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Rosetta

Rosetta: CT May 2011 & too fast taper Feb 2017

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Rosetta

Hello to all. I cannot write much or often due to tardive dyskinesia (or dystonia?) of my right eye, arm, neck, tongue and face.  Reading, writing and using my phone, tablet and desktop exacerbate this condition.  

 

However, I would like to add my voice here and say two things that I feel are important:

1. You will in all likelihood get better - much better, and

2. If a moderator suggests that you reinstate, please read the horror stories of those of us who did not have that chance before you decide that you "do not want to go "backwards."" 

 

I believe I developed serious side effects in 2005 or 2006 including dyskinesia, but I did not know that the drugs could cause that. Before that, I developed anxiety in 2002 or earlier which I did not have to any appreciable degree before taking Celexa. I sit here now in disbelief that I suffered from increasing anxiety for 9 years on Celexa (and 5 years on Zoloft), and the doctors simply raised the dose, not by a little, but by 50 percent each time for Celexa.  I also realize now that I developed dystonia in my feet and toes and my chest and neck, but I had no idea what it was, and doctors' appointments resulted in no doctor suggesting the medication could be the culprit.  I didn't even know the terms dyskinesia or dystonia.  No one mentioned them either.

 

In 2011 I gave birth to a girl.  That very night, the OB at the hospital switched me from Celexa 150 mg to Zoloft 10 mg with no cross taper, no advice and no warning of the Hell I was about to endure.  After many nights with no sleep due to this switch I finally started to sleep again.  

 

Then, over the next 6 years the doctors kept raising the dose by large amounts despite increasing anxiety and what I now know to be akathesia, dyskinesia, and various other side effects including cognitive decline, increasing OCD, and inability to see reality.  I threw more and more amazing parties, and I became a hoarder.  Buying things on eBay became my job it seemed.  I became obsessed with organizing my home, but it was impossible without a professional to help, and I could not see that.  Until my child was about 4 I was functioning, but I thought I was a bad organizer, a bad mother, and a terrible wife.  After having had horrendously stressful jobs that I managed pretty well, I could not understand why I was so bad at being a wife and mother with a much less stressful job.

 

Eventually, I showed some signs of serotonin syndrome and mania, but I was probably spellbound by the medication (as Breggin suggests can occur.) I believed I was normal, right about everything, etc., and my husband could not convince me otherwise.  I enjoyed all the energy I had and could not understand why almost everything I tried to do did not work.  All my projects caused a lot of anxiety for me and my husband, it was nearly impossible to complete any of them, and I would often start a new one whilst struggling to complete a previous project.  I could not believe what my husband was saying -- that a professional carpenter, bricklayer, party planner, etcetera would be needed.  I began to cut corners or abandon plans in order to complete a project or be ready for a party.

 

I had a great deal of trouble leaving the house by 2015.  I could not be prepared for all of the possible disasters while I was out.  I had to cancel or be late to many activities.  I couldn't keep the house, cook or do laundry or organize clothing, toys, kitchen supplies, etc.  I count NOT THINK straight at all.  I became unable to socialize well by mid 2015.  I stopped working in early 2016. I was not willing to cut corners for work so I stopped altogether intending to start again very soon.  I could never do that.  I continued to develop dystonia of my foot and toes and my neck and chest on my right side and slightly of my left toes, but, again, I didn't know these terms, I never connected this to Zoloft or Celexa, and I thought I was just not stretching or exercising enough.

 

In late 2016 I decided to stop taking Zoloft.  Using Xanax had worked for a few hours for anxiety, but I knew it was addictive.  So, I used it only once every 3 days until I realized that after it wore off I became very angry.  My child was 5, and I could not bear it if I yelled at her.  I decided that discontinuing Zoloft was my only hope.  If I micromanaged my child and taught her to feel anxiety over every mistake, I would not be able to live with that.  I knew which behaviors were harmful to her even though my personality was utterly changed since I began medication.  I could not, however, see how harmful my behavior was to my husband.  He had begged me to stop with the projects and the hoarding, but I could not, and I could not see how it harmed him.  I did recognize that I was not perceiving reality, and that I needed Xanax to get through all activities that were ordinary or not.  I marveled at how other mothers with 2 or 3 children managed so much better than I did, and it worried me that I could not work.  Something was very, very wrong and it was very likely to be the Zoloft.

 

I looked up how to stop Zoloft on webmd or maybe a different site, and I checked many others to verify the information on other "reputable sites."  All I found were instructions that parroted the quick taper that the pharm cies and doctors knew.  I never saw anything about this site or Breggin or any other doctor who was aware of tardive withdrawal, PAWS, etc with regard to SSRIs.  So, I made the worst mistake of my life - I "tapered" 150 mg in about 6-8 weeks.  

 

I found SA after it was too late to reinstate.  I am a person who doesn't trust the pharm cies.  I don't feel comfortable with the high number of vaccines for babies and young children.  I'm suspicious of the flu vaccine, statins, and, of course, benzos.  I try to eat organic food and even if I don't I make sure my child has organic eggs and milk.  Despite that predisposed mistrust of pharmacology, I never thought to question a quick taper of Zoloft because I believed it was not "addictive!"  I had a honeymoon period for about 5-6 months until August or Sept 2017.

 

I am now medication free for 10 months.  It has been HELL a hundred times over.  I am still experiencing waves.  It's been a few weeks, 2 or 3, since I wanted to die, and all my symptoms are less intense and less frequent except right side bruxism and dyskinesia/dystonia of my face, neck, jaw, chest and eye plus numbness on my right side in my arm, hand, face, nose, eye, jaw, hip, leg, foot and toes.  I am no longer living in terror and fear and wishing an accident would take me from this world.  I still have cortisol mornings in a wave, and I need to keep my mind occupied at all times, but I am not exhausted and weak all the time.  The insomnia I had in Sept and October is gone seemingly for good.  There are many other mental and physical symptoms that are gone or are less intense.

 

Thank you for reading and I look forward to meeting each of you.  I hope you all recover quickly and take some solace in seeing the progress I have made.

 

Peace, Rosetta

Edited by JanCarol
formatting, emphasis, tags

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Rosetta

Correction: I was taking 60 mg of Celexa in May of 2011 when the OB in the maternity recovery ward switched my medication to 10 mg of Zoloft abruptly with no warning of any of the signs that I might be having problems with the change.  The Zoloft was increased steadily to 150 mgs over 5 years.

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AliG

Rosetta. Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. I'm so sorry for what you have been through but glad you found us and decided to share your story.

 

You tapered very fast ~ as you already know and I understand how frustrating it is when you find out too late that you have been medically mis-managed and also ill informed. I cold turkeyed before I found SA and it was too late for me to reinstate, so I feel your pain.

 

It's good that your insomnia has resolved, for now ~ that is something I have struggled with during this process. If you are sleeping ~ it's a bonus and huge in terms of healing.

 

Again, welcome and please let us know how we can help. There is a lot of information and support to be found here.

 

Would you mind adding your drug history? It appears below each of your posts and enables us to see your past medication use more easily.

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

Thanks,

Ali

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Rosetta
21 hours ago, Rosetta said:

 

(I can't get rid of that quote box above.)

 

Thank you for welcoming me, AliG.  I have been reading SA for several months, and I appreciate all the time and effort you and the other moderators provide.  It can't be easy.  I have seen your posts frequently.  You are very selfless, and I thank you.

 

Yes, my "taper," if one can call it that without wryly laughing, was fast.  I consider it to have been the same as cold turkey, and I suspect the effect was the same, but I was already in withdrawal since 2011.  I have only recently, in the past few weeks, come to that realization.  The Zoloft covered up many of the symptoms, but not all, for 5 years!!

 

I'm not entirely sure I would be here now if I did not have a child I did not want to leave behind.  I hope I would have hung on for my poor husband, but I believed he needed to be freed from my anger and from caring for me.  Nevertheless, I could not stand to think of making my daughter the orphan of a suicide.  I thought it might be better to be a crummy mother who loved her with all my heart, but I wasn't sure how much I could endure for her and at what cost to her? She would see me have panic attacks, yell at her father, cry and scream in frustration and fear.  Which harm was the lesser?  She understood that everything I tried to do for her caused me intense anxiety.  She would apologize for making me take her to a birthday party or the zoo.  She was only 6!  I began to believe I would always be a bad mother due to worsening mental illness.  All of those thoughts are gone now.  The anticipatory anxiety is still there, but I now know my daughter and my husband are better off with me here whatever my limitations.

 

After I stopped Zoloft, I got over the initial insomnia, but only recently did I begin to wake up feeling rested.  In fact, I used to sleep very little in the 5 months after the taper.  There must have been some restorative sleep, but it wasn't much.  I often woke up feeling that I had not slept at all.  This went on for months.  About 5 or 6 months after I finished the taper, I was in the thick of Hell.  It lasted about 3-4 months or so, but it wasn't constant - it was windows and waves until early December.  I still can't believe I survived it, and I'm afraid it will come back.  I do expect another wave, and maybe I'm in one now with physical symptoms being predominate (numbness, tingling, dyskinesia, dystonia, intermittent anxiety.).

 

The derealization and depersonalisation were particularly frightening, but I couldn't describe them.  As those problems lifted, I began to understand them better, but it's still hard to describe them.  It's no surprise that a psychiatrist who denies that these drugs cause unnatural mental states and denies protracted or tardive withdrawal would diagnose bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia.  If one has nothing but a hammer everything inevitably looks like nail.

 

My inability to handle stress is very concerning.  I get upset extremely easily.  Minor things put me into an anxious state.  I have flashes of anger.  Everything irritates me.  

 

Anticipatory anxiety is involved in everything I try to do outside the house or inside.  I can't do much of anything, and getting ready to go anywhere is either impossible or very distressing.  I want to be left alone, but that's not an option.  Even getting dressed or taking a shower is very hard to start or I simply can't do it.  It's rare that I can sort laundry or fill the dishwasher or cook, but every few days I can do one or two of these things.  That's progress for me.  

 

Getting rid of all the things I hoarded and no longer want is going to take a long time, but they sit here reminding me of how "crazy" I became and making it hard to find the things I need.  I hate my home bring this way, and I never feel comfortable here.  There is no where I feel at ease.  That is causing constant exhaustion.  I don't have the cognitive functioning yet to fix this but I can feel it coming back.  I actually organized my daughter's art supplies this past week!

 

Back in October, in the midst of utter withdrawal despair, I tried to read this site, but I couldn't understand it.  The brain fog was too great, the learning curve too steep, and the fear too overwhelming.  There was no concise explanation of anything here as far as my brain could perceive it.  Reading other people's threads triggered anxiety, and I had to stick to the raw information posts, but there are a lot of personal stories on those threads.

 

Eventually, I healed enough that the information from this site coalesced and sunk in: my symptoms were common, widespread, and there was a possibility that they would eventually subside!  There was a plausible theory about what was happening to me. The key was to stay off medication once the window for reinstatement had closed.  Many people had healed and many were improving.  There were people who had cold turkeyed who could think and write and control their own emotions long enough to post insightful comments here.  This was priceless.  Still, I did not believe I would get better, but I HOPED and that was enough.  Thank God that has been true! The waves are less intense and further apart all the time.  

