ShakeyJerr

ShakeyJerr: Say hello

175 posts in this topic

Hi everybody!

 

I've been looking at these boards for a few weeks. Decided today to come out of the shadows. Like all of you, I am suffering from the effects of antidepressants and anti-psychotics - or in my case now, the effects of discontinuing them. The basic med info is in my signature.

 

I am today in the midst - for the past few days actually - of a very bad window. I'm suffering anxiety to the point of despairing of life. Not that I would take my own life. I have a wife and 2 kids, and I fear the disposition of my soul if I did kill myself (I am Christian, but understand that preaching/proselytizing is not allowed here - but it is a relevant fact of my life).

 

My symptoms over the past week have included body chills, aches & pains (mostly in my arms), and as my name implies - lots of shakes/tremors. And also the current horrible anxiety.

 

I had been trying supplements - fish oil and magnesium - but even using high-grade magnesium citrate was giving me the runs and I wasn't feeling calm from it. Also, as I upped my fish oil intake, my symptoms got worse.

 

And therein lies the rub. Besides the loss of health insurance (well, more like losing my regular psychiatrist when I had to switch to the ACA when I lost my job in 2015), I was motivated to get off of the meds because I just did not know who I was anymore. My marriage was falling apart, mainly due to me being a real self-centered angry jerk - and I suspected that the medications were doing that to me, especially when you consider the psych-party-line of "take this for your depression, but then we need to give you a mood stabilizer" - which is to say, they just dole out these pills with no idea of how they will effect you!

 

Anyway, turns out that I'm actually a really nice guy! Caring, gentle, responsive, engaging, helpful... All of the things I was not when I was on the meds.

 

Sadly, however, my wife - who really is a loving woman - is struggling with putting the nice-guy ShakeyJerr of today who is about to lose his temp job because he is unable to be in consistently over the past month with the jerk I used to be. So while she can be very supportive, she is beginning to wear thin with this new discontinuation reality.

So I decided to come here for community and support, to help me be able to have a place to go to when symptoms get really bad so I am not constantly burdening her.

 

Thanks for listening!

 

SJ

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Oh, and I forgot to mention the symptoms of memory loss (no pun intended), lack of appetite (I have lost a lot of weight at what might be an unhealthy speed), and most food just makes me nauseated now.

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As one Christian to another, I promise I will pray for you Shakey Jerr along with your wife and kids.

 

I'm thankful my own problems are minimal, since my family members don't know about my taper. I will tell them eventually. Hopefully when they see I'm not frothing and running around like a rabid dog they'll be glad I went off.

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Welcome to the forum!

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Thank you for the wlcomes and the prayer!

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As one Christian to another, I promise I will pray for you Shakey Jerr along with your wife and kids.

 

I'm thankful my own problems are minimal, since my family members don't know about my taper. I will tell them eventually. Hopefully when they see I'm not frothing and running around like a rabid dog they'll be glad I went off.

So, Rachel, you find that the meds turned you manic and/or angry? I wonder if other Effexor users experienced this. I know that I did.

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Hi ShakeyJerr, welcome. My sympathies with the shaking and anxiety it's horrid I know. The temptation is to try anything and lots of it to try and help the symptoms go away (I fall into this trap myself) but small amounts and very careful with your nervous system is the best way to go while you're feeling this way. There's lots of good advice here. I'm sure others can advise you on your taper regime. 

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Thanks, April! The past 2 days have been horrible. The anxiety is crushing. I have thought about going to the ER, but for what? To get on a new med? Why do that?

 

It also does not help that my usually very supportive and sympathetic wife is suddenly not so supportive or sympathetic. She is insisting I go to work even though my symptoms are really bad right now. She is afraid I am going to lose my temp job. It's not so much a money thing as a "the husband is suppose to work" thing. Plus, our bad 11 year history while I was on the meds is rearing its ugly head in her mind. She recently took a new job that is very hard and that she hates just so we could have finances, but that has made her a bit bitter towards me.

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A longer, more in-depth introduction...

 

 
I've been trying to piece together what was going on when I first started the medication. My memory is very shoddy of the exact year, but I think it was either late 1998 or early 1999. I was seeing a therapist - Dr. Miskiv - because hey, I did have issues to deal with!
 
And I am pretty sure I was already saved and going to church, so what I should have done was gone for pastoral care to augment my psychology visits. But I was to prideful and was trying to impress the other people at church with how "saved" I was. So I hid the whole pysch thing.
 
