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"Change the channel" - dealing with cognitive symptoms


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One of the techniques I've used to deal with withdrawal symptoms is what I call "changing the channel." It's a composite of whatever works, to switch from bad feelings to more of an emotional equilibrium. Changing the channel is particularly effective with the neuro-emotions of withdrawal syndrome, which come out of nowhere, can be very intense and painful, and then in minutes or hours or days, disappear like a summer rainstorm passing through.

 

It's a way of managing the distress while not adding to it with very understandable worry, fear, or panic. The key is to understand you have a feeling self, who is sometimes overwhelmed by emotions, and an observing self.

 

You feel a feeling, and your observing self knows you are feeling a feeling: "Oh, I'm feeling so sad." The technique is very simple: When you recognize you are in the midst of an unpleasant emotion, change the channel by doing something more pleasant or constructive or healthy. It can be anything, any psychotherapeutic technique, your choice: - Switch your thoughts to puppies and kittens, or people you love. - Do slow, meditative deep breathing. - Play with your pets. - Cuddle your children, or significant other. - Phone a friend to say hello. - Take a walk in an interesting part of town, or in a park. - If you like cognitive behavior therapy, do CBT. - Do some gardening, look at trees and flowers. - Go to the store and smell all the spices. - Wash the dishes. - Read a book or magazine you've been interested in.

 

Gentle physical activity like taking walks, breathing regularly, looking at trees, flowers, and interesting sights is good for you in 4 ways -- the physical activity helps your autonomic nervous system to regularize and it stimulates the growth of new brain cells (neurogenesis). Looking at pleasant things puts pleasant images into your memory that you can replay. Plus, you are taking care of yourself and this will build your confidence. (I mentioned "changing the channel" to my therapist the other day and to my surprise, she had never heard of it. It seems I might have invented it! Anyway, she liked it a lot.) This seems like something each of us does in his or her own way. What do you do to change the channel?

Edited by Petu
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This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Funny, I did this last night. I started thinking about something unpleasant and very unnecessary for me to even be thinking about. I said something to myself like... nope, not going there... and "changed the channel". My mind was on something else in a matter of seconds... like hot air balloons or something like that. I'm getting better at doing this all the time.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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  • 3 weeks later...

Alto,

 

This changing the channel thing really does help, thank you.

when the thoughts hit out of the blue i've been thinking about holidays away, lying on warm sun kissed beaches, with the sun beating down on my face,

laying in a recliner chair with my feet in the ocean, listening to the waves lapping onto the shore ahhhhhhhh, its some really relaxing stuff i tell ya.

certainly a lot more satisfying that listening to all the mental chatter from wd and paxil thats for sure.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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Alto,

 

This changing the channel thing really does help, thank you.

when the thoughts hit out of the blue i've been thinking about holidays away, lying on warm sun kissed beaches, with the sun beating down on my face,

laying in a recliner chair with my feet in the ocean, listening to the waves lapping onto the shore ahhhhhhhh, its some really relaxing stuff i tell ya.

certainly a lot more satisfying that listening to all the mental chatter from wd and paxil thats for sure.

 

Oh wow... you've been to the spa of your dreams! It's a wonderful place, isn't it??? And, free to us SA members. Can you believe it?

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Awww, thanks you guys. Glad it helps.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Barbarannamated

Interesting in its simplicity and touches on a balance I have been searching for for a long time--to feel emotions as they happen and respond appropriately, particularly when disagreement, confrontation, anger, hurt is involved. I'm the queen of 'I should have said____' after the fact and then go over and over analyzing. I've been reserved and analytical for as long as I can remember (family shows no emotion). I censor any expression of my feelings, run everything thru my head. No heart-mouth direct line.

I'm sure all of the meds made this worse and I bottled stuff up more. Now that I'm off of Pristiq, it seems like emotions are erupting in intense spurts that are a little unnerving b/c so different for me. A friend encourages me in getting anger out. Really foreign to me.

Any tips on being aware of and responding to feelings but not ruminating? Listening to and trusting intuition/gut. Read Judith ORLOFF, MD, recently. Good stuff. She's a bit controversial, but I appreciate someone who will step out and risk what others think.

Q: what do you see as the primary diff btwn CBT and Changing Channels? CBT felt TO ME as if it was in opposition to my intuition. I cognite too much. Need to emote.

