Newly off meds - love some feedback

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

lmcd
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/13/2007 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

(Disclaimer: My opinions about my condition only apply to me; I have no opinion or judgment about what others need to do for themselves. Thanks~)

After five years of 200 mg Zoloft 1-2Mg Xanax and Ambien when needed (more often than not), I am med-free and sleeping like a baby.

It's not all love & light; the anxiety comes & goes; however an interesting thing - I can make the distinction that the anxiety is not necessarily related to my external situations, therefore I can move through it with much more ease than I ever had.

Ive had an anxiety condition most of my life, but was only prescribed for it five years ago. The med really were a miracle and I'm grateful for being on them.

Somehow, organically, I just felt it was time to go off. I tried a couple of times before and it wasn't right, but it seemed pretty easy.

Pros: My creativity has exploded! I'm working artist and retired musician and am taking up a new instrument and want to play publicly again. My libido is finally waking up - (I *really* missed that~) and I'm able to cry again - believe it or not. You know, the good kind, at movies books etc. My cousin informed me she has breast cancer today and I actually teared up. When I was on the meds, I could see a car accident and not flinch.

Cons: Anxiety is back, but so far, manageable. Also, Ive been getting a bit hyper, manic in a sense (I'm not bi-polar), and tend to be irritable - very, and a bit confrontational. I think this is tied to when I'm tired or stressed.

My husband and I have returned to a vegetarian diet, which I think is really helping, plus I have a gym membership that I am starting again, as well as started hiking again. I know that the exercise will really help, but I tend to have a hard time motivating myself in that area.

Most of my friends I've confided in are very supportive, as well as my husband. My mom is very fear-based and keeps saying "you know, there's no shame in being on meds - you can go back," yada, yada yada.

I don't feel any shame at all - it's not a matter of that - that's her stuff. Somehow it was just time for me. Sure, if it all collapses, I don't have a problem going back on a lower dosage, but I choose to believe that I am not beholden to this particular treatment anymore and can find other holistic ways of dealing with this (at least I believe this now...)

Actually - now the hard work really starts - finding time to slow down, meditate, exercise, make clean food choices, etc. which takes a bit more motivation (at least for me) than maintaining my med schedule.

Thanks for taking time to read this long post. It's great to know that there are boards like this. I *love* the Internet Age! Any info, positive personal experience is greatly appreciated.

ChristianWithHope
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 5/13/2007 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
lmcd,
I went off my meds after 5 years on 150 mg of Zoloft. Similar to you, I was able to enjoy a healthy libido again and increased emotion. I felt really good - better than when I was on the Zoloft. After about 3 months, I started having heart palpitations. Just to be safe I went to my MD. He said he didn't hear any "new nioses", took me off caffeine and did a sleep study (negative for apnea).
What I didn't realize was that I was drifting back into my Anxiety disorder. I got really bad like I hadn't been in 5 years. I ended up going back on Zoloft eventually leveling off at 200mgs.
If I hadn't tried going off the meds, I would never have known if I was "cured". So I think it's healthy what you're doing. My only suggestion is that you keep an eye on your symptoms. Anxiety can be like a freight train that starts slowly and then gradually builds up momentum - once you're up to speed it requires a lot of effort to stop. It can really snowball.
Let us know how things are going.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 5/13/2007 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
If a person can go three months without meds and not be miserable with anxiety symptoms, then the break couldn't be anything but a good thing. It took a lot of guts to try that, I bet.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/


lmcd
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/13/2007 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow! Thanks for the responses. It's nice to know that there are really people out there listening.

My husband is a very good barometer for my behavior. He will notice negative changes way before I will, so we keep that communication open. I really don't want to trade-off my rediscovered emotions, motivation, and sex life (my dear husband as been *so* supportive), so I will wait and see.

CWH: Yes, I completely understand how my anxiety can sneak up. Thanks for that reminder and I will be paying close attention.

HippyGirl: Yes - must get back to the yoga! Seeing a Naturopath sounds like a great idea. Here in Northern New Mexico, we are overrun with them :-)

Debaser: LOL - well, I'll see how 'not miserable' I am in 3 months. Thanks for the words of support.

I really happy to be sleeping without Ambien; that is truly a blessing.

Have a peaceful night, all.

~L

Daisysmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 5/14/2007 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   
hi,

i have been off and on with pharmaceuticals. i am really trying to stay on it this time, even as i try new things that might make my life better. i certainly don't want to take the medicine, sometimes when i go to the bathroom i worry that i am making some fish grow extra genitals all because of me.

i feel it's time though to follow doctor's orders so i can stop the cycling in and out

-- mk

lmcd
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/14/2007 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a complete episode today - completely lost it - literally. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea.

