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The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization


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Damage from waves

 

Do you think that every time we have a severe wave it actually is causing more damage to the brain instead of healing I am currently 5 years and 5 months of all meds c/t and I have hit a wave so bad the worst depression I have ever felt plus many physical symptoms including terrible insomnia 

according to studies on the brain for every bout of depression you have it causes shrinking in certain areas which has been found on scans this is shown for medicated or non medicated people I know many people who have withdrawal don’t suffer the depressive symptoms many are just physical even those I know can be just as horrendous 

but for some like myself who seem to get hit with deep depression which is getting worse and seems to be more frequent in waves now can this be causing more irreversible damage for every wave 

I know the brain has a huge ability to heal as does the nervous symptom but I’m starting to fear that for every episode in a wave that my brain is being destroyed and that no matter how long I’m of the drugs that it will never be able to repair itself 

so called experts claim that for every bout of depression more of the brain dies 

I hope I have placed this in the right formate I’m just getting so worried no that I will never loose this feeling of depression I have tried everything recommended eat well sleep diet walking exercise meditation you name it but when these waves come I can hardly function this last one has been 4 weeks of unbearable suffering 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title before merging with existing topic

2001 to jan 2015 Effexor 150 mg 

jan 2015 15 mg mirtazapine 20 mg quetiapine 

feb 2015 quetiapine stopped 

feb 2015 30 mg of citalopram added 

feb 2015 mirtazapine increased to 30 mg 

july 2015 citalopram stopped 

sept 2015 200mg of pregabalin 

jan 2017 mirtazapine stopped

jan 2017 20 mg fluoxetine

march 2017 all meds stopped 

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@Terry4949

 

No.

This is just the wave talking, trying to convince you of all kinds of catastrophic bullsh*t. 

Don't buy into the fear-mongering lies that the wave is trying to sell. 

These worries and fears and ruminations are themselves symptoms of the wave. 

The wave is a symptom of WD. 

You're currently under the influence of WD-brain, going through a wave. 

You are not your thoughts.

The doomsday scenarios being generated in your mind are not true. 

You can't will the wave to go away but you can use some of these non-drug coping techniques to help manage your experience of the wave, so you don't get pulled under. 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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@Terry4949

 

ChessieCat has posted some very helpful, insightful comments in your thread. Have you seen these?

I suggest you read and re-read them attentively. This is very good advice. 

You are going through a wave, following these suggestions will help you get through. 

We can't control the wave itself but there are things we can do to help us manage while we're in it. 

 

On 7/18/2022 at 12:42 AM, ChessieCat said:

When we feel awful it is very easy to get stuck in the rut of only reporting the "bad stuff".  And this can become a habit.

 

It can be helpful to start including some of the "good stuff", however small.  It can help to get your focus off the internal and how bad you feel and start noticing more of the external.  I know for me sometimes the only good thing was that I managed to have a shower.  And wow, changing the sheets after 6-8 weeks, that was a big thing.  Or managing to get the grocery shopping done when my pantry was very empty, even if the groceries stayed in the bags on the kitchen floor for a while (except for the cold and frozen stuff).

 

Some members write a gratitude journal.  For some it is what they have managed to achieve.

 

Even though it feels like everything is bad, somewhere there will be a bit of good, but sometimes we need to make an effort to find it.  And sometimes it can be hard to find it but it's worth the effort because it can make a big difference to how we think and how we feel.  But it also takes time and practise and nobody can do it for you.

 

On 7/18/2022 at 7:34 AM, ChessieCat said:

Terry,

 

Please start posting about what different non drug coping skills you are trying and whether you think they might be helping in some way, however small.

 

Some examples of things that can help get your focus off yourself and your suffering:  I went outside and the sun felt warm, or I noticed that some birds were singing.  Or post about whether there are clouds in the sky or whether it is windy or still.  I'm in Australia and it is winter here.  Post about what the temperature is like where you are.  What about the garden, are the flowers blooming?

 

And also start posting about the what you have done or noticed that is not focused on how bad you are feeling.  For example, I had a shower and the cool/warm/hot water felt nice on my back.

 

It doesn't have to be major things.  Lots of little things add up.  Sometimes we have to make a concerted effort to notice them.

 

 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Hi everyone. I’m at 8 months ssri free (1 year Escitalopram - 1 year Trintellix), I still see no progress. I have had waves and windows, but right now I’m in the worst and longest wave. I’m considering starting taking SSRI again, it’s just too hard. Anyone went back here and felt relief? 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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1 hour ago, Nypeaches89 said:

Hi everyone. I’m at 8 months ssri free (1 year Escitalopram - 1 year Trintellix), I still see no progress. I have had waves and windows, but right now I’m in the worst and longest wave. I’m considering starting taking SSRI again, it’s just too hard. Anyone went back here and felt relief? 

