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Found 5 results

  1. I have been doing some research into the biology of anxiety. We're all here familiar with the cortisol spike and adrenaline, and how those biochemicals are key components of the anxiety we all feel during our recovery from antidepressant use. A friend put me on the trail of the limbic system - where these chemicals do some of their worst work. I did not know anything about the limbic system. Or why my spell-checker insists that I am spelling it wrong when I know that I am not. (Think of the spell checker as a metaphor for our damaged limbic system - it's lying to us). Here is a short definition of the limbic system: The primary structures within the limbic system include the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, basal ganglia, and cingulate gyrus. The amygdala is the emotion center of the brain, while the hippocampus plays an essential role in the formation of new memories about past experiences. Of key concern to us is the amygdala - that's where the "fight or flight" instinct is stimulated by cortisol and adrenaline. And ours are broken. Now, there is no medicine or supplement to heal the amygdala - or any other part of the limbic system (though it should be noted that the hippocampus can be stimulated by aromas, and some people have had success with aromatherapy; I myself use lavender as a calming aroma). So stop looking for a magic bullet solution. However, the amygdala can be "healed" - along with the rest of the limbic system. And the way to heal it is to remind it of your good memories and form new good memories through experiences. It sounds simplistic. It almost smacks of "fake it until you make it." But I have been putting this into practice, and I am in my first real window of recovery. The way I did it was by contacting old friends and asking them to write me emails filled with the good times of our youth, of the times where the notion of "anxious" could never be applied to me. Where I was a hopeful, outgoing, fun person. In other words - the time before I ever took one psych-med. I have added to that the practice of not avoiding doing things with friends and family. I go out, I engage, and a float through the anxiety if it comes (thank you, Dr. Claire Weekes - go get one of her books now!). I will leave things there for now and end with links to some of the articles I read that put me on this path: https://www.unlearninganxiety.com/amygdala https://www.thebestbrainpossible.com/how-to-help-depression-by-healing-your-limbic-system/ Be well. Live. Make new memories. SJ
  2. I'm putting this question out there, partly as a reminder to myself, hopefully as a help to others who are struggling... I am in such physical and emotional pain these past few weeks. It is getting unbearable. My wife and I are trying to stick to the commitment not to go back on the meds. But boy, do I think I want to at times. Especially right now. So I'm here to remind myself why I stopped the psych-drug merry-go-round. I hope it helps you too. And I would love to hear your "why" story. It will be encouraging to all of us, I think. Anyway, I went off of the meds because I didn't like who I was as a person, and more and more I got the feeling that the meds were a big part of the reason. I was an angry person all of the time. And selfish. I would give in to rage - even in the most inappropriate situations to do so (like my daughter's 7th birthday party, for instance). I treated my wife horribly. I would go off the rails, feel like killing myself, and take handfuls of the meds at once (wow - I never admitted that ever before). I would fantasize about hanging myself (even though I would never have the guts to do so). And as these things were happening - especially over my last year before going off the meds - there were more and more times where there was a part of me inside of my mind saying "stop it, stop that crazy person" - as if the real me was trapped inside of this raging body that had been taken over by another mind. I had to find out who God created me to be. I even needed to find out what a real relationship with God was like. Turns out that He created me as a pretty nice guy. I'm loving and caring and helpful now (well, as helpful as I can be given the immense physical pain the withdrawal has caused me, and the anxiety that keeps me from running errands some of the time). I was even more engaged in activities during the window as I tapered (completely incorrectly and too fast) and for the first 3 months after I was drug free. And that is part of the problem. I can remember a time during the taper, towards the end, when I was in a "sweet" spot - where there was no withdrawal syndrome, and 90% of the time I was a great guy. I keep fantasizing about going back to that "sweet" spot. But I don't think going back on the drugs after being off for over 4 months would really work - and it could cause actual harm (I fear, for instance, the suicide bug that bites some people during the early days of psycho-med use). Or, it could just cause me to go back down the rabbit-hole of using the psych-meds - and that will bring back evil me. So I'm writing this to remind myself why I quite the psych-go-round. I hope it helps remind some of you too. SJ