I was in the heat of the divorce from my first wife - boy, did that whole process really lag! Everything would grind to a halt on her end during the school year (she's a college professor). And both of us had terrible lawyers. We ended up banging out the divorce agreement ourselves!
 
And I was dating a girl I'll call crazy Mary; she was an alcoholic (but for the record,she had nothing to do with the divorce; I met her way into the process).
 
So it was a very tumultuous time.
 
I know I resisted my therapist's suggestion to go on meds. I recall that I was having some anxiety attacks - going into the bathroom at where I was doing temp work to hide. But the attacks were nothing like the ones now! They were short, mostly emotional with very little physical symptoms. In retrospect, I was probably not a candidate for medication. But I was stuck in a bad pattern with the relationships thing, and had issues from my past to work out, and there was the anxiety.
 
Still, I resisted until I read the book "Listening to Prozac." In it, a psychiatrist who was supposedly originally against medication touted the wonders of Prozac. I wonder now if he was a paid shill...
 
So I decided to go on Prozac. The anxiety attacks stopped, I was more focused... and eventually I developed some manic to go with my anxiety and the bit of depression I had. So they stuck the bipolar label on me, added lithium - and as they say, the rest is history. Horrible, horrid history.
 
Because the truth is, I was never really clinically depressed. I had some very depressing circumstances to go through. And I was never really clinically suffering from anxiety. I just had some stressful, anxious circumstances.
 
These meds at best are supposed to be short-term, to put a little "grit under the wheels" so you can get traction and drive out of the ditch. But they become a self-feeding monster, causing more problems - problems that the psychiatrists (who you only see for a minute per appointment anyway) just throw more drugs at...

"How are you feeling?"
"I've been kind of blue the past couple of weeks."
"Let's up your dosage."

"How are you feeling after upping the dosage?"
"Now I'm kind of having racing thoughts."
"Let's add a mood stabilizer."

And so it goes... And boom, I'm on the drug not-so-merry-go-round for nearly 2 decades, and find myself having anxiety and physical problems and crying jags that I never experienced before. 

I think I almost prefer the crying jags of my discontinuation syndrome over the anxiety. Though I never want to experience either of them again. But at least with the crying jags, I could go into the bathroom, let the tears flow for a moment, and be done for a while. The anxiety has both a physical and emotional component, and it is more constant and pervasive.

SJ

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Hi Shakeyjerr, welcome to SA.  Sadly your taper was much too fast and you are struggling with withdrawal. I don't want to scare you but this can last for a very long time. At this stage it is still possible that you could find relief by reistating effexor, just a tiny amount could make a difference. You could try a few neads from a capsule, just 5 beads can often be enough.  It takes around 4 days to get to a steady state in the blood. I will post a link to the topic on reinstatement for you to read, then I must log off but will be back tomorrow to see what you feel about it and post more info for you. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

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Hi Shakeyjerr, welcome to SA.  Sadly your taper was much too fast and you are struggling with withdrawal. I don't want to scare you but this can last for a very long time. At this stage it is still possible that you could find relief by reistating effexor, just a tiny amount could make a difference. You could try a few neads from a capsule, just 5 beads can often be enough.  It takes around 4 days to get to a steady state in the blood. I will post a link to the topic on reinstatement for you to read, then I must log off but will be back tomorrow to see what you feel about it and post more info for you. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7562-about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

 

I don't think I could even get a prescription to reinstate at this point. The one psych consult I had (I had to find a new psych - my old one did not take our new insurance), he just wanted to throw a full boat of meds at me. Plus, I have been off for over three months. I thought reinstating after that much time is not possible.

 

I am taking an "as needed" hydorxyzine my primary care gave me. It helps a little bit.

 

I know that withdrawal can be protracted. But there is a big part of me that hopes and prays that I can be an outlier and be one of the quick ones. But then again - don't we all wish that!

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Everyone is different, and I sincerely hope that you are one of those who recovers quickly. 

 

I reinstated effexor at 5 beads and think I only used about 20 capsules in the 2 years it took to taper those few beads. There was quite a bit of spillage too!  The sooner a drug is reinstated the more likely it is to help, at 3 months there is still a small chance. It is such a shame that doctors haven't grasped withdrawal yet, they will eventually and it is now becoming more accepted but it is taking far too long! 

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Everyone is different, and I sincerely hope that you are one of those who recovers quickly. 

 

I reinstated effexor at 5 beads and think I only used about 20 capsules in the 2 years it took to taper those few beads. There was quite a bit of spillage too!  The sooner a drug is reinstated the more likely it is to help, at 3 months there is still a small chance. It is such a shame that doctors haven't grasped withdrawal yet, they will eventually and it is now becoming more accepted but it is taking far too long! 

