Healing

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

195 posts in this topic

ADMIN NOTE:  Topic Summary added.

 

Key Study - Waves and Windows in SSRI Withdrawal

 

Windows and waves occur in a stair-step pattern, with a general upwards trend.

 

                                        After a year, a little better.

lurches.gif

Awful

 

Alto:  I've experienced waves. I'll have a window when I feel better, then a wave, which feels as bad as ever, except a little different. Over time, the windows have gotten more frequent and longer and the troughs not as deep, and shorter. So, on average, I've gotten slowly better. Kind of like 1 step forward and 5 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 5 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 3 steps back....uh, where was I?

 

Waves mean your nervous system is struggling to heal. It moves in the right direction for a bit then falls back a bit. This is normal. You can view the "better" part of the wave as when your nervous system is finding its balance. These periods will get longer and more frequent as time goes on.

 

Rather than damaged receptors, I've found it more accurate to visualize post-acute withdrawal syndrome as autonomic dysregulation. The effects are generalized and when the nervous system is under stress, symptoms can reappear -- and go away again, as is common with autonomic issues.

 

Our nervous systems are so complicated they repair themselves in patches. Some parts recover then the whole thing needs to re-balance again. Rinse and repeat.

 

The windows are part of the pattern of healing. They are when your autonomic (and other) systems are working in harmony.

 

Withdrawal Cycles vs Other Cycles
Alto:
  There are regular biological cycles, daily, monthly, seasonally etc, and there are the waves from withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawal syndrome can exacerbate some normal cycles, e.g. early morning cortisol, menstrual symptoms, or seasonal sadness. Waves from withdrawal syndrome can also come out of the blue and have no apparent relationship to any other biological pattern.

 

Fast Tapering and Waves
Alto
: If you are tapering too fast and get withdrawal symptoms, they may fluctuate in a windows and waves pattern. This leads a lot of people to ignore the warning signs of going too fast. If you continue to taper, withdrawal symptoms probably will get worse. It's the nature of withdrawal symptoms to fluctuate, because the nervous system is trying to correct itself.

It's important to treat yourself gently. You may not be able to handle difficult situations that you've always handled before. Focus on stress reduction. Learning how to protect your nervous system from abrasive people is a good skill and will serve you well in the long run. Being pushed to take care of ourselves is, I guess you could say, one of the benefits of this awful condition.

 

The Importance of Flowing with the Waves

JanCarol:  There was a DIRECT CORRELATION between how hard I worked during my window / hypo-mania, and HOW LONG and DEEP my ensuing depression was.  If I got to washing the dog and mowing the lawn, it might be 3 weeks or more before I'd see the light of day.  This is a cautionary tale:  when in a window, learn to relax and flow.  Don't push.  I know, things aren't getting done, and you are tired of it - but if you push too hard, the wave will crash deeper.  See entire post - Flow with the Waves

 

Video
Healing from Antidepressants: Patterns of Recovery

 

Members' Theories on what Windows and Waves are all about
Healing:  I have heard of people having long-lasting setbacks even very far out. It's extremely upsetting. In some cases, it seems like the setback is triggered by stressful life events. My theory is that, even after we have healed a lot, we are still very fragile for a time after that. If life happens to be fairly smooth, we can function pretty well, but if life hands us a big stressor or two, we become really autonomically dysregulated. We're still more sensitive to conditions than we will be when we have healed further.

Eventually.....eventually.....we heal even more, become more robust, and stressful life events can no longer knock our nervous systems off balance so easily.

 

Jemima:  Because antidepressants change brain functioning by destroying serotonin receptors, recovery goes in fits and starts as these receptors regenerate. (From what I've read, this is my understanding of what getting back to health after withdrawal is all about.)

 

Starlitegirlx I have a theory that it's a healing process where our body is adapting and adjusting to not having the meds.  Pain or hellish days come into play, then we feel better for a bit until our body finds a new way to heal and recover which triggers the pain/suffering cycle again.

 

The body knows how to heal from just about anything, but often we interfere or things interfere with it (like stress, other meds or other health issues that compound one another). I like the idea of trusting in my body and believing it knows how to find its way back to its wellness.

