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Waterfall

Moderator note:  link to Waterfall's members-only benzo thread - Waterfall: What dose to try now: Taking Clonazepam on AD withdrawal

 

 

Wow.  I feel nervous.  Like I've just stepped out onto a big stage.  With big lights.  And the crowd beyond the edge, of the lights, of the stage, is all fuzzy and indistinct, sitting out there in the dark.  Is this microphone on?  

 

I chose Waterfall for my name, because it's one of those things that can be seen from so many different perspectives.  A waterfall can be seen as a wonderful thing of beauty.  It can also be seen as destructive, a changing force.  It can be a small trickle.  I can also be a torrent.  They can bring life sustaining water, or they can bring a flood.  Some of the greatest waterfalls are considered some of natures greatest wonders.  But close up they can also be noisy and wet.  It's all in how you look at it.  And which waterfall you meet.  

 

Anyway.  Me.  Who am I?  Well.  A waterfall.  Pretty in my own way.  And also messy.  Changed by the floods and droughts of life.  

I'm also philosophical, apparently.  And I talk a lot.  Especially when I am nervous.  

 

I've struggled with anxiety since I was 5, or so I'm told.  It's been there as long as I can remember.  The details blur over the years, but I think the first time I also struggled with depression, that I'm aware of, was in my teens.  I've always struggled.  Always wondered why I felt so broken compared to everyone else.  And why everything seemed extra hard for me.  

 

I was first prescribed Wellbutrin as a teen.  I no longer remember what I told that doctor.  Whether it was more about anxiety.  Or depression.  But I didn't take it.  I was next prescribed Prozac when I was pregnant with my first child, at 21.  I didn't take it then either.  

 

I first actually took something when I was in my twenties, I took Wellbutrin for 6-9 months.  I no longer remember exactly.  But other than feeling euphoric about doing something, when I first started it, I never noticed any other change.  And since I wasn't supposed to take it and be pregnant, I quit, cold turkey, to become pregnant with my second child in 2010.  I have always thought that I felt no symptoms after stopping.  None.  But now I wonder.  I started a downturn in my health mid-pregnancy, beginning a sudden flare up of something akin to eczema or atopic dermatitis, in response to a cream that I had previously never reacted to.  In the following months, I reacted to just about everything.  Ever soap or cream or perfume I touched.  I continued to struggle with general feelings of ill health, for the next several years, until I was pregnant with my 4th in 2014.  The whole pregnancy was really tough.  I had been pregnant three times before, but this... this time was complete misery.  I told myself to survive until the baby was born.  And he was.  And I crashed.  Hard.  Really hard.  I panicked.  And couldn't sleep.  And couldn't stay calm.  And I was weak.  And shaky.  

 

And so after a bit of trial and error, they put me on Clonazapam and Citalopram near the end of the year.  I used the Clonazapam for a few weeks while they slowly upped the Citalopram to 40 mg.  And there I stayed.  It was still a struggle for quite some time, but I slowly improved.  In 2016, I moved.  Spring 2017, I felt like I was slipping again.  Slowly feeling worse and worse, and afraid, because I was already on drugs, what would I do if I crashed now?  

So I went to see a different doctor.  She started me on Gaba.  And a few other supplements to help with sleep and general health.  

 

And then, oh, clever me, I stopped citalopram.  In June.  Cold turkey.  Stupid.  I know.  I don't know anymore what I was thinking.  I only remember that I thought it was a really good idea at the time.  And it wasn't a planned thing.  I'd missed renewing my prescription, so I hadn't taken it for about a week, so I consulted with this new doctor, and asked her if it made sense to just keep not taking it.  She agreed.  Gave me a prescription anyway, in case I needed some again, or if I couldn't handle it.  I never took any.  

 

After that I had a decent summer.  I thought all was well.  I still struggled, but considering that I can't remember not struggling.  Ever.  I thought on the whole I was doing pretty good.  Kept busy, for me anyway.  I've never been able to be as busy as most people seem to be.  But we went to the beach a few times.  Visits to the splash pad.  Some quiet days at home.  Somewhere in there the new doctor started me on something called MoodRx that apparently has St. John's Wort in it.  Apparently couldn't start that until I had been long enough off of the citalopram.  Spent the end of the summer getting lots of veggies and berries into the freezer.  Started to get a bit stressed about a visit from the in-laws.  Turned my house upside-down in anticipation of their visit. 

And they came.  And all was going well.  I felt on top of the world.  And then.

 

And then I crashed.  Hard.  Again.  Sept 18.  I was spending the day with the kids and my in-laws.  First I felt a bit off.  But I soldiered on.  I panicked in the grocery store.  Felt super nauseated.  But I calmed down again.  Struggled off and on throughout the day until school pick-up for the kids off the bus.  Then I lost it.  Panicked.  And couldn't calm down.  Felt absolutely horrible.  

 

And I've been struggling hard ever since.  Sometimes I think I'm starting to feel better.  Other times I think I feel worse than ever.  When it first happened, I went to the doctor a lot.  We stopped the St. John's Wort stuff.  Still not sure if I was having a bad reaction to it, or not.  I also stopped, over time, taking everything else.  At this point, the only thing I'm taking is 0.25mg of citalopram each morning, just to help me to survive.  And I'm starting to try to take some vitamins and minerals again, in the hopes that it will help with some of the symptoms.  

 

At this point what makes the most sense to me, particularly in light of what I have read on this site, is that I'm suffering from withdrawal from the citalopram that I stopped back in June.  And possibly made worse by a reaction to the St. John's Wort.  But I really don't know what' going on.  I'm scared.  And I just wish I knew what was going on, and what the right thing to do was.  

 

One of the biggest things I struggle with is the fear and panic.  My biggest trigger is health and physical symptoms.  If I had read this site first, maybe I'd have done things differently.  I like to think I would have.  I also periodically have crying binges, where I just can't seem to help crying, and crying, and crying.  And I'm not one who normally cries a lot.  But once I've cried for a while, it seems to pass again.  I've had some of the darkest, most depressed thoughts.  About everything being hopeless.  And pointless.  Sometimes I just get irritable.  One of the other major symptoms is a chest pain I have.  They've already listened to my heart.  Checked my blood pressure.  I've had a general blood work-up twice in the last year.  Once this past spring, and once last fall.  Nothing came up.  My iron isn't low.  My blood sugar level is fine.  My heart enzymes are good.  But my chest hurts.  This last week, my heart has started a sort of swoony/weird/almost like a flutter but not really kinda feeling.  And this morning I woke up with pain in my back and neck and arm and chest.  The worst I've had yet.  I could barely get up this morning and I almost couldn't turn my neck.  Sometimes when I did, it felt like someone was stabbing in my ear, or in my throat or chest bone.  I also struggle with lot of numbness and tingling in my hands and feet.  And sometimes my muscles all hurt.  And sometimes my joints hurt.  And I feel weak.  And sometimes shaky.  And did I mention panicky?  And emotional?  Sometimes my vision seems a little funny.  Or my hearing.  But it comes and then goes quickly.  And is gone again.  I've developed a cough, and I'm scared because I had bronchitis and strep throat 2 or 3 times last year.  And that was still on the meds.  And how could I forget the heart pounding?  Oh, I have lots of heart pounding.  Sometimes I do things, and nothing happens.  But so often when I stand up.  Or go up the stairs.  Or wake up in the morning.  Or lie down at night, my heart pounds.  And pounds.  

 

I don'y know what's causing what.  I just want to feel better.  I've seen several different doctors.  I've also seen a couple different therapists.  Mostly they say there is nothing at all wrong with me, except in my head.  One told me maybe it was lyme disease.  Or maybe not.  My main doctor wants me back on more drugs.  The second lady I saw recently also wanteed me back on citalopram.  I tried.  I can't.  If I take it.  Even one 10mg pill, no matter what time of day, I wake up the following morning, early, panicking, and burning/tingling from head to toe.  So my main doctor wants me to try another antidepressant.  I don't want more drugs, but I'm not sure I can do without them.  I just don't know what to do.  Today was one of the roughest days yet.  I'm in pain, and I'm panicky, and depressed and it all feels so hopeless.  

 

Since 2014, when I saw someone who gave me, for the first time, a diagnosis, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and prescription, after which I improved, my husband now believes that's the answer.  My brain is broken, and I need drugs.  Don't I see it?  That's the only answer.  So he's always pushing me to take more drugs.  Take more of the clonazapam.  Go back on citalopram.  Get a new prescription.  Just take something already!  But I don't want to.  Most days i can make it through with only the one Clonzapam.  And that's it.  But I am having a tough time.  I've tried different diet options.  I've tired a few different supplements.  I just don't know what else to do.  I don't know who's ideology to follow.  

 

So like I said.  Right now, I'm taking 0.25mg Clonazapam every morning.  Just to survive the day.  And I don't eat dairy, or use any perfume, in order to keep the reactions in my skin to a minimum.  I'm trying to take a multivitamin , plus vitamin D, a vitamin B complex, and a multi mineral.  I'm most afraid of this chest/neck/back/arm pain right now.  

 

I could really use some encouragement and some help deciding which course of action to take.  I've done some reading on here already and found some helpful stuff.  I'm just wondering what people might have to say that's specific to my case.  Feel free to point out specific threads on here that people have already written that may be helpful.  

 

And in advance, thank you.  Whatever you have to offer, thank you.  It's been really tough, and I can use every little bit of help I can get.  

And to all of you who have struggled and are struggling, I wish you all the best.  I wish you health and strength.  Some of you are amazing, what you've been through, or are going through, and still making it through the day, I applaud you.  Some of the stuff you've dealt with sounds so much worse than what I'm dealing with.  I only wish I could be half as tough as some of you are.  Keep on keeping on.  

 

Edited by Shep
added moderator note with link to benzo thread

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ChessieCat

Hi Waterfall,

 

Welcome to SA.  There is a lot of very useful information on this site and the members are supportive.  If you click on the drug tags (top left under the topic title) you can find other members with the same tag.  I would encourage you to visit other members' topics so you can get to know them and you can support each other.

 

Here are some topics which you might find helpful:

 

Brain Remodelling


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

This is your own Intro topic where you can ask questions and journal your progress.

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Altostrata

Welcome, Waterfall.

 

You mentioned you are taking 0.25mg citalopram every morning, but I think you mean 0.25 clonezapam.

 

It is possible the clonezapam is causing some rebound symptoms when it wears off. This can be jolts of anxiety or panic and other symptoms. Please keep daily notes on paper of your symptoms, when you take your drugs, and their dosages.

 

It's important to get at least a half-hour of gentle exercise, such as walking, every day, to calm the nervous system. How are you sleeping?

 

You might want to try a little bit of each of these supplements to start, to see how they affect you. Many people find they help.

 

King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

 

It also sounds like you have health anxiety. This is something you can learn to manage, with meditation, which you can teach yourself, or cognitive behavior therapy.

 

See 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms

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Madeleine

Welcome waterfall. Glad you found us. It does sound like you experienced delayed withdrawal around the time the inlaws visited. Stress can bring it in. Alto is right that learning non drug techniques for dealing with stress is very helpful. 

 

Clonazepam us a benzodiazepine and you could be having inter dose  withdrawals:  little mini withdrawal episodes of anxiety when your previous dose wears away and you have not yet taken the next dose.  Take a look at the benzodiazepines section on this forum.  there's info there on how to deal with it and how to taper it. 

 

Hugs and and best wishes, 

 

m

 

 

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Waterfall

Thank you guys for responding.  

There's so much here to read, it's a little overwhelming.  

The days are so up and down.  

I hope that I will someday reach a day again when it doesn't feel like everything is a struggle.  

 

I am mostly sleeping alright at the moment.  I have a bit of trouble settling down in the evening, 

so sometimes my sleep is a lot shorter than I'd like, but once I fall asleep, I usually sleep well

at least until early morning.  I have been waking up a lot lately in the early morning 5-6 o'clock

when I don't need to get up until 7, but I've been getting better at staying calm, waiting patiently

through whatever symptoms I have, and going back to sleep, or if not back to sleep, I at least 

lay quietly in bed with my eyes closed, I figure that still counts as rest.  It's just frustrating because

I tend to fall asleep, or feel extremely sleepy at somewhat random times through the day.  My 

goal has been to try to sleep 8 hours a night, in the hopes that the sleep episodes during the day

would go away.  So far I haven't been able to get that much sleep, but I feel with that as a goal, 

I at least get more sleep than if I had no goal at all.  I'm tracking it on my fitbit right now, and 

my average for this week is 7 hours 15 minutes.  I figure that's pretty good.  

 

Yes, you are right, it's 0.25 mg Clonazepam that I am taking once a day.  I really don't want to be

taking it, especially since the reading I've done suggest that the benzodiazapines give some of 

the worst withdrawal symptoms.  Which is why I am very reluctant to take any more, despite my 

doctor's encouragement to take as much as I need, unless I have a really rough day.  One that I

feel I can't handle otherwise.  But I'm also a little afraid to stop taking it right now.  Again, in light

of what I've read here, I think that keeping steady for a bit without changing anything seems 

wise.  I had two days (not next to each other) recently where I forgot to take it in the morning like

I usually do, and those days were pretty miserable.  I'm hoping to reach a stable point, and then

taper it properly, which means slowly.  Not like I did with the citalopram.  

 

Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind.  Like I can't think straight.  Or like I'm not myself.  Some

days I feel so dark and it all feels so discouraging and pointless.  It feels so tiring trying to stay

sane in the midst of all these feelings.  

 

It's hard to eat, but eating feels so important.  I can do nothing all day, and not feel like I've recharged

at all.  It's always a struggle to stay calm and relaxed.  Just surviving feels like a challenge.  Sometimes

I feel so tense, or jittery.  Other times I just sit here because I just don't feel like doing anything.  I just

don't seem to have the energy to do the things I dream of doing.  Even the simplest of things I usually

enjoy to just relax a little, I just don't... enjoy. 