 

Thanks, mammaP! Yeah, the psych consult I did was a real eye-opener for how doctors look at withdrawal syndrome. He might as well have been quoting the PDR to me. In fact, I think he was!

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> "The sooner a drug is reinstated the more likely it is to help, at 3 months there is still a small chance."

 

I hate hearing this.  I'm trying to reinstate after 4 months and I keep seeing this and it crushes my hope :(

 

Hope you're doing well ShakeyJerr

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Stay strong, AS. Remember to be good to yourself and live in hope.

 

SJ

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Everyone is different, and I sincerely hope that you are one of those who recovers quickly. 

 

I reinstated effexor at 5 beads and think I only used about 20 capsules in the 2 years it took to taper those few beads. There was quite a bit of spillage too!  The sooner a drug is reinstated the more likely it is to help, at 3 months there is still a small chance. It is such a shame that doctors haven't grasped withdrawal yet, they will eventually and it is now becoming more accepted but it is taking far too long! 

 

Anxiety is still with me this morning. Mentioned to my wife about tapering. She does not understand the theory, and I have to say that I have the same questions... such as, it's been nearly 4 months since I have been off of effexor, and I didn't quite do a cold turkey, and would going back on any does just to taper down now do anything for me, and does it risk bringing back the problems we had while I was on the medication?

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Hi Jerr,

 

When we take an AD, our brain adapts to getting the drug.  Tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks allows the brain to adapt gradually, as we reduce the drug.

 

The idea of reinstating is to give the brain some of the drug which it still needs to help to bring the withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.  SA's suggestion is to reinstate a very small amount of the drug, just enough to reduce the symptoms but hopefully not enough to bring on the side effects of the drug.  The very small dose is also suggested just in case reinstatement doesn't work and you get a bad reaction to taking the drug, in which case you would be able to stop taking the drug straight away.

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

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Hi Jerr,

 

When we take an AD, our brain adapts to getting the drug.  Tapering by no more than 10% of the previous dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks allows the brain to adapt gradually, as we reduce the drug.

 

The idea of reinstating is to give the brain some of the drug which it still needs to help to bring the withdrawal symptoms to a bearable level.  SA's suggestion is to reinstate a very small amount of the drug, just enough to reduce the symptoms but hopefully not enough to bring on the side effects of the drug.  The very small dose is also suggested just in case reinstatement doesn't work and you get a bad reaction to taking the drug, in which case you would be able to stop taking the drug straight away.

 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist

 

Brain Remodelling

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Why taper paper: dose-occupancy curves

Spoke with the social worker/care coordinator at my primary care group. She is going to loop my primary care doc in on what is going on. Both of them know there is such a thing as withdrawal syndrome (rare, I know!). Hopefully from there we can make an informed decision about reinstatement and tapering.

 

My wife is leaning against reinstatement. I don't think she understands the theory, and she is also afraid of 1) it potentially causing an adverse reaction, like suicide (she has an uncle who killed himself shortly after being put on ADs) and/or me becoming the SOB I was before when on meds.

 

All I know is that this anxiety wave I am in is painful, both emotionally and physically. I had a window last night, about an hour before bed, where I felt almost normal. I even slept a solid 7 hours (as opposed to my restless 4.5 to 5 hours)! Then this morning I was worse off than ever!

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I fast tapered off of effexor over the course of a year - did it completely incorrectly with the "drop from 3 capsules daily to 2 to 1 to 1 every other day" method. Felt absolutely fine during that time - in fact, the best I have felt in decades! Now I am 4 months off of the drug and having terrible withdrawal smptoms: anxiety, tremors, neuropathy in my arms, body feels cold all of the time. It's negatively impacting every area of my life and my wife and kids lives.

 

Would reinstatement at this point help? Should it be with effexor or simething else? Is the aim to find the lowest dose to start with?

 

The doctors seem clueless. One gave me 10mg Lexapro. Took one tablet and went from feeling like I was dying to just eanting to die. Discontinued that right away! Another doc gave me hydroxyzine, but that only helps sometimes, helps very little, and takes too long to kick in. And sometimes it makes me feel like I am disconnected from mysf, floating with my brain trapped in my body.

 

One pschiatrist wanted to start me on a cocktail of stuff - he was like a pusher trying to tempt me with the classic "what's your poison?" approah. Ran right out if there.

