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I was going to post a success story on an anti-depressant withdrawal forum

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Dorado, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Dorado

    Dorado Well known member

    I made a post that referenced anti-depressant withdrawal last night, and it reminded me that I've been meaning to make an account on one of those withdrawal forums to discuss how yes, withdrawal is completely valid, but the mind-body connection plays a large role in symptoms that seem to never go away (e.g., someone still having brain zaps five years later, doctors realizing that withdrawal symptoms are still occurring in patients whose serotonin receptors have long healed, etc.). I tried everything - all the supplements, the perfect diet, working out regularly, etc. - but believing that it'd be permanent made it so I healed way more slowly than I could have. Once I understood this, I began healing much quicker.

    I changed my mind once I started reading posts about people dealing with issues such as fibromyalgia, tinnitus, headaches, chronic pain, etc. even before they started antidepressants and viewing everything as 100% structural. Anything I'd post would likely have zero meaning on those forums, but I do wish one of them would stumble upon my posts over here someday. I remember what it was like to look at those forums and believe people when they said that withdrawal often leaves one with permanent issues, especially when they go cold turkey like I had to (I was having horrific side effects from the medication and genetic testing later showed that my body couldn't handle it, and I was too paranoid at that point to trust other medications).

    What I'd like to articulate with this post is that we are so lucky to have a community where people have a better understanding of the mind-body connection and a real opportunity to take that information and live the best lives we can. Stick with the mind-body approach and remember that horror stories on other health forums do not have to be you. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  2. Snowman

    Snowman Peer Supporter

    Great post. I also went cold turkey about 3 months ago as I could not handle them for they made my calf muscles burn even more i found. And emotions were off the chart on them. I'm not saying I have good days all the time. But I have found I feel different without them. I was on Ammatripaline. Citalopram. Duroloxatine after they said the last one is for fibromyalgia. I don't believe I have that with the feeling I get in my legs more the left then right. I've sent my bloods to Germany for testing as here in the UK negative testing is off the chart for lots of ppl . They have tried to put me serrtraline antidepressants now but I won't take one . Some mornings I wish I had but then when at work and reading stories like yours and other ppl succses storys I don't them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2019
  3. IrishMonkey92

    IrishMonkey92 Newcomer


    Well well well.

    I just had to create a profile here in order to reply to this. I thankfully stumbled on one of your posts by mere chance on the success threads. It was a pretty long one, and you included a persons success story which left me even more intrigued - I too search for people that have my exact same symptoms and exact same presentation/reaction to stimuli in order to see if they’ve healed and how.

    That post really summed everything all up for me. You mentioned TMS, Anxiety, Antidepressant withdrawal, conversion disorder and Functional neurological disorder - all of these either apply to me or have been a diagnosis given to me over the past 3 years. Oh and Lyme disease... don’t even mention how the bloody hell I got Lyme disease in all this!

    Yesterday, January 24th, was my 3 year anniversary of ‘this’ - I’m trying not to say what I always call it... which is ‘getting sick’.

    Anyway, I came off an antidepressant a few months before this, and had strange symptoms that came and went till the final Big Bang happened and my life changed up until now. Long story short I had was hungover, drank coffee and then found blood on the toilet after straining, which either made me feel lightheaded/drop to the ground due to low blood pressure, or the sight of the blood triggered the panic attack. Either way, my life never was the same after that - massive autonomic storm of symptoms which led me to hospital. Blood got checked, all fine. Got this rocking/swaying dizziness while waiting. It came and went. That night I had continual hypnic jerks while trying to fall asleep. My body was very very stressed. Then the brain zaps came, for about a month, with about 50 a day. The dizziness turned chronic. Anxiety disorder cemented and I wasn’t able to think, tolerate anything - no more paracetamol even. Something happened that changed my body. I blamed the antidepressants but.... I’ve had numerous other self diagnosis too.

