Shep

☼ Shep's journey

909 posts in this topic

Thank you for letting us know how you are doing, Shep.

 

It sounds like you are very slowly healing. You gained some remarkable insights through that re-experience of trauma. Thank you for sharing that with the community.

 

Are you able to work with a therapist at all? You might find it productive now.

 

Are you able to find a social group, such as a group that plays games through Meetup? This may give you more confidence socially.

 

You sound like you've found a lot of strength, too. I wish you a better job, kittens, and all good things!

 

Please continue to post updates, I am sure you will continue to heal.

 

 

Thank you, Altostrata. Yes, the healing is definitely very, very slow. It took about 2.5 years to come off of 5 drugs which from what I'm reading, was probably too fast. So I'm being very careful with my diet, exercise, and trying to keep a positive outlook, knowing it may take another year or so to really feel better.

 

I've read that people with my diagnosis (bipolar / schizoaffective) are dying 25 years younger than everyone else and according to Mad in America, it's the drugs. So I'm feeling hopeful about living a long life now that I'm off the drugs. 

 

No, I haven't been able to work with a therapist, at least not in the last few years. I'm afraid I have absolutely no trust in psychiatry or psychology and probably never will. Over the years, I tried talking with varous psychologists, but with the drugs, nothing really was processed.

 

Psychologist have done almost as much damage as psychiatrists because they always made me think something was fundamentally wrong with me. It was a psychologist who added the schizoid personality disorder to my record. They never helped me improve my social skills - just slapped a label on it and told me to work with my psychiatrist on the medications because most of my problem was related to the visual hallucinations or the depression and that was a chemical imbalance. And until that was fixed, there wasn't anything they could do for me.

 

And since all therapy is verbal and I'm not very good at talking to people, it really doesn't work.

 

I've gotten a lot better by writing it out in a journal. I also like to play classical guitar and go for long walks through the city.

 

I googled "Meetup". Thank you for telling me about that! There are several hiking groups that look good. Once I get my energy back, I'll have to check that out. There's also one for accoustic musicians that meets every Sunday. Wow, that's really cool. Thanks again!

 

I'm thinking next summer is going to be much better and I'll feel like joining one of these groups for their weekend hikes outside the city. Or to play guitar.

 

I really think life is going to be much, much better going forward. :)

 

Thank you for your advice. Very much appreciated.

 

Shep

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

Wow, you have been through A LOT. I'm not an expert, but I've read in the past the EMDR therapy is very helpful with healing from trauma. Also my therapist does EMDR and swears by it. It's a non-medication approach, if you want you can research it and see if it's something you'd like to try. I wish you continued healing and much luck and success with your personal goals and plans, and of course - your kitten. I want a kitten or a puppy too, I love animals just like you. All the best to you my friend, I wish you all the best on your road to healing and recovery 

Share this post


Link to post

You're welcome, Shep. Meetup is excellent for non-threatening social interaction with people of like interests.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

Wow, you have been through A LOT. I'm not an expert, but I've read in the past the EMDR therapy is very helpful with healing from trauma. Also my therapist does EMDR and swears by it. It's a non-medication approach, if you want you can research it and see if it's something you'd like to try. I wish you continued healing and much luck and success with your personal goals and plans, and of course - your kitten. I want a kitten or a puppy too, I love animals just like you. All the best to you my friend, I wish you all the best on your road to healing and recovery 

 

 

Hi, bluebalu. Thank you. I've read a little about EMDR and I guess I should keep a more open mind. It's hard when so much harm has been done.

 

Maybe when I get a better job and have some money, I'll have to check into that (my insurance is a crappy HMO with a really high deductible).

 

I hope you're able to adopt a kitten or a puppy, too. There's so much to look forward to when we heal.

 

I hope your taper is going well. It says in your signature that it's making you suicidal. A lot of my suicdal thoughts went away after I was off the drugs. I know you'll feel better, too.

 

Take care,

 

Shep

Share this post


Link to post

All ok here Shep.

 

I recently had to updose slightly. I'm on small doses now but still went a bit fast. The updose helped within 24 hours. Thank god.

 

I agree with the conversation part and animals. Mine, though, are very talkative cats, I chat to them all the time. If the neighbors heard me I'm sure they would think that I'm actually crazy. (The irony of that one)

 

Nothing better than a cuddle on the couch with them. Very good for the soul.