Bad days are awful but if they mean my body is going through some kind of adaption as it heals, I feel they are worth enduring. Like when you are tired and just want to go home but traffic and bad weather slow you down and frustrate you.  Those things pass and you will get home eventually. So accepting the traffic/ bad weather as par for the course makes the journey home easier on you emotionally. It’s a simple analogy but it holds the truth of what is happening – there are storms and delays when we just want to be home (well again).

 

Recoveries are rarely as smooth and linear as we would like. I think it has to do with how the body has to adapt to a new status quo. Any healing is change which brings about a new status quo. So maybe this new status quo throws the workings of our systems off balance - and that's why we have waves. The body is saying 'wait, this is different than it was. Adjust! Adjust! Then as it adjusts we have the suffering we call waves. Those adjustments are probably system stressors, and we all know how sensitive we are to stressors.

 

I think it's why windows get longer as we progress and have healed more.  The adjustments we need to make are less because we are closing in on our original normal so the healing isn't as dramatic.  Like how a cut stings, then the scab forms and it hurts and tends to itch. That's a healing cycle. At the end, the itch is minor - like how some people who are further into recovery have less dramatic and shorter wanes.

 

A clear description of the healing pattern

 


ADMIN NOTE Original post:

 

In other words, when you go through a period of symptoms getting worse, and then that draws to an end, is it followed pretty obviously by a period of new gains? Are you now better than you were before the wave?

 

People have reported this pattern. I have never been able to discern it clearly in myself, but I'm open to the possibility. What is your experience of this yourself? Or observation of others? Or opinion?

 

Edited by KarenB
Added Topic Summary

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I've experienced the waves, or lurches. I've noticed the converse -- I'll have a window when I feel better, then a trough, which feels just as bad as ever, except a little different.

 

Over time, the windows have gotten more frequent and longer, and the troughs not as deep and shorter. So, on the average, I've gotten slowly better.

 

Kind of like 1 step forward and 5 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 5 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 3 steps back....uh, where was I?

 

lurches.gif

 

I should talk, because after 3 years of lurching forward, I took a giant lurch down -- too much stress at a critical time. But since then, it's been the same slow, lurching slog forward.

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I've experienced the waves, or lurches. I've noticed the converse -- I'll have a window when I feel better, then a trough, which feels just as bad as ever, except a little different.

 

Over time, the windows have gotten more frequent and longer, and the troughs not as deep and shorter. So, on the average, I've gotten slowly better.

 

Kind of like 1 step forward and 5 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 5 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 3 steps back....uh, where was I?

 

 

 

 

This was my experience although I had the "holes" then the "good windows" (although for a very very long time the good was pretty bad). I still have some residual symptoms with the holes/windows, but now they do not stop me in my tracks the holes are more of a nuisance.

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Yeah, exactly. "Feeling better" is only a relative term.

 

It's only in the last 6 months or so that when I'm "better," I'm feeling normal-ish. I'm 6.5 years off Paxil.

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I have hit a very bad wave since last october.My symptoms have not let up since then and they almost change by the hour.it is almost like the beginning when it was relentless.Anyone else had this?

 

 

First of all, I want to sort of celebrate that you can even write a post like this, squirrel, and thank Sur again for this board.

 

I have heard of people having long-lasting setbacks even very far out. It's extremely upsetting. In some cases, it seems like the setback is triggered by stressful life events. My theory is that, even after we have healed a lot, we are still very fragile for a time after that. If life happens to be fairly smooth, we can function pretty well, but if life hands us a big stressor or two, we become really autonomically dysregulated. We're still more sensitive to conditions than we will be when we have healed further.

 

Eventually.....eventually.....we heal even more, become more robust, and stressful life events can no longer knock our nervous systems off balance so easily.

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I agree with Healing.

 

It's important to treat yourself gently in the midst of withdrawal syndrome. You may not be able to handle difficult situations that you've always handled before.

 

Focus on stress reduction, it's very important. Learning how to protect your nervous system from abrasive people is a good skill to learn and will serve you well in the long run.

 

Being pushed to take care of ourselves is, I guess you could say, one of the benefits of this awful condition.

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Over time, the windows have gotten more frequent and longer, and the troughs not as deep and shorter. So, on the average, I've gotten slowly better.

 

Kind of like 1 step forward and 5 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 5 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 3 steps back....uh, where was I?

 

 

I have difficult to admit this evidence, it is not logic this rubic's cube. When i am forward, i am so optimistic (after this hell) i think i am recovered, saved, and baaammm, go in your hole !

