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aberdeen

☼ Aberdeen's recovery from Effexor and now a Paxil taper

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grandmaD

but only because my period begins which makes me wonder....is this even wd? Or are my hormones just wildly fluctuating monthly because Im in my 40s? I wish it was just wd.

I think you might find it is all 3.  These things would probably happen anyway, but they are exacerabted by w/d.

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aberdeen

Hey Grandma!

How are you doing?

I would say that I have noticed an improvement on the intensity and duration of any anxiety I have, once I finished my taper. I still get swells of it here and there, and things will set me off, but it doesnt climb to such a high level anymore and even my morning anxiety is milder now too. More of a terrible mood, gloomy and mildly worried about random things that come to my head but |I can get back to sleep fine. I When I first came off Effexor and then on and off other meds in the months afterwards, I suffered a good two years of insane anxiety, at times it was actually more of a psychological terror (sounds so melodramatic i know, but it was really that bad). What I get now is next to nothing compared. I really only get spells of typical "normal" level anxiety, stuff I had long before I ever took meds at all. I would say anhedonia and mild depression and pms are my biggest issues now. Missing the zest for life, and tired of being annoyed by everyone/everthing.

But I've come a long way and I suppose further healing is always possible, and if a chunk of this is hormonal maybe one day post menopause things will settle a bit more!

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lotusflower

You have come such a long way, Aberdeen. And yes I believe further healing will happen for you.

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aberdeen

Thanks Lotus!! How have you been doing lately??? Nice to see you. :)

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lotusflower

I'm doing so much better.....i, too, had lost the zest for life for so long I thought it would never return....it has returned completely....ill write an update soon. Also the annoyance with others and things that don't go my way has dramatically decreased.

Mornings continue to be the most difficult time of my day but MUCH more tolerable....amxious dread almost gone.

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Athena

So great that you are continuing to feel better Aberdeen, I am so happy for you! Oh, I understand about the job, I find the conditions of a job are as important as the job itself, and a schedule that suits you is so important. I too believe you will continue to improve. Those ADs and WD affect our endocrine system so much, so I believe what you are experiencing is hormonal but BECAUSE of WD! Your system will continue to stabilise.You have come such a long way, it's wonderful! :)

 

I am in fact at 1.9mg right now. I had to updose a tiny bit since I have had such a hard time since the beginning of winter, especially with insomnia. I had finished the Wellbutrin in September, so my exacerbation of symptoms might have been due to that. I am slowly stabilising but I wont make another drop for a while, especially since we are in the process of buying a house, so more stress there!! But in the long run we will be so much better than in our noisy city apartment, so more stress now for more calm soon!

 

Take care,hugs

 

Athena

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aberdeen

So glad to hear this lotus!! I know you came so close to reinstating, so happy to hear this- its encouraging to me. Athena the move will be amazing I'm sure. City is too stimulating and chaotic, it'll be good!

I've been dealing with depression for about 2 months, but a window-less less responsive one than usual. I also have been dealing with a sinus infection. It's mild, only occassional chills/feverish and mild pain. Mild enough to fly under the radar until I recently connected the dots. I have been scared to deal with it. I tried echinacea for a few weeks and finally decongestants, which only rev up my system and give me anxiety. I'm afraid I might have to try antibiotics. I have a Dr's appointment anyway next week for bloodwork and a physical, we'll see where this goes. I'm tired of the fatigue and weakness. I feel "sick" yet not not sick enough to justify it if that makes sense, but it all adds up and I think started when we did some reno?ations in Dec and I was breathing in drywall dust, then had a bit of a cold and from there never seemed to feel right. On the wd front, not much anxiety or DR (other than a few hours after the decongestants) so thats good. I'm scared to take AB's but want this tired/depressed/weak feeling to go away as well as the blocked ears and sinus symptoms.

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aberdeen

Just wanted to add the bloodwork is for the weird hair cycle where it gets really thin/regrows every few months, as well as  whatever else I might possibly find that explains brain fog, fatigue ect ect.  WD is probably the cause of everything. I anticipate "normal" results, but since I need a physical anyway I may as well ask for a thyrpid panel and some hormones, as well as iron Vit B ect.