It is so F#$*&G typical that I'd write this glowing entry of being off meds and then lose it. It explains a lot that's been happening lately - my $$ spending, picking fights, etc.

I am so upset. I feel that my choices are between "this sucks" & "that sucks". Take meds and feel nothing, put up with situations that I'm not happy with because I'm medicated

or

don't take the meds and lose my sanity.

This doesn't seem like much of a choice to me. If my Zoloft dose is lower, would it still work? Would I be able to feel things like a human being?

I have a call in to my MD and a counselor and waiting for both to call back. I don't have health insurance which makes things a bit challenging.

My husband had to literally walk out door to go to work after this happened. He parked me in front of the TV, told me not to answer any calls except his & the docs and will call me during his lunch break.

I don't want to call anyone because every one's got their own problems - my cousin is looking for an oncologist today, my mom is 2000 miles away and she can't do anything to help but worry, my girlfriend is having an emergency root canal, ad naseum...

Also, How does one distinguish from anxiety disorder and the chaos that happens when stopping meds...and Bipolar disorder?

Post Edited (lmcd) : 5/14/2007 2:32:12 PM (GMT-6)


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 5/14/2007 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe a changeup in doctors/meds is called for? Don't get too down about it. You still have some options.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/


ozfm
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 5/14/2007 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Imcd

Sorry to hear you are struggling today - wow what a wonderful husband you have!!!

Question - did you decide to go off your meds unsupervised by your doc/counsellor? 

Ok -more questions   tongue    If so, perhaps you need to go back on the meds and wean off more slowly and under supervision.

How long have you been off them?  Maybe it's just a bad day and things will be ok tomorrow.

I know how you feel when you say that you felt like it was time to go off the meds - I feel like that too at the moment, but after many problems with meds, I know it's not that easy.  I have had severe depression, anxiety and panic attacks, social phobia, etc,etc.  I do honestly feel that I have turned a corner and plan, long-term, to go off or at least decrease my meds.  However, I will not do it without consulting all my docs and making sure I do it very slowly and under close supervision.  I have just started to slowly decrease my Effexor, while staying on my Tegretol, Atacand, and other meds.  I don't care if it takes me a year lol, as long as I don't have any major setbacks.

I guess my point is Imcd, perhaps (I don't know cos you didn't say in your post) you stopped too quickly or perhaps you needed more support from your counsellor as you were coming off it for strategies in dealing with any issues or preventing issues.....  Often exercise is a good release for anxiety, if you can manage it.

(((hugs))) I hope you are feeling better really soon. 

Deb


They say life is a bowl of cherries........... we just have to learn how to spit out the pips!


lmcd
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/14/2007 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all for your support & comments.

Yes - I went off unsupervised.

The episode cumulated today in very intense behavior which included me throwing a bowl of lentil soup against a kitchen wall. It also explains some overspending $$ in the last few weeks.

I was so freaked I was looking up stuff on the bipolar boards and got even more depressed as I would never take those meds. However, the more I thought of it, the less possible I think it is. In my journeys, it appears that being on Zoloft for 4-5 years would make a bipolar person trigger a manic episode, which I've never had on Zoloft.

My MD has not called back (not atypical) and I'll probably hear from her tomorrow. I promised my husband to start taking the meds again until I consult with her about dosage, etc.

I'm exhausted and completely drained now - and will try to get some extra sleep.

Thanks for the hugs and support,
~L

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 5/14/2007 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
lmcd said...
I was so freaked I was looking up stuff on the bipolar boards and got even more depressed as I would never take those meds. However, the more I thought of it, the less possible I think it is.


Yeah, if you were bipolar they probably would've caught that a long time ago. I woudn't worry about that. Withdrawal can cause irritability, they say. And I hate to admit this, but when I was really depressed and when I had anxiety I'd have a pretty bad temper, too.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/


ediekristen
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 5/14/2007 10:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

Perhaps a different medication would be more beneficial?

I took Zoloft for a few months some time back, and I remember that I didn't like it one bit. It just made me feel zonked out and unmotivated all the time. I've heard Wellbutrin is one that doesn't have much effect on the libido- that's one I'm looking into getting on, as loss of sex drive and weight gain are two side effects I'm most concerned about.

I would tell your doctor all of your concerns and see if they can work with you in finding something that's more suitable.

Good luck and just know that you're not alone.
Female, 22, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia from long term prednisone use

Currently taking 10mg of prednisone (down from 40! Bleeding has returned but I'm sticking it out... I want off!!)
Waiting to start back on Azathioprine...


