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laurencf I effed up and I'm scared. Please tell me I'll be able to restabilize soon, and how.


laurencf

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Hi, Im Lauren,

 

I've been on lamictal 150mg and celexa 10mg for about 2-3 years, originally for major depression with some "bipolar II qualities" ie hypomania, panic attacks.  For the last 6-9 months I havent been taking them every day, more like every other to 3rd day sometimes as long as every 4th day.  I didn't notice any ill effects and thought this was maybe a good way to limit my dependence if/when I ever wanted off. 

 

In retrospect I can see some increasing anxiety (esp rebound anxiety from other meds) over the last year but I chalked that up to the other meds.

 

Then I got the bright idea to come off both of them cold turkey, thinking because I wasn't taking them every day it would probably be ok and if I started feeling sh*tty I'd get back on.  I was "fine" for over 2 weeks...didnt notice the increaseing but subclinical anxiety over the last week, or didn't chalk it up to that, until 3 days ago.  If I had trouble with it I'd take a little clonidine blocker or gabapentin, because I thought it was a side effect of mild opioid withdrawal (one of my opiate meds is causing more trouble than its worth so Ive been limiting its use off and on) and those meds help.  Then things got a LOT worse; last night I HAD to take a benzo to make it through school, and today I woke up in full panic/terror, the kind where I feel like if I had to feel this way indefinitely I would surely kill myself.

 

(PS I do know a lot about benzo and opiate withdrawal, and Im terrified of becoming dependent on benzos so every time I have to use more than one in a week period I feel anxious about that)

 

In retrospect I feel SO stupid after reading this site, I should have known better, and with all of the complicated things I had going on that I thought I was doing to better my health when really it was just destabilizing my nervous system (esp GABA/glutamate which all the drugs Ive mentioned have some effect, even indirectly like opiates). 

 

I am still in the throes of panic (klonopin and redosing helped but still unstable feeling) and so Im sure my thinking is extra irrational and catastrophic right now, but Im really scared Ive been messing around too much here and didnt realize it and that Im going to have a lot of trouble restabilizing, or maybe be one of those people who can't restabilize at all. 

 

 

Does the fact that the klonopin worked AT ALL (and I dont know really how much of my feeling better was that vs reinstating the lamictal and celexa) mean that my system is still ok, able to respond well to these meds, and therefore I can restabilize without a lot of suffering? 

 

Should I continue to reinstate both meds at once?  At what dose?

 

ANy other tips for getting restabilized as quickly and painlessly as possible?  How long should I stay on again before trying a MUCH SLOWER more mindful taper?  I now know not to do alternate dosing, btw.

 

Please pray for me that I didnt **** things up badly here and can get back to where I was, soon. 

pain meds: 1999-present methadone (currently 60mg)  | 2013-present IR morphine as needed (was on different IR drug for 6 years before that) | 2013-present fentanyl nasal spray as needed (fluctuating daily use up to embarrassing binge amounts)  

Off the fent entirely for the immediate present due to rebound anxiety. 

Occasional (though increasing over the last 4-6 months small doses of gabapentin, clonidine, rarely klonopin/benzos: all of these for helping withdrawal after fentanyl binges and for rebound anxiety during.

psych meds: 2013-present Lamictal 150mg | 2013-present celexa 10mg

2009-present testosterone 165mg inj every 7-10 days | May 2015-present compounded human thyroid hormone 60mg/day

 

Why I am here:

Got the bright idea to try CT off lamictal and celexa to "see if I could" (cue internalized anti-med shaming).  Thought I was fine for 2 weeks, then over 2 days anxiety spiked and horrendous panic and terror, muscle clenching, etc began.  Reinstated the 2 meds above at 37.5mg lamictal and 2.5mg celexa and going from there.  Klonopin on board up to 2.5mg/day right now to mitigate the worst symptoms and help stabiize.  Hoping for quick, smooth reinstatement so I can get off the benzos asap without trouble.

 

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Lauren.
 
The effect of the Klonopin doesn't mean anything other than you still get some beneficial effect from it.
 
This is just a guess -- I might reinstate 25mg Lamictal and 2mg Celexa and stabilize for a good while, maybe months. It may be rocky for a while.