 

SA is a far cry from the dismal outlook medical professionals have for their patients.  In early 2017, when I first starting having insomnia during or shortly after my "taper," the psychiatrist had told me that I probably was the person I had become: angry, anxious, fearful, incapable of caring for my family.  He did not so much as suggest that I could change.  He didn't say anything about a paradoxical reaction, overdose, or tolerance.  He didn't have much to say about the fact that I had never had the same mental illness symptoms before I used SSRIs.  My husband was there, but we received no useful information about how to proceed.  He gave me no hope whatsoever.  I left that appointment with a Trazodone prescription and thinking my only option was to die.  I was convinced that my family was better off without me if that psychiatrist was right.  At the very least, he had no idea how to help me.  I had waited through 4 weeks of insomnia for that appointment.  I was given a counseling session 4 weeks in the future.   It might as well have been 4 years in the future!  So much for psychiatry and psychology.  However, I try to push aside my feelings of anger and focus on making the rest of my life worth living.

 

Now that I have been medication free for 10 months, I feel strong enough to interact with other people and on this site.  For a while, I was afraid to post here for fear of saying the wrong thing and being rejected or simply being ignored.  I understand now that those fears were withdrawal related.  I suppose as our brains re-wire themselves we get to experience a taste of everything listed in the DSM.  

 

My anxiety is no longer constant, and my waves of mental symptoms seem to last for a few hours instead of 10 or 12 days.  I am still afraid when one starts that it will go on for a week or more.  I understand that could happen again.  

 

At this point, I can't quiet my mind.  Akathisia of the mind is what I saw it called. I must be constantly occupied or entertained with something either physical or mental.  That is hard when reading and writing causes dystonia to worsen, and my daughter is with me a lot.  So, I can't watch many movies or shows, and I can't hike far or jog or bike.  Akathisia of the mind is the only akathisia I have experienced for a long while; I didn't have the physical akathisia very much or for very long.  (The Trazodone made the restless leg syndrome worse.). Nonetheless, I have glimpses of this problem lessening.  Occasionally, I realize that mind has been quiet and calm for a bit.

 

I do still find myself triggered when I read other posts.  When I first found this site, it was hard to understand all the information due to the brain fog going on, but I also had an intense fear of experiencing what another poster had described.  In fact, I used to feel that I actually was experiencing that person's agony.  I realized that this happened to me when I watched movies, TV or read books, too.  It has begun to subside such that I can risk reading posts (and watch shows).  Now, I can read a thread and find that someone else has put into words almost exactly what I was feeling or experiencing.  It is still very hard to read a post by someone who is suffering acutely.  I wish I could speed up time for that person to help her get to where I am now.  

 

At some point I'll list all the symptoms that have subsided or ceased.  Perhaps that will be useful to some doctor who cares enough to read this site.

 

Thanks for reading.  This appears to be a little disjointed, stream of consciousness, but I'm tired so I hope it's readable enough.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

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Rosetta

These are my questions for AliG (and anyone else who might have an answer):

 

SLEEP: I am sleeping.  I don't remember when I started sleeping well, but that seems to have been the turning point for you, AliG.  Is that the consensus here - that regular restorative sleep is a key component of recovery?  

 

BRUXISM: Right now, I do have bruxism that is interfering with sleep.  When I wake up in the night I'm in pain from the tension.  Eventually, I fall asleep again and as I wake up in the morning I'm in pain, but the muscles relax within an hour.  I'm not in pain all day unless I read or write -- that irritates the muscles and results in what I call dystonia of my neck, jaw, face, temple, and chest.  When this happens, I get numbness and non-painful muscle tension in my toes, foot, hip, leg, forearm, and fingers.  I've tried to search using SA Google, but I haven't found an answer.  I am wondering if there is any way to stop the bruxism or if, like all the other symptoms, I have to wait for it to subside.

 

Thank you.

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RealMe
28 minutes ago, Rosetta said:

These are my questions for AliG (and anyone else who might have an answer):

 

SLEEP: I am sleeping.  I don't remember when I started sleeping well, but that seems to have been the turning point for you, AliG.  Is that the consensus here - that regular restorative sleep is a key component of recovery?  

 

BRUXISM: Right now, I do have bruxism that is interfering with sleep.  When I wake up in the night I'm in pain from the tension.  Eventually, I fall asleep again and as I wake up in the morning I'm in pain, but the muscles relax within an hour.  I'm not in pain all day unless I read or write -- that irritates the muscles and results in what I call dystonia of my neck, jaw, face, temple, and chest.  When this happens, I get numbness and non-painful muscle tension in my toes, foot, hip, leg, forearm, and fingers.  I've tried to search using SA Google, but I haven't found an answer.  I am wondering if there is any way to stop the bruxism or if, like all the other symptoms, I have to wait for it to subside.

 

Thank you.

I just read your posts and am in awe of your wonderful ability to express yourself.  Congratulations on your ten months of freedom from psychiatric medications and also for your persistent work on yourself as a mother, wife and person.  It gave me quite a bit of comfort and hope to read about your struggles and accomplishments.

 

I can't help with your questions.  As far as sleep, I oversleep but never feel rested.  I have cervical dystonia, and my voice, left eye and tongue are affected.  I also have tremors in my hands and sometimes my arms.  They don't bother me much when I am sleeping or laying down.  I have other symptoms which I won't trouble you about.  I know what it is like to pick up on the suffering of others and add it to mine.

 

I wish you continued recovery and healing.

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Rosetta

Sigh . . . This a wave.  It's been building.  The increased dystonia was part of it.  I was hoping that would be all.

 

(Really long post.  Skim if necessary.  There's a place in the middle that describes the crisis and a question at the end in the last paragraph.)

 

My 6 year old has been home for 10 days on break, and I am beat.  It makes me so very sad that I can't enjoy this time with her.  Her little girl months are passing fast.  She has her first loose tooth as of Dec 29th.

 

She "destroys" my house if she's home all day, and I can't get her ready to go out these days.  It's very hard for me to not yell at her if I have to tell her to "get ready" or "pick up" more than twice.  Her reaction pains me when I do yell, and I know I'm setting her up for a lifetime of abusive friendships or worse if I yell.  So, I ignore the mess and maybe she'll be a slob.  We don't go out, and she destroys my house again.  That's better, I hope.  If I don't ask her to pick up the first time, I don't get angry.  If I don't ask her to find her shoes, I don't yell. That's the solution for now.

 

It's solution for her.  For me, the pressure builds.  I become increasing anxious about the mess until I eventually cry or yell about something else.  In the end it's less yelling and a lot less yelling AT her.  The mess is a constant source of anxiety!! This hoarding disorder I developed while on Zoloft has flipped a little bit -- I would throw away even important things if I had the energy -- entire rooms! I'm trying not to make big decisions like throwing away an entire wardrobe of clothes with no sorting.  I don't have the energy to shop anyway.  How's that for a flip after the thousands of dollars I've spent on China and trains?!

 

My little one saw her paternal grandmother for a few hours today, and I had a break for 5 hours. (Grandma is on statins, becoming more anxious all the time and trying to quit Ambien which her doctor left her on for a year.  So, I don't get much free babysitting.  She can handle about 4 hours, and she's done.)

 

HERE'S THEBIGISSUE: I spent most of today obsessing on this site, reading about AliG, seeing a similar issue as that with MapleLeafGirl, and getting scared.  One tapered, one didn't. It had to be some environmental interaction that caused the late wave, right? Some allergy?

 

Obsessing on this site: I was afraid I would do that today, I wanted to not do that, but I did it, and now I'm down.  I shouldn't read threads.  I know that.  I know I can't be sure I can handle it.  There is scary stuff in every thread -somewhere.

 

Also, I know it makes no sense to worry about 10 months or 30 months in the future when no one's timeline is the same as any other.  No one's experience is the same.  I could be amazingly lucky.  Someone else could be incredibly unlucky.  I know that people who heal and stop coming back to SA may not have trouble in the future.  We don't know.  After all, some people have very mild withdrawal or have shorter withdrawal, etc. Many never find the site -- even if someone has a long withdrawal if it's mild how would the person even know it's withdrawal?  There is no use in worrying today about tomorrow.  It's a waste of energy, and it causes depression and anxiety -- spirals!

 

It's just very distressing to imagine my little girl seeing me struggle periodically for 3 years - she'll be 9 by then, or 6 years - she'll be 12, or 9 years -- she'll be 15.  How do I protect her???  How do I protect her from my erratic moods?  These thoughts keep popping up over and over and have, of course, for months if not years.  The sadness at missing out on her childhood is overwhelming, too.  I go to everything, but I don't enjoy it.

 

My baby said to her father the other day: "I don't remember Mommy not being sick."  How that kills me!!  She doesn't.  She was less than 2 when this started, maybe younger.  I don't know because the Zoloft covered up so much.  She was 4 when I noticed a problem with no way to know what it was, and, of course, the dose was raised.  That just made me more OCD and less of the mother I wanted to be.  She was 5 when things became critical, and close to 6 when I tapered too fast.  I just barely gave her a birthday party in May despite extreme anxiety.  Most of Summer was DP, DR, terror filled Hell.

 

The OB was trying to do the right thing, but that's not good enough.  Not when 6 1/2 years later I am a wreck.  Zoloft is probably better for a nursing baby. No one knows.  There's no evidence it is.  All the study shows is that Celexa is in the baby's serum in higher concentrations than Zoloft.  Is that enough reason to destabilize the mother's brain?  If the OB had known about tardive/protracted withdrawal/PAWS or cross tapering, maybe I would not be in this mess.  The whole point of SSRIs for mothers is to have a stable mother for the baby?  Apparently not.  All I can say is the OB should have known.  

 

Of course, my poor baby had withdrawal.  I thought it was "colic."  So, I should have been slowly tapering from the moment I got pregnant.  I should have been told I would have to taper to have a child and how to do it safely.  I shouldn't have been on the drug at all.  There should be millions of studies on people and babies.  Thank Congress - you greedy, sell absorbed louts!  (They remind me of my mother.)  Well. All in the past.  Can't be helped now.

 

I try so hard to be positive, to be grateful that I haven't done something truly awful as these meds sometimes cause people to do, and to appreciate what I still have.  I'm very lucky my husband understands and believes the theory on SA, but he's worn out.  He can't do everything for me, and he sometimes has to just take care of our child and leave me alone.

 

Today was that day.  I thought I was okay with it.  I had high hopes: a shower, a walk, a healthy lunch, some TV.  I was even pleased that I was able to stay by myself.  I self talked myself out of worrying all day that they or one of them would die in a car accident.  Then, I did nothing good for myself.  Again.

 

Instead, I read to much, I researched too much, and I discovered scary possibilities.  It was all statistically insignificant - I tell myself, and it was. There are no studies.  There is no long term follow up.  We are reading anecdotal stories about individual experiences.  There is no reason to fear what can't be proven, BUT my gut tells me that no one gets out unscathed after 14 years of this poison.  

 

I can't even believe it when a short term user has no withdrawal especially because I and so many others have a months long lag before the biggest wave hits.  Yet it clearly happens. Maybe for some people the drug is unable to change the brain much at all or the theory is faulty or a lucky person is uniquely able to make neuroplastic changes quickly and with minimum disruption?

