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Rosetta

Rosetta: CT May 2011 & too fast taper Feb 2017

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Rosetta

Hi Kesh,

 

Its so nice that you visited my thread.  Thank you.

 

Did the cortisol spike CAUSE the Akathisia -- set it in motion?  It certainly could.  For us in WD it seems that any release of a hormone or a neurotransmitter can result in a sequence of signals and the eventual improper release of cortisol or adrenaline or glutamate.  Theoretically, in "virgin" brains, anxiety and Akathisia may be caused by different mechanisms or neurotransmitters or hormones but for us, we are dealing with brains and CN systems that don't operate properly.  As I understand it, GABA is supposed to be managing the results of adrenaline spikes and cortisol releases, but in our systems there isn't a balance that keeps us level.  There isn't enough GABA or there isn't an ability to process the GABA.  Without GABA's calming effect neither the effects of cortisol or adrenaline or glutamate are being smoothed out.  So, anxiety and physical Akathisia and "Akathisia of the mind" -- whatever that is; it's certainly different and more horrible than even "intense" anxiety, imo -- are running unchecked and rampant.  

 

My cortisol spikes were awful, awful, awful!  I would wake up with a huge shot of adrenaline to my heart.  I suspect yours are different?  Instead of head zaps I had these shots of adrenaline.  It wasn't an electrical zap.  However, it was physical almost as if I was on a movie set in an ER after having a heart attack.  You know in the movies when the doctor uses a syringe of adrenaline as a last resort to start the heart?  Just like that.  At some point, I read about hypnic jerks when falling asleep.  Perhaps this was something like those, but I don't recall what I read causes the hypnic jerks.  Whatever it was, I came to the point that I dreaded nightfall although at nightfall I felt less anxious.  I dreaded it because of the fact that morning would come with cortisol spikes.

 

I made a mistake: I started jogging in the morning to reduce the anxiety caused by the cortisol "spike," I got relief from the cortisol - temporarily.  Akathisia would come on after the initial relief from the the morning cortisol spike WITHOUT that feeling of a shot to the heart.  Therefore, Akathisia and cortisol spikes were separate occurrences for me until I stopped jogging.  Then, the cortisol spike was being followed by the Akathisia.  Ultimately, I read that intense exercise raises cortisol and the light went on.  I suspect that I got endorphins or endocanabinoids from jogging, and those calmed me until the increase in cortisol set off the cascade that led to Akathisia.  Cortisol set off the system that uses glutamate or maybe the altering system that uses adrenaline.  Where is the line between anxiety and Akathisia of the mind?  I don't know.  It seems to me to be a continuum at least for those of us in WD.

 

My best,

Rosetta

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FarmGirlWorks
12 hours ago, Rosetta said:

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

Hi Rosetta,

 

Thanks so much for providing an easy link to this. I am starting a support group for folks that are in WD from antidepressants and think I will print this out as it is a helpful way to see what is happening inside our brain no matter where we are in the process.

 

Glad to hear you are getting off coffee; the last cup I could have was in October and it made me feel crazier. Now I have tea and rooibos is on my shopping list. I also have non-caffeinated Zevia (sweetened with Stevia instead of sugar) which was helpful when I quit drinking alcohol in May.

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Rosetta
1 hour ago, AliG said:

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

 

I hope not!  Oh, I really hope not.  I had a cup of coffee.  

 

I hope you will be ok, Ali.  Good grief -- what have they done to us?!  Yikes, Ali -- bulletproof? That sounds intense!  Or is it just that it has butter in it?  That reminds me -- When I was in law school one of the professors had a huge mug he used for hot drinks (coffee, I assumed.).  It was made to look like a giant shotgun shell casing with a handle on the side.  He taught criminal law.  What a weird world.

 

Now that I CAN think again, I am always thinking about what could knock me backward such as being in a car accident and having surgery/anesthesia or needing an antibiotic or eating the wrong thing and getting food poisoning.  I need a filling replaced, but I'm too afraid to do it.  I suppose I better do it before it becomes a root canal situation.  That would be worse.

 

Thank you so much for chiming in, Ali.  It had just dawned on me two days ago that I might be going too fast on the caffeine taper.  Then, I forgot!!!  I just don't have the memory or the reasoning skills I used to have.  I think that years ago I would not have made that kind of mistake.  It's hard to figure out how much caffeine is in a cup.  It must be different in every cup.  It's not like having a pharmaceutical pill.  I was foolish to think that because I didn't feel anything right away, it was going well.  How could I have thought that after all I've learned?

 

Ha ha, we are ALL science experiments!  That was set in motion long ago.  Yesterday, I saw that the man who pioneered the use of lithium for mood disorders died recently.   My mother was given lithium after I was born.  She said it made her catatonic.  He was only 13 years older than she is!  How did he affect her life like that?!  My life?!  It's irrational, but I feel so much animosity toward him despite the fact that he's dead.  For all I know he thought he was doing a good deed, and he might be horrified at the long term results of his work.  According to the obit, his research caused the change in the DSM to classify some disorders as bi polar instead of a newly discovered form of intermittent schizophrenia.  He had diabetes from the age of 19, and he was responsible for the chemical imbalance theory/mood disorders need medication "just like diabetics." I couldn't help but notice that his family chose to list in his obit that he had homes on Manhattan, in Southampton, NY and in Florida.  Well, that worked out well for him!  Meanwhile, I'm sitting here feeling that my mind is damaged and not my own.  Quite irritating to say the least!  Except that now it's all meaningless to him.  I suppose his kids are very proud, and none of this is their fault.  

 

Have a great day, Ali, even if you are wired!!

 

Rosetta

(This is turning into a journal entry, Ali,)

 

I woke up feeling fine.  I had no cortisol spike, but my daughter is very whiney today.  She is sick with the flu or a cold for the second day -- stuffed up, dry eyes, no interest in food, bloody nose because she can't leave it alone, headache, gurgles in her tummy, and needing a lot of liquids and a lot of attention.  I started feeling anxious, and I thought it was from listening to all the whining and reading about someone who is feeling quite awful from WD right now.  However, also, I snuggled my daughter all day yesterday.  

 

I had no sunlight, no walk, no outside the house time at all.  I never feel good the next day if I stay inside all day.  I didn't even do yoga.  Very dumb.

 

My appetite has been missing for many days.  I have been eating very little.  An egg for breakfast, maybe some toast, caffeine, of course; then a little lunch meat, cheese and crackers for lunch and no dinner.  Saturday, I had no lunch and pizza and shrimp for dinner.  Not good.  I need nutrients.  The anhedonia surrounding food is probably the most insidious of all the symptoms.

 

Dystonia was worse last night.  I woke up in quite a lot of discomfort, but again, it went away until I started "typing" on this iPad.  

 

Right eye: One thing that is positive.  I think my right eye is working better.  I think it's regained its ability to focus.  For a while it seemed to be useless.  I had to patch it to read because trying to use it caused a headache.  Perhaps the eye itself had dystonia or dyskinesia.  I can read now without patching it -- at least for a while.

 

Lots of muscle tremors all over, completely random, sometimes painful, but always short lived.  This has been going on for years and years.  I wasn't aware of it before I realized it was a symptom of WD.  Now, I don't worry about them, and I have not had that painful tremor in my chest that made me wince in a very long time.  I once went to get an EKG for this back when I was taking Celexa - prior to May 2011.  I had it on Zoloft, too and I have had it a few times since I quit Zoloft.  

 

Lack of motivation still there; still relentless.  I'm not sure this symptom has let up for more than a few hours since the mania went away in 2015.  (I was in a mess before I quit Zoloft.  At some point it stopped working or I was kindled from missing doses -- not sure which -- or both.  My husband believes that things changed for the worst in 2006 or 2007.  That was 4 or 5 years before I switched with no cross taper to Zoloft.  Eleven years of poor cog function and increasing anxiety!)

 

Oh, how I wish these meds had never existed.  I might be dead, but if I wasn't, I think my life would have been very different.  I would like to believe that there would have been a better solution to my depression if the meds hadn't been an option.  I know I would not have lived through almost 16 years of unnecessary anxiety.  That's quite evident.

