TryingToHoldOn

TryingToHoldOn: Sertraline - protracted w/d 6 months after last dose?

43 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I was on sertraline 75mg for 2.5 years for postpartum depression.

 

During that time I sought counseling and my therapist diagnosed me with bipolar 2 because I had irritability along with my depression. My therapist referred me to the Psychiatric NP in the same practice. The NP told me to "wean" off the sertraline within a month so she could introduce latuda. She put me on 20mg of latuda and increased it to 80mg within 4 months. At 80mg, I immediately experienced heightened anxiety, insomnia

 

(I still haven't had more than 2-4 hours of sleep per night since December 2016 and some nights ZERO sleep!), and SEVERE akathisia.

 

When I brought up the adverse reactions, the NP assured me these were side effects that would eventually subside - she was wrong. I suffered entire month and begged her to come off of latuda. She finally agreed and told me to taper 20mg every 2 weeks.

 

My taper looked like this: 60mg to 40mg to 20mg then off. With each decrease I noticed my anxiety would spike and I'd go into an emotional tailspin about 4-5 days after a drop in dose and then stabilized a bit.

 

I assumed once I tapered off the latuda I'd be able to sleep again, my anxiety would lessen and the akathisia would go away. I was partially right, the Akathesia went away as I lowered my dose, but the insomnia and anxiety remained.

 

The NP had also put me on 100mg of lamictal two months after introducing latuda. I wanted to come off this medication as well, but she told me to stay on it because she thought it would prevent mania or depression while coming off the latuda. She was wrong again.

 

One week after my last dose of latuda, I had a complete emotional breakdown and was severely suicidal. I voluntarily checked myself into a psych hospital. There I was told that I had been misdiagnosed by the NP and was abruptly taken off the lamictal.

 

Then they reintroduced sertraline 150mg to bring me out of my depressive state. That seemed to stabilize me so I was released with a Rx for sertraline 150mg. A week after I was home from the hospital I knew instinctively something wasn't right. Instead of steadily improving, I felt worse physically (mentally I was actually doing ok). I began to have muscle twitches, tingling throughout my body, my eyelids kept twictching, my heart was racing, I would get hot and cold flushes radiating over my entire body, my skin felt like it was burning, headache, weakness, and the left side of my face was completely numb.

 

I went to the Psychiatric urgent care where the NP diagnosed me with break through anxiety. I told her she was wrong and that I believed I was suffering from serotonin syndrome. She looked dubious, but sought out the medical director who conducted a neurological test and concurred with me.

 

I was placed in psych hospital again and taken off the sertraline. I felt better within a day.

 

They gave me remeron 7.5mg that knocked me out for almost two days. Needless to say, I refused to take another dose.

 

A day before my release, the doctor and I discussed reintroducing sertraline at a very low level - 25mg to 50mg. I was sent home with a Rx for sertraline 50mg. Within 1 hour of taking the sertraline, all the serotonin syndromes came back so I had to stop taking sertraline with no possibility of reinstatement.

All this time, I believed my insomnia, anxiety and akathesia were related to the Latuda. I also believed that my emotional distress and depression stemmed from latuda withdrawal, but now I'm wondering if it was actually protracted withdrawal from the first time I weaned off of sertraline 75mg and the weaning off latuda being merely coincidental. I did not experience any acute withdrawal symptoms with the exception of a little Weepiness from time to time.

 

Is it possible to experience withdrawal symptoms from sertraline SIX months after the last dose?

 

It's been 3 weeks since my last dose of sertraline 50mg and I've experienced the following: headaches, muscle twitching, shivers, tingling, internal restlessness, body aches, a general feeling of being unwell, severe mood swings: rage, depression, apathy, suicidal thoughts, hypomania, uncontrollable crying, and anxiety.

 

I've had some good functional days, followed by days of being physically & emotionally incapacitated. Is the what's known as waves & windows?

 

I'm trying to figure out if this is withdrawal from the latuda & lamictal or a continuation of the the possible withdrawal of the sertraline.

 

I'm also hoping that the reintroduction of sertraline followed by the abruptly stopping won't prolong whatever it is that is going on.

 

I am also worried because after doing much research I realized that I did the first taper much too fast, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it now due to the serotonin syndrome.

 

Any advice, insight or shared experiences are most welcome. This site makes me feel less alone.

 

My new psych told me I shouldn't be experiencing any withdrawal and I was just having breakthrough symptoms.

Edited by Petunia
added more paragraph breaks for easier reading

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Welcome Trying,

I'm glad you found us and so sorry you have been put through so much pain and suffering by people who should have been helping. Unfortunately, the medical profession knows very little about the psychiatric drugs they are handing out and even less about how to safely take people off them.

