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Fresh's Fractured Fairytale: How Much Can a Koala Bear?

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Fresh

Once upon a time ,  in a land far, far away 

 

lived a little girl called Fresh.     She lived with her mummy and daddy and big sister and their dog.    She was bright , sensitive ,

creative , a gymnast.    Her parents were well meaning (if not a little dysfunctional) and Fresh had a stable life and opportunities

to try many different things.

 

Her teen years were challenging , but Fresh finished high school and went on to complete a university degree. 

 

At the end of university , Fresh felt lost.   She had broken up with her long-term boyfriend , had no permanent employment or

income ,  was applying for jobs  and living in a friend's spare room.   Her doctor suggested she had a depressive illness and should try an antidepressant.

This was a terrific solution!    Fresh felt a lot better very quickly , and continued her career path and her journey as a young woman.

 

Fast forward twenty-five years , and Fresh was a mess (see my sig.) (yes , I am Fresh :D).

 

In September 2012 , I decided to start tapering from 120mg of Cymbalta.   

I intended to go from 120mg to 90mg , i.e. one 60mg tab. and one 30mg tab.   After a week or so at 90mg , I accidentally forgot to

put the 60mg tabs out for a few weeks , and realized later I had been taking only 30mg.   I wasn't in a good space at all.    But I figured I had been through the worst of it , so I'd just stay on 30mg.   Bad idea.

 

I started seeing Dr. Lucire in March 2014.    I followed her advice and continued tapering at 2mg per week over 12 weeks. My last

dose of Cymbalta was July 21 , 2014.

 

This first video was taken six months after my last dose , the first time the akathisia hit me like a mack truck.

 

http://youtu.be/0_1e0BIQVyc

 

The second video was taken around seven weeks after the first.  I like to call it "Akathisia 101".

 

http://youtu.be/4H-oYvsjA1A

 

I stuck it out until May at home.    I had been housebound and terrified for months , and believed I could never get better from

this , this is how I would be for the rest of my life.

 

These days I'm happy to say I survived that experience , and am doing pretty well.

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ten0275

Fresh, hey.

 

i'd say welcome, but you've been here for some time - lending much support and kindness to the site, i might add. thank you for posting your story. i've wondered about it, having patched together bits and pieces from things you have written around this site.

 

the videos are a good idea. now i see why you were seeking the technical assitance to bring them to fruition. i could not get the first one to play for me, but the second was fully operable and it made me cry to see it. i am so entirely sorry you've suffered as you have.

 

however as you ended your introduction, you truly are a survivor and it is so wonderful to know you are doing "pretty well" now.

 

hang in there Fresh, and thanks again for your continued presence and for sharing your journey as you have.

 

dave

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Fresh

Thankyou ten , brother Dave.    There is a problem with the first video , but I'll get onto it tomorrow.  

Today I've had all the technological challenges I can take for one day.

 

:)

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AmyK

Oh Fresh, I am so sorry you have suffered like this. It's almost unbearable to watch. It must have been pure horror to be living it! I am so so glad that you are in a better place now.

Lots of love.

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ardyes

Hi fresh. Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants :)

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Addax

Oh Fresh :-( Like Dave, the 2nd video brought tears to my eyes. It made me so sad. It also made me so very angry for you. I am sorry you had to endure that horror. I'm sorry any of us do...

 

I'm glad you're at least doing "pretty well" at this point. What a journey it is just to get there!

 

I look forward to reading of your continued improvement.

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Rhiannon

I'm so sorry for what you've been through, for the hell that brought you here. And so glad you're doing better now.

 

Please keep that Pristiq taper slow and careful! We'll be here with you this time around.

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btdt

" 2010-2012 Cymbalta  120mg

Sept. 2012  -decreased 90mg in 6months - too fast. Didn't know any better.   Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months.                          "

I have watched videos by a Dr Lucrie... is this the same doctor?  Dr.Yolande Lucire that is her... she did not know of the 10% taper wait... to stablize?  Sorry I am just surprised to see this. 

