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Rockingchaircat

☼ Rockingchaircat: recovery from psychotropic drugs that were prescribed willy nilly.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

I'm a middle aged male near Eugene Oregon. I'm also a military veteran; when I got out of the military I was having sleep issues (big surprise) and when I stepped into my first private industry job after the military (I've had a couple before), I was having a few other issues as well. Emotional issues mostly- and some sleep ones as well.

In the military- I was shifting between the states and the middle east time zones, or the states and eastern asia time zone. Major jet lag. When you're younger you can deal with such better- but the older you got the less resilient.

I was looking forward to more stability with my private sector job. 

Which I didn't get. 

I ended up in a well paying job that had be flying across country (west coast to east coast) once a month, with driving across same every three months. Which led to many problems with sleep. Coupled with that- I didn't have much in the way of stability when it came to a consistent exercise/diet routine. Many are the times I pulled into a flea bag hotel out in the middle of podunk nowhere and the only food available was Le Greazy Spoon.

Result- weight gain.

More sleep issues due to weight.

Finally step into the job I'm currently at, plenty of stability. The doc I enroll with has just the ticket for me: A nice little pill that will help me sleep along with helping those depressive states I was in.(Zoloft).

And so started my journey into this B.S. In retrospect- a CPAP then would've been a far cry better.

Cue forward about 5 years- Zoloft stopped working? Oh we'll 'try' another- lucky break, Lexapro works 'just fine'- for about another 7 years. Then it stops.  This is about the time that I started having real bad problems. 

The sexual problems, the allergic reaction problems, the mood swings...etc. The allergy problems to food resulted in a botched intubation that screwed up my larynx so that I ended up needing a cpap anyways. 

I was also put onto testosterone 'therapy' in an effort to deal with the 'depression' 8 years ago. More sexual problems resulting.

The cpap did/does more good for the sleep than anything else. But I don't much care for it.  But it's one of those things I need to have to avoid going postal. I'd been given a few pills for the occasional allergic reaction (esophageal spasmings).

Pulmonary Saddle Embolism due to the Testo therapy, numerous and unnecessary tests for conditions my doc said I had but as it turned out I didn't. And then last year the steadily worsening gall bladder problems. End result- gall bladder removal, but it took pulling teeth to accomplish that. Irony- so many 'tests' to eliminate that which I didn't have, and the one time I was having a problem they just about stonewalled me from the 'cure' I needed.

 

The gall bladder was I guess- the crowning achievement- getting woken up in the middle of the night because of mysterious pains in your abdomen that your regular doc and several ER docs- ignored or pooh-poohed as 'all in my head', and here's a scrip for some oxycontin now go away.  I wonder why I got night terrors.

 

Now couple that with the ongoing anti-depressant issues- result I'm anxious beyond belief and looky here! Another pill to save the day! Xanax. Between that and the paxil, wellbutrin, my heart was pounding against my sternum like a boxer's ball. Same time- Severe Depression with Suicidal Ideation.

 

After Xanax- there came Ativan. Which actually seemed to help- for a while. Then I developed tolerance rather quickly. A doubling of the dose as per recommendation- bad idea- I ended up feeling like a mile wide brain fog. So- I drop back down to the original. Bad Idea.

Anxiety up the gump stump. Researching heavily I stumble across Benzo Buddies- my story there:  http://tinyurl.com/ljebp84

 

Longer story short- I'm (eventually) over the benzo problem.

So after learning of the problems with psychotropic drugs like benzos- I've decided to rid myself of the other kind of psychotropics, my antidepressants.

And I've been doing that for five months. (July/2015).  Looking back- JUST five months? It seemed like forever now.

 

I've still got no few issues. The biggest issue I've got right now?  Sleep. Big surprise eh?

 

Right now- a problem developed a couple weeks ago: I'd go to bed, fall asleep, dream pretty intensely, and then immediately wake up with my heart pounding against my rib cage. Stay awake an hour- and then repeat all night long until it's time to get  up.

 

Initially I thought it was Night Terrors, as the intense dreams were nightmarish in their scope. But now- it's just 'routine' dreams. They're more intense- more... I don't know what. Like they're 'catching up'.  Weekends are indeed a blessed time now. I can 'catch up' on the weekend sleep wise. Whereas I couldn't do that before all of my problems and during the withdrawals.

