Tcm4

Tcm4: Recovery - withdrawals - when will the nightmare end!

22 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I was on Prozac and amitryptyline for 25 years the last three of those Xanax was apart for Fibromyalgia.  A year and a half ago I was in such bad shape , thought I was dying. Mainly from Xanax interdose withdrawals.

 

I started taper of Xanax but I checked myself into a rehab drug detox center as my doctor at the time wanted to add more drugs etc. the center stopped Xanax and Prozac cold turkey . They put me in neurontin to prevent seizure. Needless to say I was in worse shape. Horrific withdrawals. And sensory overload .

 

A few months later I stopped amitryptyline. But couldn't cope. So I was put in lexapro. I was on that the whole time through withdrawals, paws, discontinuation syndrome. Due to side effects if lexapro I tapered off lexapro last February . Which was another horrific withdrawal.

 

It's been 5 months now without any drug and I'm a mess. My brain is toast. I can't even type correctly half the time . I feel so physically sick, depressed, anxious etc. I can't do anything , can't read a book, which I always did, I am physically wasted. Can't do much of anything. I've lost friends , family, my life! I am a shell of who I used to be. Each day I wake up in panic, can't breath etc. will I ever get better, will I ever be normal or sane again, drs say I have to go back on the drugs. I fight it every day. But I'm so alone and afraid .

 

The damage these drugs have done to me is horrific and no one, I mean no one helps me or understands. I feel crazy. I am so afraid of the future and just how much damage has been done to my brain and body physically and emotionally. I am 64. I'm not young any more. Will this horrific nightmare end? 

Edited by Altostrata
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Hi TCM, welcome to SA. I am so so sorry to read your story, sadly it is far too common. Doctors really haven't a clue what they are doing and to take you off Prozac AND xanax cold turkey was cruel and irreprehensible.  I feel for you so much I am almost in tears. What drugs are they wanting to give you now?  

After c/t prozac and xanax, a few months passed befors being prescribed lexapro, which is a very strong drug. Your nervous system will have become sensitive to the drugs and reacted to such a strong drug as lexapro. What dose were you taking? How did you taper?  After 5 months off your brain and nervous system are busy trying to repair and regain homeostasis. This will take time but healing is happening every minute of every day.

 

Sometimes a very, very tiny dose of the drug that was stopped last can help, in your case lexapro. As this is very strong you could try a tiny dose of citalopram which is a weaker cousin of lexapro. A doctor would prescribe at least 20mg but we would recommend just 1mg to start. Citalopram is available in liquid form which is easier to get the tiny dose. Do not be tempted to take a high dose, you could react to it. A tiny dose will test whether you can tolerate it. There are no guarantees afet 5 months, it might help, but might not. Some find it alleviates symptoms within a day or 2.

 

It is important to take good care of yourself, eat as well as you can, good fresh food that isn't processed with chemicals and additives. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and energy drinks.  Most people in withdrawal find that soda, caffeine etc makes symptoms much, much worse.  It is important to keep the gut healthy, everything starts there and the healthier it is the better we feel. Most of us here take magnesium and fish oil. They help a great deal and don't have to be the very expensive ones. Often supplements are over priced and do not contain any of the ingredients that are claimed. 

 

I will get some links to topics that you can read. I always find that knowledge is power. When we understand what is happening in our bodies we can cope with it better. Knowing that it will get better is a great relief. It  will take time, some people take longer than others but everyone gets there in the end. 