    My main symptom was a type of dizziness, which has very precise qualities - perfect balance and it’s basically gone laying down. Though burdened with a lot lot more. Yet, I’ve found many that had these exact symptoms from various onset/triggers which confused my mind so much... I went from it being psychological to it being a physical issue so many times in my head. It’s been exhausting. Antidepressant withdrawal fit the bill and as you had mentioned it in your post I read, but several other things I’ve cycled through (I’ve been officially diagnosed with a ‘functional’ disorder), TMS wording used by Sarno resonated with me, and I was working it in my mind for a few weeks now that his theory/wording to help people understand it was nearly a perfect match for my functional neurological diagnosis. However, you really could make it as physical or as psychological as you like, depending on your interpretation of it.

    I just had to comment as you hit the nail on the head. I’ve came full circle with you - antidepressant withdrawal forums, which I’ve had a profile and commented, people with the same symptoms, on anxiety forums, people with the same symptoms, functional disorder forums, people with the same symptoms. These people never took antidepressants yet suffered the same symptoms.... people with the same symptoms as this functional neurological disorder that I’ve been diagnosed with... yet see their issue as one of anxiety, completely healing themselves with books like Claire Weekes, DARE or just simply ignoring it. I knew something wasn’t right. All these groups with different issues that they identify with cannot all be the same thing.... or could they?

    Then I found you. That settled it, and you’ve actually pieced it all together. Mind body connection, caused by emotions, which summarises it all.

    I healed myself (still had some issues) for about 4 weeks during a very busy period of my life where I actually believed that regardless if it’s psychological or physical - illness can be cured by thought alone (you sounded like me), along with positive affirmations, meditation, visualisation (don’t know which of these hit the spot) but sadly after a bit of a fear of vomiting my symptoms came back and I made a YouTube video of a success story and all, but of course it was too premature. I went seeking a physical diagnosis after that setback and unfortunately never recovered as I bought into the idea that my inner ear was causing this, yet... my symptoms are identical to others without inner ear issues. It really confused me. There are certain patterns I’ve been observing which have made me more curious again. Inconsistencies if you like. I get better when I have the flu or cold... remission. My issues mostly resolve after a heavy night of drinking (worse with the hangover, but after that leaves, I’m pretty much in remission for a day or two). I’m symptom free or low symptoms in the morning, and sometimes at midnight. I find if I’m having bad dizziness, deep breathing can reduce it massively. Distraction, but it had to be absolutely distraction, not just a convo, can alleviate some of the symptoms. However these characteristics are being recognised in medical literature and studies! Under the bracket of Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness, which is a type of functional neurological disorder. That has been my official diagnosis given by a neurotologist. Described as a ‘hypersensitivity in the brain’ akin to migraine, but not precisely that. The reasoning behind treatment with SSRI’s is because it would ‘dumb’ down the hyperactivity and error signals, whilst also increasing serotonin that is meant to be connected to inner ear neuronal activity. Even though I’ve structural inner ear damage, it’s mild and compensated for (I’ve no idea how I got this, as my onset of issues weren’t exactly the traditional story for Vestibular Neuronitis). To me, it may be a possible red herring. Along with the Lyme disease also being a red herring. I don’t tend to experience either of their symptoms.

    Of course I’ve labelled myself with various things over the years, and still to this day have fear in the back of my mind about antidepressants, what they did to me, their potential to damage people permanently, not being able to drink alcohol etc, can still be in the back of my mind, even though I’ve equally understood this to be FND. Anyway, I’ve conditioned myself to associate prolonged travel with a worsening in my dizziness (I thought I had Mal De Debarquement syndrome. It’s actually being compared to my functional disorder as basically the same process but different trigger in medical literature), and it’s ruined my life. I’m fine during travel but not after I step out - this quality to my dizzinsss has been a hot topic for me in my search (refer to above about me searching people with the EXACT SAME presentation and reaction to stimuli which I’m very hung up on as it technically puts me in a different category diagnosis of life long illness between my official diagnosis of Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness or Mal De Debarquement Syndrome). Of course a few times I’ve felt fine (when distracted or anxiety had been non existent, but still not feeling quite right after the journey, if you get me) yet I can’t break that association or maybe it’s not an association... I don’t really know.