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I've experienced the waves, or lurches. I've noticed the converse -- I'll have a window when I feel better, then a trough, which feels just as bad as ever, except a little different.

 

Over time, the windows have gotten more frequent and longer, and the troughs not as deep and shorter. So, on the average, I've gotten slowly better.

 

Kind of like 1 step forward and 5 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 5 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, then 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, then 3 steps forward and 3 steps back....uh, where was I?

 

post-1-0-35670400-1300884986_thumb.gif

 

I should talk, because after 3 years of lurching forward, I took a giant lurch down -- too much stress at a critical time. But since then, it's been the same slow, lurching slog forward.

Perhaps we could (when time allows) use this chart in a more "sticky" form? To incorporate it somewhere in the forum in a more permananent fashion? It would help many to rationalize what they're going through, and to know that every "dip" is just temporary? Come to think of it, the picture is worth more than a thousand words. The only change being "good/very good/healed" in the right upper corner of the picture. What do you think, SA-ers?

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We could call it the Stock Market Chart. It could be another SA meme. :)

 

Do we have sticky capability? I've been wondering.

 

Or maybe this could be part of the FAQs, which will be, where?, in Read First?

 

To wit -- this is a journey. Its three central characteristics are that it is non-linear, change is minute, and it takes a long time. But it does happen! For everyone!

 

Sur, you put it well recently, about how disheartening it is to go backward after a window. NP, I think you have said something about how the human mind is not evolutionarily designed to grasp this kind of process (non-linear, minute change)?

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We could call it the Stock Market Chart. It could be another SA meme. :)

 

Good one!

 

Or maybe this could be part of the FAQs, which will be, where?, in Read First?

 

That's what I've been wondering about. The best would be some place where the new to the site wouldn't miss it. Let's wait what others will say.

Also, adding to this some body of explanation - about the non-linearity, changeability of the whole process, and our evolutionary non-preparedness to swiftly deal with? I would start working on it in the weeks to come. Any suggestions?

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We might call this FAQ --

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

subtitle: When it seems like you're not improving

 

NP -- thanks for writing this up! Would you like to include something about how you are healing even when you are miserably symptomatic, as evidenced by the fact that, what?, you usually see progress as soon as the flare up ends, and, even if you don't immediately, eventually you do?

 

 

(Summer -- I'm going to reply to this post of yours over on your tapering thread.)

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I think along the same lines... I'm in a wave of sorts. Whether it will lead to improvement is yet to be determined. It feels so good (the last several weeks), that I am hesitant to do another drop, which isn't really a good thing, b/c the desire to be off this stuff is so strong. I have to drop soon... like it or not.

 

If you're feeling good, I think the term is "window."

 

It took me years to get the terms straight (waves and windows) and I still have to consciously think about them before I use them.

 

I think with me at least, it's because I have a mental picture of a wave as water rising joyously upward in the ocean, and I can't shake that image!!!

 

Drove me nuts for years...

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During my severe two year withdrawal from benzos I experienced the classic waves/windows pattern. After more than a year of constant 7/24 suffering I began to experience windows in which I felt amazing, sometimes a little too good (slightly hypomanic). This would be followed by a 2-3 day period of feeling almost as bad as I did in the very beginning. This repeated over and over again and with time the duration of the windows began to increase and the severity of the bad days was reduced. By 2 years I was about 90% recovered and the residual symptoms cleared over a period of several months.

 

With the waves/windows it seemed that my body was jumping back and forth between 1) the adapted homeostasis that was made in response to the presence of the drugs but that in the absence of the drugs gave rise to withdrawal symptoms and 2) my true drug-naive homeostasis. Why would my physiology jump between these two grooves rather than exhibit a slow more linear pattern of improvement? Could it be that normal fluctuations in gaba/endogenous benzos were detected as excessive and so my physiology overreacted as though I were taking a benzo? That my body knew what the homeostatic setting for health was but that it's "thermostat" was simply too sensitive (after being bombarded by drugs for so many years).

 

I do think that waves/windows were an integral part of my benzo withdrawal recovery but I haven't experienced that pattern during my AD withdrawal. Maybe my body is too confused after 5 years of polypharmacy??

 

BTW, just saw this link this morning?

