elizabeth11

Working (as in getting a paycheck) through withdrawal

70 posts in this topic

How were you able to keep working through withdrawal?

 

I'm lucky that I'm self employed. When I cannot make it to work, my income takes a hit, but I don't have to worry about patients or a boss noticing any empty desk.

 

How do you/did you handle work? And keeping life moving along?

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When I was tapering Lexapro, work was my Saving Grace. I 'had' to get out of bed, shower, make-up, clothes, take daughter to school. I looked forward the the distraction work brought although I suffered many a day there. It was better than staying home. When I am home I obsess, ruminate and worry.

 

I am self employed and this time around it did not stand in my way. However, this friday I knew I needed to get myself into the ER, and I had to reschedule two customers for Monday.

They were darling.

 

Honestly Elizabeth, working while w/ding is doable for me. But the Diverticulitis has been much more difficult.

 

Can you imagine that I actually said, divertic. was worse than w/d :o

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That is a question I am asking myself now. I have not worked since mid Nov 2011. I have been living off what I called my slush fund, but now I am into my savings. It is time to go back to work soon. My plan is to start with a part time per diem position. The stress will be less than a committed position at an agency or hospital. I have noticed that stress exacerbates symptoms of withdrawal, so it is important I reduce it where I can.

 

I admit to be frightened about going back to work. I hope my professional self will get me through the day. But I also need a plan as to how I will manage the intensified emotions that may pop up. I hope I have the presence of mind to take a deep breathe and let them pass on through.

 

I think eating regular meals with snacks in between will help too. I don't want to put myself in the position of dealing with low blood sugar and any symptoms of W/D at the same time.

 

I also may also have to up dose the Effexor xr when I go back to work. I tapered faster than is recommended, having gone from 150mg to aprox 13mg in 32 days. At one point during my personal journey, I would not have been open to titrating up again. I wanted to be done with Effexor xr and that was all there was to it. But I understand now that going totally off the drug in less than a month like I was attempting to do, does not work for me.

 

Sorry for jumping around a bit. I keep revisiting my W/D. It may be because I am still pissed off that I have to go through this process. But pissed off or not, here I am....dealing with it the best I can.

 

Love and Peace

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I was not. Every w/d attempt (cold turkey of by alternating doses, I was not informed about tapering) I got so terribly sick by the lightning-fast withdrawal I havd to leave my working place. And was only be able to resume work after reinstating the drug.

After my last c/t I decided to hang on and eventually offer my job to it, still not knowing that w/d can be the utter hell for many many years, just to learn about it on the other site about 18 months in w/d... Now I am almost 4.5 years off the drug and 4 years unemployed due to w/d. Luckily I got paid until recently for illness, otherwise I would have hardly another option than ending it all.

The only good part is that I got so much time that during the windows I was able to study and fill up the knowledge gaps which were a culprit in my career as a computer specialist. And no, just befoe total recovery I hope, am better prepared for re-entry on the job market. But I know that working vcan be completely impossible during WD and that is probably the reason for so many suicides after quitting an SSRI...

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It is interesting to read that so many people had such different experiences.

 

I think Nikki is right, that having work and a child can add needed structure for some to avoid the ruminations.

 

But I also know what it is like to feel like getting out and about is quite difficult, more like Claudis mentions.

 

Hope to hear from others on this board!

 

Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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A therapist told me while working...during withdrawal....stick to the basics:

 

Eat well

Be compassionate with yourself

Rest,rest and rest

Support network

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I just went back to work after 6 months. I am 3 months off lexapro. It is awful. I get dizzy at work. I am so exauhsted after work I can hardly function. I am not sure I can reallydo it. And no one understands either. My husband is always asking me why I'm so tired. I am in a world all alone struggling and suffering but I still do it to make money .... I am not sure if I can really handle it too much longer though....

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Ajnjj-

 

Pat yourself on the back for returning to work. :)

 

Is there anything particular about being back at work that gets to you? That makes it hard to do?

 

I don't know if jobs that involve a lot of human contact make it easier/harder because we have to get outside of ourselves (which can be great and very healing) or can be frustrating as a source of stress because we have so much to deal with-people are so conflicting and sometimes hard to be around.