 

Hi,

 

I was in really bad shape after quitting Sepram, my situation worsened a lot as the months went on. At the end, I had really trouble sleeping, my heart was racing like crazy all the time and I started to wake up in the middle of the night to panic attacks. After about 7 months I started to take escitalopram again. After only a few weeks I had gotten my life back completely. I don't know if I will dare to stop taking the drugs when, or ever again :(. 

Citalopram 2000- mid Dec 2020 (20mg -40mg varying)

Venlafaxin mid Dec 2020- mid May 2021

Valdoxan 50mg mid Dec 2020

Valdoxan 37,5mg Oct 1st 2021

Isotretinoin (Roaccutan) Nov 11-Nov 14.2021

Brintellix 10mg Nov 16-18.2021

Valdoxan 25mg Nov 16.2021

Valdoxan 37,5mg Nov 18.2021

Oxazepam 15mg Nov 18.2021: 1/2 to 1 pills 1-4 x a week

Melatonin 1,9-3,8mg Nov 15.2021 every night

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10 minutes ago, AnnaAnimal said:

 

Hi,

 

I was in really bad shape after quitting Sepram, my situation worsened a lot as the months went on. At the end, I had really trouble sleeping, my heart was racing like crazy all the time and I started to wake up in the middle of the night to panic attacks. After about 7 months I started to take escitalopram again. After only a few weeks I had gotten my life back completely. I don't know if I will dare to stop taking the drugs when, or ever again :(. 

I’m somewhat relieved it worked for you 7 months after being off. My concern was my body would simply refuse the ssri so kind of “good” to know it can be accepted by the body again.  Even though it is hell to know we depend of these pills now. 
I only stayed 2 years on them I can’t believe I’m still not over it. These drugs destroyed me. 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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14 minutes ago, rebeccaannxo said:

I’m at 9.5 months after a severe adverse reaction. My waves are getting way worse and closer together.. I thought they were supposed to get better as time goes on? 😩

Interesting update: I’ve since my last post been eating probiotics and I feel so good right now. Kefir, kombucha, yoghurt. Maybe it’s just a window, maybe waves will still happen but right now I feel healed. So yep, probiotics! 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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On 7/22/2022 at 10:32 AM, AnnaAnimal said:

 

Hi,

 

I was in really bad shape after quitting Sepram, my situation worsened a lot as the months went on. At the end, I had really trouble sleeping, my heart was racing like crazy all the time and I started to wake up in the middle of the night to panic attacks. After about 7 months I started to take escitalopram again. After only a few weeks I had gotten my life back completely. I don't know if I will dare to stop taking the drugs when, or ever again :(. 

So you reinstated another drug and was able to stabilise on it or had you all ready been on escitalopram after 7 months off the meds 

2001 to jan 2015 Effexor 150 mg 

jan 2015 15 mg mirtazapine 20 mg quetiapine 

feb 2015 quetiapine stopped 

feb 2015 30 mg of citalopram added 

feb 2015 mirtazapine increased to 30 mg 

july 2015 citalopram stopped 

sept 2015 200mg of pregabalin 

jan 2017 mirtazapine stopped

jan 2017 20 mg fluoxetine

march 2017 all meds stopped 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello, me again.  I have noticed a change in my withdrawal symptoms lately, it’s morphing into new forms of hell. I had the classic waves of intense anxiety and windows. Now I have waves of depression, triggered by hormonal changes (pmdd) and indeed insomnia. Which then morphed into a moderate akathesia. I haven’t had anxiety waves in a while, just these weird depressive phases morphing into akathesia + horrible insomnia. Has anyone experienced this? I’m so disappointed since I thought the windows would get longer, and the waves shorter, but no, I’m having new issues and I don’t see any pattern of waves and windows at all anymore. 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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@Nypeaches89 where are you at with your taper? I noticed things started to get worse the lower the dose. I'm just over a year into WD. I recognise your symptom pattern. You're not alone xx

History of depression and anxiety. Symptoms of PTSD.

1998-1999 Venlafaxine 2006-2007 Prozac. 2013-15 Sertraline 50mg. 2015 cross-tapered to citalopram 20mg. 2015-2021 Citalopram 20mg (brief increase to 30mg for 2/3 months in 2019.

01/2021 Dropped from 20mg to 10mg, back up to 20mg til June.

25/6/21 stopped CT. Started 50mg 5htp after a week without citalopram in the hope this would balance out my serotonin levels. After 3 days increased to 100mg 5htp.
11/7/21 Stopped 5htp with the intention of reinstating citalopram at 1mg.  

16/7/21 Reinstated cit at 1mg.

2/8/21 Increased dose to 2mg. 
28/11/21 10% reduction to 1.8mg.

