Jump to content
akrontes

Akrontes/Distraut: How can I help my son?

Recommended Posts

akrontes   
akrontes

I have been off Sertraline for over four months now, after having been on it for about 3 and half years.
 
Previous 4 years or so  I had been on other medications. Is diffcult to comprehend and explain in words all that is going on, but my whole psyche has been completely overturned in these years, and I do not know to what extent the various medications have caused me this.
 
I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged.
 
I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject. Unfortunately it only comforts me to a certain extent to know that others are experiencing their own hell, and I feel guilty in turn for the fact "that others suffering should comfort me', as I have entered some abstract Universe which seems to have its own laws. the ridiculous thing is that in the end what seems "right and wrong" seems to be determined by feeling and not some sort of formula, and I feel guilty in turn for thinking that, and also "convinced" on the one hand that it should be formulated and on the other "know" that it isn't.
 
One of the main reasons for writing this post was the guilt and fear of punishment, or fear of damning others, especially close ones for benefitting from reading others stories and not contributing my own. To clarify alot of this stuf was going on when I was still on the Sertraline, and perhaps, in a different way when I was on other medication, difference now is that I am that so much more fragile.

Edited by ChessieCat
Added paragraphs & changed font size (ChessieCat); tags added (scallywag)

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat   
ChessieCat

Hi akrontes, and welcome to SA,

 

There are other members here who have or are experiencing similar things to what you are describing.  Being on the drugs can cause side effects.  Coming off the drugs too quickly can cause withdrawal symptoms.

 

In the last paragraph you mention other medication.  Please put your Withdrawal History in Signature.  Please include details for the last 12-18 months of  all drugs, dates, doses and discontinuations & reinstatements.  If you can't remember dates, please write it as "early March" or "mid-August".  Please provide a summary of any drugs prior to that which can just be listed with start and stop years.  Once we have these details we will be better able to offer suggestions based on your individual situation.

 

Also, it would be helpful if you could list, as simply as possible, what withdrawal symptoms you are currently experiencing.  This is a list which you can use as a guide glenmullen_symptoms_AS Appendix 1.pdf

 

 

Please read the following and then ask questions here in your Intro/Update topic.  Please read Post #1 fully so that you understand the possible results of reinstating.  If you consider reinstating, please post here that you wish to do so and we can suggest a small dose which you could try.  Please do not go back on the dose you were last taking because your brain will have made adjustments since then.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

 

I'm listing some links for you to check out. 

 

  1. Brain Remodelling (Rhi's Description of Brain Healing)
  2. Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery
  3. OCD Obsessive Thoughts, Compulsive Behaviours
  4. Neuro Emotions
  5. Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety
  6. Shame, guilt, regret, and self-criticism
  7. Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

You can ask questions here in your Intro/Update topic and journal your progress.  Click "Follow" top right and you will be notified when someone responds.

Share this post


Link to post
nz11   
nz11

I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind. I have been imprisoned and castigated in my own mind. It is beyond explanation what is occuring on a millisecond basis. I seem to have entered some moral vortex, whereby I feel as if I am always doing wrong. Constantly confronted with "Heaven and Hell". Constantly feeling compelled to undo things, which for example I have written like here. Damned if I do or if I don't , this doesnt explain 1% of what is going on. It has brought into the fore the reason for everything and existence. I really have no idea what is going on, terrifies me the idea that no-one can have any idea of what is going on in my head. Yet on the other hand everybody is in my head, I don't know who is in my head and who isn't. Everything I say in my head is being judged.

 

I will not go any further for now as I am terrified of writing, and also it may not be entirely pertinent to the subject.

Welcome akrontes

Dont be terrified of writing im appreciating your writing....Wow what an amazing articulation of what we all have experienced. Know that you are not alone and that everything you write in your now crystalized journal is pertinent.

 

So glad you have added your great voice to this forum.

 

I suffer from the severest OCD,and anxiety, and now I think depression, and sheer terror at all my subsconscious thoughts which have completely taken over my whole mind.

Just wanted to point out these psychological distress words are the only words we have to describe this horror show however these are not the correct words at all to use. imo You are suffering withdrawal symptoms. Did you know OCD and the others are wdl symptoms?

 

Akrontes check out the above link from cc on neuro emotions.

It may answer a lot of questions.

 

welcome

nz11

Share this post


Link to post
akrontes   
akrontes

Hello thank you for welcoming me to this site.

 

Just to give a bit of background I am 28years old male from London, United Kingdom.