 

Oh, this lack of control over the waves is maddening.  I have a head cold, but quite frankly, I've seen a lot people on this site try to reconstruct what caused a wave.  I've decided there is no way to avoid one.  Even if I accept that, the inability to be prepared is scary.  They come when they come, and they are precipitated by stress, of that I'm sure, but sometimes they aren't.  After all, there is no way to avoid stress especially with a child.  

 

My family wants to go on vacation.  I can't.  I simply can't.  The anticipatory anxiety alone would be too much.  It's been almost 2 years since we have gone and that last vacation was awful - it was immediately after my taper ended.  I was wreck.  I know someday I'll be able to do it.  I hope they won't pressure me for a long while yet, but I think they will.  My husband mentioned it just the other day.  To Mexico!! I don't want to be in Mexico if I melt down.

 

One thing that's really tough - my mother didn't and doesn't love me.  She was hospitalized and given lithium immediately after I was born.  Maybe that's why? Maybe she's lead poisoned; maybe she was spoiled and that was enough.  Whatever the reason she can't love.  She didn't even love her parents.  I had to care for them when they were old.  Getting her to help was more distressing than doing it alone.  She even said to me that children shouldn't have to care for their parents.  

 

Now, my mother wants me to take care of her and help her be a grandmother to my child AND she was put on Prozac about 18 months ago.  The dr raised the dose, doubled it, to 20 mg recently.  Just lovely!!

 

My grandparents were my parents until I was 8, and then THEY let my mother take me to live with her.  They loved me.  My grandmother was a wonderful mother to me, but she didn't protect me from my mother.  My mother was and is an abusive, neglectful, jealous big sister type who had complete control over me for 11 years.  My grandparents didn't know or at least didn't intervene.  I didn't even know I was neglected until I was about 12.  A child doesn't know, but the damage occurs nonetheless.  My grandmother began to develop ischemic dementia when I was 15 or 16.  My mother was very abusive at that time - very abusive. So, I want to be a good mother, and if I fail it's very upsetting.

 

I haven't allowed my mother to visit in about 2 years.  I can't handle the stress of her being here and demanding that I wait on her, being petulant and impulsive.  She's worse than 4 year old when it comes to those moods.  I don't want my daughter to see me yell at her either.  I'm hopeful that my daughter doesn't remember seeing me yell at my mother, and I intend to keep it that way.

 

Well, there it is.  A lot to read through.  I just need someone to say there is every reason to believe I will endure with a maximum of grace and far too little evidence to the contrary, I suppose -- someone besides me, of course.  AliG did fine.  I know it was Hell, and very demoralizing, but she did it, and she's well now.  Can I protect my relationship with my daughter even if I dive deep for 6 months when she's 7 or 8.  Can I protect her psyche?  Can she be okay when she grows up?  Will she love me?  Will she believe I love her?  If so, how can I do this "right.?"

 

 

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Rosetta

Today is better.  It's 3 pm, and I've been calm most of the day except right after waking up.  We stayed home, and aside from a short craft with me, my little girl has watched Netflix.  Not the ideal parenting scenario I would like, but . . . She spilled an entire cup of milk all over herself right after getting dressed to go out.  The good news is I did not freak out!!!  I'm so pleased about that.  My poor baby -- she was afraid that I would panic.  (If only I could force every psychiatrist to experience what I have these past few years!!)

 

The cat went to the vet and came back without surgery.  So, I'm happy about that, too.  Her spay was not complete.  She doesn't have kittens, but she other lovely symptoms that we will have to endure.  I'm in no shape to nurse her through a long recovery from exploratory surgery.

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks for the well-written posts, Rosetta. I am 9 months off Zoloft after a fast taper. Still getting the Big Waves. 

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AliG
Posted (edited)

Hi Rosetta. I'm away at the beach for a few more days, so I only just saw your questions. To answer those first : if you are sleeping, that's definitely a plus. It's such a good base to work from, as many symptoms seem to become more ramped up without it. I would say it's one of the key components in healing and one of the pillars of health, for sure.

 

Regarding the bruxism : you say the tension leaves within an hour of waking and that's a good sign ~ you don't have it all day. I'm thinking it may be yet another withdrawal symptom that will possibly and hopefully ease up over time.

 

Like you, I had a honeymoon period although mine was a little longer than your 5 - 6 months. I was doing everything possible to heal but I still " fell in a heap" with the withdrawal symptoms, which I didn't know were W/D symptoms. I thought it was the return of my so - called "condition".  :rolleyes:  At that stage - I was still being brainwashed by doctors and Pharma, generally. We all know better, now. I'm lucky that I found this site otherwise it would have continued on ad infinitum... 

 

It seems your symptoms are a little less intense at the moment and that's great. There will most probably be many more windows and waves, as that is the nature of withdrawal and even more so, after cold - turkey.

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

I often felt the same as you, with not feeling at ease anywhere but it has gradually receded and is now often only a very momentary thing. Try not to worry too much about these things as most of them tend to disappear after a certain length of time.Even if they come back, it's usually only temporary ~ part of the windows and waves scenario.

 

On 1/2/2018 at 3:19 PM, Rosetta said:

My family wants to go on vacation.  I can't.  I simply can't.  The anticipatory anxiety alone would be too much.  It's been almost 2 years since we have gone and that last vacation was awful - it was immediately after my taper ended.  I was wreck.  I know someday I'll be able to do it.  I hope they won't pressure me for a long while yet, but I think they will.  My husband mentioned it just the other day.  To Mexico!! I don't want to be in Mexico if I melt down.

 

I understand about the travel. I have done a few trips during W/D and they have been fine in the end but it always created some anticipatory fear and even now there are some things that I know I still can't really do. My husband recently wanted to do a European cruise and I just knew that I couldn't be confined to a small room at night and then exposed to large numbers of people during the day. Maybe one day, but not now. It would be pushing it and I would be a step back. You have to accept your limitations right now  - it's not forever. You will - in time.

 

You're doing really well ~ please have a look through the Symptoms and Self -Care section, if you haven't already. It's such a wealth of information and coping techniques. These skills will help you get through this.

 Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

We also recommend Magnesium and fish oil, but start with just one at a time ~ small dose to start with. Please read through the links.

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

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

 

It sounds like you are a good Mum and doing well on the parenting front ~ it's not an easy job, and particularly under these circumstances. I can't answer all your questions about that but I'm sure it will be fine in the end. Children are resilient. Do not to stress too much : try having a Magnesium bath or "legs up the wall" ~ both very good tools to put in the toolbox.

Ali

Edited by AliG
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Rosetta
7 hours ago, AliG said:

We also recommend Magnesium and fish oil, but start with just one at a time ~ small dose to start with. Please read through the links.

Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker

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

 

It sounds like you are a good Mum and doing well on the parenting front ~ it's not an easy job, and particularly under these circumstances. I can't answer all your questions about that but I'm sure it will be fine in the end. Children are resilient. Do not to stress too much : try having a Magnesium bath or "legs up the wall" ~ both very good tools to put in the toolbox.

 

Away at the beach.  How wonderful for you.  Thank you for taking the time to answer me!  Have a lovely holiday. (Oh, how I long for the day that the beach feels good again.  I can see that light at the end of the tunnel sometimes.)

 

I have been afraid to use the fish oil, but it's in my refrigerator.  I had a few doses when I was having terrible, deep, long waves, and I couldn't distinguish between its affect and the random onset of misery.  I do drink magnesium in a fizzy drink powder called "Calm" in small doses.  I hope to try a mag bath soon.  Maybe when school starts.

 

Wishing you all the best,

 

Rosetta

 

 

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Rosetta

I woke up feelling ok as if I could handle the day.  The heat wraps worked after I put them on in the middle of the night.  I lay in bed for while listening to my child sleep (she sleeps with me -- always has.). Only in the last month have I had a few mornings when I could just lie in bed without a cortisol issue.  I can't do that very long or I get anxious and distressed from all the places my mind wanders.  This morning, it was ok as I fantasized about getting a good routine going. - yoga, good food, and clearing out some clutter - someday, not today.  Eventually, the worrying began to start and then my husband came in, and my daughter woke up.

 

Then, demands were made upon me  -- childcare, a check to deposit, the phone rang -- a friend wants to visit with her two year old and her dog tomorrow -- and today my husband wants to go to the beach - again!  He has to change light bulbs in the vacation unit that someone is renting.  He's taking my child to get her out of the house.  I can't complain.  She needs to go.  I need to go.  Still, I had to vent to him.  I can't be presented with 4 things without being overwhelmed.  Sometimes one thing is enough if it's the wrong time on top of the constant child care " thing." Two things -- pushing it.  Three -- duck for cover!  My brain isn't able to sort, prioritize, triage.  It acts as if the house is on fire at the drop of a hat.

 

This all means seeing his mother, of course - the anxious woman on statins with whom I can't hold a conversation.  The poor woman who was put on Ambien and left on it a year and has just decided to stop using it for fear of getting dementia.  She and I have nothing in common but my daughter and my husband.  That was ok until the two of us started getting more and more anxious.  All we can talk about is the weather, and she's even disagreeable about that sometimes. I either have to rally or stay here alone.  I can't stay here alone.  I can't repeat Dec 3rd.  I simply can't.  

 

Sigh . . . I am lucky to not be alone right now; I am lucky to have the option of going somewhere today.  I wish I could feel good about getting ready and going.  Who doesn't want to go to the beach even if it's cold?  

 

I haven't washed my hair in at least a week.  I haven't showered in 3 days.  I have to do those things first, but it's all ready after noon.  There's been a load of wet clothes in the washer for 5 days.  I don't know what I can find to wear.  I suppose if it doesn't match, it doesn't match, right?  If I had cancer no one would care that I don't match.  I can't wear dirty clothes . . . .I'm very germaphobic right now while at the same time having no energy or motivation to keep things clean.  What an awful combination!

 

It's the same with the clutter.  I can't fix it - no energy, no ability to follow through on my desires to sort, purge, clear and organize. There simply no executive function happening.  It's impossible, but seeing the piles makes me insane!!  

 

I can't even walk into certain rooms.  I have to see the garage to get to the laundry room.  That's why the clothes in the washer have been washed twice and need third go.  The laundry room smells musty even without wet clothes in the washer.  Going in there at all is difficult.  I can't fix it.  

 

My sense of smell has been so very strong now for months.  It used to be practically non-existent on ADs.  My daughter's room smells like chemical lavender because of the cleaner I used when she  threw up on the carpet a month ago.  I can't sleep in there any longer because of this.  We are in the guest room and have been for weeks.  My daughter misses her room and keeps considering whether she can sleep there without me.

 

It will get better.  It must get better.  Baby steps.  Small improvements.  No one can judge me.  It's all small stuff.

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Rosetta
Posted (edited)

Dear SA:

 

I read here for 3 or 4 months.  I was afraid that when I officially joined I would become obsessed with the site.  I was right.  I'm going to step back to try to take better care of myself.   I must be with my daughter more.  I must get through this protracted withdrawal and have quality of life at the same time.  I will come back when I think I can control and limit my time here.

