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  2. Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

    Hi Brandy-- thank you for dropping in and adding your support and for sharing your success with dealing with the anhedonia and lack of emotions. I'm so glad that things did clear up for you and that you're back to fully enjoying the things that are so special to you. "I hope it won't upset people if I point out that anhedonia is by definition the inability to feel pleasure, not what (at least on PP) we called "emotional blunting" or "emotional numbness." I just want to avoid confusion." You make a very good point here that emphasizes an on going problem with the forum. The two terms are used interchangeably when in fact they are two distinctly different symptoms. Emotional blunting is frequently referred to as Anhedonia and when described is not. It also commonly happens the other was around. A comment we frequently get goes something like "I have no emotions, I can't feel anything, it makes me so scared and anxious". Which describes Anhedonia. Where as "I have no emotions, I can't feel anything, and I don't care" is more a case of emotional blunting. I usually described it as "not caring enough to not give a c***". The nice thing is that, as you and Marsha have experienced, given time the emotions do come back with all the love and appreciation for the the beauty that is all around us, and it is wonderful.
  3. Long time no see, FSL! You are in my thoughts. how are you lately? Are you still at 1.59mg?
  4. AmyK: Intro about myself

    So sorry Amy you got vertigo as a new symptom, I hope it's mild and short lived. headache is a WD symptom getting my knees down. I can endure other symptoms not being able to do anything and just lying in bed but the pain can be so profound and purely intolerable. I hope yours is not as bad. both can be the continuous refining of the system. It can't be no end, you are farther from the process everyday! More good days are on the way until good day for everyday! hugs, lex
  5. Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

    Tom and Brandy and all. I experienced drug (neuroleptic) induced anhedonia from 2003-2015. In 2016, I began to recover what Brandy so eloquently describes above. It (anhedonia) has indeed vanished. It is incredible, beautiful.
  6. Hi Amy, thanks for checking on me! the reaction from that 0.0005mg has been incredible. One touch ( almost like just smelling it) brought up severe and frightening reactions to a dangerous level, extreme physical agitation, heart pounding, DR etc. even with the fast dropping of dose everyday the past week, the reaction keeps ramping back in full force. My hope of hanging at low dose like 0.0004mg for a while seems not possible. I took 0.0048 mg last night, Still got super sick and one hour scary heart pounding and overall very sick. I may have to stop completely today. still lots burning,nneedling pain, but have to endure those, fingers crossed that the pain won't break me completely and for too long. somehow feel unreal that I am actually reaching zero, been so long, feeling not yet prepared mentally for the jump. but eventually this has to be done. Can't imagine how much worse it can be. somehow I feel my most suffering the last couple years are more from the drug since updose, hoping things will actually get better without pushing the poison into my super sensitized brain,
  7. MiguelFreeman: Question about Lexapro

    So now I shude wait until it stabilizes how long I know one of the admins said 3 mouths prob will do that and just ask my new psychiatrist for the liquid form just to start preparing everything to taper after I become stable but the fun part is that I don't feel any withdraw effects after reinstating the 10 mg just sleeping all day ^^
  8. MiguelFreeman: Question about Lexapro

    I have had to change to decaffeinated coffee. It's because your central nervous system (CNS) has been destabilised. Se this discussion: caffeine-in-coffee-or-tea-tolerance-issues
  9. MiguelFreeman: Question about Lexapro

    my Gp said I had symptomatic anxiety because I went their whit a list of symptoms i felt after CT that I now understand was all because of the withdraw and not from anxiety since all of the symptoms are gone ... and when i am anxiety I can call my shelf down I just feel that the longer I am on this medication the more harm the will do
  10. kangamangus: Coming off Zoloft after 9 years

    If you go to my website, link in signature, I have a list on the second page of things I found on the internet, about half way down the page. The creation of the DSM is excellent.
  11. ☼ Divegrl: Wellbutrin 150 XL taper

    Having a tough time. Vivid dreams and neuro emotions. My body is healing..................... slowly.
  12. MiguelFreeman: Question about Lexapro

    I have no anxiety during the day I just feel sad in being on this medication but not depressed
  13. kangamangus: Coming off Zoloft after 9 years

    I can't believe it took me years to realize this. Medication spellbinding is a real thing. I always thought the drugs were helping me but really things just got worse and worse and I became more dysfunctional. I'll look into that book, I have actually been looking at some youtube videos by Dr. Breggin recently. Simply truths of psychiatry I believe they are called. Very eye opening, I only wish I had seen them 9 years ago(don't we all wish we could go back in time).
  14. MiguelFreeman: Question about Lexapro