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Ajnjj...

 

Are you able to sleep at night? If so, can you pick an early bedtime with a ritual before- hand, like a hot shower, good book/reading/journaling (it is a great release).

 

Would your husband be interested in viewing this site, in particular, the topics of the effects of WD? He may be able to gain a better perspective.

 

It took me 2 years to get over the EBV. Preiodically it re-activates from stress and lack of sleep. I get rid of it by laying down with a comforter with the TV on and I go to sleep and recharge my batteries. It causes migratory aches/pains/melancholy.

 

You really do have a viral infection in conjunction with the ssri issue. I read a few books on EBV and how to bounce back holistically....check out amazon.com to see if there is anything.

 

Hang in there....eventually this will work it's way out.

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Thank you ! Unfortunately, I am a part time bartender , late hours! and I have 2 babies. I get no rest, which seriously amplifies my symptoms. My husband has read a lot about it but I think in his mind , he doesn't believe in long withdrawal processes. The EBV is what I am currently trying to figure out. Doc says High numbers from past infection, could indicate chronic EBV. Told me to get b12 shots eand get rest. I will check out books on the EBV like you suggested. The neuro symptoms are the worst for me though....hoping you are well!!!

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I just finished reading Whatever's recovery story. Wonderful and full of info. She said her Job History was ruined. I didn't want to post this there to take away from her message. I have a nagging thought everyday that I can't seem to escape. It drives me crazy and affects my self esteem. I lost my job in 2009. I liked it and was very good at it. That place felt like my second home. Co-workers were really nice. Major lay off. I was terribly depressed and nervous. I just finished a Lexapro taper and was weaning onto Imipramine. Ex-spouse lost his job. (affected alimony big time). I made a commitment to find a job. I did. I was a lousy job (only thing available) and I knew it would be temporary. I was quite depressed. Found another job in a hospital. Was surprised I was hired. I am not a medical coder/biller. The hospital uses outdated software and the job itself and the manager were a nightmare. There was really not much training. I knew I didn't belong there. I was having panic attacks for hours-on-end. I was unable to retain information. Within 2-3 weeks I was fired. I was relieved in one respect - but - my self esteem took a major nose dive. Back to looking. Found a job at Hospice. I put so much pressure and fear onto myself to make this work. It was a 12 hour shift - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The job was the height of insanity. Above of it was very, very sad. I cried everyday as patients passed and their families needed consoling. I was a Secretary. I felt myself spiraling downward. Again I was terrified of making a mistake. Guess what? I made mistakes. The head secretary did give me a hard time. She had an overactive thyroid and was Obsessive Compulsive. What a nightmare that was. I have excellent customer service skills, manners and etiquette. She and the other secretary were told they needed to learn from me. They didn't like that much. I knew I was going to get fired again, and I did, however this time, they told me they would like me to stay in Hospice but in a Customer Service position. None were available. I had to see an EMDR therapist. I could not stop crying. I get choked up thinking about it now. I obsessed over what I did wrong, why I could not do those two jobs. Were they lousy employers or was I just an anxious, over- wrought loser who is incapable of learning and retaining. I made the decision to go back into business for myself. I have a terrible fear of returning to 'corporate America' and a desk job. Everyday I think about what happened? It still bothers me. Was it me or them? Why was I such a wreck? Lots of shame, self doubt and anxiety. And then there was Occupy Wall Street, and I felt a little better. Employers treat people like garbage. Whatever you can share I would appreciate. I have anxiety even looking at Craigslist. In business for myself I am not anxious, love my clients, and above all there are not 'head trips.' Thanks guys:)

Edited by KarenB
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Hi Nikki,

I am sorry this is bothering you. I work in a field where I have had lots of experience counseling managers and employees about how things go at work. I can tell you that it's not always just the employee who if failing when things go bad. One of my favorite sayings is "poorly performing subordinates are a reflection on the supervisor." While sometimes there are people who do bad things and should be fired, when it comes to performance issues, it sounds like your manager in the billing job made some bad choices in even bringing you on for the job if you were surprised you got the job. Once on the job, we're you supported in being successful and getting what you needed to get the job done? I am guessing not, and it was a nightmare all around, so the manager took the easy way out and fired you rather than deal with what it takes to get things on track. In the situation with the catty coworkers, count yourself lucky to be gone. I see that very often in work situations, and in several different kinds of organizations. I am trying to say that it's not always just your fault. Good, happy, successful employees are not just islands, they grow in good organizations, with good bosses, and good coworkers.