 

I really need some hope that this is going to get better.  It's so, so, so dicouraging.  

 

Thanks again for the input ChessieCat, Altostrata, and Madeleine.  I'll keep slowly reading, and learning,

and hopefully growing and changing.  I yearn for a day when I can move past these fears and these 

symptoms and live a more normal life, struggling with only the more normal things.  Energy... energy

would be nice... *sigh*.  

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JanCarol

 

Hey Waterfall - welcome!
 

In my practice, Waterfall is about flowing, about adapting to change - the ability to jump off cliffs and start anew in a new form in a new place.  About fluidity, flexibility, and feeling:  Shaman Explorations - Waterfall

 

It definitely sounds like you went into withdrawal during your pregnancy - all of those symptoms are pretty classic.  What docs don't realise is that - withdrawal can hang over you like a guillotine and it takes the candle to burn the rope (a stressor) before the guillotine falls....So you can withdraw and be fine for months - and then - WHAM! You have a family event and your endocrine system fires up - and what it finds when it fires - is that it's not in equillibrium.  That's when withdrawal hits.

It sounds like that is what happened with your citalopram CT, too.

And - September - it sounds like you might be also having some St. John's Wort withdrawals.  We treat St. John's Wort like an SSRI or SNRI (I've read various descriptions of it) and it should not be stopped cold turkey.  Just because it's "natural" or "herbal," doesn't mean it won't perturb neurotransmitters!  What else was in the St. John's Wort supplement?  This could be important, too.

Also - what other supplements are you on?  GABA should be fine - but B vitamins (for example) are very popular to give out for "mood disorder," when really they can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms.  Please list your supplements for review. 

Crying is awesome good.  It doesn't feel like it when you are in it, but it is the gentlest, most natural healing detox you can do.  It boosts endorphins, and smooths your emotional flow.  Waterfall.  Just remind yourself of all of the things you numbed before - and appreciate that you can feel now.

Feelings get blocked by antidepressants.  In order to block the "bad" feelings, the positive ones are blocked too.  In withdrawal, I've found that the "bad" feelings - sadness, grief, anger, irritation - are the first to return.  By flowing with your tears (as best you can, there are times and places), you are opening yourself up to the miracles of positive feelings, too.

The chest pain, fluttery stuff, is common in withdrawal, too!  We don't recommend a lot of supplements, but many of us have gotten good results from Magnesium.  What form you take is important.  The common form of magnesium oxide is as cheap as rocks, and you may as well be chewing rocks for the amount of good it does.  Magnesium citrate is an affordable, absorbable form if you can tolerate it.  Read the link to find out more.  Magnesium helps immensely with cardiac weirdness, and many of us have eliminated these problems entirely with magnesium.

 

For a rapid "chill down," consider bathing with  Epsom Salts - Another Way to Relax with Magnesium .  

All of the aches and pains and flu-like symptoms that you list are common occurrences in withdrawal.  So much so that some people call it "the withdrawal flu."   Here is a list of common symptoms, and if you want, you can print out a bunch of them and use them to track your own symptoms:  Dr. Joseph Glenmullen's Most Common symptoms of Withdrawal

 

On 26/11/2017 at 11:37 AM, Waterfall said:

I'm trying to take a multivitamin , plus vitamin D, a vitamin B complex, and a multi mineral

 

Okay, that's what I'm looking for.  Please avoid "multi" ANYTHING.  If you react to it (and you know that you can be hypersensitive to anything!) then you do not know what it is you are reacting to.  

Eliminate the multivitamin and the B-complex first.  First off, multivitamins are not getting the best reviews at Consumer Labs right now - they contain too much of many things in combinations with conflicting things, and the manufacturing quality of "reputable brands" is often not what is on the label!  70% of multivitamins tested failed Consumer Labs' review!  Multis are a shotgun approach to make sure you "get enough," but are really all about the marketing. 

 

Here's my other concern:  B vitamins: Hypersensitive to B Vitamin or B-Complex   While it is often a first response to stress to take a B-Complex, in withdrawal it can be overstimulating.

i don't know about the multi mineral - but here's a clue:  if it has calcium, magnesium, and iron in it - then stop taking it.  Anyone who bundles these together doesn't realise (or care) that they cancel each other out in the absorption competition.  The same is true if it has copper with zinc.  They absorb each other in metabolism, and should be taken separately.  And many practitioners believe you should never take copper at all - that we get too much copper in our diets*, and not enough zinc.  So if your multi-mineral is mixing all this stuff up, you are just wasting your money and possibly causing problems for your system.

 

*and - for those of us who are challenged with moods, copper can increase emotional volatility!

 

It's better to take one thing at a time.  B vitamins, for example, are cheap.  Once you get stable (that will be awhile yet), you can consider adding them back in one at a time, like B12 (many of us are deficient) or Niacin (excellent for mood stabilization).  But complexes do not take into consideration that your individual needs might call for a lot of niacin, and not very much B6 and maybe no Folate at all.  Or maybe you have methylation issues, and need to take certain forms of B vitamins.  The complexes usually give you 50 mg of everything, (a popular mix).  

The Vitamin D - eliminate the other ones first.  Many of us are D deficient, and D (which is actually a hormone) is involved in a lot of important cascades in the body.  However - many people find it to be overstimulating in withdrawal and cannot take it:   http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/39-vitamin-d3-cholecalciferol-or-calcitriol/   It really is best to get your Vitamin D levels tested, as that is the only way to know how much you need.  Even if you are deficient - if you find that you are reacting to it (making withdrawals worse) - don't worry, you can survive on sunlight.  It's not optimal (good vitamin D levels help with sleep, headaches, eczema, cardiovascular issues), but it's only temporary until you are feeling better. 

Eliminate the B-Complex, the Multivitamin, and probably the Multimineral, first.  Then add back in good magnesium, and if you can tolerate it, Omega-3 fish oil .   Fish oil helps lubricate the nervous system, like "oiling the wheels," so that your nerves fire smoothly, and acts as a mild anti-inflammatory, so could help with some of your joint problems.  Make these changes GRADUALLY - like:  

Week 1 - eliminate B complex

Week 2 - eliminate multivitamin

Week 3 - eliminate multi-mineral

Week 4 - add 1/2 dose magnesium.

Week 5 - increase magnesium to full dose  (you may wish to divide it into 2 doses, 1/2 in the afternoon, 1/2 in the evening.  Magnesium can have anti-anxiety effects, too.)

Week 6 - add one capsule Fish oil.  
Week 7 - increase fish oil by 1 capsule a week until you are at the maximum dose you can tolerate.  The brain likes between 6000-8000 IU of fish oil a day, but you may not be able to go that high until your withdrawals settle down.  

If you are still having problems after these changes, then you may have to eliminate the Vit. D, too.

Keep an eye on your cardio symptoms - magnesium might address that.  I take 800 mg a day, and still have some breakthrough cardiac weirdness.  I know people whose wobbly fluttery things stopped at around 600 mg of quality magnesium per day.

Start up the Epsom Salts baths (or Mag Chloride, if you can find it - my favourite) and see if you can get your system calmed down.

Take care going to natural and other practitioners - they will want to "detox" you, or throw mood altering supplements at you, and may actually make your withdrawals worse.  The only treatments you should accept should be calming, soothing, comforting.  This can be massage or acupuncture - but again, make sure it is calming, not stimulating.

 

13 hours ago, Waterfall said:

I am mostly sleeping alright at the moment

 

That is a gift!  Awesome good!  You are over 6 months out from your antidepressant, and 3 months out from your St. John's Wort - so you're not the best candidate for reinstatement.

That you are sleeping (and crying) is excellent, and shows that you are healing.

The only other thing I see here is that Alto is concerned about rebound anxiety and daily withdrawals from the clonazepam.  It is one of the longer lasting drugs, and usually breakthrough symptoms don't happen with a daily dose.  Usually.  

What brings my attention to it is - in your signature - you say you started it Sept 18, and that you've been on rough ground ever since.  So it may be a culprit.

One way to find out is to split it in half, and work on moving the 2nd half (.125 mg!) an hour a day until they are 12 hours apart.

So if you take your clonazepam at 8 am, take 0.125 at 8 am and 0.125 at 9 am.  Try that for 3 days.

Then move the 2nd dose to 10 am.  Wait another 3 days.

Then move the 2nd dose to 11 am.  You can wait another 3 days - or if this is going smoothly and you are doing better, you can decrease the wait time in between moves.  Try 2 days.

Be very careful with shortening wait times.  3 days is the time it takes for a blood plasma change.  Changes can stack up, so that you don't feel the first or second change until after you've made the 3rd change. 

But wait before moving the clonazepam until you've got your supplements sorted out.

I'm sorry this is a lot of information in one post - but I never know when I can come back to visit, so I like to cover all the bases I can see.  You can always come back and read and re-read to see if you pick up on more.  This information should keep you going well into next year, when combined with Non Drug Techniques for Coping with Emotional Symptoms .

I hope you see the sun today!

 

 

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Waterfall

Well.  When I'm in a window, I don't feel the need to post.  When swallowed by a wave, I can't find the energy and brain power to post.  

Right now I'm hoping that I'm riding out the crest of this wave into another window.  Here's hoping.  

I'm also hoping that there something to the idea that I read recently that symptoms peak at 6 months. 

I want that to be true, because I'm near the 6 month mark and I would love things to get better.  

I can remember times where I felt better.  And I want to feel better again.  

Though I know the things I've been through have definitely made me stronger and braver.  

 

So.  Thank you for all your input JanCarol.  

I wanted to update with the fact that, despite what I said before, for a few weeks already, I have been taking only 0.25mg of Clonazepam once a day. 

I was trying to go back to taking Vitamin D, but I am so spooked about taking anything, and pretty forgetful right now, so I haven't done that either. 

 

The last few days I've really been struggling with heart symptoms. My chest has been hurting a lot, and I've had a lot of sharp pangs, as well as a 

lot of funny feeling heartbeats.  I'm not sure whether they feel like palpitation to me or not, they feel more like a single beat that went wonky.  If that's 

a palpitation, well, it just doesn't feel like the ones I've had before.  Sometimes the pain feels like it's in my back instead.  Once in a while I feel it on 

the right side as well, or instead.  My neck and arm also hurt on my left side.  My shoulder.  Pretty much anything on that left side of my body. 

 

So, I've been trying to start taking a magnesium supplement as you suggested.  My nausea is also worse right now.  I've even had the runs the past 

couple days, which may be part of a virus that's going around, or just my body having another fit or some kind.  Part of me wonders if the runs are 

possibly connected to the magnesium, but I really want to try to keep it steady for a bit, to see if it helps.  I took it a few times before, and the heart

flutters/misbeat thingys hadn't bothered me for a little while.  

 

Woah.  Went to deal with my little boys for a minute, and was reminded of another thing.  Been really light headed today.  Woke up with persistant

thoughts this morning.  Want to keep track of some of these things to see if I can see what's happening over time.  I keep meaning to keep a record,

but I seem to lack to mental energy to do so right now.  I've never been able to keep up a journal of any time so far in my life, despite several attempts. 

 

Anyway.  I'm really struggling today.  This chest pain is the worst, but I'm struggling in general.  Oh, that's right.  My hands and feet were really cold as

well this morning.  Just one thing after another.  I wish I could trade the chest thing for brain zaps or something.  Anything but this chest pain.  Okay...

just about anything.  I'm sure there is something out there that I would dislike even more.  Like being dizzy.  I really don't like that either.  I have struggled

with that before.  Thankfully that is not a symptom that has presented itself a lot lately.  It feels more like my heart is dizzy.  

 

Oh, I was going to mention which type of magnesium I was taking, since you mentioned more than one kind and I wasn't sure how this one fit with the

kinds you mentioned.  I guess it's not specifically only a magnesium supplement, though magnesium is the only listed medical ingredient.  There are 

no other listed ingredients at all.  But it's made from Utah's Great Salt Lake inland seawater.  I read here now that there are 260 mg of magnesium in 

40 drops.  It suggests 10-20 drops in a glass of water or beverage once or twice a day.  I've been doing about 10 drops, once a day.  I also noticed just

now that it says some people may experience a laxative effect that will disappear when reducing the dose.  So maybe that is the source of my runs.  

 

I just want to feel better.  So badly. 

 

Which reminds me.  I don't want to have to keep taking the Clonazepam, but I'm afraid to go off it as well right now, since I'd like to reach a balance that

I can handle first.  I'm also curious how it is that splitting the dose and slowly spreading it apart will show me anything.  If I do this, what should I expect

to see?  What will it accomplish?  

 

It's really frustrating right now because everyone is trying to push me to take more drugs.  I was having a rough time this morning, so my husband 

really was pushing me to take another clonazepam.  My doctor really wants me to be on another antidepressant.  He's willing to try them all if necessary.

I really don't want to do that.  I don't think that's the answer.  But am I wrong?  I don't know.  Clearly I was wrong to come off the citalopram the way I did

in the first place.  It was definitely the wrong thing to go onto the St. John's Wort concoction.  But what is the right path?  I'm having trouble finding the 

balance of the right amount of being busy and taking it easy.  Of eating enough, and not too much.  Of paying enough attention to eating healthy, without

getting overly stressed about everything I eat.  

 

Oh, which reminds me of another thing.  I've already realized that I react strongly right now to trying to go back onto the citalopram, which my doctor was

hoping to do.  Does anyone know if it's normal to also react poorly to things like tylenol, or advil, or even cough drops with menthol in them?  And then I 

was also wondering, does this over-sensitive response to medicines and supplements and all pills and solution taken orally eventually go away?  Or is it

permanent?  

 

I think that's all for now.  Thank you to any and all who take the time to read my blathering, and especially to those who take the time to respond and offer

their advice and encouragement.  I've already been much encouraged by all much that I have read, of all that I have learned of the struggles, setbacks, and 

successes of others who have gone before, or who are today walking this path of odd symptoms and daily struggle.  I am glad that I am not alone.  