    I went back to 10, not cus of withdraw effects but because my mother wants me to do it under doctor supervision it indeed affected my intestines making me go to the bathroom 4 times in one day but it wasn't that bad and only happen after 7 days of the reduction but this medication is a burden just feel it's slowing me down and what I feel after coming back to 10 is the same thing Sleeping all day and living on the night sleeping again waking up a 3 in the afternoon nothing more no withdraw like effects my stomach and intestines are stable coffee gives me some anxiety now don't know why
  15. kangamangus: Coming off Zoloft after 9 years

    Psychiatric drugs can end up causing the things that they are supposed to help. Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Peter Breggin is well worth reading.
  16. I found some notes I had made in preparation for my success story... This was in response to a member, who asked: I wish I could say it's one thing, but it's a hundred things. GiaK http://www.beyondmeds.com says, "Everything matters." Practice is my big word. It doesn't matter what your practice is - maybe it's balancing a matchstick on the end of your nose until you get really good at it. But more likely, you will be helped by all the boring stuff - like meditation, gentle exercise like tai chi or yoga, even weightlifting. Diet is important - finding what foods keep you well and stable, what foods knock you into the deep end. Art and music can be nourishment, too. Practice practice practice. Do something every day. The same thing, preferably at the same time every day. My prescription Practice started with a 10 minute sun walk. Every day. Sunlight, seeing green trees and grass and birds. Walking up a hill, then down it again. Just 10 minutes (so I had no excuse not to do it) This past year, I've added a little 5 minute tai chi routine - with my bare feet on the grass, and facing the sun. So 15 minutes of sunlight, moving my joints. It helps remind me that the world is not as bleak as I might perceive it. I live in a dark house (that's considered beneficial in our hot summers), but if I stay inside - I won't know that it's a beautiful day with light sea breezes. I have to step outside to do that. Whatever practice you are attracted to - do it every day. Make it easy, pleasurable, or even fun. Over time, I've added some larger practices: play the piano or work at my art table once a week. Go to yoga, karate, or weightlifting 2x a week (it changes, depending on what I need most). Whole food smoothies after exercise. Magnesium baths 2x a week. Call or meet a friend once a week. Listen to music every day. Pat my cat, and open myself up to being more compassionate towards her. Practice kindness with my husband, practice gratitude with the rest of my life. Fish oil. Magnesium. Zinc. Selenium. (these are for me, your mileage may vary) Some days you will feel awful. Some days you will feel better. In the times you are strong, plan for the times you are weak. A Practice helps to build up a "bank account" that you can draw upon in the rough times. If you are thrashing about in miserable suffering, your Practice may not feel like it's working. It doesn't matter. Just keep Practicing. You will build up even if you don't notice it. Realize it's all temporary. It will pass. The awful times will pass. The good times will pass too. Remember to use the good times to help yourself (but don'r overdo, or the bad times will crash down faster), remember that the bad times are temporary. Waves and Windows Even if your healing is slow - it is healing. Look to the horizon, the big picture. Also - look at the tiny things, for pleasure. I learned that there is a phrase for this, "hedonic rehabilitation." Using pleasure to guide you. Chances are, that if it feels really good to eat an avocado - then avocados are good for you. But if you binge on sugar and are sick for days - then that's not pleasure - that's pain. The sugar is hurting you. Listen to your body. I know that's a lot of stuff - but to me, it took many little things, all combined together like a weaving to make a basket for me to heal. Also - look to the little things - gratitude. Maybe today it is gratitude that you have enough to eat. Maybe you only see one beautiful picture on the internet - be grateful for each little thing which makes you feel better. Acknowledging each tiny one will help you string them together like a pearl necklace, and also builds you up in preparation for the next good thing. Many people have tapered successfully here without any support - but I've found it helpful to have a spouse who listens (even when he doesn't quite understand, he listens) - I also have an acupuncturist and massage therapist who supported my taper. I bullied my psychiatrist into tapering, she at least read Robert Whitaker's excellent "Anatomy of an Epidemic," and then said "pooh-pooh, he's just a journalist full of meta-studies." But I told her I was going to do it - and - I'd rather work with her (since she'd known me for 10 years) than start over with a new doctor. I gave her an ultimatum: if you're not with me, I'll go somewhere else. She signed on. My psychologist didn't believe me at first, either. She also read Robert Whitaker's book, and as she started to see her own clients flipping into manic episodes and anxiety from the antidepressants, she gradually came over to my side. As she saw me getting clearer and better, she started writing glowing letters to my psychiatrist. THEN, the psychiatrist couldn't ignore that I was getting better off the drugs than I was on the drugs. The psychiatrist still believes in drugs and drugging - I have been dismissed from her care for over a year now. Last I heard, she was learning about "psychiatric acupuncture," so maybe she is seeking to use more non-drug therapies. But when the psychologist started talking about how well I was doing - the psychiatrist pretty much had to go along. One professional to another, and all that. But - my practitioners were exceptional. Even the psychiatrist had studied with Stanislov Grof, who practices a more trauma based, non-drug method of dealing with extreme states. MOST practitioners only see things as "symptoms, diagnoses, and prescriptions." If you can get ONE person to read either Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic," or - "The Pill that Steals Lives," by Katinka Blackford Newman (I found both of these in my local library), then you might have an ally. Someone to help you fight. Getting angry helps - but remember - when you talk to doctors and friends - it's important to display that you are in control. Even when you are suffering. It's hard, but an essential part of not getting drugged more. Here's our tips on what to work on while you are getting ready to taper: Before You Begin Taper - What you Should Know You are in a really ideal position to control the whole process from the very beginning. The bigger doses are easier to adjust, as they get down to the smaller doses, it gets harder. So use your first tapers to "get used to the idea" of liquids, or scales, and the 10% rule. There will be mistakes - we all made them! As you get down to the more critical doses, you will be good at the tapers. I'm one of the rare ones who came here at the beginning of my tapers - like you. (yes, I'd tried in the past, but using disastrous techniques, and they failed). I had a relatively uneventful taper. A few bounces along the way - but I could control it. Stressful trip? Hold. Meeting someone new? Hold. Open time where I've got time to rest and adjust? Great time to drop by 10%! So this post is all over the place - but you only asked the biggest question that you could! I hope that you find something in here that is useful to you! One more set of links with great summaries of how this works, what to expect, what others have done, and the way toward the distant horizon (oh yes: patience. Patience, too!) Intro to Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (by Toxic Antidepressants) Withdrawal Dialogues - cartoons to encourage you and Six Mistakes I've Made In Withdrawal There is a little note at the end of this note which said: MORE on TOOLKIT and CURIOSITY. Shep taught me about curiosity for addressing emotional and mental symptoms. Instead of freaking out thinking that I'm going mad - be curious - what am I feeling/experiencing? What can I learn from it? This simple shift from fear to curious is a super key to unlocking recovery. And my toolkit? Well that's HUGE as I sometimes have the attention span of a flea, so I have many things to choose from. Right now, I'm dipping into my toolkit and choosing a nap. See the sun today! (as summer arrives, I might be less enthusiastic about that in 35 degree heat - but for now, grab it while you can!)
  17. kangamangus: Coming off Zoloft after 9 years

