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Brandy

☼ Brandy, Anyone?

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Brandy

*sli-i-i-ides into new forum like Kramer on Seinfeld, with case of champagne for everyone under one arm and big armful of roses for Sur in the other*

 

Can't believe it took me so long to get here! This forum is terrific!

 

Sur, what can I say? You done good! Really good!

 

So glad to be here! Will try to come up with some sort of introduction soon.

 

(Site Post Under Construction LOL.)

 

Just wanted to say how happy I am to be here!!

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Neuroplastic

Can I have one (Brandy)? Welcome to the forum, Brandy! In case you needed assistance, we're just a click away. :)

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summer

 

So glad to be here!

Did you come by way of the Tardis?

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Healing

Welcome! It's good to see you here! :)

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Brandy

Did you come by way of the Tardis?

 

Uh... doesn't everyone?

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summer

Uh... doesn't everyone?

 

Nope... only those of us in the know. :)

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Brandy

Can I have one (Brandy)? Welcome to the forum, Brandy!

 

Doubles for the staff!

 

And thanks for the welcome!

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Punarbhava

Doubles for the staff!

 

And thanks for the welcome!

 

 

Welcome Brandy!

 

 

BTW, What about the case of champagne? I have my glass in hand waiting to be served. :D

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Altostrata

Welcome, Brandy.

 

How about something about your withdrawal history? Short form would be fine for now.

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Rhiannon

Did you come by way of the Tardis?

 

Tardis? We have a Tardis? I KNEW this was going to be a great forum!

 

(Can we have the David Tennant Doctor? drool...)

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Brandy

Welcome Brandy!

 

 

BTW, What about the case of champagne? I have my glass in hand waiting to be served. :D

 

Sur's still looking for the corkscrew! What kind of party is this? :rolleyes:

 

Welcome, Brandy.

 

How about something about your withdrawal history? Short form would be fine for now.

 

Short form would be the size of Tolstoy's War and Peace.

 

Working on getting it down to the size of a fortune cookie.

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Brandy

My sig needs editing (space hog) and I'll get around to it when you can.

 

Here's what it was as of year 2013 (so don't hold your breath on that edit!):

 

 

This is too long for a sig, and too short to touch on most of my medical and medication history (!). I will of course condense it to a brief medication summary soon, but am posting this briefly to give a long-overdue introduction.  It's a mishmash, but I'm burnt-out on it right now, and if I wait to rewrite it later, I'll never do it. Hey, I know myself! And frankly, have been realizing for some time I'm burnt out to the max about w/d.

Thought it might be briefly of interest to some long-termers here, though it still leaves out a lot!  :wacko:


Extremely long, complex history of chronic medical problems (since age 11) and severe allergies (since birth and increasing). (Possibly relevant - Was on massive amounts of first-generation antihistamines most of my life, and also exposed to large amounts of mercury, to which my doctor thinks I may actually be allergic. Have had amalgams removed with all precautions and had DMSA chelation - all before paxil withdrawal.)
Courses of various benzos for incapacitating back problems when younger.

Later (almost 40 years ago!) put on benzo daily (tranxene) as adjunct anticonvulsant for seizure disorder (epilepsy). Long benzo saga - currently still on 0.5 mg clonazepam since disastrous 2-week taper off approx 4 mg. xanax etc. in late 1980s.

Put on paxil to "rebalance neurotransmitters" from xanax fiasco - on it for 13 years. Tapered off too-fast (about 6 weeks).

After last dose of too-fast taper, 2-week extraorindary remission of long-term medical problems that I now believe was a very mild form of physical (biochemical) "hypomania." (felt better than I had in decades). That was followed by zaps, whooshes, and vision lagging behind eye movements etc., which I ignored until woke up one day in sudden indescribably extreme derealization and an unexplainable feeling of horror and anhedonia.  Something I'd ever experienced before in my life.