 

Best wishes, 

Waterfall

 

Edit: Totally planning to take an Epsom salts bath tonight if I can find the energy.  At least I already have some around.  

 

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Waterfall

Oh.  Another new symptom I forgot about.  My heart used to pound, while keeping a regular heartbeat.  

Now it's started to race, while not pounding.  I will just feel funny, and since I wear a fitbit, I've noticed

that sometimes when I feel funny my heart rate will be high, like 100-120 even if I'm sitting still, or

perhaps standing around talking.  One of many feelings that I don't like having.  Of course I still get 

times when my heart pounds, but then my heart rate will be lower in a more normal range.  So doesn't

make any sense to me.  I find it so hard not to let these symptoms scare me. 

 

My underlying condition, at the start of everything, is health anxiety.  This.  Sucks.  

BUT, trying to stay upbeat.  Stay as busy as I can handle.  Rest when I can.  Keep smiling when I can.  

And do whatever I can to make it through each day.  

Even an especially lousy one like today.  

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Waterfall

I also thought previously, that once you crash, recovery, while it may follow a waves and windows pattern, the general direction would be an upward one.  

But it seems from reading posts from other people, that this is not always the case.  Sometimes it is.  Maybe it often it is.  But sometimes it may feel like

it's still getting worse for a while.  Especially in the first year.  Or two.  I'm not sure, since I'm not that far yet.  But that's still good to know, since I really 

can't tell at this point whether things are getting much better or not.  I certainly have days where I feel worse than I think I've ever felt, especially if I've had

a new symptom pot up again.  Other days I feel like I'm just back at square one again, doing just as bad as ever I have.  So knowing it may still get worse

before it gets better, or even that it might not feel like it's getting better for a while yet, gives me hope that if others felt this way, and still feel that they've

achieved some measure of success further down the road, than I can too.  Even if it doesn't feel like it right now.  

 

It's just so hard to believe that there isn't something else actually wrong with me.  Some underlying medical concern.  But all my life I've passed every 

test with flying colours.  Or at least nearly so.  A little anemia with one pregnancy.  A bladder infection somewhere along the way.  But major health 

issues?  I've never had any.  Despite countless tests.  Including one MRI, one CT scan, several ECGs and ultrasounds, and lots of blood tests.  My 

blood pressure is always ideal.  My blood sugars normal.  Iron.  Thyroid.  All are good right now.  

 

So it's my brain.  My central nervous system.  And it feels like it's being really mean to me right now.  

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Waterfall

Well.  Trying hard to stay positive today.  

Some of my family has been down with a nasty cold/flu.  

My eldest was hit hard with coughing, aches, and fever. 

I've been coughing for weeks.  Had some aches too. 

Yesterday I woke up after a good long sleep feeling pretty good. 

And then I had a terrible panic attack. 

After coming across a short excerpt about a man who died of serotonin syndrome. 

I had a hard time for most of the day.  

Finally thought I'd come out the other side. 

Unexpectedly had another panic attack while watching an evening show with my husband. 

I was watching and eating a piece of pie, when I just started feeling awful. 

Jittery, shaky, nauseated.  Just out of the blue.  

I tried to ignore and it sort of came and went in waves.  

Left me feeling puzzled and discouraged.  

Had a much harder time than I have lately in settling down and falling asleep last night. 

When I finally laid in bed, I felt hot, and my feet burned.

Woke up again at 4:30 just feeling jittery.  

Got up for a few minutes.  Laid back down again. 

And then kept having waves of nausea, or heartburn, or just general abdominal discomfort/pain.  

Finally fell back asleep for a little while again before I had to get up.  

Today, I'm feeling better than yesterday, I think.  

I think I've just felt fragile and on edge all day.  Feeling a little headachy, my appetite low, a liittle nauseated.  

I'm afraid of having another day like yesterday.  Afraid of having one lousy day after another.  

Afraid that this won't ever get better.  That I will struggle, feeling like I"m barely surviving, day after day, for the rest of my life. 

Each day feeling like I can't handle another day like this.  

Sometimes I have a day where I cry, and I wish I would stop.  

More often, I have days where I kind of wish I would cry, but whether I feel like I will, or not, I just don't.  

The tears, though sometimes they feel close, just don't come.  I almost only ever cry if I'm talking to someone.  

 

For days, I've kept coming back to check, saddened and discouraged that no one is answering me.  

But I've decided that it's okay.  

If people want to talk with me, answer me, encourage me, that's wonderful.  

I'm already grateful to the ones that have.  

I'm also grateful to others who have shared their journey and their insights in other threads that I've been able to read. 

There is more information here than I can process all at once anyway.  

And if no one is around to talk to me today, that's okay too.  

I can talk with myself.  Record.  Almost journal.  It still benefits me.  

And maybe, now, or in the future, it will benefit someone else that may read it.  

I've always been told that I should journal, and I've never been able to keep it up. 

Maybe this, whether I talk alone or with others, will provide a chronicle that I can't maintain any other way.  

 

In the meantime, I think I sound a lot more upbeat today that I feel.  

I feel so deeply, tiredly, discouraged.  

 

I will keep trying.  Trying to take care of myself.  

Trying to keep smiling.  At least every now and then.  

Take it one day.  Or one hour.  Or one moment at a time.  

Trying to find little glimmers of joy among the gloom and shadows.  

Among the trials and struggles, taking the time to smell the roses, as it were.  

Appreciate the little things.  Take note of the things I have, that others don't.  

 

I have a place to live.  It's dry, and warm.  I have food to eat.  In abundance.  

I have a vehicle.  I have a loving husband.  I have children.  

I can walk.  I can talk.  I can hear.  I can see.  I can smell.  I can touch.  And feel. 

I can rest.  I can drive.  I can read.  I can play games.  

 

There are many things I can't do.  There are lots of things I wish I could change.

I am much more limited right now that I would like to be. 

.But I am much less limited than I can lead myself to believe.  

 

I hope.  I wish and dream so hard, that one day I will get to write my success story here.  

That I will be on a place down this road, where I will feel good.  Feel happy.  Feel productive. 

Feel free.  Free of this weight that weighs so heavily right now.  

 

I want to grow.  To change.  To be flexible.  To go out and DO.  Not just, exist.  

 

That.  That is enough for today.  I think.  

 

 

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Waterfall

Having another really rough day today. 

I really hope that I have another window soon.  

Today I slept in.  At least, sort of.  I wasn't sleeping the whole time. 

I woke up several times throughout the night. 

But when I got up I felt really rough.  Shaky.  Nauseated.

My mind raced, but it was hard to actually hold onto a train of thought.  

I spent the first half hour coughing up gobs of phlegm.  

Now I'm still coughing.  Having trouble eating.  

Having trouble walking anywhere because my heart pounds. 

And I feel shaky and weak. 

My hands right now are very sweaty. 

I just want to sit here and cry.  

Any stray thought can cause a sudden flush and panic.  

Sometimes that happens anyway, and I don't even know what caused it.

I feel so fragile and volatile.  Afraid of losing my mind. 

It's all I can do to stay calm and survive. 

I don't know how some of you others do it.  

I'm so tired of trying.  

It's so hard to hold on to the hope that it will get better. 

I don't even know for sure if waiting this out will mean it gets better. 

Or if there is something I have to do first to feel better.  

I thought I was feeling a bit better for a short while.  

But now I feel worse again.  

I don't feel like I can handle this.  

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AliG

Hi Waterfall, It seems like you are experiencing typical window and waves ~ the anxiety and heart palpitations are normal withdrawal symptoms. How is the Clonazapam use going? Still once a day? Are you starting to gradually substitute non-drug techniques? That's the real way to gradually transition off these drugs. Please read up on the Symptoms and Self-Care section as it has a wealth of information on how to deal with withdrawal symptoms.

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

You have a positive attitude which will go a long way ~  :) 

Ali

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Waterfall

Alright.  

I came here to post 'Help, help, help!' but thankfully, I'm already feeling a little bit better.  

I still feel like I have trouble putting thought to paper.  

I'll never get anywhere, if I don't try. 

 

The stage fright has gone.  

Instead of feeling like I am standing on a stage in front of a crowd

I feel more like I am on a mountain top.  Alone. 

Shouting out to the canyons and mountain tops.  

Waiting. 

Hearing my own echo.  

Wondering, hoping, that someone will call back across the peaks. 

Afraid that I will stand here.  Alone.  Forever.  

 

Wow.  I was thinking it had been a really long time since JanCarol posted.  

I've reread you post quite a few times, JanCarol.  

Since that time I haven't changed anything, since at the time, I was actually only taking .25 mg Clonazepam.

Nothing else.

So.   Today's problem.  

For two days, I wasn't sure if I had taken my citalopram or not. 

I think maybe I didn't.  But I'm not sure.  

Normally my memory is pretty good.  

But lately...? 

So.  I don't know.  

But I thought benzodiazapenes like Clonazapam were bad. 

And I also thought they were supposed to be short term.  

I've already been on it for 3 1/2 months.

So... since I thought I'd forgotten twice already anyways... 

I decided to purposefully not take it.  

Once. 

Well.  Yesterday was rough.  Or was it two days ago?  

See?  I can't even keep track of how long it's been.  

 

Anyway.  

It was a rough day.  But I figured more than half the battle

was the fact that I was afraid of what would happen. 

Well.  Then there was today.  

It's holidays, so I've been sleeping in. 

But the last two days I've woken up at 7:00, roughly.  

When I was at my worst, I was waking up early as well. 

Though of course, at the time, early meant between 4:30 and 6:30. 

Because I was getting up on time every day, because of school.  

I'd also have other symptoms.  Feeling panicky, and my hands would be burning. 

 

So.  I woke up early this morning.  

And I felt funny.  

Heh.  Always, 'funny' eh?  I guess I'm not very good at describing it. 

More recently I've had it more that my feet get all sweaty. 

And that I often feel like I have to go pee. 

Instead of my hands burning.  

This morning my hands were kinda tingly. 

And my feet hurt.   That happens a lot lately too.

And my stomach today and yesterday has been upset. 

Had loose stool yesterday, had the outright runs this morning. 

Have had trouble getting my meals in.  Or snacks, for that matter.  

 

And most of all, my mind was just racing.  

Racing, racing, racing. 

Often a song just pounding it's way through my head over and over again. 

Songs from my childhood.  Or the radio.  

Oh, and I've also had weird things with my hearing lately. 

Just happened again, which is why I thought of it.  

 

Man, I'm rambling.  

Anyway, the racing of my thoughts was starting to overwhelm me. 

I wondered if I should take the Clonazapam again.  

Or if this was a withdrawal symptom that I just have to tough out,

because it will be brighter on the other side. 

If this is the 'right' thing to do, and I'll be fine long term, 

I can tough this out. 

If this is the 'wrong' thing to do, I don't want to make another mistake. 

Taking antidepressants in the first place was a mistake.  

Quitting citalopram cold turkey, was a mistake.  

Taking St. John's Wort at all, was a mistake.  

So am I making another mistake?  

Or should I just be tough, and things will get better?  

I'm a lot tougher than I used to be.  

Can I do this?  

Hah.  No one be me can answer likely answer that one. 

 

I've spent some time lately wondering if healing is possible for me. 

I've struggled for so long.  

That's why they give you drugs in the first place. 

I no longer believe that drugs are the answer.  

I never like them as a option.  

Thought I had to take them. 

Well... still not sure if I have to or not,

but fairly sure that whatever I think I need,

I'm pretty sure it's not drugs. 

Drugs, I'm pretty sure, made things worse. 

 

I've had anxiety since I was 5.  

Depression, at the very least, since I was 21.  

Probably earlier, but I first recognized it then. 

For years I've struggled to leave my chair all day. 

But I started really feeling sick after I took my first 

antidepressant.  

In 2009.  

Can I heal from the drugs I've taken?  

Can I heal from what I had in the first place, that made me take them?  

Is there hope that I may yet thrive?  

I could really use some hope right now. 

If only I knew how good I had it before this all started. 

I thought -that- was hard.  

 

This should be the end, but writing that reminded me...

I'm also afraid that if I stop taking citalopram, that my recent sensitization 

will make it so that I can't take it again.  

So I'll have nothing to fall back on if I need it again.  

I like the thought of having a safety net, at least. 

But lately, I haven't been able to take anything.

Except what I'm already taking.  

So what if I stop this, and then I can't restart it. 

Even if I wanted to?  

Do I want to?  

Not really. 

But what if I need to?  

Both times that I say that I've 'crashed' is because I start to panic

and I just can't stop.  This morning my brain felt like that. 

Like it was racing, and racing, and I couldn't make it stop. 

Now, when I did finally get out of bed, and come downstairs, 

I started to feel a little bit better. 

Or, at least my brain slowed down a little. 

 

I wish I knew what the future holds. 

Or maybe I don't.  

But I wish I knew this would get better.  

 

And somebody.  

Somebody please answer me.  

 

Or did I say something wrong?  

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Rosetta

Waterfall,

 

You are going to be okay.  Please believe me,  I'm a mom, too.  This is SO hard to endure; believe me I know.  I'm going to answer your in a second post in just a few minutes.  (Then,  I'm going to go offline today and be gone for quite a while.  I can't be a good support person right now,  and that's why I need to take a break, but I want you to have an answer quickly.)  I've been where you are: questioning everything and feeling alone.  

 

So, give me a few minutes to write out a worthwhile post to support you while you wait for a Moderator.  The Mods are stretched very thin right now.  The holidays and New Year's resolutions to quit ADs cause a surge in new members it seems.  The wait for an answer might be longer right now.  I'll be right back.  Hang in there.