 

I had regularly smoked skunk from Spring/Summer 2002 till Christmas Day 2007 when I stopped cold turkey.

 

I then was very paranoid and depressed perhaps.

 

I began taking paroxetine (20mg) in July 2008 prescribed by a doctor in Italy.

 

I then started university in Italy and was also put on Sodium Valproate and upped the dose of paroxetine to 40mg. 

 

I was also put on haloperidol which cause me to end up in A&E after a week of so, with it making my body seize up.

 

I then decided at some point during the following Spring 2009 to stop the Sodium Valproate and I think I reduced the paroxetine to 20mg.

 

In this period I was doing quite well and succesively in the summer stopped paroxetine and had a great month.

 

Then suddenly once into September things turned downwards, and I gradually started getting worse.

 

I started taking Citalopram which I stopped taking after a few weeks. I then returned home to London and was not attending my university.

 

This period I was depressed, quit paranoid and depressive, but it would be nothing like the withdrawals I would have after this.

 

I started taking 20mg of paroxetine again in February 2010, I don't remeber if I went up to 40mg - and went back to University, I was on this until the Summer, and after my exams stopped again.

 

This is when things really started getting bad. I was having all the physical symptoms, brain zaps etc, and was having the most absurd paranoia's, even hiding in the middle of the house to avoid the windows, I won't even go into my entirely irrational fears here. I then went back to Italy and was in an absolutely disastrous state, again I will not go into details here but rather outline the medication timeline principally. I then started taking venflaxine and sodium valproate again, which did not stop the paranoid, absurd fears I had now, but enabled me to trudge through life in a particularly terrible period in which my Father died.

 

I continued these medicines until Summer 2012 - and in this time I had managed to complete my degree.

 

I then stopped in the Summer and the fell into a real pit again, then was put on Sertraline in November 2012 which I took 50-100 until May 2016 mg, when I had a complete freak out at the end of April. I went to the doctor in Italy and he told me to stop taking the Sertraline and take Lithium and aripiprazole - I didn't - and so have not been taking anything for over 4 months, and am in the state I am now, if only words could describe it!

 

I would love to be free of the medicines but am wondering whether all this suffering will be worth it in the end.

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag   
scallywag

Welcome akrontes!
 
People do recover from taking psychiatric medications and from withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing them.
 
Your post above provides good detail about you medication and withdrawal history. It helps moderators and other members when we can see this history at a glance below every post you make.  Imagine if you had 10 pages of updates, questions, and replies. Any one trying to answer your question in 6 months would have to search for your post from Sept. 27.
 

Would you take a few mintutes to create signature that summarizes your history -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-18 months particularly? Any drugs prior to that can just be listed with start and stop years. Please put your withdrawal history in signature

Share this post


Link to post
akrontes   
akrontes

I have completed my signature now. It is difficult for me to know to what extent my severe ocd is part of the withdrawal, as it has been with me for so many years, and has developed and established itself in my head. I have no idea how I will ever get on top of it, it manages to take me down on every level. I will have a look at the neuro emotions, one of the million things that terrifies me is to what extent I am in control of this situation, or whether is my brain, nervous system getting back to normal, and this terrifies me in itself, am in constant existential turmoil! I am indeed very unsure right now how much time can resolve these issues? At this point though I do not even see much point on going back on the drugs, I could not even take that turmoil, but I am very pessimistic, it is my amazing Mother who is keeping me going and is very hopeful!

Share this post


Link to post
akrontes   
akrontes

Hi I have been nearly 6 months off and am falling deeper and deeper. I have been thinking every second what to do, go back on medicine etc.

 

My Mother is very keen that I should stay off it and she is much more adamant about it being a withdrawal, unfortunately in my fragile state I doubt absoultely everything.

 

Tonight I have thought about it in a way that I have never really thought about it before though, in terms of me craving the drug. I am considering reinstating? I dropped from 100mg sertraline to 0 in the period of a week back in May.

 

Could I ask for your thoughts please? Thank you

Edited by scallywag
moved fron reinstating topic

Share this post


Link to post
scallywag   
scallywag

I moved your post from the reinstating topic to your own introduction because your question is about your individual situation.

 

You're outside the optimal time period, which next day - 3 months after last dose, for reinstating sertraline. There benefits and risks to testing a reinstatement dose and the risks of the reinstatement not working appear to increase with time. Question: Are you clear that there is a risk that a reinstatement could not affect your symptoms at the initial small dose, or make your symptoms worse?

