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Evss

Hey everyone,

I would like to introduce myself and hope to get some personalized support. I've been reading through much of the content and only wish I had done so earlier this year. Alas, I find myself in a very difficult situation now. Thanks in advance for having me here.

 

My situation is a little unusual so bear with me, please. I had a health crisis last July (2017) that resulted in severe fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations and brain fog. This came after years of health issues that compounded into an unsettling of my nervous system.

 

I was so freaked out that on the advice of the Amen clinic, I flew down to California in July and had 3 ketamine infusions and was prescribed low dose seroquel for sleep. The ketamine seemed to take the edge off the anxiety, although initially it made things worse. I used an alpha stim right after which really helped and continued using seroquel for sleep for the next few months until it finally stopped working. Sadly, my health crisis lead me to give up completely on life and become reckless. Now I understand it wasn't so much the health crisis but the underlying unresolved emotional conditions that made it so.

 

So from that point on until middle of February 2018, i was adamant that I would end my life and even though I had a lot of support, I really didn't care anymore. I didn't have the guts to go through with it, however and finally decided in February i wanted to live. That's just some background. In late October 2017, I started taking amitriptyline that my Dad had- it had helped him when he went through a severe health challenge and I was desperate for sleep. Because I was so careless, I would take it sporadically and in various doses, up to 150 mg. It's hard to remember but I believe I took it at least every other day. I tried stopping it a few times but couldn't sleep well without it. Looking back, I can't believe I ruined my nervous system with my own two hands- no doctor prescribed me this med :( 

 

So when I made the decision to live, I decided no more amitriptyline because it made me sleep too long and left me feeling foggy, depressed and just generally off. I stopped taking it around mid February and for the  next 5-6 weeks, continued to try not using it but would end up having to take some every 5-6 days because the anxiety and insomnia were too much. I then learned that antidepressants shouldn't be abruptly discontinued and decided to reinstate at 25 mg which I did for the next 3-4 weeks. Even with that,  the anxiety, insomnia, OCD, fatigue were not improving much so out of desperation last week, i took a big dose of 125 mg and immediately experienced a negative reaction which I believe was serotonin syndrome. Heart palpitations, anxiety, loss of balance, muscle twitching.

 

I got really scared and took about 4 grams of phenibut to counteract this. I then slept for about 15-16 hours and woke up with a crazy mental state- I was crying and screaming uncontrollably the whole next day. Then, because of fear of withdrawals, I took a 25 mg dose 2 days later and again developed anxiety and heart palpitations which I again counteracted with phenibut. The next day, I developed brain zaps and have since not been taking it because i'm afraid my body is now sensitized to it.

 

I saw my doctor today and had him muscle test it on me and my body really doesn't like it. So now I have to cold turkey it and I'm so upset at myself for doing this and worried about how I'm going to make it through with my already super sensitive nervous system. To give some perspective, I needed to sleep at least 12 hours before I ever started this med due to my health condition and even with that I had severe fatigue, light/sound sensitivity and POTS symptoms. Now I have to deal with all that on top of the drug withdrawal which hasn't even started yet and I already have so many symptoms. 

 

Has anyone experienced cold turkey amitriptyline withdrawals?

 

I hope and pray I'll have the strength to survive these next few years of my life. I'm already barely holding on. 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Evss.

 

On 4/27/2018 at 9:31 PM, Evss said:

I needed to sleep at least 12 hours before I ever started this med due to my health condition and even with that I had severe fatigue, light/sound sensitivity and POTS symptoms. Now I have to deal with all that on top of the drug withdrawal which hasn't even started yet and I already have so many symptoms. 

2

 

It seems you are familiar with techniques of self-medication. Were you taking any supplements or nootropics when you developed light/sound sensitivity and POTS symptoms, etc. before amitriptyline?

 

We do have people here who are recovering from cold turkey from various drugs, including amitriptyline. It sounds to me like you further sensitized your system by your irregular use of amitriptyline, and phenibut (a benzodiazepine) etc. so your situation is not strictly that of cold turkey.

 

You will need to let your nervous system settle down. There's not much you can do to force it, you need to treat it gently. What is your current sleep pattern?

 

Please see Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

 

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

To help us out, see these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature

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Evss

Thank you. 