 

Psychiatric diagnoses are little more than medical sounding labels attached to clusters of symptoms which occasionally respond favorably to various drugs. None of these psychiatric illness are real, scientifically provable, medical illnesses and the labels assigned to them are useful only for health insurance purposes and to prompt your doctor about which drug to try next if the previous one didn't 'work'. Unfortunately, not only do they often not work, but they cause more harm, which is exacerbated by the use of even more drugs in an attempt to suppress an increasing array of new symptoms, which are blamed on an original illness which never existed in the first place, or an allocated new illness to justify a trial of a new drug.

 

I'm sorry you have been experimented on in this way, and made sicker in the process, unfortunately this is all too common and why this site and others like it exist.

 

Psychiatric drugs do nothing to help locate the real cause of emotional or mental symptoms or to cure anything. At best, they suppress symptoms for a while, or calm a person down in a crisis situation, at worst they cause violence, self harm and ruin lives. In between those two extremes is a slow, deterioration in the general quality of life and health. It might not seem like it now, but you are lucky to be drug free with the opportunity for a healthier, happier future once you recover. I'd highly recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Psychiatric drugs can cause harmful side effects and long term, they can worsen health, increasing the risk of other illnesses.

 

Your drug history is quite complex, so its difficult to know exactly what your current symptoms are being caused by. I agree that your first taper off sertraline was too fast, which most likely caused withdrawal symptoms, which Latuda wouldn't have fixed, because its a different class of drug. Added to that was your adverse reaction to Latuda. With each drug change, the nervous system can become more unstable and sensitive, leading to increased symptoms and lower tolerance for substances which were previously tolerated.

 

Reinstatement of sertraline might have helped, if it had been tried at a much lower dose. But now, my guess is that you are suffering a combination of withdrawal and symptoms of a destabilized nervous system caused by too many drugs and changes over a short time.

 

What you describe sounds typical of withdrawal and NS instability. The fluctuations in symptoms from one day to the next or one week to the next are what we refer to as windows and waves. Here is the link to the topic: The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

...And some information about delayed withdrawal: Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms - Surviving Antidepressants

 

You will recover, but it will take time, probably more time than you would like.

 

The best I can offer by way of advice is to listen to your body and avoid those things that set off symptoms as much as possible. Aside from a high quality fish oil and magnesium, avoid supplements. (See King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker). They've been helpful to many of us. 

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.

 

I'm sorry you have to be here, but glad you found us, there is a lot of good information and friendly support here.

 

Petunia.

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Thanks for your response! Trying to keep positive and keep the "fear" at bay.

 

I've broken out with severe acne since my withdrawals. Has anyone else experienced this? Also, should my insomnia abate or is that an unfortunate side effect that is permanent?

 

I need to keep healing as I have two kids under the age of 5 depending on me. Right now, I have a hard time just caring for myself. My marriage is definitely strained and my husband is as understanding as he can be (no one fully understands unless you've been through this) is losing his patience. Just need some words of encouragement today. :) I actually had a 3 day window of being pretty functional, followed by a day and a half of utter emotional distress and couldn't get myself out of bed. Also, why do I have bad days following a day of light excercise? I thought it would be the opposite. I typically try to walk for 20~30 min outside. Nothing too strenuous, but I seem get worse for a day or two following those walks. Thanks for your input!

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Sorry you are having a bad day Trying, its great you've had some windows though :) As you recover, the windows will increase and waves will decrease, so these are something to look forward to.

 

Acne and skin issues are common in withdrawal, so much so that we have a whole topic about it:Skin issues: hives, acne, dryness etc. - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Insomnia is temporary, your sleep pattern will return to normal in time. Until then, here are some tips and suggestions to help with getting more sleep: Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

...you will need to scroll down to get to the sleep section.

 

Exercise intolerance is also a common symptom of a sensitized nervous system. I've also experienced feeling worse for a few days after light exercise. But now, it doesn't effect me that way. You might need to do less, until you have recovered a little more. Try walking for 10 minutes and see if you can tolerate that without making symptoms worse, if so, then increase slowly.

 

Here is our related topic: Exercise ... Do more, do less, do nothing? What worked for you ...

 

I know its difficult, but hang in there Trying, its going to get better, you will get through this, one day at a time.

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Hi Trying: sorry you have had to go through all of this. Will pray for you.

Thinking of you,

M.

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PLEASE HELP! I've had terrible waves the last 3 days. Emotionally: rage, apathy, severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and a general feeling that I'm losing my mind. Physically: brain zaps, muscle twitches, this "wave" that goes thru my body that scares the crap out of me, severe brain fog, tingling, cold & warm sensation under my skin, and headache.