Daisysmom
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 168
   Posted 5/15/2007 12:33 AM (GMT -6)   
hello imcd,

hope you are feeling better.

i wish i had said it like Deb did...

one time that i went off my drug unsupervised it was pretty bad, crying like a big baby at work. lost a friend over it.

so that's why this time around i am trying to be more careful. the psychiatrist told me to stay on it for a year at least so i am. i wish i didn't have to be on it, but i think i know what i'd be like without it, and it would be a lot worse.

-- mki

ozfm
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 5/15/2007 12:51 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the compliment mki - sometimes I wonder if I make sense.... lol

Hey lmcd,

I hope you get some sleep and feel a bit better soon.  Just a suggestion tho', it sounds like you have been off your meds for a few weeks, so jumping back on at a full dose, may be just as bad for you as going off them unsupervised.  Perhaps you would be best to wait until you can speak to your doc, she may recommend a dose of Zoloft somewhere in between 0 and what you were on.  You have to remember that your body has been through a lot of chemical changes, so adding to it again without supervision might upset you even more.

I understand your frustration - when you feel good you feel like you don't need your meds and things will keep getting better.  Unfortunately our bodies don't work that way.  Eventually that may well be the case, but we have to adjust to these changes slowly, the same way we did when we started.  At the moment I am seeing my gp, a psychologist and a psychiatrist, to help me manage my medications and behaviours, and it is finally starting to pay off!!  But I am reducing my dosages of only one medication very very slowly.
 
Best wishes lmcd - do some slow, deep breathing when you feel yourself spinning out of control, until you can get some advice from your doc.
 
Cheers
Deb
They say life is a bowl of cherries........... we just have to learn how to spit out the pips!


lmcd
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/15/2007 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Bless all of you - - thanks for taking a moment out of your day to respond.

DB: Irritability would be an understatement~ :)

I am very willful. If my addictive nature ran that way - I'd probably be a perfect alcoholic; smart, superior and always needing to hit a wall before re-evaluating my course changes.

Still waiting for doc to call - and I will start looking for a pdoc locally.

Woke up depressed, but calm and rested after about 13 hours sleep; feeling better this afternoon and no longer want to get divorced (oh, yeah, that was another little beauty I ranted about yesterday). My husband is feeling a lot better too - I pretty much scared the crap out of him yesterday.

I'm taking 100 mg which is half the dose I went off of. I use my husband as my barometer cause IDKS (I dont know crap). He can actually tell within hours(!) if I missed my dose.

The hardest thing I think is for a strong willed person like myself is to surrender...at anything. In spite of all my knowledge around mental illness, 12 step programs, etc., on some level I really thought I was just being 'psychologically lazy' and a bit histrionic. I almost wish that were so now.

I tend to look at situations like this an opportunity to expand my compassion. I *so* completely get why people go off their meds now. Especially schizophrenics. I really didn't get it before until I stopped, started feeling hyper-awesome and then crashed. No wonder I self-medicated all through my teens and early 20s.

Keep ya posted and thanks again~I truly respect all of your insights.

ozfm
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 5/15/2007 3:56 PM (GMT -6)   

I hear you lmcd

I too am a very strong willed person.  It's taken me over 4 years that I will never have the same capabilities I had just a few years back, thanks to a work injury.

Pig headed is my middle name - tell me I can't do it and I'll prove you wrong - no matter the consequences :-)

I totally hear you about the addictive nature, I am very much the same lol.

Glad to hear you got some sleep, hang in there.

Deb


They say life is a bowl of cherries........... we just have to learn how to spit out the pips!


ChristianWithHope
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 119
   Posted 5/15/2007 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
One of the best things we can do is to educate those around us (work, church, wherever) about the dangers of going off antidepressants unsupervised. NEVER EVER GO OFF THEM COLD TURKEY (unless of course you have extenuating circumstances under a doctor's care). I bring this up anytime I'm in a conversation where the topic of AD's come up.

There are many many documented cases of people committing suicide when suddenly going off psych meds.

lmcd - being stubborn isn't all bad. You're determined to see this through. At lot of us have been EXACTLY where you're at right now. Get out and do something physical - especially if the sun is shining. : )

We're with you...but don't be throwing soup at us...especially LENTIL soup...YUCK! : )

We'll see you tomorrow. : )

lmcd
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/16/2007 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   
LOL - Thanks CWH- actually it was a Thai Coconut Dal - quite delicious.

Mea culpa, mea ultima culpa; no more going off meds without docs guidance.

(You mean....I'm not the first one to do this?) :-)

Hugs to all,
L
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, October 01, 2016 10:30 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,697,127 posts in 297,715 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 152337 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Enzalutamid.
293 Guest(s), 8 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Girlie, Lymiemomster, trova, beatUC, Enzalutamid, straydog, Jack & Diane, LanieG


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer