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Lamictal (lamotrigine) to calm post-discontinuation withdrawal symptoms

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Altostrata

Lamotrigine is not addicting. You will need to taper to go off it, though, because the nervous system becomes accustomed to it over time.

 

I am dubious that it will help you go off a benzo, but who knows. Has this doctor seen it work before?

 

Please remember to start very low and go slow. Let us know how you're doing.

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woof

Hello Alto,

 

My doctor told me he has used Lamotrigine successfully for both Benzo and AD withdrawal sx's.  His experience has been that the anxiety and insomnia aspects of a benzo wd would be approximately 90% decreased.

 

I thought that I had read that coming off of Lamictal was terrible, awful, etc.  Perhaps those people experiencing these severe wd sx's had not properly tapered off of it, as you have eluded to above.

 

When my doctor told me that Lamotrigine was not addicting, that concerned me. I appreciate the information tips on its use and for reinstating my confidence in my doctor. 

 

If I do try Lamotrigine, I will go low and slow, as you have suggested.

 

Best Regards

Woof :)

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Sertralinsomnia

Hi all, i would like to add to this thread, a reliable study, i think, about the treatment and management of acute and protracted widthdawals, they mention cases of people misdiagnosed with relapse depression, when in fact it was protracted withdrawal. In the bottom of this paper they mention two possible strategies to manage protracted withdrawal, one of wish is lamictal and also gabapentin based on studies? Please all, check and say what you think.

 

Check it here:

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/371865#ref6

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Happy2Heal

Hi all, i would like to add to this thread, a reliable study, i think, about the treatment and management of acute and protracted widthdawals, they mention cases of people misdiagnosed with relapse depression, when in fact it was protracted withdrawal. In the bottom of this paper they mention two possible strategies to manage protracted withdrawal, one of wish is lamictal and also gabapentin based on studies? Please all, check and say what you think.

 

Check it here:

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/371865#ref6

 

 

just skimmed the paper and the part about using lamictal

 

"Fifth, we previously proposed treating SSRI withdrawal with anticonvulsants [6], particularly the anticonvulsants gabapentin and lamotrigine. Anticonvulsants may be used with an antipsychotic or SSRI in order to decrease or discontinue these medications. One proposed mechanism explaining the beneficial effects of using an anticonvulsant as an adjunct to an antipsychotic in schizophrenia is its antikindling effect [39,40]. Lamotrigine may also be beneficial as an adjunctive therapy with SSRIs to treat depression as it has a depression-stabilizing effect."

 

 

what concerns me about this paragraph is that the links to research to back up their points, are from old studies and some with a very small sample of patients.

 

I don't know how they can  say that lamictal has an "anti kindling effect" based on that....

 

but I did not read the whole paper, and probably won't.

 

oh wait, There's another reason to take this paper with a grain of salt: "G.C. has received conference honoraria within the last 3 years from Otsuka Pharmaceutical."

 

I wonder what drug(s) this pharmaceutical company manufactures?

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Happy2Heal

 

- In severe withdrawal insomnia, deep sleep is the first to go and the last to come back. It's important because human growth hormone is secreted in deep sleep and it is physically and mentally restorative. When deep sleep returns, emotional numbing will lift.

 

 

I've been reading more about sleep and it appears that the deepest level of sleep slowly disappears as you age, so that by a certain age (I believe it was in your 70s but may be even earlier, in the 60s) you no longer have deep sleep at all, and this is nothing to be concerned about.

it makes sense, since you are aging, not growing. I know that we are always "growing" new cells etc but overall, we've stopped growing.

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Daisies24

Hello. Thanks for posting this helpful and informative topic. For people who try very tiny, microdoses of Lamictal to help withdrawal symptoms, especially sleep . . .

 

Does it matter what time of the day you take it (i.e., should you take it before bed to aid in sleep)?

 

For people that have taken this for sleep, how soon did you begin to notice even small improvements in your sleep?

 

Alto, if you see this question, I can find some of your posts about your experience with Lamictal helping you regain your ability to sleep. I know that your sleep did begin to slowly improve with Lamictal, but, was it ever eventually completely restored?

 

Thanks for any information; I can find a lot of posts from people trying to taper off Lamictal, but very few experiences from people who have taken tiny doses to aid in withdrawal.

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Altostrata

Lamotrigine can have either effect: It can help you sleep, or it can interfere with sleep.