 

If you still have her I hope there has been some discussion with her about the rate of taper and the guidelines here.  Getting one doctor involved can change thing for the better for a  lot of her other patients. 

 

No matter what the rates on any taper program say the real proof is in how you feel with delayed withdrawal this is still tricky... at least a month is a good idea for a wait time I would suggest waiting even longer.... maybe 2 months.  See how you feel and go from there. 

I wish you peace

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Altostrata

Thank you for posting this, Fresh. I am sorry you've had to go through this.

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dalsaan

 

Hi Fresh,

 

No one should have to go through what you and others have. I'm sorry for your suffering. You are a survivor and I'm glad you have the SA community.

 

Thanks for welcoming and supporting others

 

Dalsaan

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Petunia

I'm sorry for everything you've been through Fresh and glad you now have an introduction where you can share your ongoing journey and receive some support for yourself.

 

Thank you for making the video while going through such a difficult time, I have no idea how you managed it, and thank you for sharing it.  Its good for people to be able to see what akathisia can look like.  Its frightening what these drugs can reduce functioning people to, I'm so glad you made it through.

 

Like Rhi wrote, please be extra careful with your pristiq taper.

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Fresh

Lol  ,  no wuckin' furries about tapering cautiously . . . I never want to go back to that space.   For me ,it's just not worth risking

for the ideal of being med. free.

 

xxx

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Songbird

Lol  ,  no wuckin' furries about tapering cautiously . . . I never want to go back to that space.   For me ,it's just not worth risking

for the ideal of being med. free.

 

I think you are very brave to make and post a video.  It reminded me very much of my crash in 2008.  A lot of the same symptoms.  It was the most horrific torture and I never want to go back there either, which is why I'm doing such an extremely slow taper.  I'm glad you are feeling better these days.

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peggy

nice to meet you Fresh!

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KarenB

I'm so so sorry you were given that trauma :(.  I've been sitting at my computer stunned.  I hardly know what to write.  Whoever makes and still distributes those drugs should be in prison.  And here you are now giving us all so much of your time and love and kindness. 

 

I hope you get so much love and kindness back.

 

Love from Karen

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Fuhgetabouddit

Bless your heart for having to go through that. I never had akathisia, but when you let go of the chair, that's EXACTLY how I walked for quite some time and am still a bit uncoordinated but it's better. I felt I was stumbling drunk and literally could barely put one foot in front of the other.

 

I am so glad you are better!

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AliG

Fresh, you are an inspiration!!    I'm confused though. This story , on here was yesterday. Have you not shared this before?  I have been searching for your thread , and only found this today.   I watched the second video as the first didn't work and I am without words . You are a very courageous lady and I feel  honored to kind of

know you.  Thank you for welcoming me , as a newbie to this wonderful community of survivors.   I am so pleased you are getting better. 

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LoveandLight

Yes you are an inspiration and I'm sorry for what you've had to go through x

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Meimeiquest

I am so sorry and so admiring, too. Thank you for making and posting this.

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Fresh

WOW , thankyou so much to everyone for such kind and comforting words.    It's been quite the journey for me to get to a point where I could finally do an introduction.

 

I found this site in January 2014 , six months into my withdrawal.    I read a few things , and signed up.  Within half an hour I was messaging Alto asking

to change my screen name.  I was worried some people may find the one I first had presumptuous or disrespectful.

Shortly after that I couldn't go on a computer any more , until June.   

Somehow , I found my way back in January this year , and started posting in Feb.      I've been very ambivalent about what I wanted to put in my intro , how much I wanted to disclose.

Since yesterday , I've felt like a gay person must when they "come out".    I've opened up about my struggle over the past 25 years.    I've divulged my biggest secret.

And I have a tremendous sense of peace about it.    So thanks again for helping me feel I made a good decision.

 

As far as being "pretty good" now , compared to when I was sick I'm doing freaking awesome!!   