 

My husband DOES NOT understand how I can have a couple of good days (productive days) to regressing back to barely getting out of bed and being an emotional wreck. He now thinks I should GO BACK ON SOME TYPE OF MEDICATION because I'm not better already! I tried to explain that the healing isn't linear and that I would suffer from just as many bad days as good days in the beginning.

 

Now I'm not confident he isn't absolutely wrong. I KNOW the meds & withdrawal have caused me to be this way. If you look at my signature you can see I've been fine practically my entire life until I experienced a little bit of post partum depression and then was misdiagnosed and wrongly medicated Prior to meds I was extremely independent, capable of taking care of my family needs, and enjoying my friends. Now, I'm terrified to be alone with the kids, rarely socialize friends, can barely take care of myself, and am emotional wreck. What IF I do need meds?!? Or is this the withdrawal making me feel crazy? I am scared sh!#tless. Right now I don't have a clear vision of the truth.

 

If you've been where I'm at today and can offer some advice, please PLEASE share your story with me. You don't need to be fully recovered, but I do need some clarity and HOPE. I am no longer sure what the right decisions are anymore. I *think* my best option is to remain strong and ride out this withdrawal (I am praying to Jesus that this what it is and not a sign of true mental instability requiring meds). Feeling terrified and being mindful is not helping me today.

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What you are describing is the typical windows and waves pattern of recovery. Its very difficult for most people to understand because no other recovery process is quite the same. Would your husband be willing to read some of the information posted here? There are thousands of case studies here of people going through the same cycles, you just need to read some of the introduction threads to know this isn't another illness, requiring more drugs.
 
Reading the book written by Robert Whitaker, which I linked above makes it clear that these drugs don't cure anything and in fact often cause the very symptoms which they are being prescribed for.
 
When I was in acute withdrawal, but before I found this site, I also thought I must have an illness or brain imbalance which required medication to fix, because I wasn't getting better as fast as I thought I should be. I actually had made some progress, but because I didn't understand what was happening to me. I thought I should have been fully recovered.

 

I was attributing my symptoms to a stressful situation. The situation had resolved, but I was still not back to normal. I tried going back on my original drug, thinking it would help, but I became suicidal. Then I asked my doctor if I could try prozac. That caused levels of rage I've never experienced before and I was imagining being violent with my family, something which is not me. I'm normally a gentle, caring person.
 
In May 2013, I stumbled onto information about antidepressant withdrawal, it led me to this site and others like it. Learning about withdrawal and the the truth about psychiatric medications was both a huge shock and a life saver for me. I'm still not fully recovered, but so much better than those early days when I was so terribly sick, I could do nothing but curl up on my bed shaking and trying to breath for the majority of the day. My pattern has always been that I feel worse in the mornings and slowly improve as the day progresses. Each day I would feel almost normal from about 10pm through to about 3am and would make plans for the following day. Only to wake up each morning in the same non-functional state.
 
I've had long windows of feeling completely recovered, where I've been like my old self, filled with energy, motivation and able to do what I want to do..... all day long.
 
Then the window closes and I'm faced with the daily cycle of symptoms again. But this is just my story, there are many others here. Spend some time reading introduction threads and Success stories: Recovery from withdrawal

Helping Family Understand   has some good ideas and may help you to get your husband on board.

 

 

Videos

 

 

 

and please watch the videos linked in my signature.

 

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Hello TryingToHoldOn,

I can relate to your  physical symptoms. Mine were brutal. I'm so sorry you are going through this. You might want to click on my link in my signature to read my thread and see if there is anything in there you can relate to.  I had a little different situation in that I was able to reinstate and it did help me. I'm still tapering however the physical symptoms almost completely stopped, only coming back now and again in a very mild form for a few hours during a taper.  I can't advise anything since we have different situations and my knowledge is only based on my own experience.  However if I can offer you any support or if you have any questions about my situation I would be happy to answer.  Even though our experiences our different I can say that having had one of the worst WD experiences ever I am still here and feeling really good now.  It takes a lot of time to get well, and we do go through a lot of agony during that process. As for your husband not understanding, it is indeed difficult to "get it" unless one goes through it themselves. There are some good videos that have been suggested on these pages, and perhaps rather than you trying to explain it, you can find an appropriate one and play it for him. If you are interested you might want to ask one of the moderators to suggest a few for you pick from. Good luck and please let me know if there is anyway I can be of help to you during these most difficult times.

 

 

**I see that Petunia just posted right before me and had the same idea about videos and even gave you some links. Yay Petunia.