 

Thank you!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having the strength to be here for each other and for opening a "window" that allowed me to find out what was happening to me.  You, each of you, SAVED MY LIFE!!

 

My absolute best to all of you and farewell,

 

Rosetta

 

DOCTORS:

 

These meds can intensify the patient's problems -- even those they are marketed to help.  Your patient will not realize this is happening.  Her cognitive functions will disminish, but she will not realize it.  She will think she is better.  She will believe she's never been better before the meds.  She is deceived.  Her husband will disagree with her, but she will not listen.  It make not begin to be apparent for months or even years. It is so very, very gradual, and therefore it is insidious.

 

**Doctor, Your responsibility is to spend as much time with her as needed to detect these negative changes.*. If you can't or won't spend that time with her then you have no business prescribing her these medications.  It does not matter what the insurance company pays, what the HMO expects of you, how much time you have for yourself or your family.  You have no conscience if you are willing to write a prescription and then sit back while your patient's life slowly collapses, her husband loses his wife and the children lose their mother.  These drugs don't work long term -- they disable!  

 

Doctor, If your patient complains of side effects early, please, for the love of God taper her properly at 10%.  What do you have to lose?  It could mean the difference between her life and death or least her quality of life for the next 4 years.

 

You are the doctor.  Not the insurance company or the medical group.  When you write these prescriptions you make yourself responsible for the brain of a human being and whether she loses her insurance or you change medical groups, you are still responsible for that patient's brain - whether you get paid or not.  SHE IS YOUR CHILD NOW -- you don't abandon that brain that YOU MADE, you are transforming, you are potentially damaging, you are making dependent.  She is dependent on you now!  So, are you still going to prescribe that med?

 

Doctor, During my time on Celexa (9 years) I developed cognitive troubles I didn't have before.  During my time on Zoloft (5 years) I developed hoarding disorder as well as increased cognitive decline.  Eventually, I became unable to care for myself.  When I tapered at the same rate any doctor would have told me to taper, that was not the end of my brain damage.  It was only the beginning.  If not for my husband I would be homeless, my child would be homeless and my child might be an orphan.  These drugs don't work long term -- they disable!  

 

Doctor, I have been off Zoloft for 10 months.  This decision to step back from SA is a very, very good sign that I am slowly healing such that I can control my own life.  I still have a long way to go.

 

Rosetta

 

Edited by JanCarol

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Rosetta

I wrote something similar to this to another member, and I thought I would post it here before I sign off:

 

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.  I essentially CT'd, twice, but please don't risk it.  I would not have if I had found this site and understood the risks.  

 

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 any med unless the Mod says that's a real, viable option. 

 

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 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 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.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

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Rosetta

So, I can't stay away from the forum.  That's just a fact.  I'm trying to avoid the new threads as they upset me, a lot, but I have been following a few people these past few months while I was reading and trying to understand AD withdrawal.  I want to know how those people are doing.  I guess I am hooked, or I simply have so few friends that I need to "be with" people who understand my predicament.  I still keep seeing things that upset me even so, but I'm getting a little better at self talk and using CBT.

 

Before I took ADs I did not have an "addictive personality." A doctor put me on fiorinal -- a barbiturate -- after I cracked a vertebrae in my neck.  He left me on that med for a whole year for the tension headaches.  When I realized the med could and did cause rebound pain I just quit -- no problem -- and I used physical therapy to get through the residual pain.  How ironic that Celexa and Zoloft have caused dystonia in the head and neck on the same side as I had the most tension during that year.

 

Despite a fear of jinxing my good fortune, I should document that I've been quite well the past few days.  Today I may have overdone it.  We went to the zoo and then ran into a girl with whom my daughter went to preschool.  So, instead of coming home for lunch we were out all day -  from 11:15 to 5:45.  I'm worried that I'm going to have a wave because of that.

 

My daughter goes back to school tomorrow.  So, the whole production -- get her up, dressed, fed, and to the school by 8 am starts again.  That isn't good for me at all.  These past 2 weeks have allowed me to be less stressed.  I think I'm feeling good because of that.  At the same time, she's why I get through this ordeal.  

 

I can't be lonely -- even though I have felt very lonely these past few months (neuro-emotion intensity loneliness).  I get sunlight because of her; I walk because of her, I try harder to stay sane -- eating better, exercising more often, etc. -- because of her.  So, I take the good with the bad, but I just don't want the morning school routine to cause me to get worse and then I will yell at her or be unable to interact with her like a mother should.  It's a shame about the cortisol issue being right in the middle of that time of day that is my most stressful.

 

My dystonia has been better for the last few days.  I still have bruxism.  However, on my right side my toes and the arch of my foot feel less tense.  My left foot is almost a asymptomatic, I think.  Maybe I'm imagining it, but my toes look different, too.  I'm not having as much tingling and numbness in my arm, fingers, leg, foot and hip.  My face is rarely numb and so is my nose and tongue, too.  Sometimes, I notice that my tongue isn't pressed up against the roof of my mouth.  I have been waking up without a bad headache, too.  

 

Here's to hoping this window continues!

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Rosetta

I wrote this in response to a person who wanted to know if my baby born while I was on citalopram is healthy.

 

Yes, I have a healthy 6 year old.  I worry for her future, but for now she's doing as well or better than her peers.  If she has a heart condition, we have seen no sign at all.  She does well in school, and she has no behavioral problems.  She reads above grade level.  I worry all the time that she will have problems someday, and I would not have wanted to take the citalopram while pregnant knowing what I know now.  However, my little girl has been considered by her teachers from all 3 years of preschool all through Kinder and until now in First Grade to be perfectly normal.  

 

I did not know about ADWD when she was born, and I didn't know I was going to experience this horrific nightmare that is WD.  She was my first child, and didn't know what was normal or not.  After what I have endured, I "know" she had WD.  I can't imagine any human not having WD after going cold turkey.  What I don't know is whether she had symptoms of WD as a baby or even today.  

 

As I think back a few symptoms she had stand out.  I can't definitively say they were WD symptoms.  The baby is building a brain, too, and there are many strange things babies do and bizarre symptoms they have that don't seem worrisome only because they are babies.

 

She had some allergic reactions to mosquito bites between the ages of 6 months and 2 years that were not life threatening.  Now that I know SSRIs are antihistamines, I wonder about that.  Now, her reaction to mosquitos is less intense than it used to be before she was 2.  She did not have an intense reaction to a bee sting when she was 2, but the mosquito bites still cause a small, red, raised welt.  The welt isn't as large as it used to be, and it doesn't break open into a sore as it did before.   

 

She has no known allergies otherwise.  I did not vaccinate her, and I shudder to think what that might have done to her at the age of 2 months while she was in withdrawal.  I did not vaccinate her at birth either -- Hep B -- the nurse pestered me 4 times to give her that vaccine on her first day of life.  In fact, I have never vaccinated her, but if I do, I'll be glad it will be long after withdrawal is likely to affect her.

 

I was on 60 mg of Citalopram when I was pregnant.  As a baby she seemed fine.  She had an APGAR of 9.9 out of 10 when she was born, and she was never in any distress at birth.  She nursed within an hour.  She only lost about 7 ounces before she started to gain again.  She weighed 4 lbs 8 oz at birth, and was born 10 days early.  She probably had some WD symptoms that I didn't recognize as such when she was a baby, but she's a very healthy now.  

 

As a baby, she slept fine as far as I could tell.  She slept with me, and I nursed her on demand.  She would nurse in the night and go right back to sleep.   I was lying down to nurse her at night, and she didn't have "colic" at night.  

 

I thought she had colic in the daytime because of how much and hard she cried.  Now that I have experienced full blown withdrawal, I wonder if there was more to it, but she did stop crying as much when I changed my nursing position.  I began nursing her while lying down in the daytime.  That seemed to help her avoid getting as much air in her tummy.  She still had colic like symptoms, but they were not as intense.  So, I can't say the "colic" was a sign of WD or not.  I'll never know, but she cried a lot more, a lot harder and for longer than many babies I have seen.  Now that I understand about serotonin and the gut I wonder . . .

 

When she was awake as a newborn, she was very alert.  People commented on how alert she was at the age of 2 months to 4 months when I was at the hospital everyday with my grandfather.  They thought she was much older than she was.  That makes me wonder if her autonomic nervous (fight or flight) system was normal.  Now that I've been in a constant state of fear for days on end I wonder about her being very alert when she was awake.  Was that WD?

 

Up until she was about 6 months old her arms moved seemingly on their own, and it upset her a lot.  She would cry and cry unless she was swaddled.  So, I swaddled her, and she was happy.  Now, after what I have experienced, that arm movement sounds to me like Akathisia, but a lot of babies are happier if they are swaddled.  They all seem to move in a way that would be considered abnormal if they weren't babies.  Their brains are developing after all.  So, I can't say this was definitely a sign of withdrawal.  

 

It's true she couldn't sleep unless she was swaddled.  So, I kept her swaddled for sleep until she started turning over even though she was swaddled.  At that point, babies can suffocate if they can't turn back over.  (I put her in bed on her back.  Babies can turn from back to front earlier than they have the ability to turn front to back.  Of course, with her arms pinned in the swaddled there was no way she could have turned back over.) I kept an eagle eye on her to catch the moment she turned onto her front side.  Then, I stopped swaddling her unless I could be with her every second.  I don't remember when she started sleeping without the swaddle.  

 

As to being pregnant while being in WD, I can't attest to that.  I was probably experiencing tolerance to Citalopram before I was pregnant.  Maybe that's a form of WD? I don't know, but I was not well.  I had a lot of brain fog, anxiety, and I was manic.  My husband says that my health was much better during the last 3 months of my pregnancy and the first 6 months after my baby was born than before I got pregnant.  However, while I was pregnant I was not in full blown withdrawal of the kind I have experienced these past 10 months.

 

The night my baby was born I was switched to 10 mg of Zoloft as the OB thought it was safer for nursing.  I did not sleep for about 3 nights after giving birth.  Then, I started sleeping better and eventually I seemed to sleep normally, but I became very sick within a year.  I was ok, more or less, for at least 6 months after the birth.  Then, I became more and more ill, and the doctor kept raising the dose.  After I fast tapered Zoloft, in Feb of 2017, I had a 5 month time period after the initial insomnia before I started having the worst WD symptoms.

 

Supposedly, the nursing baby doesn't get much Zoloft.  She gets more Celexa such that it can be detected in her serum.  If that's true, that means my baby didn't even get the Zoloft that I did.  She was cut off at birth.  It seemed to me that the Zoloft covered up my WD symptoms that I should have had from the CT of Celexa, but there's no way for me to know If that's how these meds work or not.

 

I hope this helpful and doesn't scare you.  I continue to hope the meds did no harm to my child.  All the evidence so far points to that conclusion.  Any study like the one from Finland tells us nothing.  It's a correlation, nothing more.  I like to think that women on SSRIs are more likely to take their kids to the psychiatrist and that to a psych doc every person is seen as abnormal and needing meds.  That would explain why the kids whose mothers took the poison have ended up diagnosed as mentally ill.  I wish there could be more and better studies that had real answers, but it's not likely we will get those anytime soon

 

Rosetta

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Rosetta

Oops, my baby was 6 lbs 4 oz at birth.  It was me who was 4 lbs 8 oz.