Yes, it was between supplements, stress and excessive sauna use that I developed the high sensitivity. I was trying all sorts of things to heal my adrenals, completely unaware it was the nervous system that regulates everything. So I was using minerals, vitamins, amino acids, herbs, enzymes, desiccated adrenal (drenamin). Probably about ten pills a day. 

I will have to try out fish oil. Last time I took magnesium citrate, it had me running to the bathroom all day. 

Before the big overdose last week I was sleeping just about every night but the nights were getting shorter progressively. Now I am sleeping even less, like last night I didn’t even sleep at all. Everything has flipped since then actually. I have this weird energy I haven’t had in months and I’m not as foggy brained and my sleep is all over the place. I have a hunch it’s the adrenaline pumping out like mad, pulling from reserves I apparently had. I fear that will soon run out and I will crash hard. 

Is there any difference in withdrawals from trycyclics compared to SSRIs?

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Gridley

Magnesium definitely can have a laxative effect if you take too much.  You might consider starting with a very low dose like 25mg or 50mg and see if that works.  If no problem, you could work up.  There are many types of magnesium.  I like the magnesium glycinate.

 

I have experienced withdrawal from Imipramine (a tricyclic) and Lexapro (an SSRI).  I can't say I noticed the symptoms were any different--anxiety, insomnia, anhedonia, apathy, weight loss being the main ones.  But it's hard to say, since I first tapered the Imipramine, then held and started the Lexapro taper, so my symptoms may be from a combination of both,.  Or they may be from diminishing the sedative (brake) effect of the Imipramine.

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Altostrata

Please do not take anything that stimulates the adrenals. The adrenals are sending out anxiety and panic hormones.

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Evss

This was last June that I was taking all these. 

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Evss

I wonder if the amount of time on the drug has any correlation with the withdrawals symptoms or length...?

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SkyBlue
8 hours ago, Evss said:

I wonder if the amount of time on the drug has any correlation with the withdrawals symptoms or length...?

 

Hi Evss,

 

It really doesn't seem to correlate. Withdrawal can be unpredictable and doesn't seem to follow set patterns regarding amount of time on the drug. That's why we caution people to go slowly and have as much patience as possible while developing self-care techniques that will help them. 

 

 

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Evss

Please someone just tell me I can recover my old self. I used to be such a beautiful soul, happy and outgoing, full of hope and charisma. My heart was always brimming, my humor on point and I had so much fun all the time! I am so scared that I am cut off from her now, that after I go through all this, I'll never be the same again. And I want so much to just reverse time and go back to being her again. I don't know what mechanism in the brain controls personality and emotion; I just can't seem to connect to my own soul, my essence. The part of me that's "me" and I wonder, can I be that strong, confident person, smart and everything else I've forgotten, will it return? In my dreams, I am running from depression, from fatigue and I can't find help anywhere. 

I am worried too, that as this unravels, I will go further and further from myself. As of right now, I can still faintly see her but the memory is fading. 

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SkyBlue

Evss, it is very likely you will recover your real self. That is what healing from these drugs is all about. It can be a difficult journey, to be sure.

 

Do you have good coping techniques in place? 

 

This is a good place to start:

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Just curious if you are still taking the adrenal supplements? If not, please update your signature when you get a chance. 

I know it can seem counter-intuitive to rest when all we want to do is get back to life. But it really does seem to be the best thing.

 

Everyone will have what works for them, but healing is definitely possible. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't. It hasn't been as linear or as quick as I'd like, for sure -- but the moments when I glimpse my true, true self and feel true human emotions are absolutely priceless. 

 

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Evss
Quote

 

Thank you SkyBlue.

I am still figuring out my coping techniques. I used to color and spend time with friends but I'm having a hard time being motivated now. And all I can do is rest. Not been able to work in over a year now. I take a different adrenal supplement now that is non stimulating. 

I am trying to figure out what happened to my brain. Maybe it shuts down certain things when overwhelmed but I wonder if it will still remember them later down the road? 

I just want to cry and cry for all I've lost and all that's to come... 

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Songbird

Hello Evss, your real self is still there, even at times when you feel like you can't access it.  I like to think of it as being like the sun.  Clouds can cover the sky so we can't see the sun, they can even be very dark and stormy, but the sun is still there, it hasn't gone anywhere.  Eventually the clouds move on, the sky clears and we can see the sun again.

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Evss

Thank you, Songbird. I appreciate it. 

Do you know where the HBOT link is? I can't find it :(

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