 

If you are going to try a microdose (a dose not larger than 5mg), it might make sense to try it first in the early evening to see how it affects you. If it makes you sleepy, you can take it in the evening before bed. If it does not make you sleepy, you can move the dosing earlier in the day.

 

(Please note: Men can tolerate higher starting doses of lamotrigine than women. It may take a week before you can feel its effect. Do not overdo your initial trial dosage.)

 

As your nervous system calms down, lamotrigine's effect can change. It may start out making you sleepy, but after a while, keep you awake. Then you might want to move your dosing to earlier in the day, by a couple of hours at a time.

 

If it starts to make you feel odd, or gives you a headache, or make you queasy, that's a sign that you're taking too much. If you've been taking it for more than a month, you may want to reduce the dosage by 10% at a time to get to the best dosage for you, one that calms your nervous system but doesn't have annoying side effects.

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Oran

Hi

 

I've been considering lamotrigine as a second option to reinstatement of my original medication. I have a question now to those of you who have tried or is using lamotrigine for wd symtoms: is there a high risk of kindling/adverse reaction if a person starts taking lamotrigine  with a super low dose? 

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Eleven10

I have managed to get a low dose of lamotrigine from my dr. I have 5mg which I intend to half or quarter. My main worry is it will make me more anxious or agitated which I don't think I could handle. 

iv been in withdrawal for almost 4 years and have had no windows.

i have terrible vertigo at the moment so will wait until that calms again. 

My main symptoms are 

deep depression 

anxiety

tinnitus

muscle pain

chronic fatigue

insomnia and alerting symptoms 

dizziness and vertigo 

heart palps

i feel very hopeless at the moment. 

 

I cant see akathesia as a side effect but it does say something about movement disorders 

 

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joy2730

Hi

Really glad you are going to try lamotrigine.  Did your doctor have a change of heart as she only wanted you to have prozac before. 

 

Let us all know how you get on

 

Joy

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Staz
39 minutes ago, Eleven10 said:

I have managed to get a low dose of lamotrigine from my dr. I have 5mg which I intend to half or quarter. My main worry is it will make me more anxious or agitated which I don't think I could handle. 

iv been in withdrawal for almost 4 years and have had no windows.

i have terrible vertigo at the moment so will wait until that calms again. 

My main symptoms are 

deep depression 

anxiety

tinnitus

muscle pain

chronic fatigue

insomnia and alerting symptoms 

dizziness and vertigo 

heart palps

i feel very hopeless at the moment. 

 

I cant see akathesia as a side effect but it does say something about movement disorders 

 

I'm interested in this as lamotrigene has just been offered to me as my shrink thinks I'm unipolar and have not responded to any a/d and have become hooked on diazepam as a result of the stupidity of NHS Psych Dr's.

 

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Eleven10
1 hour ago, joy2730 said:

Hi

Really glad you are going to try lamotrigine.  Did your doctor have a change of heart as she only wanted you to have prozac before. 

 

Let us all know how you get on

 

Joy

Thank you. I got in on a private script. Will cost around £60 to fill but If it helps its money well spent. 

Nervous about the SJS but it's a very low dose should be ok 

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joy2730

Hi

Well done.  Hope it works.  I have taken lamotrigine in the past and SJS is very r rare and starts as a rash around the mouth.  Try not to worry about the risks as that will mean you will cancel out any of the benefits.

 

You don't have to answer this but how does a private prescription work.  I am just used to the NHS in England.   I know my sleeping pill years ago was withdrawn and I got a private prescription for that for a while as I adjusted to the new one.

 

How are you feeling today?

 

Joy

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Eleven10

Hi Joy

if you can convince a private dr that a drug may help they will write you a private script, its hand written and doesn't go through the NHS but is costly. 

im going to start the lamotrigine tomorrow I'm really nervous about SJS but it is a very low dose. 

Im so tired I really feel if I can sleep better I will improve 

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joy2730

Hi Eleven10

 

Good luck for tomorrow then.  As I remember it the rash, if it were to appear, appears around the mouth.  When I took it I got a rash on my fingers (don't know why) but they kept me on the lamotrigene as they said the rash is usually around the mouth.

 

Let's hope it has a calming effect for you and that you get some sleep.  You have a lot of patience, if it was me I would be starting it straight away!

 

Let us know how it goes, I really want this to work for you, and that it is money well spent.  If you can show it works for you perhaps you will be able to get it on the NHS?