    After reading the studies on these conditions the doctors are isolating the cause behind these functional dizziness disorders as an issue with the hippocampus: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fneur.2018.00943/full (Examination of Current Treatments and Symptom Management Strategies Used by Patients With Mal De Debarquement Syndrome)

    So I can’t get that issue of being psychical out of my head. You get the idea? You know what also is very funny, they say that there is 80% improvement in patients who take SSRI’s to treat this functional dizzziness, then I told my doctor.... but I just came of an SSRI before I got this damn thing!!!! Don’t you see the connection?! He said it may be a possibility, but there’s no guarantee it had a part to play. Hyperactivity in the brain, after 2 years of antidepressants that did the reverse (numbed the brain). Then I see people who got this from anxiety alone, how do they fit into this if they’ve never touched an antidepressant- this is where your post above is fantastic. I love how you’ve figured it all out and have went from a closed mind to open.

    I just want to say, what can you say to me that can help me? I’ve read your long post success post. What do I do when I feel my dizziness at a table, or hear my tinnitus at night, or see my eye floaters outside. Is there a method? Or do I merely repeat and understand.. these are symptoms from my emotions that I got from a panic attack 3 years ago?

    Did your symptoms vanish quickly? How long did it take? Any tips?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2019
    Gusto likes this.
  4. Dorado

    Dorado Well known member

    It really all started when I read a blog post from a woman who went to one of the few doctors to specialize in antidepressant withdrawal. Her doctor did quite a bit of research and realized that even after their serotonin receptors heal, some patients' sympathetic nervous systems are still out of whack, causing what feels like ongoing "withdrawal" symptoms. How is it possible for someone to still experience symptoms even after the body heals? It sounded like the doctor was viewing this from a structural lens, not the mind-body connection/TMS.

    But then I remembered the following words from Steve Ozanich himself:
    This means that injuries can heal, but the body still produces symptoms that perfectly mimic the injury out of stress. Also, stress can literally hinder the body from healing: https://advancedtissue.com/2014/10/effects-psychological-stress-wound-healing/

    It's very obvious to me that antidepressant withdrawal freaks the body out because it has grown used to the serotonin reuptake inhibitor doing its job. The number of active serotonin neurons may decrease. That makes sense. It's going to take the body some time to adjust. That's why going cold turkey can be such a shock. But that doesn't mean withdrawal is permanent, whether you taper down or go cold turkey (I don't recommend going cold turkey, but for people like myself who later found out that their liver genetically cannot appropriately process some of these meds, it was necessary). It is critical for one to relax in order for the body to heal. The body naturally goes into fight-or-flight mode when stressed, and chronic stress leads to the brain making less serotonin:
    The people hanging out on these withdrawal forums for years and years without any improvement can take all the fish oil in the world, cut sugar and all processed foods out of their diet, run for hours each day, but until they log off and relax, they're missing something. The dude who still has brain zaps and mood swings five years after stopping Effexor and swears he's permanently damaged? Perhaps it's time for him to take a mind-body approach. He probably would've healed from the withdrawal much quicker had he done so before. This doesn't mean "it's all in your head" - withdrawal is valid and happens, but the mind-body connection runs very deep and can prevent healing.

    Some of these forums and websites swear that you have to take tons of supplements, exercise all the time, eat perfectly, etc. to heal. It's true that living healthily induces neuroplasticity and helps your brain start taking in serotonin on its own again. But none of those things ever worked for me, no matter how clean I was living. These people are completely forgetting how much chronic stress and the belief that you'll never heal hinder you from healing. I was told not to drink alcohol while going through withdrawal, but honestly, it wasn't until I started having a few glasses of champagne with my friends on the weekends that I started to relax and feel better.

    I once read a post on NeuroTalk from an individual who says they have nerve damage from antidepressant withdrawal. Their doctor said they'd never seen this happen before, but the doctor recognized the painful symptoms and diagnosed the neuropathy. That doctor should absolutely be ashamed of themselves. Nerve damage is caused by toxicity (e.g., crazy high blood sugar over time, binge drinking multiple times a week for decades, etc.), the body attacking itself (autoimmunity), or actual physical injuries (e.g., a nasty car accident). The lack of an antidepressant isn't toxic to your nerves. You just need to relax and allow your body to readjust.