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Oh dear, I am so sorry for what you are going through. As you saw from my thread you are definitely not alone. This is a really the worst experience that I think either of us will ever have to go through. After this life will be a piece of cake! I just ordered a book off amazon called 'recovery and renewal' by baylissa frederick. It talks about withdrawal from ads, benzos and sleeping pills. I mention this because there is good information in there and even a chapter for loved ones to read. Also, in the book it mentions that average healing is 6-18 months. Things that determine this are things like age, time on drug, genetics, other medicines, other health issues, stress levels etc. Of course, some people take shorter time and others take longer. So, there is good news and bad news here. The good news is that everybody eventually heals. Everybody's body will automatically repair itself. It is what our bodies are made to do and we will go back to how we were before the medicine. You already know the bad news that it can take awhile. But the hope is there and that is all we need. Reading success stories is the way to go!

 

Another thing that could help your loved ones to understand is doing a simple google search on Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS. This is a very common thing and can happen with any drug that the body has grown dependent on. Anything from illegal drugs to steroid creams can have this effect. It is very eye opening. The windows and waves are just your body getting back to homeostasis and is a good sign.

 

I don't want to discourage you. I am already noticing improvements in only a couple months time. Things will get better and it will continue to get easier. My wd is complicated because I was in a CT wd for 1.5 years already without knowing it. I was fully functioning but was emotionally cut off, dizzy with nausea and headaches, however it was doable. My hell really started when i tried to re-instate. The doctors had ZERO idea about what was happening and it lead to me trying way to many meds with each reaction becoming worse than the last. When I had the serotonin syndrome reaction I called it quits on the ADs. I had to basically quit everything in my life at once last July and only found this website in December. That is when I realized what was happening and knew that there was no antidote but time. Its time to dig deep and get our lives back. I know it is hard to have to go cold turkey and endure withdrawal this way, but due to these reactions we don't have many options. We don't have the option to slow taper and sometimes I get salty over the doctors not advising me to do so.

 

Anywho, if you ever want to pm me you sure can. You aren't alone in this. Others have walked through this and come out the other side better than before. I wish you happy healing.

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Sorry you are having a bad day Trying, its great you've had some windows though :) As you recover, the windows will increase and waves will decrease, so these are something to look forward to.

 

Acne and skin issues are common in withdrawal, so much so that we have a whole topic about it:Skin issues: hives, acne, dryness etc. - Surviving Antidepressants

 

Insomnia is temporary, your sleep pattern will return to normal in time. Until then, here are some tips and suggestions to help with getting more sleep: Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

...you will need to scroll down to get to the sleep section.

 

Exercise intolerance is also a common symptom of a sensitized nervous system. I've also experienced feeling worse for a few days after light exercise. But now, it doesn't effect me that way. You might need to do less, until you have recovered a little more. Try walking for 10 minutes and see if you can tolerate that without making symptoms worse, if so, then increase slowly.

 

Here is our related topic: Exercise ... Do more, do less, do nothing? What worked for you ...

 

I know its difficult, but hang in there Trying, its going to get better, you will get through this, one day at a time.

Sorry if thei reply looks weird. I was trying to see if the "quote" option would work from my iPhone. Thank you again, Petunia for your response and wealth of information. I hope you are doing well today.

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Hi Trying: sorry you have had to go through all of this. Will pray for you.

Thinking of you,

M.

Madeleine,

Thank you. I hope and pray that you are doing much better. I understand that you feel the need to be private about the things that have recently transpired in your life, but please message me if you'd like to "talk" in private.

 

Trying

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Hello TryingToHoldOn,

I can relate to your physical symptoms. Mine were brutal. I'm so sorry you are going through this. You might want to click on my link in my signature to read my thread and see if there is anything in there you can relate to. I had a little different situation in that I was able to reinstate and it did help me. I'm still tapering however the physical symptoms almost completely stopped, only coming back now and again in a very mild form for a few hours during a taper. I can't advise anything since we have different situations and my knowledge is only based on my own experience. However if I can offer you any support or if you have any questions about my situation I would be happy to answer. Even though our experiences our different I can say that having had one of the worst WD experiences ever I am still here and feeling really good now. It takes a lot of time to get well, and we do go through a lot of agony during that process. As for your husband not understanding, it is indeed difficult to "get it" unless one goes through it themselves. There are some good videos that have been suggested on these pages, and perhaps rather than you trying to explain it, you can find an appropriate one and play it for him. If you are interested you might want to ask one of the moderators to suggest a few for you pick from. Good luck and please let me know if there is anyway I can be of help to you during these most difficult times.

 

 

**I see that Petunia just posted right before me and had the same idea about videos and even gave you some links. Yay Petunia.