 

It's the closest I've come to a living hell. Addicted/tolerant of: Oxycodones (after gall bladder surgery) suicidally depressed getting off of those- dealing with the compassion fatigue of so many medicos, then benzo tolerance/withdrawal, then anti-d tolerance/withdrawal.

I've lost a good portion of my life to this- all because of my misplaced trust in the medical profession. My experiences with military medical- not a fluke. I trusted them, they dropped the ball.

 

And they continue to. As I've read online- time and again. So yeah- I'm angry. But the CBT did help me through the worst of the rough patches.  I find that it's 'new agey' psych doc that I trust. Why? Because his **** worked. Unlike the pill pushers. He got me through the Suicidal Thoughts. The pills - forget it.

 

So- I don't trust docs now. I'm quite wary of what they have to say- particularly when it comes to pills and their 'advice'.

They're human. They make mistakes, and big surprise- we are the guinea pigs that pay the price, financially, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

 

I'm lucky- I found out this crap relatively early on. I still have a job. I still have my wife. And yeah- I worked 40 hours a week going through all of my withdrawals- I used up just about ALL of my vacation and sick days doing so. I'm slowly building them up again now.

 

Getting off of the anti-d's, I'm rediscovering how much I love my wife and family (such as it is). It's been a long uphill road, but in the end it's worth enjoying life as it comes.

 

A couple of weeks ago- I actually felt things as I did when I was younger.  Such comes and goes, but I want to feel such more often.

 

 

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Fresh   
Fresh

Hi Rockingchaircat , welcome to the site.

Thankyou for sharing your story , and thankyou for your service in the military.  What a journey you've had!

 

You'll continue to have waves and windows as you continue to recover.  

Try reading  

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

and

Neuro emotions

 

"Right now- a problem developed a couple weeks ago: I'd go to bed, fall asleep, dream pretty intensely, and then immediately wake up with my heart pounding against my rib cage. Stay awake an hour- and then repeat all night long until it's time to get  up"

 

This is a cortisol rush - a very common withdrawal symptom.  There are many references to it in threads in the Symptoms and Self Care section.  It wakes you in a panic almost as soon as you fall asleep.

You should know that it's not unusual to develop new symptoms around the 6 , 9 or even 12 month mark after a fast taper.

 

Could you add your med. history to your signature please , approximate years on zoloft , lexapro , paxil wellbutrin and the benzos.  Given that you have a long antidepressant history , you may be in for a rough time over the next few months.

Time to hunker down.  

 

Glad you found your way here.

Best wishes ,  Fresh

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

Thanks Fresh.

Actually I'm off Celexa for a wee bit over 5 months now. Before my Anti-depressant w/d, I was in Benzo w/d. I'd like to say that my benzo w/d was as close to hell as humanly possible, but it also gave me the tools necessary to weather through the worst (so far) of my A/d. So yeah- the cortisol spikes are something I experienced already- in fact I'd say that they were one of the reasons I got onto Ativan.  Well anyways- what's happening now- is weird. A month ago I managed to sleep in past my usual bed time- and WHAM- refreshed. The first time in a VERY long time I slept in. My wife found me crying again. This time it was tears of joy. Because it was a milestone- the first sign of the eventual much longer opportunities for same.

And here is the weird part- My sleep schedule has been by and large- sleep a couple of hours (mostly dreamless) wake up for a bit, roll over, and soon fall back asleep. Some dreaming and there. That's the way it's been for months. (less the insomnia). A couple of weeks ago- I started dreaming very intensely- not even a nightmare, they just felt....MORE....there. And upon completion of dream- I'm awake- heart pounding. After about 5 minutes my relaxation techniques take hold and I can fall back asleep with a half hour. And then- it's just a repeat of that cycle over and over until it's time to get up. Numbers wise- I'm sleeping less now. Yet somehow more refreshed. That's what is weird.

Last night- 4 hours of sleep tops. Yet only a slight decline in function today. 

Additionally- I've changed my diet- I stopped eating some Korean Bulgogi sauce which I thought triggered my surges- they're still happening, but my day time anxiety has dropped to almost a zero level. And I stopped using a toothpaste my dental tooth cleaner recommended- which I started using about the same time as the Bulgogi sauce consumption. And a day before the Bulgogi I put some garlic onto some food. May have a connection I don't know.