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JanCarol

Hey Rosetta - 

 

Wow - your writing is amazingly clear, and your hindsight is sharp!  I guess we are all (in hindsight) aware of our behaviours, especially when we notice the difference between "on the drugs," and "off the drugs."  But even so - your description of "on the drugs" is one of the most lucid I've read!

 

On 02/01/2018 at 12:37 PM, Rosetta said:

Right now, I do have bruxism that is interfering with sleep.  When I wake up in the night I'm in pain from the tension.  E

 

I believe that all of my anger, ever in my life, turns into bruxism at night.  It's intense, and my teeth are damaged from it.

Magnesium will help some, as it relaxes muscles.  There may be other contributing factors, but I'm too far away and over the internet to tell what they might be.

Please get a mouthguard. I have an expensive one from my dentist, because my teeth are damaged and my gums are "buttressed" against the pressure of my teeth grinding.  I wish I could say that mine is all withdrawal, but I have records of doing it since early childhood.  It might have been a coping mechanism (an unhelpful one) that I developed during the first 9 months of my life, when I was in foster care.

There are inexpensive sports mouthguards you can get at a pharmacy, that you pop in hot water to soften them, and then mold them to your mouth.  Any mouthguard is better than no mouthguard.

I'm hoping that as I become more open, trusting and less angry, this will improve.  But until such time, I wear a mouthguard.

Psychologically, it's "chewing" or rumination.  And for me - that chewing is anger.  

 

On 02/01/2018 at 3:19 PM, Rosetta said:

So, I ignore the mess and maybe she'll be a slob.  

 

I was that sloppy little girl.  I'm still a mess.  I have found, in adulthood, that the stress required to maintain a tidy house is more than I can handle.  It means I'm not house proud, and that is a stressor, too - but I reckon if my friends love me, they'll love me for me, not for my house.

 

She may have learned it during your years of hoarding (not sure how extreme it was, I'm using your terminology).

I have been studying the connection between perfectionism and anxiety.  My Mother did this.  I find that people who are super concerned with perfectionism are extremely anxious when reality doesn't match these expectations.

And I'm not going to proclaim that my mother was the best thing for me, but there were a few things she did to manage my mess.  (this is a woman who, up until 2 years ago, maintained white carpets in her house - and 20 years old, they were as white as the day she got them).

 

1.  She restricted my mess to my room.  At the end of the day, if I had a project, or had spread out into the living or dining room - I had to either close down the project, or move it out of sight.  No loose clothes were allowed outside of my room, ever.  Books, she was more lenient with.

2.  As I got older (your daughter is still too young for this), there was a weekly allowance.  It was my only opportunity to get paid.  Mom assigned a dollar value to each chore for a week.  Daily bed made was $5.  Clothes in the laundry was worth $3.  Dishes done was $2 for each night that I did them (my brother shared these tasks).  Anyhow, my allowance was "docked" if i didn't get these things done.

But there was opportunity, too, because my brother had the same deal - and he would pay me to do his work, and I got double allowance!  It was a great motivator, and taught me how to do housework, even if I was naturally messy.

 

* * *

It must be shocking to realise that your baby went through withdrawal as an infant.  I know they say some drugs are "better" or "worse" for pregnancy, but they are all problematic.  If it helps (this is a retrospective) the jury is out on whether it is better to fast taper and be a mess, or stay on the drug.  Dr. David Healy suggests a slow taper to the lowest possible dose - that even if you got down to 1/2 dose it would reduce the risks to the baby.  Dr. Kelly Brogan got into Obstetric Psychiatry, thinking that she was going to help all these women find the best way to manage their depression during pregnancy, and the reality of what she found shocked her.  You might enjoy her book, "A Mind of Your Own," about ways to heal from psych drugs.  She offers the first chapter for free, here:  http://kellybroganmd.com/amindofyourown/ 

 

On 02/01/2018 at 3:19 PM, Rosetta said:

I can't even believe it when a short term user has no withdrawal especially because I and so many others have a months long lag before the biggest wave hits.  Yet it clearly happens.

 

I tend to not believe it because of the Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms.  That person who, fast tapered - might come down with the flu in 3 months time, and never connect the dots.  

Someone fast tapers, and then - a stressor hits 2 years later, and their neurotransmitters and nerves are sensitised and that stressor causes them to go back on the drugs.  And they don't connect the dots.  Why would they - there was 2 years in between this event and that one.  

What people think about these drugs - as Rhi said here: Rhi's description of healing the brain - is that these drugs are like aspirin.  They're gone when the half-life decays.  What folks don't realise is how these drugs change the brain - and not for the better.

 

I know, I have a friend who is situationally depressed.  She's sick, bullied at work, and neglected at home.  Since she believes she cannot change those things, she keeps going back to doctor who - tries this - she takes it awhile, then quits, goes back to doctor, gets another script, tries it, then quits.  Surely this has compounded her situational problem.  She's tried at least a dozen different drugs in the past 3 years like this.  That was how I got started back in the 80's, each time a new drug came out I tried it, and quit it.  It wasn't until the 90's that the situation became untenable.  TEN YEARS!  Ten years of sensitising my brain before it snapped.

 

So when you hear of someone quitting, there are a number of things you can think.  "Oh well, your chooks will come home to roost someday." (that's the cold and cruel one), or, "I'm sorry you had to sensitise your brain this way."  If you actually tell the person that they may suffer effects a decade out - they won't believe it.  But if you say it - perhaps they will remember it in 10 years time.  

 

On 02/01/2018 at 3:19 PM, Rosetta said:

My family wants to go on vacation.  I can't.  I simply can't.  The anticipatory anxiety alone would be too much.  It's been almost 2 years since we have gone and that last vacation was awful - it was immediately after my taper ended.  I was wreck.  I know someday I'll be able to do it.  I hope they won't pressure me for a long while yet, but I think they will.  My husband mentioned it just the other day.  To Mexico!! I don't want to be in Mexico if I melt down.

 

I hear you.  Can you opt for a less threatening holiday?  Maybe a cabin in the mountains or something, instead of Mexico?  Perhaps something you can do by car instead of flying?  That way, you can load up all the comfort you need in the car as well as having a piece of home with you.  The car is often an extension of yourself, so if you go someplace and are uncomfortable, you can always retreat to the car.

I remember 2 years ago, hubby wanted to go to NYC.  As we researched lodging, transportation (we could only afford to stay in NJ, so would have to ride a train to the City), I could feel my heart jumping in my chest.  When he finally declared "Too hard," and cancelled - wow!  What relief!  And the thing was, I didn't know I was so ramped up - until it released!

 

Travelling is a challenge.  GiaK posted her travel adventures here (might be triggering).

 

I have not stopped travel during my "chronic illness" period.  I have hubby to take care of me if things go amok (and they have), and I don't have to look after a child.  This year, it took me 3 months to recover from my USA trip.  But if I don't go - I don't see Mom, and she is now 88.  It is very important to see her every chance I get, so the price of 3 months of pain and suffering is just the price I pay for it.  

I find that - while I'm travelling, I'm mostly okay.  I am prone to infections, and have had to visit doctors.  (the US trip was 2 doctor visits, the long drive around Australia was 3).  I sometimes have to cancel or reschedule and activity (that's harder with international travel).  But again - hubby is a great "keeper," and if I collapse into sickness, he understands.  I don't mean to do it!  It's frustrating to be somewhere like beautiful Northern California, and to have to tell him - look, I can't go 2 hours up the coast to that special place, can we just walk along the coast here?  

But it's possible.  I do recommend trying a shorter, less ambitious trip first.  I don't know what part of California you are in - but - I can think of a lot of lovely places within driving distance.  Flagstaff and Sedona, Arizona.  Sierras.  Redwoods.  Rugged coastline.  Cabins at Tahoe or Yosemite.  Be kind to yourself.  Try something easier first!

 

 

On 02/01/2018 at 3:19 PM, Rosetta said:

Now, my mother wants me to take care of her and help her be a grandmother to my child AND she was put on Prozac about 18 months ago.  The dr raised the dose, doubled it, to 20 mg recently.  

 

This sounds like a threat.  After the history you described, I would have to put my foot down and say no.

 

I know it's tough in America right now - she probably is struggling to function or make ends meet, and wants to enlist your help.  But it also sounds like she is at the root of why you went off the deep end to begin with!  That's a tough trauma to welcome into your life!

Our nuclear family based society is really complicated in many ways.  In an extended family situation you would say "sure Mom, come on" and there would be brothers and sisters and aunties to help look after her and to serve as a buffer between you and her.  The nuclear family, it is too much - and yet we feel guilty that we cannot take better care of our elders, and reject them to communal living or assisted care.  

I know my limits, I can co-dwell with my mother for about 3 days.  7 days is possible, if I spend a lot of time away - but by the 7th day, we are starting to grate on each other, tear each other down.  And nobody can reduce me to a 3 year old, like my mother can.  She's the expert in that one!

 

What have you decided to do?

 

On 02/01/2018 at 3:19 PM, Rosetta said:

 Can I protect my relationship with my daughter even if I dive deep for 6 months when she's 7 or 8.  Can I protect her psyche?  Can she be okay when she grows up?  Will she love me?  Will she believe I love her?  If so, how can I do this "right.?"

 

 

Yes you can.  NZ11 and I were just discussing Katinka Blackford Newman's "The Pill that Steals Lives."  She had 2 children when she melted down.  Her meltdown was faster and more dramatic than yours, but also briefer.  She talked to her children, and explained what was happening.  She talked about the bad drug and what it did to her, and made it clear to the children that she wouldn't let that happen again, and that she was working very hard to get better.

But I hear the shrill voice of perfectionism as you seek to "do it right."  All we can ever be is the Best Human that we Are.  All we can ever do for others is our Best.

 

I recognize that even though my own mother was neurotic, anxious, and afraid - she did what she thought was best for me, and gave me so much that I am grateful for.  At some point (it took awhile, maybe in my 30's) I stopped holding her accountable for my difficulties adapting to adult life.  Yes, it was hard, and she was very repressed. (so there was much hidden stuff that I didn't understand)

I think that if you are open and honest and strive to speak truth, and speak from your heart - that is what your daughter will see and hear.  Let the "perfect vision" go, it's unattainable.  

Strive instead for "Personal Best."  That may include down time, strong emotions.  Perhaps you can find a way - as your daughter approaches the storms of adolescence - to show her that it's okay to have feelings, that there are positive ways to express them.  She is just 6, you have a golden opportunity here to be truthful, loving, supportive - things that you didn't get yourself.

 

Well, this has gone on too long - and I'm only halfway down the page!

I hope you see the sun today!
 

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Rosetta

@JanCarol  Thank you for your kind and thoughtful note.  Thank you for the advice about raising my daughter.  I really need ideas about that.  Yours are excellent.  I have to find a way to avoid repeating any of the mistakes my mother made with me.  Having ADWD is definitely a challenging time for parenting.  I can't let WD ruin my relationship with my little girl.  She doesn't have anyone else to be her mother as I did until I was 8.

 

Bruxism:  After 15 years on these SSRIs it's hard to know, but I tend to believe they have caused most of the issues I've had since I started taking them, bruxism being one.  I'll get a mouth guard.

