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Posted by: TJ, Saturday, September 11, 2010, 9:23pm
I figured it was time for another update!

I started taking the Lamictal again on August 23, and yesterday I started back on the Paxil too (5 mg).  I'm proud of the effort I made to get away from these toxic drugs, and I've learned a lot from the attempt, but life has just been too much to handle right now without them.

I've been thinking about my state as a "highly sensitive person", and what I huge role my above-average sensitivity plays in my current need for these medications.  I've also realized that in spite of my best efforts I'm just not going to "cure" being a HSP.  I've tried, and it didn't work because it couldn't work.  I was approaching the condition as though it was a symptom of poor health, when in reality it's just the way I'm made.

So all this time I've been trying to "fix" myself so that I could cope with my life as it is, but now I understand that I'm just going to have to change my life into something I can cope with as I am.  I've been loathe to accept this and I've fought against the very thought, but this is as good as it gets for me, as far as coping with stress and overstimulation goes.  (Like I said on Facebook, I'm done with trying to fit myself to my life, and now I'm going to focus on fitting my life to myself.)

This is where the medication comes into the picture.  I can't just get up tomorrow and immediately change everything in my life that is overwhelming and unsustainable: it's going to take time!  In the meantime, these medicines will help me deal with all this craziness that is my life (especially my job).

It sort of reminds me of the people in circus balancing acts.  They carry that long pole to help them stay balanced while they're on the high wire, but once they get to the platform at the end they can easily stand without it.  I'm out on the high wire right now, I need to get to that platform without falling off, and the meds are my balance pole.  I'm still confident that medication is only a temporary need, and that once I've made a life for myself that is amenable to my HSP-ness, there will no longer be a need for medication.
Posted by: ABJoe, Saturday, September 11, 2010, 10:21pm; Reply: 1
If that is what you need, then by all means...  You need to be functional.
Posted by: geminisue, Saturday, September 11, 2010, 10:53pm; Reply: 2
and your right, there is an end down the road, when the medication is no longer necessary, I was on prozak, and my doctor just happened to say to me, do you think you want to try being without them, every indication shows you can.  I did, so I believe, down the road you will be able to, too.  It was like as my health improved, I didn't need it, I felt good, and could function, what felt like normal, but kept it to myself, and my precious doctor, at that time, let me know.  

Sometimes, medication needs to be changed to something different, due to side effects, so do read them, and be aware of them and let your doctor know, if you have any.  I was taken off of paxil, because of a side effect, but cannot remember what it was.
Posted by: Cristina, Saturday, September 11, 2010, 10:57pm; Reply: 3
As long as you stay focus on yourself and not on the meds!  Those circus gymnasts focus their attention on the balancing of their body, how their body is coping, not how long or what the pole is doing ...  and they may even adjust their pole accordingly, discarding some for more appropriate ones.  So, keep working on balancing your body, on feeding it right for your type, in keeping it hydrated, in using recommended relaxation techniques and activity levels that will assist you naturally to cope with stress. Your job is obviously stressing you out, so what!!! we all come from places like that! Take it as such, part of the job, but you are you!!! and while the stressors are there think of something funny and have a good laugh inside!!! Draw imaginary cartoon pictures of the stressors in your life, draw over it whatever you like, paint it, erased it, paint it the way you want them to be.  Or when you get home, have fun, put music on, close the door in your room and do funny things that make you laugh or sing ... Yes, stress is alway there, is not going to go away, it is what what we do with it that makes the difference, and what we do with it defines what happens within our systems ... So, use your meds now if that is the pole you want to hold for now, but remember, you can change it anytime you want ... Stay tune, we want you to succedd, get better, be happy ... because we need your energy to help us all stay on the plus side ... so, it is not just you, it is all of us ... be selfish ... by staying focus on what is good for you, keeping the balancing act in favor of your 'true type' you are not only helping yourself, you are helping us all ...  
Posted by: maukik, Sunday, September 12, 2010, 1:43am; Reply: 4
Quoted from TJ

(Like I said on Facebook, I'm done with trying to fit myself to my life, and now I'm going to focus on fitting my life to myself.)

I like this, TJ.  

I have been fortunate to be able to do a lot of adjusting of my life to fit me.  Somethings of course, cannot be changed by us and some things just take longer to change. I encourage you to make  whatever changes you can, now, to fit your life to you.  