 

After eliminating all three- I'm still getting the cortisol spkes you call it, but the morning/daytime anxiety has dropped significantly.

 

I've been adding or eliminating things to see how they affect me. Niaspan helps at night. B-vitamin megadose helps in the morning with anxiety, with the occasional square of dark chocolate chaser.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

Well THAT window was nice while it lasted....

The inevitable occurs. Yesterday/Monday was a cranky day. I tried to not let the nitnoid problems affect me negatively- but in the end- it came to naught. Last night I had some full blown anxiety attacks after some cortisol spikes. Alternating freezing and sweltering room temperature. I attempted to offset the lack of sleep after midnight with some dozing- but in the end it did some good, but I've been feeling rather crappy for a good portion of the day after.

 

And it's not even noon yet.

 

I got into a bit of an obsessive bit over my weight. I'm much heavier that I'd like to be, yet somehow my clothes are looser- go figure that one out. All of the progress I managed on the Paleo diet- gone. Just...gone. And I'm short one gall bladder too. I can't work out as often or as intense as I'd like- it's either too damned cold, or my new knee problem prevents such. And it doesn't help that with the w/d symptoms, there is always another set of problems to deal with.

 

The last few days- it felt like I was getting a bit ....'glom' of a cortisol shift while I'm awake. While sitting at the computer I just suddenly get Depersonalized, and my BP spikes and I feel really odd. Within 20 minutes it goes away. But it's a rather strange feeling.

Yesterday's problem- a workman's comp filing got denied because the medicos simply refuse to listen to me. I've explained things over and over, but they simply will not listen to what I've said. Between the Benzos, the Anti-D's, the past problems I've had, I just am at a loss about how to get medical folks to understand me, assuming that they're even willing to do so. I'm so wired and obsessed I can relax during my meditation session- even though I extended it to a half hour of trying.

Last night, sleep dozing, the night seems to be going well. The usual- wake up every hour to two, move over etc. I think I've got a bit of a cold, but it's difficult to say for sure (stuffy nose, but not terribly so). Room too cold, room too warm, Shift that pillow to keep from digging into a kidney, move that one cause it's not supporting me...

And then a cortisol spike at 2 in the morning. Calm down from that, sleep a bit, then Anxiety Attack. Calm down from that, almost time to get  up. Go to the bathroom. 45 minutes to rise time- I can take a quick nap. Somewhat achieved but I feel much worse. Eventually I get up an hour and a half later than normal.

Halfway decent and I'm even having a bit of a laugh later on the way to work. It's cold, it's dark, it's raining, and the car is warm. I'm in control, and I'm feeling the best during the ride. It reminds me of the last time I had a mom and a dad under one roof- 45 odd years ago. Riding in the space behind the back seat of the VW beetle Dad had. Staying warm there on a cold winter's day ride somewhere.  About the closest thing I can find to a safe feeling I can find during my w/d.

Breakfast was coffee- some yogurt and a pastry. I feel nauseous after eating all that. Later on, on the job, I'm at the convenience store having my work rig filled, and the deli smells good. I pick up a pair of breakfast burritos and eventually wolf them both down, chased with chocolate milk.  Later on, whilst at a work site while waiting for an automatic test to finish I nod off. 15 minutes, I feel a bit better but not feeling good for falling asleep on the job. 

But I definitely have been giving serious thought several times to just calling in sick for the rest of the day. By and large I'll just stick it out, and see how I feel when I get home.  

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Sarabera   
Sarabera

Hi Rockingchaircat--congrats on the successful tapers! Are you still on a Paleo diet? My diet is kind of paleo/primal, definitely low-carb, high fat. Sounds like you are having a lot of sleep issues like me. I never know from one night to the next how sleep is going to go, completely unpredictable. I think a lot of it is hormone related. I keep a big stack of books on the bed (thank goodness I have my own bed, don't share with husband!) and pick up whatever interests me in the middle of the night.

Sarah

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

No Sarabera, I'm not on the Paleo Diet anymore. That became quite a bit of an issue when I developed some gallstones, which led eventually to my gall bladder being removed. Result now- I have to be careful how much fatty foods I eat. All weight lost- regained.  My paleo diet partner- same story. 

I agree with that notion concerning sleeping- it's like the drugs we were fed, royally messed up our systems controls of our sleeping. Last night I did get a half way decent night's sleep. But invariably- it's difficult to ascertain what the night will be like. 