 

First, we ask all our members to fill in their signature with their drug history, you can find how to do that here.. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/12364-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

What is withdrawal syndrome 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome PAWS

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/509-protracted-withdrawal-or-paws-post-acute-withdrawal-syndrome-how-long-does-it-last/?view=findpost&p=175690&hl=tingling

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1229-probiotics-and-gut-health/

 

Fish oil 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/?view=findpost&p=100596&hl=magnesium

 

magnesium

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

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Dr. wanted me to try Celexa ( which is sister to lexapro) or Cymbalta. I got prescriptions but couldn't put them to my mouth! Ha! I just can't go through that again. The side effects are almost , no,  not nearly as bad as withdrawals. But the agitation etc is too much to handle. I've searched and searched the net and nothing positive after  25+ years on these meds. No one, family, drs, psych, etc even begin to understand the damage these drugs have done to me. They all poo poo me as crazy. I've been to ER several times , they ask "How's my mood?"  Will I ever be any semblance of normal? Does the pressure in my head ever end? Will I ever breath normal again? Etc.,....? I'm too old to be coping with this!!!😂

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I do take fish oil and mag but doesn't help much if any. 

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Thank you sooo very much for responding! "A lifeline to sanity" some one to talk to! Someone to help me feel less insane or crazy! 

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Due to having Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME and Central Nervous System  Sensitivity Syndrome , CSS, I am very drug sensitive. Lexapro was 10 mg. Which was strong for me! Ha! I tapered over 8 weeks before stopping. Dr said one month. Probably should have gone 6 months but withdrawal/side effects were so harsh. 

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Even a 6 months taper would have been too fast from lexapro.  Would you consider a very tiny amount of celexa? It is not as striong as lexapro. You can make a soltion from tablets to get that tiny dose, Even just 0.5mg might help. Sadly there is no other known cure for withdrawal. Most of us here are very sensitive to drugs and chemical additives. Many supplements are not tolerated either. You will recover in time, one day you will realise that you had a few minutes of clarity, then hours and eventually days. It will come and go, sometimes feeling ,much better then a wave will come along but the waves always pass. Take each day as it comes and get whatever pleasure you can from it. Remember the good moments, the sunsets, the sound of rain, birds singing, whatever it is that makes you smile. Those moments will get you through. 

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MammaP, Thank you soooo very much! Thank you for your support, all the information. I have felt like I need to be committed! Soooo alone! You don't know what it means to me to have someone who finally understands what I'm going through! I will consider your suggestion of trying meds again for awhile. I am so terrified to put them back into my body. My days and nights are often a blur of suffering . 7 months have passed since taper and d/c 5 months. I've lost all that time. Accomplished nothing but lost so much. I chose to take this journey free of drugs though life was hell with them all these years. I lived in a fog, a box without feeling or having emotions.  The hardest part is being such a disappointment to my kids. I know they don't understand. At the same time I've lost them because I'm not doing what they expect of me. Mom isn't Mom anymore. They are angry and critical of me. They can't tolerate being around me or listening to what I'm going through,  after all it's not cancer or a serious illness they say! It is such a comfort to know I'm no longer totally alone. Someone understands. Be my cheerleader! Thank you MammaP! 

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This might be of interest to a lot of members.  I was diagnosed with fibro in 1994. I was just diagnosed by a rheumatologist with CSS - central sensitivity syndrome. A central nervous system disease/disorder that makes people hypersensitive to almost everything. Here are two studies that might be of interest: Fibromyalgia and Overlapping Disorders: The Unifying Concept of Central Sensitivity Syndromes by Muhammad B Yunus, MD

-also: clinical review and education- JAMA April 16, 2014 volume 311, number 15  - Fibromyalgia A Clinical Review by Daniel J Clauw, MD. These articles show how the central nervous system plays a huge role in why so many of us have fibromyalgia CFS/ME, MCS-Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, etc.  And especially so much trouble  with antidepressants and withdrawals. 

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Hello, TCM.

 

According to what I see on the Web, central sensitivity syndrome is a synonym for fibromyalgia. It's an umbrella for several conditions that seem to be mediated by the central nervous system.

 

Psychiatric drug withdrawal and adverse drug reactions are also CNS conditions that tend to gradually go away -- if you don't do anything to make them worse.

 

It might be best right now to hold off on taking any additional antidepressants, including Celexa.

 

Do your symptoms seem to have any daily pattern? When do you take fish oil and magnesium, what kind, and how much? What's your sleep pattern?

 

Do you have a neurologist?