I'm doing new things again , like yoga , volunteering in a soup kitchen  , posting videos on youtube , lol.    And I'm enjoying the process , and taking

things in my stride.

 

The Dr Lucire who took over my care in 2013 is the same Yolande (Yola) Lucire as in the video on her page here in "In The Media".    She has a caseload of

900 patients that have informed her practise with regard to tapering.

We have an ongoing dialogue in regard to my experience , and she is totally open to any new input that helps her to help people the best way.

 

I did notice on her website that she has included Survivingantidepressants.org  in her links/resources page.    Well , not just included it - it's number one at the top

of the list.

I must ask her if she's emailed any other specialists about this site yet  ;).

 

Yola went over and above what anyone could ever expect in her care of me.    She's an old high school friend of my mum , and from the first time I saw her in 2013,

she said I could come to her home any time I wanted , just ring first. 

One day in January , she was particularly worried that I was going to hurt myself , after my mother relayed something I had said.    So the two of them turned

up at my place unannounced. When I didn't answer the buzzer , they came around the back and broke through two fences to come in the back door.  I was out , had 

taken my dog to the park.     Next thing , Yola texts me saying that if I did not ring her she would go to the police.

I understood that meant she was prepared to have me scheduled under the Mental Health Act , by the police.

I was absolutely furious at the time , but we got past it , and I have a tonne of respect for her now.

 

She had me try a heap of medications in the hope of stopping the akathisia  -  codeine , valium , normison , tetrabenazine (suggested by a neurologist she brought to my home) , Xanax , reinstating Cymbalta (smidge method) , endone ,  propanalol ,  cetapress , magnesium , and melatonin.  

Nothing helped , and on 24 March I stopped everything.

Three days later the akathisia went to a whole other level , way way up there.

 

 

Today's Song of the Day is "I Am What I Am" , on songlyrics.com

 

I am what I am , I am my own special creation.

So , come take a look , give me the hook , or the ovation

It's my world that I want to have a little pride in.

My world , and it's not a place I have to hide in.

Life's not worth a damn , till you can say "Hey world,

I am what I am"

 

I am what I am , I don't want praise , I don't want pity.

I bang my own drum , some think it's noise , I think it's pretty.

And , so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle?

Why not try to see things from a different angle?

Your life is a sham till you can shout out "I am what I am".

 

I am what I am , and what I am needs no excuses.

I deal my own deck , sometimes the ace , sometimes the deuces.

It's one life and there's no return and no deposit.

One life , so you'd better like what's in your closet.

Life's not worth a damn , till you can shout out  I  AM  WHAT  I  AM.

 

 

 Fresh    :blush:

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calithebold

Hi Fresh

 

I have been unable to watch your video because I am too scared because of all the drugs I am on and how long my journey is going to be, it feels so overwhelming to me right now. I don't want to get freaked out or overwhelmed but I can see how it's affected others and I think you are so very brave. How you going down there in Sydney? I'm in Brisbane. I have been up for a while now, I don't much sleep past three something these days. I want to thank you so much too for stopping by my thread. So you're an ex-gymnast, cool, my favourite sport, I did trampolining, though didn't progress too high in the levels as my parents moved away in the country, I just used to scary the living daylights out of them on my own trampoline without a spotter, lol. I hope you have a peaceful day and I promise that one day I will watch the video you put up, when I'm stronger :)

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Meimeiquest

So how much can a koala bear? More than you could imagine!

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westcoast

Fresh, that was a great story and it was brave of you to post your videos. Both of them played for me. Thank you.

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Broken

Hi Fresh finally managed to get your videos to work. I'm happy this was you then and not now, glad you're feeling much more like yourself again.

 

Unpleasant to watch.

 

Second video was the loneliest game of musical chair I've ever seen, but with one competitor you were always going to win in the end!

 

I've been there countless times pacing up and down and sobbing uncontrollably, not a pretty sight.