It's just so damned wearing.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

12/27/2015
The Holiday is done. It's been more or less a 4 day weekend. 

Thursday I was just dragging- but I was able to get through the day- I slept a lot, the wife was out delivering mail/packages. And I've been dealing with anxiety issues. It seems to be either depression or anxiety for much of the day anymore. After sleeping in it was go and feed the cats, then veg out on the couch for a while- which seemed to help after the sun rose and I could see the light.

Friday- the dreaded holiday. I have to constantly inform myself that I'm doing ok, that I'm not living with or having to visit relatives who'd be more inclined to tear me apart for being a liberal or even worse for not going to church.  Instead I go and pick up the daughter, we have the gift exchange, eat a meal, and then take the daughter home.

Saturday- Sleep in, but not as late. Doze a bit on the couch, wife's working delivering mail/packages. I've noticed that the night time cortisol surges seem to have passed. I've been keeping the food bland, largely. Take the daughter around on her desired destinations. Deliver meal to lady friend- which apparently she needed. Take wife's meal home to await her eventual arrival. I find myself with a bit of energy- and I do some household chores and clean out the shed. One of the items I discover is one of my daughters original attempts at cross stitching. It's stained with dirt and some mold. But it's something we thought lost forever. There were two or three others, but I've no idea where they are. I cut down the rose bushes and gathered up no few wind blown tree branches. It was a bit of a chore, but it was well worth it.

This morning- I sleep well, and wake up around 4, I get up and feed the cats, and make some brekky. Eventually I go back to bed for a bit and doze. The Anxiety kicks in around 5:15. I'm guessing I'm also getting asthma attacks occasionally, in addition to the nausea.

It's almost as if the brain is still realigning itself. I reviewed where I was a year ago. I have to admit that life has been decidedly an improvement since.  Especially when it comes to symptoms.  It's good that my anxiety seems to dissipate a few hours before bed. Which allows me to sleep, which allows me to get through another day.
I will make it through another day. Today is a trip to see Star Wars- that's bound to be an adventure- dealing with crowds, which I detest. But it has to be done. The wife wants to see it and so does the daughter.  I will allow myself to enjoy it.

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Sarabera   
Sarabera

Glad to hear things seem to be looking up for you. I've had a couple of bad nights sleep-wise, so I'm continuing to make adjustments, but I'm anxious to start the taper. Lots of times it seems like just "going through the motions" can be helpful.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

I wish you the best of luck Sarabera.

 

You will be able to do it. But it may be easy for you, or it may not. But in the end- you will be free of the drug. Mayhap I should be looking at Progesterone eh?

 

But if it gets difficult- it won't stay that way. Eventually- things will get better.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

12/29/2015

An interesting last 24 hours. Yesterday morning I awaited the inevitable morning anxiety/tenseness- and it didn't arrive. I did have a wee bit of agitation later on in the afternoon- but it was easily dispelled through meditation. And last night?  I got cortisol spikes again last night- but...the dreams were intense, and for most of the night I had a mild euphoria. ?  I actually had a good night's sleep and it felt good. The lack of the 'normal' anxiety was like a missing tooth- your tongue keeps probing the empty spot. I'm a bit cranky this morning- but I'm working on it. For now, things are getting better. I'll take it if I can get it.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

12/30/2015

 

A bit cranky again this morning, but that could be due to my not wanting to get out of a warm bed into a chilly room. And having to go to work. No euphoria this time- thank goodness.  This is the kind of window I can get used to. A wee bit of very mild almost unnoticeable anxiety now and then and a normal (?) level of dealing with life's problems through the day.  I still have a bit of anxiety about mine own future and that of my family- but all in all, worry doesn't take away the problems- just the peace you have today.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

12/31/15

I've been getting a decent night's sleep for some time, despite the cortisol spikes. It's good to have that again. This morning- I'm feeling a bit...out of sorts. Mildly depressed. I had a fairly large breakfast, and as such I'm not as hungry the rest of the day.

Despite the cold yesterday evening I went ahead and did my bike ride. It felt good to be able to do it. No euphoria during the night- so that too was a good thing.  Yet during the day I still get the notion that my brain's center for controlling/dispelling depression (if there is such a thing) is out of whack. This morning- I was a bit down.

But it's been so long since I've had an anxiety free day- it's difficult for me to tell if it's a 'natural' or an effect of all of this B.S.