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Rosetta
1 hour ago, FarmGirlWorks said:

Hi Rosetta,

 

Thanks so much for providing an easy link to this. I am starting a support group for folks that are in WD from antidepressants and think I will print this out as it is a helpful way to see what is happening inside our brain no matter where we are in the process.

 

FarmGirl,

 

You are welcome.  There are two others on this site that are far more accessible.  They are shorter and more succinct.  You might find that this one is way too long and detailed for most people.  Of the other two, one is called "One Theory of Antidepressant Withdrawal" by Altostrata, and its in "Symptoms & . . . ". The other is quoted by Moderator Gridley just a day or two ago in DaveB's thread. It's short and good, too.

 

Oh, how I love coffee with lots of cream and sugar.  How will I face the day without coffee?  Until I found coffee when I was 21 getting out of bed was nearly impossible. 

 

You are an angel to start a support group.  I think Altostrata did that for a while.  I was going to try to dissuade you, but . . . I am not your mother, lol.  Just be very careful, please.  I used to be a sort of social worker.  It was dangerous, and it contributed to my anxiety and depression.  That's all I'll say.  Sorry to be a wet blanket, but you are still an angel.  I mean that, and good luck.

 

Peace,

Rosetta

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FarmGirlWorks

Thanks for the concern, Rosetta. I am committed to doing this for six months at once a month. Yes, I hope to be out of the woods by then and don't see me continuing purely out of the goodness of my heart. I hope it is helpful to me and some others for that time period.

 

Yup, no coffee and no alcohol feels like a big ol' wet blanket but the alternative feels worse.

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kesh

Thanks for the detailed reply Rosetta. My sleep starts and hypnic jerks are very much in the background and my main problem is akathisia. I'm trying to get understanding of waves and windows of akathisia. Whether they can be influenced by things we do or are just random healing processes. Your description of the jumbled up different systems interacting wrongly in our brains perhaps suggests we can influence things, but not in the usual ways. My akathisia has been known to just switch off. From awful to normal in the blink of an eye. If I could find the key to that switch it would be the holy grail.

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Rosetta
3 hours ago, kesh said:

Thanks for the detailed reply Rosetta. My sleep starts and hypnic jerks are very much in the background and my main problem is akathisia. I'm trying to get understanding of waves and windows of akathisia. Whether they can be influenced by things we do or are just random healing processes. Your description of the jumbled up different systems interacting wrongly in our brains perhaps suggests we can influence things, but not in the usual ways. My akathisia has been known to just switch off. From awful to normal in the blink of an eye. If I could find the key to that switch it would be the holy grail.

 

The holy grail, indeed.  This is not specific to Akathisia, but rather all these WD symptoms: I have decided that stress is the switch (and that maybe sometimes a change in the brain caused by the healing of the brain can bring about a symptom.)

 

I certainly hope that Akathisia is not "caused" by the healing of the brain as it is "behind me," and I don't want it to come back!  

but it's as good a reason as any for Akathisia to come about.  Mine appeared several months after quitting Zoloft.  Then, it slowly stopped, I think.  I don't think it switched off.  Sometimes I wonder if it's still with me, but very slight such that I can't tell the difference between it and anxiety.  

 

As for stress, it's a consistent drumbeat on this site that we should learn to meditate, calm ourselves, and reach relaxation.  Sounds like stress management, doesn't it?  So, I'm going to try to learn meditation.

 

I feel for you, Kesh.  It's the most miserable symptom I have had.  

 

Peace,

Rosetta

 

 

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kesh

I think once you have had akathisia there is a memory of it that will always make you think it might be coming back when you feel normal levels of restlessness from anxiety or whatever. I had akathisia ten years ago for a month or two when going on prozac. In the years since I kept thinking that it might be coming back if I was stressed. It wasn't, because now it has come back I know what it's really like, and those times weren't it.

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Rosetta

On the fear that withdrawal will never end:

 

I had this fear very intensely when I had neuro-anxiety, neuro-depression, Akathisia, DP, DR and insomnia.  Recently, I realized something important about reading SA and seeing the time frames people have listed on SA as possibilities for complete healing.  It's very discouraging, to say the least, when one feels she cannot endure another day, or another hour, of WD to see timeframes of healing for former and present members of SA.

 

I wrote a version of this to member of SA today:

We must understand this: the very intense misery of WD is not of the same intensity for months or years.  I think that concept is lost when people in severe WD hear that WD can last for years. The same is true when they hear that someone is "still healing" at 12 months or 18 months or 2 years.  The person in agony thinks that her experience of WD being nearly unbearable is all that WD can be.  It's not.  WD can be unbearable; it can be bearable; it can be very miserable; it can be debilitating, but it can also be simply annoying.  WD gets easier overtime, but there are still differences in the way our bodies and brains work for years, I believe.  When people say they are still healing it means that they still notice that their bodies and brains are not operating the same way they did before taking antidepressants.  It does not mean that they are in agony, both physically and mentally, for 2 years.

 

My waves of mental suffering are only hours long right now.  They used to last for 10 days!! They may get longer in the future, but I will remember that they were once only hours long.  I did not document my dark days here on SA, but they were very, very dark.  Sometimes they were darker than any depression I had ever felt before taking ADs.  I also had uglier, scarier symptoms than depression.  Those symptoms are gone.  Mental symptoms now are mild to medium, usually; rarely are they intense, and they clear quickly.

 

Physical suffering has not been as difficult for me as the mental suffering, but I have noticed that it can follow a different pattern.  An example: I get muscle spasms all over all day long every day.  They are not painful, but they are not normal at all.  I have headache or pressure on one side of my head every morning from clenching my jaw all night.  Yet, I do not think of these two constant symptoms as a sign that I am in a "constant wave."  However, if I have these two symptoms happening or reoccurring in 2 years, I will say that I am "still healing."

 

I have other symptoms that don't hurt, but don't clear as quickly as the mental symptoms do.  They have longer waves, I suppose.  I recently developed constipation; it has been an every day problem for 2-3 weeks, and I'm waiting to see if it is going to leave.  I used to have rapid drops in blood sugar every day when I was very ill.  I'm sure it contributed to my mental anguish.  Now, I have lack of appetite most days and then, suddenly, I will feel very hungry all day.  I can't eat enough.  It is clear to me that my healing is affecting my gastrointestinal system every day right now.  I suppose the part of my brain that has healed has disrupted the operation of my gastrointestinal system.

 

By my definition, when I feel that I am in a wave it is when a physical symptom becomes painful and/or mental anguish becomes painful or intense.  I had a short mental wave last night at bedtime.  It was mania.  This is a symptom I have had rarely in WD, but I used to have it frequently when I was on Zoloft -- even for days or weeks.  At that time, I did not sleep much.  Last night, I thought "Oh, wonderful!! Mania at bedtime?!!  I will not sleep tonight!! Oh, no!!"  Then I tried to relax, and I fell asleep without even realizing it!!  It was very, very short lived.

 

We will all heal.  We may not return to the same state we were in before WD or before we took meds, but we will heal, and we will feel like people who are "well" again.  I like to see SA members say I am 80% healed or 95% healed.  Is anyone always well?  No.  Maybe we will have annoying or debilitating problems that come and go forever.  I do not think so.  I hope not, and I agree that putting that thought out of our minds, if we can, is the best medicine for us right now.  Living inside our minds in an imagined world in which we never get well enough is worse than living with WD in an imagined world in which we do get well enough!  I think I prefer to live in the later until I get well enough.  The pharmaceutical executives has taken enough from me due to their greed.  They cannot have my mind any longer!

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DaveB
1 hour ago, Rosetta said:

On the fear that withdrawal will never end:

 

I had this fear very intensely when I had neuro-anxiety, neuro-depression, Akathisia, DP, DR and insomnia.  Recently, I realized something important about reading SA and seeing the time frames people have listed on SA as possibilities for complete healing.  It's very discouraging, to say the least, when one feels she cannot endure another day, or another hour, of WD to see timeframes of healing for former and present members of SA.

