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AliG

☼ AliG: Surviving

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AliG

Hi,  I've been reading here for a couple of days and hope to get some ideas and suggestions.

I was always told from the medical field- "you have a chemical imbalance" -  depression and put on antidepressants for many years.

About 10 months ago , I decided to go the natural route - exercise, sunlight, vitamin D, supplements etc. thinking that was the answer. I fell in a heap. I couldn't work it out until I found this site.  I was in withdrawal, but didn't realize it.

This has happened a few times, and I have always gone back on the drugs believing I needed them.

I came on here to find a voice of reason and maybe talk / learn from those who have lived through this.  I'm really glad I found this site and I hope I can learn from all of you but hopefully also contribute.

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Fresh

Hi there  AliG ,  I'm waving at you from Sydney.

 

You've landed in an amazing place .. there's loads of information here related to antidepressants and other psychiatric meds., as you've been finding out.   

 

I've had a similar history , and never knew a thing about withdrawal until 2013.    You'll find lots of kindred spirits here :).

 

In the Relationships section , there's a thread for Australia members - please register.    Let me know if you'd like to meet up with someone socially . . . a few of us have been doing that with great success.

 

Once again , welcome to the club none of us want to be in!

 

We all understand you.

 

Best wishes ,   Fresh

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dalsaan

Hi AliG

 

Welcome to SA. I agree, your falling in a heap was probably withdrawal. Many drs are clueless about this. I thought I had some underlying condition that caused dizziness nausea extreme insomnia etc. then I found stuff on withdrawal and this site.

 

Do you have any questions? Are you experiencing any symptoms now?

 

Dalsaan

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Frustrated

Welcome. You will find loads of information here. Glad you finally realize what is happening to you. Now you can make informed decisions about your health and wellbeing. I am almost 8 months off Paxil.

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luv2knit

Welcome AliG. I am not at all new to the ploys of Big Pharma. My daughter was poisoned by an antibiotic 5 years ago, when she was 16, and has suffered nerve damage--possibly permanent. Struggling through this with her is what made me want to get off all my medications. I was prescribed Zoloft for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome--not depression. I never had depression, and my doctor knew this. I did not, however know about withdrawal, and tapered 100 mg. in 6 weeks, so now, almost 7 months out, I find myself suffering. Hope you are able to get lots of help here!

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JanCarol

Hey HomeGirl!  Welcome!

 

What can we help you with?

 

As I understand it, you have been off the AD's for 10 months?  

 

Have you noticed a windows and waves pattern - times when you are sinking, caught in a rip, feeling agony - and the windows, where you are surfing on top, seeing 360 of sunshine and water, and you are given hope?  

 

Here is one of the best descriptions ever of withdrawal, from our esteemed mod, Rhi:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/?p=88441

 

Here is information about the windows and waves pattern of withdrawal:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/82-the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-recovery/

 

Do you still have any more drugs to taper off of?  

 

What was the situation that got you on the drugs to begin with?

 

Have you tried magnesium? (I'm especially partial to Epsom Salts baths, or Mag Chloride baths)

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/ 

 

Most of us use fish oil, as well:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

 

 

AliG writes:

I hope I can come on here and find a voice of reason. 

That you will.  It is the policy of SA to NOT suggest or push ANY drugs.  And your health decisions are YOUR choice, your responsibility.  You will receive expert suggestions, to help you choose the gentlest path to your recovery.

 

Did you happen to be at the Peter Goetzche talk in The Valley on Wednesday?  Or any of his other talks?  If yes, you would have heaved a sigh of relief - that someone "Gets it."  Because I'm certain your docs, and pdocs, do not.

 

Additionally, there's a thread just for Aussies to chat about our local issues.  You will find that I have posted my contact details there.  Egads!  So if you are brave enough, you can SMS me or email me directly.  I also have some local practitioners that have been helping me - and I'd be curious to know about your doctors and whether they were good doctors, bad doctors, or just doctors.   :P 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6284-australia-members-please-check-in-here/

 

Please, let us know how you're going, where you are on your journey.  Are you still on any drugs at all?  Or if you quit them, please adjust your signature so that we know how long you've been drug free, and whether you tapered, or went Cold Turkey (CT).

 

Again, welcome!