 

Hope you continue to feel better.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi.

 

My sleep had gotten better - about 4 - 5 hours most nights.

 

But I had a really bad couple of weeks with lots of external stress and my sleep has gone back to 0 - 2 hours a night for the past week. I have to work, so I'm struggling here.

 

Would it be okay to reinstate a small amount of Seroquel, maybe 25 mg? I was drugged for 30 years, and I really want to be drug free, so I've been trying to avoid all prescriptions and OTC meds.

 

But I'm really exhausted and wanted to know other people's experience with using Seroquel or maybe Benedryl after being completely drug free for 7 months.

 

Thank you. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, Altostrata.

 

Thanks very much for responding to my question. No, I don't think I've seen those links, but I'll read over the ones for sleep. 

 

I'm confused about something so I wanted to double check with you. Over on Benzo Buddies they said that 25 mg Seroquel was like taking 25 mg of Benedryl because it hits histamine receptors and not dopamine. Also, it doesn't hit GABA, so it is safe to take.  I don't understand what all this means, though and no one will explain it. 

 

Is it bad to take something that hits histamine receptors? I think my insomnia is coming from my benzo withdrawal, so I thought I just had to avoid things that hit on GABA. Sorry, I'm having a lot of trouble understanding all of this and I'm not sure which information I should listen to and what I should do now because I've only about one hour of sleep on Friday night and none at all last night. I'm just really tired and I don't know what to do since I have to work tomorrow. 

 

What does it mean to be back in the drug merry-go-round? It's not safe to reinstate and then taper when I'm farther away from my klonopin jump?

 

Thanks for helping me. Sorry, I'm just really tired. 

Share this post


Link to post

I slept 5 hours last night and woke up feeling better.

 

I don't think I need to take anything after all. I was asking only because I was so tired and thought I wouldn't be able to go to my job.  I don't have much sick time and I don't have much savings left, so not sleeping all of a sudden just scared me. Because I'm so far away from my jump, I was afraid this might be permanent. Do lots of people have severe insomnia this far away from their meds? 

 

Thanks again for the links. I think I can learn to manage this without drugs and those articles have really good ideas. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

That's great that you managed to sleep without taking anything.

 

When I have to get up early the next morning it can affect my sleep (quantity and quality).  I always set a clock radio and a back up beeper.  I have learned to tell myself that worrying about getting up early is not going to help and that I have taken action to help me not to go back to sleep when the alarm goes off.  I also remind myself that worrying about not getting sleep is only going to make me have trouble sleeping.  I've also found that accepting that if all I do is get a restful night with some sleep that I will be fine.  If I have a job interview the next day, I tell myself that worrying about it isn't going to help.  It is easier said than done and it does take practice.

 

What we say to ourselves, negative or positive, affects us.  I think it might help you next time you have trouble to remind yourself that you did it this time without taking anything so you can do it again!

 

Wishing you more good nights.  CC

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

That's great that you managed to sleep without taking anything.

 

When I have to get up early the next morning it can affect my sleep (quantity and quality).  I always set a clock radio and a back up beeper.  I have learned to tell myself that worrying about getting up early is not going to help and that I have taken action to help me not to go back to sleep when the alarm goes off.  I also remind myself that worrying about not getting sleep is only going to make me have trouble sleeping.  I've also found that accepting that if all I do is get a restful night with some sleep that I will be fine.  If I have a job interview the next day, I tell myself that worrying about it isn't going to help.  It is easier said than done and it does take practice.

 

What we say to ourselves, negative or positive, affects us.  I think it might help you next time you have trouble to remind yourself that you did it this time without taking anything so you can do it again!

 

Wishing you more good nights.  CC

Thanks, Chessie Cat!

 

I like this  - I think it might help you next time you have trouble to remind yourself that you did it this time without taking anything so you can do it again!

 

I'll definitely remember that. It did make me feel really good that I didn't take anything. And I won't tonight, either.   :)

Share this post


Link to post

Hi.

 

I've been struggling with insomnia for quite awhile, like most people here.

 

I thought about using a small amount of Benedryl but I'm scared that antihistamines can cause problems with withdrawal. My last drug was Seroquel, which hits histamine receptors in the lower doses. 

 

If I use Benedryl, will that set me back like using Seroquel would? I've read that there are different histamine receptors, so I don't know if that matters or not. Like if Benedryl hits a different histamine receptor than Seroquel, does that make it safe to take during withdrawal? 