 

http://www.newsweek.com/2011/05/01/my-favorite-mistake-stevie-nicks.html

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Great to see you posting, Light! :)

 

Great interview with Stevie Nicks! Wow, she gets it.

 

Why would my physiology jump between these two grooves rather than exhibit a slow more linear pattern of improvement?

This is the question. Why the unlinearity of this recovery? What is the purpose served by dysautonomia? What is the body trying to do here? Why not heal smoothly and linearly?

 

I mean, yeah, it seems likely there is some sort of over-reaction, that alerting response in hyperdrive. But why?

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Is that true ? I am so scared that crazy wave of symptoms means more damage ?

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from what I read here, waves of good days and bad days, means your body is trying to heal, and it will get better over time. But I know all too well, that is hard to believe when you are having a bad day. I am having one today, morning anxiety. And it is hard to go through, that's for sure....

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I doubt that the waves mean healing. Though they surely do not mean new damage occurring as well (if it is a "normal" wave, that is). My opinion is, that those waves are more a sign that the system still does not work properly. Why should my body suddenly heal, when I exercised too much and I got symptoms because of that?

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Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I think that some bad feelings could be an indication that your brain and body is trying to heal... not in the sense that is getting there, but that it is on its way, making readjustments that are very uncomfortable, but that in the end will cease and desist and leave us in a better place. At the same time, I do think that we have to aid the process and help ourselves to calm down the waves. It's a really tough balancing act. Exercise, but not too much. Relax, but not too much. Work, but not too much. The hard part is finding what "too much" is!

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Hi there,

 

I am pleased to say that I have seen some improvements recently, ([phew!). It's been coming in fits and spurts, but little by little it's been a bit better. Still not good, but a little better.

 

How do I know if this is a window I'm heading into, only to be thrown into another hellish wave later, or if this is genuine improvement that will continue to continue? What's the difference, or is there one?

 

Wishing you all well!

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It's all waves and windows, Nickie, so don't get discouraged if you feel bad again.

 

The windows get longer and the waves get weaker until, one day, you can say you feel normal.

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It's comforting to think the waves and elusive (at the moment) windows are all part of the process of your brain getting back to normal.

 

That's exactly what is happening. Because antidepressants change brain functioning by destroying serotonin receptors, recovery goes in fits and starts as these receptors regenerate. (From what I've read, this is my understanding of what getting back to health after withdrawal is all about.)

 

I'm coming up on six months post-Lexapro and I still have occasional Cortisol mornings (anxiety-provoking dreams or dread upon awakening, followed by irritability), but I'm also experiencing more often the contentment and happiness I once had before my drug-related problems began. The physical aches and pains are lessening as well.

 

As you might guess, these things take time as the body and brain heal from what amounts to a toxic invasion. So hang in there, and believe that your sense of comfort is well justified.

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Posted Image ALL, The tinnitus I have comes in waves. A little while ago I responded to someone who has neuro emotion that comes in waves. What happens on a neurological level that causes this. Does anyone know? They may be related to neuro plasticity, but then why do symptoms ebb and flow, and what causes windows. Thanks~S

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Merged our waves and windows topics.

 

Our nervous systems are so complicated, they repair themselves in patches. Some parts recover, then the whole thing needs to rebalance again. Rinse and repeat.

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A little while ago I responded to someone who has neuro emotion that comes in waves. What happens on a neurological level that causes this. Does anyone know? They may be related to neuro plasticity, but then why do symptoms ebb and flow, and what causes windows. Thanks~S

 

Chaos in the neuroendocrine system as it attempts to reach homeostasis. ? Ultra sensitive to stressors that set off a cascade of events. Most of these drugs lower our stress tolerance and what may have been a mild to moderate stressor is more intense. We don't rebound as easily. I learned of this from a therapist friend (read: NON-MD) years ago when I was reacting disproportionately to "everything"! "Everything" seemed a crisis and she explained the biochemical underpinnings.

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Chaos in the neuroendocrine system as it attempts to reach homeostasis. ? Ultra sensitive to stressors that set off a cascade of events. Most of these drugs lower our stress tolerance and what may have been a mild to moderate stressor is more intense. We don't rebound as easily. I learned of this from a therapist friend (read: NON-MD) years ago when I was reacting disproportionately to "everything"! "Everything" seemed a crisis and she explained the biochemical underpinnings.