Posted by: RedLilac, Sunday, September 12, 2010, 1:55pm; Reply: 5
You have to do what feels right for you.  Good Luck
Posted by: pegf1008, Sunday, September 12, 2010, 2:43pm; Reply: 6
It's great that you tried! Look at all you learned about yourself that you otherwise would not have known! Maybe some day you will be able to get off the medication but maybe not. I look at these medications as if they are insulin for diabetics because they are working on an imbalance in your body chemistry. Not everyone who is diabetic is able to get off insulin even with the BTD/GTD, and not everyone is able to get off your medications with this diet either. In the meantime, be thankful that the medications exist to help you out. (sunny)

My doctor had told me for years that I would never be able to get off of citalopram, but I have been off it now for several months and am feeling great. I had no money or insurance to get in to see my doctor to get the prescription refilled, so I took myself off a little bit at a time, after I had been on SWAMI for several months. I hope that happens for you some day, but don't feel like a failure if it doesn't!
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Sunday, September 12, 2010, 6:30pm; Reply: 7
Are you on lower doses than you were on before?

You need to do what you need to in order to stay healthy. If the meds are keeping you stable right now, then stay on the meds for another year or so and try again when you've had time to do more healing.
Posted by: Frosty, Sunday, September 12, 2010, 7:37pm; Reply: 8
I know how you feel TJ.  After my anaphylactic shock episode and the medication interaction I had two days later while driving, I quit taking the one medication the hospital prescribed for me to take for 5 days following the allergic reaction and I also quit taking the Welbutrin I had been on for the last 4 years for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

I also quit taking all supplements because I was afraid of an interactions.  My life started spinning out of control at a very fast rate.  I became very OCD, and strated having panic attack a few times a week and then daily and then several times daily as well as nocturnal panic attacks.  All through this time I was following the BTD/GTD to the letter and afraid to eat outside the perameters of my genotype.  I couldn't make it through a day without at least one panic attack and started taking xanax (that had been prescribed to me long ago which I didn't take) to cope with them.

With coaxing from my naturopathic cousin I started back on supplements again.  Wow the fear I had taking them the first day.  She set me up on several protocols and again I had extreme fear of taking them as well.  I gave them a few weeks and while the frequency of the panic attacks went down, I still had them so bad I wouldn't leave my house.  Walking up the street to get the mail was a task I couldn't do.  I couldn't go to the store it was to much.  In order to do these things I had to take xanax.  I knew I was in trouble and needed help, because I surely didn't want to take xanax to get through simple tasks.  I had given my summer business to a friend that rents space in my office.  July, Aug and Sept are my slowest months and thankfully many of my clients said they would wait until I was back, but the few that needed work right away my friend was able to take care of them.

I finally gave in and went to see the Doctor that I saw back in 1999 for PTSD.  He was fantastic back then and I thought if anyone can get me out of this hole, he can and he did!  I told him I didn't want to be on an arsenal of medication and that I was afraid to go back on Welbutrin.  He diagnosed me with generalized anxiety, accute panic disorder, and agoraphobia (which I thought a was when I didn't want to leave the house).  The panic disorder and agoraphobia were directly related to PTSD from my anaphylactic shock and the medication interaction I had driving.

The good news is he put me on a very low dose of medication for GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) it is an SNRI and it works very well.  He also prescribed xanax in the event I have a panic attack, but I haven't had to use it in almost a month!  I can go to my mailbox, go to the store, do all the little tasks I use to do and I am also back to work in my office which is a 45 min drive.  Oh and the OCD.... What OCD? It is gone too!

Sometimes we have to do what we have to do to survive.  I have a very strong personality and don't like losing control of my life which is was happened.  I got my life back and am feeling great!  If that means I have to take a low dose of medication for GAD then so be it.  

I have an appointment with Dr. D'Adamo this fall and I am looking forward to it.  I am hoping he will be able to help me with the inflamation I have in my back, so, I don't have to take medication for that too.  At the moment I have Flexeril 10 mg PRN, but haven't taken it in months.  I also have percocet if I need it, but haven't taken that either.  I believe this is due to my diet.  I still have discomfort but not like it was before the BTD/GTD.

Good luck to you TJ, do what is best for you.  You and only you, know what is best for you.  Take Care.
Posted by: Dr. D, Sunday, September 12, 2010, 7:53pm; Reply: 9

Like Frosty says, only you know best what's right for you.

There's no going forward or back. There is just the right decision for that moment.

Posted by: TJ, Sunday, September 12, 2010, 11:44pm; Reply: 10
Thank you, everyone!

Frosty, you have really been through the wringer.  I can understand about the strong personality.  I consistently try to take on too much, unless I'm on meds.  I believe anxiety is the biggest problem for me too--overactive sympathetic nervous system, underactive parasympathetic.  Too much anxiety for too long grinds me down into fatigue and depression.  I'm so glad you have worked through your PTSD.