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westcoast

Welcome to SA. I am glad you saw the light and are well away from psych drugs.

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AliG

Hi everyone.Thanks for your words of welcome and encouragement. I haven't been back on here , for a few days,as I have been having problems. I have been off the Mianserin for 9 days, but I had only been back on A/D's for  2 weeks after a break of 10 months. I never did any tapering, ever so I don't know what that has done to me over the years of  using these meds. I have been suffering, feeling low and don't know what to do next. My husband wants me to go back on medication. He doesn't understand and thinks by my doing that I will be helping myself.  He wants me to move forward. I don't know how to do that at this stage. I am so confused. It is so easy to keep thinking that I need these drugs.

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Fresh

Hey   Ali G , good to see you.    Thank you for filling in your signature.

 

Just so it's clear to everyone , could you add dates for the following:

- when you started the 10 month break from a/d's

- when you started on citalopram

-how long you took that , at what dose

-when you changed to miancerin , at what dose

- what date you ceased miancerin

 

This comes up every time you post , so anyone reading gets all that at a a glance.   In order to offer any constructive advice or suggestions , it's

important that we know these things.

 

I suspect that things got pretty bad after 10 months off , and that's why you started citalopram?

If at all possible , it would be good to avoid that situation returning.

 

Thanks Ali  :)

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AliG

Thanks Fresh. Yes, things did get bad.  I thought it was the depression worsening, as I had struggled during those 8 months, but now I'm thinking it was withdrawal symptoms. I haven't had as many acute symptoms as some here, but I  have had insomnia, weight gain, panic attacks (fairly recent thing), slight agorophobia, social isolation at times , and worsening of anxiety and depression. I just don't know what is normal anymore. I don't know what is the drugs and what is me!!

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AliG

Just wondering if there is any sort of time frame with withdrawal. Does anyone know how many years this can go on? Does it depend on how long you were on the medications?  Are we permanently damaged?  Also, I have a friend who has just recovered from cancer and she has been put on an antidepressant! I can't believe it.I have been taking fish oil- (a really good quality one) and  exercise. At the moment I'm going ok. I don't know how long this will last.

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Fresh

Hi  Ali ,    the length of the withdrawal seems to be commensurate with the length of time you've been on and off antidepressants.

Some people have no problems after short stints ,   but with a long history like yourself (thanks for updating your sig.)   it's likely to be long-ish  :(

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AliG

Just wanted to thank everyone for their concern and help on this site. It is so comforting to talk to people who understand and have been through this. I seem to be going ok at the moment, except last night I couldnt sleep, at all. Out of the blue - total insomnia!! whats that all about? Anyway , thanks again.

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Petunia

Hi AliG, I just read through some of your recent posts and wanted to make a few comments.

My husband wants me to go back on medication. He doesnt understand and thinks by my doing that I will be helping myself.

 

Its difficult when our family and friends don't understand how harmful these drugs actually are, its taken me a while, but I've been able to get my family to know the truth now, and having that support can help a lot. 

 

I'd highly recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. and if possible, get your husband to read it.

 

Other resources you may find helpful are Your Drug may be you Problem by Dr. Peter Breggin and Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry

 

Just wondering if there is any sort of time frame with withdrawal. Does anyone know how many years this can go on? Does it depend on how long you were on the medications?  Are we permanently damaged? 

 

Its impossible to know how long withdrawal will last, everyone is different, since I've been here on the site, I've followed lots of stories and I honestly can't seem to find any reliable patterns.  One thing I've noticed is that people who are on multiple drugs and have been for a long time, seem to take longer to recover, possibly because it takes longer to safely taper off multiple medications.  The damage isn't permanent, everyone gets better given enough time.  Some people do take a long time though.

 

... except last night I couldnt sleep, at all. Out of the blue - total insomnia!! whats that all about?

 

Unfortunately, insomnia is a common withdrawal symptom, hopefully you will be able to get some sleep tonight.  This topic has a lot of helpful information about sleep issues:

 

Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.  I’m glad you found us.

 

Petunia.

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AliG

Thanks Petunia, for taking the time to read through my details and for the helpful comments. I notice you're also from Australia. How did you get the Robert Whitaker book. Its so hard to get decent books here, but I would love to read it.