 

Rosetta

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Rosetta

Waterfall,

 

****Please do not CT (Cold turkey quit) the benzo unless the Mod says that's an option.  

 

The Mods will probably tell you that you MUST taper the benzo if you want to avoid a strong reaction that is very debilitating; some people are addicted and absolutely cannot just stop the benzo (unless she is having a life threatening reaction.).   After just a couple of weeks some people are hooked on benzos.  You have been on it for months.  You might risk another destabilization of your brain if you do CT the benzo.  Please don't risk it.  In fact, I think I've read that CT of a benzo is a big no no for everyone.  There's some kind of risk to the heart - an electrical issue.  Maybe that's at high doses, but even if that's the case, a CT can't be good for the body for anyone.  That is a fact.

 

You don't need another CT on top of quitting citalopram CT (something I did per doctors orders and what started my journey into this Hell. I never got hooked on the benzo because I didn't take it very often.)

 

You didn't say anything wrong.  You are doing fine with your posts.  I understand that fear that I've said the wrong thing.  You didn't.  It's all volunteer here.  The Mods try to keep up with everyone.  It's very hard for them.  You can PM one of them if you wait more than 24 hours.  Just say, "Please see my thread ; I'm desperate.  Thank you.,  -- nothing more.

 

It WILL get better.  I am SO MUCH better!  Sometimes I think I should pinch myself to see if this is real life.  I dip down frequently, even every few hours, but the dips are more shallow and less scary.  I have now had enough waves and windows that I KNOW the window will come.  I am not as afraid of the wave when I feel it coming, and I can use my techniques to avoid a spiraling emotional spin out.  (See "emotional spiral" and ask Brass Monkey about them.).

 

You will be where I am before you know it ***if you taper properly.  Believe that.  (It's my understanding that benzos are different than ADs (my situation) in the respect that tapering is more important not less, but the healing pattern is the same - windows and waves.). It's very hard to believe you will heal until you have had a few windows in which you believe it's true that you will heal.  After that has happened a few times, you will KNOW you will heal.  

 

I have read hundredes of posts on this site before I joined and after.  I can't give you a time table for complete healing as it is different for everyone.  That is the hardest part.  Humans need certainty.  In this WD mess we can't have it, except the certainty that we are climbing out.  You will fall back a bit, but then you will climb higher than ever before.  Altostrata put up a graph showing the two steps up three steps back that is this slow climb out.  It's very disheartening to have a non-linear recovery, I know, but that's what it is.  We have to accept that and see the positive upward trajectory as the goal.

 

You may get there more quickly than I did.  There is no way to know.  It's not, IMO, how long you have been on the drug or whether you tapered or whether you took one drug or another.  Some people see patterns like that.  I don't have enough experience to see them, but I know my own experience.

 

I took either Celexa or Zoloft for almost 15 years.  I added occasional Xanax and nightly Trazodone at the end.  I essentially CT'd everything because I didn't know better.  I CT'd Celexa in 2011 to switch to Zoloft per doctor's orders (an OB).  I "tapered," very, very quickly, (6-8 weeks) Zoloft in Feb 2017, and I think that it was very similar to CT because it was so fast from a high dose after a long time use.  I CT'd Trazodone after about 30-60 days of using it nightly.  After all that, of course, not before, I found this site.  

 

I am So Much Better today than I could ever have dreamed possible at this point.  I feel normal for part of the day.  Sometimes it's almost all day if there is no stress.  I don't panic every time something goes wrong although I can't predict when I will panic.  I smile spontaneously.  I laugh spontaneously.  I can taste food that I used to love.  I have no DP, DR, or SI, and I haven't in quite a while.  The last time I had SI it was gone in an hour.  I can dream of baking, going for a hike, and playing with my child without thinking: that will never happen again.  Soon, I'll be doing those things and even bigger things.  Soon, I'll be normal. I can feel it!  (Maybe you don't know what DP and DR are.  I hope you never find out.  ****Please do not CT the benzo unless the Mod says that's an real, viable option.  I strongly suspect s/he will not say that.)

 

What is remarkable is that the time for getting to a positive attitude - the belief that you will heal -- can be shockingly short - in retrospect only.  While you are in the depths, it feels interminable.  I almost gave up many times.  I am so glad I didn't.   When I look back at the time it took to get out of the period that was unrelenting Hell -- all-day anxiety and depression, and fear and hopelessness and despair caused by WD -- I see it as so short compared to the life I have ahead of me.  Some people, especially those that taper properly, never experience unrelenting Hell, but the point is the same -- the worst of the worst seems so very short once you are beyond it.  It is so worth it to hold on!

 

Also, consider the suggestion someone gave you to take 1/2 the benzo dose in the morning and 1/2 at night.  When I took Xanax I didn't know about that trick.  I ended up on Trazodone at bedtime.  The doctor could have told me to split the benzo dose, but he didn't.  He ADDED another, of course.  That's the only answer most docs have.  Most have no idea what they are doing.  The Mods here do.  How ridiculous is that?!   Ask a mod if splitting the dose will help with the early morning wake up anxiety.

 

You said, "for two days I wasn't sure if I had taken my citalopram or not."  I think you meant clonazapam, not citalopram right?  If you can set a reminder (on your phone) to remember your dose, please do.  You need to keep taking it at the same time everyday.  This is so the timing of the symptoms you have can be seen in relation to the timing of your dose.  That will help the Mods decide how to help you.

 

You have to eat.  This was so hard for me.  I lost 20 pounds in the first 8 months after I CT'd Zoloft.  I'm still losing each time a wave causes anorexia or fear of toxins in food (something I never had before taking Zoloft.)  You just have to force it down.  You need protein.  Your endocrine system is all out of whack.  Carbs alone -- and sugar -- will cause your anxiety to increase when they wear off.  I hope you are not vegetarian.  Make sure you eat a lot of nut butter, eggs, lunch meat, salami, nuts, cheese -- anything that's easy and requires almost no cooking.   I had to eat cheese sticks in the middle of the night and upon waking up for a while.  I was having a feeling just like low blood sugar if I didn't. The anxiety cascades, as you know, from one trigger to another until your whole day is just living from one panic to another.  These drugs affect the entire body because the brain affects the entire body.

 

You will continue to wonder if you can heal.  You will continue to wonder if you need drugs.  These feelings are normal in WD.  Some say they are another classic symptom of WD.  Try to ignore them.  One day you will suddenly realize that you don't think that way any longer.  You will KNOW you will heal.  You will wonder how long it will take to heal over and over until that thought becomes less frequent.  You will simply realize: I haven't thought that negative thought in many days or maybe a week!  Wow!! You will have waves and these thoughts will come back, but you will start to wonder if they are lies.  One day you will KNOW they are lies.  That's how it works or at least how it works for me.  

 

I still have bad days, or bad hours or bad minutes -. deep depression or fear is suddenly here and then POOF! gone!  I'm still afraid of going back into the thick of it for 2 weeks or 10 days, but mostly I'm worried about panicking suddenly because I became overwhelmed.  I have to avoid stress at all cost, but someday that will lift, too. It will for you, as well.  Believe me if you can't believe yourself and soon you will believe yourself.

 

I hope that was useful to you.  I can't come back, I'm so sorry, but I'll be thinking of you, and I'll take a peek (without signing in) to see how you are doing when I can.  We are moms and our kids need us.  We can endure anything for them. Persevere, Waterfall!  You will one day be so very glad you did.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

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Waterfall

Hey Rosetta, 

Thank you so much for responding.  

You have no idea how much this means to me.  

Or maybe you do.   : )

 

Anyway.  

Right now I'm scared.  

Very scared.  

I did feel really awful this morning, 

and then I felt better again.  

So much better,

that I actually went for a walk with my kids. 

 

Which was apparently a stupid idea.  

It started out well enough.  

But I ended up carrying my youngest most of the way. 

And we ended up home late for lunch. 

And now I'm a shaky wreck.  

My arms feel weak and shaky. 

My legs do too.  

I can barely hold my phone, type, or walk.  

And I can't even concentrate on the things I normally use to distract and calm myself. 

Things like puzzles, games, and books.  

Just thinking about a doing another sudoku, which I did several of this morning, 

almost makes me feel sick.  

I'm pretty sure I overdid the exercise.  

But I may also be panicking on top of that, because you mentioned

something about electrical and heart and benzos.  

So I'm scared. 

 

Oh, and yes, Rosetta, I meant the clonazapam, not citalopram.  

I've been off of that for months, and couldn't take it again right now, even if I wanted to. 

I tried.  

 

So.  Here's the question. 

As long as I know things are harmless, even when they feel lousy, 

I can usually endure them.  

So.  I've already been off the clonazapam for 3-5 days. 

I know I have a tendency to forget them, and that 

taking them sporadically isn't wise either.  

Also stoppping and then starting a while later can also make things worse. 

So.  Here's the question really... 

Do I just start taking them again?  

Or do I take a half now, and half later?  

Or do I just keep not taking them, because it will get better? 

I honestly didn't think of it as a CT

(which I now understand means 'cold turkey')

because I was taking the lowest dose.  

The doctor kept encouraging me to take more 

because I was 'taking such a low dose', after all.  

 

I'm also not sure my brain can handle fiddling around 

with halves and hours and... 

I have a terrible enough time with schedule and 

I don't seem to have any natural concept of time.  

And I have a terrible time remembering to take anything

consistently.  

I have trouble doing anything consistently. 

I can do anything once.  Or twice.  

But on a repeatable, stable basis?  

That's really hard for me. 

 

I can't say that I was entirely stable, 

or that I planned this in advance, by any means, 

but I was at a point where I could handle the ups and the downs, 

even if they were really tough.  

They didn't feel beyond what I could bear anymore.  

Even this, I can endure if I know it will be okay.  

But if I think it might kill my heart, or break it, or.... 

something horrible.  I will totally fall to pieces.  

I've been worried about my heart already as it is. 

 

I don't seem to handle exercise well.  

Haven't for some time, 

but lately seems to be worse. 

I don't know why.  

Exercise is supposed to be good for you. 

It's supposed to be -helpful- for those with depression and anxiety. 

Doesn't seem like it for me.  

I felt good for the first few minutes of my walk, 

but awful for the second half. 

Which was the getting home again part. 

I generally feel sick every time my heart rate goes up.  

 

I'm afraid that I won't be able to use the strategies that I need to, to get better. 

And that things will just keep getting worse, because I don't have the coping skills I need. 

And I don't seem to have the energy or brain capacity to get them.  

 

So what do I do right now?  

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Waterfall

Just thought I'd post again for a minute, 

to share that I've come down again... or is it come up again? 

Anyway, I'm feeling much better again. 

I ate something, which probably helped.  

So I'm no longer feeling so shaky anymore. 

My arms no longer feel like the core of them hurts.  

They still ache some, but not nearly so bad.

My chest still hurts, but that's been normal for some time.

 

I just feel like usually I post when I'm feeling really lousy.

When I'm at my worst.

This time I thought I'd add, that I'm not always at that point.

 

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Rosetta

Waterfall,

 

If I were you, I would take the prescribed dose right now.  (Never take more than prescribed.)

 

I'm typing this out, a summary, for the Mod to read:

 

You have been on a dose of Clonazapam  (0.25 mg) 1x per day.

 

You were on this medication from Sept 18, 2017 to about Jan 2, 2018, correct?

 

It's been 3-5 days since you took that dose or any dose.

 

You felt fine earlier today, but you went for a walk and had to carry one child back from the walk.  Now you feel terrible and scared.

 

You don't trust that you can remember to take your medication regularly and are afraid to try to take 1/2 doses throughout the day.  

 

Now,

 

I want you to email one of the Mods to ask for attention to your thread.  Say "Please look at my thread.  Off my benzo for 3 plus days.  Feeling sick and very scared."  Can you do that?

 

I'm sorry to have scared you about the heart issue.  I honestly don't know if after 3 days you should feel you are in the clear on that issue.  I thought you needed to know about that risk for CTing benzos, but it may not apply to a small dose.  However, it seems logical to me that if you take a  prescribed dose now that risk should be lower.  Again, never take extra or a double dose.  That's dangerous sometimes.

 

As to the difficulty remembering to take medicine, I had that, too.  Once we are destabilized by the the first CT of the Antidepressant our brains go to mush.  I couldn't keep on top of mine either and had to have help.  I wish your husband or someone could help you.

 

Rosetta

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Rosetta

Ok you are better.  Good.

 

Please do Email to ask a mod to look at your thread.  How about AliG?   AliG posted on your thread, and she's very kind and wants to help in my experience.  She might put you in touch with a Mod who knows all about benzos.

 

You need to decide what to do and do it.  Taking benzos intermittently after being addicted might be a bad way to do it.  It might be important to decide whether you will stay off or take as prescribed.  

 

Maybe you can always go back on later, I don't know.  It's not that way with ADs.  There is a time when reinstatement is not advised for ADs. I think because you are suffering and have little children, if I were you, I would want to find a way to go back on, find a way to get help taking them on time and -- after waiting for a while to stabilize -- taper very, very slowly.

 

However,  if you can't depend on anyone to help you take them then you may decide to stay off.  Please get a Mods opinion.  I can't advise you, but I do believe you are risking more destabilization if you can't make an informed decision right away.

 

Now, I have to sign off and take care of myself.   I wish I had answers for you, but I have no experience with benzo dependency at all.  I'm sorry, but I'll be thinking about you.  I hope you feel better and get all this sorted out right away.

 

(((A huge hug)))

Rosetta

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Waterfall

Hey Rosetta, 

I wanted you to know that I did message JanCarol.  

Twice now.  

Once for the first time you asked.  

And once again later.  

And Rosetta?  

Thank you.  

I know how hard it can be to do this when you are feeling lousy yourself. 

I also know what it's like to worry about someone else far away. 

And then wait for their answer.  

Thank you.  

Thank you for taking the time.  

And giving the energy.  

Giving of yourself for me.  

It means a lot.  

 

On top of that, I think it's cool that we are in the same time zone.  

Just a little (or a lot :)) north or south of one another.  

 

I totally understand if it's too hard to keep coming back here right now. 

I know what that feels like too. 

So if I don't see you again for a while, I wish you all the best in your own journey. 