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Bobo32

Hi abrrdeen,

How are you doing with withdrawal ? How long you've been off all medications ?

Do you still experience issues with memory and brain fog ?

Thank you

Keep going

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Athena

Aberdeen, have you tried sinus irrigation with salt water for the infection?

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aberdeen

Hey guys, yes I sometimes have brain fog /cognitive stuff (memory)more so the two weeks before my time of the month though, so I feel like its hormonal to a big extent. Ive been off all meds for 9 months now.

Athena, I bought a nasal irrigation bottle but am scared to try,lol. Just seems so wrong but I'm going to try. Still have a week before my appointment to see what I can do on my own. I have been drinking turmeric "tea" as well for its anti inflammatory properties. Doesnt cause anxiety like the decongestants do.

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Athena

Oh Aberdeen don't be scared! I know it seems a bit weird at first and not very elegant ;) but it does help. I do it regularly for the numerous upper respiratory tract infections I get in the winter, and should actually do it more often! Let me know how it goes! I think the turmeric tea is a good idea. I also use oregano oil, a good anti inflammatory as well, and good old vitamin C!

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mustangwoman

Hi Aberdeen.  I didn't realize you were here.  I remember you from pp and reading your posts there.  I have read through your posts here today.  I am glad you are doing well.  I def understand the hormonal component of withdrawal.  So glad to see you on here.

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aberdeen

Hi guys! Mustangwoman, I remember you also, mainly from Brass's journal. Yes the hormonal aspect is major, esp for women I think.

So as I approach next month, which will be one year post taper, I will update a little.

I ended up taking an antibiotic, Amoxicillan/Clavanulate(sp?) for 10 days for sinus infection, it cleared up the infection but I still have lingering pressure/pain most days, but not tired, with discharge and chills any more. The great thing is that, despite what it likely did to my gut flora, I had no aggravated WD symptoms from it. I didnt crash or get thrown into a wave as I feared.

WD speaking, I am feeling strong in all but 2 ways. I still feel terrible at 5-6am. It is much MUCH milder than before, but I still don't wake up with positive feelings about the day, and ruminate on anxiety producing issues in my life. This passes once I get up and start the day. The other issue, the one that bothers me most, is anhedonia. I know this seems to be a very persistent symptom, long lived in terms of recovery. I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about it though. On one hand I feel that i'm technically 6 years off Effexor and therefore "should" be healed from that rapid horrific "taper", however, I was still on psych meds following that ordeal and despite a very slow taper, have not truly freed my CNS from the effects of AD's until last June, and so perhaps if I need to give myself a set point from which to count from, I should go with that. This would make me 11 months into my med free life and I realize that isn't very long in the world of WD. I guess i'm worried that I should have seen more improvement in the anhedonia at some point during my taper from Paxil over the last few years and I feel I've seen marginal improvements at best, over the past 2-3 years and I'm concerned. I do have breaks, where the colours and emotions and creative/motivation comes to me, where I can read fiction, feel the full 3 dimensional range of positive emotions, for a day, some hours ect. What confuses me is, this seems to tie in with being mid way through my menstrual cycle, which is still regular despite being almost 45. I guess I have questions still, and wonder if I need to allow time to be my healer as it's been for 95% of my other symptoms, or if there is something pro active I need to do. I am going to ask for some bloodwork again, maybe metabolic/sex hormones/vitamin panels, and anything else that can provide insight. Other than that, I find my stress tolerance has increased, my lows are less low and shorter lived and I have a lot more physical endurance and energy! We recently travelled for a week to Cuba and I tolerated late nights, heat and a fair amount of alcohol,lol! I had a low week or two on return, but it was manageable and I wouldnt even call it depression, but a recuperation period. These are all very positive signs of sturdy, reliable recovery for me I have to say. Just need to sort out this anhedonia connection and I will be one happy camper!

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aberdeen

*deleted* (was an accidental re post)

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mustangwoman

I'm glad to see that you are doing so well.  I hope that the anhedonia improves quickly.  The scripture you quote in your signature is one that I have heard and quoted since a small child.  One that has helped see me through difficult times. 

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aberdeen

Hello mustang! Me too, especially the "sound mind" part!