Just read interesting opinion by a therapist on ADs -- said they interfere w therapy by blunting emotion. Link on David Healy page.

I sure veered OT. Sorry. Return to regular programming.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Changing channels comes more naturally to me, and almost instantly. I can feel myself kind of smiling when I do it. It's been consistently working.

 

CBT, while useful for some, doesn't work for me. It reminds me of EST, and I'm not a fan.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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You can bundle any techniques that work for you into changing the channel. Mix and match -- your brain is your playground.

 

CBT was always too structured and authoritarian for my taste -- it bugs me there's a "right" way to think. But I agree, it can be very effective.

 

Everybody employs different styles of thinking. If you find a CBT approach is good for one of your thought patterns, you can use that, and use something else for a different thought pattern. Maybe you want to throw in some affirmations, too. And some Positive Psychology.

 

The motto of "change the channel": Whatever works!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • 7 months later...
  • Administrator

I had to look this technique up because I've seen Alto mention it to other members. I'm still slightly assailed by doom thoughts and I'm really tired of it. So, I looked up this thread and as soon as I read "Switch your thoughts to puppies and kittens ..." I smiled.

 

From time to time I've used "stop" to stop the thoughts, but that is often abrupt and rather harsh. Then I remembered that a friend of mine used to tell me to "thank myself for sharing" and state the thought that better reflects where I want my outlook to be. I guess this is kind of CBT in that you capture and acknowledge the distorted thought (and are gentle with yourself) and then replace the thought with a more realistic and less distorted thought.

 

I'm going to use this today ...

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg;
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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  • Administrator

Thanks, Karma. And if you have any other suggestions about how to "change the channel," please post them here!

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Barbarannamated

I need more channels. :-o

There are times when even my good channels trigger negative feelings and thoughts ~

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Thanks for Changeing the Channel tip. I think what brought me to medication is what I call the diseas of negativity.

Grew up with it. When I read The Secret years back there was quote in there "Emit a New Frequency".

 

I have to catch & remind myself to do this.

 

When I am in the throes of w/d it is pratically impossible to do...It is much easier when feeling better.

 

Thanks

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • 1 year later...

I really like this idea of "changing the channel"!

 

I like to combine something physical to really focus on something else. I like to rake the leaves, for example. It gets me outdoors, breathing fresh air, exercise, and enjoying nature all rolled into one event. Another thing that works for me, is to sort through family photos. Organizing them is a mental challenge, plus looking at pics of enjoyable times with loved ones really lifts my spirit.

I am on 2.0 mg abilify for 2 yrs now.  I tired to taper every month 2.0....1.5....1.0....0.5....off.  I was fine until I jumped off at the end.  I will need to slow the taper down after 0.5.  Maybe try 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2, 0.1, 0.05, 0.025...off.

 

8/2/17. Abilify  2.0 mg

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  • 1 month later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Computer games are good for distraction and if you're able to read fiction, "cozy" mysteries, classics like Little Women, or Amish romances can be engaging. (Some of us have had trouble reading fiction during withdrawal, probably due to anhedonia and not being able to engage with the fictional characters.)

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I like that phrase 'change the channel' . It helps me too. I used to use it when I was in the middle of

the polydrug nightmare and had racing thoughts. My thoughts were like a movie on fast forward,

sometimes several movies at once and my brain just wouldn't shut down. I imagined I was driving

a chariot and the horses were out of control. I took the reigns and slowly pulled them up until they

slowed down. It helped to slow down those racing thoughts. I don't know where the idea came from

and when I told my psych nurse how I stopped the thoughts she said "so you can control them can

you?"  It felt like she was disbelieving me, or that I wasn't supposed to be able to do that without drugs.

But I could, and did! 

 

I have to admit though that all that went out the window when withdrawal hit and I had to re-learn how 

to do it! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Alto I have read about Emitting a New Frequency.

 

I am very depressed at this point.  I feel like my life is a waste or I wasted my life away.  Dead tired. have to keep on top f myself so I can 'change the things I can' and not be in a state of denial over things.  I've spent many years in a marriage in denital.

 

Maybe I am on my back too much.  I don't know the difference between what I need to pay attention to and what are he neuro emotions.

 

Comedy is good.  Madea is opening tonight.  She cracks me up so much

One of my customers just had a baby and I get to hold him once a week.

 

Uplifting books....like Joel Osteen and Les Brown are good for me too.