 

I've tried meditations, hot baths, Rooibos tea, going for long walks, etc. but nothing seems to help and it seems hopeless. 

 

Thanks so much for any information you have. I'm 7 months off all medications and I really want to succeed at this, but it's so very exhausting and I need to function to work. I don't have any savings left and I'm hanging by a thread at my current job and not doing so well and making mistakes, so any information will be appreciated. I just don't want to mess this up again. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

Sorry to hear that you are having sleep issues.  Can't help with the Benedryl question either.  I've got the opposite problem, I sleep too much.

 

Just thought I'd drop in to say hi anyway.

 

CC

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

 

Sorry to hear that you are having sleep issues.  Can't help with the Benedryl question either.  I've got the opposite problem, I sleep too much.

 

Just thought I'd drop in to say hi anyway.

 

CC

 

Hi, CC. 

 

I'm glad you're sleeping, even if it is too much. Seems like a good way to pass time during withdrawal. Thank you for responding and I hope you're doing okay.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep , have you read the link on "Benedryl for W/D Insomnia" here  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2352-benadryl-diphenhydramine-for-withdrawal-insomnia/

 

If you do try it , remember , just a tiny dose at first to see how you go.

:)

 

I didn't realize that SSRIs came from antihistamines. That really changes how I think about them. 

 

I'm trying to solve this and here are my thoughts:

 

1. It may be paradoxical. Since I have a history of psychosis from AD's, I'm wondering if that might make me more prone to this effect? Not sure, but I'm scared to try it.

 

2. It could lead to dependence and increasing dose and might need to be tapered, resulting in a longer recovery.

 

3.  I still have some sick leave at work, so I think I should use that if I run into worse insomnia. Plus it's almost January, so I'll get more vacation and sick time after the new year. There are no side effects with this plan and it won't turn paradoxical.

 

I think I'll go with thought # 3. Maybe if I run out of leave time, I might try something like Benedryl, but I'm thinking that any type of medication should be a last resort. I don't want to mess this up again.

 

Thanks very much for the link, Fresh. Very helpful. 

Share this post


Link to post

Update - Good News!

 

I wanted to report some good news. Like most people on this site, I've been struggling with suicidal thoughts, severe fatigue, insomnia, GI problems and dp/dr. Also, my cognitive problems were so extreme, I thought I would lose the only job I've been able to hold down during this nightmare. I've already lost everything and currently live in a low income housing project in an inner city, so the only step down is the streets. 

 

I began looking for solutions, and I tried something and it seems to be working.  I wanted to share for anyone who reads this thread.

 

For 32 years I was a vegetarian (since I was a kid). This was for animal rights reasons, as well as it made the Kosher laws easier. However, due to withdrawal, I had to stop using supplements over a year ago. Plus my diet has been extremely restricted due to severe GI problems. Needless to say, I've been EXTREMELY ill for nutrition reasons.

 

After reading numerous articles and listening to videos on nutrition, I decided to target Omega 3, B12, and iron. I've done so by adding fish into my diet for Omega 3 and B vitamins, and adding raw dark spinach back into my diet for iron and for B12. Also, a small amount of 70% dark chocolate for iron. Slowly, I'm adding more and more items as my GI problems allow. 

 

It took about two weeks for the GI problems to work themselves out because after 32 years, it's very hard for someone to simply start digesting meat, even fish. I added these different foods in separately and gradually, starting with the fish. The increased energy was noticeable almost right away. And then I added in foods for iron.

 

Slowly, my sleep is improving, my memory is getting better, and I'm even having these "glimpses" of reality, a kind of ten-second mini-break from the severe dp/dr.

 

For two nights this week, I've slept 7 hours straight. Because of my living situation, I'm not only dealing with withdrawal insomnia, there are also police raids, drug overdoses, and there was a fire on the tenth floor last week which meant having to exit the building from 2:30 in the morning until 4. Needless to say, this has pushed me to the edge of sanity on more than one occasion. 

 

I'm hoping to make a full recovery and return to being a vegetarian, but for now, this is where I'm at and I'm okay with it emotionally and spiritually. 

 

Now that my cognitive skills are improving, I hope to be able to participate more on this website. It's truly a wonderful site, and I thank you so much for providing all of this information for free. Without it, I know I wouldn't be here today. 