 

If you do think about going back to work, maybe try to look at the culture of the organization before applying. People often only think about what they will get paid, but also think about how you will feel working there. I like to ask questions in interviews like " why is this job open", it will sometimes reveal what's going on. Also if you can interview with future peers, even better, ask what is it like to work for the boss, and for the organization. You will hear what is going on. If its good, people will say a lot. If they clam up, run!!

 

Anyway, I just wanted to offer a hug and some words to clear your head from thinking its all you. It's never ALL the employee's fault, but firing the employee is usually how it plays out. Everything is complicated by withdrawal.

 

R

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Thank you...

 

At the hospital my computer didn't work for the first week. The second week I did not have a working phone. The tutorials for the some of the software was discontinued. While I was there two people transferred. I could sense the tension/stress amongst the employees. To admit one patient for a simple blood test required 3-9 different applications. The Jupiter Medical Center only uses 1. State of the art facility. The major admitting program was in DOS...the dinosaur age. They were being denied Medicare payments or receiving only partial payments because they had not switched over to the newer universal applications.

 

Yes they were a nightmare. Thank you for helping me to see what I was dealing with.

 

Hospice is a no-no for most people. The money was good as were the benefits, however a Hospice facility is just too sad. I had to contact the funeral homes, etc.

 

In my heart, I know they were not very good jobs, and they really weren't for me, but during the height of the recession, it was "take what you can."

 

As for me.....the anxiety I had was there from a lay off and the ensuing problems. I had terrible panic attacks and I had a hard time retaining info.

 

I somehow think I may have been led to going back into business for myself. I make more money per hour and I enjoy what I do. No pressure. I do carry my own health insurance and dental insurance and will probably never let go of that again. It gives me independence. Some days I check out Craigslist and get this awful feeling.

 

Thanks again

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Is there anyone on this board that is currently holding down a job while going through discontinuation syndrome? If so, how do you cope? I'm trying to enlighten my sister-in-law on how long it takes to be healed, as she is one that thinks 2 weeks should suffice. I'm trying to impress on her the damage this poison does to your brain, and it may take several years to recover from the damage, if at all. (This is the sister-in-law with 2 autistic children)

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Is there anyone on this board that is currently holding down a job while going through discontinuation syndrome? If so, how do you cope? I'm trying to enlighten my sister-in-law on how long it takes to be healed, as she is one that thinks 2 weeks should suffice. I'm trying to impress on her the damage this poison does to your brain, and it may take several years to recover from the damage, if at all. (This is the sister-in-law with 2 autistic children)

 

From the few people that I've seen here that lists the drugs they've taken in their signature, I can assume the average period of consumption (for lack of a better word) is 15 years. I'm trying to impress this on my sister-in-law why it is so difficult to get off this poison. I am attempting to show her, after taking these drugs over an extended period of time, our brains have been rewired, and possibly permanently. Each withdrawal has to be custom, considering it is our individual bodies telling us when to make the next move. Is this information not correct?

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Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic speaks about the increased disability that correlates to increased psychotropic use over the years. That may be a place to start.

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Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic speaks about the increased disability that correlates to increased psychotropic use over the years. That may be a place to start.

 

Thanks for the reference. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law is not convinced about the damage this stuff does. Her line, like the rest of the family, You've only been on this junk 6 months, you should be off it and getting your arse out the door to find work in a week. I've tried to explain that I've been on 5 other antidepressants over 15 years, and the results are cumulative. Brain cells do not regenerate overnight. But just like the rest of the Pennsylvania Dutch, you can not convince them no matter what you do (unless you threaten suicide, then they're liable to had you the tools. I'm not talking about the Amish and Mennonites at this point: at least they care.) She know what kind of damage this stuff would do to an autistic child: whey she doesn't make the connection for adults is beyond me.

