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☼ dan998: Cold turkey, reinstatement and tapering citalopram

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powerback
12 minutes ago, Dan998 said:

I had a brief window yesterday. I was sitting watching the sunset and I had about half an hour of peace and relaxation. I almost felt human again. It was an all too brief respite before the anxiety, headaches and general sense of uneasiness continued again.

 

The insomnia is also getting worse again as I seem to be waking up earlier and earlier. This has me really scared, because I've made a few withdrawal attempts in the past and it was always the insomnia that had me running back to the doctor .

 

I have this sense of emptiness. It's like my life is missing something, but I don't know what it is. Maybe I need to move on, change my environment, try something different, ditch some toxic people from my life, start afresh with a different plan. What if I make these changes yet nothing changes because the problems are all in my head. I hate where I live, but if I moved would that be just as bad. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. 

 

Maybe I'm just bored of all this withdrawal stuff now. I know boredom always used to be something that pushed me on to new things. I dunno, I struggle to remember what boredom even feels like anymore. All my emotions seem to have been hijacked by fear and self-doubt. Is this what happens to a brain that has been rendered devoid of all other emotions. The default setting is fear.

 

I feel trapped and can't see a way out of this. My problem solving and decision making abilities seem to have totally deserted me. I'm like a rabbit trapped in the headlights. Unsure which way to jump. 

 

Did I do something wrong? Did I taper too fast? Is this just part of the process of recovery? How much more of this can I take before I have to admit defeat and go back on the meds? I've read accounts of people still suffering after 5 or more years. I wouldn't want to go on knowing that I had years of suffering still ahead of me.

 

Yikes Dan ,I totally get what you say here ,I can relate all too well,I fear what will happen to me ,I can't even go walking I'm that bad .

My mind gets consumed with the thoughts of leaving we're I live and deal with the aftermath no matter what happens .I'm sitting here looking out the window having lunch and the local wineo just walked past with can in had ,I'm tortured with triggers like this.

I'm going to plan a few weeks away .

My living situation is insane and will drive me insane if I don't do something ,I already tried 6 months ago to change my situation,but I can see my partner doesn't have confidence in me so this compounds all the stress .

Take care ,god dam help us all.

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Dan998

PB, I get what you mean about triggers. I live on a very busy road and my spidey senses are constantly being set off by the traffic. It's relentless from 8am to 8pm. I have to peel myself of the ceiling every time a bus, lorry or motorcycle goes past. Then I can hear my neighbours through the walls. They're not doing anything extraordinary,  but I've convinced myself that they're deliberately trying to annoy me.

 

I think the whole situation is magnified by the fact that I live alone. Perhaps it is the loneliness and isolation that is holding back my recovery. I quite liked being alone when I was on the drugs, but now I desperately crave human company. The trouble is how do you make friends or find a partner when your conversational skills are seriously lacking? Yes, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that what I'm missing is a sense of community and companionship.

 

Perhaps what we all need is a quiet safe place to recover. A warm welcoming home where we are surrounded by people who care about us. Somewhere where we are not confronted by the responsibilities of our daily lives. Somewhere that fills our time with meaningful activities so that we don't have time to ruminate and allows our confidence and self-worth to be slowly built back up again. I'd definitely check myself into such a place, although it would probably be prohibitively expensive and only an option if you were super rich. 

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powerback
5 minutes ago, Dan998 said:

PB, I get what you mean about triggers. I live on a very busy road and my spidey senses are constantly being set off by the traffic. It's relentless from 8am to 8pm. I have to peel myself of the ceiling every time a bus, lorry or motorcycle goes past. Then I can hear my neighbours through the walls. They're not doing anything extraordinary,  but I've convinced myself that they're deliberately trying to annoy me.

 

I think the whole situation is magnified by the fact that I live alone. Perhaps it is the loneliness and isolation that is holding back my recovery. I quite liked being alone when I was on the drugs, but now I desperately crave human company. The trouble is how do you make friends or find a partner when your conversational skills are seriously lacking? Yes, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that what I'm missing is a sense of community and companionship.

 

Perhaps what we all need is a quiet safe place to recover. A warm welcoming home where we are surrounded by people who care about us. Somewhere where we are not confronted by the responsibilities of our daily lives. Somewhere that fills our time with meaningful activities so that we don't have time to ruminate and allows our confidence and self-worth to be slowly built back up again. I'd definitely check myself into such a place, although it would probably be prohibitively expensive and only an option if you were super rich. 

A man on the radio said yesterday in relation to  health and the "system ",he said its geared to the healthy and wealthy ,very true words .