    Bottom line: withdrawal is not permanent, and the idea of permanent withdrawal is a myth. Your body knows how to readjust itself, but stress stimulates the nervous system and makes it difficult for your body to repair itself. For some of us, this is far more important than fish oil and cutting out sugar.

    Everybody heals at different rates, so don't focus on that. It'll only convince you that a certain amount of time is necessary to heal, and that's not true. The only tip is to just relax the body, know you're OK, and relax. Get back to living life fully without fearing or obsessing over the symptoms.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  5. IrishMonkey92

    IrishMonkey92 Newcomer

    Wow. I’m speechless at the Lyme Disease reference that Steve has made. I knew it! People on Lyme Disease forums are just an entrenched as those on Antidepressant forums. Anyone who buys into the idea of their illness, there is a very common trait in every single one of their cults - they’re close minded, and don’t dare mention their issues are due to anything other than what they’ve been told. Especially mind/body issues! You’ll be the enemy. They like their label, they like their Facebook filter with a nice ‘<<insert incurable condition>> warrior badge’ on their profile picture. They wear it with pride, and seek comfort in their community of others suffering together. They’re all the same. All the same mentalities, all the same symptoms, that’s what confused me, going from one of the other.

    Of course I thought I had every disease going as every bloody group said they had my symptoms! No wonder! They’re all mind body related. I did get a positive result of Lyme disease from an actual infectious disease doctor, but she agreed my symptoms were non-specific in nature to Lyme Disease. I’d never go to a so called ‘Lyme Literate Doctor’. I see them diagnose without even doing a blood test and then ask for lots of money for continuous treatment for these poor people’s Lyme Disease and co-infection. She did recommend I take a 4 week course of antibiotics if I’ve never treated the Lyme Disease. I tried but of course it made my symptoms worse. Then again, I don’t suffer from the symptoms relating to Lyme Disease and never had, so I know it’s not the issue. My systemic inflammation markers are normal. I decided not to go down that rabbit hole. I know plenty who have went down that rabbit hole with no resolution of their symptoms. Lyme Disease really is being whipped up to be this super resistant infectious disease that is impossible to treat. I know too many that conform to the scaremongering epidemic currently brewing online with vulnerable minds.

    I had one infectious disease doctor in the USA give me a ‘second opinion’ which is a nice option offered by my company insurance. They reviewed my doctors notes, results etc and listened to my onset. They said, this is not Lyme disease. Yes you have antibodies, but if checked, you’ll also have positive antibodies for chicken pox, does that mean your issues are related to chicken pox? No. Antibodies can remain indefinitely. They said I fit the description of somatoform disorder. The doctor wasn’t too far wrong all this time!

    Can I ask what your dizziness/vertigo was like? Was there anything you conditioned yourself to with your symptoms, and if so, how did you break the link? I tried drinking coffee today. It was quite difficult to ignore my bodily sensations. This was an effort to resume a normal life again, because nothing is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
  6. Dorado

    Dorado Well known member

    The second opinion you received was correct: chronic Lyme is a myth, just as Steve Ozanich and many others knowledgeable in this area say. I hope this gives you reassurance about that doctor's opinion. You're absolutely going to be OK. :)

    I experienced stress-related dizziness throughout my life, even before taking antidepressants like Cymbalta. I felt very fatigued and like I needed to sit down. Sometimes I felt discombobulated and nauseous as well. It was a horrible feeling, but I had to simply remember it was all a very normal symptom of anxiety. I needed to believe that I was safe and OK. It's important to respect the mind-body connection and understand that your body is responding to power emotions in a way that indicates a very stressed out nervous system where sympathetic mode has become dominant. This is not permanent. In fact, everyone deals with symptoms caused by the mind-body connection at some point, from simple eye twitches to migraines to full blown CRPS. It's part of the human experience.

    The best thing I did was become super social again and look forward to hanging out with my friends. When I was in college, I was sort of known as a very popular person on campus - not at all snobby, but I had many genuinely good friends and was always receiving invites to hang out. However, I was too stressed out to spend time with anyone after college. I worked 24/7 and didn't take care of my mental health or let myself be passionate about anything outside of the office. Once I started feeling young and free again, I was having so much fun and loving life. I don't even remember how long it took for the symptoms to dissipate, truthfully. Weeks or a few months at the most?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  7. Dorado

    Dorado Well known member

    And yes, I was just talking to someone else about this: anytime you see communities with terms like lymies, floxies, fibro warriors, Crapalta survivors, zebras, etc., understand that there's likely going to be heavy emotions and horror stories involved. Many people attach large parts of their identities to these things. Run away and search for success stories.

    This is true even for legitimate structural issues and injuries (like the genetic connective tissue disorder I was born with, which will never go away): Never, ever dwell on horror stories, and remember the mind-body connection.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  8. IrishMonkey92

    IrishMonkey92 Newcomer

    For someone that deals with mind/body issues/anxiety, how do you know what’s real and what isn’t? I know you talked about believing real structural issues can be healed with the mind also. Did you heal your Ehler-Danlos Syndrome?
     
  9. Dorado

    Dorado Well known member

    Ehlers-Danlos is a congenital disorder and I'll never be able to heal it, but stress does make the symptoms worse. Ehlers-Danlos is notorious for causing autonomic dysfunction, and any stress I experience really heightens my sympathetic nervous system overdrive. I used to barely be able to type from horrifying nerve pain - this is when I know stress is freaking my body out.

    It's all about being able to relax and understand your body. Sometimes I have to sit back and ask whether what I'm dealing with is structural or not, like when I had strep throat a few months ago. I continued to have throat pain after taking antibiotics. I have absolutely had store throats caused by stress, so I wondered if perhaps the antibiotics healed me, but I was still having pain from stress. A throat culture (a rapid test as well as a more in depth throat culture) showed that the infection had indeed been cured. Once I stopped thinking about my throat, the pain also went away.
     
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  10. Sofa

    Sofa Peer Supporter

    The truth is out there. Sometimes we fail to see what is right in front of us. That which has been there all along...

    Perhaps we see it, but the brain is a master of trickery. It can (and will) lead us down rabbit holes in order to prevent us from knowing the TRUTH.

    The only way to SEE is to peer deep into our subconscious. Is it pretty? No.. But the only way to overcome TMS is to challenge ourselves and confront the truth. The brain is a heck of a thing.

    Good luck and let us know how things progress. I have a feeling you all will be just fine.
     
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  11. Dorado

    Dorado Well known member

    Hope you're doing well, @Sofa! :) I definitely agree that it may not always be a pretty process, but facing our truth is critical.
     
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  12. Duende

    Duende Newcomer

    Hi all. This in my first message here. I am a new member who comes here after a long journey through the dark side of the dumpster that is internet, and I am totally grateful to have found this community. I found this site for someone else and not for me, but having researched many stories and texts here, I understood that it was for me too. English is not my language and I use a translator, so apologies for the mistakes.

    I have loved this post in particular, thanks in particular to you Dorado, for your ability to put everything together, by tying all the ends. It's true: in anxiety forums you find that people talk about the same symptoms, same in fibromyalgia forums, same in chronic fatigue, same in withdrawal forums, and so on. I come to disconnect specifically from a well known withdrawal forum... what horror!
    I think so too: it's all the same (mindbody) and it's in this forum where things are focused correctly with the whole picture of the subject. It's just what I needed to understand. I sensed it, but I still believe little in myself and in my wise little inner voice ... you know!

    Let's say I'm halfway to my awakening, or so I think! I have read and studied enough already, many "masters", great and small, some known and others not so much, whose list would be long to quote here. I hope to tell something sooner and contribute as well, although the truth is that, at this point, I mainly want to focus on living my life which is quite busy.
     
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  13. miquelb3

    miquelb3 Well known member


    Duende,
    I have sent you a PM
     

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