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Hi TCM, welcome!

im so sorry you are going through so much pain and agony caused by these evil drugs and how they impacted your life as a mom! You are not alone and everyone here is going through similar hell. I had all the symptoms you listed plus lots more and I'm still on my 5th year tapering!!  As you read through others stories, you will see those symptoms will eventually do away, only it takes very long time for many of us. I totally understand how you feel about putting these poison in your body after all you went through! It is especially challenging when stuck in between bad side effects and WD.

 

How is your Fybri since your stopped lexapro?

 

I hope you get some windows soon for a break!

lex

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Thank you for your support. It has been sooo hard. I live alone and have no one to help me. The fibro is so much worse. At least while in antidepressants my pain was less, muted, everything was muted. Now everything is so intense. My emotions are through the roof, anxiety is horrible. I had so hoped I'd be better off the drugs but at this point I don't know. My mind is so messed up. All this head pressure. Drs say tention  headaches but this is different. There are days I wish I was back on drugs. I could at least breath. Now my breathings even affected. I'm scared most of every day. I am so thankful for this forum and all of you. You are the lifeline I've so needed. 

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Thank you for writing. I see a neurologist on Friday. Hopefully they'll have answers. I  was awake most of the night with leg cramps and twitching. I don't sleep well. Sleep deprived. Ha! 

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Hi Tcm4,

 

I'm so sorry to hear what you have been going through. My heart just breaks for you. These symptoms and struggles are real, and totally inconceivable to anyone who hasn't experienced them. You have been through so much, but are still here. You should be proud of yourself.

 

The "treatment" you were given was beyond criminal, yet you are the one left to suffer. Take heart, dear Tcm4, you WILL heal. We all do. In my own journey I have seen extraordinary improvement in the past week after months of feeling completely doomed. It's simply amazing what our systems are able to overcome. Given time, you'll be amazed at your own resilience.

 

Please hang in there, and take care of yourself. You are not alone.

 

Peace, love and healing.

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Hey TCM u aren't alone.  All 20,000 members here or whatever we are up too have been conned and harmed by these drugs. It took my family 12-16 months to fully understand what I was going through. And that's just my SO and my Mom,  nobody else trys to understand or believes it . So I feel u there!  We all do . If you live alone try coming here more often for support as often as u need .

 

You will heal , but it take time ,patience etc.  Read the recovery story section. 

 

My advice would be do simple things that make u happy,  try and stay away from doctors. They will usually do more harm then good , unless its a recomended Doc from here or you email before hand and they are knowledgeable in WD . Truly seeing docs is very bad for stress . They don't see what they've done .but maybe u will luck out and find one to help support u . 

 

Goodluck and welcome aboard .

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Thank you PatriciaVP for your support and compassion. So sorry for what you've going through. It is encouraging to know that there couple be light at the end of this. To have people like you who know and understand is such a blessing! Drs just want to put me back on meds. The physical and mental symptoms are so bad. I moved a year ago to be closer to my daughter who doesn't support me in any way, not the least compassionate or understanding . She doesn't want to be around me because I'm so negative and not fun to be around. I have no energy. My body is completely depleted. I know she doesn't get it. In moving from Michigan to Florida I not knowing gave up all the things I took for granted. Like fresh air to breath , to open windows and let fresh air in. To have windows open at night and feel the cool breeze or listen to the rain, sit outside . Everything here smells of mold and fungus, which I'm highly allergic to. The heat and humidity is horrific, making fibro worse. Can't drink water from tap have to constantly buy bottled water. No quaint bookstores anywhere to be found. If I had my strength and energy I'd move again especially now that my daughter won't help me. My daughter had cancer that's why I moved here. She feels what I'm going through is trivial and in many ways it is. But I need support, a hug empathy too. Not critism, rejection etc. There's nothing here for me that helps me relax or find comfort that I had back home. Which doesn't help going through this. I'm going to see a therapist today just to have someone to talk to. It so helps having you all to talk to. To hear your stories, to have your empathy and understanding. Thank you. 