 

Withdrawal is unbearable and unpredictable, your incredibly strong to have come through it and with your warm, friendly and supportive personality intact.

 

I'm proud of you as I'm sure you are of your own achievement.

 

Thank you.

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Broken

How much can a koala bear? It can bear all day everyday regardless of what it's faced with. It is afterall a bear!

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Fresh

Cali , thankyou for your comments , and for honouring yourself by NOT watching anything that makes you more nervous at this time.   That would be my advice to

anyone  in  withdrawal  -  don't  push  yourself  any more  than  you're  comfortable  with  ,  be  gentle.

 

Meimei , westcoast , I appreciate your input.   I survived more than I ever would have thought possible.     I started a spiritual journey in 2004 , and I was riding on faith throughout my withdrawal.   It was out of my hands after a point.  I surrendered to the Divine Mother  because there was nothing else I could do.  On one level I was incredulous that this was actually even happening . . . that my life had come to this.    I've believed for many years that I had a lot of bad karma to burn off from previous lives.

It was the only explanation that made sense.   I'm not a bad person and haven't done anything to deserve this this time round. 

 

Broken , thankyou for the belly laugh.   

I was in a good position to win that game , you'd think.    But I couldn't win , because when the music stopped I couldn't sit down!    So I rode it out , half an hour at a time.

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ang

Well done.  The one photo I threw away, was me in the Mother and Baby ward in a mental hospital after a horrible reaction to a damn valium.. The picture said it all.. I was thin, exhausted, and with the psych of mother and baby ward.  So weird that when I originally got there that they didn't believe I had a baby.... so immediately put me on antipsychotics..

 

three weeks of lab rat hell.....sent home drug free, with absolutely no backup.....  (there are no such thing as withdrawals?)...........

 

After watching your video, I wish I had that picture to share.....  I now think I should photograph myself, in all my filth, just to show my progression on the path back to health.

 

Thankyou for sharing.

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Fresh

Thankyou ang.    When read  about your experiences , it makes me feel fortunate that at least I was able to hide my ordeal over the years enough to avoid the police

or an involuntary hospital admission.  

Technology makes it easier now than it was 15 years ago.    Take those photos or video on your mobile phone.    You can decide later what you want to do with them.

But you will always have that objective evidence , and you know how I love that.  :)

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chicken

Fresh, OMG. I watched your video and could have substituted myself into your video a few years ago.

 

The problem for me is I've had that kind of anxiety and pacing without even taking a drug, however I tried taking prozac again to help it and it made it 100% worse and also added insomnia to it. My anxiety also caused me to throw up a lot and I lost down to 100 lbs. I ended up in the hospital because my weight was getting low and after three months it was no easing off the anxiety.

 

That is how I got on remeron and then had the same experience again when going off remeron. Cipro was added during reinstatement and made some kind of weird different anxiety happen again. Bridged to a different med and now stable. I'm tapering now and hope to never experience that again.  I've never called it akathesia, but severe anxiety. Didn't know what it was really called at that time.

 

Either way, it made me pace the floor day and night. At one point when I couldn't pace I would drive. I believe I put a thousand miles on my car driving around the county to try to ease it. Akathesia/Anxiety will make you want to die. I don't think there is a physical pain that can compare to it.

 

I'm glad you're better. I'm just stopping in to say that I know exactly what you went through. It was like watching me on that video. Scary.

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Hopefull

Hi Fresh,

 

I really think you are really brave by posting the video and  showing others the torment that you have been going through. I am sorry that you have been going through this. I could not watch the second video it was emotionally overwhelming. I hope that you are feeling better. Best wishes, Hopefull.

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Fresh

Thankyou Hopefull.    The second video is actually a lot more calm than the first.   You'll get to it when you're ready.  I really hope that mine wasn't the scary movie

that unsettled you.  Perhaps I need to make a new one to illustrate how things  have changed for the better.