 

Joy

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Foggyhead

I convinced my Pdoc to give Lamictal a try. She instructed that I take 25MG for 2 weeks then titrate to 50MG in the next 2 weeks. I have started with 6.25MG(quarter of 25MG) and have been on it for 2 days and plan to hold there for now. I do feel a bit strange, it feels similar to SSRI startup but not near as activating. I did notice on my Genesight Genetic Testing Paperwork that I have a significant gene interaction but the details of the interaction are "a higher dosage may be required" It does not note that I may have an increase in side effects. What do you guys think? I did not share my Genetic Testing Paperwork with this Pdoc, it was done under my previous Pdoc whom I quit seeing. 

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joy2730

When I took it that SSRI starting up feeling only lasted 2 days.  It is none of my business but I think you should share all information to your new prescribing doctor to get the best results.

 

Joy

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Foggyhead

On my next visit I will share it with her. After reading all of the posts about Lamictal possibly helping PAWs, I was afraid she would see that interaction and not prescribe it. It is so dreadful going to a Pdoc after all I have been through, knowing what they do not know or wanting to admit. 

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Altostrata

How is everyone doing, those who have tried lamotrigine recently.

 

Please note any doctor can prescribe lamotrigine, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist. Lamotrigine should be in most formularies for insurance coverage. It is readily available as a generic.

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Foggyhead
6 hours ago, Altostrata said:

How is everyone doing, those who have tried lamotrigine recently.

 

Please note any doctor can prescribe lamotrigine, it doesn't have to be a psychiatrist. Lamotrigine should be in most formularies for insurance coverage. It is readily available as a generic.

I did not do too well. I may have started on too high of a dose. My sleep became worse and I had heightened anxiety and depersonalization. I stopped taking and am an slowly getting back to the way I was prior to trying it. 

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Maridou

Anyone can tell if Lamotrigine could be useful to help with benzo withdrawal ?

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Altostrata

Unfortunately, benzo withdrawal has a completely different source -- downregulation of the GABA system. My understanding is that lamotrigine is not as effective for benzo withdrawal.

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Maridou

I thought that in the case of benzo withdrawal the glutamate system had become also out of control not having enough GABA to cool it down ?  So if this is the case, wouldn't Lamictal be of some help ?

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Maridou

Allostrata, I read in your introduction you suffered for two year of nerve pain in arms and shoulders.  Did you find Lamictal helped for this problem ?

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apathetic

Important:

 

DO NOT take 25mg as a start dose if you're going through withdrawal.

With 25mg, I became hypomanic, and it was becoming worse, so I just had to go cold-turkey off 25mg of it if I wanted to prevent full-blown psychotic mania.

Developed insomnia. Lost a lot of weight. Been through horrible dissociation, hyperactivity. And I'm back at the beginning.

 

Please, be careful. Let my situation be your example of what NOT to do.

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Eleven10

I have been taking 1/4 of a 5mg tablet for a while now and have felt no different, should I go to 5? I'm very anxious around medication. I occasionally (once every 10-14 days take zoplicone) but no other meds since my Prozac ct which was 4 years ago. 

Activation is still the same as 1 year off and to be honest I'm more debilitated that I was 3 years ago. I have severe neck and shoulder pain from the months of akathesia and I'm extremely restless especially at night when I can sleep just 2-3 hrs a night. 

I know lamotrigine is not a instant fix and I fought very hard to get a dr to prescribe, I'm basically a pariah at my Drs as I tried for so long to convince them how ill the drugs made me. I don't anymore as it's futile but they still sigh when I go in. 

Will lamotrigine increase sleep quality? Some night I sleep more but it's horrible toxic sleep that literally feels like my brain is fighting with itself. 

Iv lost all the fight I had at 1-3 years off, everything I read made me hopeful if I could just keep going I would be rewarded but at 52 months off I'm starting to think this may be permanent, I don't say that easily but with all the legacy effects of withdrawal such as chronic pain, fatigue, migraines and total sleep deprivation I don't ever see how I can recover. Also I still have the 'brain boil' nights I had 4 years ago, nights where your tortured all night, balancing on the edge of sleep then grabbed back, adrenaline and cortisol pumping around your body and a billion crickets screaming in your ears  all night. I don't understand how that can be happening still after so long. (Big sigh)

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robcbar1

Is anyone currently experimenting with Lamictal in protracted withdrawal?  I'm a month in to taking 5 mg (couldn't handle anything higher) and I don't think it's doing anything for me.  I'm really struggling these days with typical WD symptoms so I have no idea if the Lamictal is making me worse or preventing/slowing the healing process.  Thoughts?  