And thank you again.  

Hopefully we both continue to feel better.  

Best wishes, 

Waterfall. 

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JS11

Hi Waterfall and welcome,

 

Your name caught my eye.  You express yourself so very well.  I also appreciated the start of your introduction about standing on the stage, feel a little like that myself.  I haven't posted much of late but am trying to change that as I know it is the way to get to know more people.  There are so many here who are going through similar things.

 

You have some very wise people who have posted on your thread.  I'm sure someone will be here to help soon.  You can also look at the online user list and see if a particular person is online so that you might message them.  I read Rosetta's words about the moderators being stretched thin.  It makes sense as so many people make resolutions to change things about their lives.  I know I did.

 

Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you.  I know it is so very difficult.  I have been struggling a lot of late and it is so difficult to reach out for help, but I have some very lovely people who have been there for me.  They will come.  I have some guardian angels who have been there for me. 

 

I am sensitive to almost everything.  The drugs, food, a look, you name it.  Everything appears to be right there on the surface.  You have shown and are showing such amazing strength.  It is hard for me to give myself credit sometimes but do be proud of yourself.  I have been on this road for next to forever, but yet have really just begun.

 

please take care,

JS11

 

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JanCarol

Hey Waterfall - 

 

On 08/12/2017 at 8:03 AM, Waterfall said:

Well.  When I'm in a window, I don't feel the need to post.  When swallowed by a wave, I can't find the energy and brain power to post.  

 

I'm going to encourage you to post EVERYTHING, good days and bad.  So that, when, months from now, you think, "this is the worst, ever" you can go back and read your thread.  When you do, you will see that, well, maybe it's not the worst ever, and look - you had good days, too!  So please be sure and post about the good days.  It helps mods, too, to watch your windows as well as your waves.

 

If the magnesium is making you nauseous, be sure and take it with food.  If you have the runs, try taking 1/2.  I know there are a lot of flu/cold/bugs going around, but better safe than sorry.  Your mag-drops sound like an expensive way to get very little magnesium.  Salt lake magesium is Magnesium Chloride, which can be taken internally.   Here's the one I use:  https://au.iherb.com/pr/Doctor-s-Best-High-Absorption-Magnesium-120-Tablets/15  It comes in tablets, so you can break it in half or smaller to get the doses you need.  Gentle on the tummy, too.  If you want to try and address your heart issues - consider Magnesium Taurate.  It's hard to find, and costs more, but seems to address the heart thing more directly.

 

WIthdrawal can cause the runs, too - just another way of recalibrating your system, only it's the gut instead.

 

Please see what others have said about funky heartbeats while in withdrawal:  Irregular heartbeats, paltpitations, tachycardia, bradycardia.  

 

On 08/12/2017 at 8:03 AM, Waterfall said:

Been really light headed today. 

 

Look into protein.  I'm often up against it with vegetarians and vegans because they don't get enough protein and aminos to maintain brain health.  

 

Eggs and fish are the best for the brain.  We have one woman here who had a total turnaround by eating a tin of sardines every day.

 

Also - make sure you are getting enough water to drink.  It's so simple that we rarely think of it.  Drinking more water helps you heal better, and keeps your system running more smoothly.  Your nutrients are absorbed better.  Just about everything in your body is happier when you get enough clean water to drink.

 

On 08/12/2017 at 8:03 AM, Waterfall said:

  I don't want to have to keep taking the Clonazepam, but I'm afraid to go off it as well right now, since I'd like to reach a balance that

I can handle first.  I'm also curious how it is that splitting the dose and slowly spreading it apart will show me anything.  If I do this, what should I expect

to see?  What will it accomplish?  

 

Usually this evens out the dips and spikes in your day, and if it does, then we know that a lot of your symptoms are being caused by the benzo.  If it doesn't make a difference at all, then we know most of your symptoms are withdrawal.

 

 

On 08/12/2017 at 8:03 AM, Waterfall said:

Does anyone know if it's normal to also react poorly to things like tylenol, or advil, or even cough drops with menthol in them?  And then I 

was also wondering, does this over-sensitive response to medicines and supplements and all pills and solution taken orally eventually go away?  Or is it

permanent?  

 

Yes.  I can't find an article about this but here's what I've experienced here as a mod:

 

Some people are sensitive throughout withdrawal and a year or two afterwards.  This sensitivity may include  over-the-counter drugs, certain herbs and supplements, foods - gluten/wheat and dairy are often culprits, sometimes it's histamines in food, sometimes it's additives. 

 

Some people develop a sensitivity that becomes like an allergy, and the substance should be avoided from then on.  

 

You won't know which you are until about 5 years from now.  This is why we are so very careful about one change at a time.  And, when trying a thing - small amounts.  One person here said when she tries a new supplement, she only tries the amount which fits on the tine of a fork.  If she doesn't react to that, then she can try 1/4 or 1/2 tablet.

 

So - if you have a flu- start with the menthol cough drop.  If that's okay and it helps, good.  Another thing to try might be menthol/eucalyptus steam.  These are basics, and non drug.  Many people have been helped by 1/2 an aspirin.  Small amounts of tylenol might be okay.  Ibuprofen is counterindicated if you have nausea or stomach problems.  Just take these things slowly, carefully, and only one thing at a time.

Avoid "cough and cold" preparations which are a kitchen sink of all kinds of ingredients, and if you react you won't know what it is that's causing it.  I have sinus allergies and have done my own preparations for decades now to keep my sinuses clear.  I finally got my hubby to start with the herbal steam (Vick's makes a good steam) instead of reaching for the tablets.  He was pleased with the results.

On 08/12/2017 at 11:32 AM, Waterfall said:

I also thought previously, that once you crash, recovery, while it may follow a waves and windows pattern, the general direction would be an upward one.  

But it seems from reading posts from other people, that this is not always the case.  Sometimes it is.  Maybe it often it is.  But sometimes it may feel like

it's still getting worse for a while.

 

There are a few ways of describing it.

 

One is the Rubik's Cube:
Healing from Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery (by Toxic Antidepressants)  (4 minute video)

Here's my current favourite:

 

 

On 08/12/2017 at 8:03 AM, Waterfall said:

  I am glad that I am not alone

 

You are not alone!  And - here's the miraculous thing - you know it!  Think about all of the people "out there" who are suffering from their drugs, and think it's their brains, not the chemicals in their brains.  This is epidemic proportions! 

So not only are you not alone - you are lucky!  You found us, and we are here for you!

 

How did the Epsom salts bath go?

I am taking a break for now (I have a massage in an hour - ahhhhhh!), so I'll press Send, but I'll come back to you.

Privately, I have suggested that you take 1/2 clonazepam tonight to settle down.  I'm reporting it here for other mods to read.

I hope you see the Sun today!

 

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JanCarol

Hey Waterfall - 

 

I think I'm picking up on some of your "triggers" (I hate that word, we are not guns, we have choices!).  Or, rather - things you may be sensitive to or reacting to.

 

On 16/12/2017 at 7:45 AM, Waterfall said:

Unexpectedly had another panic attack while watching an evening show with my husband.

 

What you may not realize about the TV is it is designed (sound shifts, refresh rate, scene change rate) to be manipulative.  And what it really wants is to induce fear and anxiety so that it can sell you things.  It's more subtle in the programs, but far worse on the commercials.

I only record movies from TV, and choose which ones I watch.  I went to the movies twice over Christmas holidays, and the ads before the movie were so intrusive I felt like I was being hammered on.

 

There is much that is "normal" in our society which is unhealthy.

 

Even worse if there is a "News Alert," the very nature of which is meant to invoke anxiety and fear.

 

Then:  

On 16/12/2017 at 7:45 AM, Waterfall said:

I was watching and eating a piece of pie, when I just started feeling awful. 

Jittery, shaky, nauseated.  Just out of the blu

 

Oh, I love pie.  I would knock down a granny to get a good piece of pie.

 

But pie contains wheat, and the wheat of today is not your grandmother's wholesome wheat.  It contains over twice the number of chromosomes (bred to give more bushels per acre), and is treated with pesticides, herbicides, and grown in soil which has likely been stripped of nutrition.


Then there is the sugar.  My bete noir.  I use it as a sedative, but it can be stimulating too (for a short time, before the crash).  

On 16/12/2017 at 7:45 AM, Waterfall said:

Woke up again at 4:30 just feeling jittery. 

 

Cortisol spikes:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/33-waking-with-panic-or-anxiety-managing-cortisol-spikes/ 

We have a daily cycle of cortisol and these drugs really set it spinning.  Normally it should be a gentle curve - but - often in withdrawal it gets sharp and spiky.

 

On 16/12/2017 at 7:45 AM, Waterfall said:

Feeling a little headachy, my appetite low, a liittle nauseated

 

 

Sounds a bit like dehydration.  Water.  It's your friend.

And possibly electrolytes, too.  Mom used to drink Gatorade when she lost her kidney, but there are other, better electrolyte products.  I use Himalayan salt, but any natural or sea salt will do.  A salt which has a broader micro-mineral profile.

 

On 16/12/2017 at 7:45 AM, Waterfall said:

Afraid that this won't ever get better. 

 

This is the most common symptom of withdrawal.  When you are in it, it seems so total!  If you look at my recovery thread, I recently posted the change in my symptoms.  After 3 years, my symptoms were cut in half.  That's the kind of time frame we are looking at.

So - be patient with yourself.  You might feel better tomorrow, or it might be awhile before you feel better - but when this stuff hits you - remind yourself.

it's symptoms, it's withdrawals.  This too, will pass.

 

On 16/12/2017 at 7:45 AM, Waterfall said:

For days, I've kept coming back to check, saddened and discouraged that no one is answering me.  

But I've decided that it's okay.  

If people want to talk with me, answer me, encourage me, that's wonderful. 

 

In order to make friends here, it helps to be a friend.

 

People will be attracted to you, and post on your thread - go and visit their threads and get to know them.  As you make friends, you will feel more supported.

If you want to reach out more, you can google "survivingantidepressants.org" + "whatever" - the whatever might be a symptoms you are having like racing or pounding heart, or a drug or supplement you are taking, have taken, or are interested in -  or panic attacks, or nausea (Frogie is a friendly lady, and she's struggled with intense withdrawal nausea, for example).  You go, read their threads and visit with them, and then they are more likely to come visit you.

 

And my time is up - I hope some of this helps you - I'll come back later.  Your writing is so dense and descriptive, it's very stimulating to me - there are a number of things - like philosophy and thoughts - that I'd love to respond to.  I'm usually a bit of a wreck after a massage - but I'll try and get back tonight.

I hope you see the sun today!  (or first thing tomorrow!)

 

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Waterfall

Thank you for your post JS11.  

Thank you also for taking the time to post, JanCarol.  

It is much appreciated.  

 

I feel a bit better after taking the 1/2 clonazepam.  (I have such a hard time not typing citalopram by mistake... it must be easier to type!)

I never did take an epsom salt bath.  Though I meant to.  And I haven't taken any magnesium since it gave me the runs.  

I even took much less and it still gave me the runs.  Lately I have been eating LOTS of eggs.  I usually have one for breakfast.  If I don't I 

try to have some leftover meat from supper, or at least add some peanut butter to some toast to start my day off with some protein. 

I can't say I never miss, but it's an effort I am making.  

 

I'm a little shaken right now, not just by how I've felt today, but because I've been working on the belief that, as awful as this all is, at least

it couldn't kill me.  I wasn't dying of cancer.  I didn't have a tumor.  I hadn't had a heart attack.  I wasn't bleeding out on the floor.  But the 

fact that someone was concerned for me today, and the fact that someone else told me that while anxiety, depression, and withdrawal 

can't kill me, my reactions to them can, has me a little spooked.  Even the breathing exercises someone suggested scared me.  To begin

with, I always stress WAY too much about getting them right and worrying if I'm doing them wrong, so that they tend to make me more 

stressed, instead of less.  Just thinking about the instructions and how they are supposed to work stresses me out.  When I try art as 

therapy, I worry about how it looks, or even how it's -going- to look.  Everyone else around me seems so talented.  And then I read on the

breathing thread that, oh, if you breath the way poster #X says to, I've heard of people giving themselves heart attacks by doing it THAT 

way!  Is there anything that doesn't have the potential to kill you?  It's bad enough that I already knew hyperventilating can kill you.  Is 

there anything that won't?!  I'll probably trip on the way to the table for supper (which is late because my husband, who is sick with a 

fever and made supper for me anyway! is waiting for me to clear the table) and break my nose into my brain and die!  Sheesh!!!  

 

So, anyway, I'm trying to find a new calm, that says, yes, things can kill you, even this could kill you, and that's okay.  The chances are low, 

and if something serious happens, we'll face it then.  For now, we're alive.  So we'll deal with what we are facing, one step at a time.  Baby

steps if necessary.  The chances of winning the lottery are lower than a broken airplane part dropping from the sky and killing me, so the 

chances of most other things are probably pretty low too.  Including the chance of killing myself by drinking too much.  That'll never happen, 

because I have a hard time keeping up my fluids.  But what will happen, is until I reach a new level of trust in... something, I will have a hard

time pushing myself.  Especially after today's catastrophic walk.  

 

That's my brain dumped out for the moment.  I have to go eat supper with my family.  It's already a lot later than it should be.  

 

Signed off, 

Trying to be hopeful. 

And tough.  

And cry.  

And not give up.  

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Waterfall

Ooh, you posted a second thread, JanCarol.  

I'll have to reread it more deeply when I get back from supper. 

Sorry if I sound a little bummed.  

I truly am heartened by what you've taken the time to share.  

I'll rebound.  I'm fairly confident.  

I think.  ;)

 

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Waterfall

Thanks especially for the link about cortisol spikes.  That was something I caught a

snippet of somewhere, but couldn't remember what it was called, and I really wanted

to read about it.  I think it's something I've definitely been struggling with.  

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Waterfall

I don't have much time, or energy to post much more tonight.  