 

I wrote a version of this to member of SA today:

We must understand this: the very intense misery of WD is not of the same intensity for months or years.  I think that concept is lost when people in severe WD hear that WD can last for years. The same is true when they hear that someone is "still healing" at 12 months or 18 months or 2 years.  The person in agony thinks that her experience of WD being nearly unbearable is all that WD can be.  It's not.  WD can be unbearable; it can be bearable; it can be very miserable; it can be debilitating, but it can also be simply annoying.  WD gets easier overtime, but there are still differences in the way our bodies and brains work for years, I believe.  When people say they are still healing it means that they still notice that their bodies and brains are not operating the same way they did before taking antidepressants.  It does not mean that they are in agony, both physically and mentally, for 2 years.

 

My waves of mental suffering are only hours long right now.  They used to last for 10 days!! They may get longer in the future, but I will remember that they were once only hours long.  I did not document my dark days here on SA, but they were very, very dark.  Sometimes they were darker than any depression I had ever felt before taking ADs.  I also had uglier, scarier symptoms than depression.  Those symptoms are gone.  Mental symptoms now are mild to medium, usually; rarely are they intense, and they clear quickly.

 

Physical suffering has not been as difficult for me as the mental suffering, but I have noticed that it can follow a different pattern.  An example: I get muscle spasms all over all day long every day.  They are not painful, but they are not normal at all.  I have headache or pressure on one side of my head every morning from clenching my jaw all night.  Yet, I do not think of these two constant symptoms as a sign that I am in a "constant wave."  However, if I have these two symptoms happening or reoccurring in 2 years, I will say that I am "still healing."

 

I have other symptoms that don't hurt, but don't clear as quickly as the mental symptoms do.  They have longer waves, I suppose.  I recently developed constipation; it has been an every day problem for 2-3 weeks, and I'm waiting to see if it is going to leave.  I used to have rapid drops in blood sugar every day when I was very ill.  I'm sure it contributed to my mental anguish.  Now, I have lack of appetite most days and then, suddenly, I will feel very hungry all day.  I can't eat enough.  It is clear to me that my healing is affecting my gastrointestinal system every day right now.  I suppose the part of my brain that has healed has disrupted the operation of my gastrointestinal system.

 

By my definition, when I feel that I am in a wave it is when a physical symptom becomes painful and/or mental anguish becomes painful or intense.  I had a short mental wave last night at bedtime.  It was mania.  This is a symptom I have had rarely in WD, but I used to have it frequently when I was on Zoloft -- even for days or weeks.  At that time, I did not sleep much.  Last night, I thought "Oh, wonderful!! Mania at bedtime?!!  I will not sleep tonight!! Oh, no!!"  Then I tried to relax, and I fell asleep without even realizing it!!  It was very, very short lived.

 

We will all heal.  We may not return to the same state we were in before WD or before we took meds, but we will heal, and we will feel like people who are "well" again.  I like to see SA members say I am 80% healed or 95% healed.  Is anyone always well?  No.  Maybe we will have annoying or debilitating problems that come and go forever.  I do not think so.  I hope not, and I agree that putting that thought out of our minds, if we can, is the best medicine for us right now.  Living inside our minds in an imagined world in which we never get well enough is worse than living with WD in an imagined world in which we do get well enough!  I think I prefer to live in the later until I get well enough.  The pharmaceutical executives has taken enough from me due to their greed.  They cannot have my mind any longer!

 

I love this post and thanks for sharing much of it in my thread! I honestly find myself doing the same thing as far as fearing it will never end. For me it has been now officially a full year since all this started, and I am not sure I am any better today than I was a year ago...that is discouraging. I try to remind myself that it is likely due to all the changes and med trials I have done that has prolonged this for me, I always come back to "maybe the fact I am still on an AD and still suffering means I will not be able to heal and be in this state forever." Anyway, that is my fear and hopefully I will stabilize soon and like you I will be able to look back on a time when I was really struggling and see some definitive progress. 

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kesh

Thanks for that post, you write beautifully Rosetta.

 

I have been such a short time on the medications, and an even shorter time, perhaps 2 weeks, at the full strength before a rapid taper to my current low, low dose, that I wonder if this can even be called withdrawal. Whatever it is is not really the issue. I would say recovery is the issue, but as you suggest, we may not recover our old selves, we will just find a new better place.

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DaveB
On 1/15/2018 at 11:42 AM, Rosetta said:

 

I made a mistake: I started jogging in the morning to reduce the anxiety caused by the cortisol "spike," I got relief from the cortisol - temporarily.  Akathisia would come on after the initial relief from the the morning cortisol spike WITHOUT that feeling of a shot to the heart.  Therefore, Akathisia and cortisol spikes were separate occurrences for me until I stopped jogging.  Then, the cortisol spike was being followed by the Akathisia.  Ultimately, I read that intense exercise raises cortisol and the light went on.  I suspect that I got endorphins or endocanabinoids from jogging, and those calmed me until the increase in cortisol set off the cascade that led to Akathisia.  Cortisol set off the system that uses glutamate or maybe the altering system that uses adrenaline.  

 

This would describe my exercise as well. It gives me a really nice break from my anxiety, but it comes roaring back a few hours later. Maybe I should cut the exercise, or maybe my body will adjust and be better for it? Also I have noticed you have been tapering caffeine. How have you been doing that? Like you, I have been scared to "add another WD to this," and we have talked about how I feel better after caffeine so it makes it hard to take the plunge and quit. I just do soft drinks, I have cut out the monster energy drinks. 

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Rosetta

I'm having trouble.  This has been a very traumatic experience.  Isn't that an understatement? I'm trying to stay positive and be grateful for what I have.  I do get scared every so often that I'll find myself in the dark place again, and I'll never get out.  Of course, curiosity killed the cat -- I read an old thread today.  It resonated with me, but the person was bouncing in and out of the dark place.  I'm clearly one who needs to not read anything that might be scary.  

 

As far as the caffeine issue, I'm not sure how it's going. Did I make a big mistake and it's catching up with me?  I do think it must be done slowly, and I can't leave coffee in the cup!  Maybe I should count beans?  I can't leave coffee in the cup; I know that.  I had one cup of tea today.  I forgot to have a second.  Not good.  I'm going to have to have a second, but it's 10 pm.  

 

Today was stressful.  My daughter has been home from school for 2 days.  She has a flu or cold or both.  She slept all day Sunday and all that night.  She developed a fever on Monday and slept all day Monday.  I worried about her all night. Her fever broke in the night, and today she was awake, but very whiney.  I was on edge all day from the whining.  She had barely eaten in 3 days.  Today she had a bit of cereal, a couple of pieces of salami, a couple of crackers, a million Pedialyte Popsicles, and mac n cheese.  We tried to do a craft, but she cried because we couldn't do it exactly the way she wanted, and we gave up.  So the TV was on a lot.  It's a lot of noise.  Netfix kids shows.  At least there are no commercials.

 

Then, as I intend to send her to school tomorrow, I gave her a bath and washed her (rat's nest) hair.  That I should not have done -- for my sake!! Her hair hadn't been combed in 3 days.  Combing it out took at least an hour -- an hour of whining -- and then another 1/2 hour of whining to get it braided and get her to sleep.  Then, my anxiety set off my husband's anxiety, and we snapped at each other.  I'm so on edge right now.

 

Changes:

Less dystonia

Constipation (is apparently not temporary)

 

These symptoms have been ongoing for months:

Lack of appetite

Dizziness

Blood pressure drops when standing up

Weakness in muscles

Stiffness in muscles

Tender joints -- elbows mostly 

 

I think I should have a cup of tea or two.  I did not have the right amount of caffeine today.  I got up early, I took a short walk today, and I feel tired, but not sleepy.  I'm thinking the caffeine issue is making me feel wired, and I think it did last night, too.  I had coffee yesterday when I got nervous about having kindled myself.  I'm going to have 2 teas now, and coffee again every morning, but count beans.  I can't go back to that dark place.

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Rosetta

Two cups of tea down the hatch, and now I'm going to bed.  How absurd is that?  