 

Alto I just want to cry......feeling really hopeless.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Hi Nikki,

 

I surely hear the pain and frustration in your voice but don't lose heart. You have been through a lot just recently with changing meds and the issues with your daughter. The tiredness and 'flu' are probably from your body getting used to the med change and will resolve in due time I'm sure. You are doing all of the right things and the only thing that is needed now is time and patience while your body works things out. Don't be so hard on yourself if things seem hopeless, the changes you are making are just not visible yet but they will be soon. Please hang in there! You have a lot to contribute!

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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thanks cymbalta....the flu like symptoms have gone.  Now it is depression, sadness feeling like I want to give up.

 

I don't have time tonight but a good comedy would help.

 

My daughter saw Frozen yesterday. Disney, she said it was as good as Beauty and the Beast.  Wants to see it again, maybe I should go.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Sweetcreature

Nikki I'm sorry you're feeling so low, treat yourself nicely and have a good cry.  Wish I could help more...

 

SC

May 2001 - age 24 given 20 mg seroxat. Tried to reduce myself after a year. Told by GP to take on alternate days and I would be fine. FAIL. Assumed 'wrong time' due to university stress and that my 'depression' must be worse than I thought.

Increased dose to 30 mg December 2002. Tried the same technique as before to reduce- made it down to a quarter tablet but couldn't stand symptoms, had a sneaking suspicion that it was due to tablets but never considered dependency - 'depression is a diseased brain after all' (is what I was told)

 

Continued until October 2010 - tried to CT and managed to last five months - assumed the depression was really bad but had no understanding of the reason for awful anxiety. Ran back to GP started Prozac- went crazy thought I was going to die. Stopped Prozac after two weeks.

April 2010 Started sertraline. Stablished but felt numbed.

September 2010 Asked for seroxat again. Upped my dose to 30 after three weeks. Felt hyper, caffeinated, but functional. Glad to be over what I thought was 'depression'..

Realised it is the meds, want to be free at last - July 2012 started 10% taper from original dose and took supplements. Took suppliments sporadically and despite the temptation the taper, wanted it 'over with'. Taper took exactly six months and 10 days.

Reductions were as follows:
First 2 weeks- 27 mg
Next 2- 24mg
Next 2- 21 mg
Next 2- 18mg
Next 2 15 mg
Next 2 12 mg (held for four weeks due to house move from London back to Ireland)
Next 2 weeks- 9 mg
Next 2 weeks- 6 mg
Next 2- weeks 3 mg
Next 2 weeks 1.5 mg (held for 5 weeks as scared)
10th February 2013 Jumped to zero

Within 3 weeks sadness, led to anxiety.  Restarted suppliments - helped a bit.  Stressful move to London. A lot of fatigue and DEEP emotions. Crying LOTS. Took suppliments on and off, moved back to Ireland after being back in London for only eight weeks as felt too sad and unsettled. 

 

No suppliments when moved back.  Unhappy at being back, scared I wouldn't ever find happiness - deep deep sadness, anger, STUPIDLY went back to doctor and decided I must just be a 'depressive'.  Given Citalopram/Celexa 20mg.

 

Took it for seven days, changed my mind, decided to be 'strong' and put it behind me. (No particularly adverse effects that I recall, save for day 5 having inner vibrations in arms and legs) Still had pack of tablets however and every time emotions got hard felt I had to 'go back onto tablets'.  I did this from July until November. (On them off them on them off them) ........

 

Started to get body vibrations and told myself it was 'anxiety' and I was 'giving myself panic attacks.  I continued to cry as I 'started' the tablets again and again - not wanting to go back there but not sure what else to do. 

 

More vibrations - but didn't make the connection that I had a compromised CNS -  thought it was anxiety....chest started to pound in Sept, vibrations continued...lost weight, became anxious, sleep was awful and I tried a variety of remedies to replace the tablets and calm my anxiety and lift my mood.  I think they made things worse.

 

(These included, St.Johns Wort, Rescue Remedy, Homeopathic treatments, Chinese herbs, Passiflora, and suppliments from the online company who state they are experts in assisting people get off meds)

 

Also did the following:

 

Talking therapy

Human Givens Therapy

Homeopathy

Narcotics Anonymous

 

October 23rd took Citalopram (20mg) for 12 days - no relief

 

November 6th Started Seroxat 10 mg (to be safe) stupidly upped to 20 the next day.

