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pinkberri New to Antidepressant World and Wanting Out


pinkberri

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Hi there - I've been lurking on the site for weeks now, but decided it was a good time to go ahead and start my own thread.

 

My background is that I went in for plastic surgery and was given a mix of meds that made me go nuts. I was given high doses of prednisone for 5 days (which is known to cause mental issues) and wasn't tapered. The doctor had given me ativan to use as needed and I only took 7 pills over a 10 day timeframe before realizing how bad they were. I still wasn't sleeping so I was given ambien but only used it for 5 days due to the addictive nature. 

 

I didn't sleep for 3 days and freaked out and went to my first psychiatrist appointment ever. She prescribed me gabapentin to use as needed between 300-1200mg/day and doxepin at 10mg. I took this cocktail for a week and still only ever slept for 5 hours at a time, so she added Remeron. I took Remeron at 15mg for 5 days and at 7.5mg for another week. It really screwed with my brain even more. I couldn't concentrate at work and was all over the map and I felt really mentally slowed. I started having really scary urges, so my family brought me back to my home town and I stopped taking everything.

 

The first 5 days was okay - I was able to sleep for 5 hours every night and then the next week all hell broke loose. I wanted to reinstate but since the meds never helped a bit I decided that it wasn't worth it.

 

It's now 6 weeks after and I'm still having a really rough time. I'm very OCD and I'm afraid that I'm never going to heal. I went a good week sleeping about 7 or 8 hours a night but now panic and sheer anxiety have set in and I'm just obsessed over the idea that I'll never be the same. 

 

I've been taking OTC medication to help me sleep, and for a while I didn't have to take anything at all.

 

I've been getting twitches all over and right now the back of my skull is tingling. 

 

I feel scared. I feel like such a fool - I never asked for this and it's scary as hell.

 

I'm trying to go to work and be productive, but it's insanely hard without sleep and I just feel like I'm coming unglued. 

 

I know that I've been getting better. I can see the progress, but I'm so scared of more stuff coming in the future. 

 

My sleep is all over the place mostly because I'm super anxious and afraid that I'm dying and I feel compelled to contact another psychiatrist (one recommended on this site) but I don't know what they would do with me. They would just offer more drugs which I don't want to take. So, I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

 

The biggest thing for me is sleep - which hasn't been good ever since the surgery. I don't know what to do about that. Everything gets worse when I don't sleep and I'm so scared of not sleeping for a week!

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I should add - I want to be off of this drug merry-go-round. I'm driving my poor husband insane. I'm honestly petrified of getting Akathasia, Dyskinesia, basically anything that rares its head after you've already gone off drugs. I need someone to reassure me that my fears are irrational. 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, pinkberri.

 

It does sound like you had an adverse reaction to drugs that's been compounded by drugs prescribed by a psychiatrist to treat those adverse reactions. She prescribed an odd mix of drugs.

 

Did the gabapentin alone help at all?

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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Hi Pinkberri, I had an adverse drug reaction and it caused all the things you describe. It's not you, it's the tablets. Hang tight. It takes a little time but you will feel better.

 

The mods here are brilliant to help untangle it all.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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Thanks for the welcome Alto. I think the gabapentin helped but I can't be sure as I took a doxepin at the same time and noted that I got anxious the first time after taking the combo, so I'm not sure which caused what. Right now I'm happy to report that I slept for 9 hours last night - I've decided to tell myself that anxiety and my stomach flipping around is just a stomach (not a sign of something worse) and that my paranoia is irrational and unfounded. Distracting myself by coloring before bed really seemed to help last night.

 

The more I obsess over every symptom and the more crap I google the worse I get - I'm just psyching myself out!

 

I'm hesitant to take the gabapentin again as I'm currently trying to swear off anything (other than maybe magnesium and melatonin) that crosses the blood brain barrier.

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Hi Pinkberri, I had an adverse drug reaction and it caused all the things you describe. It's not you, it's the tablets. Hang tight. It takes a little time but you will feel better.

 

The mods here are brilliant to help untangle it all.

Did it take you a few months to start feeling better after your ordeal? I'm 6 weeks out from my last pill and I took various stuff for about 6 weeks in total prior. I think right now my obsessive googling is just making me more freaked out, so I'm just going to stick to this site and to trying to find ways to meditate/cope/focus on other things.

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  • Administrator

It's good that you slept.

 

Do you have any gabapentin left?

 

Also see The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

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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Yes, it really took a while. I started getting moments of clarity, where I would feel better but still not quite myself but largely it was awful. I was also very anxious, having the odd panic attack, derealisation and plagued by horrid OCD style intrusive thoughts. I had never had any of these before I took tablets, which I only took for a few days.

It sounds like you are adopting some really good coping strategies.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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Yes, it really took a while. I started getting moments of clarity, where I would feel better but still not quite myself but largely it was awful. I was also very anxious, having the odd panic attack, derealisation and plagued by horrid OCD style intrusive thoughts. I had never had any of these before I took tablets, which I only took for a few days.