 

Hi Barb, and thanks for your answer. I understand this about emotions but not symptoms like tinnitus, crawling bug sensations.. etc. So while stress would make neuro emotion worse, it is not so much for other symptoms, so maybe something else is at work that would more readily effect both? This asked realizing any answer is based on anecdotal observations or conjecture.~S

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I *think* "neuroendocrine" or "CNS" somehow accounts for just about anything aside from obvious fractures or injuries. Will look forward to someone else's input. This Wiki description covers ocular. I'm not clear on what the exocrine system is (ducts as opposed to glands).

 

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine_system#section_4

 

There is an interesting thread about the vestibular system.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/277-drugs-that-damage-your-ears/page__fromsearch__1

 

RLS, bruxism, movement disorders are associated with dopamine function. Not sure if that's what you mean by crawling bug sensations. Was just reading about Requip for bruxism.

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I *think* "neuroendocrine" or "CNS" somehow accounts for just about anything aside from obvious fractures or injuries.

 

RLS, bruxism, movement disorders are associated with dopamine function. Not sure if that's what you mean by crawling bug sensations. Was just reading about Requip for bruxism.

 

Hi Barb, I'm concerned here with the way withdrawal symptoms are experienced subjectively.. as when they ebb and flow. I'm thinking that with neuroemotions, there are two overarching patterns.. the daily fluctuations caused by cortisol (neuroendocrine), and the larger ebb and flow that is conditioned by the activity of the CNS? I'm trying to understand if the patterns of windows and waves (frequency, severity) are similar across the subjective experience of those waves that effect both neuroemotion and 'physical' symptoms such as tinnitus. My apology is this is convoluted.

 

In particular.. and at the risk of confusing matters.. the waves of tinnitus I'm having this morning have changed in character. From loud to faint, piercing to ringing.. the amplitude and frequency which used to recycle once every few days is now changing a few times in an hour. This is hopefully a sign that tinnitus is starting to leave me, but to be honest, while reassuring, it's also unnerving! Posted Image

 

And I'd like to use this experience to understand those who experience neuoremotion. I've had some exposure to cortisol induced feelings, but while the time of day was more pronounced for morning, there were no windows or waves, and when the 4 initial days following a cut passed, they stopped, and I don't think this is usually what people refer to when talking about ebbs and surges over the course of weeks or months.~S

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You have your regular biological cycles, daily, monthly, seasonally, etc.

 

And then there are the waves from withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawal syndrome can exacerbate some normal cycles, ex. early morning cortisol, menstrual symptoms, or seasonal sadness.

 

Waves from withdrawal syndrome can also come out of the blue and have no apparent relationship to any other biological pattern.

 

Have you been tracking the tinnitus? Does it follow a pattern?

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You have your regular biological cycles, daily, monthly, seasonally, etc.

 

And then there are the waves from withdrawal syndrome. Withdrawal syndrome can exacerbate some normal cycles, ex. early morning cortisol, menstrual symptoms, or seasonal sadness.

 

Waves from withdrawal syndrome can also come out of the blue and have no apparent relationship to any other biological pattern.

 

Have you been tracking the tinnitus? Does it follow a pattern?

 

It's like a healing pattern (whatever that means), superimposed over a daily pattern that is worse in the AM and better in the evening, and involves a small uptick at the end of each TID dose. The overarching wave pattern followed days .. now hours as it slowly ebbs. Right now I'm just biding time, hoping they all wash out to sea. Posted Image

 

Thanks for responding ~S

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Yes, that makes sense. Many of us have worse symptoms in the early part of the day (naturally higher cortisol) than in the evening (naturally lower cortisol).

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Yes, that makes sense. Many of us have worse symptoms in the early part of the day (naturally higher cortisol) than in the evening (naturally lower cortisol).

 

Huh.. so cortisol would make tinnitus worse as well. That has been my confusion, I thought cortisol would only make neuro emotions worse, that it was more for the emotional part of withdrawal, and physical (like the emotional symptoms are not also physical, but I'm talking about the physical that is not involved in emotions) would not be effected.

 

I gave up caffeine for a short while, but really could not tell if there was any difference.. so I 'reinstated.' Hope that was okay, again, I did check it out! Ouch Posted Image

 

Barb, thanks for giving this a go, I just needed to tease the two apart, and now I see!

