snorky said:

Thanks. Worried it won’t ease, as symptoms only going in one direction. On a knife edge now, as utterly unbearable at moment, but terrified about risks of reintroducing a new (or old) AD. This is the worst I’ve felt in 30 years.

Snorky, I felt really awful a year ago due to a too fast taper.  I was following the instructions of my doctor to cut my dose by 50% each month.  I couldn't sleep, and had akathisia, feeling like I wanted to jump out of my skin.  Now, a year later, I feel MUCH better.  I discovered this forum back in March, and slowed  my taper way down.  That helped tremendously.  Hang in there, it will get better.  I'm praying for you.  Jennifer 

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Snorky
1 hour ago, getofflex said:

Snorky, I felt really awful a year ago due to a too fast taper.  I was following the instructions of my doctor to cut my dose by 50% each month.  I couldn't sleep, and had akathisia, feeling like I wanted to jump out of my skin.  Now, a year later, I feel MUCH better.  I discovered this forum back in March, and slowed  my taper way down.  That helped tremendously.  Hang in there, it will get better.  I'm praying for you.  Jennifer 

Hi Jennifer

 

The problem I had was my attempt at reinstatement failed. (Tried for four weeks- Oct-24 Nov) Prior to that I ended on 25mg amitriptyline on 10 Sept.  I understand the advice about delayed onset WD and windows and waves, but am going downhill v quickly.  Horrible mental anguish, confusion anxiety and depression. Also Parkinson’s like tremors and constant nerve pain. Finally insomnia every night. Apart from that, I feel ok.

 

Hope you’re ok.

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If it's any comfort, your symptoms are just like what I had a year ago during my CT withdrawal. I, too, feel MUCH better now. Just hang in there. The only way out is through this process. And it is horrible, confusing, and full of hellish anguish, for sure. But it will get better if you tough it out.

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Snorky
10 hours ago, Tweet said:

If it's any comfort, your symptoms are just like what I had a year ago during my CT withdrawal. I, too, feel MUCH better now. Just hang in there. The only way out is through this process. And it is horrible, confusing, and full of hellish anguish, for sure. But it will get better if you tough it out.

Thanks for your support. I’m 60 now and previously on ADs for 30 plus years. I have a terrible fear that by coming off (Sept), I’ve unleashed a massive neurological/psychological event. I’m not sure I’n robust enough or young enough to tolerate years of this.

 

Thanks again

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Nevertoolate
1 hour ago, Snorky said:

Thanks for your support. I’m 60 now and previously on ADs for 30 plus years. I have a terrible fear that by coming off (Sept), I’ve unleashed a massive neurological/psychological event. I’m not sure I’n robust enough or young enough to tolerate years of this.

 

Thanks again

Snorky you can do it! I'm the same 63 and was on Lexapro for 30 odd years. It's early days for you but I promise it does get better. It will take time but just take reach day as it comes. Listen to your body be kind to yourself and just know all of this will pass. 

You have so much support here. Use it as often as you need. 

We can do this! 😁 

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Snorky
44 minutes ago, Nevertoolate said:

Snorky you can do it! I'm the same 63 and was on Lexapro for 30 odd years. It's early days for you but I promise it does get better. It will take time but just take reach day as it comes. Listen to your body be kind to yourself and just know all of this will pass. 

You have so much support here. Use it as often as you need. 

We can do this! 😁 

Hi 

 

Many thanks. Problem is not just severity of symptoms, but v obvious deterioration. Not a hint of “stabilisation” or the odd window. Just deterioration of existing and some new ones. Today-,overwhelmingly head tremors and massive anxiety, preventing understanding and simple conversation. 

 

Much appreciated.

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I am 59 and I was on ads 24 years and survived the worst of it.

You can do it, too!

Take your life back from the drug!

I can't stress enough how absolutely vital it is to not think any thoughts about the extended future, or read posts about others for whom it took years.

Their experience is not your experience, their body and brain not your body and brain.

Nothing productive or positive comes from thinking thoughts that begin, How long...?, Or, If this keeps up...., Or How am I going to go through life(or the next year or 5 years), like this. 

Thoughts like that just discourage you and upset you. YOU don't know that it will take that long, or how long it will take. Give yourself a break and do like nevertoolate says: one day at a time.

Each day is another day of healing.

Trust the process and healing will come for you!😘

 

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getofflex
On 12/12/2019 at 8:43 AM, Snorky said:

Hi Jennifer

 

The problem I had was my attempt at reinstatement failed. (Tried for four weeks- Oct-24 Nov) Prior to that I ended on 25mg amitriptyline on 10 Sept.  I understand the advice about delayed onset WD and windows and waves, but am going downhill v quickly.  Horrible mental anguish, confusion anxiety and depression. Also Parkinson’s like tremors and constant nerve pain. Finally insomnia every night. Apart from that, I feel ok.

 

Hope you’re ok.

Snorky my heart goes out to you.  It sounds difficult.  I am praying for you right now.  I'm having a wave today of sadness and crying, which isn't good as my 25 yr old son is here for the last of 3 days.  This is a hard time of year for me with the cold dark short days, and the holidays are a hard time for me too, for various reasons.  It helps to read these forums, and realize I'm not alone.  I have faith that this too shall pass, since I've read some recovery stories.  They really give me hope.  Hang in there.  I'll pray. 

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Snorky
2 hours ago, getofflex said:

Snorky my heart goes out to you.  It sounds difficult.  I am praying for you right now.  I'm having a wave today of sadness and crying, which isn't good as my 25 yr old son is here for the last of 3 days.  This is a hard time of year for me with the cold dark short days, and the holidays are a hard time for me too, for various reasons.  It helps to read these forums, and realize I'm not alone.  I have faith that this too shall pass, since I've read some recovery stories.  They really give me hope.  Hang in there.  I'll pray. 

Thanks again, I don’t think my symptoms are anywhere near stabilising, more rapid deterioration. This is why I fear its return of original depression.Ie serotonin now being reabsorbed by brain and now palpably generating depressive feelings, anguish and gloom like I’ve never had. 

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Junglechicken

I'm 18 months out from having stopped taking Lexapro, and I think I've hit a wave.

 

I believe it was triggered following a routine smear test (PAP), where the nurse said something that set off my health anxiety.

 

Symptoms include:

Anxiety, chills/flu-like symptoms, headaches, IBS/gut trouble, tinnitus, aches and pains, fatigue......

 

ADs, the gift that keeps on giving.

 

I will be increasing the self-care to get through this.

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