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Fresh

Hey Ali ,    JanCarol posted in the Australia room a while ago that she brought some books from the U.S.   Maybe check with her. -_-

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Petunia

 How did you get the Robert Whitaker book. Its so hard to get decent books here, but I would love to read it.

 

Amazon.com,  if you click on the link to the book in my above post, it takes you to the site where you can order it.

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AliG

Thanks  Petunia. While I'm at it , are there any other good books worth reading ?  Thanks also, Fresh. I'll check with JanCarol. I'M on day 18 off  drugs and I'm surprised at how well I'm doing, but I'm not overly confident. I realise this could be the lull before the storm !! I'm taking fish oil, magnesium oil spray , and vitamin D and just starting a whole foods plant based diet . We'll see how it goes. I'll keep you all posted. 

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AliG

I never answered a few people who welcomed me as I was a bit overwhelmed. Dalsaan, Frustrated, Luv2knit, JanCarol,Westcoast, Fresh and Petunia. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you are all going well.

I come from a dysfunctional family. I've done what I could to survive which took me down the path of psych. drugs to deal with my depression. I It has been a comfort to have read some of your stories and to realize that I am not alone in my struggle .

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JanCarol

AliG - I read all my Robert Whitaker books from the library!  Great price!  Free!  I find that Amazon has outrageous shipping to Australia, and I'm worried that they have bought Bookdepot and ABEbooks, too.   I think that's where my practitioners got them, too.

 

Sorry Fresh & AliG - I couldn't afford to pay excess baggage to bring the extra books home, so I gave them away or sold them.

 

Ali writes:  

 

 

just starting a whole foods plant based diet 

Um.  Brain needs fats.  Enzymes, aminos.  These are much more difficult to get from plant based diet.  You can try it - but watch your symptoms, and if you start to disregulate, I think you will find that your brain craves fish, organ meats, as well as the nuts and coconut oils that you may be using on your plant based diet.  Unless you have a moral obligation to avoid animal based products, I believe that your brain will heal faster using them.

 

In my own life, I've called meat a "mood stabiliser."  Since then I've learned about other ones, like magnesium, daily sun walks, and regular sleep patterns.

 

So I am still confused.  You are now off all drugs?  For like 15 days now?

 

How are your symptoms going?

 

Can you exercise?  Walking is the best, as the tick-tock motion seems to help balance the brain.  They don't have to be a big deal, if you can only walk 10 min a day, that's better than nothing!  Have you ever tried a yoga class?

 

Tell me about your mild agoraphobia.  Can you walk around your neighborhood?  Can you drive?  Is it people you are nervous about (social issues) or is it "out there" - out of the nest, out of the safe space of home?  Can you go to the shops?  

 

And here's how it is with me:  IF you go to the shops, do you then collapse in a heap and not want to talk or do anything because you've expended all your resources just doing the shopping?

 

It sounds like you are willing to do the extra work it takes to stay off of the drugs.  Some people come in here and say, "well I just want off them", but are unwilling to learn about the wellness and lifestyle essential for regulating their moods.  It sounds like you've already done some good work!

 

Keep in touch!

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dalsaan

Hi AliG

 

The Book Depository does free shipping from the UK - http://m.bookdepository.com. I can recommend some good trauma books too if you like

 

Dalsaan

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AliG

Thanks Dalsaan, I will have a look at that site - free shipping sounds good !


 


Thanks JanCarol.  Today is 20 days off all drugs. I understand about fats and protein. I've been on a paleo type diet but it wasn't helping and seemed to cause weight gain and I have to be very careful about cholesterol. I'm supposed to be on Statin drugs, but you know what I think about that?  "Hell no. I I just thought I would give this a go as an experiment to see if I felt better. However I'm having all the " healthy" fats - avocado, nuts etc.


 


Most of the time I force myself to push through . I do a lot of  positive self talk to get myself going.  I used to do Yoga and loved it. I want to start again. I also did a lot of walking but haven't lately mainly because of little energy.  I've put so many things on hold .


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dalsaan

AliG

 

Quite a number of people here have a difficult family history, including me.