I'm so irritated I want to be on my own but it will be the opposite whilst alone ,nightmare .

Maybe look into depression support groups ,I'm doing this myself but way to sick to go .but they could cause trouble also [getting drawn into meds talk but avoid this at all costs] .

If we are naturally introvert and have withdrawl this can all compound things . 

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Dan998

I think I would have healed a lot quicker if I'd have had a strong support network. I've had to walk every step of this journey with only this forum for support. Maybe one day big pharma will be forced to fund recovery centres. They did this to us they should have to pay.

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powerback
2 minutes ago, Dan998 said:

I think I would have healed a lot quicker if I'd have had a strong support network. I've had to walk every step of this journey with only this forum for support. Maybe one day big pharma will be forced to fund recovery centres. They did this to us they should have to pay.

This site is my biggest support network but I get what you mean dan.

What are your windows like were you live ,you could get secondary glazing and this will double the noise value.

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Dan998
2 minutes ago, powerback said:

What are your windows like were you live ,you could get secondary glazing and this will double the noise value.

 

I got double glazing, but all it seems to do is take out the higher frequencies. I can still hear the vibrations as the road is so close to the house. I wish I had a job so I could afford to move away from here.

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powerback
5 minutes ago, Dan998 said:

 

I got double glazing, but all it seems to do is take out the higher frequencies. I can still hear the vibrations as the road is so close to the house. I wish I had a job so I could afford to move away from here.

Ok I get ye Dan.landlord is hardly going to insulate it ,very hard to get landlords that would do work for you .

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brassmonkey

I think making some lists of what you would like to accomplish in different aspects of your CURRENT life is in order.  Mull over the lists and find one or two things that are doable to improve things and make some plans.  Doesn't have to be large things, in fact it's probably better to start with the small ones, but starting to regain control is a good direction to head.  Making big changes like moving is kinda out of the question right now and probably not a good idea until you're more settled. But taking some classes, joining a hobby group, making connections could lead to friendships and getting out of the house. Take a daily walk to the dog park, even if you don't own a dog, see what happens.  The first year off of these drugs can be a turbulent one as things work to fall into place and healing continues, but taking positive steps will really help it along.

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Dan998

Thanks, Brass.

 

Your advice is always welcome. When we are tapering its all about getting off the drugs, resting as much as possible, trusting in the process and trying to get through one day at a time. Once we get clean and go into the recovery stage that is no longer enough and I think it becomes necessary to slowly rebuild our lives. I suppose it makes sense to 'reverse taper' into new and fulfilling activities. Like you say, trying to tackle huge tasks all at once will be too much of a shock for a fragile nervous system. Little steps, small accomplishments. I still have a long way to go before I'm home again.

 

I shall make sure I go and walk my invisible dog in the park today :)

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Dan998

I have a nasty cold with a chesty cough and yellow mucus. This is one of those rare occasions where I can definitely say, "Nothing to do with withdrawal". Getting a physical illness terrified me during WD,. This shows how much progress I've made as I'm just shrugging this off and thinking, "It's just a cold. I'll be better in a few days."

 

The strange thing is that I never actually caught anything like this during WD. You would have thought that a malfunctioning nervous system would have been open to catching all sorts of infections, but it didn't.

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brassmonkey

Try Thyme tea for the cough, especially at night.  It's been my mainstay for years.  It's nice to hear that you can differentiate WD and actually being sick, that's a big move forward.

 

Give Zero a pat from me and enjoy your walk. (google dog zero)

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Dan998

Haha. Thanks Tom. Zero is having a nap. That walk wore the poor little fella out. :)

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bhasski
7 hours ago, Dan998 said:

The strange thing is that I never actually caught anything like this during WD.

 

Its been like same for me for the past 2.5 yrs.. I am usually prone to cold atleast once a year and also fever.. 

 

But my body is behaving like stranger's one. No simple fever .. slight cold once this period..  given the benefits of other hell symptoms.

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Dan998

I'm not prepared to declare a window. There is however a noticeable improvement to my symptoms. I was out walking and realised that the light was less bright, the sounds were less noisy and the world seemed slightly less frightening than it has done for a long while. I'm not sure if its the wave ending or just because the weather has been unseasonably warm for the time of year. It's gone from freezing cold to boiling hot in the space of a couple of weeks. Being out in the sunshine does feel rather nice and I did have another of those rare moments of relaxation whilst sitting on the beach.