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robcbar1
On ‎2‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 3:29 AM, Altostrata said:

Lamotrigine is not addicting. You will need to taper to go off it, though, because the nervous system becomes accustomed to it over time.

 

I am dubious that it will help you go off a benzo, but who knows. Has this doctor seen it work before?

 

Please remember to start very low and go slow. Let us know how you're doing.

Will I need to taper if I've only been on 5 mg for 30 days?  

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Eleven10

Robcar, I would taper it just in case, it won't hurt even though it's a low dose. 

Its not doing anything for me either but I'm only taking 2.5 mg and don't know if to increase.

Apart from altro Iv not read any reports of it helping in withdrawal but I'm happy to be corrected. It appears altros dr was very knowledgeable and gave a lot of support which most of us cannot get especially on the NHS when you have more chance of an audience with the pope that being able to speak to a psychiatrist on the phone, plus I don't think iv seen the same psych dr more that twice in a row so there is zero consistency. Big sigh 

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Jimbo71

I've been suffering with an over sensitive 'alerting reaction' and I asked my doctor if he would prescribe lamotrogine but he said he couldn't because his practice wasn't licensed to prescribe it for the reason I wanted it. Are there any natural supplements or herbs that might help? I've tried magnesium (citrate, taurate & glycinate), omega 3 supplements and B-12 vitamins but they all over stimulate me and make me even more angry and pumped up. My over sensitive alerting reaction means that even the smallest thing can set me off. Just someone suddenly shouting across the street or someone suddenly appearing out of nowhere can can cause me to feel wound up and angry. 

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GracieAnn

I’ve been reading thru about Lamictal. I’m trying to taper Prozac after many years of too quick tapering. I have akathisia that can be quite severe.im wondering if you all would share your takeaway on lamictal? Should I ask my dr for it? Do you feel it speeds the healing of the nervous system?

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robcbar1

Please do what’s right for you but personally Lamictal has been the worst med experience of my life.  It did nothing for my withdrawal symptoms, even made some worse, and has been the most difficult withdrawal I’ve ever experienced.  Lamictal withdrawal is documented on the Beyond Meds site and it’s no joke, even at low doses.  Lamictal and Gabapentin withdrawal can be worse than benzos and SSRIs for a lot of people while others have no issues.  I tapered the recommended 10% (5mg to 4.5mg) last month and it made me suicidal, landing me in the hospital, .  As I write this, I’m currently receiving treatment at a holistic wellness center to wean me off slowly and it’s still torture.  I’m down to 3mg right now and cannot wait until I rid myself of this poison.  I wish everyone a healthy recovery.  Have faith in healing and stay strong.  

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GracieAnn

Thanks for sharing, I think I will dodge that bullet. I hope you are well on your way to the other side.

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Survivor1

I am on 1.25 mg lamictal for severe alerting sensations due to dropping my drugs too fast, and I have seen very good results.  Started two weeks ago getting 2-3 hours broken sleep among other symptoms to today with 6 hours sleep with 1 or 2 awakenings.  For me, it has worked wonderfully.

 

Clearly it doesn't work for everyone.  But I am thankful it did for me.  Regarding tapering, I think one has to go very slowly off it, maybe even less than 10%, like every other psych drug. 

 

In short, take at your own risk.

 

 

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Dude
Posted (edited)

Would Lamictal also work for cold turkey withdrawal from tricyclics? It's just that Marsx (mod note: please see this post) is obviously desperate to find relief but happens to have cold turkeyed off Amitriptyline and not an ssri. She was given a link to the thread that contained a link to this thread by Alto, but I somehow doubt she's got round to reading it.

 

I've only just come across this thread myself. Well, I think it caught my eye shortly after joining but assumed it was utter nonsense, treating ssri withdrawal with another, completely different psychiatric drug. Especially since I had been on Lamictal myself for a while before the whole withdrawal fiasco and it hadn't seem to have had any effect whatsoever back then (neither positive nor negative), which is why I cold turkeyed off it a few months before cold turkeying off the rest of the junk I was on (and it didn't even cause any withdrawal symptoms). And to think that I had the potential solution to my problem of acute cold turkey ssri withdrawal syndrome & ssri hypersensitivity lying around in my room back when this whole goddamn nightmare started eight years ago without knowing it is currently doing my head in a bit, I must admit. Goddamn it. Honestly. Eight goddamn years down the toilet for absolutely nothing. Utterly pointless suffering that could have been avoided had I known about this "Lamictal trick". And it's not like I didn't actively search for a solution. I just never in a million years would have thought the solution might be Lamictal, the very drug I had lying around back then and that seemed to have no effect whatsoever in the first place.