 

Stayed on 20 for 18 days, no relief, stopped for two days suddenly, relief came - short lived, vibrations and torture came after 72 hours.  Suicidal for days.  Upped to 30 thinking it would improved.  Even more suicidal.  Dropped to 20 again (December 9th) not suicidal, but not better. Started liquid 28th December reduced to 18 mg in effort to reduce and stabilise.  Don't know where to go from here.  Living with parents who are supportive beyond words.

Sweetcreature

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Nikki if you can get out and go to see a movie I strongly recommend it! I remember when I was 

feeling so wretched and anxious/depressed and hopeless I took myself away from home, to get

away from these 4 walls which I was ready to climb. I went to a movie, on my own. It was the best thing

I did. I hadn't been to the cinema alone in 45 years! It was a comedy and I laughed out loud with

everyone else. Normally I can't stand noise but it drowned out what was happening in my brain. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

One of the techniques I've used to deal with withdrawal symptoms is what I call "changing the channel."

Alto: Thank you for these constructive ideas and for everything you contribute to this site....You are awesome and appreciated, and the first day of the New Year is a great time to say it!I love the concept of "changing the channel." Am just starting to learn to do this. Have been reading about Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which includes a practice like this and is tailored for anyone who wants to deal more peacefully and self-compassionately with overwhelming emotions. From what I see so far, I would highly recommend it.Again, we are fortunate to have you leading us here. I'm starting out the New Year with hope. Blessings to you and all.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

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Maybe I am on my back too much.  I don't know the difference between what I need to pay attention to and what are he neuro emotions.

Nikki: I know you posted this several weeks ago but wanted to say hang in there. I, too, at times have trouble distinguishing between a) "deep" or authentic feelings I need to process and let go of slowly and gently, and B) "neuro-emotions" or, separately, thoughts/feelings that come from rumination or idleness on my part. I want to get better at knowing when I need to attend vs. when better to engage in something else.On this front, I am learning about Dialectical Behavior Therapy, which helps people not to suppress their painful emotions but to respond to them more constructively and peacefully.Hope the New Year holds good things and healing for you.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

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  • Administrator

Awww, thanks.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Oh I needed to hear this right now. I am going to go play cards now. Thanks

Current:

Lorazapam2mg: 4/9/152mg - 1.5mg: already sick/nothing noticed. No changes in sleep noted after illness.  

Lamictal: 7/27/13 - 8/6/13: 400mg - 500mg(dr order) mouth sores, headache, cognitive/balance, heart palp...8/7/13 - 8/23/13: 500mg - 400mg; symptoms↓...10/10/13: 350mg; fever/flu-like <2-weeks...12/30/13: 325mg; fever/flu-like symptoms <1-week...2/10/17: 300mg; no significant changes noted. 

 

Discontinued:

Omeprazole: 09/2103 40mg...5/1/14: 20mg... 8/21/14 = 0

Wellbutrin: 11/22/13: 300mg – 225mg...12/6/13 delayed reaction- mood swings, weight↓, heart palp/chest pain, alerting...12/14/13: 187mg; physical symptoms↓, neuro emotions ↑, weight stable...12/20/13: 225mg; physical symptoms return, emotions stable <1-week, weight↓...4/21/14: 187mg; weight↑...5/17/14 (neurologist ordered discontinue asap):168mg; headache, mood swings, ↑weight, sleep flux...5/24/14: 150mg; headache, mood swings, ↓cognitive/balance...6/2/14: 112mg; see above, weight stable, <3-weeks... 6/28/14: 100mg; moody...7/25/14: 87.5mg; family troubles... 8/4/14: 75mg; headaches; moody... 8/9/1450mg headaches... 8/12/14: 37.5mg; 8/17/14: 25mg...8/26/14 = 0

Hydroxyzine; 10mg: 5/20/15 *prn 4/5 times then dc'd. Mood changes/rage 

Buspirone: 7.5mg: 5/20/15 *prn 4/5 times then dc'd. No changes.

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An acquaintance of my husband recommended a book The Brain and the Mind as the next best thing to sliced bread. It was a tough go for me...it talked a lot about quantum physics...definitely above my pay grade, and quite tedious. But he talked about this concept, particularly in OCD. He said research shows a tiny, tiny opportunity between the arrival of a thought and moving forward with it, and that is where we have a choice. He thinks you need to have something in mind as to what you will do when an undesired thought arrives, so that you can immediately move to it.

