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Which "me" is the real me?


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#73 MNgal1960

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 04:38 AM

From what I've read, any kind of severe or repetitive trauma experienced while our brains are still developing and don't have the full ability to process information, affects how we relate to others and the world for our whole lives. It alters our brains as they develop. Of course, as small children, we are the most vulnerable to our parents as they were to theirs. Trauma can get passed down from generation to generation. But we can change this. The most useful thing I have found is a therapy called ACT.

 

I could not find a therapist to help me with this new mindfulness-based therapy called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), so I have just been doing it myself. A very easy read on mindfulness and applying it to your life is called The Happiness Trap. It's a good start for the beginner. Then I moved on to deeper stuff with guided meditations I do daily. Mine are for chronic pain, but are really for dealing with the anxiety produced by chronic pain. I have been doing this as much as I am able for many months. I feel little bit by little bit that my brain is settling down. I may soon be ready to do short meditations without the voice guiding me.

 

This is a gentle form of meditating that just observes and accepts thoughts as they come and go rather than trying to force yourself into being in some super-meditative state. There is an example of a gentle meditation on FranticWorld.com. It is under Resources and You Are Not Your Pain, the one called The Breathing Anchor. Actually, I expect all of their samples are the gentle, ACT-based meditations, but I particularly like that one.

 

MN


2005-2006 Rapid taper off of Zoloft. Horrible but survived. Adverse drug reaction to Prozac.

2010-2013 Night panics. All typical sleep aids failed. Diagnosed with complex PTSD.

2013-present: Valium (5mg x 3) prescribed by pro-benzo doctor. Helped me sleep for awhile. Then sleep began to get worse again.

Nov. 2014 Switched doctors. New doctor was anti-benzo but thought a 3-month taper was a slow taper. Failed and reinstated. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep.

March 2016 Reduced gabapentin by 20% by accident and backed up again. (Was trying to feel less sedated.) Reduced again more slowly to 200+200+300.

October 2016 Liquefied one V tablet. Neuropathy back immediately. Waiting to liquefy another.

November 2016 All 3 tablets now dissolved. I think the windows are getting a little more frequent but they don't last long. Sleep poor.

January 2017 Felt stable enough to try daily microtaper. Started at 3% and inched up to almost 10%. Became very unstable. Terrors back. Neuropathy back.

February 2017 Holding again. Slow improvements.

March 2017 Neuropathy back to tolerable. Making very tiny cuts, about 3%/month.

April 2017 Hold. Lot of stress. Anxiety high and sleep terrible.

May 2017 Trying 1% cuts once/week of the V.


#74 Effeffexor

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 07:42 PM

Neither can I. I have no idea who I was before meds. I can't remember.


Totally understand.

Began tapering on 9/22/16 from 150mg EffexorXR

Freedom on 05/10/17
I'm finding life again after YEARS of meds that made me out of it and gaming addiction that took me from real life.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race! 🏁 🐢......🐇
 


#75 Aria

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:22 AM

I'm surprised I haven't seen this thread before but I thought I would comment. I was on massive psychiatric drugs for over 15 years and had no idea during this time who I was, how I acted, how other people perceived me and most of all I was told repeatedly by my psychiatrist that my so-called toxic side effects were just ME, nothing else. I tapered half hazardly off the drugs because I didn't know any better but was rewarded to finding part of the old me. It was a scary thought "who am I after all these years on these drugs?" How will I be emotionally? How will my thinking be? What kind of life will I have? I think it's summed up when one of my longtime friends realized I was drug free and as she looked me in the eye she said, "Welcome back".

On my Success Story thread I wrote "I am pretty much the old me but no one can go through this (psychiatry, psychiatric drugging, labeling) and not be changed by it."

I know we morph during our lifetime, changing how we may think, how we may act but I believe there is the core of us that is somewhat finite. Because psychiatric drugs change us it is scary wondering what is underneath after all this time? I for one I'm very grateful that I was able to taper off all my drugs, endure the withdrawals and come out through the tunnel into the sun light. I feel more relaxed being drug free and I like this.