 

From your signature

cannabis: Spring 2002 - Dec. 2007; regularly smoked, stopped cold turkey; symptoms: paranoid and depressed

Paroxetine: 20 mg July 2008, 40 mg October, 20 mg spring 2009, 0 mg summer 2009

Depakote (sodium valproate): October 2008 - Spring 2009

Haloperdidol 1 week Oct. 2008, H caused seizures, went to A&E;  stopped taking it.

Citalopram few weeks in the fall of 2009 to deal with withdrawal symptoms from stopping paroxetine

Paroxetine round 2: 20 mg Feb - summer 2010 -20mg don't remeber if I went up to 40mg

Venlafaxine & sodium valproate (again): Sep 2010 - Summer 2012  

SERTRALINE: November 2012 - May 2016 , 50-100mg (few days @ 150mg in Summer '15). a complete freak out at the end of April. 

May 2016 Prescribed Lithium and aripiprazole HAVE NOT TAKEN

No medications May 2016 - October 2016

 

There's a lot of information in your current signature that isn't as relevant as it once was to your situation. When you have a moment, would you update your signature copying & pasting the above information?

Edited by scallywag
reworded statement about reinstatement risks.

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

I have just joined this most valuable forum.  I am Akrontes' mother and very concerned about his withdrawal and would welcome some advice from all the good people on here.

 

Since he last posted on this forum, feeling desperate about a particular obsession that had been driving him crazy for some time and after 7 months cold turkey from Sertraline 50mg, he checked in for four days to a private psychiatric clinic in London where he was prescribed 15 mg of Mertazapine which he started on 14th November.  He took this dose for 15 days, and then, after reading all the negative reports of this medication,  cut his dose in half, down to 7.5 mg which he has taken to date.  He had a few days of some relief during this period and managed to socialize a bit and do a few shifts of temporary work but he has put on 10 Kgs in one month and feels a distinct lack of empathy to his family and friends.  

 

This last weekend, however,  his situation has started to deteriorate again and he has spent the last three days in a darkened room.  .He was initially drowsy, but today is quite distressed and feels that his life has finished.

 

We don't know what to do next.  He does not have a doctor, either a GP or psychiatrist, who is sympathetic to his desire to come off all medication.  He has only been taking the Mirtazapine for about one month and is reluctant to up the dose as he would prefer not to be taking it at all. 

 

As this new drug comes into his life after 7 months off Sertraline, we do not know what effect it will have on his recovery.

 

I am so concerned about him.  He does not want to post himself at this time, but I would very much welcome receiving your views as to how we can proceed.

Edited by KarenB
Merged posts from new Intro topic

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

I would be most grateful to receive some advice from someone.  Thank you

Edited by KarenB
merged from new topic

Share this post


Link to post
nz11   
nz11

I am so sorry you are in this position caught between a rock and a hard place.

A gentle note that its only one intro thread per person. Im sure a mod will move this into his intro thread

This site is moderated by volunteers so you will have to be patient at this time.

Edited by KarenB
merged from new topic

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

We are really at a loss as to what to do next.  My son spends most of his day in bed in a darkened room where he feels most comfortable.  He feels he must be near an open window and the room is very cold.   I am at my wits end and don't know how we can carry on like this much longer. 

Share this post


Link to post
AliG   
AliG

D.  As a mum myself , I understand how fragile and overwhelmed you must feel . I can empathize and understand but you will make it through this. We're here to help. You're not alone.

 

He cut Mirtazapine by half  - end of November . He's probably experiencing some of those withdrawal symptoms now. Is he still on 7.5mg Mirtazapine ?

 

I'll check with the other Mods on how to proceed from here.

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

AliG

 

Thank you so much for your support.  Yes he is still taking 7.5 mg Mirtazapine.  He's very distressed, not hungry, has a headache and cannot do anything very much, although he does manage to get some sleep.

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

Hi AliG

 

His withdrawal history is (hopefully) updated now.

Share this post


Link to post
akrontes   
akrontes

This is what I filled in for the Glenmullen checklist. 1.Crying spells, 2. Worsened mood, 3. Low energy(fatigue, lethargy, malaise), 4. Trouble concentrating, 5. Insomnia or trouble sleeping, 6. Change in appetite, 7. Suicidal thoughts, 9. Anxious,nervous, tense, 13. Irritability, 14. Agitation (restlessness), 15. Impulsivity, 19. Confusion or cognitive difficulties, 26. Feeling detached or unreal, 27. Excessive or intense dreaming, 35. Nausea, 41. Spinning, swaying lightheaded, 42. Hung over or waterlogged feeling, 45. Headache, 54. Slurred speech, 56. Muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches

Share this post


Link to post
AliG   
AliG

Thank You. :)  Unfortunately , that sounds about right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

What is his best course of action now?