 

The only thing that calms me even a little bit is a cup of decaf black tea. I thought about taking a theanine supplement, but I have tried magnesium and fish oil and appear to have formed a sensitivity to taking stuff.

 

Oh, I do take 20mg of lisinopril (an ace inhibitor) for my blood pressure every day. I had been on losartan (an a2r blocker) for several years, but switched a couple of months ago because before I knew about anti-deprresqnt withdrawal syndrome, I thought the losartan might have been making me have depression/crying spells (the literature supported that theory).

 

So here I am now - suffering, confused, and watching my poor wife suffer emotionally alongside me.

 

Any advice, input, encouragement would be appreciated.

 

SJ

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Do these morning cortisol dumps every cease - or at least lessen back to something akin to normal?

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I am in severe need of a hug and a nap. The anxiety wave I am in has developed a "sub-wave" of sorts, where instead of staying at one level, it keeps fluctuating. So just when I think I am getting relief, it comes roaring back in.

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In the past for me, the periods of relief got gradually longer until I began to be able to function a little better. I've had very challenging ongoing issues, especially with anxiety but had some results from various supplements too, some better than others (vitamin c and omega 3 have both proved consistently beneficial for me). Gently does it with anything. Start small, one thing at a time, be consistent, don't hop on and off things too swiftly because I think the nervous system can react to the absence of something as much as it can overreact to the addition of something. Be especially careful with any prescription drugs. I'm learning my lesson on that one!

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Start small, one thing at a time, be consistent, don't hop on and off things too swiftly because I think the nervous system can react to the absence of something as much as it can overreact to the addition of something. Be especially careful with any prescription drugs. I'm learning my lesson on that one!

 

That is great advice! I seem to be getting some positive results using a 125mg magnesium capsule in the morning. Anything higher brings on the runs (TMI!).

 

I am going to try this weekend to add back in my cinnamon/chromium supplement. That is something I had been taking daily for years to help keep my blood sugar in check (I'm pre-diabetic). I think it's important to go back to that. Plus, chromium supposedly helps with anxiety. Here's to hoping and praying that I get a good result!

 

SJ

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Okay - this is strange. I usually do not have any sort of appetite until dinner time. Usually I just graze during the day to at least keep my strength up.

 

But I was actually hungry for lunch! Treated myself to a grilled chicken quesadilla (on wheat) and just gobbled it down!

 

Lets hope this is the start of something good.

 

SJ

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> "The sooner a drug is reinstated the more likely it is to help, at 3 months there is still a small chance."

 

I hate hearing this.  I'm trying to reinstate after 4 months and I keep seeing this and it crushes my hope :(

 

Hope you're doing well ShakeyJerr

 

Hey AnxietySucks - how are you doing these days?

 

SJ

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Woke up to a horrible anxiety freakout! Almost had my wife take me to the ER. But what can they do for me at the ER other than give me meds? And really, that isn't going to make anything better in the long term.

 

I have calmed down some since that initial wave hit. Now I'm trying to just ride the wave out. I prayed, read scriptures, drank some decaf black tea. It seems to have helped some. 

 

SJ

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Still in anxiety freak out mode. Okay, a little less than yesterday in that I get a few short moments where it backs down today. But again, pretty much a step away from the ER/ My wife keeps pointing out how they will just medicate me there and throw me down the rabbit hole again. She's right. She's out now trying to hunt down a theanine supplement. We figure we'll give that a try.

 

SJ

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Day 4 of high anxiety. I am at work. God please help me get through the day!

 

I tried Theanine yesterday and today. They only had the 200mg. It kind of made me agitated for a short while, and I don;t feel like I got a good bounce, not even like when I just drink decaf black tea, which has at most around 20mg of theanine (but that was starting not to work to calm me down). So I think I have to maybe try tomorrow opening the theanine capsule and spreading it out in my tea over the course of the day.

 

If that doesn't help, then it's goodbye theanine.

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WTF!?!?!?!

 

My anxiety is waning, and I am slipping immediately into depression!

 

Why can't I catch a break?

 

SJ

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Started taking daily notes to see if there are patterns...

 

Monday April 24, 2017
 

5am - Theanine 200mg: I think this dose is too high. I get an agitated feeling for a bit. That does subside, but I am not getting the help I had hoped for.

7:30am - Lisinopril 20mg

8am - Still anxious. I have been reading and listening to Bible verses and praise music (soft). Read some nice supportive emails. Practicing my breathing. Getting a little bit of relief, but again, not as much as I had hoped. I have to realign my expectations, I think.