Poly drugged for 15 years with every psychiatric drug in the PDR.

C/t off Seroquel, tapered trazodone, celexa, dalmane, ativan (among others) and have been drug free for years. I thank the heavens I survived.

Link to my Introduction thread:   http://survivinganti...-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivinganti...iatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 


#76 MNgal1960

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 12:17 PM

Aria, I'm so happy to hear you are pretty much the old you. It gives me hope that some day someone will say, "Welcome back'" to me.


2005-2006 Rapid taper off of Zoloft. Horrible but survived. Adverse drug reaction to Prozac.

2010-2013 Night panics. All typical sleep aids failed. Diagnosed with complex PTSD.

2013-present: Valium (5mg x 3) prescribed by pro-benzo doctor. Helped me sleep for awhile. Then sleep began to get worse again.

Nov. 2014 Switched doctors. New doctor was anti-benzo but thought a 3-month taper was a slow taper. Failed and reinstated. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep.

March 2016 Reduced gabapentin by 20% by accident and backed up again. (Was trying to feel less sedated.) Reduced again more slowly to 200+200+300.

October 2016 Liquefied one V tablet. Neuropathy back immediately. Waiting to liquefy another.

November 2016 All 3 tablets now dissolved. I think the windows are getting a little more frequent but they don't last long. Sleep poor.

January 2017 Felt stable enough to try daily microtaper. Started at 3% and inched up to almost 10%. Became very unstable. Terrors back. Neuropathy back.

February 2017 Holding again. Slow improvements.

March 2017 Neuropathy back to tolerable. Making very tiny cuts, about 3%/month.

April 2017 Hold. Lot of stress. Anxiety high and sleep terrible.

May 2017 Trying 1% cuts once/week of the V.


#77 Gumtree

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 06:37 AM

Please move if in the wrong area - interested to see how others adapt.

I have been on antidepressants for so long (28 years) that I'm not sure who I really am without them. Now I've started tapering, I'm feeling like I'm losing my sense of self and a chemically altered version of me is walking around in my body. I'm depersonalising, detached, confused, alternating between feeling nothing (like literally not having any care or emotion about anything) OR getting strong and really visceral reactions and sudden rushes of emotion, or impulses, which are really out of character for me. I'm pretty measured and conservative generally, and not that spontaneous, so having a quick urge to throw myself off a jetty into the ocean (I didn't) or stick my foot out to trip a running child, is rather disconcerting.
I heard some people say that they want to get back to who they were before ADs because the ADs have dampened or changed their personality. The scary thing for me is that I was 19 when I started on ADs and I'm 47 now so I really don't know WHO I will be when I'm not on these drugs. Sorry for the crazy rant, I really do feel quite strange at the moment and there is nothing I can really do to snap myself out of it.
History - Female, now 47 with 28 years of taking antidepressants daily from age 19.
1988 - severe depression, anxiety and agoraphobia Prothiaden (Dothiapen) Tricyclic antidepressants.
1989
- Diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy (after EEGs). P
rescribed Tegretol (Carbamazepine) for Complex Partial Seizures
1995
- changed antidepressant to a newer drug - Zoloft 50mg then up to 100mg

2006
- Tegretol caused me to be total zombie. Weaned for 3 months then went on to Keppra 500mg daily (Levitaceram)

2010
- diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Prescribed Methotrexate 20mg weekly and changed from Zoloft to Cymbalta (for depression / FM)

2014
- weaned myself off Methotrexate due to stable condition and diet change decreasing inflammation
2016
- started taper off Cymbalta 1 Dec 2016, dropping 5% each fortnight via bead counting. Liquid fish oil daily, Magnesium daily, plus very clean gluten free, paleo diet. Daily exercise and 15 minutes meditation.
<p>**This is a journal of my personal experience and is not intended as medical advice - please seek help from a qualified practitioner for your particular circumstances**

#78 MNgal1960

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 06:38 AM

Hello Gumtree. All that stuff that's going on now is withdrawal. Your brain is adjusting and healing. It's very disturbing. It's not the real you. Yes, I can imagine it must be very scary to wonder who you will be when you come off. Everyone changes so much between age 19 and 47, whether they are medicated or not.