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

This is what I filled in for the Glenmullen checklist. 1.Crying spells, 2. Worsened mood, 3. Low energy(fatigue, lethargy, malaise), 4. Trouble concentrating, 5. Insomnia or trouble sleeping, 6. Change in appetite, 7. Suicidal thoughts, 9. Anxious,nervous, tense, 13. Irritability, 14. Agitation (restlessness), 15. Impulsivity, 19. Confusion or cognitive difficulties, 26. Feeling detached or unreal, 27. Excessive or intense dreaming, 35. Nausea, 41. Spinning, swaying lightheaded, 42. Hung over or waterlogged feeling, 45. Headache, 54. Slurred speech, 56. Muscle cramps, stiffness, twitches

 

akrontes, is this since you started taking mirtazapine or are these symptoms from before you took mirtazapine? What symptoms have diminished since you started mirtazapine?

 

What symptoms have gotten worse over the last several days?

 

Mirtazapine is notorious for weight gain.

Share this post


Link to post
DrugfreeProf   
DrugfreeProf

Hang in there, Distraut. It is very hard being in your position, trying to help your son who is struggling so much with this situation. It sure sounds like severe protracted withdrawal to me. In my opinion, your best bet for his recovery is in trying to keep him away from psychiatrists and the mental health system in general.  All they do is prescribe drugs, because thats all they know how to do.

Protracted withdrawal is poorly understood by most doctors, but we know enough from this site and others reporting people's experiences after stopping ADs that 1)  each person's unique withdrawal pattern is unpredictable, and there is no way to gauge how long it will last; and 2) people do get better--but it is slow, incremental, and non-linear. 

I have been going through this with my ownn daughter (24) over the past six months. She has improved, as indicated in #2 above, and she still has a way to go. 

Give him time, space, and tons of TLC.  Keep the environment calm. Keep the faith. Take the long view.

Feel free to pm me.

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

Altostrata

 

Akrontes will reply to you soon.

 

Drugfreeprof.

 

Have sent you a PM.  Hope I did it right.  Still finding my way around here.

 

Thank you all so much for your support

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

Altostrada

 

Akrontes tells me the symptoms haven't changed much before and after starting on Mirtazapine.  He feels he cries less.

 

He seems to me a bit more drowsy and remote from his family.

 

Would very much welcome your view. Thank you so much

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

As he has been on Mirtazapine only 5 weeks, is it possible to start reducing the dosage now?

 

Your advice would be most welcome.

 

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

We are really at a loss as to what to do next.  My son spends most of his day in bed in a darkened room where he feels most comfortable.  He feels he must be near an open window and the room is very cold.   I am at my wits end and don't know how we can carry on like this much longer. 

 

Why does he feel most comfortable in the above conditions?

 

Reducing the mirtazapine very gradually might lessen the drowsiness and weight gain. See Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

Share this post


Link to post
Skeeter   
Skeeter

Distraut,
I am amazed at the support you have shown for your son.  You seem like a loving mother for sure, with your son being so precious.  That is just amazing to me.  Many people do not have this kind of support.
 
Did you see the questions asked by Altostrata above?  Please answer her questions. I have placed them below to be helpful:
 

Why does he feel most comfortable in the above conditions?
 
Reducing the mirtazapine very gradually might lessen the drowsiness and weight gain. See Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 
Regarding the taper that Altostrata spoke about...  We suggest a 10% or less reduction per month, based on the most recent dose: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/  I do know that you were given this information before, but I want you to be clear on what she means by tapering. 
 