    Thanks chessie. I am just worried that I'll never stabilize on the med that I am on. It's a silly fear, I know that, but it's a fear of mine. I would say I was "stable" before my initial cold turkey, although I was suffering from pretty bad depression even while on the med. Nothing like it is now, things seem magnified. Neuro-emotions at work! Glad I can put a name to it now. I am also starting to recognize that chemical feeling I get with the depression now a days. A certain heaviness and pain in my soul. I will just keep holding on and doing the best that I can, but every day is so hard. I am so thankful for my windows though, I get about 3 hours every night where I feel quite a bit better and then it starts to sink back in again. Then the next day I can't even remember that I felt better the night before. I convince myself that I was imagining things. Every day the same, its so frustrating. Really working on mindfulness and gratitude, hoping to rewire my brain a little bit and see how things go. Nope, you are not alone. I cried for about 5 minutes and it really seemed to make me feel a bit better. Crying is good for you I think Well we should just start a crying club then since all of us seem to be doing it today. I know exactly what you mean! When I am in that moment I can't remember a single moment of happiness in my life. I too feel like I have always been this way and always will. To tell the truth, I can't really remember what I was like before I started to take meds. I know I had issues in school, but I had just started to grow into myself I think. I had a ton of friends in high school, and I feel like I really enjoyed my last 2 years there. I can't really remember though I know I had good times but I can't remember if the black cloud of depression was looming over me then like it is now. I know I had depression then, but theres no way it was this bad, and it didn't seem to be as permanent then. Since high school my whole life has just gone down hill. I feel like taking the zoloft helped for a little bit and then turned my occasional depression and anxiety into a low grade chronic depression for years and that scares the crap out of me. The scariest thing about it is I just dont know! I can't remember what I was really like! I hope that I am getting windows and not just imagining things! God sometimes I really feel like I am losing it. I have been thinking about you and hope you get some windows soon yourself. You deserve to be happy and feel good, we all do.
  18. Rico: Zyprexa tapering