My med doses are much lower now.  I've gone from 100 mg Lamictal to 25 mg daily.  I've gone from 10 mg Paxil to 5 mg daily.  I may be able to cut back to 5 mg every other day after I've "caught up" from this latest rough patch; since I just started back on it I may need to make adjustments.   Going gluten-free has made the biggest difference, I think.  Maybe my dairy restrictions are contributing too.

Once again, the Dr. has succinctly expressed the core of the issue.  This need not be a permanent solution!  I may find it useful to continue using it for the rest of my life, but I don't think I will.  As much anxiety and depression and runs in my family, I think I'm doing great to be here like I am.  I really am grateful that these medicines are available, even though they are so often overused.
Posted by: TJ, Monday, September 13, 2010, 8:23pm; Reply: 11
Couple things I forgot to include in the last post:

(1) Years ago when I first started taking Paxil the first time (this was the first antidepressant I ever took), I could hardly tell any difference, even 20+ mg doses.  I didn't know, and still don't, if it was actually helping me.  Now, after peeling away so many layers of issues (mostly by following the BTD/GTD), I can clearly discern the effects within hours of taking it.

(2) The main motivation for getting off the meds was because of the gluten they probably contain.  In the midst of weaning myself off, I discovered I was actually an Explorer, and that was an extra push because I wanted to lighten the load on my kidneys and liver.
Quoted from ABJoe
If that is what you need, then by all means...  You need to be functional.
Work was more manageable today.  I even had a little fun while I was at it.

Thanks again everyone for your support!
Posted by: Ribbit, Thursday, September 16, 2010, 1:32am; Reply: 12
Quoted from TJ
overactive sympathetic nervous system, underactive parasympathetic.  ........................ As much anxiety and depression and runs in my family, I think I'm doing great to be here like I am.  I really am grateful that these medicines are available, even though they are so often overused.


Posted by: Azure Agony, Monday, March 26, 2012, 2:38am; Reply: 13
Rather than start my own thread I thought I would just add my few cents to this, even though it's an old one.

I've struggled with consistency of mood for most of my life, and recently have decided that enough was enough, - anything was worth a go. Even pharmaceuticals was worth considering if it enabled me to function. So, for the first time I've begun a course of anti-depressants, Citalopram 20mg x 1 per day. Apart from a rough first week it seems to be helping. I had the intention of writing quite a bit about this, but I've already kind of dried up, lol. Anyway, if someone wants to add their experience, or ask me anything then I'll happily pop back on to this thread.

I'm seeing a psychiactric nurse on Wednesday, I might ask about SAD. I wonder what blood types do best / worse on this type of medication. I'm guessing the A's do better than the O's.

I could get quite used to falling asleep when the sun comes up, waking about late morning / early afternoon. It seems to suit me well, but society tends to view it as a bad thing.

Back to watching 'The Long Goodbye'. :)
Posted by: TJ, Monday, March 26, 2012, 5:01am; Reply: 14
Besides the general recommendations about Os avoiding MAO inhibitor (which are a last-ditch treatment anymore), I don't know how much blood type affects this.  It's even more individual than that.  Your reactions can even change over time.  I took Remeron which worked great for about a year, then it petered out.  When I first took Prozac several years ago (pre-BTD), it was very energizing.  Now it has a calming effect on me.  It will take some experimenting to figure it out.  I hope you have a good practitioner and can find something that works well for you.  I'm still taking Prozac and Lamictal, and so far they still seem to be helping.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Monday, March 26, 2012, 2:29pm; Reply: 15
What's SAD? I'm familiar with that acronym meaning Standard American Diet or Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you're referring to the seasonal disorder, then you're approaching the time of year when it's likely to clear up, and anyway it's the description of a disorder, not a specific mention of treatment. Many different kinds of medicines have been used to treat SAD.

Mental unhealth is a sign of the body as a whole being unbalanced. Sometimes psychiatric meds are necessary to help maintain some semblance of balance, when there's been too much damage for the body to manage alone, or in acute situations when it's not safe to wait for natural healing to take place. (Somebody violent or suicidal needs something to calm them down within hours, while natural healing can take anywhere from weeks to years.) But meds alone are never the answer long-term. Once the acute situation is under control, you need to look at food reactions (allergies or lectin responses) and possible nutritional deficiencies.

Have you already been eating and exercising for your blood type and taken a look at possible nutritional deficiencies? Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to SAD. Vitamin B-12 helps the body regulate the sleep/wake cycle, and many people who are stressed have a high need for all B vitamins. I'm sure there are other specific nutrients that also may help, but I'm not familiar with all of them.

If you're doing all those things and still need extra help, psych meds may be the answer. But it's not the only option: there are also Bach Flower Remedies (that work on a more subtle level) and amino acids that can help regulate brain chemistry.
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