Did you read the tips for tapering off Remeron in the above quote? 
Here are the different methods for tapering from the Remeron/mirtazapine page:
1.With a digital scale: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1596-using-a-digital-scale-to-measure-doses/  At lower doses, I have seen others suggesting adding one of the weights that come with the scale to make it more accurate,  The weights are used for testing the scale, but they work well as extra weight.
2.In the UK, mirtazapine liquid is available from Rosemont Pharmaceuticals in Leeds. https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/27430(look for the oral solution).
3.You may wish to make a suspension of it yourself with water or a pharmaceutical liquid such as Ora-Plus. See How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules Refrigerate the DIY suspension for up to 5 days, then discard. Water solubility of mirtazapine is "slight", so this may not be the best way to go.
4.With a prescription, you can have a liquid made by a compounding pharmacy. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1425-compounding-pharmacies-us-uk-and-elsewhere/
5.Compounding pharmacies can make a liquid from the tablets. You will need a prescription written for the custom compound. The only drawback is this can be quite expensive.
6.Reduce by making a liquid with the "orally disintegrating" tablets- You may be able to dissolve the orally disintegrating tablets ("Soltabs") in water and use an oral syringe to take a measured dosage. I couldn't find any reports of doing this but, since the orally disintegrating tablet is designed to dissolve in saliva, it seems likely to work.

Above 2, 4, 5 or 6 seem the easiest way to go.  I hope this info has made things easier in deciding how to slowly decrease the dose.
 
Please give any update- is he eating at all, or coming out of his room?
 
I hope he is feeling better, even a little!
Skeeter

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

Dear Altostrata and Skeeter

 

I did read the information about tapering.  But I wince every day he continues taking this medicine and we move into the second month.  I do not really think it has helped much at all with his obsession and in addition he has new problems.  He does not want to eat during the day, but gorges during the night. although his appetite is reduced from when he was taking 15mg for the first 15 days.  He is happiest in bed in a darkened room and as I mentioned, from when he started this new medication mid-November, he feels the need to be next to an open window. He cannot explain why.  He also is suffering from headaches and stiff neck and limbs, which I'm sure he didn't have before going onto Mirtazapine.   It is difficult to get him up and about, but he has gone out for a walk with a friend today.   He says he does not know who he is and can see no hope for the future.  He gets frustrated and irritable and keeps saying he has done everything wrong.  He is constantly thinking of the past, which although it might not good have been good at the time, seems rosy to him now.  He is a little less charged and anxious from when he was 7 months cold turkey, but somehow more remote. I would love him to be off this poison that he is currently taking.

 

But he has to find the determination within himself to realize that it is the medicine which is causing his problem and find some reserve of hope and patience that with time he will recover and for the moment that seems to be lacking.

 

Thank you so much for your input.

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

In addition, I am very uncertain as to whether Mirtrazapine was the right medication to reinstate with.

Share this post


Link to post
nz11   
nz11

Thats why its always good to check in with sa to get a second opinion.

 

It makes it very hard to help pick up the pieces after the fact.

 

Im so sorry your family is in this situation. You are not alone this whole site is full of the iatrogenically harmed.

Share this post


Link to post
DrugfreeProf   
DrugfreeProf

Distraut, I have seen the same kinds of behaviors in Lexi, as far as things like needing a window open, sitting in a cold room, etc. that I am sure seem so strange to you.  This is one of the symptoms that have changed and improved over the last few months, but not so long ago she had to have every curtain and blind in the house open, and she had to keep peeking outside the windows. The high anxiety, dread, and sense of doom appear to be very very common among people suffering protracted withdrawal.  It is very hard to sit with someone going through this--all the more your own precious offspring.  Such a helpless feeling, wanting to help them but nothing seems to work. This too will pass--he will get better, the symptoms will change and improve, slowly but surely.

 

I will stay in touch with you through PM as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata   
Altostrata

It sounds like the mirtazapine has affected his sugar metabolism. This can have far-reaching effects.

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

 

It sounds like the mirtazapine has affected his sugar metabolism. This can have far-reaching effects.

 

Could you please explain this further Altostrata? 

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

 

I will stay in touch with you through PM as well.

Thank you so much DrugfreeProf!

Share this post


Link to post
Distraut   
Distraut

I have been reading the article on diabetes and Mirtazapine, which I'm not sure I fully understand and would be most grateful if you could explain it in simpler terms for us. 

 

But I was very concerned that when Paolo was put on 15mg of the drug, he was desperate to get his hands on sweets, chocolates and sugary drinks.  Since he reduced his dose to 7.5 mg this had reduced slightly.  He eats very little during the day but at  nighttime raids the fridge.  I am hiding all the sweet stuff as best I can - difficult over Christmas.  I would really like him to get off this medicine.  It has not helped much, if at all, in curbing his obsession, and the few small windows he got before he restarted the medicine seem now to have gone.

 

Would you advise starting a small tapering starting now?

 

Most grateful for your opinion

 

I will ask him about light sensitivity and get back to you.  I do know he hates waking in the morning.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Create an account

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

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.