 

Chicken , thankyou for sharing.   Driving for many hours at a time is another classic symptom of akathisia.    So is the feeling of dread , a constant sense of urgency ,

and a general inability to be still.    I never had words either until 2013 , so I used to describe it as "antsy", from the latin term "ants in the pants" (lol).

 

Did you get stable on the combination of tranxene , pamelor and zyprexa?     I look forward to  reading your thread.

 

I'd like to share my experience with forums at this point.    I got my first computer in 2003 , and it's made me a little nervous ever since.   Am trying really hard to think of it as my friend.  

This is the first forum I've been a part of (unless you count adultmatchmaker.com , and the mods. there never intervened).  I apologize for any feathers I've ruffled , but I think I'm getting the hang of it now.   I feel blessed to have found my way here.   This site has helped me make sense of the past 25 years , and that is invaluable.

 

p.s.  I started dog training classes with my doglet on Sunday , and it was lots of fun.    She should pass her test to qualify as my assistance dog in

about 6 months if it goes well.   Thanks Indigo  for the idea  :).

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pieuw

Hi Fresh,

 

I have seen your videos, they broke my heart.

It's such an unwordly suffering that you must have been through...

I had no idea this existed, and that a human being could survive this. What a strong person you must be.

 

Hug x

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LoveandLight

Thank you for all your support xx

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Fresh

This was taken last Sunday at a good old Aussie balcony-BBQ. - that's me in white.   :D

post-2715-0-87074700-1426655288_thumb.jpg

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Hopefull

You like nice! :) No it was not your video that made me have a panic attack, although your video was overwhelming in terms of what the drugs can do to a human being!  I am glad that you are feeling better!  xxx Hopefull.  :)

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Fresh

So I started my taper from pristiq 50mg , almost 3 weeks ago now.   The whole thing has been a comedy of errors , as are many things in my life.

 

I was ready , good to go , as I sat with my brand new digital scales and pill-cutter.   

But I found the scales weren't precise enough.   Although they weighed down to 0.01 , found I could add a chunk and they didn't register any change.   Back to

ebay for an upgrade.   So far so good.

 

My new scales arrived , and I was a little nervous.   I began by weighing one 50mg tablet of pristiq , and it weighed 37mg.(0.37) 

But wait , I hear you ask , how is that possible?

I was confused too.   The tablet clearly didn't contain 50mg of anything.    I was seeing doctors the next day and decided I would ask them.

 

First stop the next day , my nutrient doctor.    At the end of the appointment I pulled out my scales and tablets , and asked him about it.    He explained something

that I sort of thought I understood , but I didn't want to appear dumb , so I thanked him politely and left.

 

Next stop , Yola.   Again I pulled out what I needed to demonstrate my predicament.   Well , she was stumped too.   Was this an issue for the Therapeutic Goods Administration?

 

On the way home , I stopped at the pharmacy , and they explained it to me.   

Because the scale shows milligrams , it's out of 1000.  That is , the tablets weighed 370mg each.    Of that , 50mg is active ingredient and 320mg is filler/other stuff.

 

After the decrease , I had some sneezing and snuffling for 4-5 days.    After that finished ,  I felt more energised , a little euphoric.  My sleep became disturbed and I

was awake till between 1 and 4am for a week or so.    I've had lots of "scathingly brilliant ideas"   (Hayley Mills , The Trouble With Angels).

I've decided I need to make a movie.  A 15-20 minutes documentary style on akathisia , with a theoretical narrative and lots of people describing their experience of it.

I'm inquiring about grants and crowd-funding.     I'm also thinking about a book.   A friend who's an astrologer had her blog published , so why not me?   If I keep

posting here I can compile the posts and it's as good as written.

 

My sleep is back to normal after 3 weeks . . . I sleep around midnight till 9am , and have a 2 hour nanna-nap each afternoon.    The changes I've noticed are characteristic

of my withdrawal last year , when I just kept ploughing ahead with the decreases rather than waiting at each level.

 

Given that it's almost a month , I think I'll give it 2 months at this dose (330mg).    

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