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Thank you Mor81 for your support and advice. It is so encouraging to have you all here for me. To know that I'm not going insane. That this is real! Like a cancer. Yes going to Drs is very stressful. I have high anxiety every time I go. Not one recognizes this as real. They say I'm depressed have general anxiety disorder get back on drugs!  Again thank you. 

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Hi Tcm4. My heart goes out to you.  I only found this site myself 10 days ago before that I thought I was the only one in the world with these problems.  To find the cause of these symptoms gave me such relief. Friends and family find it so hard to understand what you are going through and I can see them take a deep breath when I try and explain what has caused it. Fortunately my husband and daughter both realise now what is happening to me. I sent them an interview that had been given by Lord Montagues son who had been through hell for 20 years. When they read his symptoms and what had happened to him they realised it was very similar to problems I have had since my initial ssri pooped and the ongoing tribulations of doctors. Take heart that everyone on here is batting for you as we all know how you are suffering.

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I use to live just north of you. Just up Rt. 75 in a little town called Bushnell. I know what you mean about FL. Wouldn't go back there if you paid me.

 

I'm sorry about your lack of support. Fortunately I have my husband and daughter. Even though they don't completely "get it" they've been fully supportive and are often more patient with me than I am with myself.

 

I think you're wrong about this not being as bad as cancer. Withdrawal can be just as painful and even scarier because the symptoms are so bizarre and unpredictable. Add to that the lack of guidance, understanding and compassion - I'd take cancer any day. I'm not trying to belittle your daughter's experience, but help you to understand how wrong she is in belittling yours.

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Hi PatriciaVP, Oh yea! Someone understands how much I hate Florida! Can't wait to get well so I can leave/move. I was tested for mold toxicity ! Ha! Have it! Which makes all this harder as symptoms are like fibro and over lap some with withdrawals! 

You are right about cancer vs withdrawals/discontinuation syndrome! This is so much worse. My daughter , as horrific as it has been these past three years for her, she has had the best Drs, care, support, friends , family and yes information. She wasn't alone. She's doing great given side effects of surgery, chemo, radiation. She won't be classified in remission for a couple more years as the threat of return cancer still exists. This is why I moved here. Not knowing Florida would make me sick! Lol!

I have had no safety net, someone to catch me when the bottom dropped off without drugs! I had no clue how horrific it would be. The symptoms are bizarre , frightening etc. you feel like you are dying! And no one in the medical profession to acknowledge this! I just today found a great therapist who does understand and is going to help me recover. Finally a human support person who gives hugs! She knows and understands what a nightmare this has been!

I am sooo truly blessed to have you come into my life this week! I am soooo sorry that you have had to go through this hellish journey also  and so glad that you have family to help you. No one can truly understand what these drugs have done to us except those who have experience d this. I pray our minds and body's recover hopefully we all are better for going through this journey! Though I question if my brain will ever recover!

This forum is a Godsend! I truly thank however started this! I pray that you continue to heal.  How long have you been on journey? 

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Hi Scorpio! This forum is amazing! I'm so happy that you found it as I did. Everyone is so awesome! So understanding, compassionate, empathetic. They all truly "understand" and have the knowledge, and information first hand in their own struggles with these horrific drugs to comfort us newbies to this forum! These drugs, big pharma, medical professionals have robbed us of our lives to this hellish, groolish nightmare of insanity. I'm sooo sorry that you are suffering so also! I'm here for you , rooting for your recover also! Being a part of this forum with all these amazingly strong courageous people is our light at the end of the tunnel of darkness. To be able to communicate in our darkest hours 24/7 with people who truly care is such a comfort. To not be or feel all alone anymore knowing we are really going to be ok is also so comforting! 

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hi Tcm4 your so welcome to the site ,I've learned so much about my character battling this horrific withdrawl ,our suffering wont be in vain ,in time your daughter will come to respect your suffering ,if we could only come up with a device for people to understand what its like .

peace in your recovery and take great care

PB

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