R-

 

Thank you so much for reaching out to me! I am so glad that you were able to reinstate and the withdrawal symptoms are more than manageable for you now! I hope they continue to stay that way and when you eventually jump off the med. I wish I had the option to reinstate, but it is not a possibility for me at all. :(

 

I am almost a month from stopping all medications and I am in HELL. I don't know how to push forward to the next day. I am a mother of 2 and cannot even care for myself at the moment. I am in fear that I will not have the mental or physical fortitude to press on. It is scary as hell and I'd love your support.

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Oh dear, I am so sorry for what you are going through. As you saw from my thread you are definitely not alone. This is a really the worst experience that I think either of us will ever have to go through. After this life will be a piece of cake! I just ordered a book off amazon called 'recovery and renewal' by baylissa frederick. It talks about withdrawal from ads, benzos and sleeping pills. I mention this because there is good information in there and even a chapter for loved ones to read. Also, in the book it mentions that average healing is 6-18 months. Things that determine this are things like age, time on drug, genetics, other medicines, other health issues, stress levels etc. Of course, some people take shorter time and others take longer. So, there is good news and bad news here. The good news is that everybody eventually heals. Everybody's body will automatically repair itself. It is what our bodies are made to do and we will go back to how we were before the medicine. You already know the bad news that it can take awhile. But the hope is there and that is all we need. Reading success stories is the way to go!

 

Another thing that could help your loved ones to understand is doing a simple google search on Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS. This is a very common thing and can happen with any drug that the body has grown dependent on. Anything from illegal drugs to steroid creams can have this effect. It is very eye opening. The windows and waves are just your body getting back to homeostasis and is a good sign.

 

I don't want to discourage you. I am already noticing improvements in only a couple months time. Things will get better and it will continue to get easier. My wd is complicated because I was in a CT wd for 1.5 years already without knowing it. I was fully functioning but was emotionally cut off, dizzy with nausea and headaches, however it was doable. My hell really started when i tried to re-instate. The doctors had ZERO idea about what was happening and it lead to me trying way to many meds with each reaction becoming worse than the last. When I had the serotonin syndrome reaction I called it quits on the ADs. I had to basically quit everything in my life at once last July and only found this website in December. That is when I realized what was happening and knew that there was no antidote but time. Its time to dig deep and get our lives back. I know it is hard to have to go cold turkey and endure withdrawal this way, but due to these reactions we don't have many options. We don't have the option to slow taper and sometimes I get salty over the doctors not advising me to do so.

 

Anywho, if you ever want to pm me you sure can. You aren't alone in this. Others have walked through this and come out the other side better than before. I wish you happy healing.

Waiting-

 

Thank you for this response. How are you doing? I know you're still healing and recovering, but do you honestly see improvements and are things a little more manageable? I am an absolute wreck. It's been a month since I've been off ALL medications. I truly do feel like I'm losing my mind. Everyone keeps telling me that it's "mind over matter" but they have NO clue how much my mind is screwed up right now. I am trying to remain positive, but find it increasingly difficult as my days, hours, minutes, seconds are totally unpredictable (as you know first hand).

 

I am so to sound so hysterical and hopeless today. I've been fortunate enough to have some friends who are watching my kids this week, but what am I going to do next week? Some days I am incapable of getting out of bed. Never in a million years did I think I would be in this situation. :-/

 

Ok, using my CBT to switch gears. I am rooting for you and cheering with every monthly update you make! When you improve, I know that I will improve, too! Hang in there, girl! Zoloft is the devil and you're doing one hell of a job kicking its ass!

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To anyone out there, please humor me as I ask these questions. Are they rhetorical? Perhaps, but someone may have an answer or an educated guess. Here goes, bear with me.

 

I've heard/read significant improvements can start in 6 months to a year (I fully understand it could be sooner and it could be later). My med history is a little screwy and wondered where I should start my timeline for healing?

 

Here's a quick history:

Mid 2014 - July 2016: sertraline 75mg (2.5yrs), 1 month taper

Sep 2016 - Feb 2017: latuda (ranging from 20mg to 80mg)

6wk taper

Nov 2016 - March 2017: lamictal 100mg (CT in hospital)

Feb 2017: 150mg sertraline (1 week, CT due to sertononin

Syndrome)

Feb 2017 - March 2017: ativan 1mg, took 5 - 7 pills total

Over a course of 3 weeks

Feb 2017 -March 2017: trazodone 50 mg, took 2 doses

March 2017: 50mg sertraline reinstated 3 days, CT due to

Serotonin syndrome symptoms reemerging

March 2017: 7.5mg Remeron, too sedating. Only took one

dose

March 14, 2017 completely med free

 

***i strongly believe my protracted withdrawal symptoms started between Sept 2016 - February 2017 (the same time I was weaning from latuda).