But I just wanted to say yet, that after that 1/2 pill, some supper, and some time, 

that I -am- feeling much better.  

And more hopeful again. 

I loved that video you shared, JanCarol. 

About the path to recovery. 

I also plan to read up on that cortisol link.  

Thank you.  Thank you to everyone who posted today.  

Until later, 

Waterfall. 

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Waterfall

Quick report this morning.  

I had an awful night last night.  

Had trouble getting to sleep. 

And I had an awful panic attack after

I woke up in the middle of the night. 

Took me over and hour and a half to 

settle down again.  

And get a bit more sleep. 

I struggled the most with feeling 

flushed and sweaty, and with gas,

cramps, and an upset stomach. 

And just an overall feeling of panic.

Oh, and brain zaps.  I think that's what

they are.  I always expected them when

I came off the citalopram, since it's a 

symptom frequently mentioned.  But I've

only just got them since missing several

doses of my clonazepam.  That and the

weird feelings in my ears and fluctuations

in my hearing.  

 

In the middle of the night, and a bit

when I started the morning, at a 

leisurely 8:45, I was SO discouraged. 

I almost took my pill right there in 

the middle of the night.  Considering

how badly I didn't want to give in and

take them the other day, I felt like 

waiting until morning to take them 

was a tough sell last night.  

 

I'm up and going now, and while I 

don't feel exactly hopeful:
I have taken my half pill 

   (after last night I almost wanted to take a WHOLE pill this morning!)

I've eaten some protein.  

And I've cleared the table,

   loaded and run the dishwasher

   and fed my kids breakfast!  

So, at start, at least.  A positive one.  

I don't feel terribly awful at the moment. 

I'd -almost- go so far as to say that I feel alright right now. 

I hope it lasts.  

 

I'll be taking another half a pill later today.  

I'm torn between having it at the eight hour mark after the first. 

And taking it at bedtime, to hopefully help me sleep.  

If I take two halves for the next few weeks, 

I'd be tempted to take 1/4 three times a day, roughly every 8 hours

as the next step.  Just a thought. 

 

I was also thinking as to why I thought not taking clonazapan 

wouldn't be such a big deal... it's because last time I took it, I 

was taking .5 mg twice a day.  I went down to once, and then I 

stopped.  While I did have a bit of rebound anxiety afterwards, 

it was pretty mild compared to how I felt yesterday.  And that 

was after taking it for... 6 weeks?  Something not super long, 

but not terribly short either. 

 

Of course I was going ON to an antidepressant at the time, not

trying to recover after coming off one.  

I think this (stupid) decision came at the wrong time.  I'm already

too volatile.  Barely surviving each day as it is.  

 

I just hate to be taking meds.  I'm not even sure why I hate them 

so much.  I hated them before I learned all this extra nonsense 

about the damage that they do.  So I so badly want to be off.  

I'm impulsive and haphazard at the best of times, so being 

patient with this, and consistent, is so hard for me.  

 

I am so susceptible to whatever I feel at any given time.  If I feel

really low, then the world is over, life is hopeless, and I feel like 

nothing will ever change.  But on the flip side, if I'm feeling better, 

then i'm -great- and -wonderful- and I could sing and dance and 

all is right with the world and... I might as well have completely 

forgotten that I was low at all.  Until I crash.  Because I'm out of 

shape, and I was dancing after all, and I wore myself out, and 

then panicked about being sore and tired, and... 

Anyway.  That turned out to be a long update.  

 

Totally irrelevant, but in case anyone is curious, I spew all that

stuff out on the screen in one go, and then I go back and split

it up into reasonable paragraphs, where the thoughts have 

somewhat natural splitting points.  

 

Oh, and (now that I've gone and done my splitting) I've just noticed

something else to be thankful for.  My hands, which frequently flare

with horribly bad eczema, sometimes in response to ingesting milk,

sometimes in response to soaps and perfumes of various types,  

and sometimes for no apparent reason at all, are doing better right

now than they have done in a long time.  They aren't totally clear, 

but they are a bit better.  

 

Oh dear.  And I just remembered, that while I started the morning 

with some ham, I also put some toast in the toaster, because 6 

small squares of ham, do not a breakfast make.  And I totally forgot

about them.  Mmmmm, cold toast.  Yum.  : P  

 

I also haven't been to the bathroom yet.  

And I need to change the diaper on my youngest.  

Sigh. 

 

Wishing you all a hope-filled day.  

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Waterfall

Well.  Haven't left my chair since the last post.  Been reading.  

Made me think about a few more symptoms I wanted to post here.  

First of all, I should respond to JanCarol, and what she said about

TV being a trigger.  I know it certainly can be.  Some shows can 

definitely cause some of the most awful reactions.  For instance, 

the movie The Matrix, even though I like the movie, causes me to 

feel just -awful-.  I have also noticed that depending on how 

sensitive I am at the time, I can do the same activity in one year

or month, and in a totally different time, and one time I will react

horribly, and another time I will handle it just fine.  Sometimes I 

will know that I am in a bout where I can't handle more intense 

shows, other times it might hit me by surprise.  I don't have cable, 

so we never watch shows with commercials.  I haven't looked at

the news in years.  We watch shows off of Netflix, and right now, 

at least, we are watching a pretty tame historical romance.  It is

possibly that the show we were watching that day, the one where

I panicked, while still a relatively mild movie, may have had a trigger

in it that I didn't even know was the cause.  Either that, or it was the

pie.  I seem to be able to handle the sugar, or wheat, or whatever

the trigger there is, better on some days than others.  I've also 

noticed that reading books can be a trigger as well.  I read one 

book recently, and even though it was a 'kids' book, one that my 

son read (still a big thick chapter book, mind you) and I had a 

terrible reaction to it.  I asked him if he thought it was scary, and 

he was like 'no, of course not'.  But I felt awful while reading it.  The

worst part was that I felt I had to finish it, in order to stop thinking 

about it.  Reading through to the end was torture.  Most people might

not understand, but it because there was a villian who was trying to

set up a machine that would speak into people's minds, everyone in

the world, so that he would gain control over the whole world.  I think

it's supposed to be absurd, but the thought just horrifies me.  

 

So anyway, tv can trigger, or books, or even games, if I am worried

about losing, or about doing well enough.  Everything seems to be a 

stressor.  It's hard to find things that I find calming.  I feel like a failure

at everything.  

 

Which reminds me of the other thing that I had wanted to post.  I'm 

really scared that I won't, that I don't, have the strength to heal.  To do

the things I need to do to improve.  That I'll be like this forever.  That I'll

give in, and I will quit.  Right now I find it so hard to read the information

that i need, and to process what I should do, and then have the brain 

power to make a plan, and then find the energy to stick to it.  It just 

seems to overwhelming.  And I'm so afraid I can't do it.  I feel like I 

suck at everything.  

 

It's my dream... to be fit again.  To feel something like normal again. 

To go out, or to stay in, or shop at the store, or get up in the morning, 

and not panic about it.  To not be so scared by all my symptoms.  To

just let them... be.  I want to exist, without terror.  To stop obsessing

about how I feel.  I want to not just survive, but to thrive.  I want to 

have fun.  To enjoy life.  

 

Oh, and if I'm really dreaming, I'd love to be productive.  I'd love to start

my own little home business, and make something with my hands, that

people can appreciate.  There are already so many talented people out

there, that it's so hard to believe that I have anything worthwhile to offer.

I love to make art, but I bog myself down with analysis of what other

more talented people can do.  There are so many talented artists and 

musicians in my immediate and extended family, that what good is it

for me to even try to learn these things?  Who will appreciate them?  

What good does it do to make something, only to throw it out, because

there is no sense in keeping it, in this overcluttered world?  We are so

affluent that we already have too much, our houses are full to bursting, 

so that we can barely live in them with any sense of order, and yet it's 

so hard to let things go.  They are all valuable things, there just isn't 

enough room for them all!  

 

Sorry if I'm sharing too much stuff.  I'm just trying to work through these

thoughts, a bit like a journal.  To face my fears by exposing them, I guess. 

That book that scared me... the one useful thing it said in it, well, it said 

that you can't conquer your fears by running from them, you have to face 

them.  So I'm trying.  I think in some ways that's part of the goal of this 

site.  Not to mask our fears with drugs, only to intensify them, but to face

them and deal with them, hopefully to conquer them.  Am I right?  

 

Heh.  But I started this post to put down my symptoms.  Totally didn't 

happen.  I had too many thoughts in my head apparently that I'd stacked

up intending to share, and then I went off on a totally different tangent 

altogether.  

 

So.  I was thinking about temperature regulation.  I often feel hot. Or cold. 

Or my hands, or my feet feel hot and sweaty, or cold.  Or just one of my feet.

Or one or more of them will go to sleep, or just be tingly.  

I also seem to be struggling with something of a nervous habit right now. 

I get upset by it far more than I should.  For a long time already, I've always

rubbed my feet around in a circle against each other in order to help myself

fall asleep.  But now I seem to rub my hand across my face, or repeatedly 

rub my nose, or rub my thumb across my index finger, over, and over, and 

over again, sometimes until my nose hurts, or my chin, or my fingers, 

especially the space under my thumbnail.  But for some reason it is hard 

to stop.  Especially once I've noticed it.  

I've also noticed, along the same lines, that I sometimes can't stop 

swallowing.   And the more I think about it, the worse it can get sometimes. 

It usually happens with the cortisol (if I spelled that correctly) spike that 

comes first thing in the morning. 

 

And I am literally, it would seem, scared of everything.  I got so obsessed

with trying to eat right, to feel better, that I began to be afraid of food.  I'm 

now definitely afraid of drugs (more than I was already).  I'm even afraid 

of breathing wrong, thanks to my reading from yesterday.  I'm afraid to 

exercise.  And I'm afraid not to exercise.  I'm afraid of ruminating, but I'm 

also afraid that if I don't think about these things, I'll make all the wrong 

choices.  I"m afraid that even if I think about it I'll still make the wrong 

choices.  I'm afraid that even if I make the right choices, that I won't be 

able to carry them out.   I'm afraid that I will fail at everything.  

 

I'm beginning to be afraid, that my brain wants to keep dumping forever, 

and that I'll never stop typing here.  And nobody is going to want to read 

all this blathering.  So I'll stop.  At least for now.  

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Waterfall

P.S.  Totally irrelevant, I know, but this time I actually made paragraphs as I wrote this time.  

Just a completely useless side observation that I happened to notice.  I wonder if you can 

tell the difference in writing style.  

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Rosetta
3 hours ago, Waterfall said:

. . . about TV being a trigger.  I know it certainly can be.  Some shows can 

definitely cause some of the most awful reactions.  For instance, 

the movie The Matrix, even though I like the movie, causes me to 

feel just -awful-.  I have also noticed that depending on how 

sensitive I am at the time, I can do the same activity in one year

or month, and in a totally different time, and one time I will react

horribly, and another time I will handle it just fine.  Sometimes I 

will know that I am in a bout where I can't handle more intense 

shows, other times it might hit me by surprise. . . .

 

 I've also noticed that reading books can be a trigger as well.  

 The worst part was that I felt I had to finish it, in order to stop thinking 

about it.  Reading through to the end was torture.  . . .

 

Everything seems to be a stressor.  It's hard to find things that I find calming.  I feel like a failure

at everything.  . . .

 

Which reminds me of the other thing that I had wanted to post.  I'm 

really scared that I won't, that I don't, have the strength to heal.  To do

the things I need to do to improve.  That I'll be like this forever.  That I'll

give in, and I will quit.  Right now I find it so hard to read the information

that i need, and to process what I should do, and then have the brain 

power to make a plan, and then find the energy to stick to it.  It just 

seems to overwhelming.  And I'm so afraid I can't do it.  I feel like I 

suck at everything.  . . .

 

 To not be so scared by all my symptoms.  To just let them... be.  I want to exist, without terror.  To stop obsessing

about how I feel.  I want to not just survive, but to thrive.  I want to 

have fun.  To enjoy life.  . . .

 

What good does it do to make something, only to throw it out, because

there is no sense in keeping it, in this overcluttered world?  We are so

affluent that we already have too much, our houses are full to bursting, 

so that we can barely live in them with any sense of order, and yet it's 

so hard to let things go.  They are all valuable things, there just isn't 

enough room for them all!  . . .

 

That book that scared me... the one useful thing it said in it, well, it said 

that you can't conquer your fears by running from them, you have to face 

them.  So I'm trying.  I think in some ways that's part of the goal of this 

site.  Not to mask our fears with drugs, only to intensify them, but to face

them and deal with them, hopefully to conquer them.  Am I right?  . . . 

 

So.  I was thinking about temperature regulation.  I often feel hot. Or cold. 

Or my hands, or my feet feel hot and sweaty, or cold.  Or just one of my feet.

Or one or more of them will go to sleep, or just be tingly.  

I also seem to be struggling with something of a nervous habit right now. 

I get upset by it far more than I should.  For a long time already, I've always

rubbed my feet around in a circle against each other in order to help myself

fall asleep.  But now I seem to rub my hand across my face, or repeatedly 

rub my nose, or rub my thumb across my index finger, over, and over, and 

over again, sometimes until my nose hurts, or my chin, or my fingers, 

especially the space under my thumbnail.  But for some reason it is hard 

to stop.  Especially once I've noticed it.  

I've also noticed, along the same lines, that I sometimes can't stop 

swallowing.   And the more I think about it, the worse it can get sometimes. 

It usually happens with the cortisol (if I spelled that correctly) spike that 

comes first thing in the morning.  . . .

 

And I am literally, it would seem, scared of everything.  I got so obsessed

with trying to eat right, to feel better, that I began to be afraid of food.  I'm 

now definitely afraid of drugs (more than I was already).  I'm even afraid 

of breathing wrong, thanks to my reading from yesterday.  I'm afraid to 

exercise.  And I'm afraid not to exercise.  I'm afraid of ruminating, but I'm 

also afraid that if I don't think about these things, I'll make all the wrong 

choices.  I"m afraid that even if I think about it I'll still make the wrong 

choices.  I'm afraid that even if I make the right choices, that I won't be 

able to carry them out.   I'm afraid that I will fail at everything.  . . .