 

 

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Rosetta

I'm not well.  

 

I didn't fall sleep until 12:30 or 1:00.  I don't really know what time it was.  Then, I woke up before 7.  That must sound like a dream to people who don't get much sleep, but it's a change in my schedule of bed by 8:00, asleep by 9:30 and up at 6:45.  Changing the sleep schedule is a big no no.  

 

Having my daughter home now for 4 days straight - Sat through Tues -- it's stress I can't handle.  We just had 16 days of no school over Christmas.  That set me back in terms of recovery quite a bit.  I was starting to feel good more often before that time.  She went back to school on the 9th of Jan. on a Tuesday.  So, she had only 4 days of school last week.  I suppose I should be buoyed by the fact that those 4 days was enough to give me some relief from symptoms.

 

I hoped my daughter might sleep in this morning, but no.  I let her sleep past 6:45 because she tossed and turned and cried out in her sleep all night.  She sleeps with me.  I wanted to take her to school by 10:15 which is the beginning of recess.  She's probably able to go, but she doesn't want to, of course.  I'm just not able to handle the stress of her resistance.  The poor stress response in ADWD issue is very challenging.  I need her to go to school!  

 

My husband isn't feeling well, mentally, either.  He's stressed by all the struggles of yesterday, too.  He's so worn out by the years of problems I've had.  He doesn't respond to stress normally either.  These last few months of my WD have taken a toll on him.  He's not the same person he used to be.  Years of stress make a difference.  This scares me, of course.  I need him.  I don't know how anyone gets through ADWD alone without someone at home to help them.  I suppose we all find extra strength if we must.

 

I'm anxious this morning, but I'm having half a cup of coffee.  Now I'm realizing that I might have awakened with no dystonia or I was so distracted by my conundrum of whether to make my daughter go to school that I didn't notice it?  Did I have no bruxism this morning?!! Maybe.

 

Oh, btw, having magnesium and then downing 2 cups of tea has . . . consequences.  

 

 

 

 

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DaveB
2 hours ago, Rosetta said:

I'm not well.  

 

I didn't fall sleep until 12:30 or 1:00.  I don't really know what time it was.  Then, I woke up before 7.  That must sound like a dream to people who don't get much sleep, but it's a change in my schedule of bed by 8:00, asleep by 9:30 and up at 6:45.  Changing the sleep schedule is a big no no.  

 

Having my daughter home now for 4 days straight - Sat through Tues -- it's stress I can't handle.  We just had 16 days of no school over Christmas.  That set me back in terms of recovery quite a bit.  I was starting to feel good more often before that time.  She went back to school on the 9th of Jan. on a Tuesday.  So, she had only 4 days of school last week.  I suppose I should be buoyed by the fact that those 4 days was enough to give me some relief from symptoms.

 

I hoped my daughter might sleep in this morning, but no.  I let her sleep past 6:45 because she tossed and turned and cried out in her sleep all night.  She sleeps with me.  I wanted to take her to school by 10:15 which is the beginning of recess.  She's probably able to go, but she doesn't want to, of course.  I'm just not able to handle the stress of her resistance.  The poor stress response in ADWD issue is very challenging.  I need her to go to school!  

 

My husband isn't feeling well, mentally, either.  He's stressed by all the struggles of yesterday, too.  He's so worn out by the years of problems I've had.  He doesn't respond to stress normally either.  These last few months of my WD have taken a toll on him.  He's not the same person he used to be.  Years of stress make a difference.  This scares me, of course.  I need him.  I don't know how anyone gets through ADWD alone without someone at home to help them.  I suppose we all find extra strength if we must.

 

I'm anxious this morning, but I'm having half a cup of coffee.  Now I'm realizing that I might have awakened with no dystonia or I was so distracted by my conundrum of whether to make my daughter go to school that I didn't notice it?  Did I have no bruxism this morning?!! Maybe.

 

Oh, btw, having magnesium and then downing 2 cups of tea has . . . consequences.  

 

 

 

 

Sorry you are struggling, you have helped me so much I wish there was something I could do for you. Just remember how far you have come, having a bad day doesn't mean you are going back into the "dark place." I know the thoughts and feelings though as I do the same thing, but just because you think it, doesn't mean it is reality or even a likely prediction. 

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Rosetta

Thank you, Dave.  That means a lot.  

19 minutes ago, DaveB said:

Just remember how far you have come, having a bad day doesn't mean you are going back into the "dark place."

 

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Rosetta

Sci-fi has helped me get through for months.  Of course, it is scary, too.  So stop here If you must, but my curious mind can't stop trying to work out what has happened to me and how I can manage it.

 

This is creepy:

 

"Then I thought, but I can't tell you what I thought, because I have been served with an order of inibitiion."  He smiled helplessly.  Sister Carlotta's heart fell.  When someone was a proven security risk, they implant in his brain a device that caused any sort of anxiety to launch a feedback loop, leading to a panic attack.  Such people were then given periodic sensitization to make sure that they felt a great deal of anxiety when they contemplated talking about the forbidden subject.  Viewed one way it was a monstrous intrusion on a person's life; but if it was compared to the common practice of imprisoning people . . . the intervention could look downright humane."  Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card

 

I kinda feel like the scientist in this book who was a proven security risk only that there has been an accidental release of the technology to the population as a whole via a drug, not an implant, and that the sensitization is random in every day life and not applied to me by any particular person or organization.  However, I'm sure there is someone out there observing this iatrogenic debacle and thinking of a spiffy new military application.  

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Rosetta

The day wasn't so bad after all.  My daughter was much less whiney today, but it's probably good that she didn't go to school.  Her stuffy nose, cough, fever, and tummy ache were joined by a bathroom accident this evening.  Poor thing.   Her mood is much improved.  I don't remember her sleeping for 2 days and 3 nights since she was 3 and had an amoeba!  (That was scary.  There is a place for medicine after all.)

 

I had a half caf coffee and a cup of tea today.  I meant to have another tea, but I'm going to skip it.  I need to sleep.  I'm supposed the volunteer in the classroom tomorrow, and I hate to let the teacher down.  She can't teach reading as easily if I'm not there.  Of course, anticipation anxiety every Wed night and Thurs  morning isn't fun, but it does get me out and around people.  I also get a walk and sunlight.  

 

Why do I hate taking a shower?  I used to enjoy it.  I have dreaded it since shortly after I CT'd Celexa.  I had all day today to take a shower, and now it's bedtime, but it's been 5 days.  I have to do it, and it won't happen if I wait until morning.  Or maybe I will wait.  It's so much work.  Isn't that silly?  I won't wash my hair.  That will be easier.  

 

Today symptoms:

 

Less dystonia -- not much at all

Anhedonia -- off and on (I only recently understood what this is.  I thought it was a form depression all these months!)

Less lack of appetite -- got hungry for lunch today

Demotivation -- I've had this every day since the mania left (before I finished too fast taper of Zoloft.)  It's always there.  

Anxiety -- increased today all day except shirt periods

Irritability -- most of day

Vision -- the improvement in my left eye's vision it still holding 

 

 

 

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Rosetta

Today.  Another day.  Had 1/2 a cup of half caf because my husband made only that much for me.  I don't think he remembered that I was going to count coffee beans to taper off coffee.  Maybe he just made one cup and decided to share it with me.  I'll have to remember to have another cup.  

 

I woke up with discomfort from dystonia or tension but no pain.  My dystonia in my right foot and toes has improved, but not recently.  It isn't improving more these days, but the toes and foot aren't tingling.  My tongue and nose tingle just a little as does my face and eye.  It's definitely improved.  Using this iPad still makes it all worse.

 

There was some anxiety this morning.  Trying to talk to my husband is hard.  We don't connect the way we used to.  I don't understand what he's saying most of the time.  It takes too much concentration to understand.  It must be cog fog.  

 

If he tells me about a bad dream I get anxious.  If I ask him how he is and he's honest that he's frustrated about this or that I get anxious.  We can't be like we were.  I can't be supportive of him.  I try to say the words, but all I feel is anxiety that he's not a rock 100% of the time.  He can see that.  It's as if it's a one way street -- he has to support me and get little in return.  It's not good.