 

For example, if someone with OCD symptoms has a repetitive thought to organize cans in the pantry, trying to resist almost never works. But if that person decides they will go outside and work in the garden when that thought occurs, and does that at least sometimes, they will become more and more able to go to the garden, and they will gradually destroy the "unhealthy" circuit in their brain. And then my brain says....and then they are compelled to garden, but hopefully it doesn't work that way.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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What an excellent way of putting it. Thank you, meimei.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Meimei: Great ideas. Not exactly the same but related, for me, is the development of "internal boundaries:" when I become aware of habitual, excessively troubling thought patterns and resultant feelings, I want to actively shift to something else. Not suppress, but gently and non-judgmentally notice and then change direction.

 

One of the reasons I was on a psychotropic med was because, like lots of people, I hadn't learned emotional self-regulation skills and didn't believe I could have any command over where my mind went, and over constant upset. Now, in middle age, what a revelation to discover that this is possible and learnable. Dialectical Behavior Therapy materials refer to this ability as consulting the "Wise Mind." I have also heard it called one's "Loving Adult" who can care for, soothe and direct one's wounded or scared child self. This makes great sense to me.

Prozac 20 mg/daily since 1995

July 19, 2013, initial cut to 15 mg; Aug. 2 updosed to 18 mg; Aug. 19, to 16.2 mg
Held at 2.52 ml/day Jan. 11-April 16, 2014
April 16, 2014, cut to 2.40 ml/day
Dec. 29, 2014, 1.84 ml/day, and held there almost six months
June 23, 2015, 1.75ml/day; July 21, 2015, 1.70 ml/day
Aug. 13, 2015, 1.60 ml/day

Feb. 7, 2016, .7 ml/day; April 26, 2016, .6 ml/day

 

Taking anastrozole (estrogen blocker)
 
Successfully completed long, slow Klonopin taper November 2011. :ph34r:

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  • 1 month later...

In one of my group therapy classes, they gave us a little notebook as a "gratitude journal." we are supposed to write down 5 things we are grateful for that day before we go to bed. Its actually pretty cathartic as it forces me to think of positive thoughts and i feel content knowing i came up with at least 5 things. What I'm trying to do now is change the channel and think of what i wrote down when i wake up in the middle of the night when my monkey mind is going.

on 37.5 - 50mg zoloft/sertraline for GAD from 3/1996 to 4/2013 (17 years) 

too fast taper from 1/13-4/13

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I spent time at http://www.llttf.com/  before I started tapering and it helped me to deal with negative thinking.

I went back again last night because I needed a reminder and thought I would share it. 

It is an amazing site and helps with all kind of emotions. It was started by a UK psychiatrist who believes that

depression can be treated without drugs. ( Note to self... must email him and ask his opinion on tapering and withdrawal .) 

It is funded by the UK's NHS and anyone, anywhere in the world can join, no need to sign up if you don't want to, but if 

you do sign up you can work through the modules and see where you are at. You can also print off worksheets. There are

books available to buy but I haven't bought any of them.

 

I recommend it to anyone. Withdrawal is very real and horrific  to live with, but the power of positive thinking is remarkable.

 The channel can be changed but like a dodgy tv the brain jumps back to the wrong channel. It takes effort but can make a

huge difference. 

 

Take a look and see what you think. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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I signed up, might as well check it out, looks like some good stuff.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 4 months later...

I love this ' change the channel' I do it all the time even when I'm in the worst wave it helps ease it just a little. If you keep thinking oh my I feel terrible over and over again it just ramps it all up. Changing the channel breaks the routine of negative thought patterns it's what some NLP is based on. I find it partially helpful when I'm coming to the end of a wave but keep having set backs I try to visualise myself being strong and I'm control.

Feb 2013 - started Mirtazapine 15 mg have CFS /ME

did 6 months of tapering to 0 mg

2 months drug Free awful withdrawal

May 2014 reinstated at 6 mg

August 2014 - 5 mg. October 2014 - 4 mg. November - 3.8 mg

December - 3.6 mg. Jan upped to 3.8 holding for a while

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I used to change me channels frequently by going out and getting embraced in the nature...Not anymore, and I don't understand what happened. Instead of tuning to something that can help me feeling better, I tune to the noise, to my misery, to things I have no control over.