 

Like I said, I'm not declaring a window, because WD has a habit of giving with one hand and taking with the other. I've had a new and weird symptom where I can feel my brain shutting down. It happens in small sections switching off one at a time. It usually starts at the base of my brain and then spreads out towards the front and top. It happened whilst I was driving and I was forced to pull over and take a very short nap (less than 5 mins) before it cleared and my brain reset itself and I was able to carry on my way. It also happened whilst I was walking in the park and I had to sit down until it cleared. Its all rather strange and in no way does it feel threatening, in fact it feels quite comforting when it happens.

 

The nature of my insomnia has changed as well. I usually have no problem getting to sleep, it's usually staying asleep that I struggle with. The last few days it has been the opposite, I've been up late and have found it difficult to wake up in the morning. Again, not sure if this is progress or not. At least I'm sleeping, so I suppose it doesn't really matter. Also, I'm not waking up drenched in sweat like I usually do.

 

On 12/04/2018 at 8:15 PM, brassmonkey said:

I think making some lists of what you would like to accomplish in different aspects of your CURRENT life is in order.

 

I was a bit nervous to follow through on this advice as I tried doing to-do lists earlier in WD to try and motivate myself, but it just made me even more frustrated as it made me feel even more of a failure as the tasks just kept mounting up.  Pleased to report that the list making has been working now that I'm in recovery and it has actually been quite useful in making me focus on what tasks are really important and which ones are just procrastination.

 

 

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AuntieBea

Hi Dan! I’ve just been browsing around, especially related to insomnia because I’m dealing with that big time right now. Somewhere I came across your thread and I was so interested to read about your experience of loneliness...

On 4/12/2018 at 10:34 AM, Dan998 said:

think the whole situation is magnified by the fact that I live alone. Perhaps it is the loneliness and isolation that is holding back my recovery. I quite liked being alone when I was on the drugs, but now I desperately crave human company. The trouble is how do you make friends or find a partner when your conversational skills are seriously lacking? Yes, the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that what I'm missing is a sense of community and companionship.

 

Perhaps what we all need is a quiet safe place to recover. A warm welcoming home where we are surrounded by people who care about us.

 

As someone who has always enjoyed being alone, and needed it as well (I am also quite the introvert...I think you said something about that too), I have been surprised by my own need for company as I go through this recovery process, for the literal presence of another being at home with me instead of being there alone. It puzzles me because I’ve never been that way all my life. It’s like some deep sense of terror, and definitely exacerbates the anxiety.

 

Anyway, there are so many puzzling things about WD. It’s great to have found this site where there are actually answers to so many of my baffling symptoms AND to find myself not so alone after all!!

 

Glad to hear you are experiencing some improvement in your symptoms, and enjoying the sunshine!

 

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Dan998
57 minutes ago, AuntieBea said:

 

As someone who has always enjoyed being alone, and needed it as well (I am also quite the introvert...I think you said something about that too), I have been surprised by my own need for company as I go through this recovery process, for the literal presence of another being at home with me instead of being there alone. It puzzles me because I’ve never been that way all my life. It’s like some deep sense of terror, and definitely exacerbates the anxiety.

 

Yes, it was like that for me too. Like all the other symptoms it does improve with time, but I can remember early on in withdrawal finding it utterly terrifying to spend any time alone, but also found it difficult to be in a crowd or talk to strangers. It happened very quickly. I wrote somewhere on here about a switch being flicked in my brain. It was a few weeks after going CT and quite literally overnight the horror show started and it still hasn't reverted back after nearly 3 years. 

 

I was actually thinking to myself earlier that other human beings seem far less threatening than they were a few years ago, back then people seemed like angry aliens that just wanted to do me harm. It sometimes felt that I had been marooned on an alien planet. I now feel more connected to my fellow humans than ever and I am now able to acknowledge others when I'm out and about, sometimes I can even manage a smile. So, things do get better even if we don't notice it. The recovery process is so slow that it is really hard to notice improvements.

 

Anyway, nice to meet you AuntieBea and I hope you'll make many friends on here and wont feel quite as lonely. 

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Dan998

This week has been very up and down. There have been some really good days where I've had lots of energy and motivation. There have been some days where I felt sociable and was able to go out for a meal and few drinks with friends and family. There have also been some truly awful days where all the horrors of WD were fully present.

 

Most noticeable have been the super-windows. These are far stronger than anything I have experienced thus far during withdrawal. A few seconds when I feel 100% normal, totally like my pre-drugged self. After it happens I get a shiver up my spine, my whole body vibrates and my hairs all stand on end. Is this what happiness feels like? Perhaps a tantalising glimpse at what the future holds? I'm getting a few of these precious moments every day, but I'm hopeful that the number and duration will slowly increase over the coming months until this rare event becomes the norm.

 

The insomnia is still there. I'm getting it both ends now, difficulty falling asleep and also waking up early with anxiety and ruminating thoughts that tend to last until lunchtime.