 

He avoids me when I'm not doing well, but he does make a point to do something kind here or there when he realizes he's been avoiding me.  I no longer cry and tell him over and over how sorry I am that I'm making his life so hard, but I still feel sad for him.  This is a slog for both of us.

 

I had no cortisol rush upon awakening.  (That's rare thing now, and if it happens its mild with no adrenaline shot feeling to the heart.  I'm so grateful.)

 

At least I didn't stay awake in the night with ruminations.  It's been a few nights since that happened. 

 

I slept from about 9:30 pm to 6:00 am, but very poorly because my daughter had nightmares all night long.  She fell dead asleep at 8:15 -- about 5 minutes after we finished our book.  That's very unusual.  All night long, she was yelling out in her sleep and flailing over and over again.  I woke up at least 10 times.  Nothing I did could consol her, and she was angry when I tried.  

 

As soon as I woke up this morning, I decided that my daughter might be better off staying home.  I wouldn't be better for it, but . . . She slept until 9:30 am.  Usually, she wakes up before 7:30.  So, 13 hours of "sleep."  That's a lot for her.  She's weak and low energy.  She must be fighting off a new bug, perhaps, or simply not improving quickly.  There's supposed to be a pretty intense flu bug going around.  If she doesn't have it, I don't want her to catch it at school right now.  She's in a good mood, but she's tired.  It isn't the best thing for me that she stay home, but oh, well.

 

Everything is so much better than it was in November, and although I worry about that nightmare coming back, it hasn't -- not even close.  I don't really believe it will come back.  I really think I've come to a point that I'm just going to improve with small setbacks that last hours or days not weeks.  I hope so.  I have to avoid stress, that's the key.

 

  

 

 

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Rosetta

Akathisia is really like nothing else, but it's a bit like having a migraine and thinking to one's self: "if only there were a way to relieve the pressure in my head .  . ."  When I had migraines in 1992 (They turned out to be caffeine WD headaches, but the doctor did not investigate that avenue.  Instead, he prescribed a med: a toxin that is produced by a fungus on wheat.  Yes, the same one that is believed to have caused the Salem witch trials -- the very same -- and guess what was mixed with this 1 mg of psychoactive substance?!  You'll never guess!  100 mg of Caffeine!!  Yes, about the same as in a cup of weak coffee!!  Oh, it makes me want to scream -- the lack of common sense that occurs when one has a prescription pad and the medical license to use it!!! ) So, back to the analogy here:  When I had migraines in 1992, I wanted to gouge my eyes out to let all that pressure out of my head.  I used to think that I had swelling on the brain when I had a migraine and that having shunt would help.

 

However, with Aka, there was no pressure in my head.  It wasn't my head that was the main focus; it was my arms.  There was a pseudo-vibration or an electricity in my muscles and in my bones and in my brain.  It was excruciating.  It was everywhere, but the focus was my arms.  They were tense and had dystonia in between the elbows and wrists; no one could feel them vibrate or see them vibrate, but that was the sensation to me -- sort of a vibration and yet not a vibration.  There is no word for this sensation; vibration is the closest possibility, but it's not the right word.  

 

Before I knew what aka was called or that anyone else experienced this feeling I wanted to hurt myself.  I knew that if I did it would only compound my problems. I didn't hurt myself because I knew that there would be pain and pain during healing time, too, (and a psych ward.  At the time, I had no earthly idea how truly disastrous it would have been to have gone to a psyche ward.). However, I now wonder if I was hoping for that rush of hormones that occurs after a serious injury.  I was sane enough to know that the relief would be brief abd ultimately not worth it, but now I look at people who cut their arms differently.  I wonder if they have aka.  I wonder how prevalent cutting was before psych drugs.

 

Sometimes I see people say they were so devoid of emotion that they hurt themselves to "feel something."  Now that there is distance between me and aka, and I have more clarity I wonder if these people have aka.  I don't doubt that they feel emotionally dead, but I do wonder if they are craving the RESULT of pain -- the rush of hormones to numb them, to RELAX them, to relieve the Aka that they don't recognize they have.  I wonder if they do not know aka exists and because of that they think they are responding to feeling emotionally dead when they cut their arms.  Maybe they don't realize they are responding to a physical-emotional condition that I now call Akathisia.

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Rosetta

Treatments for Akathisia?

 

I feel that taking another drug or supplement other than magnesium and Omega 3 fish oil is a mistake.  Taking an Epsom salt bath might help.  (I never tried it.)  

 

Using a weighted blanket and/or weighted heating pad (which is what seemed to help me some) is better than taking a med.. I would be worried that using a med to make it go away might make it worse later.  However, if taking a med or ending your life seems to be the choice, as it is for some people, I think that taking a very low dose of the med, and only taking more if you feel you can't continue living, could be warranted.  You probably need to get started on learning a guided meditation or learning to do a yoga "moving meditation" so you can start to get some control.  This way you can ditch the med asap. 

 

 Kesh had an idea of a meditation-like visualization that works for her.  It's on her thread -- somewhere in the past week or two.  It sounded like a promising idea.

 

There are occupational therapy ideas used for people with autism such as bouncing on an exercise ball that might help.  It's tricky because too much exercise might raise cortisol abd make the condition worse or add more anxiety to the mix.  

 

Rocking helped me a little.  Maybe you can get someone to rock you like a baby.  My husband did this for me.

 

Distraction was a possibility for me, and I used it the most.  I could read if the print was large enough.  I could watch TV after a while -- not at first, but I was suffering terror/doom at the same time.  So, often what I read or watched on TV increased my feelings of terror/doom.  I wonder whether the terror/doom was caused by the aka, in fact.

 

I often wonder if a total lack of stimulation would have helped more than anything.

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Rosetta

How to distinguish Akathisia from all the other muscle issues? (I have no idea.)

 

My Akathisia was everywhere, I think, but most troubling was the aka in my mind.  My body didn't move without my permission, and I didn't "shake a leg" or pace.  I had control of my body.  I'm not able to describe it to some one who hasn't experienced, but the word vibration is sort of, kind of, maybe, but not really a description.  Electric is another word that doesn't quite fit.

 

That feeling of out of this world, nightmarish, torturous emotional misery from the Akathisia has disappeared now.  I was almost suicidal.  Maybe sometimes I was suicidal.  If I still have a slight degree of Akathisia it's something I can live with now.  So, I consider it gone.  However, I do have anxiety, and it can get pretty intense; I still have discomfort in my muscles, and I often feel that I have done physical activity all day when that's not at all true.  However, I don't get that yummy feeling of having done such activity.  I just feel tired and overwhelmed. 

 

Now, I wonder whether there is a continuum of Akathisia -- from very intense, suicidal aka down to slight aka that is hard to distinguish from the possibility of two separate WD symptoms converging: anxiety plus muscle tension/exhaustion.  The reason I wonder is there is a feeling in my arms and legs that comes on when I'm in a wave that is odd.  It defies description, too, but it's a bit like I over used the muscle, and instead of a "good tired" it's a "bad tired" feeling coupled with tight muscles and fatigue.  I get this in my arms less frequently, but in my legs a lot.  My joints ache, too, especially my knees and elbows.  

 

Then, I have dystonia, tingling and numbness on the right side of my body.  In addition to the more intense dystonia, I'm not sure if I have slight dystonia in my forearms and legs and that causes the feeling of over-used muscles, or if I have Akathisia to a very slight degree in my forearms and legs which causes the over-used muscle feeling or the third option: dyskenisia/dystonia and Akathisia are linked somehow (cause-effect, -- one causes the other or both are caused by the same faulty signal from the brain, or both are caused by the same neurotransmitter malfunction?)

 

What I crave and miss so much is that "good tired" feeling of having taken a long hike and all the good hormones are coursing through the system making one feel tired and happy.  That never happens to me now that I have WD.  I wonder if it's been gone a long time -- long before I stopped taking the meds.  Is it because I can't exercise enough to get the good hormones pumping or because these good hormones aren't being released no matter how tired and overworked my muscles feel from a 20 minute walk?  The last time I jogged, I had unbearable cortisol anxiety.  So, now I walk only.