 

That being said, it's thirteen years of misery that could have been avoided, had I known about psych drugs in the first place. So if I had to choose which of the two bits of information I would rather have known about at the time that information would have been of any use, then I suppose it would have to be the general information on psychiatric drugs before I ever touched them.  So maybe that thought will help me live with it.... Ah, hindsight. My old pal.... We meet again. And self-pity, of course... You're never far away either ;) Well, I guess that's just life for you. Okay, life and a great big dollop of stupid on my part.

 

Anyway, I'm assuming that Lamictal wouldn't make much of a difference to me at the stage I'm in now and that it could quite possibly mess things up for me if I were to start experimenting with it (to whoever's reading this post: feel free to correct me if you disagree, by the way...). But it might very well be of some help to Marsx. So if anyone knows whether it will help with cold turkey tricyclic withdrawal then let me know and I'll give her the link. Thanks.

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added mod note

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Dude
Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2018 at 4:09 AM, robcbar1 said:

Please do what’s right for you but personally Lamictal has been the worst med experience of my life.  It did nothing for my withdrawal symptoms, even made some worse, and has been the most difficult withdrawal I’ve ever experienced.  Lamictal withdrawal is documented on the Beyond Meds site and it’s no joke, even at low doses.  Lamictal and Gabapentin withdrawal can be worse than benzos and SSRIs for a lot of people while others have no issues.  I tapered the recommended 10% (5mg to 4.5mg) last month and it made me suicidal, landing me in the hospital, .  As I write this, I’m currently receiving treatment at a holistic wellness center to wean me off slowly and it’s still torture.  I’m down to 3mg right now and cannot wait until I rid myself of this poison.  I wish everyone a healthy recovery.  Have faith in healing and stay strong.  

 

 

Hm, just nocticed this post I just copied above. Must have missed it the first time round. I guess that answers my question with regard to my own situation. So thanks for the info, robcbar1. Hope you're doing alright.

 

And then we have this bit of information from Stan:

 

On 9/1/2015 at 10:13 AM, stan said:

when we put in google what is lamotrigine, we have :

 

New process for the Preparation of 6-(2,3-dichlorophenyl)-1,2,4-triazine-3,5-diamine

 

and when we put triazine, we have :

 

As a chemical family, the triazines are a group of pesticides with a wide range of uses, used to destroy grass for example...

 

and in pubmed we have :

 

[Lyell syndrome and Stevens-Johnson syndrome caused by lamotrigine].

[Article in French]
Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Lamotrigine is a new anticonvulsant belonging to the triazine family. Several cases of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) have been described in patients taking this drug. We report 2 cases in children attending the same hospital.

CASE REPORTS:

Two children, aged 9 and 13 years, developed SJS and TEN respectively, 3 and 28 days after lamotrigine was added to their usual anticonvulsant regimen. In both cases, outcome was favorable despite major decline in psychomotor capacity in one. In the first case, chronological attributability was plausible for lamotrigine and doubtful for sodium valproate, clonazepam and hydrocortisone. In the second case, chronological attributability was probable for amoxicillin, plausible for lamotrigine and doubtful for sodium valproate, but the numerous previous absorptions of amoxicillin made lamotrigine more suspect.

DISCUSSION:

The risk of Steven-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis is high with lamotrigine with an estimated frequency of 1/1000. This risk is probably higher than with other anticonvulsants. Associating lamotrigine with sodium valproate increases the frequency of adverse skin reactions.

 

components of mood stabilizer , antidepressants, benzos are chemical toxics from oil ... used by manufacturer to paint, to stick, to burn etc 

 

maybe they will help "withdrawal" ? why not...we have to try, hopefully there exist doctors who are specialist , so all is fine

 

So I reckon I'll pass on the lamictal myself. But it might still be of some use to Marsx (mod note: please see this post), who's still going through severe PDWS. Man, our experiences with these damn drugs are like something from the film the Deer Hunter: in addition to being held prisoner (by the drugs/withdrawal as opposed to the vietcong),  we're also basically sentenced to playing russian roulette with our health and lives while desperately trying to find a solution to our predicament... Life imitates art (which itself imitated life), or something like that...

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added mod note

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