Now (as of year 2013) 7 years off paxil (after 13 years on 20 then went down to 15 mg). Still on 0.5 mg clonazepam (after almost 40 years on various benzos at doses as high as 4 mg xanax) as anticonvulsant for which it was originally prescribed.

Emotional/cognitive w/d symptoms resolved years ago. A few residual physical conditions that started or worsened significantly with paxil withdrawal continue, though most are gone. Increased severe sensitivities/allergic reactions to more substances and foods a big problem since withdrawal, though I want to stress this has been a problem in lesser degree most of my life, since before w/d. I do find that exposures to them can trigger (to a much lesser degree) some of the physically manifesting withdrawal symptoms that started with paxil withdrawal.

Still trying to manage that as well as pre-medication chronic medical conditions, but am once again able to enjoy life (to the extremes I always felt prior to w/d!) - and savor everything more than ever - whenever health and cirumstances permit.

 

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mammaP

Hello Brandy, lovely to 'meet' you. I've seen a lot of your posts from when you were here  in the beginning,

you have been through a lot and come out the other side with a flourish! It will be great to see your success story 

when you are ready to write it  :)

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drummerseve

Hello Brandy, lovely to 'meet' you. I've seen a lot of your posts from when you were here in the beginning,

you have been through a lot and come out the other side with a flourish! It will be great to see your success story

when you are ready to write it :)

 

I tapered from 150mg of effexor for over a yr and a half and at ten beads i just stopped. I was fine for about 2-3 weeks and now at week 6 er so im having such a hard time. I didnt realize 4-5 beads was even enuf to make a difference. Maybe thats why im struggling so much. Do u think that was too big of a move to do that? Sounds stupid but my dr advised me to just stop. He said its such a low dose at such a slow taper that my brain wouldnt notice it. Buuuuuut i dont think he was right. Im wondering if i should start at ten again and taper off over a few months. Im so lost i dont know where to begin... should i stay off or go back on?

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Rhiannon

Hi again drummer! This is Brandy's thread, so you won't get responses to your questions for yourself here. Please start a thread for yourself in the Intros and Updates area, like this:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/25-please-start-a-topic-about-yourself-in-this-forum/

 

And when you get the chance, add your basic drug history info in the sig line, like this:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

That way people will see your questions (in your thread) and have your background (from your sig line) so they can answer them.

 

Welcome to the forum!

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drummerseve

Ok thanks. My apologies. Im still new to the site. Haha. Im all over the place.trying to figure it out. Thanks.

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Brandy

Since the subject came up again in the Off-topic section, thought I'd copy and paste excerpts re my own benzo situation in a couple of replies I wrote in the benzo tapering section re why I'm not tapering off my benzo. At least not at this time.  I'm long off paxil but would like to include this in my own thread for my own reference in the future, so not seeking advice at this time. My case is kind of unusual in that I was put on benzos for their anticonvulsant properties.

 

 

Wow! Thats insane! I didnt even realize some of these drugs have been out that long. Seriously, congratulations. The people on here blow me away. You guys are a huge inspiration to me. I can't imagine how that must have been. How do u feel now? Sry i cant remember if i already asked u that.

 

I was given occasional courses of various benzos for muscle spasms (incapacitating) due to back pain, as long ago as the 1960s. In the 1970s, I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder (not related to benzos) and after being unable to tolerate many anticonvulsants (and some not working on my form of epilepsy),  and after developing tolerance to the one that did work, put on various benzos permanently over 35 years ago (as adjunct anticonvulsant to the tegretol). (Benzodiazepines have anticonvulsant properties, and some are permitted in some countries only for that purpose.)

 

I am still on 0.5 mg clonazepam (Klonopin), down from the equivalent of 4 mg klonopin. (Equivalent in that I had been switched to xanax, which was believed to be  safer and non-addictive due to its short-acting nature, which turned out to be quite untrue. With a little tranxene, my original benzo, restored when after a couple of months or thereabouts on xanax, I started developing what I now realize were interdose withdrawal symptoms.)