 

Does my "healing/recovery" start from the first time I tapered off of sertraline back in July 2017? I am assuming that my brain started making adjustments back then, or was it screwed up again with the introduction of new meds and elimination of meds. I guess logically it would mean I've only been on ONE month of recovery since I stopped all meds on March 14. I am just looking for an ounce of hope. :) I know that I am not suffering more than others on this site, but I do feel there are others who are stronger mentally and physically than I. I've never considered myself to be strong willed and this journey is TERRIFYING me.

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I didn't really know how to gauge my healing either. My last SSRI reaction was in November but I tried lamictal for a couple days and took benzos a couple weeks in December. Things got really scary for me after that so I'm wonder if benzos made everything a whole lot worse. Idk I usually just go by how many days I've been off everything. You are stronger than you know. You will have a good life again. There's a good quote I like, "youre going to be happy, life said, but first I'll make you strong."

 

I have noticed Improvements. Things are coming, going, morphing, coming back again and hopefully leaving. Just trust your brain that it is healing & remember you are not sick in your mind. You're mind is still fully intact. It's a brain thing. Also once a symptom comes and goes and comes back again it isn't as scary the next time around because you know it will go again and with time the symptoms generally become less intense. Take one day at a time or even on hour at a time.

 

There is a post around here somewhere called, 'what is happening in your brain'. I hope someone can link it for me. It's a good read.

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My dear TryingToHoldOn,

I don't know when recovery starts.  I do know you are suffering terribly right now.  I'm sorry that you are going through this. I took a lot of really hot baths while I was going through the most physical discomfort.  It somehow seemed to direct my energy away from the discomfort, however the minute I got out of the hot water it all came back. I would sometimes take 6 or 7 baths a day.

RS

 

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Best freakin' window since I stopped all meds one month ago!

 

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but TODAY I was an awesome wife, mom, and friend.

 

This can only mean one thing...HEALING!

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That window lasted 2 days. It was so good I thought I was foolishly recovered, healed, done with this hell. I went from being happy to depressed with ruminations. Is this just the nature of how moods swing back and forth during WD?

My physical symptoms let up as well, but now there are back.

 

What happened to all the "awesomeness" I was feeling 2 days before? Lol

 

Hope everyone out there is feeling better and headed for the best window yet!

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I've heard that significant healing comes when sleep returns. I recently had one glorious week of sound sleep after suffering 5 months of insomnia. THIS IS MY TURNING POINT my mind screamed! I felt a rush of hope. I suddenly had the stamina and endurance to push through whatever this withdrawal threw my way. Then the wave came crashing down. Insomnia. I am weary. I am scared. I need hope. There are so few recovery stories and so many stories of others suffering. If you have significantly improved and back to almost normal daily functioning, I would LOVE to hear from you. The wave is excruciating. Please teach me how to surf.

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There is a post around here somewhere called, 'what is happening in your brain'. I hope someone can link it for me. It's a good read.

 

What is happening in your brain? - Surviving Antidepressants

 

I've heard that significant healing comes when sleep returns.

 

This has been true for me, but sleep also seems to recover in a windows and waves kind of pattern. If you are having windows now, at this early stage, that's a very good sign.

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There is a post around here somewhere called, 'what is happening in your brain'. I hope someone can link it for me. It's a good read.

What is happening in your brain? - Surviving Antidepressants

I've heard that significant healing comes when sleep returns.

This has been true for me, but sleep also seems to recover in a windows and waves kind of pattern. If you are having windows now, at this early stage, that's a very good sign.

Thank you, Petunia. The link to 'what is happening to your brain' was particularly helpful.

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Is it normal to have rapidly changing moods? I can go from severely depressed to angry to hopeful in a matter of days or even hours. This scares me because it makes me feel crazy. Also, sometimes my physical symptoms are dominant and the emotions get put on the back burner and then vice versa. Is this normal?

 

Rough week, but thankfully some tiny windows that helped me endure.

 

Another question. I recently viewed benzobuddies success stories and noticed lots of recovery that were a year or less. I thought benzo WD was supposed to be worse than AD WD. Seems like recovery from AD takes YEARS. ????

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I just wanted to have record of this day. I woke up with just a little bit of anxiety, but not the impending doom feeling that is so terrifying. Relief! Then I noticed less pressure in my head and a slight decrease in brain fog. Today I feel 85% myself and even a little happy. Happily accepting and enjoying this window. I expect many more to come.