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Perhaps this has been discussed... there have been successful lawsuit because SSRIs cause birth defects including autism, I believe. I hope I'm not misstating that. Just thought I'd mention.

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Perhaps this has been discussed... there have been successful lawsuit because SSRIs cause birth defects including autism, I believe. I hope I'm not misstating that. Just thought I'd mention.

 

She was never on an SSRI, if anything she pushes a naturalopathic diet.

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It might not be as much of a stretch for her to understand that these drugs cause toxicity in adults if she is aware that they cause autism in utero. I find that coming from a 'common ground' facilitates dialogue.

 

EDIT: I'm sorry, Meistersinger, I see you've stated this exact thing in original message.

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Work was and is still a saving grace for me. I was only on one drug each time, not cocktails.

 

I would not have been able to work if I attempted to get off paxil. It was totally incapacitating, so I elected to take Lexapro and do a crossover. About 4 months after that crossover I was out looking for a job. I was okay.

 

When I was doing the Lexapro taper I was not okay. The thought of staying home made me feel even worse. I had the anxiety in my home, so going to work helped alleviate it or distract me.

 

I worked at a Country Club, so in the mornings, I would shower, do my hair, make-up and wear very nice clothes. I was dressed very well and it helped me. Going to work gave me a sense of purpose in the mornings. I would wake up, dry heave, cry, have terrible anxiety, BUT I somehow pushed past it and went to work. By the time I got there I would feel better.

 

At time I was agitated, jumpy, dizzy, nauseous, diarrhea, aches & pains, head pain, anxiety & depression, insomnia..........it was a juggling act, but somehow I did it.

 

For me it was better than staying home alone and ruminating on how awful I felt. If I stayed home I would have been suicidal.

 

Again I was not tapering from several drugs.

 

PS....I had problems with memory, forgetting, and I made mistakes as a result, but it was a very nice environment and I had a terrific boss.

 

Hugs

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Nikki,

I believe losing my sense of purpose/career/reason to get out of bed and house was what put me over the edge and into psychiatryland. I was on antidepressants before then, but lots of time on my hands.... idle mind...devil's playground.

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I'm not trying to do a job and my heart goes out to any/all who are working. It's not easy for me to just manage housework while WDing. I feel like I'm letting everyone down. My son and his GF tell me that I'm a control freak BC I worry about them when they are an hour late coming in...usually don't answer when I try to contact them. They think I should be able to control my emotions and not worry or whatever.

 

One couple I've confided in, thinks I should go to rehab for two weeks and just be done with it. I can't get anyone to understand what I'm going through. This makes me feel so alone! This makes me value this forum! I don't think anyone can possibly understand what we are going through.

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I am working but it's a struggle. Have been very open with my bosses and they have been understanding. I often feel exhausted and have memory problems. Sometimes I can get a bit stumped trying to solve problems. I think some of this is due to the mirtazapine but it has been highlighted and exacerbated by withdrawals

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Tezza,

RE: detox. BaaaHaaa!

Awhile back, I called Betty Ford Center (among others) and asked about their program for detoxing from ADs, knowing they would NOT understand but worded it assuming they WOULD as the preeminent detox center in the world. The response was funny. I could feel their eyes glazing over! I was transferred to about 4 people then told someone would call me back. Never did, of course. There was 1 detox facility in West Virginia who understood although they did not have a formal program because it is such a long process. I may try to contact them again just to get names of people/doctors who acknowledge the complexity.

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Tezza,

RE: detox. BaaaHaaa!

Awhile back, I called Betty Ford Center (among others) and asked about their program for detoxing from ADs, knowing they would NOT understand but worded it assuming they WOULD as the preeminent detox center in the world. The response was funny. I could feel their eyes glazing over! I was transferred to about 4 people then told someone would call me back. Never did, of course. There was 1 detox facility in West Virginia who understood although they did not have a formal program because it is such a long process. I may try to contact them again just to get names of people/doctors who acknowledge the complexity.