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mustangwoman

For sure!

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DLB

Hi Aberdeen, you sound like you are doing well and this is great to hear. Trust me, the anhedonia gets so much better. I really started to pick up on my old hobbies and enjoying everything I used to after about 20 months and feel like it is getting better all the time. What really stinks is that I still have some low libido issues but I think that will change too. Great to see you doing so well.

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aberdeen

DLB thanks for the encouragement! I think the libido is tied in with whatever anhedonia is for sure, I also have that issue to a large extent. Im happy to hear you continued to get more into hobbies as time passed. I remember how much anxiety you had when you first started posting back on PP, you sound soooo much better. Healing does happen!

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Athena

I am so happy for you for your awesome improvement Aberdeen! I am sure the anhedonia will slowly fade as well. On my side, the moving is done, I can now enjoy a much calmer and peaceful environment, which feels so good. Will try to update soon.

 

I wish you a very good day!

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aberdeen

Hi everyone! Well, it was a year med free for me as of mid June. I felt really good for about two months and had my best break from anhedonia yet. I was drinking turmeric in kefir, and started in a vitamin D supplement after bloodwork showed I was low. Not sure if time or those things, were the reason for the improvement, but shortly after, my periods got weird. And by weird I mean my normally regular cycle was 5 days early one month, 10 days late the next, and then when it came, it was followed by another full period only 17 days later. Upon researching this (as I was also taking vitamin E 67IU and a multivit along with the 1000IU VitD) I found some information saying that taking Vit D uses up extra magnesium, and you can quickly end up Mg deficient if supplementing D alone. Since I wasnt taking a Mg supplement I went out and got some Mag citrate 150s and have started them. I will be eager to see if my next period is regular. Sadly when the first of the irregular periods began, my window of feeling "normal" and free from DR and depression closed, leaving me feling anhedonic and blah again, and somewhat depressed (though nothing as bad  as I used to get while tapering). Hopefully I can get back there because it was the most energized and interested in life and feeling strong positve feelings Ive had in years. It was wonderful. So thats my update. Will pop in to follow up soon. 

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baroquep

Hi Aberdeen, congratulations on getting anti-depressant free.  It is nice to read stories of people being successful getting off of these drugs.  I'm still on year one of an Effexor taper so still have a long way to go.  What interested me about your story is in regards to your hair loss.  I have suffered from the same thinning and regrowing every few months and have searched in vain for the answer.  Have had every blood test imaginable but they have never found out the reason and wonder if you were able to find any clear answers as to why this is happening to you?  I'd wondered if maybe it is caused by anti-depressant use as no one else in my family has this issue, even my mother who also has thyroid issues still has a full head of thick hair and she is in her 80s now.  My hair shed was so bad earlier this year, that I honestly thought I'd go bald over the next shedding cycle so started to use a non-sulfate shampoo and a multitude of other products.  Because I can't tolerate any additional supplements besides magnesium and fish oil during my taper, I can't rely on mega doses of biotin like I used to be able to take when I could see that I was starting to shed hair again.  Am hoping that as I reduce the dose of Effexor, the hair shedding will stop but am at my wits end trying to figure out why this keeps happening.  Now that you are off of anti-depressants are you still shedding hair every few months only to have it grow back again?  

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aberdeen

Hello Baroquep! I too found nothing in bloodwork to explain hair loss and everyone was so quick to blame stress and age. I found the age excuse to be weak, because if 45 means balding, then why would my hair keep trying to grow back? Anyway, this is the first time since I began wd that the regrowth is actually getting a chance to stay! I normally would have started to shed again by this stage and havent. Now, I wonder if it's because I am now free of the significant and prolonged financial stressors I endured during wd due to my husbands attempts to run a business alone or "just" wd, I cant be sure. If things go south again financially, and that stress returns while I'm NOT in wd, it will be interesting to see how my hair holds up. It can be so irritating when people  say, oh I shed hair after I shower too, its normal....ugh, yes of course it is, but I always felt like they were saying I was exaggerating or unable to discern between normal shedding and "omg" worrisome shedding. However I can say that for now at least, my hair skipped its "omg" stage, I havent had a big shedding stage in many months (sure hope I didnt jinx myself lol). My guess is wd and the meds themselves both affect so many things, hormones, stress and/or sex hormones, chemicals, nutrient status, who knows. But I dare say it might be improving now that Ive been med free for a year? Good luck with your taper, it's so worth it. 