It sounds like you are adopting some really good coping strategies.

If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take for you to start feeling more like yourself during a big window?

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I took the tablets in mid-feb it was late May before I started to feel like there was any consistent improvement (probably exacerbated by six weeks of SJW, which really knocked me about).

 

I had a big wave for most of July and again for a couple of weeks in October.

 

In December I went to Sydney with the kids and realised I hadn't had any symptoms at all for months. It was the first time I could feel reliably myself again.

 

I had a small wave in January. The October and January waves were more like two weeks of PMT between ovulation and coming on.

 

I'm having a rough time again now but we think its been set off by some antibiotics. Before that I was climbing up volcanos in Reunion, really enjoying life again.

March 2003 took two sartroline tablets after a traumatic incident and had a reaction so stopped.  I am not sure now whether what I had for the next 18 months was WD after the reaction or the emotional fallout from the traumatic event.  Some of it was very similar to WD in hindsight.  

 

February 2014 - Took five pristiq (50mg) tablets and three Ativan and had a severe reaction.
Extreme withdrawal symptoms for three weeks compounded by visit to naturopath -

One week later took 900mg St John's Wort x 3 daily for six weeks - more negative effects and suspected serotonin syndrome - before tapering over three weeks. Last tablet late May 2014.

Waves and windows cycle of recovery with longer windows and manageable waves.

May 2015 - already in a mild wave, following a usual pattern, I took clarithromicin and amoxicillin for two weeks for a sinus infection which I also seem to have had quite a reaction to.

 

February 2016 - Feeling much better.  I still have waves and windows but they are manageable.  I'm largely enjoying life again.

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It's good that you slept.

 

Do you have any gabapentin left?

 

Also see The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

I'm the person who contacted you on fb about dr prey - would you recommend him in my case? I'm scared to use the gabapentin without supervision. I didn't sleep last night but I went a week sleeping about 8 hours a night without any meds a few weeks ago. How do I know if I'm experiencing akathasia??

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  • Administrator

That referral was my best advice.

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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Just using this thread as my journal... I was able to sleep for 8 hours last night with the help of Benadryl. I'm committed to keeping away from reading all of the horror stories online. This is my story, everyone is different, and from what I've learned everyone heals :) I'm just going to focus on that and nothing else and try to move forward with day to day life without fear. The only way I'll have every symptom in the book is if I believe I do!

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Altostrata

Very true!

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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I went to Bar Method for first time in a long time yesterday and was able to stay for 45 minutes! My mind was a jumbled mess but I did it! I was able to sleep off and on with the help of Benadryl last night for about 7 hours. I had some weird twitches this morning but I'm going to be okay. I'm actually looking forward to work today.

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Altostrata

Please use search to see our discussions about Benadryl.

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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Please use search to see our discussions about Benadryl.

I have. I don't want to use it but I'm not guaranteed to fall asleep otherwise. I'm using melatonin and magnesium as well. I've tried the other supplements but I feel like I'm just throwing my body for a loop by not being consistent. My dr has agreed to help wean me off of the small amount of Benadryl once I'm sleeping better...

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I slept for about 6.5 hours last night and went out with my husband last night. I broke my rule and researched stuff :/ but today is a new day. I've decided I'm going to treat myself to something every week I go without researching anything! I'm going to talk with a therapist today about how to deal with the OCD and hypochondria that these meds have left me with. I will get better :)

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Altostrata

It's not that people become dependent on Benadryl, it's that it can lose effectiveness.

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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It's not that people become dependent on Benadryl, it's that it can lose effectiveness.

It does seem to work for me at a very low dose. Probably placebo at this point ;) when I came off Remeron it was the only thing that worked well and I got down to 1/4 of a pill and was sleeping well on my own for a few weeks after. Then my hormones got wacky and I coildn't sleep again, so I'm trying to normalize those :) my obsessiveness seems to come and go in waves and I see to be highly suggestible, so I need to stay away from googling and I bet my sleep issues start to resolve. It's just hard when you're lying awake and wondering what the hell is happening to you haha!!!

 

I sincerely appreciate your help Alto. I'm not sure if I'm actually experiencing withdrawal (probably some form of it) or just initial adverse reaction to all of the drugs for surgery, but I have found all of the suggestions on this site immensely helpful. I admire everyone who is going through this unrecognized struggle.

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Altostrata

You may find meditating during those times before sleep is just what you need.

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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I tried the meditation and it seemed to help but I only slept for 4.5 hours :/ oh well! Today is a new day and I'm going to be RUNNING my first 5k!! Happy 4th of July!!!

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I had a great day yesterday and went to watch fireworks with friends for the 4th. I successfully ran my first 5k. I was able to sleep off and on for 8+ hours last night. I took 1/2 of a unisom and some calms forte which really seems to help. This feeling of panic always sets in and makes my heart race right before in about to fall asleep, so I'm not sure what that's all about. Hopefully that will stop. I'm still experiencing muscle jerks when I lay down to relax but hopefully those will go away with time too. My goal is to only use medicine to help me sleep when I'm experiencing a wave. During windows I seem to be able to sleep just fine without anything but when the waves hit they hit hard and I go without sleep for multiple days which just makes everything worse! I even had multiple long dreams last night, so I know I slept well!