8/12/21 2mg 6/1/22 1.8mg 10/2/22 1.6mg 13/5/22 1.5mg 4/6/22 1.55mg 4/7/22 1.4mg 4/8/22 1.25mg

Multiple unsuccessful previous attempts to taper off citalopram. Vegan, otherwise healthy lifestyle. Other medications; kliovance (HRT) Other supplements; magnesium glycinate, calcium, B12, vitD and vegan omega3. I use valerian and lemon balm tea for anxiety relief

Completely OFF booze (since 6/11/21) and caffeine (since July 21) now. Main symptoms; crushing depression, anhedonia/emotional anesthesia, irritability, rage, anxiety/fear, cognitive fog, inability to focus, restlessness and some insomnia

 

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3 hours ago, Kat66 said:

@Nypeaches89 where are you at with your taper? I noticed things started to get worse the lower the dose. I'm just over a year into WD. I recognise your symptom pattern. You're not alone xx

I’m off ssri since October 2021… I had a quick one week taper. Akathesia the first months when I quit but then just anxiety. Now back with a lot of akathesia.. 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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21 hours ago, Nypeaches89 said:

I’m off ssri since October 2021… I had a quick one week taper. Akathesia the first months when I quit but then just anxiety. Now back with a lot of akathesia.. 

have you spoken to the mods about a low dose reinstatement? 

History of depression and anxiety. Symptoms of PTSD.

1998-1999 Venlafaxine 2006-2007 Prozac. 2013-15 Sertraline 50mg. 2015 cross-tapered to citalopram 20mg. 2015-2021 Citalopram 20mg (brief increase to 30mg for 2/3 months in 2019.

01/2021 Dropped from 20mg to 10mg, back up to 20mg til June.

25/6/21 stopped CT. Started 50mg 5htp after a week without citalopram in the hope this would balance out my serotonin levels. After 3 days increased to 100mg 5htp.
11/7/21 Stopped 5htp with the intention of reinstating citalopram at 1mg.  

16/7/21 Reinstated cit at 1mg.

2/8/21 Increased dose to 2mg. 
28/11/21 10% reduction to 1.8mg.

8/12/21 2mg 6/1/22 1.8mg 10/2/22 1.6mg 13/5/22 1.5mg 4/6/22 1.55mg 4/7/22 1.4mg 4/8/22 1.25mg

Multiple unsuccessful previous attempts to taper off citalopram. Vegan, otherwise healthy lifestyle. Other medications; kliovance (HRT) Other supplements; magnesium glycinate, calcium, B12, vitD and vegan omega3. I use valerian and lemon balm tea for anxiety relief

Completely OFF booze (since 6/11/21) and caffeine (since July 21) now. Main symptoms; crushing depression, anhedonia/emotional anesthesia, irritability, rage, anxiety/fear, cognitive fog, inability to focus, restlessness and some insomnia

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone! 
so I’m at my 10th month off. I’m doing better, I haven’t had an anxiety wave in a while. But ! I have new symptoms: insomnia and (subsequent?) depression. I’m really scared and worried, maybe it’s not withdrawal and I’m just doing worse ? I did have bouts of insomnia in summer in the past. But right now it seems to be a quite intense insomnia. And the depression is a bit weird too. I just wonder if it happened to other people here to develop new symptoms at 10 months off??? 

April 2020: 10mg Escitalopram 

July 2020: fast tapper tried to quit. Failed. 
september 2020: Trintellix 20mg. 
october 2021: fast taper off Trintellix (1 week). 

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  • Moderator

It's more than likely a variation of the "late breaking wave" which can frequently happen around ten months off. Usually, it is intense anxiety, but there is no reason it couldn't be insomnia and depression. Late breaking waves hit hard and fast and usually last two to three weeks. It is a fairly common part or ADWD.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone experience anything waves that seem worse over time and windows that seem better? In other words, both seem to be getting more extreme. I also experience a window usually right after a progressively worsening wave that feels like maybe the worst I’ve ever felt. And then it just starts to turn until I’m in a window. Does anyone else get this?

psychotropic drugs: cymbalta 20 mg 2x day: 2014 - 2016; tapered off in 2016

cymbalta 20 mg 2x day, and then 30 mg 2x day: 2016 - 2021; stopped abruptly due to adverse reactions following xolair (biologic) administration

doxepin 50 mg 1x day: a few days in October 2021; stopped abruptly due to adverse reactions following xolair (biologic) administration

mirtazapine: 15 mg for a few days in May-June 2022; decreased to 7.5 mg and then 3.25 before quitting

non-psychotropic drugs: various antihistamine use (claritin, zyrtec, and allegra) from march 2021 - october 2021

cromolyn sodium use from august 2021 - october 2021; tapered off initially, then reinstated using different brand at a low dose; stopped due to mast cell flare

xolair 75 mg biologic injection: october 2021 

magnesium citrate; n-acetyl-cisteine; iron; vitamin d: march 2021 - october 2021

current: lansoprazole sublingual 15 mg; sublingual vitamin c, vitamin d, magnesium, melatonin; occasional sublingual zofran 4 mg 

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