8:40a - Magnesium 166mg - Wanted to hold off on this, but still have not found relief.

11:00a - half a cup of decaf black tea.

11:15a - prayer walk

Noon - Symptoms suddenly morph into depression, but still there is also an undertone of anxiety. WTF!?!?!

 
1:00pm - back to anxiety; hydroxyzine 50mg
 
Hard evening; never really got my full window.
 
Bad, broken night sleep.

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it's wonderful that you're taking notes, it's so easy to forget from one day to the next (note to self: keep some paper notes!! LOL)

 

you're doing a lot of great work to help yourself, that's a very positive sign for your recovery :)

 

hang in there, you're doing great.

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Thank you for the encouragement, catnapt!

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Daily journal from yesterday...

Tuesday April 25, 2017

5:40a - wake up; total anxiety/panic/physical symptoms - Magnesium 166mg

6:10a - Hydroxyzine 50mg

7:45a - eggs

8:15a - begin sipping on decaf black tea with 100mg of theanine mixed in.

8:30a - Lisinopril; moderate anxiety continues; listening to worship music; neuropathy pain and weakness in lower legs

1:30p - 2nd cup of tea with added theanine

2:30p - anxiety here. but significantly scaled back. Praise God!

3:15p - check that... anxiety is creeping back in. I hate this.

4:45p - arrived home after difficult commute (several accidents) to find that the cat is definitely ill. Cleaned up a lot of vomit and some poop. Worried a lot. Going to have to take her to the vet. But getting her wrangled and in her carrier will be a chore because she hates being picked up.

6:45p -  - Magnesium 166mg

Had evening anxiety, instead of the usual small window. Did wane before bed (9p).

 

SJ

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I am home today, I even have some take-home work I am doing so I am earning money today... I am perfectly safe. And yet I am still having an anxiety attack since waking up. Emotional and physical symptoms. Nothing is helping. I prayed. Fern prayed. I took my magnesium. Drank decaf black tea with added theanine in it. I am sitting in a relaxed position on the couch and doing my work. I even had soft worship music going at one point (I'm using the dishwasher now as white noise background).

No relief. God, please help me!

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From Catnapt's Intro:

 

 

 

Awesome! Sounds like you might have hit a sweet spot.
sj

 
 
I hope so!!
although I must say, since reinstating a small dose back in late October, I have steadily gotten better and better. I went from over 40 severe symptoms to just a very few that are fairly mild.
 
the insomnia was the thing that's held on the longest and now I am able to sleep 5 to even 7 hrs sometimes at night.
it's great!
I sleep long enough to dream. I think my brain will heal better now that I am dreaming, I always heard that REM sleep is important, although I can't recall what exactly it's important for. I want to say it's got something to do with memory but er, I can't remember HAHAHA
 
I'll have to look it up
 
how you doin SJ?

Another rough anxiety day. I'm hoping to stop at the vitamin store tomorrow and get magnesium glycinate, see if switching to that from the mag citrate helps any. Plus, a friend of my wife's swears by a homeopathic remedy called Ignatia (please see warning in following post). It gets great reviews on Amazon. But the cost per dose can run pretty high, so I don't see it as a daily long term solution, just an emergency fix.

 

 

 

Stop ShakeyJerr, do not buy that supplement with out doing a lot of research.  Please refer to my intro thread for my latest post.  

 

We just had a member use the supplement Nux vomica (see the paragraph quoted below) and had a very nasty reaction to it.  For people with a "normal" nervous system (such as your wife's friend) homeopathic levels of these ingredients may be relatively safe.  But for people like ourselves with highly sensitized systems they can lead to tragic results.  Even though there is a minuscule amount of the ingredient used it is still the main item used in making rat poison and is very dangerous. The ingredient you're looking at is twice as powerful as the one that harmed one of our members.

 

"It belongs to the family Loganaceae, which also produces the remedies Nux vomica, Gelsemium and Spigelia. The fruit of Ignatia amaris is a corticated berry, about ten cms in diameter, which contains numerous seeds in the middle of its yellow pulp. It has a high alkaloid content, more than 60 per cent consisting of strychnine, which is about twice as much as is found in Nux vomica."

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Speaking of supplements; I couldn't get hold of my usual magnesium powder and tried a different product, and each time I take a glass of it, I am getting intense headaches and feel fluish - bad enough that I will throw it out, even though it cost $50. I'm surprised how adversely effected me, since the other mag powder has a marvellous effect. How frustrating for us all - good luck with your struggles xxx

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