 

Perfectionism/Hoarding/Anxiety:  Oh, yes, I've always been a perfectionist.  It makes a lot of sense that perfectionism and anxiety are linked.  Your mother would run screaming from my house.  Ha ha!!  It's really bad.  This is no longer a perfectionism issue by a long shot, but you are very astute -- it started there!!  

 

Someone cleans my bathroom, kitchen and the parts of the floors she can find every week.  Otherwise, we couldn't live here.  She can't even enter 2 of the bedrooms.  I have almost every single object we have acquired in the last 7 years in no particular order.  Plus everything we had when we moved here and about 1/3 of a semi-truck load of my grandparents stuff.  Most of that was furniture, but there were a fair number of boxes of things I couldn't bear to throw away right after his death.

 

For the past 2 years, I have not had the cog function to manage all these things in the least.  I didn't know why until I after I found SA in October!!  I was simply incapable of thinking clearly enough to find places for things or decide what to pitch.  I was afraid I would need something again, I couldn't go shopping due to anxiety, and I was obsessed with trying to keep things out of the landfills, too.  I felt that I needed to get each object to a place where someone else would want to use it.  At the very least, I had to make sure every recyclable object made it to recycling.  Once the hoarding desire faded away, I was still incapable of deciding what to pitch.  That inability caused neuro-anxiety, of course.  Yet another AD symptom I didn't know about until recently.

 

I do feel that part of my brain coming back.  I know I will get this disaster straightened out.  For now, we can't have guests and having the cleaning person here causes me to meltdown almost every single time.  I'm always surprised if it doesn't cause me a panic attack/meltdown.

 

Travel: Thanks for ideas about travel.  Yes, I'm going to try to take small trips.  There are places nearby, but the vacations Im pressured to take are with my mother-in-law.  Why would I say no to an all expense paid trip to a warm, sunny beach?!!!  My mother-in-law wants us to go with her, and she's from Mexico.  She pays for our trips to nice resorts and private vacation homes.  It's hard for me to say no without revealing to her that I'm very sick, but she kind of knows.  I told her neighbor that I had a stroke, and I'm hoping it gets back to her.  That would explain a lot in terms she could understand.  She used to take us skiing nearby, but she's afraid to go now.  She's afraid she'll break a bone.  I can't blame her.  Now that I'm so weak from the AD I couldn't ski myself.  It would probably be me who breaks a bone.

 

I'm glad you had a good mother who wanted the best for you.  I'm also glad you can see that she did love you and for all the neurotic, anxious behavior and any harmfulness she did what she thought was best for you.  That's priceless.  I sure it gives you strength to know that.

 

Have a nice day, 

 

Rosetta

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Rosetta

Ah, yes, it was shocking to realize that my baby went through WD.  I was told that taking the meds was ok because having a "healthy" mother was just as important as avoiding meds.  I suspect some pharma person thought that one up.  I am so grateful that I didn't know there was such a thing as WD from Celexa when my baby was born.  I would have been more of a wreck about her health than I was.

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Rosetta

Today I took a nap!! It wasn't a very good nap, but it was a nap.  Amazing.  

 

I didnt have any symptoms from overdoing it with all that activity on Monday.

 

I've been calm these past few days although my daughter started school on Tuesday.  The power went out at 6:24 that morning, but I didn't panic.  We got ready in the dark, and To school with no panic on my part.  I was more anxious about the power outage than would be normal, but I calmed down, and the rest of the day was calm for me.

 

I am drinking 2 cups of tea these past 3 days instead of a strong cup of coffee, but I have not had a headache.  I thought one cup of tea is 1/3 of the caffeine if a cup of coffee.  My plans is to taper off caffeine.

 

Today, my daughter didn't wake up until almost 1/2 an hour after I usually wake her up, but we got ready calmly, and we made it to school on time.  I got frustrated with her while trying to get her to do her math homework.  (First grade homework is ridiculous to me, and the last thing I need in my condition, but . . .). I didn't overreact, but I did tell her I was unhappy, and I felt a lot of guilt and anxiety when she cried about it.  I don't know if I said the wrong thing or if it's just a travesty that first graders have homework.  I feel that I'm between a rock and a hard place on this one.  If don't make her do homework, but that's what the school expects then my daughter will have trouble later on when homework is important.

 

Dystonia is still there, but not nearly so strong.

 

I did yoga last night, but no exercise today.

 

I haven't cried in 18 days!

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Rosetta

TODAY.  Having a rough morning.   I think I activated my alerting system by using an alarm to wake up.  Big mistake.  The first alarm may have not been such a bad mistake, but I reset it for 15 minutes later.  I was able to handle the alarm for the last two days.  Perhaps the effect was building up over the 3 days, too.  Maybe the extra activity on Monday is catching up with me.

 

The GOOD news is that I fell back asleep.  That is something that would not have happened in November.  In fact, I think that has only been happening for the past few weeks.  I used to wake up at 5:30 unable to go back to sleeping.  Now, even if I wake up early, I go back to sleep and don't wake again until 6:00 or 6:30.  I think I'm getting about 8-9 hours of sleep at present.

 

The caffeine taper seems to be working out fine.  I didn't have a headache this morning that was caffeine related.  I only had the typical bruxism headache that cleared up quickly after I woke up.

 

The bad news is that I woke up a little bit anxious because of the alarm, and then my daughter didn't want to get up.  Her refusal to get up then started off a cascade of anxiety.  It was probably worse because of the alarm jump starting my alerting system.  I got her dressed and off to the bathroom to potty.  Then, the mess in the kitchen she made last night hit me right in the face, and I started to spiral.  

 

LASTNIGHT. I did not let my daughter watch TV last night.  So, she started pulling things off the shelves in the kitchen.  She made up a game that the kitchen cabinet door was a gate and my husband and I had to pay a toll to pass.  The various little things on the shelf were payment for the toll.  Cute, huh?  Except that all those little things are clutter -- game pieces, random little toys, a perfume bottle, etc that I have been picking up and putting on those shelves to keep them out of the way.  Someday, when I can use my brain again, they will go back where they belong.  This morning, they were everywhere, and whatever neurotransmitter was supposed to help me cope with that wasn't helping.  

 

Of course, anxiety is contagious.  My daughter became anxious.  She needed to cuddle.  I cuddled with her for as long as I could, but the whole time she squirmed and dug knees and elbows into me.  So, I kept trying to make her stop that which made her more anxious and made me more anxious . . . She didn't want to go to school, and I had to pry her off of me when we got to the classroom.

 

My husband told me that my daughter was crying last night after the homework fiasco.  He took her to her music lesson after I had tried to get her to do her homework.  (It took 45 minutes for her to do 4 math problems because she cried, or drew pictures or changed the subject so many times.)  I became very anxious.  I got very upset and told her I had to stop helping her with her homework.  

 

She told my husband while they were on the way to music that she feels I don't like her.  Hearing that made me cry.  I can't stand it that she thinks that.  It's normal, of course.  I have to criticize her and teach her and insist that she try to do her homework, but my anxiety when she resists is apparent to her.  It must make her feel that I don't like her because I don't like anything when I'm anxious.  I don't like ME!  Now, I'm sick to my stomach that I have made my daughter into an anxious child who will suffer with anxiety for the rest of her life.  (Yes, catastrophic thinking.).

 

I'm going to have to stop helping her do homework for a while.  Maybe after I learn to manage my anxiety better I can start again.  She did 5 pages of math with my husband in 45 minutes after music last night.  Then she read a tiny book and wrote out an answer to a question about the book.  She has a book/question assignment about 2-3 times a week on top of 6-8 pages of math homework per week.  It's an absurd amount of homework for a 6 year old!!  I really need to step back and keep to a minimum the number of anxiety producing activities so that she doesn't develop more and more anxiety.

 

AFRAID A WAVE IS COMING

I'm scared that I'm going into a wave, and I'm scared about how deep it will be and how long.  I wonder if there is a way to prepare for the next wave.  I do have ideas for what to do when one seems to be about to arrive.

 

When I have the feeling that a wave is coming on I try to remember that I need sunlight every day and a short walk every day.  Have I missed my walk for a day?  Did I get sunlight yesterday?  Have I been eating well?  Did I have the protein I need for my body and brain to repair itself?  I don't know if these things will help while I'm in the wave, but at least I feel as if I'm doing something to take back control.  I know these things help over the longer term.

 

Often, if I start to worry about the next wave I get into an emotional spiral.  To calm down after I have a panicky feeling for a bit I like to take a microwaveable heating pad -- a big one that covers both of my shoulders and my neck -- and a cup of warm milk.  Then I sit down with both and just breathe.  I count my breaths - one, two, three . . . I feel each breath come in and out, in and out.  Some people take Epsom salt (magnesium) baths.  I want to try that, too, but the whole production of getting the bath running, getting wet and needing a clean towel and clean clothes afterward seems like too much.  

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Rosetta

I picked my daughter up from school, but I didn't go with her and my husband to gymnastics.  She was sad, but I feel I need to keep the stress down as much as possible.  I used to worry about missing out on her life (and that she would die in a car accident -- I wanted to be there to die with her, of course.  I still would rather die with her, but . . . ) Now, I feel that I need to manage this anxiety and all the events that cause anxiety.  That way when I'm with my baby, maybe I can be calm or calmer.  To do this I need to avoid stress.  Needless to say going 45 minutes in the car each way, being in a crowded place with kids who are excited or yelling or running around, having dinner with my mother in law (who is usually anxious) and having bright lights in my eyes all the way home for 45 minutes -- is stressful.  

 

Positive: my sadness today that my child thinks I don't like her was of a more normal intensity than the neuro-emotions I was having up until 4 weeks ago.  I didn't sob hysterically.  In fact, this morning's panicky episode was much more intense.  Also, the fear that I'm making my child an anxious wreck by being anxious when I'm with her is also less intense than I think it would have been a few weeks ago.  It's pretty strong, but I'm not feeling that there is no way to correct the trajectory, all hope is lost, we are doomed, etc.  I believe I can correct this and make changes that will keep my little girl from having anxiety her whole life.  That thought alone means I'm making progress. Therefore, my conclusion is that the cortisol is not lasting as long as it used to last.  Maybe my autonomic system is going back to normal operation faster than it used to.

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Rosetta

As you can see below, I took ADs for 15 years.  My cog function is coming back.  I felt very "stupid" for many months.  This was one of the scariest symptoms for me.  It was as scary as the intense anxiety because it was constant rather than intermittent.  A lot of people have anxiety and physical symptoms such as tinnitus, aches, joint pain, etc.  I didn't see too many people on this site complain about the loss of cog function or executive function.  I thought I was more severely injured than they were and that I was permanently brain damaged.  I wasn't.  

 

This may be shocking: in the midst of all that deeply impaired cog function I could read books and understand them, and I learned to play the violin!  The brain is/was working, but it is/was focusing on something other than what I might believe I want it to.  My husband would insist that I wasn't dumb; he could give me many examples to support that assertion, but I felt dumb each time my brain did not work the way I expected it to work.  The brain is healing, and it's ignoring everything we want it to do while it rebuilds what has been lost to the AD. It can't worry about finding words or whether the dishes are being washed.  It's busy rebuilding the structures that use neurotransmitters and making neurotransmitters that it hasn't had to make in a very long time.  It's diverting energy and focus from all the things it used to do -- all the things we took for granted while it was getting the AD.  That is very confusing and upsetting to us, but it has to happen.