 

I know someone like you who was medicated most of her adult life and finally came off in her 50's. She said her mind cleared and she felt like she was finally the real her. I only knew her after the w/d, not when she was on the meds, so I can only repeat what she said. She was very happy to be off and to find her real self.

 

You know, except for 2 short trial of AD when I was younger, I have only been on meds a few years, and only in my 50's. But I'll share that my 40's were a time of discovering the "real me" anyway. I began to shed trying to be what others wanted me to be and find who I really was. Looking at your signature, you diet and meditation is going to help you tremendously as the real you comes out. And I think you're going to like her! :)

 

MN


2005-2006 Rapid taper off of Zoloft. Horrible but survived. Adverse drug reaction to Prozac.

2010-2013 Night panics. All typical sleep aids failed. Diagnosed with complex PTSD.

2013-present: Valium (5mg x 3) prescribed by pro-benzo doctor. Helped me sleep for awhile. Then sleep began to get worse again.

Nov. 2014 Switched doctors. New doctor was anti-benzo but thought a 3-month taper was a slow taper. Failed and reinstated. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep.

March 2016 Reduced gabapentin by 20% by accident and backed up again. (Was trying to feel less sedated.) Reduced again more slowly to 200+200+300.

October 2016 Liquefied one V tablet. Neuropathy back immediately. Waiting to liquefy another.

November 2016 All 3 tablets now dissolved. I think the windows are getting a little more frequent but they don't last long. Sleep poor.

January 2017 Felt stable enough to try daily microtaper. Started at 3% and inched up to almost 10%. Became very unstable. Terrors back. Neuropathy back.

February 2017 Holding again. Slow improvements.

March 2017 Neuropathy back to tolerable. Making very tiny cuts, about 3%/month.

April 2017 Hold. Lot of stress. Anxiety high and sleep terrible.

May 2017 Trying 1% cuts once/week of the V.


#79 Gumtree

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 04:34 AM

Thanks so much for your encouragement MN, it really has been an awful time, in particular the last couple of weeks. I'm going to have to adjust my taper as I think it's too much even though it's only 5%. I'm currently holding another week and feel I'm evening out a bit. You look like you're on a hell of a journey too - take care, and thanks again
History - Female, now 47 with 28 years of taking antidepressants daily from age 19.
1988 - severe depression, anxiety and agoraphobia Prothiaden (Dothiapen) Tricyclic antidepressants.
1989
- Diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy (after EEGs). P
rescribed Tegretol (Carbamazepine) for Complex Partial Seizures
1995
- changed antidepressant to a newer drug - Zoloft 50mg then up to 100mg

2006
- Tegretol caused me to be total zombie. Weaned for 3 months then went on to Keppra 500mg daily (Levitaceram)

2010
- diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Prescribed Methotrexate 20mg weekly and changed from Zoloft to Cymbalta (for depression / FM)

2014
- weaned myself off Methotrexate due to stable condition and diet change decreasing inflammation
2016
- started taper off Cymbalta 1 Dec 2016, dropping 5% each fortnight via bead counting. Liquid fish oil daily, Magnesium daily, plus very clean gluten free, paleo diet. Daily exercise and 15 minutes meditation.
<p>**This is a journal of my personal experience and is not intended as medical advice - please seek help from a qualified practitioner for your particular circumstances**

#80 MNgal1960

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 05:36 PM

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time, Gumtree. I think holding is good idea. I'm going to hold another week myself. We can do this. One day at a time. Sometimes one hour at a time, actually, but we'll get there.