    Hey Rico - I wrote: It sounds like your experience with private hospitals and doctors has been better than my friends. I'm glad you proved me wrong on this one! I'm still worried about you - there is danger in dropping lithium too fast, and lithium (unlike many other drugs) doesn't respond well to reinstatement. It's like once it's gone, it's gone. You seem to think that if you don't experience immediate symptoms, that the taper is doing fine. But 3, 6, even 9 months down the line, you might have a crisis - you might get a cold, or have job or relationship stressors, and the lithium cliff has been rappelled down much too quickly and you have nothing to stop the fall. If you had been tapering at 10%, it would have taken you 10 months to get down to 450 mg. Please consider holding until March 2018. That would be 10 months from your first taper - to make sure that you are free and clear of all of these fast tapers (not just the lithium). I think my drop off point was somewhere in the 30 mg range. Please note whether your Quilonum is XR or Immediate release. If you are breaking tablets, you might wish to take them 2x a day, as the half-life of lithium is short. Also, my standard warning about lithium: it only takes one incidence of dehydration to damage your kidneys. It is vital, while on this drug, to drink plenty of water, and take electrolytes to support your kidneys. Avoid all other substances metabolised in the kidneys such as nurofen and aspirin. Please stay hydrated. It will improve your health and your chances for a successful escape from this drug. Socially - it's the one that people are the most shocked about. "I quit my lithium," is a great way to make the whole room go silent, as it's considered (like your doctor said) an essential element for the "bipolar patient." Sometimes I like to do that for shock value, or even say, "I came off all of my drugs." But only among people I trust not to pick up the phone! More often I talk about it (mostly to medical personnel) as a "drug reaction to serotonin drugs" that got "misdiagnosed as bipolar." That is a language they seem to understand. It's good that you understand about "getting caught." The fear of sectioning (or "community treatment" - how Doublespeak is that?) is a good way to motivate yourself to stay calm in public, and to keep yourself out of hospitals! Overall it sounds like you have come a long way! I have investigated GROW, but my nearest chapter is across town. I wanted to see how "drug free" they are, or if they push people in the direction of drugs, or if they are truly an alternative to drugs. If the latter, I'd like to support them more! I hope you see the sun today - how is the job process going?
  19. Brassmonkey: Talking about myself

    Brass, I haven't followed this or any threads here but happened to see this post when glancing (very quickly) through one of many digests I received in email. I agree with so much of what you wrote, especially about how we should never judge others' symptoms or jump to conclusions. Many of us write about symptoms in different ways, and some people are more expressive and also some people more able to feel open in how they (we) can discuss our symptoms, as well as their intensity. We can learn a lot by sharing our experiences, but I've seen for many, many years on w/d groups what a mistake it is to think we can fully understand another's experience based on posts, much less compare our experiences. (The latter is a huge temptation on w/d group and a big, big mistake. Especially since we are all at different stages of life - not just age - and our life experiences and what our norms are can be very different.) I hope it won't upset people if I point out that anhedonia is by definition the inability to feel pleasure, not what (at least on PP) we called "emotional blunting" or "emotional numbness." I just want to avoid confusion. For example, I experienced severe - and utterly uncharacteristic of me - anhedonia, but if anything, my other emotions (grief, pain, uncharacteristic sheer terror for no reason - as well as intense compassion for others, etc.) were if anything more intense than ever. Hope I didn't misunderstand your post and admit I wrote in haste (as usual). Still have more to do tonight than possible. I will say for those who will ask (as many have in the past) that although it took years in my case, my anhedonia did indeed go away. And I did get flickers of feeling beauty and pleasure before that time, but the ability to feel pleasure at the things I'd always loved and felt so intensely (especially music, my passion) did come and go for some years, with no rhyme or reason. When it would return, however briefly, I took it as a gift to not just listen to but feel the music (and other arts) that have always fed my soul, and although I felt despair when I could no longer feel anything at the same music, etc., I could remind myself that having felt that way again, my ability to feel beauty in every cell of my body was not gone, just "blocked" much of the time. Then one day that anhedonia vanished as suddenly as w/d had come on, and never returned. I don't pretend to know how that healing process takes. (And it doesn't usually take as long as mine did, but I think multiple w/d's and med history played a huge part. My AD was prescribed to address benzo w/d, so my CNS was very fragile...)
  20. Today
  21. @ChessieCat Thanks for this suggestion! I will do so from my next take and see how I react to that dose. The lower the better indeed so much appreciated!
  22. Themadwomanintheattik: My story on Zoloft