 

I'm having to relearn what it's like to be 'normal' again.

Part of what I like to do for a hobby is working on spaceship models. During my time on the Meds- I became obsessed with such. To the point that I've got a lot of them to put together. I could work on one a month for ten years. The end result- I've spent a lot of money on them.

And now, post meds, I still like them, but they don't seem anywhere near as important as they did before I went onto the meds.  And I'm finding such for other areas of my life. There are other things that have cost me a lot in resources, and good will.  And now- it's not so important anymore.

 

Weird. Another leg of the journey of self discovery.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

01/07/2015

Crap.  Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I think that is what I'm being affected by the most right now. 6 months (more or less) off of the Celexa, and I'm seriously affected by it.  I find myself tracking days time of sunrise and sundown. I'm not eating much and I'm tired all of the time. It's hard to remember when life was good anymore. My mind keeps returning to the notion of how much better life was on an antiD. But it's not. 
Last night's sleep was mostly wake up about every half hour to an hour. Nightmares, and tossing and turning. AND...I got skin burns. Not like the w/d skin burn, all over the body skin burn. I still have some tingling going on.
Breakfast consisted of: pair of eggs omelette and some cheese. A container of yogurt and some coffee.  I nibbled on some almonds when I got to work. Nothing much to do at work right now. End result- I'm bored off my ass.
Every day I'm tempted to call in sick and take the day off. The problem being- it's so damnably cold that going outside hurts or is very uncomfortable.  The last two bicycling days promised in the weather predictor to be in the low 40's and sunny- no such luck. Mid 30's and foggy/rainy. 
Was it only last week- that I got some much overdue chores down in the yard and then slept like a log that night?  sllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

I dozed off typing.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

01/08/2015

 

When I got home from work yesterday- the wife presented me with a Light Box. A Verilux. I just about tore open the box to gain access. I first used it just about right there and then. And no I'm not under a Doctor's supervision using it.  I'd like to think that the preliminary use seems to have done me good. I did a good work out after it, and I did an improved set of scores when I tried the Lumosity brain training after that. And I actually had some enthusiasm for my hobby.  I still went to bed about the regular time, but I seem to have managed to get a halfway decent's night sleep. The bedroom was cold/chill for most of the night. This morning it was the usual difficulty in getting out of bed. After breakfast- I used it again, and took a quick quiet snooze- and I think I'm doing a bit better. 

Today I seem to be a bit more upbeat. And I do seem to have a bit more appetite as well. But I also have some anxiety. Depression and/or anxiety anymore. It didn't seem too long ago that life was fun. I just have to hold out until the next window opens up- whenever it will. Obviously- I didn't get into S.A.D. over night, so undoubtedly it'll take me a few more days to get out of this funk.  Some day I'll be approaching normality. 

One of the biggest issues with a light box- is that they warn you about Manic episodes. Technically it is a bit frightening- from my own exposure and history. But the instruction manual tells one to keep an eye on symptoms- that if one feels wired as if you've drank too much coffee that it's a good idea to throttle back on the use. 

 

In  mine own past- I have had what I think were manic episodes.  But it was when I was on an antidepressant and I'd gotten into a potentially life changing relationship. Which quickly turned sour- and I was in the dumps for a bit. Since then it's mostly been getting obsessive about material things.

 

And now that I'm not on the drugs- I'm finding that there are many things that did make me obsessive about- don't seem anywhere near as interesting.  But- most of those things were of the 'lost interest quickly' kind of things and therefore not good for me. Getting off of the drugs has made me appreciate the wife oh so much more. 

Yet I'm also beset by existentialism- knowing that someday I will die and lose everything I have- including facing the very real prospect of outliving my daughter. Which is something that eats at me.  At this point I'm seriously giving thought to attempting to recontact my CBT therapist and seeing if I can restart my talk therapy with him.  

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Petunia   
Petunia

Thanks for the regular updates RCC, its sounds like you're doing ok. It was thoughtful of your wife to get you a light box and it seems like its helping already.

 

How long were you taking Celexa and Ativan?  You don't have that written in your signature.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

01/10/2015

 

Holy Mackerel.

That lightbox is amazing!  I've been using it for about an hour a day, 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the evening. It's been less than 3 days and OMFG!  