 

MN

 

P.S. You have the cutest avatar ever!


2005-2006 Rapid taper off of Zoloft. Horrible but survived. Adverse drug reaction to Prozac.

2010-2013 Night panics. All typical sleep aids failed. Diagnosed with complex PTSD.

2013-present: Valium (5mg x 3) prescribed by pro-benzo doctor. Helped me sleep for awhile. Then sleep began to get worse again.

Nov. 2014 Switched doctors. New doctor was anti-benzo but thought a 3-month taper was a slow taper. Failed and reinstated. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep.

March 2016 Reduced gabapentin by 20% by accident and backed up again. (Was trying to feel less sedated.) Reduced again more slowly to 200+200+300.

October 2016 Liquefied one V tablet. Neuropathy back immediately. Waiting to liquefy another.

November 2016 All 3 tablets now dissolved. I think the windows are getting a little more frequent but they don't last long. Sleep poor.

January 2017 Felt stable enough to try daily microtaper. Started at 3% and inched up to almost 10%. Became very unstable. Terrors back. Neuropathy back.

February 2017 Holding again. Slow improvements.

March 2017 Neuropathy back to tolerable. Making very tiny cuts, about 3%/month.

April 2017 Hold. Lot of stress. Anxiety high and sleep terrible.

May 2017 Trying 1% cuts once/week of the V.


#81 Bcdrugfree

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:19 PM

I've taper for 2months after six years cipralex use 20mg. I've Been off the drugs for 2 months now. I feel the waves and windows are still there. But I can feel my emotions coming back my compassion and feel more alive. Well see how it goes definitely battling. But I can't rely on ssri to mask the real issues for my anxiety anymore. Good luck and accept the fact things will eventually change:)
20 mg cipralex for 6 years, did a two months taper roughly 5mg at a time. Then 2 months drug free. Then needed to reinstate 5mg cipralex for one week now. Also take omega 3,Vit c, b12, glucosamine as supplements.

#82 Bcdrugfree

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:22 PM

I've taper for 2months after six years cipralex use 20mg. I've Been off the drugs for 2 months now. I feel the waves and windows are still there. But I can feel my emotions coming back my compassion and feel more alive. Well see how it goes definitely battling. But I can't rely on ssri to mask the real issues for my anxiety anymore. Good luck and accept the fact things will eventually change:)
20 mg cipralex for 6 years, did a two months taper roughly 5mg at a time. Then 2 months drug free. Then needed to reinstate 5mg cipralex for one week now. Also take omega 3,Vit c, b12, glucosamine as supplements.

#83 MNgal1960

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 05:28 AM

Congratulations on getting off the drugs, Bc!!


2005-2006 Rapid taper off of Zoloft. Horrible but survived. Adverse drug reaction to Prozac.

2010-2013 Night panics. All typical sleep aids failed. Diagnosed with complex PTSD.

2013-present: Valium (5mg x 3) prescribed by pro-benzo doctor. Helped me sleep for awhile. Then sleep began to get worse again.

Nov. 2014 Switched doctors. New doctor was anti-benzo but thought a 3-month taper was a slow taper. Failed and reinstated. Added 25mg Seroquel for sleep.

March 2016 Reduced gabapentin by 20% by accident and backed up again. (Was trying to feel less sedated.) Reduced again more slowly to 200+200+300.

October 2016 Liquefied one V tablet. Neuropathy back immediately. Waiting to liquefy another.

November 2016 All 3 tablets now dissolved. I think the windows are getting a little more frequent but they don't last long. Sleep poor.

January 2017 Felt stable enough to try daily microtaper. Started at 3% and inched up to almost 10%. Became very unstable. Terrors back. Neuropathy back.

February 2017 Holding again. Slow improvements.

March 2017 Neuropathy back to tolerable. Making very tiny cuts, about 3%/month.

April 2017 Hold. Lot of stress. Anxiety high and sleep terrible.

May 2017 Trying 1% cuts once/week of the V.