 

I'm beginning to be afraid, that my brain wants to keep dumping forever, 

and that I'll never stop typing here.  And nobody is going to want to read 

all this blathering.  So I'll stop.  At least for now.  

 

So much for staying away today.  Let me reassure you:

 

All of what you have written will sound very familiar to the people on the site, and it will all go away in time.

 

All of your thoughts are normal, but the intensity you are experiencing is off the charts because of withdrawal.  I think the neurotransmitters are malfunctioning or the uptake mechanism for the neurotransmitters is malfunctioning or both.  The theory is that your fight or flight response is continually active. The cortisol is higher than normal, and the slightest stress causes your mind to jump to high alert.  It doesn't recover as a non WD mind would.  It stays on high alert for hours and hours until exhaustion takes over.

 

You are in existential crisis, but it's more intense than it ever is for people who have never taken ADs or benzos.  It's really, really intense.  You probably don't even realize this.  I didn't.  No one could convince me that there was no justification for my fear and the intensity of my fear.  Of course, so few people have any idea that your feelings are 10x more intense than any feeling those people have ever had -- except the people who have been through AD WD.

 

The constant thinking, overthinking, thoughts that jump from one subject to the next, and result in more fear -- I consider this symptom to be related to physical Akathisia -- some call it "Akathisia of the mind."  It is so awful; so difficult to endure, but . . . It will go away.

 

It will all go away.  You will eventually care about everything at a normal, healthy level, but right now you are on high alert to everything.  In my opinion, now is NOT the time to conquer your fears head on.  It is the time to distract yourself as much as possible and avoid emotional spirals.  See the post under neuro emotions - emotional spirals.  You need to stop the spiral.  If you focus on the emotion and let it take you down, down, down you will see everyone around you become very concerned.  You will feel worse and worse.

 

I know it is hard to stop the spiral. You will fail over and over again, but the sooner you start to try the soon you will succeed and the more often you will succeed.  Ignore your fear of failure.  You deserve relief.  In my opinion, while I know that distracting yourself is really difficult when everything scares you or at least makes you uncomfortable, it's the only way sometimes.  You must keep trying.  I think Brassmonkey said something akin to, "My thoughts are unwelcome visitors asking to spend the night, but my mind is not a hotel."   That is the best way to think about it.  You have a right to say no to your thoughts and protect your own well-being.  

 

The time for facing your fears head on is in the future.  Right now, doing that will intensify your fear and its impact on your life.  Please believe me.  A lot of the self help techniques are for relatively healthy people.  Some, only some, are useful in the early time of AD WD when you are frightened of everything. When you have healed to a certain point you will be able to see which are more harmful than helpful.  

 

So, what to distract you?  That is difficult to answer.  Everything seems fear inducing.  It's hard to know what will be less fear inducing.  You can't meditate it seems.  Maybe you can't.  I couldn't.  Guided meditations on YouTube were sometimes helpful.  There are a lot of them posted in the thread under "meditation."  Pandora is a no go.  There are commercials!! Imagine that -- a commercial in the middle of a guided meditation?!

 

Yoga -- a flowing, a moving meditation yoga is really helpful because you have to follow along.  My favorite is Lunar Practice by Shiva Rea published by Sounds True, Boulder Colorado, 1999.

 

I ended up reading books on my Kindle.  They scared me, but I read them.  I watched old shows on Netflix -- shows that I used to like.  They were scary; it wasn't the same fun as when I watched them years ago, but it distracted me.  Reading on this site scared the hell out of me, but I did it.  My curiosity was very strong, and I learned a lot although my brain couldn't understand much.  I was very confused and easily frightened by the personal threads.  I tried to read only the "symptoms" based "stickies," but people have posted a lot of personal stories in those threads.  Reading the "success stories" was more helpful to stop a spiral.

 

Yes, tv and movies are going to scare you for a while.  They did me.  I could not read, watch tv or movies without getting scared.  Everything upset me and scared me.  I even felt that they were real for a split second here and there.  I would immediately realize how ridiculous that was, but then I would go about my day as if I had actually experienced the trauma in the movie.  I was truly traumatized by the story, and like you, I couldn't put the book down.  I had to know the ending.  This problem went away and, in retrospect, it didn't last very long, but it seemed interminable at the time.  It will go away.

 

The loss of my career was very hard for me.  I felt all the feelings you do about being non-productive, feeling worthless, feeling a strong need to be productive -- in the middle of intense WD.  I now realize how absurd that was, that I needed to take care of myself, that I had been iatrogenicly injured and that, similar to a stroke victim, I needed to heal.  I was not supposed to be "contributing to society."  I was supposed to be letting my brain heal and trying to keep the impact on my child minimal.  Worrying about my career merely contributed to my fear and misery.  

 

Also, you are working very, very hard taking care of 4 children!!  That can be stressful -  that is your career and you are doing well at that.  Be proud of that, but don't expect to do it well.  Do the minimum for a while until your brain heals.  Then, you can do more.  You will heal faster if you go easy on yourself.

 

I had hot flashes and cold spells over and over.  They went away.  I was afraid of food, of exercise, of ruminating, of not ruminating for fear I would make the wrong choice, of making the wrong choice, of being unable to carrying out my choices, of failing.  All that suddenly started to ease.  It was so slight it was imperceptible.  That's how it goes -- the symptoms -- all of them -- ease a tiny bit, but you don't realize it.  Then, one day you think: oh my God!! That symptom has been gone for a week!  When did that happen?!  That's why the Mods want us to keep a journal.  It gives one hope.

 

I won't go into all the symptoms I have had and that are now gone, but suffice it to say, there were many.  Some lasted just a couple of days or an hour or weeks.  It was and is bizarre.  I worried that each new symptom would be permanent or last for years.  They didn't, and they all became less and less intense even if, for a while, they became more intense.  The brain is sending out random signals that have no relation to anything except stress.  Stress seems to be the one outside factor that is dependably a precursor to new symptoms, but the resulting symptoms have no correlation to anything that would normally cause that symptom in a person who was not in AD WD.

 

This is very, very important to understand, Waterfall: Your planning and motivation skills are probably disrupted by the WD.  Mine were disrupted for the 5 years I was on Zoloft after quitting Celexa, and guess what?  I believe they were disrupted before that -- by the Celexa!  You can't follow through.  You want to do something but can't ever begin? Or you begin and can't finish?!  Even planning something is hard, takes a long time and results in confusion and mistakes you wouldn't normally make? Sound familiar? That's a side effect of the medication and/or its WD or both.  It's not you, and it's not permanent! It won't last very long either -- in retrospect.

 

It will go away!! Until it does, you can't will your mind to work properly, but you will eventually start to have normal executive function.  Mine is coming back.  I can do so many things that I couldn't do before.  I feel so much less stress and anxiety when I think about doing something than I used to.  Yours will come back, too.  You will eventually heal because ALL your symptoms will gradually go away, even this one.  

 

Remember -- you can't DO anything to MAKE your mind heal -- you have to LET it heal -- by keeping ADs away from it.  You have to get out of the way.  Stop the spirals, keep the supplements away except for magnesium and Omega 3 fish oil.  Try not to get into stressful situations as best you can.  Go easy on the exercise, but do get sunshine and do go for a walk -- with a stroller for the kids.  (Just follow the Mods advice on tapering the benzo or not.)  Get out of the way and LET your mind heal from the changes that AD wrought.  It will heal.  I am proof of that.

 

The rubbing of your fingers together and all the other physical movements, etc might be a mild Akathisia, I believe.  It's normal for WD, or it was for me.  There must be a continuum between normal physical movements and full blown Akathisia such that the person finds it impossible to stop moving.  There are so many different degrees of this reported by users of ADs.  Some can stop the movements, some have varying degrees of difficulty stopping the movements and some can't stop them.   It's apparently a dopamine issue.  Zoloft affects dopamine!  Now your dopamine is dysregulated.  Mine was.  (Don't get me started about how incredibly angry I am that an OB switched me from a med that worked on serotonin primarily to one that affected dopamine, and yet another neurotransmitter with zero informed consent!).  Please don't worry.   It will go away in time, and meanwhile, it might be more intense in the morning with the cortisol imbalance (unless your benzo is working at that time of day, I suppose.).

 

I do not think any of this is going to kill you!  I didn't mean that I was afraid your heart would stop.  I meant to encourage you to taper the benzo if you could and avoid more symptoms such as heart flutters or mild disruptions in your heartbeat.  Those are very scary.  I had chest pains for years and years on Celexa and Zoloft.  A muscle in my chest would seize up very tight, and it was painful.  I had an EKG that was clear, but no one suggested that the AD was a problem.  It kept happening after I began Zoloft, and I learned to live with it.  (I can't believe how stupid that was.  I can't believe no doctor sat me down and had a serious discussion with me about how long I had been on these meds and whether I knew the risks, either!)

 

That said, I worried incessantly about something killing me.  The AD, an accident, a mistake, a disease.  This is a symptom of AD.  Very common, and it will go away.

You will eventually worry at a normal intensity level about something happening to you.  This symptom will be some less intense gradually and will eventually just stop bothering you every day.

 

My mind is now more under my control except for the days I have a few minutes of fear such as when I have cortisol issues in the morning or if there is an outside stressor.  The control comes back more quickly even when I do lose control of the fear response.  I am not worried about my career, whether I'm useful to anyone except my husband and child, I'm not afraid of much, and if I am, it's fleeting.  Cortisol mornings happen every few days, not everyday, and the effect wears off earlier and earlier in the day if I do wake up afraid.  I can live without fear for hours or days at a time.  This very important: The level of the fear I do have is much lower.  I can self talk and internalize the belief that the fear is unfounded.  You will get there.  You will.  Right now it feels as if you won't, but you will.

 

I hope you feel better soon.

(I love B.C., and I would move to Vancouver Island if I could)

Yours,

Rosetta

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JanCarol
Posted (edited)

Moderator note:  I suggested 1/4 tablet AM & PM for reinstatement; Member is already taking 1/2 tablet morning and evening.  Corrected below.

 

Hey Waterfall!

 

This post is a classic and poetic description of withdrawal.  It should be published somewhere!  Well, it's published here - but I'd like people everywhere to know - this is what withdrawal is like!

 

And how often it gets "diagnosed" as something else. 

I'm not going to respond to the individual symptoms there (see the Glenmullen list) - but you have expressed it so well!   Here's one thing that's new (to you):

 

On 1/6/2018 at 8:13 AM, Waterfall said:

I don't seem to handle exercise well.  

Haven't for some time, 

but lately seems to be worse. 

I don't know why.  

Exercise is supposed to be good for you. 

It's supposed to be -helpful- for those with depression and anxiety. 

Doesn't seem like it for me.  

I felt good for the first few minutes of my walk, 

but awful for the second half. 

Which was the getting home again part. 

I generally feel sick every time my heart rate goes up

 

This is called "exercise intolerance."  While exercise is great for managing mood, it can be overstimulating in withdrawal.  

Learn your limits, and keep to them.  I used to walk only 10 minutes a day (in sunlight, for mood).  My therapist kept saying to me, well, then, start increasing it - I'm like, but you don't understand.  If I do that, then I won't do it AT ALL.  10 minutes - you have no excuse.  10 minutes is not likely to hurt you.  Just 10 minutes.  


What I think happens is that if you overdo - all your sympathetic nervous system fires, and it makes it harder to heal.  As I started building up fitness, I used a 3 day rule.

 

First, if I can get through the exercise without a crash - if I am okay after 3 days, then it was okay.  If, however, it knocks me down for more than that, it was too much.  In your case - you crashed right away, so you overdid it.

 

We have a discussion about it here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10726-exercise-do-more-do-less-do-nothing-what-worked-for-you/

 

* * *

 

I think by now, you know that was a CT of the clonazepam, and even though you'd only been on it a few months - what a powerful tiny little pill it is.  Rosetta nailed it when she said "do not Cold Turkey."

Benzos are the most addictive of drugs.  

 

You are going to want to learn to do liquid tapers, in order to get off it.  You would do best to go to our private members-only benzo forum, and set up a thread there.  Members Only Benzo Forum

 

I'm going to suggest that you go back on 1/2 tablet morning and evening.  Let's see if that covers it.  Then, one of our more benzo-wise moderators can help you taper it.  Cut up a few tablets, and take the largest 1/2 tablets for now.  It's hard to dry-cut these tiny tablets accurately.  Your symptoms won't go away completely, we're just looking to make them bearable so you can continue.  We're looking for "good enough."

 

While you are stabilising, learn about liquid tapers:

How to Make a Liquid from Tablets or Capsule

Using an Oral Syringe and other Tapering Techniques

 

Liquid tapers are excellent for accuracy, and you will need that accuracy to come off of such a small dose of clonazepam.

 

I'll stop for here - it sounds very much like that was clonazepam withdrawal.  We'll see you over on the benzo side!  Continue to post here about symptoms and problems - and good days, too, as this is your main journal,  but you will manage your benzo doses on the benzo side of things.

 

I hope you see the sun today!

 

Edited by JanCarol
correct suggestion to match member's choice.

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JanCarol

Hey Waterfall - 

On 06/01/2018 at 1:31 PM, Waterfall said:

peanut butter to some toast to start my day off with some protein.

 

I've revised my views of peanut butter - it's a fat, not a protein. 

We grew up believing it to be good protein, but really it's a fat.

 

Fats are awesome, too.  Our brain is made up of very specialised fats.  That's why Omega-3 fish oil is so good for our brains.  And avocados, and nuts (walnuts in particular are considered good brain food).