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Update: 72 days off all meds

 

I wish I could post of miraculous healing, but if I could then I probably wouldn't be here to begin with. The good - my days are not 24/7 horrific, in fact I have small windows of improvement that give me hope that I'm healing. The bad - my waves knock me off my feet and getting hit by a bus sounds like a much needed relief from my physical, emotional, & cognitive torture. How much can one endure?

Recovery = years. OMG!!!

 

The last two days consisted of several panic attacks, heightened levels of anxiety, and uncontrollable, nonstop crying. The brain fog is so debilitating. I can physically feel my brain pulsate right behind my forehead. It takes me hours to do simple tasks I used to complete in a matter of minutes. Folding laundry feels like I'm trying to solve a physics problem. Birthday party invites from my kids' friend trigger so much anxiety because there are so many steps: rsvping, putting it on my calendar, buying a present, wrapping the present or buying a gift bag, and the deciding at the last minute if I can make it through 2 hours without having a panic attack or crying hysterically for no reason. I feel utterly insane and totally incompetent. Even my husband recently commented that it's painful for him to watch me struggle.

 

The waves question my resolve to stay off medications. It makes me question if I'm even right about withdrawal. It makes me want to end my life. Thankfully, those tiny windows allow me to see the truth and help me endure "one" more day.

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Hello Trying,

 

Just wanted to chime in with a word of support.  I can only imagine the world you are living in.  But by all accounts, things should improve with time.  Yeah, you have heard that before, but it bears repeating otherwise we forget.  

 

Have you tried self-soothing techniques: simple yoga poses, EFT tapping (google it if you are not familiar), deep breaths, whatever.  They will not take the symptoms away, but will distract you at the time you need.  Sometimes we have to go hour by hour instead of day to day.  Hang in there!

 

Best wishes.

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Also meditation has the healing effect of deep sleep.

 

Hang in there!

Tim

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I can relate to what you saying , but it does get better stay strong

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Hello Trying,

 

Just wanted to chime in with a word of support. I can only imagine the world you are living in. But by all accounts, things should improve with time. Yeah, you have heard that before, but it bears repeating otherwise we forget.

 

Have you tried self-soothing techniques: simple yoga poses, EFT tapping (google it if you are not familiar), deep breaths, whatever. They will not take the symptoms away, but will distract you at the time you need. Sometimes we have to go hour by hour instead of day to day. Hang in there!

 

Best wishes.

Survivor -

 

Thank you for your kind reply. I am currently seeing a therapist who 100% believes that I'm suffering from withdrawal. She is teaching me CBT and mindfulness techniques (positive thinking, deep breathing, distractions, etc.) Sometimes it's hard to calm myself down enough to put this into practice. My Fitbit has an option to practice deep breathing and it's helped me in more than one occasion.

 

I hope that you are doing well. I briefly visited your thread and hope that you are able to stabilize and taper very, very slowly with minimal WD. Cheering you on!

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Also meditation has the healing effect of deep sleep.

 

Hang in there!

Tim

Tim -

 

Thank you! Wishing you strength and patience as you go thru this journey. Question - how in the world do you manage to work? My kids are out of school this week and I constantly need to "escape" in a darkroom every few hours. I cannot take care of them on my own for any extended period of time while going thru this WD. You must be a very strong person.

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I can relate to what you saying , but it does get better stay strong

DoggieMamma -

 

I am so sorry that you are going thru this as well. I hope that you have had some windows and see some improvement. How long have been in WD?

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Something I've been reading over and over again. I'd like to think it helps me through during the difficult times. At the very least it's a reminder to myself to stay the course.

 

“Until we make the decision that we will not go back, regardless of how painful it gets, we will not go forward with the force of faith that it will take to fulfill our destiny.” ~ Rick Joyner

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Also meditation has the healing effect of deep sleep.

Hang in there!

Tim

Tim -

Thank you! Wishing you strength and patience as you go thru this journey. Question - how in the world do you manage to work? My kids are out of school this week and I constantly need to "escape" in a darkroom every few hours. I cannot take care of them on my own for any extended period of time while going thru this WD. You must be a very strong person.

Hey,

I'm not nearly as productive at work as I used to be, so it affects me too. Also, apart from waves of fear I'm not really suffering any other withdrawal or side-effect symptoms. This gives me a window of opportunity to tackle what does affect me: my mind. What really saved me from collapse is self-inquiry. I write down any insight I get, I read a lot about ego-related things. What used to be hobby-like has become now a necessity because of the pain I suffered. You could say that beside the drugs withdrawal, I'm also in ego withdrawal. my experience is that the latter mitigates the former. Fear still crosses my path, but my mind doesn't come to the "rescue" anymore. Thank god!

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Trying - I too had withdrawal symptoms from Sertraline - 5 or 6 months after stopping it totally.