    I would like to tell you of my own experience because it might help you to understand what these drugs do to the brain. I reduced my Pristiq 100mg to 50mg and had very bad cog fog for 3 weeks. At the end of the 3 weeks I was unable to type. Because I am a professional typist of 40+ years I new something was very wrong. Fortunately I had joined SA a few days before this happened and they had suggested that I increase my dose. I did this and after about 4 hours I was able to type again. I have since been tapering with only mild withdrawal symptoms and am now down to 19mg.
  23. 10mg is a large dose and your brain will have made some adaptation since you have been off almost 5 months. You might want to consider reducing your dose to 5mg. It would be best to reduce it from your next dose. If you wait a few days you may have difficulties and end up having to stay on 10mg. The lower the dose you can reinstate at the less you will have to taper and therefore the short period of time on the drug. I have just used the Tapering Calculator - Online and if you taper 10mg at 10% every 4 weeks you will be at 0.5mg at the end of 2020. If you taper 5mg at the same rate you will at 0.5mg mid 2019. That's a difference of about 18 months. Tips for tapering off Prozac (fluoxetine)
  24. If there is one lesson I have learnt from this experience, it can be summed up in the following two words: Supreme Patience! I cannot believe I fell for it, the "I feel great so perhaps its time to quit!" phenomenon. Thanks for the "Delayed Onset" link which fostered this realization! Fortunately I decided to post here and you all came to my rescue before it was too late (I hope). Thank you @AliG and @ChessieCat! Thank you for your selfless words of caution based on your own personal stories and experience. I have reinstated - thanks for the "Reinstatement" link! The lowest dose I could get was 20 mg Fluoxetine but I decided to break it in half and start at 10 mg to be safe. I immediately felt better after taking it. I'm on my second day now and I'm feeling much better but have a few sensations running in my body - chills and hot-cold flushes and a sense of heightenedness mainly but they are mild and quite tolerable. Apart from these physical sensations, mood is good (the changes were almost immediate) and I feel good again so I hope that I will stabilize. I went out for dinner earlier tonight with some friends and it was good, we laughed and had authentic conversations about our own struggles. This experience has left me in an unmistakable place of reflection and understanding. For example, I'm currently struggling with insomnia from overworking myself and pumping my system full of caffeine to stay awake - sometimes not even sleeping. I did this pretty much for the past two years to be a high performer and not to mention all the all-night binges on drugs and alcohol before that. As much as it pains and frustrates, I see now that I cannot simply undo this overnight by taking another sleeping pill habitually (which will just create a new dependency). Even though I've dropped the caffeine (since September) and have been clean off drugs/alcohol/nicotine for many years, my body has been affected by all of this and I must accept this. It will be a slow recovery indeed. That will be the hardest part, facing that I have been damaged first by my early childhood/teenage addictive weakness, and then more recently by my overzealous desire to perform and now by my ignorance of dealing with my treatment in hope of being "normal" again. The link on brain remodeling was profound for me. Its simple but very profound! It's going to help me mourn my my past as past, and develop the strength to make incremental changes over a very long time, not just with meds but in other areas of my life too. This is something I'm not used to but perhaps a lesson I had to learn now at this stage of my life even though it makes me feel like a failure sometimes. Monday should be my 4th day, I'll let you know how I'm doing as I go along. With Gratitude...
  25. Hey D - My favourite recipe: 1-2 cups Epsom Salts or Magnesium Chloride flakes 1/4 cup baking soda 1/8 cup himalayan salt splash of Apple Cider Vinegar 10 drops of whatever essential oil I want at the time (my faves right now are Lavender and lemongrass, though I've had a cold, so that Eucalyptus was nice!) I live 10 minutes from the ocean and never get in it. It's "still" here (barrier islands) and not very nice. Bull sharks and jellyfish. But I love it when I go up or down the coast and can get free flowing open ocean! It's great to hear that you are stabilising! You can do this! And it does get better!
  26. Themadwomanintheattik: My story on Zoloft

    Hi Themadwomeanintheattic, i just us tread your first introduction post. I want to say you wrote a very comprehensive and informative summary with well thoughts! i feel you started having reaction issues to the increased dose of Zoloft and tapering off it is a good decision. Unfortunately even fast tapering the drug may help with the reaction, Withdarawl could be the exact opposite animal you have to handle too, unless you are one the lucky group who are able to stop these meds without side effects, which no one knows before trying. i think slow taper will be a safer approach which can help with the reaction at a level while taking care of withdrawa in the same time. Hopefully when you reach a lower dose, the reaction will be under control. I saw ppl had similar situations, eventually they stabilize after a period of slow taper with reaction in check. Best luck! lex
  27. Quest

    I also have some "duh!" moments so I understand exactly what you mean.
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