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No, cortisol revs up body functions like heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, etc.

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I'm fairly certain cortisol could put a man on the moon~ ;)

 

I didn't know for certain, Schuyler, and "neuroendocrine" is my all-encompassing explanation for whatever the body does. I did brief search on "tinnitus + cortisol" and got many hits, some say lower cortisol ---> tinnitus, others say higher cortisol ---> tinnitus. It would explain the diurnal pattern. Here's one lay article:

 

http://ezinearticles.com/?Highly-Controversial---The-Other-Cause-of-Tinnitus&id=1444705

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I know this is an older thread, but I wanted to say that I've been going through this and can see it in my journal as I track my days of symptom severity and klonopin use to offset symptoms (Might not be recommended but I'd be dead without it). I've been through this cycle so many times, and I have a theory that it's a healing process where our body is adapting and adjusting to not having the meds and that's where the pain or worse hellish days come into play, and then we feel better for a bit until our body has found a new way to heal and recover which triggers the pain/suffering cycle again.

 

I think of it as our body trying to find its way back home to how it should be after being nearly totally altered by these meds. On a bad day or a bad few days I think I try to remind myself that this is my body adapting and healing and it will find its way. Those better days are proof that it has though for some it takes a while to get to them and they may only last a short bit.

 

I remember reading something a while ago about how the body knows how to heal itself from just about anything. But often we interfere with that or things interfere with it (things like stress or other meds or other health issues that compound one another). I like the idea of trusting in my body and believing that it knows how to find its way back to its wellness.

 

Bad days are awful but if they mean my body is going through some kind of adaption as it heals, I feel they are worth enduring. Like when you are tired and just want to go home, traffic and bad weather slow you down and can frustrate you endlessly because you JUST WANT TO BE HOME, but those things pass. They are temporary and you will get home eventually. So accepting the traffic and bad weather as par for the course makes the journey home a whole lot better and easier on you emotionally and stress wise. simple analogy that is weak compared to what we deal with during these cycles, but at its essence it holds the truth of what is happening. Storms and delays when we just want to be home (be well again).

Edited by Petu
fixed text

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So accepting the traffic and bad weather as par for the course makes the journey home a whole lot better and easier on you emotionally and stress wise. simple analogy that is weak compared to what we deal with during these cycles, but at its essence it holds the truth of what is happening. Storms and delays when we just want to be home (be well again).

 

First, thanks for reviving this thread. I had not seen most of the stuff on the first page from last year (before the waves and windows topics were merged), and it is somehow comforting to read this... while at the same time scary to think that I'm probably headed for years more of it. But the description someone gave of this getting gradually better, but with dips, and the ever-mutating variations in combinations of symptoms (now some tinnitus with dizziness but no back pain, then some anhedonia and exhaustion but with no dizziness, etc.), is exactly how it's been for me. So I'm going to try to concentrate on the general pattern of "up"... trust that if I had a window of feeling OK a while back, that it is somehow "in me" to get there again under the right circumstances or when my body is ready.

 

I guess in my moments of panic (in the mornings mostly, or when under stress), I start really worrying that I have to DO something to create more windows. I start feeling like a caged animal, pacing the cage, thinking, "if you just did the right thing, you could get out of here! You are being 'punished' for not doing what you know you should be doing! (Find the right level of stress, change careers, get out of a relationship, have a child, move to a different place... whatever)." But life stresses cannot be helped. People die, you get into car accidents, there is traffic, people depend on you, etc. So I like what you say about acceptance. I keep on coming back to that after a period of extreme disappointment and depression when I go from a window to a wave!

 

It is such a fine balance of knowing when to act and when to accept. That is why the serenity prayer is so damn right on!

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Oh... one other thing about the windows. I think for people around me who are skeptical of withdrawal, seeing me in a window just reinforces their thought that it's all just "psychological" and "in my head".

 

Sometime I can feel that way, too. Like, wow, if I CAN feel normal now, why can't I always? It doesn't help that all my really good windows have been when I have been away from my regular life. I don't think it's a coincidence, I think it has to do with stress level, but it can also seem like it is just that I'm unhappy and the rest is psychosomatic.

 

The truth is probably somewhere in between, because, obviously, having something to feel happy and positive about is a huge factor in healing (with ANY illness or condition).

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