 

The books I would recommend are by Babette Rothschild, particularly a The Body Remembers and 8 keys to Safe Trauma Recovery (link to website- http://www.somatictraumatherapy.com). I would also recommend Healing Developmental Trauma by Laurence Heller

http://www.drlaurenceheller.com

 

What I like about both of these is that they link the body and the mind and speak about nervous system dysregulation

 

Dalsaan

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AliG

Thank you Dalsaan. That is very helpful. I will add them to my list of books to read. It's getting quite long.  I do like to read though which is good.

 

I'm feeling very, flat, tired and down today. I hardly got any sleep and I've just got no energy. I'm sick of the struggle. 

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dalsaan

I have found magnesium and taurine good for improving the quality of my sleep (in combination). You might give these a go yourself. If you do, start them separately and take a very low dose to start with to see how your body reacts.

 

D

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AliG

Thanks Dalsaan..  I'm already taking Magnesium, but surprisingly don't know much about  taurine. I will investigate. Thanks for the tip. I actually have been taking valerian at night for sleep, which doesn't suit everyone, but it normally works for me.  There are just some nights where sleep is impossible. Its the withdrawal I suppose. Most of us have experienced this I assume. It just makes it so much harder to be proactive,and to care. Some days I just don't care anymore. However I know I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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Prestorb

Hi AliG, I can relate to the flat feeling - it seems to be a very common side effect - I am struggling with it as well, and as you said, just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I generally have to force myself to do the things I need to do - thank God I'm not working right now! But we have to keep believing and telling each other that this flat, melancholy mood will eventually pass. As long as we maintain hope, we will be okay. So I am praying that you will feel hope today that you are slowly healing, and will one day see this as a distant memory. <<<HUGS>>>

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Prestorb

Oh, experiment with the magnesium, I have found that although it helps with sleep, it can also make me lethargic - I think. I am experimenting with it myself, I took it faithfully for a long time but am sleeping fine (for the most part) right now without it.

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AliG

Thanks Prestorb,  I'm sorry to hear you're in the same state.  Thanks for the hugs.  I think I've accepted this as my "new normal". I don't fight it as much , as I have in the past. I have been in  withdrawal before and not realised it . I  thought it was the "depression " recurring. I just feel at the moment like this is my journey for whatever reason and I'm trying to go with the flow.  At least now I know what it is and that is a big relief, in a way. That sounds strange but it feels like the whole "chemical imbalance / major depressive disorder, that I thought I had has just gone up in a puff of smoke because it didn't exist. That feels like a burden has been lifted so that when all these symptoms  of withdrawal  settle down with time I'll be able to go on with no illusions and even if I'm never exactly the same as I was I will accept that. At least whoever I am will be me and not the drugs.  I'll keep an eye on the magnesium.

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dalsaan

Just to give my view to this, I'm not the same person I was, I'm better.  Not because of the drugs but because I have learnt about myself, have grown more informed, have worked out how to be gentle with myself, have developed an understanding that ups and downs are normal in life and decided to work through my past.

 

I am doing things I never thought I would do and feel much less vulnerable doing them.

 

I loathe these drugs and their effects but it is possible to fashion growth and positive change out of the experience, it doesn't all have to be about the damage.

 

D xx

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westcoast

Dalsaan, Prestorb, Ali: I enjoyed reading this wonderfully positive conversation, with good ideas for everyone.

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AliG

Thanks Westcoast. This has been a lifeline for me as I'm sure it is for others. Encouragement and support is vital in this  battle we are all engaged in.  Dalsaan, that is such a good way of looking at it. I suppose I have been grieving for the person I was, but maybe if I can put it in that context, I can see things in a different light.  I know I'm certainly stronger, more patient and empathetic . I'm a survivor not only with the drugs but childhood issues and family dysfunction.  I'm going to take a leaf out of your book. Thank you for the new perspective.

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luv2knit

Thanks for stopping by my thread, AliG. Hope you're hanging in there.

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AliG

Thanks luv2 knit. You've been through the wringer, so to speak.   I hope things get better for you soon. There seems to be no rhyme or reason, to this drug poisoning that we have all gone through.  

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luv2knit

Thanks, Ali. There are others who have it worse. It's starting to get to me, though :(

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Skylarblue75

Hi Ali, thank you for stopping by my thread I hope you doing well.

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