 

This is why the diet industry is so hard on mood.  Not only does it yo-yo our metabolism and change our set-point - it yo-yo's our moods, too.  A healthy diet includes fats.  Not the vegetable oils that are sold as "healthy," they are usually inflammatory.  Canola oil, which is so highly touted, is actually an industrial oil which has been treated so that it is palatable.  Ugh!  But the healthy oils - like coconut, olive oil, nut oils.

Anyhow - 

On 06/01/2018 at 1:31 PM, Waterfall said:

  But the 

fact that someone was concerned for me today, and the fact that someone else told me that while anxiety, depression, and withdrawal 

can't kill me, my reactions to them can, has me a little spooked.  Even the breathing exercises someone suggested scared me.  To begin

with, I always stress WAY too much about getting them right and worrying if I'm doing them wrong, so that they tend to make me more 

stressed, instead of less.  Just thinking about the instructions and how they are supposed to work stresses me out.  When I try art as 

therapy, I worry about how it looks, or even how it's -going- to look.  Everyone else around me seems so talented.  And then I read on the

breathing thread that, oh, if you breath the way poster #X says to, I've heard of people giving themselves heart attacks by doing it THAT 

way!

 

Ah hah!

 

You have anxiety!

Anxiety+Girl.jpg

 

The people who have anxiety the most are the people who are perfectionists.  

 

The ones who are so terrified that something will not be perfect - that they cannot do anything at all.  It's paralysing.  

 

The stage fright you mention - that - you will make a big mistake and it will all come down around your ears!

Guess what!  Nothing is perfect, ever.  Not in the human realm anyway (my cat is perfect, but that's another story).  All we can ever do is our best.

 

The people I know who have been helped the most through their anxiety have used a tool called ACT - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  

Dr. Rob Purssey's ACT Tips - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

 

There are other tools we use for anxiety, too.  Claire Weekes, is an old fashioned Australian who calls it "Nervousness"

Claire Weekes - Self Help for your Nerves

How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

Here's a 4 minute First Aid for Panic track.

 

Instead of falling into fear - "will this kill me?" - fall into curiosity:  "What is this?"  Curiosity leads you to describe it, write about it, explore it, learn from it.  Maybe you will find that there are things that set off your anxiety - fear of imperfection might be one, or fear that your children aren't safe might be another.  

 

Eventually, when you feel these things, you might even learn to turn your anxiety into excitement.  They are the same firing of your sympathetic nervous system - just a different interpretation of the symptoms:  Atlantic: I am Excited! Turn Anxiety into Excitement  

 

We have a discussion on SA here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5213-fear-terror-panic-and-anxiety/?p=11776

 

I learned a lot from this woman, about highly sensitive people:  Anxiety and Highly Sensitive People  

(and yes, guilty as charged:  I'm the one who said your reaction to symptoms was the most dangerous part, I'm sorry I didn't phrase that in a more comforting way, and I'm also sorry that the  Breathing for Well Being only induced more anxiety!)

 

12 hours ago, Waterfall said:

brain zaps.  I think that's what

they are.  I always expected them when

I came off the citalopram, since it's a 

symptom frequently mentioned.  But I've

only just got them since missing several

doses of my clonazepam. 

 

 

Well, 6 months before brain zaps appear is not outside the realm of normal.  I haven't had an SNRI for over 12 years, and I still get brain "twangs," (not strong enough to be a full blown zap, but enough to know - whups! - still having symptoms!)


Especially since you "covered" some of your withdrawals with St. John's Wort - it might have delayed this effect.

 

And perhaps your clonazepam (almost typed citalopram - you've got me doing it now!) covered some of your withdrawals, too.

 

So - I reckon you are in a state now which we call "destabilised" and the most important thing now is to get stable.

Take your clonazepam morning and night.  I'm hoping 1/4 tablet will hold you.  Geez, that's 0.0625 mg, so tiny!  But it might do the trick.  OH - I just saw that you are taking 1/2 tablet morning and night.  Okay.  Let's go with that.  I will correct my post above.  It may take 3 days before this holds you.

 

In a state of destabilisation it becomes important to really pay attention to what gets you jazzed up, what is stimulating.  You want calming things now.  Careful with the caffeine.  No alcohol.  Careful with the TV and loud music.  Maybe even be careful with light.  

Deep breathing, legs up on the wall, helps to calm a destabilized nervous system (probably better for you than sitting in your chair looking at a bright computer screen!).  Legs on the wall - switch off your nerves, calm and heal 

 

If you cannot exercise, Qi Gong is an excellent way to manage your moods, keep yourself chilled, but stay healthy:  Qi Gong: 7 Minutes of Magic for Health 

 

12 hours ago, Waterfall said:

I am so susceptible to whatever I feel at any given time.

 

This is a strong indicator that mindfulness meditation will be helpful to you.

 

When you do mindfulness, you usually just sit still to watch your breath.  Feel the air coming in your nostrils, feel your lungs expand, feel the air going out.  Repeat.  While you are doing this, thoughts and feelings will arise.  

 

They are like clouds in the sky.  Producing thoughts is one of your brain's functions.  Producing feelings is one of your gut's function.  When humans were less civilised, our feelings would tell us when there was danger, and our thoughts would help us get out of danger.  

But there is no sabre-toothed tiger, and your nervous system is firing at these things for no good reason.  Too much thought becomes rumination, too much feeling becomes anxiety.  

Mindfulness helps even out you. 

 

If you have a feeling that you don't like, you can say, "I don't like that feeling."  But who is it that doesn't like your own feeling?  It is that person I'm appealing to here.  There is someone in you who is steady, stable, and who can witness these thoughts and feelings.

 

Learn to let the feelings come and let them go.  They are feelings, they are thoughts.  Let them go (even the good ones, while you are meditating).  Then, you will be strong enough to choose which feelings to engage.

 

Here's more:  Mindfulness and Acceptance  

 

 

11 hours ago, Waterfall said:

To face my fears by exposing them, I guess. 

That book that scared me... the one useful thing it said in it, well, it said 

that you can't conquer your fears by running from them, you have to face 

them.  So I'm trying.  I think in some ways that's part of the goal of this 

site.  Not to mask our fears with drugs, only to intensify them, but to face

them and deal with them, hopefully to conquer them.  Am I right? 

 

I would say to integrate them.


Because fears can be useful. 

 

I'll give a tiny example.  When I'm in traffic, driving.  I've been in at least 15 automobile accidents from fender benders to a head-on with a truck.  I get nervous pulling out into traffic, and afraid of what other people might do.  Afraid of my blind spots, nervous of pedestrians, and afraid of tickets.  So my nervous system often fires when I drive a car.

 

I've decided to take that energy and use it.  I apply that energy to diligence.  If I am afraid of driving today - then - I will take that fear and turn it into diligence.  I will check again.  I will look again.  I will be aware of my mirrors, the lanes, the cars and the people.  I will use the firing of my nervous system in a way which is useful - and hopefully, protective.

There are many who believe that light and dark are opposites, and the dark things should "go away" or "be defeated."

I'm learning (using Jungian principles) that to make a painting without darkness - is to make a shallow painting.  It takes dark and light to make a good painting.  It takes left and right in order to walk.

I'm not saying that all fear is useful - but I do know that fear is an indicator that you have a Shadow, and integrating that Shadow puts it to work for you.

I've gone all philosophical now.

I'm sorry for being so overwhelming - I just know that once I leave this thread, it may be over a year before I get back here.  I hope to leave you with all the possible tools. 

 

And you don't have to do all of them.  I throw out a bunch of tools in the hopes that the one tool that will help you is in there.  Or maybe you will choose a few.


Right now, I think Rosetta is right - distracting is probably a good strategy.

 

11 hours ago, Waterfall said:

For a long time already, I've always

rubbed my feet around in a circle against each other in order to help myself

fall asleep

 

OMG I do this!  I recently decided that it was because I was a foster child from birth to 9 months old.  That I developed this habit to self-soothe, when I had no Mommy - at a time in my life when Mommy is EVERYTHING.  It's like my secret weapon.

 

You talk about distress that this self-soothing rubbing has spread.  It's fine!  It's how you think about it that matters.

Think about it as mindfulness - you were numb on drugs for years, and they numb you to yourself.  Your feelings are returning (boy are they ever!).

 

Think of this as a tactile exploration.  Actually FEEL what you are doing when you do it.  Does that give you more of a choice to continue or stop?


Think of it as "repetitive behaviour" as a drug symptom.  As long as you are not harming yourself, don't attach too much importance to it.  

 

This, too, will pass.

 

Here's the link Rosetta was talking about:  Dealing with Emotional Spirals 

Rosetta wrote a wonderful, heartfelt and amazing post to you.  I would encourage you to print it out and read and re-read it!

Be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself.

You can do this!


OKAY I'm off to correct to 1/2 tablet 2x a day for you, so that you will be in good shape when you get to the benzo forum.

I do hope you see the sun today!

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Waterfall

Thank you.  Thank you so much you two, for the wonderful posts you sent me today.  I will be reading them again.

 

Two things.

1.  I actually had a pretty good day today.  Other than the weird obsession with rubbing my fingers, either together, or on my nose, or picking my nose, or on my chin, or my leg... Oh, and a good cry, I had right after I got up, which I was actually happy about.  

2. I know you said 1/4 morning and night.  That's what I meant to take, but I was miserable this morning, that I took 1/2 instead.  Tonight, after such a good day, I took a 1/4.  I almost didn't take anything, but I wanted to follow your advice, and I was also suddenly nervous about going to bed.  A little bit afraid of a repeat of last night, I think.  I'm still really turn over whether to take 1/2 or a 1/4.  Part of me doesn't want to lose any progress I've made, and part of me is terrified that I'll crash.  I had such a good day, I was almost nervous that it just couldn't be true, and that I'd crash any minute, but I never did.

 

I'd like to tell you more about my day, but I really need to go sleep now.  If the formatting is a little weird, I'm sorry, I'm posting from my phone for the first time.

 

And JanCarol?  I -did- see some sun today.  Not much.  But I saw it.  :)

 

Best wishes, 

Waterfall.

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scallywag
Posted (edited)

Link to topic that Rosetta mentioned: Dealing with Emotional Spirals

Edited by scallywag

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Rosetta
10 hours ago, JanCarol said:

This is called "exercise intolerance."  While exercise is great for managing mood, it can be overstimulating in withdrawal.  

Learn your limits, and keep to them.  I used to walk only 10 minutes a day (in sunlight, for mood).  My therapist kept saying to me, well, then, start increasing it - I'm like, but you don't understand.  If I do that, then I won't do it AT ALL.  10 minutes - you have no excuse.  10 minutes is not likely to hurt you.  Just 10 minutes.  


What I think happens is that if you overdo - all your sympathetic nervous system fires, and it makes it harder to heal.  As I started building up fitness, I used a 3 day rule.

 

First, if I can get through the exercise without a crash - if I am okay after 3 days, then it was okay.  If, however, it knocks me down for more than that, it was too much.  In your case - you crashed right away, so you overdid it.

 

 

First, Waterfall, I'm so happy you had a good day yesterday!

 

Second, crying is good!! It is a release. I used to be afraid to cry in front of my child, but I couldn't help it on the weekends.  I was holding it in until she was at school on weekdays. Then, I realized that crying really hard broke the anxiety.  I would feel relief after the crying spell.  Eventually, I explained to my little girl that it was ok to cry, and that I would be fine afterward.  She saw this a few times and was upset at first, but, soon, she realized it was just a part of life.  She got used to it and would hug me when I cried instead of going off to hide.  Now, I rarely cry hard, and I miss it.  I miss the feeling of relief.  It was like a drug.  I think it's a natural human response that serves an important purpose, but just like all the other emotional reactions in WD, it can be abnormally intense.  Thankfully so is the relief it brings.  

 

Third, as to the quote above there are so many pitfalls in this journey: to combat the early morning cortisol I was jogging about a mile every morning!!! I have to wonder if that was why I started having more intense symptoms!!  I did feel relief from the anxiety for a few hours, but the overall intensity of WD increased.  Seeing what JanCarol said about waiting 3 days before increasing exercise time makes wonder if I could have avoided some pretty awful weeks of misery by walking instead.

 

Fourth, I hope you have a good day today, too.  I feel I should mention this: I have a bad feeling about the idea of taking 1/2 of a clonazapam if you feel very bad and only 1/4 when you don't feel as bad.  Please ask over on the benzo thread about that.  It might be a bad idea; it's just a feeling I have.  I have a sense that you may feel worse in the future if you do that now, but I can't tell you why exactly.  On the other hand, it may be exactly the thing to do -- the benzo mods should know.

 

All I know is my own experience: the Xanax I took was the cause of some very negative emotions when it wore off (intense anger.) That's why I didn't refill the prescription (again, I wasn't addicted as I took it once every 3 days.). I'm concerned if you take a double dose at one time of day on some days and only two quarters overall on other days.  Maybe I'm afraid that you'll start getting a negative reaction.  It will be hard to determine whether it's simply a new AD symptom or that the extra benzo is causing a reaction.  I can't give you any logic behind this feeling I have, but I read somewhere to never "double" a dose of a benzo.  The writer didn't say why.  It's a very powerful drug, and the pills are so tiny it's not possible to take "a little" extra.  Due to that it's tempting to double the dose, isn't it?  Please check with the benzo forum before you continue taking extra when you feel worse just in case.  

 

However, I dont want to make you think that if taking 1/2 each time -- morning and evening -- is what you need to get through this AD WD that you are to be denied that.  Your doctor wanted you to take more not less you said.  At the same time I know I would be cautious about taking more rather than less overall, and I would be tempted to take different doses depending on my mood just as you are -- to lower the overall dose.  I just want you to confirm whether it's ok to take different doses at different times.  I can't shake the bad feeling I have about that arrangement.

 

Well, it's Three Kings Day for us -- babies baked into cakes and sugar, sugar, sugar!  I wish the sugar cane had never been discovered!

 

Take care,

 

Rosetta

 

 

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