I have six free cinema tickets, I could drive to some park, I need to go to the bank, etc. But I stay home and I feel worse...

I have stayed indoors since friday...I don't really understand this, apart from that after moving house I have never gotten used to the area and people here. I find going out painful...

I used to be out every day before...love the nature...

- 30.09.2020- reduced doxepin to 125mg, 16.10.2020- 100mg, 6.11.2020- 75mg

- May 2020, omeprazole 40mg switched to esomeprazole 20mg

- 2012 re-started Doxepin 75mg, evening. Increased to 150mg

- 2012, Atenolol 25mg, twice a day

- 2016, Low dose of HRT in evening, Sandrena and Utrogestan 

- Long terms of Nasal spray Otrivine

- 2012, PPI Omeprazole 40mg-evening

24.10.2014- Started ESCITALOPRAM-first 5mg and then 10mg; due to the adverse symptoms reduced on 5.01.2015- Escitalopram- 2.5mg 22.07.2016- re-started reduction by 1% at a time. Completed tappering on  19.03.2020 😇

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  • 1 year later...
Purplestars22

I think this video may help with changing the channel to bring a sense of clarity watching nature:

http://youtu.be/kwqdVqj1kIU

Celexa 20mg 2008-2012 for Social Anxiety

Failed attempt to stop reinstated

1 year taper skipping doses

Celexa free 12/2013

1/2014-5/2014 took 5 htp every other day

Failed Reinstatement 5mg of Celexa on 12/2014 for 5 days only

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  • 8 months later...

I spent time at http://www.llttf.com/ before I started tapering and it helped me to deal with negative thinking.

I went back again last night because I needed a reminder and thought I would share it.

It is an amazing site and helps with all kind of emotions. It was started by a UK psychiatrist who believes that

depression can be treated without drugs. ( Note to self... must email him and ask his opinion on tapering and withdrawal .)

It is funded by the UK's NHS and anyone, anywhere in the world can join, no need to sign up if you don't want to, but if

you do sign up you can work through the modules and see where you are at. You can also print off worksheets. There are

books available to buy but I haven't bought any of them.

 

I recommend it to anyone. Withdrawal is very real and horrific to live with, but the power of positive thinking is remarkable.

The channel can be changed but like a dodgy tv the brain jumps back to the wrong channel. It takes effort but can make a

huge difference.

 

 

Take a look and see what you think.

MamaP, Just curious did you hear back from him on his thoughts?

Effexor XR 300 (brand) mg & various SSRIs 15 yrs (Effexor XR 300 mg past 10 yrs

Clonazepam, 1.0 mg. am, .5 mg pm. - 15 yrs, 7-17-16- Began .5 three times a day

Vyvanse 60 mg, - 2 yrs, Cut to 50 mg for 6 mths, Cut to 30 mg. on 4-1-16. Tapering.

Approx. 4-1-15 began Effexor XR 300 taper, very slowly for a year. Held at 37.5 for about 3 mths. Cut to 18 mg for 2 wks to 0. WD began 2 wks later. Depression, anxiety, paranoia, low appetite, nausea.

7-14-16-Reinstated 5 beads Effx after 4 mths misery.Pooped out 10 days.

9-12-16-to present- Wide eyed terror, bedridden fear, no appetite/feeling of being full.

10-30-16- Began 15% liquid tapering of 30 mg Vyvanse. (25 mg)

11-13-16- Liquid Vyvanse 22 mg,11-27-16- Liquid 15 mg, 12-12-16- Vyvanse 12.5 for 5 days. 12-16 - 12-29, 15 mg.

11-20-16- Switched back to 1.0 clonazepam am & .5 bedtime

12-30-16- Moved to 15 mg COMPOUNDED Vyvanse.Current 4/11-4/25 7.5 mg.(10% ev 2 wks) Off Vyvanse

Current meds:Effexor XR- 3 Beads, Clonazepam-1.0 mg am, .5 mg bedtime,Vyvanse-(tapering) Estradiol- 2

mg,Progesterone 200 mg,Testosterone 30 mg/ml,Nature Throid- 48.75 mg.(12-21-16-65 mg.) (4-18-17-81.25 mg) Current supplements: Fish Oil-1360 mg, Curamin- 2706 mg.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to "Change the channel" - dealing with cognitive symptoms

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