 

Why do so few people complain about this symptom?  I believe that the loss of cog function is very hard to describe -- hard to put into words -- and it's the least of one's worries if sky high, constant anxiety is a daily battle.  I wonder whether by the time a person in ADWD has realized she had lost cog function it had started to improve.  Many people don't want to admit they feel "dumb."  Of course, constant anxiety is going to impair cog function in anyone.  I suspect many people assume the fear is making them unable to think. There must be many reasons that this symptom is not reported, but I am certain that it has been one of my worst, most worrisome symptoms, and I am so relieved to find it is lifting.

 

For a long time I didn't know about ADWD.  So, I didn't know what had happened to my brain.  It helped me to find SA.  I found the knowledge that the ADs and WD had caused my cog abilities to degrade somewhat comforting.  At least there was an explanation.  

 

For me the loss of cog function was very gradual for years while I took Zoloft after a cold turkey from Celexa.  In fact, I think I had impaired cog function while I was on Celexa given how hard it was to do my job sometimes.  (My job was to think, analyze, write and convince others that I was right.  Imagine that in the midst of AD impaired cog function.). When I quit Celexa cold turkey and started Zoloft I had a new baby.  So, I didn't connect the cessation of Celexa to declining cog function.  Then, 5 1/2 years later after a rapid taper from Zoloft the cog function declined dramatically.  I can see now that it was compromised long before I quit taking Zoloft, but not to the same degree.  After the rapid taper it was obvious that I had lost cognitive and executive function quickly and drastically.

 

Now, I can feel my brain and my intelligence coming back even from one day to the next.  I can understand more easily and quickly.  When I came to the site at first I couldn't understand anything.  I was probably too anxious, but I believe it was more than that.   You should read this site regardless because one day all the information will coalesce.

 

For me there have been various incarnations of impaired cog function: demotivation is caused by ADWD.  One isn't simply confused, one is uninterested in taking action, or if one does feel inspired to take action - has motivation -- one can't follow through.  The executive function isn't working.  I would/will think of something I wanted, or more often needed, and I couldn't take the steps to get that object.  Either I lost motivation or I couldn't turn motivation into action.  Inability to plan is another symptom.  Sometimes I could not/cannot formulate a plan.  I would try to write one out, but I would become confused and feel that my plan wasn't complete or was nonsensical.  Ability to remember and form memories may be impaired, too.  Often, I cannot find the word for a simple object -- a spoon -- I'm was looking at a spoon; I needed that spoon, but I couldn't tell my husband what I needed.  I could say "that metal thing that I use to eat," but I couldn't say "spoon."  The inability to find a word is a frequent complaint on this board.  

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Rosetta

Mod note:  graphic description of self injury modified in keeping with community guidelines

 

I'm in a wave.  It started on Wednesday or maybe Tuesday.

 

Symptoms:

demotivation - strong

dystonia

bruxism

achy joints

anxiety not fear

sadness - mild

guilt - mild

restless leg syndrome -- this has been slight but annoying for a few minutes here and there in the day and when I go to bed

 

I went for a walk yesterday.  I talked to a neighbor and then felt awkward about the conversation.  That's been a common occurrence since I stopped taking Celexa 6 years ago.  I don't know if I'm perceiving the exchange improperly or if I am actually having awkward experiences.  It's probably a little of both.   I suppose I worry about this issue more than most people do.  Who cares?  It wasn't a bad experience.  I don't need to have completely pleasant conversations.  My life, my health, my finances no longer depend on that because I gave up my career.  I am a mom, and I don't have to "be" anything special to "compete" now.  There is no competition.  Every person I meet is not a potential client or a referral.  What a relief!  I suppose it's hard to give up old habits that I believed were useful to my career.  They probably weren't useful in the first place.  I know plenty of people who make me uncomfortable but are very "successful" people.

 

I woke up in the night and ruminated for a while.  The last few nights I slept better, but last night I was awake worrying for a good hour.  That's much better than the insomnia I used to have, but it's hard to avoid ruminating while I'm waiting to go back to sleep.  I kept trying to count my breaths, and then I would start to worry again.  I became very ups et about all things I need to throw or give away and about how hard it will be to get through it all.  I want to feel comfortable in my home again

 

I believe the clutter was such a worry last night because one of my child's friends is coming over today to go to the park across the steet.  I'm afraid her mother will ask to use the bathroom and see my house.  This woman's house is very orderly.  I have never reciprocated in having a play date here because I can't stand the idea of her seeing my house.  So, I worried about that in the night and a lot of other things.  

 

I didn't go to the school today.  I have not showered again for 3-4 days, and feel so uncomfortable.  I did get my little girl up and out the door with her father on time for school.

 

I'm alone again today, and I feel ok about that.  I hope I can shower and get a load of laundry in the machine.  I might get some dishes done.  That's doubtful.  Demotivation is pretty intense, but anxiety isn't too bad today.

 

Overall, the dystonia is still decreasing. That's very nice.  It's a little more intense today.  The bruxism is still there, but it's less intense.

 

Here are are some of the symptoms that have been gone for quite a while (mid to late November):

 

Nausea.  This hasn't been a problem in at least 6 months or maybe 9 or 10 months.  I wonder now if the Trazodone caused it or whether it was an WD symptom.  No way to know.

 

Tinnitus.  I have no had tinnitus in a couple of months or more.  Maybe it won't come back.  I had it while on Zoloft, but I don't remember if it was there on Celexa.  I think so.

 

Depersonalization

 

Derealization

 

Suicidal Ideation

I think this was connected to Akathisia of the mind.  I did not want to kill myself, but I did want to die, and yet I became afraid of myself as if I might kills myself without wanting to do that.  I believe I simply wanted the Akathisia to end and death was the only way, and yet I wanted to stay with my husband and child. I feared that I would be a suicide and leave my child as the orphan of a suicide more than I feared the Akathisia would not end.  However, it was a close call on that.  They were two very strongly completing thoughts for several weeks.  It felt like months or years when it was happening.  I had SI off and on with constant Akathisia of the mind for 2-3 months.

 

Akathisia of the mind

I had constant Akathisia of the mind for 2-3 months.  It started about 5 months after I stopped taking Zoloft and ended about 8 1/2 or 9 months after I stopped.  It was mild at first and probably not constant, but when it was constant I felt I wouldn't survive it.  I didn't even know what it was until sometime after I found SA in Sept or October.  It made me so tired.  I'm sure I wasn't sleeping well either.  

 

Weak legs and muscles

This was happening during the Akathisia of the mind.  I was also trying to jog a mile every morning to combat the cortisol morning surges, but it didn't go away when I stopped jogging.  It lasted about a month or two prior to December of 2017.

 

Desire to (injure) my forearms.  

I think this was connected to Akathisia of the mind.  This symptom did not last very long, and I never (injured) myself, but I do remember having the desire.  Immediately, I was horrified.  I had never in my life felt that desire, and I couldn't understand why I would want to do that.  I felt afraid of myself because I knew that I didn't want to have painful (injury) on my forearms, but the thought popped into my mind.  One time that it happened was when I had to shower but I felt such fear of taking a shower it was nearly impossible to force myself.  

 

Intense fear

 

Intense grief

 

Neuro-emotions.  I have experienced some very, very intense emotions that I am sure I would not have felt so intensely were it not for the AD having been in my system previously.  SA calls them neuro-emotions.

 

The neuro-emotions can intersect with a sort of "time travel" phenomenon.  I went through a period of remembering past loses, both distant and more near, and experiencing very intense emotions about those losses.  My husband could not convince me that did not feel as badly about those losses when they were more near.  To me it was as if those losses had happened yesterday.  It was as if I had never had any time to heal or as if time had never mollified the grief.  Some people call them "time travel" emotions.  They fade and one suddenly returns to being the person who has processed that grief normally.  I have to wonder if as the brain is repairing itself there is a sort of amnesia like experience surrounding those memories of loss.  Intellectually, one knows the time has passed, one even remembers having healed from the grief, but the grief is suddenly there again as if no time had passed.  On top of this time travel like emotional upheaval, one is experiencing real-time grief, of course, over the loss of normal functioning.  

 

I gave up my career midway through WD.  I also had a child who was beginning to grow out of toddlerhood when the Zoloft stopped working properly (about one year before I stopped taking it.). Literally, I felt as if my child was dying every time I noticed that she had changed as she was transitioning from a 4 1/2 year old toddler to a 6 year old the little girl.  I experienced this increasingly distressful recurrent grief over 2 1/2 years.  No one around me could understand.  The other mothers felt normal sadness that their babies were growing up and so did my husband.  The emoticón eventually morphed into a mor rational but still outsized fear that my child would die, and I found it very hard to let her go on about normal life, riding in cars, having colds, being away from me for even a minute.  Now, I'm sad when I see my little one has changed, but it's not the level of grief that her death would have caused by a long shot, and I don't worry too much more than might be normal about losing her.

 

 

Edited by JanCarol
removal of graphic description of self harm

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Rosetta

Here are a few more symptoms that may be WD related.  However, the intense OCD about certain things has decreased since I stopped Zoloft.

 

Lack of appetite.  This comes and goes.  This symptom was very intense the first few months-- probably before I realized that I had WD.  I lost 20- 25 pounds very quickly.  I wasn't concerned about my weight although I was overweight, but my reason for not eating wasn't to lose weight.  Therefore, I don't call this symptom anorexia.

 

Cibophobia.  My lack of appetite became something else.  I came to find food very threatening.  I was afraid of what type of toxins were in my food.  This was at its worst when I was fearful of everything and also having Akathisia of the mind.

I still am concerned about what is in my food, but at a more normal level.  There are a lot of toxins in our food.  

 

OCD.  This was there while I was on Celexa.  I believe Cekexa brought this trait to the forefront or made it worse.  It was there to an even higher degree while I was taking Zoloft.  I became a hoarder on Zoloft.  I was not a hoarder when I was on Celexa!! On Zoloft, I was obsessed with keeping my clothes unstained.  The efforts I went to to avoid stains or treat stains were intense.  Again, this was while I was taking Zoloft, not Cekexa.  The higher the dose of Zoloft the worse my OCD.  Also, on Zoloft, I became obsessed with organization and building new cabinets or making the yard more inviting by getting new patio furniture, etc.  During the time after I stopped taking Zoloft, I have had moments when I feel the urge to be an anti-hoarder.  I want all this stuff gone!  This symptom comes and goes. I no longer care about all my projects to the same degree.  Some of them I have no interest in at all.  I think I've gone back to a normal level of concern about my yard and about organization, but I have to get rid of all this stuff before I can organize what I want to keep.  I have no motivation/executive function to do that right now.  So, Instill feel a lot of anxiety about the state of my house.  

 

Intense crying.  This seems to be gone.  The last time I cried, it was a normal cry or maybe even a little truncated, but I hope not.  The last time I had intense crying was about 3-4 weeks ago.