Thursday- the 7th- typical day of anxiety and depression- attempt to make through another day. Evening- when I come home the wife has brought me a light box. I start using it then. After the 30 minutes- I do my usual workout in the evening- and I find myself dancing to one of the tunes in between reps. I'm feeling that much better.

Sleep was a bit better that night.

Friday- the 8th.  30 minutes in the morning. I find myself with a bit more appetite. Long boring day at work- didn't seem so bad. Someone had a sense of humor on the work computer- I actually laughed.  (?!). I also have a bit more energy. It's too rainy for my aerobic exercise. I meet someones for dinner (wife and her friend). I have an appetite. WOW!  That night I sleep pretty darned good.

Saturday the 9th. I'm upbeat, and I'm looking forward to the chores of the day. I take care of them, and do the aerobic exercise I wasn't able to take care of the day previous, and I do some more chores. Where did all of this energy come from?

Sunday the 10th. It was a bit hard to get out of bed this morning. Because the last two nights I've experienced a most unusual sensation during the night and morning. I think I figured out what this most curious sensation was: Refreshment. I felt and still right now- Refreshed.I had a most refreshing sleep the last couple of nights.  I've not had this kind of sensation- for a very long time. I cannot remember the last time I've felt this way.

 

I have a verilux light box. $65. I bought two of them. One for my wife- who has reported a similar winter blah for herself. And her friend (her doctor prescribed one for her- but she couldn't afford one). I am just amazed at this wonderful device. 

 

Researching it online- dire warnings about how one isn't supposed to use this 'without a doctor's advice' = $$$! 

 

Piss on that! I'm following the instructions both on line and in the instruction manual- no more than 30 minutes at a time and no more than an hour a day. I'm doing great. The instruction manual came with the warning: That if I felt like I'd been drinking two much coffee that I just taper down some use of the light.  That one sentence says so much.

 

Yeah- the one device that did me so much good- be sure to fork over some more moola to those poor benighted doctors.

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bubble   
bubble

That's great news. I very much identify with how you describe your winter mood. Come December I start checking sunrise and sunset times.

 

I bought myself a lightbulb because for some reason light boxes are just not sold here and that was the only thing i could find. I haven't really used it because we had an exceptionally sunny November: almost 5 weeks of non stop sun. Now I have other issues that make SAD pale in comparison although it is no doubt contributing.

 

You could share this experience on our thread about lightboxes. (Typing from the phone so can't paste it now).

 

Hope this continues to be a positive experience for you.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

I created a thread about lightboxes because I couldn't find one in a quick search.  Could you please direct me to the overlooked one?

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bubble   
bubble

I've merged them :)

 

The trick I use is googling surviving antidepressants + anything I want to check.

 

I like reading your updates and seeing you are doing better after everything you've been through...

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

I've merged them :)

 

The trick I use is googling surviving antidepressants + anything I want to check.

 

I like reading your updates and seeing you are doing better after everything you've been through...

Thanks for merging them Bubble.

 

1/12/2015
 
So far so good. 5 days it's been since I've gotten the lightbox, and 5 nights of some right decent night's sleeping.  My appetite does seem to have increased a bit though.  After do consideration- I have to admit to being a bit manic today.
All things considered- it's an improvement. I've not had a window last this long. Now, Sunday night/Monday morning I did have a problem- it turns out that yes indeed, Korean Beef Bulgogi sauce is a problem for me to eat. It drove up my blood pressure that night and caused me a few problems that night- but not to the point of my not also getting a decent amount of sleep.
 
It's nice to be able to smile, laugh, or just feel good- without pretending to do so.
 
I'm just guessing here- but when we go off of benzos or antidepressants we all feel crappy. And one of the side effects of anti-depressant use- is that our bodies stop making as much serotonin as we'd gotten used to before the pills. 
So, after we get off of the pills- we need an increased level of serotonin, but our bodies have gotten used to not producing it. Result- suffering. 
The suffering leads folks to feel like crap- and from what I've read on benzobuddies and surviving antidepressants- folks invariably go to bed and stay there way too often, or avoid going outside because even winter sunshine felt overwhelming.  End result- our bodies make even less serotonin. A vicious cycle occurs. We need that serotonin, but we're not making any. We need it to help us feel good. And the serotonin gets eventually converted to melatonin to help us sleep.
And then the Winter Blahs come along- things go from bad to worst. 
 