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DaveB
41 minutes ago, Rosetta said:

What I crave and miss so much is that "good tired" feeling of having taken a long hike and all the good hormones are coursing through the system making one feel tired and happy.  That never happens to me now that I have WD.  I wonder if it's been gone a long time -- long before I stopped taking the meds.  Is it because I can't exercise enough to get the good hormones pumping or because these good hormones aren't being released no matter how tired and overworked my muscles feel from a 20 minute walk?  The last time I jogged, I had unbearable cortisol anxiety.  So, now I walk only.

 

I know exactly what you mean, I have thought that many times this year. After a good workout, the laying in bed relaxed feeling. I miss it so much! My body simply cannot relax to that degree right now, and it sucks!

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Rosetta

Ooh, last night was rough.  I had anxiety in the middle of the night.  It was like a cortisol morning in the dark.  I tried to breathe and calm myself.  My daughter was awake flopping around, but not having a nightmare.  Eventually, we both fell asleep again.  This morning I woke up to a cortisol morning, but I am getting through it.  

 

I had no pain in my head this morning!! Maybe I had no bruxism!  That would be amazing.  I think it could be real!

 

Of course, it's Saturday, and I didn't have anticipation anxiety because there was nothing to anticipate.  It's a free day except that we have to do something eventually with the kiddo.

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Rosetta

Advice to a parent whose child is suffering withdrawal from psychotropic drugs:

 

I am not a doctor. 

 

I have a 6 year old whom I love more than life.  After what I have been through myself with Celexa, Zoloft and Trazodone -- all anti-depressants that were supposedly safe and "non-habit forming," -- I think I have the qualifications to give a bit of advice from one parent to another: I would not trust any facility or doctor with my child if she were hooked on an anti-psychotic, an anti-depressant or a benzodiazepine.  I would be even more cautious if she had stopped taking one of those medications in any manner, cold turkey, fast taper or on a slow, SA recommended taper.

 

I'm fairly certain that this is not what you, a parent, wants to hear, as it would not be what I would want to hear either.  I understand how desperate you are to find a doctor who can do what doctors are supposed to do -- save your child.  The reason I understand this is that I was desperate for months to find someone to save my child's mother --myself.  I did not believe that I could save myself, and the only thing I could think of that could be worse than losing my child would have been to leave her here without me as the orphan of a suicide.  

 

I'm sorry to say that I do not believe you will ever find any facility where your child could be safe from the incompetence of doctors when it comes to these psychoactive medicines.  Why do I believe this?

 

My own experience with the effects of not only getting off of these drugs, but also of being on these drugs has been so unbelievably eye opening.  The danger to my own life that I became while trying to suffer through withdrawal was very severe.  The only person I would, in retrospect, trust with my health and life under those circumstances were they to occur again would be my husband.  Not even my own mother could be trusted as she would simply turn me over to a doctor or clinic without understanding the consequences.  

 

There simply is no facility prepared to handle the safety of a patient who has become dependent upon an anti-psychotic, an anti-depressant or a benzodiazapine who stopped taking that drug too quickly (or reached tolerance and is in withdrawal.). They do not exist.  The same is true of anti-depressants and benzodiazepines.  It is a matter of ignorance in the medical community coupled with legal liability in our court system.  Part of the reason for this is that the problem itself, anti-psychotic, anti-depressant and benzodiazapine withdrawal, is not acknowledged by the medical community.  Neither are the life threatening side effects nor life threatening drug interaction of these medicines.  Also, the proper "treatment" for the condition is not accepted by the medical community.  That treatment is apparently,  as far as I can discern without a medical degree, 24 hour supervision, a very slow taper, rest, a safe non-threatening home with safe, non-threatening staff and doctors who understand the process.  In fact, the prevailing legal standard of care is to give the patient more and different psychotropic medications that will further assault his destabilized and severely compromised system.  It is appalling.  The standard of care for legal liability and medical malpractice in the U. S. is precisely to do the opposite of what the patient needs and is, in fact, a recipe for his further injury and for driving him to suicide.

 

Last, the cost of any such facility to the patient would be prohibitively expensive.  It would require a locked facility staffed 24 hours a day by competent doctors and nurses who not only understand the damage that your child has suffered from his withdrawal, but who also understand the side effects of any drugs he is taking, AND who also care about your child almost as much as you do.  If such a facility did exist, it would be sued and shut down as quickly as it could begin to treat its first patient -- for violating the medical standard of care.  

 

If if my child were in your child's position, I would feel that the only place he or she could be safe would be in my own home with me overseeing his or her care and choosing his or her doctor.  This is not fair to you, I know.  It is not fair to your child.  Any licensed psychiatric hospital should be able to help your child get well and heal from his or her injury without doing further damage.  The fact of the matter is that none of them will do so.

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Rosetta

I am about 2 or 3 weeks shy of my 12 month anniversary of being drug free.  It was sometime before Feb 21st, 2017 when I finished my rapid taper.

 

Last night, I fell asleep about 9 or 9:30 and woke at about 12:15 am.  I had a headache.  I drank warm milk and heated up my heating pad.  I also had a large glass of water with an ibuprofen tab.  I was awake in bed for awhile, but I didn't feel too bad.  I kept trying to count breaths, but my mind wandered into neutral places, not bad places.  Finally, fell asleep again and woke up before light.  I counted breaths again.  Then I woke up about 7 and 7:30.  My daughter slept next to me through the night for the first time in about 4 nights.

 

I woke up with a slight headache, and it's not concentrated on the right side as it would be from bruxism.  The dystonia was barely there when I woke up, but is worsening just from typing this.

 

This morning, I feel slightly anxious about how my WD is going to play out, about the 12 month wave that some people get, the rare 18-20 month wave, and the possibility -  so very rare, I know -- of a wave after that.  I'm trying to focus on today.  

 

My forearms and elbows are hurting from using this iPad too much.  So, I'm going to to try to stay off the internet today.

 

No bruxism

No insomnia

No cortisol awakening (had it yesterday)

No negative ruminations in the night

Anxiety is mild to medium

Dystonia is mild (toes, foot, leg, neck, chest, hand & arm -- right side)

Constipation is intermittent 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AliG

Hi Rosetta ~ you're doing so well and such a positive attitude. You know there are going to be more " windows & waves" but are already battening down the hatches ~ as it should be  ~ not to be negative ~ just realistic ~ preparing for the storm that may or may not come.

 

Best Wishes,

Ali

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Rosetta

When will I be able to fix the mess caused by hoarding while I took Zoloft?

 

Zoloft is given to hoarders!! For me, the combination of Celexa (citalopram) WD and high doses of Zoloft caused me to hoard.

 

I'm slightly anxious about the state of my house, and when I will be able to address all the things I need to sort and donate and throw away.  I can't invite anyone inside because I became a hoarder on Zoloft.  I spent about 4 years collecting things, some valuable, but mostly I never threw anything (except obvious trash) away.  I kept lots of things that most people think are trash for crafts with my child, but then I lost my creativity and motivation for doing crafts. Since 2015, when my daughter turned 4, I've been so ill that I couldn't collect more, but I couldn't sort or de-clutter either, and I could no longer organize.  People still kept giving my daughter things, of course.  Things are lying where they were left 2-3 years ago.  I can't find things I need so I buy another.  Most of the things that have come in for the last 2 1/2 years have stayed and stayed disorganized. We have so many toys, too, that people have given my daughter and junky "swag" we got at kids' birthday parties, etc.   

 

I keep hoping I'll be able to sort a little at a time, but I get so anxious just thinking about it that I never start.  Having a professional come to help did not work in early 2017 as I had horrible anticipation anxiety, horrible anxiety about my inability to sort and make decisions, and I didn't know about ADWD then either.  I was off the drugs, but I had not found SA, and I couldn't understand why my brain would not work to sort and organize or why I couldn't make decisions.  I didn't even realize that I was finding meaning in things that I would not have kept if my brain was not affected by the drugs and WD from Zoloft.