 

I'm also still occasionally getting that thing where my brain shuts down. I like to think that it is restarting after doing some repair work, like a computer rebooting after installing an update.

 

Other symptoms that I still have, but have slightly improved; tinnitus, pssd, eye floaters, mild cognitive dysfunction.

 

It's coming up for a year off the meds now and I find it unbelievable that my poor little brain is still undoing all the damage that was caused by long term SSRI use.

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wantrelief
28 minutes ago, Dan998 said:

Most noticeable have been the super-windows. These are far stronger than anything I have experienced thus far during withdrawal. A few seconds when I feel 100% normal, totally like my pre-drugged self. After it happens I get a shiver up my spine, my whole body vibrates and my hairs all stand on end. Is this what happiness feels like? Perhaps a tantalising glimpse at what the future holds? I'm getting a few of these precious moments every day, but I'm hopeful that the number and duration will slowly increase over the coming months until this rare event becomes the norm

This sounds awesome, Dan!  It does sound like this is what you can expect to increase until it becomes the norm rather than a glimpse.  

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Dan998

I really hope so. The last few months have been especially hard, but if this is my future then all the struggle will have been worth it. I have to admit that the 10 month wave almost broke me and reinstatement seemed like a good idea. If I'd have had access to those wretched pills I probably would have done it. 

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wantrelief

It sounds like your perseverance is going to pay off, Dan!

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brassmonkey

Hang in there Dan, it just keeps getting better and better.  I am so surprised at how things are still changing for the better after a year off.  I can feel the changes week to week and when I look back the improvements since I jumped are amazing. I noticed just this morning that my tinnitus is almost totally resolved.  I am quite shocked at how much that little tiny bit at the end still affected things so much. I'm so glad to hear that things are improving for you, there is a lot more to look forward to.

 

Brass

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FarmGirlWorks
1 hour ago, Dan998 said:

A few seconds when I feel 100% normal, totally like my pre-drugged self.

Yes! I had one of these last night. It was just a moment but it gave me hope. Thanks for your post.

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Dan998
On 4/27/2018 at 8:11 PM, brassmonkey said:

 I am quite shocked at how much that little tiny bit at the end still affected things so much.

 

Me too. If I had the chance to do my taper again I would definitely have not rushed that last mg, but I just wanted to be off the drugs and didn't realise getting to zero doesn't mean the end of withdrawal. Hopefully, others can learn from my mistakes. Don't rush your taper.

 

I too have seen lots of small improvements since getting to zero, but I reckon the real healing is going to start happening in the next year or two. 

 

Glad your tinnitus has improved. For me it is one of the most annoying and persistent symptoms, I expect it will be one of the last to resolve.

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Dan998

@FarmGirlWorks That's a good sign that you are also getting super-windows. Getting through WD is all about having hope, faith, determination and patience. It's these little moments of hope that gets us through the hard times.

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Dan998

This was the week when everything changed.

 

The pendulum has finally swung in the other direction. Those super-windows that I described in a previous post have extended from a few moments, to a few hours, to a few days. All of my symptoms have drastically improved. There have been so many changes that it would span multiple pages to describe them all.

 

It’s as if I have crossed an invisible line between withdrawal and recovery. The fear that I might never heal has been dispelled and even if this lovely big window is cruelly slammed shut again, then I will have at least experienced what full recovery feels like. I can see my destination clearly now and I can be confident that my brain's inner compass will guide it in the right direction.

 

I expect that I still have a few more waves to experience before I finally reach my forever window. In fact, right now I’m suffering from some mild anxiety and I woke up in a foul mood this morning. A minor blip (hopefully). The waves hold no fear for me now though. They will come and they will go. I shall ride each and every one of them until the turbulent seas are becalmed.

 

I no longer have any doubts about whether or not I am going to make it through this ordeal. The end is in sight. The struggle was worth it. I am going to be alright. I am stronger, I am more resilient and I have depths of courage that I never knew existed. I have learnt so much from withdrawal. Lessons that I never wanted to be taught, in a classroom that I had no desire to attend.

 

I truly feel that I have survived antidepressants. 
 

Edited by Dan998

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LexAnger

The most beautiful and encouraging update! Congratulations, dan!

 

This is so great to hear!

 

Can't wait for more and greater news from you!

 

Thanks very much for sharing!

Best wishes,

Lex

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apace41

Inspiring update, Dan! 

Great to hear.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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wantrelief

Wow, what a beautiful post/update, Dan - so happy for you!!

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Altostrata

Thank you for that good news.