What broke the cycle for me?  The Lightbox. A week ago I started waking up at the usual way too early point, and turned on my bedside lamp. And then I rolled over and managed to get more sleep despite the room being bright. It seemed to help a bit.  I was more relaxed, but still not at peak.
The same peak that I started getting with the lightbox.
My night time cortisol spikes? Seem to be gone. Yeah I still have to get up in the middle of the night to answer natures call. But I go back to bed and sleep, as opposed to staring at the ceiling for an hour or so.
I'm still getting a decent night's sleep.
 
Damn that's a good feeling.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

* post moved

 

In the last year I got to enjoy getting off both a benzo and an antidepressant. 

No fun.

Edited by Petunia
moved from another thread where it was off topic

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

01/14/2016
I'm a bit anxious today. By an amazing coincidence- last night I cut down my use of the evening light- to 15 minutes.  I seemed to get tired a bit quicker, went to bed sooner, and had some trouble sleeping last night what with a singular nightmare at 2 in the morning.
This morning I'm cranky (big surprise). To be fair I was cranky yesterday- but only a bit. Today's may also have something to do with my choosing to go biking despite the weather- it rained during and I chose to not take a hot shower. 
I'm gonna go back to the full amount tonight and see what happens. the reason I chose to cut back? I seemed to be a bit wired the last couple of days. So if it's a choice between wired or cranky. I'll choose wired thank you.

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Sarabera   
Sarabera

Hi RCC,

Curious as to how you are doing, how the light is working for you etc....I actually bought a similar light (the cheap 5K one though) and have been using it for the last 3 days. It was very irritating at first, but I figured out that it worked well if I mounted it rather high up. My sleep the last few days has been pretty wild--10 hours or more, very good quality sleep. I suspect this is mostly due to the fact that I was very sleep deprived after 3 days of 0-3 hours a night of sleep (poor quality at that). Also I took a big benzodiazephine dose and that takes a couple days to wear off completely. I'll be interested to see how my sleep shakes out over the next few days. I'm also pairing this with blue-blocker goggles at night to get the melatonin going.

 

IMO getting outside as much as you can is always a good thing! Nothing like fresh air and real light, whatever there is this time of year. I just crave it!

Sarah

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

The light is still working for me- unfortunately I seem to have caught a cold. So I go from one extreme to another.... which isn't the best of feelings. It's good to hear it's working for you (lightbox).  I agree with the real light, unfortunately in rainy Oregon that isn't always an option.  

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SquirrellyGirl   
SquirrellyGirl

Well, I'm intrigued and I am going to get one of those light boxes and see how it goes!  I find myself wanting to stay indoors in the winter even when it is nice outside, the vicious cycle as you said, Rockingchaircat, and so it will be interesting to see if this spurns me onward to get more active and tackle some projects I have been dragging my heels on!

 

Will report back once it has been in use :-)

 

SG

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

Excellent News Squirrelly Girl- I hope it does you as much good as it did me. Just stay away from colds or the flu. Of which is what is kicking my butt right now.

 

01/17/2016

Yesterday morning- at 4 in the morning- I wake up and I have hunger pangs. Such usually tells me that I'm going to be active with a bit of energy. But I hold off on the off chance I can sleep in and catch up on some sleep.

Silly me.

The god-awful cortisol spikes are with me. Finally I drag myself out of bed, and do the usual. But even so- I've not much in the way of energy. It feels awfully close to an Awful Fatigue Day. (Something I've had a long time ago- back when I thought I could C/T off of Antidepressants without any problem, man I wish I could back in time and slap myself silly).

I'm able to take care of the usual needs during the day- but I'm dragging. Finally- at home at 12:30 I lay down for a nap. Surprise Surprise- I can nap without the cortisol spikes. And for the next four hours I do so- a nap every hour.  

I got to bed at 8 last night- and at 1 in the morning the cortisol spikes start up again. A light induced Window. I get sick and it's like the wave comes back with a vengeance.

I just want my windows again.  Dammit!

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SquirrellyGirl   
SquirrellyGirl

RCC, i'm sorry you went into a wave :-(  I guess the light box can't do away with withdrawal altogether.  I'm just hoping it will give me back some motivation, of which I have very little these days.  We live about 40 minutes away from major shopping, so the DH and I went today, and now home, I have nothing left to do anything else with the day.  