 

Now, I am faced with this mess everyday, and it's not good for my mental health.  I am uncomfortable in my own home.  I am less anxious than I used to be about the mess, and I've had a few days -- maybe 2-3 -- when I was able to organize some things and put them in big plastic bins.  It used to be rare that I could even think about doing that without too much anxiety.  When I think about actually doing that now I can't begin.  Now, I often think I am ready to begin; I formulate a plan for specific classes of items, I fantasize about gathering up random plastic junk in big black trash bags and old clothes in big black trash bags.  Also, I imagine gathering everything up in plastic bins and stashing them in the garage until I have the brain power to sort them.  I couldn't think that way a few months ago.  I couldn't formulate a plan like that --- a short cut to bypass my inability to sort and make decisions.   I suppose the demotivation is still very strong, but some of my cog function is improving.  

 

When will I be able to take action again?!!

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Rosetta
13 minutes ago, AliG said:

Hi Rosetta ~ you're doing so well and such a positive attitude. You know there are going to be more " windows & waves" but are already battening down the hatches ~ as it should be  ~ not to be negative ~ just realistic ~ preparing for the storm that may or may not come.

 

Thanks Ali.  Thanks for stopping by.  That means so much to me!

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AliG

Rosetta ~ start small ~ inch by inch. Just start - I know there is angst  but just  " BREATHE"  ~  If your quality of life is down as a result and is impacting your daughter, then there is a problem. We can help  ~ just keep talking and we can possibly help to fix this.

 

You are not on your own ~ we have all had our battles dealing with these drugs. It will be ok ~ eventually - it resolves itself.

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Rosetta
9 hours ago, AliG said:

 If your quality of life is down as a result and is impacting your daughter, then there is a problem. We can help  ~ just keep talking and we can possibly help to fix this.

  

Thank you Ali.  I have been waiting for it to resolve itself.  I know it will.  I'm not sure whether that's the best course of action as leaving things as they are is impacting my quality of life, and therefore, my recovery, of course.  It's a catch 22.  I will keep talking.  

 

I've never heard of anyone becoming a hoarder on ADs.  It seems to be a unique experience for me.  As that impulse is gone I suppose it doesn't matter, now, for me how I got into this tight spot.  It is a tight spot.  Sometimes I wonder if there isn't some very slight derealization going on when I look at the mess.  Maybe it's a memory thing -- I don't remember making my house this way; it's so much the opposite of my desire for orderliness.  Then I feel overwhelmed -- that's the most intense emotion -- the feeling of being overwhelmed and therefore unable to sort my thoughts, prioritize, and decide what to do with each object.  

 

I feel that I can't go about the task in an orderly way.  I get confused.  First, I am sorting things that can go in the trash from things that can't, then of the non-trash, things that can be recycled from things that cannot.  At this point I start to get confused -- there are things that cannot be recycled, but I don't want them, and so I need to give them away -- and my brain short circuits here.  Why am I overwhelmed at this point?  

 

I think I start to worry I'll give away something I will need later.  It's very hard for me to shop;  I can't go out as I'm anxious -- about getting dressed, about driving, about spending money, about buying poor quality things because that's all that's avaiable, about needing to eat while I'm out and what's in the food that is out there, and yet if I take food with me I have to pack it, and it's all so overwhelming that I stay home.  So, I don't want to get rid of things I will need later, and yet I can't find it later anyway.  But I have no where to put it because everything is a jumble and every space is taken.  Catch 22

 

Of my daughter's things, I might give away something, and when my daughter asks for it she will cry, and that will set off anxiety in me.  So, I need to put those things out of sight for a long time until she forgets about them.  I've tried this, but she finds them. So I need them to go to the garage.  That's another category -- "non-recycle, don't want, child's thing to hide in garage."  

 

Usually, by this point, there have been a number of things I have seen that bring back memories, and I get anxious or depressed or sad or afraid.  I have to face my lost time with my child -- I was there, she knows I was there, but I didn't enjoy being there when she was 4 1/2, 5, 5 1/2, 6, and even now -- she's 6 1/2 -- I often get very anxious because she's being a 6 year old.  She can sense that anxiety and she gets anxious.  

 

I come across things that remind me I have no career and no way to support myself without my husband.  What if he dies?  How do I care for my child?  Will she be taken away? How do I avoid the stress worsening my symptoms such that I can't find a job?  Will I let down my daughter?  Even if I can keep her will I meltdown and make her anxious too often?

 

I come across things from my childhood or that remind me of my grandmother, her dementia, or my grandfather, and his betrayal  of me and rejection of me when my grandmother died, or my mother and her complete failure to care for me, and there are legal documents and other documents about the legal cases and the estate settlement that remind me of the fact that my mother burdened me with caring for my grandfather alone, and the fact that she is still needy and demanding.  

 

It's a minefield; my house is an emotional minefield.  Even an unfinished craft or some materials from an attempt to build shelves for organizing all my stuff remind me how I have failed myself.  The thoughts keep coming up, and I keep pushing them away: I didn't keep control; I bought too much stuff; I didn't keep it organized; I didn't take care of myself; I failed at being a homemaker, having a career and being a mother for the last 6 1/2 years.  But I won't continue to fail . . . 

 

Then, I look up and see that I need to sort all the Goodwill (charity resale) things from the things I need to keep.  But there are things I "need to keep" (because I can't shop) that I don't want to keep because there's no room, and I get overwhelmed.  At this point, I get into a mood -- after I have been facing this whole problem for about an hour -- a mood in which I want to throw away everything, and it all looks threatening, and I meltdown.  I can't think at this point; I can't sort; I can't even look at the stuff any longer, but I've only tackled the corner of one room.

 

So . . . you see; it's hard to avoid stress and anxiety and at the same time get my house in order so that I can avoid stress and anxiety . . .

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RealMe
9 minutes ago, Rosetta said:

So . . . you see; it's hard to avoid stress and anxiety and at the same time get my house in order so that I can avoid stress and anxiety

Hi Rosetta,

Whenever I tried to declutter in the past, I would go down memory lane with each object I looked at.  I would make up my mind that I would throw away just one item and call it a day, but I couldn't do it.  Then, after I retired from teaching about five years ago, I saw that I had books and papers and boxes of papers and books and papers all over the house in every room.  I couldn't get rid of even one piece of paper.

 

One day I came upon a bin in a shopping center that accepted books for Mothers Against Drunk Driving!  Okay, I decided that I could donate a book--just one--for a good cause.  I opened up my high school copy of Catcher in the Rye, and the pages were so old they flaked as they fell apart!  I took that book to the bin even though I reasoned that probably no one would want it.  Nevertheless, I did it.  It wasn't throwing away; it was donating.  Then, some time went by, and I took a book I didn't really like and put that in the bin for a good cause.  To make a very long story short, eventually I put almost every single book I owned into that bin.  At some point I realized that none of my books were rare, priceless, signed originals and that all of them were available at the public library or online if I wanted them.  Every once in a while, I miss being able to go to one of my books and re-read some favorite passage or look up something.  Recently I went back to that shopping center and noticed that the bin was no longer there!  I wonder if my books actually wound up serving some useful purpose or if they were (horrors) just disposed of;  but getting rid of them served a purpose of freeing up a lot of needed space in my house.  I enjoy a sense of accomplishment about that.  Eventually, I was able to get rid of all of the papers, a little at a time.  They went into the garbage--little by little by slowly.

 

Today I have a stack of books, but they are all library books.  As far as papers, I still tend to collect them, but not as much.  Sometimes, I throw away the junk mail in the garbage can outside and don't even bring it into the house in order to "save and look at later."  I still have a lot of clutter, but it is getting better little by little.  Since I have been dealing with WD and depressing since August, I haven't made much progress in the decluttering department; but one day I donated a couple of blouses I haven't worn in years just to get a little feeling of accomplishment.