  3. I am new to this board. I'm 24 years old now. I took Zoloft for 5 years or so - it seemed to help my depression - then eventually quit after some off and on stuff. I was given no warning whatsoever about withdrawal side effects (or any negative side effects) when the doctor prescribed it or else I would've never taken it. Starting around six months after I quit, I woke up one day in early December of 2015 with no libido (after a very healthy libido for all of my years) and very little feeling down there. It happened almost overnight. This bothered me tremendously and I went through a series of tests and online researching to see what the problem was, but only until about six months ago and no help from the tests did I begin to realize that this was probably related to zoloft/pssd, which I had initially dismissed because it started so long after I had quit. It occurred to me because I realized how unfeeling I have become emotionally. I accidentally and unintentionally offended a good friend of mine, who despite my efforts at reconciliation renounced our friendship and has never spoken to me since. I noticed when this happened that I didn't seem to care much despite the fact that he'd been my good friend for a few years now, which astonished me. I thought I cared, but I didn't feel sad. I felt almost nothing. I knew something was wrong. When I realized this, I began to notice it in other areas too, like I wasn't happy when I should've been and had no depth of feeling. Since I had lost my libido, I have become almost entirely food-oriented as that is the only thing that gives me any real pleasure in life, something which I just finally consciously realized about six months ago. Things that used to give me joy now give me very little joy. I don't feel sad, or angry. I feel nothing, except a burning desire to feel something/anything. I feel like I'm completely numb, sexually and emotionally. It's extremely difficult for someone who is supposed to be finishing up his last semester in college (and an utterly unfair handicap on my efforts), and these last few weeks I've really started to despair. Up until this point I've always striven to look at the positive and to be optimistic, but I have woken up day after day for the last 15 months longing for an emotional or even sensual experience and it hasn't come. From what I've read it seems like the FDA and big pharma have left me/us for dead - damn them both - with little research going into treatment to help people like us. What is the doctor going to tell me? I can't continue to live this way. What this is, what I am, this is not living. It's been 15 months since these withdrawal symptoms started and I've seen no improvement, sexually or emotionally. This is supposed to be my prime, but instead I'm just a numb zombie. Sure, I think it's unfair that my sexuality was stolen away from me one morning and that's extremely frustrating but really I just want my emotions and my depth of feeling back. I simply and absolutely refuse to live the next 60 years of my life like some livestock animal who's only purpose and pleasure in life is eating. When I realized that zoloft was the problem, I vowed to never to touch the stuff again in hopes that I'd recover. But that's not happening, at least not 15 months in. So that leaves me wondering... despite it all, would it be worth it to just take the damn drug again? Of course I hate the idea of being dependent on it for the rest of my life, but has anyone ever got back into it? Did your libido and emotions come back? If my options are 1. continue living like this for the rest of my life (which really isn't living at all and wouldn't seem to be worth it) or 2. be dependent on zoloft to feel anything at all, I'll take the lesser of two evils which is the latter. I'm sure some of you may suggest waiting longer to see if anything improves, which may be worth trying. But I don't know how much longer I can do this. It feels like I'm not very far off from trying anything, including zoloft again. Anything is better than this. Also, I apologize for any perceived negativity in this post. I am not someone who likes to bring other people down to my level - that's why I haven't told several friends and family members about this nightmare of a life I am living (or not living, since I don't feel alive). Sincerely, up until the last few weeks I had somehow maintained my optimism. It's definitely waning now though.
  4. Hi, guys, I'm LeAnn. After 15 years on Citalopram for depression and sort of PTSD, I decided I should go of it in August of last year. I tapered off under my doctor's care and after about 8 weeks, I was completely done. I had the nausea, dizziness, tiredness, anger, laughter, CRYINGCRYINGCRYING. Still crying...not as bad, but because David Bowie died. I did lose a bit of weight, too, so that's a good thing. The thing that brought me here was my search to see if there is a connection between going off an antidepressant and heightened senses. I'm noticing cigarette smoking more, and it's irritating my sinuses. Maybe it's the new neighbors in the next-door apartment, or my withdrawing, but I had to buy an air purifier recently and have it going 24/7 to get the smell out of our living room, even with the windows closed. Anyway, there you go.