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Rosetta

This is day 4 or 5 of a caffeine taper.  It has been too easy.  I'm very surprised.  The last time I forgot to have coffee, I had a bad headache in the late afternoon.  The time before that when I had too little caffeine I had a headache for 6 days when my husband mixed up the decaf and caffeinated coffee.  I drank decaf for 6 days without knowing and didn't get rid of the headache until I had coffee again.  So, the fact that I'm having 1/3 of the caffeine on day 4 or 5 and not feeling a fair amount of pain is very strange to me.  

 

I started this caffeine taper with 2 cups tea on the first day instead of a cup of coffee.  Yesterday and the day before I had only one cup of tea.  This morning I had one cup of decaf coffee my husband made for me.  I suppose I better have tea, too.

 

I ran out of my chemical heating pads yesterday.  So, that was not an option when I woke up in mild pain in the night due to bruxism.  I felt increased dystonia and bruxism very early this morning, but I went back to sleep.  At 6:00 am I used a heating pad and a cup of warm milk to go back to sleep.   When I finally woke up for good, I did not have headache, but some mild pain and a lot of stiffness and discomfort from dystonia or bruxism.  Using the iPad today hasn't been a very good idea.  I now have more dystonia and some mild tingling at my temple and around my eye. 

 

As far as other possible ADWD symptoms, I was awake ruminating very early this morning.  Again, I tried to count breaths.  I felt depressed about my life.  We have a kids birthday party to go to today.  My daughter being an only child, it's important for her to go and play, but we don't have much in common with the parents of the birthday girl.  This child always has many, many kids and families at her parties.  It's a zoo.  I felt a lot of anticipatory anxiety while I was awake in the night.  At the time, I was wishing that I could feel happy that we have something to do today and my daughter will be entertained.

 

Now it's time to leave for the party, and I'm pushing back against anxiety about going.  I know the day would be worse if we stay home and have nothing to do.  That is always very stressful for me, but it's also a lot of stimulus for me to be at a kids birthday party.

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Rosetta

Caffeine.  I just started a caffeine taper last week.  It has been far, far easier than I expected.  When I started reading this site, I saw the recommendation to cut out caffeine.  I thought "I can't!"  "I can't add caffeine WD to all of these other miserable symptoms."  The last few times I had forgotten to have coffee or somehow missed my caffeine "dose," it was very bad -- a lot of pain.  Years ago, even some times since 2011, I was able to stop caffeine cold turkey, use ibuprofen for 2-3 days and be over it that fast.  Since I quit Zoloft, I've been unable to go without my morning caffeine.  The pain came on even earlier than before.  Missing a dose used to cause a headache the next morning.  The last few missed coffees caused headaches by late afternoon the same day.  Yet this week has been so easy.  Yesterday I had one decaf coffee and one cup of Earl Grey just in case the decaf did not have as much caffeine as one cup of tea.  No headache -- not even this morning.

 

Bruxism/dystonia.  I suspect I had very little bruxism last night.  I did not even have the same level of discomfort when I woke up in the night last night as I did the night before!  This morning I did not have a headache -- not even discomfort!  I had only the sensation of having clenched my muscles while I slept.  The dystonia/dyskinesia was very slight.  It's coming back as I am using the iPad to type.

 

Anxiety/anticipatory anxiety.  We left for the birthday party almost 2 hours after it started.  I stressed the whole way there that there would be issues because we were so late -- no food left but cake, an irritated hostess, etc.. When we arrived it was time for a piñata, and the cake hadn't been served yet.  There was plenty of cold pizza and even shrimp.  The hostess didn't seem to mind that we were so late.  There were only about 6 kids there!  Not a zoo.  We stayed from 4:15 to 8:00 pm as my husband talked with the dad who is his friend.  Other than a hard bump on the head, my daughter had a great time.  By 5:00 my anxiety is usually almost gone and that was true last night.  So, all in all, I had worried for nothing.

 

Sleep.  I woke up and was awake for a while last night.  My daughter's flu or cold was proving to be worsening by the time we got home last night.  She woke me up in the night in addition to my usual short stint of insomnia.  She's sick this morning, and it's been building for a couple of days.  I wish she hadn't bumped her head yesterday so that I could be sure that all her symptoms are only flu.

 

Rumination.  No rumination in the night!  I did not have negative thoughts.  I felt calm and waited to go back to sleep.   I knew because my daughter was sick that I would have to cancel a lunch date.  Maybe I was relieved that I wouldn't have to go to lunch or to my MIL's or anywhere today.  Or maybe the wave is over?

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Rosetta

A few more of my thoughts about having taken Celexa while pregnant:

 

Maybe I should be grateful if it's true that my daughter stopped getting ADs after birth.  If Zoloft did not go through the breast milk she might be luckier than if I had stayed on Celexa and she received that for a year or two.  I don't know.  CT could not have been a good thing for her, but I didn't know about tapering anyway.  I doubt the dose she would have received would have been the same in gestation as in breastfeeding.  I try to think back to how she reacted when she stopped getting Zoloft in the breast milk, but nothing stands out.  She's been a normal kid for an only child.  Of course, I feel these drugs shouldn't be given to women who might have children, period.  It's absurd.  They shouldn't be given to anyone at all quite frankly.

 

I suppose that even if doctors understood ADWD the OB who suddenly meets a pregnant woman and finds out she's on ADs would have a tough time helping her through WD?   I've considered all the possibilities, of course.  Am I glad the gestation OB didn't tell me to quit cold turkey or on a fast taper?  Do I wish he had?  I don't know.  There is no way to know what might have happened if I had done that.  

 

I did have a very good first 6 months with my child.  Perhaps that would not have been possible if I had stopped the drug quickly upon becoming pregnant.  Who knows?  We had another 1.5 years before I became unstable and another 2 years before extreme confusion and irrationality set in.  Those are very important years for a child.  We bonded well.  She knows she is loved by me.  Maybe these past 2 or 2.5 years have been easier for her because of that early time we had together.  I hope so.

 

I do worry that I became somewhat distant because of confusion and OCD when she was 2 or 3 (as the dose of Zoloft went up.) She's been intermittantly clingy with me when I try to drop her off at school this past year and a half.  She never did that at the preschool.  She started preschool at 2 1/2, and she loved it all the way through to 4 years old.  She went to the same preschool for 3 years and had the same teacher for the second and third years.  That may have given her stability despite my erratic emotions and behavior.  If not for that maybe there would have been more signs of an issue.  For the first half of kindergarten and this initial first half of First Grade, she has found it challenging to let me go at times.  Yet, she's never had much separation anxiety once I leave her at school.  The teachers have always denied that she continues to be upset. I have to hope that she's going to be ok.  

 

At least I wasn't absent or in bed all the time, and I wasn't abusive thank God.  The awful ways these drugs affect some people!!   I do continue to wonder what mechanism caused me to go downhill 4 years after the birth.  Did the high dose of Zoloft cause side effects that resulted in increased confusion and OCD?  Did I hit tolerance?  Is that why I had so many WD symptoms while I was still taking Zoloft?  Was it all caused by WD from Celexa catching up with me?  It could be a combination of all three.  I'll probably never know.  

 

Rosetta

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Rosetta

Kindling:

 

On another subject, I also wonder if I hit tolerance before 2011 while on Celexa or if I missed some doses and destabilized my system.  I had a fair number of WD symptoms during my last few years on Celexa that I used to believe were side effects.  I could learn and pass tests, but I had erratic moods and became confused sometimes.  I believe the meds affect blood sugar even if they are taken on time and consistently.  If so, that could explain a lot regarding cog function issues.  However, I did have a lot of trouble remembering to take my pills AND I sometimes ran out of my prescription without knowing how serious that was.

 

This is something that I find very, very frustrating: the ADs cause cognitive dysfunction and memory problems, but the patient has to take them consistently and at the same time every day to avoid destabilization and WD syndrome!!  It's essentially a recipe for disaster.  It's only a matter of time.  Add to that the fact that the formulations of the meds might be different for brand name and generic and the possibility of a formula change if the generic manufacturer changes.  Add to that the inability of the doctor and pharmacy to get the patient a consistent supply of the meds.  If the pharmacy makes the mistake of dispensing the wrong medication the patient is at risk of missing her dose -- maybe for days.  It's like running a nuclear power plant without redundant backups to the systems which prevent disaster.  There is simply no way to prescribe these medications ethically, imo.

 

Rosetta

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Rosetta

PAXIL.  I remember getting Paxil in 1998 I think it was.  It's not in my drug signature because I didn't stay on it, and I didn't take another AD until 2001, but maybe there's a reason to put it there.  I took it less than 10 days because I found myself slamming my head against a wooden fence over and over and over again.  I was trying to slam it harder and harder each time.  I was a 28 year old girl in an upscale neighborhood, and people could see me do this.  I didn't care.  I guess that was my first taste of Akathisia.  You see, in a world with a caring, ethical, humane medical system, I would have never been given another AD again, right?  Well, you know the answer.

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Rosetta

I found this to be a nice explanation of why I have been so ill.  It gave me hope, too.

 

 

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kesh
11 hours ago, Rosetta said:

Riina,

 

I had the same unbearable inner turmoil (what I call Akathisia of the mind) you are having now.  It went away.  I now feel only a small amount of that feeling and only in the first part of the day.  I can live with it, and I know it will cease someday.  I had the morning cortisol every day and then the inner turmoil all day.  Now, the morning cortisol spikes are rare, and when they do occur they are mild.  

 

You do have a life ahead of you.  Please remember that.  You will feel calm again even happy again.  I do.  Please hold on.  

 

I believe that I am healing because I did not take a new prescription, and I stopped the prescription for Trazodone that I was given after I started WD.  I hope you can do the same by tapering carefully.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

Hi Rosetta. 

 

Any story of someone recovering from akathisia really helps me get through the waves and encourages me to carry on.

 

How would you describe morning cortisol spikes? I'm trying to work out if my akathisia, which I wake up to, is actually a cortisol spike, or if these are varieties of the same thing.

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AliG

Hi Rosetta. How are you doing ~ symptom wise and how is that caffeine taper going? Please remember to taper( caffeine) slowly, as you are already going through such a lot of other changes as well, right now. Rooibos tea is great as it is naturally caffeine - free. It's an African plant with many health benefits. It helped me step off caffeine, at one point.

 

Keep it slow and stable and try not to make too many changes at once.  :) I think you're doing very well ~ I hope you continue to see improvements as you move forward.

Ali

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Rosetta
6 hours ago, AliG said:

Hi Rosetta. How are you doing ~ symptom wise and how is that caffeine taper going? Please remember to taper( caffeine) slowly, as you are already going through such a lot of other changes as well, right now. Rooibos tea is great as it is naturally caffeine - free. It's an African plant with many health benefits. It helped me step off caffeine, at one point.

 

Keep it slow and stable and try not to make too many changes at once.  :) I think you're doing very well ~ I hope you continue to see improvements as you move forward.

Ali

 

Oh, I have all ready kindled myself again haven't I? 

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AliG

No, not at all  ~ it's all good : just be careful.

 

I had a "bullet- proof coffee" this morning and I'm still going ~ can't sleep. Lesson learned ~ even after 3.5 years, be cautious. :unsure:  I have to stop being my own science lab/experiment. 

 

Hang in there ...

Ali

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