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Rosetta
21 hours ago, RealMe said:

Whenever I tried to declutter in the past, I would go down memory lane with each object I looked at.  I would make up my mind that I would throw away just one item and call it a day, but I couldn't do it.  Then, after I retired from teaching about five years ago, I saw that I had books and papers and boxes of papers and books and papers all over the house in every room.  I couldn't get rid of even one piece of paper.

 

Thanks, RealMe.  I'm glad you got over it.  

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Rosetta

My daughter lost her first tooth today!

 

Oh, boy.  I didn't sleep much last night.  I didn't ruminate either, but I didn't get much sleep.  My dystonia was worse right before bed because I used the iPad, I assume.  When I woke up the dystonia was slight, and I did not have a headache.  Notably, when I was awakened I felt that I had only recently fallen asleep, and that I had been getting the best sleep ever.  

 

So, after I took the kiddo to school, I had warm milk with honey.  After watching tv for a while I fell asleep in the middle of a show!! Then, I took two long naps!!! For the first time in about a year? Over a year? I had a normal restful nap!!!  Not a short disappointing "nap" that ended too soon and left me feeling a little wired.  Not even a too short nap without the wired feeling.   And when I woke up I was able to go back to sleep.  I may have slept for about 3 hours!!!  This is really big news!

 

My plan was to have coffee at 1:30, but I forgot.  I just finished a cup at 6:30 pm on a full stomach.  So, I'm not expecting to sleep well tonight either.

 

I see three positives: I woke up this morning feeling that I was deeply asleep instead of the opposite. Six months ago, I got no rest even if I slept.  The second positive is that the cortisol mornings are rare and mild if they arrive.  I'm not having them two days in a row either. Three, I took a long, restful nap when I didn't sleep well.  That's bound to start happening again and again.

 

Also, I felt less anxious today, and I had less anticipatory anxiety such when I had to pick up my daughter.  She and I went for a walk this evening.

 

My stress response: My husband told me today that we are invited to his brother's child's birthday party on Saturday.  She's 8. Long story, there is a sibling rivalry going on with my husband and his brother, and it's so intense that my sister-in-law and her mother participate.  We have tried up until 3 years ago to have family time when the kids were all little, but it always ended up with his brother and his wife accusing us of having offended them somehow.  I gave up.  That's when they started taking out their anger at my mother-in-law.  It's been ugly sometimes.  The little girl is very cold to my husband's mother since her maternal grandmother moved back in with her family a year ago.  Now, we are invited to the kids' birthday parties only.  We have no other contact.  

 

My husband feels it's better to accept any invitation we get, and he's not at all threatened or intimidated by the drama queens and their affect on his brother.  I find the whole matter very threatening, and it's threatening to my recovery.  I don't need to be stressed, to be angry, or to feel on edge about the parallels I see between my family and the crap that goes on in my husband's family.  I choose to disengage, and I don't want my daughter exposed to any of that without me there to see it and intervene.  I do not need the stress of seeing them for birthday parties and then having to explain to my daughter why she can't have play dates or invite them over.  I'm pretty sure my daughter will get her feelings hurt by her cousin if I let her get close.  That poor little girl is being taught by example to be a mean girl.

 

My husband disagrees with my assessment, but isn't going to force the issue.  Just having the conversation upset me, of course. I wish this would not come up 3 times a year for each kid's birthday, and I may have to tell him that.

 

Symptoms improving:

Constipation

Appetite

Bruxism

Dystonia

Cortisol mornings

Sleep

Anxiety

 

Symptoms 

 

Muscle twitches

Worrying

Demotivation

Cog fog

Muscle aches

Joint aches -- elbows mostly

Overwhelmed

Stress response 

Headache -- low grade all day

Dystonia -- eye focus vision and neck & jaw

 

 

 

 

 

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Rosetta

On switching from one anti-depressant to another

 

I wrote a similar post to this one to another member today:

 

My two cents is that switching AD meds is dangerous.  That was my experience.  I have no medical training, but my horrible experience and my tenuous grasp of how these drugs work and how the brain copes with the switch of drugs tells me that switching to Lexapro or Celexa from Zoloft and vice versa would be a mistake, and that switching from any AD to anything other than Prozac would be a mistake.  I took Celexa for about 9 years and then switched to Zoloft without knowing that switch was dangerous.

 

Lexapro is the drug that replaced the revenue stream for the manufacturer (Forest Laboratories) when the patent for Celexa ran its course.  Forest changed the formulation just enough to "prove" that it was a new drug in order to get a patent.  A current patent means more money for the manufacturer. Their studies showed some difference between the effect of Celexa and the effect of Lexapro that the FDA deemed sufficient for a patent on Lexapro.  The two drugs were studied together -- some patients got Celexa and some got Lexapro.  I suspect the two drugs are quite similar.  If so, my experience that I will tell you about indicates that Lexapro may not be a good substitute for Zoloft, at least when it comes to my brain and my body.

 

I wasn't "normal" on Celexa, and I can see that now, but switching to Zoloft was catastrophic for me.  This tells me that the two drugs were not equivalent for me and that my brain did not accept Zoloft as a substitute.  Within a year I was having withdrawal symptoms.  However, they were milder than a cold turkey without a new drug being added because the dose of Zoloft "covered the WD symptoms up."  I suspect that I had less anxiety than I would have if I had stopped Celexa without adding Zoloft.  However, that does not mean I had no withdrawal symptoms.  I sufferred for 5 years with what I now know was withdrawal.  No matter how high the dose of Zoloft, my problems got worse not better.  I started at 10mg of Zoloft after my child was born.  By the time she was 4, I was a wreck.

 

My husband agrees with me that Celexa wasn't good for me, and that the switch to Zoloft caused a lot of serious problems -- problems I now know were WD symptoms.  I did not know that then.  The most horrifying symptoms, as if chemically induced anxiety isn't horrifying enough, were cognitive difficulties -- confusion, inability to make decisions, and inability to plan.  The doctor kept raising the dose to compensate.  Eventually, I could not keep house, do laundry, keep the kitchen, etc. because I was that severely affected in the executive function areas of my brain. This failure on my part, of course, increased my anxiety.  I began to think that I had brain damage or a brain tumor.  In my work, it took me a very long time to work out plans and do analysis that should have been easy.  I would catch mistakes I could not believe I could have made.  It took me twice or three times the effort to produce documents than it should have.  I developed severe anxiety about making mistakes that I would not catch.  Eventually I had to stop working -- this was before I tapered off Zoloft too fast.

 

While I was on Zoloft, by far the worst symptom was rampant anxiety including anticipatory anxiety.  Eventually, I could barely leave the house.  I had some physical symptoms such as changes in appetite and a craving for alcohol (to relieve anxiety). The most long lasting change was that I became a hoarder - I am not a hoarder now that I am off Zoloft, but I have been so ill from my rapid taper of Zoloft that I have not been able to correct the condition of my house one year later.  It's been almost 12 months since I quit Zoloft, Xanax and Trazadone.  It's been 6 1/2 years since my doctor switched my AD.  I never needed Xanax before that switch, and I did not need sleeping pills either.  (**Trazodone is NOT a sleeping pill.  It is a tricyclic anti-depressant, and it's a dangerous one at that.   My p-doc gave it to me for sleep without telling me anything about how dangerous it was.) That AD med switch from Celexa to Zoloft destroyed my career, changed my relationship with my husband and took from me over 2 years of being able to enjoy my daughter -- the years when she was 4, 5 and 6.  I cannot get those years back.

 

There are some places in this site that explain how the drugs remodel the brain and how WD causes symptoms.  I don't know how to link to them, but I strongly believe that switching drugs can cause the same effect as WD, and it may, in fact, cause even more serious problems or more severe decline in cognitive function than staying on the drug your body is "used to."  Knowing what I have been through, I sometimes wish I could go back and taper Celexa without ever having used Zoloft.* Every time I see a thread on this site by a person who switched drugs I see a train wreck, and I understand exactly why it happened because it happened to me that way, too.

 

*There is a caveat to this: if the switch in meds actually was good for my baby because she did not continue to get Celexa after birth then I wouldn't change the fact that I took Zoloft.  This assumes that any Zoloft my baby got did not harm her.  I have no way of knowing whether it did or not.

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