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baroquep

Hi Aberdeen, yes, my family doctor blamed age too which was very annoying as I was also in my 40s when it first started.  The last shed that I had was so bad that I thought I was going to need a hairpiece.  Since then, I've changed shampoos, bought a new high-end hairdryer, stopped using hairspray and do deep conditioning once a week.  Thankfully it did regrow again and hopefully some of these new habits will help during the next shedding phase which unfortunately is coming up soon.  Next time I am at my family doctor am going to ask to take a look at my drug history with Effexor and Pristiq and see if there is a connection to when I started these drugs and the onset of the hair loss.  I'm due for a shed soon and it will be interesting to see if it is any better now that I am on a lower dose now.  

Wow, med free for a year, amazing!!!  I too hope to one day be med free and have the hair loss resolve itself as I'm pretty sure that it is a side-effect of these drugs.   Good luck with continued healing and hope to hear that your hair loss has resolved itself now that you have that poison out of your system.  All the best, BaroqueP

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Prestorb

Hi Aberdeen, have you ever had your ferritin levels checked? Its not a standard check but can indicate low iron storage levels even when other common iron level tests are normal, and can affect hair growth. Something to read up on when you get a chance. My ferritin is low so I am now taking iron supplements (about 3 months now). I think my energy level is better, my nails are definitely stronger and longer and my eyebrows are growing in better at the outer edges - they had kinda disappeared. I am 48 so yes, I know what you mean about the aging thing! The hair loss could also be due to hormonal changes, thats the other thing I've dealt with this past year. Something else to consider outside of WD. This is a tricky time of life for women even without dealing with withdrawal, I had no idea. Thanks for posting, your story is one I have followed for quite some time now. Take care!

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aberdeen

Hello Prestorb, I have never had that test done. Interesting! I have had standard iron bloodwork done, normal values came back. Something to check into. Yes this is a hard time hormonally. I am actually a little nervous going into this life stage without the help of anti depressants, as post partum depression was the reason I started on them, I know I don't react well to hormonal shifts, never have. I sure hope that one day when I no longer have my periods that I level out! I think we tend to beat ourselves up for our "wild female emotions" when so much of it is chemical and out of our control. Hopefully the iron supplements are helpful for you! Take care

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aberdeen

*vent* I don't like this new forum layout. I'm having trouble finding my own journal, i've lost all the people I used to follow and when I find my own journal I have to manually get myself to the most recent entry or page through a bunch of pages to get to the end. There are too many options and half of the terms dont even make sense, what does "pick a row" mean and filter by "digest"? Sorry, rant over. And i'm not even in pms mode! 

 

I wanted to update about these vitamins. I started suplementing Vit D after bloodwork confirmed I was low. It made my periods very irregular, even having two full blown periods 2 wks apart. I read up on it (because of course my Dr didnt either know about this or think of it) but Vit D uses up lots of magnesium and since we are all low or close to being low in this mineral, especially when our bodies are stressed, depleting it further can lead to more symptoms and mestrual irregularity can be one. So I began to supplement with Magnesium (citrate) and am happy to say this month saw my cycle return to normal! Will be interesting to see how next month is, and how my emotions are. I find myself struggling more and more as I age with the emotional aspects of my hormones so I need all the stability I can find. I still havent seen the "big shedding" phase for my hair so fingers crossed! Others have actually commented randomly that my hair looks thicker so I hope this continues, it's nice to be able to wear it down finally. 

Hope everyone else is doing well and seeing some signs of improvement too, it will happen!

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nz11

yea it takes a bit of getting used to .

Aberdeen may I ask have you competed the withdrawal survey?

nz11

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aberdeen

Hey NZ! No, but I will! How are you?

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nz11

Good for you Aberdeen please dot forget.

I'm doing ok feel like a sheepdog at the moment. lol

nz11

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aberdeen

Sheepdog?:D

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aberdeen

I filled it out NZ

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