 

This calls for our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to be added to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

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Survivor1

Dan,

 

I have not met you in your time tapering in SA, but I have seen your posts of much suffering while going through this experience.  I wanted to let you know you have shown much fortitude in your journey.  It is quite inspiring.  I am very happy for this positive outcome for you.  I hope you continue to feel better as time goes on.

 

Please continue to let us know how you get on, including any info about the dreaded tinnitus!

 

All the best.

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Flowers

Fantastic news Dan!  

 

Love from Flowers xxx

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brassmonkey

It's so wonderful to hear when someone turns the corner.  It's such an amazing feeling to know that what ever else gets thrown at you it's all going to work out in the end. I'm all smiles for you.

 

Brass

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Dan998
15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Thank you for that good news.

 

This calls for our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to be added to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

 

Thanks Alto. 

 

The Sun symbol is gratefully accepted. I think anyone who has been able to survive drug free for a year certainly deserves one.

 

It's also quite appropriate as I spent most of this afternoon at the beach soaking up some rays.

 

As for the success story, I think its too soon for that. I can't really consider myself a success until my dopamine reward system is fully functional again and the anhedonia has fully resolved itself.

 

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Dan998

Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes.

 

I'm positive that you will all make it to the top of the withdrawal mountain too. It might seem like a hard climb right now, but it's worth all the effort, because the view from the summit is simply stunning. (I really hope I'm not suffering from mania or psychosis here as it all seems too good to be true.)

 

5 hours ago, Survivor1 said:

Please continue to let us know how you get on, including any info about the dreaded tinnitus!

 

I have a little story about the tinnitus; During the big window I noticed that it was no longer present during the daytime, it came back of an evening, but it wasn't there most of the day. It wasn't a case that I had just adapted to its presence, it really wasn't there, I know because I tried really hard to listen for it.

 

I had a terrible fear that tinnitus had nothing to do with withdrawal and would be permanent as I do actually have moderate hearing loss around the 6 KHz range, too many power tools at work when I was younger. I considered that it might just be a coincidence that the tinnitus started during withdrawal. Glad to be wrong about that one. 

 

It has come back and is quite loud today. I'm not bothered though as I now know that it is psychological rather than structural damage and it will eventually go away.

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Survivor1

Thanks for the tinnitus update, Dan. I guess I will have to find some long-term coping techniques ...

 

Also, have you found that your weight gain has stopped.? Any details would be appreciated.

 

Best wishes.

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myndfull
21 hours ago, Dan998 said:

This was the week when everything changed.

 

The pendulum has finally swung in the other direction. Those super-windows that I described in a previous post have extended from a few moments, to a few hours, to a few days. All of my symptoms have drastically improved. There have been so many changes that it would span multiple pages to describe them all.

 

It’s as if I have crossed an invisible line between withdrawal and recovery. The fear that I might never heal has been dispelled and even if this lovely big window is cruelly slammed shut again, then I will have at least experienced what full recovery feels like. I can see my destination clearly now and I can be confident that my brain's inner compass will guide it in the right direction.

 

I expect that I still have a few more waves to experience before I finally reach my forever window. In fact, right now I’m suffering from some mild anxiety and I woke up in a foul mood this morning. A minor blip (hopefully). The waves hold no fear for me now though. They will come and they will go. I shall ride each and every one of them until the turbulent seas are becalmed.

 

I no longer have any doubts about whether or not I am going to make it through this ordeal. The end is in sight. The struggle was worth it. I am going to be alright. I am stronger, I am more resilient and I have depths of courage that I never knew existed. I have learnt so much from withdrawal. Lessons that I never wanted to be taught, in a classroom that I had no desire to attend.

 

I truly feel that I have survived antidepressants. 
 

 

Thanks for stopping by my journal, Dan. Very good to hear that your CNS is getting its normal back.

 

That tinnitus is an issue I have, too. It used to be constant. Now it comes and it goes. For me it's associated with the anxiety/akathisia spectrum of symptoms. When I'm feeling depressed it's muted. When I'm having a window, it's hardly there. I used to tell my wife that I got tinnitus when a friend of mine fired a gun two feet from right year shooting at a rabbit. That did happen, but I don't remember the tinnitus afterward. Later, I told her,  its from cranking up Led Zeppelin, et al. in the '70s. That was true too. Or whatever. But I didn't realize until the last year or so that, "It's because of this damn SSRI!" 

 

I know now that it started about ten to fifteen years after I started taking Paxil.

 

It comes and it goes. When I'm having a windowish period it's barely noticeable. As you say, it's psychologically caused, not a physical degradation of some kind. Just another good reason to get off this stuff.

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