 

Take your drugs at the same dosage and same time each day. Do not EVER skip days again. The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

 

After you are good and stable, you might properly taper off one drug at a time. I would taper the Celexa first.
 
Instructions on how to titrate these drugs are in these topics:

Tips for tapering off Celexa (citalopram)

 

Tips for tapering off Lamictal (lamotrigine)

 

Also read What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

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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Thank you so much for your time, your super fast personal reply, and all you do here.  I finally got in touch with my original prescribing psych and he recommended reinstating at 75mg Lamictal and 10mg citalopram for 2 weeks, then back to original 150mg L (citalopram same dose as before).  I did take that today, but after your post and other reading I think I will try a smaller dose as you've suggested.

 

For the time being klonopin is my rescue what is keeping my WDs under control.  .5mg 2-3x/day gets me "just tolerable", 1mg or a bit more 2x/day gets me relief and sleep.  I did some exercise today and limited sugar and SLEPT after the full Kpin kicked in.

Which is better, the "just tolerable" dose or the "relief/functional/much better" dose?  Im worried about adding a klonopin dependence to this fiasco if it takes me a week or more to restabilize on the other meds...but all the reading Im doing suggests that STABLE and not in withdrawal is the most important thing right now...that the benzos could be tapered off later (also slowly), that artificially or not my brain needs to settle down and stop priming itself for anxiety and panic even if its not intolerable.  Thoughts?

 

I have literally NO idea how some of you have been able to endure that level of panic and terror I was feeling earlier today in cold turkey withdrawal for days, weeks, or months.  I couldn't stand it for hardly an hour (although mild exercise did help, that was good).  The fear of having to endure that without remedy because of complications/kindling/paradoxical reactions is just...I can't even go there and will be so grateful to this board if I have gotten enough knowledge in time to avoid such a terrible fate. 

pain meds: 1999-present methadone (currently 60mg)  | 2013-present IR morphine as needed (was on different IR drug for 6 years before that) | 2013-present fentanyl nasal spray as needed (fluctuating daily use up to embarrassing binge amounts)  

Off the fent entirely for the immediate present due to rebound anxiety. 

Occasional (though increasing over the last 4-6 months small doses of gabapentin, clonidine, rarely klonopin/benzos: all of these for helping withdrawal after fentanyl binges and for rebound anxiety during.

psych meds: 2013-present Lamictal 150mg | 2013-present celexa 10mg

2009-present testosterone 165mg inj every 7-10 days | May 2015-present compounded human thyroid hormone 60mg/day

 

Why I am here:

Got the bright idea to try CT off lamictal and celexa to "see if I could" (cue internalized anti-med shaming).  Thought I was fine for 2 weeks, then over 2 days anxiety spiked and horrendous panic and terror, muscle clenching, etc began.  Reinstated the 2 meds above at 37.5mg lamictal and 2.5mg celexa and going from there.  Klonopin on board up to 2.5mg/day right now to mitigate the worst symptoms and help stabiize.  Hoping for quick, smooth reinstatement so I can get off the benzos asap without trouble.

 

 

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LoveandLight

This is alright Lauren. I've effed up too lol!

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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  • Mentor

Hi Lauren, we all mess up, always seems to work out in the end........    But keep in mind, the fear and worry of "will I always be like this" or  ""I will never handle this if it gets worse"  is ALWAYS  worse than the reality..............  my advice, dont jump back to big doses, just because the doc wants you too.      Take the advice here from the moderators.        

 

Withdrawals is the brain trying to heal and rebalance, and your brain has already begun to do this..............     so jumping back to previous dose, may be too high, always wiser to start low, and see if it makes you feel a bit better, takes the edge of all the horrors of WD.    

 

And most of all Welcome!!!   :)   

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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  • Administrator

Lauren, I would try the lower dosages first, give them at least a week. If they do the trick, why take the higher dosages?

 

Your psychiatrist is of the "more is better" school. This is not always the case, especially if your nervous system has been sensitized by withdrawal, which your withdrawal symptoms indicate.

 

Yes, withdrawal syndrome is grueling, not the trivial discomfort of a few weeks, as many doctors believe.

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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