 

Hang in there!  Keep track of your symptoms each day, and perhaps a pattern will emerge that will give you some insight.  See the Glenmullin Withdrawal Symptom Check List in this thread:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2390-dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

SG

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Fresh   
Fresh

Hi RCC , you might want to make a note on this thread about your little whoopsy mxing up
your dosages.
Clearly this "wave" is a consequence of that.

 

;)

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Schnozzle   
Schnozzle

That's great news. I very much identify with how you describe your winter mood. Come December I start checking sunrise and sunset times.

 

I bought myself a lightbulb because for some reason light boxes are just not sold here and that was the only thing i could find. I haven't really used it because we had an exceptionally sunny November: almost 5 weeks of non stop sun. Now I have other issues that make SAD pale in comparison although it is no doubt contributing.

 

You could share this experience on our thread about lightboxes. (Typing from the phone so can't paste it now).

 

Hope this continues to be a positive experience for you.

 

Lightbulbs won't do you any good unfortunately, it has to be the right strength of light to have any effect, and no lightbulb can come remotely close. Lightboxes are more like floodlights. No matter where you are in Europe, you should be able to buy one online and have it delivered.

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Schnozzle   
Schnozzle

I've been using it for about an hour a day, 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the evening. It's been less than 3 days and OMFG!  

 

 

You might have better results using it for an hour in the morning instead of half in the evening. It tricks your brain into thinking that it is time to wake up, which is why the instructions usually tell you to avoid using it close to going to bed.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

I will try the hour in the morning instead. But I'm not in the habit of trying any more 'supplement's or pills anymore. I'm afraid that when it comes to doctors and their advice- I'm extremely skeptical and highly critical of them nowadays. 8 years in the military, 18 out of the military- and I don't see much difference between the two in terms of professionalism.

Which is to say- not much.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

Discovering that the bread I've been eating appears to have been 'growing'.  The consumption of which mimics the diarrhea I've been having...Big coincidence.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

01/18/2016

Damnation.
Yesterday- things improved enough to where I was dancing a bit to a song on the tube that wife was playing.  My appetite improved to the point that ate some cookie and drank some chocolate milk before bed. But not before I noticed that some of the bread I'd been eating the last few days- had mold on it.
And a half hour after falling asleep- I wake with: Restless leg. The fiercest episode I've had in a dog's age. As always- just the left leg. It takes the better part of an hour before it settles down. I've gotten it before, just before a wave. But never this bad. No more milk and cookies before bed.
Several times I wake up from intense dreams- all of them involving going on trips to strange places and staying in strange locales.
4 rolls around.  I get up and feed the cats.  Nothing out of the ordinary. I decide to snooze a bit on the couch. No such luck, damn fool cats won't quiet down for anything. Growls, the sound and smells of a litterbox in use, and piteously mewing for attention, the higher the pitch the more plaintive for attention.  I go back to bed and step into a present a cat left for me. I clean that up.
Cpap mask back on and I someone manage to sleep off and on for several more hours, with a minimum of anxiety attacks. Some did come, but I was able to relax them away.
Getting up was a  chore, but sunlight does help with that. I've had breakfast, and I'm starting to feel human. And it's only been a couple of hours since I did that.

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Rockingchaircat   
Rockingchaircat

01/18/2016

 

I'm definitely going to take advice- NO Happy Light in the evening from here on. Now yes I did sleep an additional 2.5 hours this morning. But damn I've paid for it. Anxiety attacks that come and go.  I have to force myself to forget about the fact that I've been getting anxiety attacks for well over a year. Reviewing my blog from BenzoBuddies- I have improved since a year ago. I'm not on a Benzo. That's a good thing. Neither am I on a an Anti-D. Also a good thing.

 

Now why did I start doing the evening light therapy in addition to the morning? Because I got the box in the afternoon- and used it immediately- which seemed to help. So I just simply kept using it morning and evening. And now it seems to be causing me problems. Resetting the Circadian rhythm twice a day? Not a good idea. 

I've got plenty of other lights to light up the house during the afternoon until Spring rolls around.  I remember a time when I could sleep in on the weekends- and end up staring at the ceiling late Sunday night and then ending  up all dog tired Monday Morning...Also not a good thing.

 

I may have to bite the bullet and do the right thing in the morning every morning. Even on the weekends. Get up at 4, stay up at 4.  It'll work out eventually. Somehow.

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