I'm going to try out a new church today. This whole experience has really pulled me back to religion because I feel like we have to believe in something greater than us to get through serious rough patches in our lives.

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Slept for about 5 hours last night and relaxed in bed for about 3. I'm trying to ward off a UTI because I really don't want to take antibiotics. Looking forward to work today. Going to work out after!

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Altostrata

You may wish to darken your bedroom with blackout shades or curtains and wear a sleep mask. The early morning light can cause premature wakeups. See Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

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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Thanks Alto - I've done both but still seem to be waking up. Sometimes I'm able to go back to sleep and sometimes not... I have a full blown UTI now so I think that may be what's been waking me up early for the past few days... I'm thinking that the unisom may be leading to the UTI but I'm not sure... Just wanting some sleep... I think I got about 6 hours off and on last night though and hopefully with less pain I'll get even more tonight once the antibiotics kick in.

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Altostrata

6 hours is not bad. Since you're ill and taking antibiotics, those are additional sleep-disturbing factors.

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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It's interesting to read that your hormones are messed up. (I'm assuming that you mean you are having trouble with your menstural cycles) That's a huge symptom for me. But I have learnt to use it as a guide to what is going on regarding my healing. When my cycles even out I know my body is recovering nicely. I'm tapering an antidepressant though so not in exactly the same situation as you. Would love to hear more info on this if anyone can direct me to the appropriate place.

Best of luck to you. I hope your recovery is a quick one.

2003 Zoloft for PND. No other Psych history before this.

2009 CT. Huge withdrawal. Voluntary hospital admission. Successfully stabilized on 40mg Prozac.

2012 CT after 2 years of tapering to 10mg. Another Disaster. No hospital admission. Stabilized 40mg Prozac

2014 CT after 2 years of tapering to 5mg. Destabilized but not as bad as previous. Found this site. Reinstated 5mg. Stabilized quickly but held for 6 months.

Feb 2015 4mg Prozac

March 2015 Tramadol for Pain after an OP. Didn’t realize it was an SNRI.

March 2015 3 mg Prozac

April 2015 2.5mg Prozac

May 2015 2mg Prozac

June 2015 Destabilized (After research believe it was delayed withdrawal due to the Tramadol)

July 11th 2015. Updosed to 2.5mg

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I was able to sleep off and on for about 5 or so hours last night without taking anything. I ran 2 miles yesterday so I'm exhausted! I've been experiencing HORRIBLE night sweats which I've never had before in my life! I'm only 27 so this is driving me nuts. I'm going to acupuncture today so hopefully that helps.

 

I slept for 8 hours a night for a few weeks straight a few weeks ago, so I know it's possible. I feel like I've just ramped up my hypochondria by reading too many horror stories online, so as soon as I forget those I'm sure I'll sleep better.

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6 hours is not bad. Since you're ill and taking antibiotics, those are additional sleep-disturbing factors.

I just keep wishing that those days where I was sleeping for 8 hours that happened a few weeks ago would come back. I just have to stay optimistic and know that it is possible :)

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It's interesting to read that your hormones are messed up. (I'm assuming that you mean you are having trouble with your menstural cycles) That's a huge symptom for me. But I have learnt to use it as a guide to what is going on regarding my healing. When my cycles even out I know my body is recovering nicely. I'm tapering an antidepressant though so not in exactly the same situation as you. Would love to hear more info on this if anyone can direct me to the appropriate place.

Best of luck to you. I hope your recovery is a quick one.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm actually on birth control and have been to control my migraines for years. Now I'm not sure if they're doing more harm than good, but on the upside I haven't had a migraine since this whole ordeal started about 3 months ago.

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I'm so inconsistent with how I treat my body for sleep. I think I should start taking melatonin again and stick to doing that for a while - I don't think melatonin hurts at all. If there has been one thing that has consistently helped I think it's been that. I think I'll stop by trader joes today and get s new bottle.

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Slept for about 5 hours off and on night before last and 6 or 7 hours off and on last night. It's hard not to lose hope or get upset when you keep finding yourself wide awake every 2 hours! I woke up at 2:00 last night and just started crying - my husband had to shake some sense into me and calm me down. I got back into bed, curled up with him and fell asleep about 20 minutes later. I had 2 really long and weird dreams back to back. I seem to remember a lot of my dreams these days because I keep waking up at the end of them. I'm going to see the therapist today - she specializes in insomnia, and since I'm pretty sure most of mine is in my head at this point I'm really hoping it helps.

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Do what you can to stop being anxious about sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night. Snuggle and meditate -- that will help.

 

For withdrawal syndrome, your sleep is not too bad.

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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Last night I slept off and on for 9 hours! I took 200 mg of l theanine, 400 mg of mag glycinate, and melatonin! I had like 4 or 5 dreams!

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