 

So many lives are saved by the information on this website. 

 

Thank you so much. 

 

Shep

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

What excellent news, Shep! Happy new year to you.

Share this post


Link to post

What excellent news, Shep! Happy new year to you.

 

 

Thank you, Alto! Happy New Year to you, too.

 

And thank you for this website.  I may be temporary trapped in a really bad housing situation, but I feel like I have a real cyber home here.

 

Now that my cog fog is s.l.o.w.l.y. clearing, I'm really going to enjoy reading all of the research you've compiled. 

 

Thanks again.  :)

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Shep.

 

I've been reading through your thread today and I was really amazed by the kind of brave fight you are fighting there. I can say how much I admire your attitude in view of everything you've been through. It gave me courage and hope. 

 

I was so happy to see that you came across something that made things better for you and I wish you continued healing. You are a true survivor!

 

It was nice 'meeting" you :)

 

Bubble

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you, bubble. That's very kind.

 

Yes, this is very stressful, but I feel so lucky to have found this site and learned that I'm going through drug withdrawal, and that I'm not mentally ill at all.  The longest I've ever been off of my meds is about 4 months, but this time I'm almost 8 months off. And that's because I know my struggles are from my brain chemistry trying to get back to normal and that will only happen if I stay away from psychiatric drugs.

 

It's unfortunate that so many of us have to lose everything before we gain this knowledge, but sadly, too many people are losing their lives without ever knowing the truth.  

 

I think most people in the mental health system are sick from the drugs. I'm beginning to doubt that anyone is really mentally ill. 

 

The building where I live is full of elderly and so-called mentally ill people, so lots of people shuffling and pacing around with akathisia and tardive dyskinesia. But I'm only a temporary resident here, so that lets me keep everything in perspective. This building used to be a hotel about 60 years ago. It's tired and worn down, much like the residents. 

 

I'm reading a book set during the depression. It's a reminder that times have always been hard, but there are always survivors.  Even the most unlikely characters can be survivors. I like that a lot. I wish psychiatrists would read history books. They would learn that people don't get through grief in two weeks (DSM 5) or even two months (DSM 4) or even a year (DSM 3). In fact, some of us grieve for decades because that's simply who we are as human beings. I think there's a connection between being able to grieve and being able to sleep and to dream. 

 

Exactly a year ago today, my dog passed away. She was this beautiful shepherd mix. And even a year later, I still grieve because I still dream about her. I think that's quite normal and not a sign of mental illness. Not everyone lets go so easily. 

 

I have this really large window with a view of one of the city's busy streets. As the dp/dr shifts and clears, the clouds and sky look really powerful and amazing. Lots of sunlight today. Tons of people, cars, buses. I like watching everything pass by. It's a kind of company. 

 

In spite of everything, today is a good day for me. I hope it is for everyone.  If not, it will be. That's the thing I've learned about life - it doesn't stay the same for too long. And that's okay. 

 

I'm trying to post more, so I hope to come back next weekend. 

 

Thanks again. 

 

Shep

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

Quick Update:

 

8 months and 1 week off of all drugs:

 

Sleeping better. Usually sleep 2 - 4 hours, get a snack, sleep another 2 or 3 hours.

More energy.

Better memory.

Less depression and no hallucinations.

Feeling good about the future.

 

Best advice so far: avoid all drugs (even OTC) and get your vitamins and minerals through food and not supplements. Keep stress low (although I do have to work) and use mindfulness. If you can exercise, that is good, but even just walking is helpful. Avoid psychiatrists except for getting your drugs to taper. They still advocate the chemical imbalance theory but only because big pharma tells them to. That's marketing, not science.

 

Doesn't work for everyone, but it works for me, so it's the best advice I can pass on. 

 

Life is good.  :)

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Shep .  Good stuff !   Maybe you can write a success story , soon . :)

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

I read through your thread and quite a journey you have had! Congrats on your improvement. It seems like you were on a few drugs. Would you say the latest WD was more from benzo and Seroquel use? You said to lost your job while going through AD WD. Was going on disability an option at the time through your employer?

Share this post


Link to post

Shep reading your story is inspiring ,  being on all those drugs for those years and being as functional as you are is incredible. You are gonna be a huge success story , in fact you already are. Keep up the good work

 

Mort

Share this post


Link to post

Very happy to hear you're doing better. I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol



to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Shep, it's amazing that you feel well congrats.