 

It has been a rough 4 years to say the least - at first all the symptoms I had were not too bad, even first two years - they were all there and very difficult to cope with - but now when I hit the 3.5 years things just seem to be getting worse and worse - with no let up. To be honest I might have an afternoon where the WDs are almost livable - but return the next day with a vengeance -

 

But I stuck to it and still am - I take nothing at all - nothing...we tend to try this or that but it seems never works - and Setraline was the only SSRI I ever took - I never took any medication for depression ever..

 

I am insufficient in Vitamin D - but there is so much controversy about it . I am afraid to take it - and when I did try it - it made me ill...so I take nothing hoping that some day - like we all hope - that all this nightmare we are going through - will pass.

 

I wish you well and please take good care of yourself.

 

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I'm feeling sad

 

I simply remember my favourite things

And then I don't ...feel.....so.....bad.

 

Lee (f)

xxxx

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On 6/1/2017 at 5:21 AM, miT said:

Hey,

I'm not nearly as productive at work as I used to be, so it affects me too. Also, apart from waves of fear I'm not really suffering any other withdrawal or side-effect symptoms. This gives me a window of opportunity to tackle what does affect me: my mind. What really saved me from collapse is self-inquiry. I write down any insight I get, I read a lot about ego-related things. What used to be hobby-like has become now a necessity because of the pain I suffered. You could say that beside the drugs withdrawal, I'm also in ego withdrawal. my experience is that the latter mitigates the former. Fear still crosses my path, but my mind doesn't come to the "rescue" anymore. Thank god!

MIT -

i'm glad that you have been able to employ some strategies to make it through WD.  Fear - that's one tough symptom to deal with.  I was/am fearful of everything so I feel for you.  Stay strong!

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On 6/1/2017 at 1:13 PM, divalee said:

Trying - I too had withdrawal symptoms from Sertraline - 5 or 6 months after stopping it totally.

 

It has been a rough 4 years to say the least - at first all the symptoms I had were not too bad, even first two years - they were all there and very difficult to cope with - but now when I hit the 3.5 years things just seem to be getting worse and worse - with no let up. To be honest I might have an afternoon where the WDs are almost livable - but return the next day with a vengeance -

 

But I stuck to it and still am - I take nothing at all - nothing...we tend to try this or that but it seems never works - and Setraline was the only SSRI I ever took - I never took any medication for depression ever..

 

I am insufficient in Vitamin D - but there is so much controversy about it . I am afraid to take it - and when I did try it - it made me ill...so I take nothing hoping that some day - like we all hope - that all this nightmare we are going through - will pass.

 

I wish you well and please take good care of yourself.

 

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I'm feeling sad

 

I simply remember my favourite things

And then I don't ...feel.....so.....bad.

 

Lee (f)

xxxx

Divalee - 

 

This is so heartbreaking to read.  I hope that you are own your way to full recovery.  Hold on, hold on, hold on.  That's what I whisper to myself in the thick of it.  The fact that you're still pushing through every day is amazing.  

 

 I was told by someone who experienced something similar (she used Z-drugs) that one day I'll be able to look back and realize it was just a "snapshot" of one very short moment in my life.  I hope she is right.

 

Wishing you peace, comfort and stamina for this arduous journey

 

 

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On 6/1/2017 at 2:13 PM, divalee said:

Trying - I too had withdrawal symptoms from Sertraline - 5 or 6 months after stopping it totally.

 

It has been a rough 4 years to say the least - at first all the symptoms I had were not too bad, even first two years - they were all there and very difficult to cope with - but now when I hit the 3.5 years things just seem to be getting worse and worse - with no let up. To be honest I might have an afternoon where the WDs are almost livable - but return the next day with a vengeance -

 

But I stuck to it and still am - I take nothing at all - nothing...we tend to try this or that but it seems never works - and Setraline was the only SSRI I ever took - I never took any medication for depression ever..

 

I am insufficient in Vitamin D - but there is so much controversy about it . I am afraid to take it - and when I did try it - it made me ill...so I take nothing hoping that some day - like we all hope - that all this nightmare we are going through - will pass.

 

I wish you well and please take good care of yourself.

 

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I'm feeling sad

 

I simply remember my favourite things

And then I don't ...feel.....so.....bad.

 

Lee (f)

xxxx

When I was in my early 30's I went through this with Paxil. It was ripped away from me due to losing insurance and terrible loss of finances. My stomach cramped viciously every night for months. I lost 40 pounds. Leaving me at 98 pounds! That being said I want you to know it DID end. Slowly I had more good days than bad. Bit by bit the brain zaps we're less until there were none. I began to hold food down way more. It will get better. Hold on.

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