 

I was accustomed to doing two-week tapers when tapering to switch anticonvulsants. That's what I did (on my own) when trying to see if the 4 mg. xanax was causing some other medical problems. Turned out it wasn't, but the withdrawal I went through was impossible to describe. As was the paxil withdrawal (in somehwat different but no less horrifying ways), after being prescribed paxil for 13 years to "rebalance my neurotransmitters."

 

Believe it or not, I know people who were even more polydrugged - with cold switches and very fast tapers like mine - than I was. Everyone should bear in mind when reading posts here that a person's current withdrawal situation does not reflect their entire medication - or medical condition - history. I mention this last point not to you specifcally, drummerseve, but because I know from conversations with many of the more well-known (and also not-so-well-known) cases of particularly difficult or protracted withdrawal, that more meds were involved than the antidepressants that brought them to withdrawal groups.

 

 

 

 

35 yrs? Wow. Are u ever gonna try to come off them? Or is that what ur doing now? How are ur seizures now? Do u still get them? ....

 

Just saw this after finishing "War and Peace" above lol. Forgive anything that doesn't make sense. I'm pretty spacy. Over the flu, but it was a bad one and couldn't eat most days last week. Just water - and the bit of milk in my doses, of course. Can't not take that, darn it.

 

I was planning to go off the rest of my benzo, but not sure. It's an individual decision. There are frustratingly few hard and fast rules with withdrawal.

 

In my case, I have a couple of concerns that would not apply to most other people. My seizures are under control since on benzos - normal EEGs after too many abnormal ones. I'd like to think that by taking care of other medical issues I no longer have epilepsy, but can't be sure of that. And having had bad reactions or no seizure control from so many other anticonvulsants, and also having Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), it's unlikely that I could take another one. I can't even tolerate tylenol post-paxil. My nervous system is pretty fried that way.

 

I do think I have side effects from the benzos - some possibly never identified as being from benzos, very likely some from sensitivities after my too-fast taper off 13 years paxil. But they're tolerable and I don't know that other seizure meds would be. The consensus even from doctors is that I probably wouldn't tolerate others. I didn't even when I was younger and could tolerate meds better (though had sensitivities and allergic reactions to many even then).

 

I'm also a "senior" now (hate, hate, hate that term, but whatchagonnado...). Between being a caregiver (family and sick friends), other disabling medical conditions (prior to withdrawal and continue), and severe withdrawals (never knew about the kind of slow tapers described here - c/t'd or tapered two weeks and that was it), I've developed a new condition. Old age. Not ready to risk being unable to try to pursue what I wanted to do in life, at least not til I've put my life back together after many decades where life didn't go according to plan lol.

 

There's no good waiting for an ideal time for going off a medication, I've learned. But when one's life is in upheaval, plus the other factors I've mentioned, it may not be the time..

 

But I am considering at least trying to lower my dose further in a while, since the body can eliminate meds more slowly with age. Still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I got old... :blink:

 

....

 

Mods, hope this is OK putting it here as part of the whole picture of my med history. If not, it's OK to delete it from this thread.

 

 

 

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Wildflower0214

Hey there!

 

 

I've been reading some of your advice to others over in the benzo section. It seems you have a pretty good handle on things. I have gotten some really good advice from Skyler and Rhi. I'm trying to learn from all the sources I can.

 

I hate to post on your thread about this, but I PM'd you. Im in a tough spot with Ativan, and was wondering if you could weigh in. The thread is "how to taper Ativan".

 

Thx so much :)

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Petunia
... And having had bad reactions or no seizure control from so many other anticonvulsants, and also having Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), it's unlikely that I could take another one. I can't even tolerate tylenol post-paxil. My nervous system is pretty fried that way.

 

Hi Brandy,

I was wondering what kinds of reactions you now get to drugs and other chemicals.