Share this post


Link to post

Nice to meet you Shep,

 

I'm feeling really uplifted right now from reading through your thread.  How lovely it is to read someone's thoughts who has survived such hard times.  I agree with you about reading history for perspective.  I read a lot of it - just finished Suite Francaise about life in France during WW2.  Good and bad times will always come and go, and people can survive much more than they realise. 

 

I am so glad you can say 'life is good.'  I agree :).

 

Karen.

Share this post


Link to post

Hey Shep .  Good stuff !   Maybe you can write a success story , soon . :)

 

Oh yes. I want the insomnia to get better, but yes, I do plan on writing that. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Shep,

I read through your thread and quite a journey you have had! Congrats on your improvement. It seems like you were on a few drugs. Would you say the latest WD was more from benzo and Seroquel use? You said to lost your job while going through AD WD. Was going on disability an option at the time through your employer?

 

Thank you, Christian. I actually had gone through all of the short term disability through my employer because my shrink had me going from one SSRI to the next over a period of about a year. I was really sick but he kept piling on more and more drugs and upping my Seroquel to get rid of the mania.

 

I think the latest WD was a combination of benzo withdrawal (memory problems, dp/dr and insomnia) and then the Seroquel caused more insomnia. But it's all really hard to remember what's what. I just know these drugs worked for awhile but really made everything much much worse. I really wish psychiatry didn't exist and they just fixed child abuse, poverty, and people could have decent housing. That would solve most of these problems. 

Share this post


Link to post

Shep reading your story is inspiring ,  being on all those drugs for those years and being as functional as you are is incredible. You are gonna be a huge success story , in fact you already are. Keep up the good work

 

Mort

 

Thank you, Mort. It's been exhausting but well worth it in the end. 

Share this post


Link to post

Very happy to hear you're doing better. I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol

 

 

to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

 

Thank you, Altostrata. I'll keep doing updates. Sorry, I'm not that great at posting a lot but I do want to write a success story once I'm better from the insomnia. 

 

I like the sun symbol. 

Share this post


Link to post

Hello Shep, it's amazing that you feel well congrats.

 

Thank you, Purplestars. 

Share this post


Link to post

Nice to meet you Shep,

 

I'm feeling really uplifted right now from reading through your thread.  How lovely it is to read someone's thoughts who has survived such hard times.  I agree with you about reading history for perspective.  I read a lot of it - just finished Suite Francaise about life in France during WW2.  Good and bad times will always come and go, and people can survive much more than they realise. 

 

I am so glad you can say 'life is good.'  I agree :).

 

Karen.

 

Thank you, Karen. Yes, we really can survive much more than we realize. I think that's one of the biggest problems with psychiatry. I survived a lot as a kid but instead of being told I was strong, I was told I was broken and locked up and drugged. And psychiatry is supposed to be the "experts" at studying human nature. But all they do is disable and break people down. In realty, human beings have been surviving the unsurvivable for thousands of years. Otherwise, we would have gone extinct a long time ago. 

Share this post


Link to post

February update:

 

9 months off all drugs. Doing about the same as last month. Progress seems to have stalled, but there haven't been any new symptoms, so I guess I'm doing okay. Insomnia, lingering cognitive problems, and dp/dr are my worst symptoms right now, but there are worse things than being sleepy and trapped in my head. 

 

I'll update next month. Hope to have made some progress, but really, to be working, going for long walks, and sleeping around 5 hours most nights is good at 9 months out, so I don't have a whole lot of complaints. I'm still a WHOLE lot better than I was last year. 

 

There's no doubt that healing is happening, and if it can happen to me after decades of polydrugging, it can happen to all of you, too. The brain really does find it's way back. 

Share this post


Link to post

March Update:

 

Wave. Insomnia, dp/dr, suicidal thoughts, akathisia, and periods of disassociation. 

 

My thoughts are blocked on how to describe this state. Feels like nothing is real and sounds and visuals are dislocated and sometimes like everything is underwater. 

 

People look fake like mannequins and I'm having lots of trouble with eye contact again. It frightens me for some reason.

 

I always feel like something is "wrong" and "out of place" and even my own apartment isn't recognizable. I'm really exhausted from not sleeping and I'm wondering if this is just from sleep deprivation.

 

Most of March has been a wave. Wish there was a better update, but it is what it is. 

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now