 

Heh, I wonder if there will be a separate section in the new DSM for AD withdrawal... I don't remember all the categories they propose, but I'll bet this is not there! Would that be poetic justice, or injustice?

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BaaHaaa! Is there a code for benzo withdrawal yet?

Edited by KarenB
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Are there any current members on here who would like to chime in regarding work? How has it been for you? How did you explain or approach having been out of work for such a long time? A teacher at the career center I went to said I should say I was dealing with family affairs. I'm just curious how people's personal experiences have been with all of this.

 

A huge mixture of factors is keeping me from work, withdrawal being the biggest one of course.

 

I'm also lacking confidence because I haven't worked much in my life, spent most of my time in school and volunteering. Ended up failing out/dropping out of a master's program, so that doesn't help my confidence much either. 

 

On days that I'm more functioning, I'm able to get a fair amount of housework and errands done, but always have the freedom to take breaks when symptoms arise.

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Yes, saying it was family matters is good BUT make sure you let them know that they have been RESOLVED, otherwise they may think they may crop up again.

 

Volunteering is excellent for gaining you confidence.  It also shows a prospective employer that you are willing to work.  Also doing some study, even if it is online, shows that you are willing to learn.  Every little bit helps.

 

CC

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Thanks for the advice, ChessieCat. I've done a little bit of volunteering here and there, but nothing consistent. 

 

I'll make sure I say things are resolved. The idea of lying in a way, by saying it was a family matter to a potential employer, makes me anxious. Since other people who are more knowledgable think that's the way to go, I'll trust that it's a good response :).

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I can understand your concern but think of it this way, it was a family matter regarding a very close family member!!! ;) ;)

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funny, I was laying in bed last night, unable to sleep but knowing that I could get up at noon or later (and did, I got up at 12:30!) and wondering how on earth people with jobs make it thru this.

 

My hats are off to you, it can't be easy. I feel I'm having an easier time of things, but when I imagine that I had to go out and 'do stuff" and not JUST take care of myself, and then the things I'm currently dealing with don't seem so little.

I haven't worked in a long time, but I remember how hard it was dealing with it all. Bless all of you who are dealing with W/D and work as well. and that includes the job that is seldom called work but is probably the hardest job of all, being a parent. you should really be proud of yourself, I think.

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I have a job with 75% workload at the moment, I have been doing this for a year. and it seems I just can't handle it anymore - cannot tolerate so high workload and stress. I'm so tired all the time and at the verge of a burnout. I made a cut several months ago but I'm just not stabilizing, the tiredness with this workload is awful.

 

I may have an opportunity to go back to project based work, working at home with a very small workload. Pay is also very small. it would mean that my boyfriend would have to start supporting me quite a bit. we have only been together for 6 months, everything is very good between us and he is very supportive. but I don't know, I feel quite guilty that he would have to work all days and I can just be. at the same time I don't think I will ever get healthy with this workload. 

 

just wanted to share..

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At the beginning of wd (I went off ct) I lost my job. In hindsight I can say: thank god!!! Just thinking of any commitments was killing me. After 8 months I start working as a freelancer for 1-2 hours per day. Now I am working the 13th month. The main time it works very well but there are still days where I have to cancel all my dates. Last summer I quit working for 4 weeks because a bad wave was hitting me. That's the big advantage of working freelance. I can quit for a longer time if necessary.

My experience is that it works better than expected if I just do it. The best way for me is to have no time thinking about it..

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yea, I'm also trying to get back to project based work and freelancing. it's much more flexible and suits me better in withdrawal...

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I've worked full time with the exception of a few months off during this. There were days that I honestly don't know how I made it through. Sometimes though just knowing I had to get up and get dressed/ready helped me push through. Although, I do have to say that at the worst of the ct WD symptoms ~ I had no idea that's what was wrong!!! Not until I found this site a few months ago that I was able to connect the dots. The one thing that did help was my boss wasn't in much so if I was having a really bad day, I could take it easy.

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