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Brandy

Petu, it's been a long and complicated situation, which doctors and I are still trying to get a handle on. I have been following GiaK's thread about histamine for a long time, and may post there or (probably should) start a new thread about chemical and food sensitivities. I have had histamine allergies all my life, but what was more minor until my very fast taper off paxil, my other sensitivities (and I certainly had some) generally did not affect my life in extremes the way it suddenly became post-paxil.

 

I want to assure people that only a handful of people seem to have extensive sensitivities post-withdrawal, other than an apparently more common sensitivity to SSRIs, and often psych meds generally. (I have no idea if method of tapering is a factor in which of us do develop such sensitivities.

 

I don't want to alarm anyone needlessly. But I also have found that aside from extreme itching, being covered with hives (especially from too much salicylates in foods and also very severe and long-lasting after even slight amounts of artificial color, which happened when at about the 30-day point when I switched from breaking a 2 mg tab of clonazepam with no artificial color into fourths for my daily dose, to trying to be more accurate by using a 0.5 mg tab with a pale amount of artificial color - same brand, same inactive ingredients with the single difference of the addition of an artificial color), etc., that I also experience some of the symptoms I had in withdrawal (including emotional as well as physical ones) to at least some degree when I am exposed to chemicals (including environmental ones I breathe in without being aware of their presence, i.e. some - not all - new carpeting) or even foods. Sometimes these happen only over time, but I have been told by doctors to keep a log of everything I ingest and significant symptoms, by date and time. (It's a hassle, but something I have had to do since long before withdrawal).

 

I have no idea if cutting out so many of the nutritious foods I thought I was safe with, but found I was not, would have made for a less severe and possibly less protracted withdrawal. (And btw, different substances often cause different sets of symptoms with me. That actually was true of a few things, so clearly I am predisposed to this vulnerability - big-time! - and for the record, I have had bad reactions to medications before benzos/paxil, including one where I nearly stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated in the ER. So my situation is not typical and newbies shouldn't think they'll end up like me! The connection to withdrawal in my case is that I suddenly developed severe and long-lasting symptoms that were dramatically reduced by cutting out certain foods and exposures to other substances. It would take a separate thread to explain all that, and if people are interested I will try to do that as time permits. (Aside from certain problems like these, which I haven't found a cure for - at least not yet - but which frequently have "workarounds" like cutting out and/or eating other food groups etc.), I am doing better than I have in a very long time and am extremely busy getting back to all that life has to offer and pursuing what I believe I was put on this planet for!)

 

But I do think it's possible that for those of us who may be predisposed to such problems, making certain changes in our lives may reduce some incapacitating symptoms. At least, that happened with me. If people are interested, I will start a separate thread (and cannibalize this post to start it).

 

Hope this isn't too poorly written. Just got home from a movie and my head is still in it, plus writing this as my cat is demolishing my home more than usual. I think a lap or fresh food is being requested and better take care of that while I still have a place to live in lol. But I had to check email and saw the notification of your post, Petu, and wanted to respond before getting busy. Plus we're preparing for the opening of a new bar/hangout in Off-Topic. Very busy, indeed!

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Petunia

Thanks for taking the time to explain all that Brandy, it sounds like you've been dealing with a confusing situation for a long time.  Please do add to the histamine topic if you feel up to it. There is already a topic on food sensitivities here, if you have the time, it would be great if you could add your experiences and suggestions.

 

I just found our chemical sensitivities thread too :)

 

What you wrote about being sensitive to new carpet had me thinking, I'm now wondering about something which happened to me.  My withdrawal symptoms suddenly became much worse after moving into a newly renovated house, I'm wondering now if that may have set back my recovery.

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drummerseve

Feeling much better as of late, Petu?

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amro1991

Hello Brandy,

I was just wondering how long did it take you to recover from akathisia and anhedonia? I have quit antipsychotics about 4 months ago but still suffering from them. I have not improved much since getting off them so I was interested in knowing how likely this is to be permanent or take a very long time to recover.

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