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Advice for Anhedonia,Depersonalization, and Cognitive Impairment?

depersonalization dpdr anhedonia brain fog

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#1 Michael Rian

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 12:56 AM


Greetings Friends,

 

I was hoping that you fine people of Longecity could share some insight with me.  Ive been a satisfied member of this community for some time now and it has given me a wealth of information.  That being said, I still would appreciate some more specific opinions and advice, if possible please.  I will try to cover the basics about me below.

 

- I have had a troubled past dealing with drug and alcohol addictions

- I was on a SSRI and advian combo for 4+ years

- I have been clean and sober for 3+ years now, including being off all medications

- I eat well, sleep well, exercise, and maintain a healthy diet

- I have had blood tests done a variety of times over the past years with nothing unusual

- I have tried the basic supplements and nootropics with limited results

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Now for my symptoms (I apologize for the descriptions, It is hard to explain) After years of talking to my Doctor, I am unsatisfied that I am dealing with anxiety and Depression. My life is going better than ever and I have zero anxiety...

 

- Depersonalization, not the anxiety kind,  I used to deal with that years ago, now it is more of a dreamlike/brain-fog 24/7 state of reality. No fear or much emotion, just flat and exhausted most days, even with vigorous exercise and healthy diet.

 

-Memory feels shot, I constantly forget what I was just about to do, time feels so different, instead of a stream it is more like a haze. Days, months and years feel cloudy and not connected to me. I cannot read a page of a book and remember what I just read afterwards... makes my life extremely unsatisfying.

 

-Sense of self feels "off".  Little motivation, pleasure, emotion, or life left in me, even through a variety of life circumstances.  I feel like I am just burnt out.  I feel like I am not fully awake all day, like I am trapped in an in-between dream state which I cannot awaken from.  I feel like I have been chemically and mentally castrated by drugs, medications, and alcohol abuse and I want my life back.

 

 

I appreciate any help whatsoever.  I have overcome a lot over the past few years and I have done a 180 degree change in my lifestyles, but no matter what Ive done, I still feel the same.

 

A big Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this and share their input,

 

Michael



#2 jaiho

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

Feels like im reading what i typed. I'm interested in the replies but going by my research i have not found anything that really helps.

Besides Moclobemide which has given me some mild emotions back.

Most drugs seem to give me a haze of euphoria/energy, but no empathy/emotion.

 

I'd almost say we were sociopaths/psychopaths but i have compassion for people, even though i cannot feel it.



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#3 Michael Rian

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 03:01 AM

Feels like im reading what i typed. I'm interested in the replies but going by my research i have not found anything that really helps.

Besides Moclobemide which has given me some mild emotions back.

Most drugs seem to give me a haze of euphoria/energy, but no empathy/emotion.

 

I'd almost say we were sociopaths/psychopaths but i have compassion for people, even though i cannot feel it.

 

I feel your pain man.  I do feel some emotions but I cannot express them, I feel so detached from reality, its like watching someone else go through the motions of life.  I am starting to think that this may be a major depression even though I am not depressed at all.  I just finished a school, got a new job, things are going great.  Its just my mental health that is going badly.  I am considering trying a stimulant or some sort of anti-depressant, Not SSRI ever again, but maybe some other type.  Anyways, thank you for the reply, I hope we can find some answers to our questions soon.  Best of luck to you and dont give up researching!  Take care,



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#4 Duchykins

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 03:45 AM

Have you tried bupropion? Mucuna pruriens? D-phenylalanine, tyrosine? Zinc? Theanine, relora? Things that help with dopamine (and are not agonists). Alas, our choices are few.

Low dose lithium at bedtime?

I would avoid the amphetamine stims if that's what you had in mind, not only because of your symptoms but because of your history of addiction. Even people without abuse histories struggle with those drugs. Phenylpiracetam, noopept, citicoline, these can increase dopamine receptor density with regular use.


Theanine and relora are kind of magical to me, on the OTC side of the fence. Prescription-wise, I had to go back and get a specific generic brand of bupropion, 150mg SR Mylan. Only thing that's ever done more good than harm to me. So far. New doc wants to give me samples of Abilify, but let me go read about it first, and the literature looks pretty cool, even kills irritability in autistics, the downside is that it's a unique partial dopamine and partial serotonin agonist so that's making me shy away from it at the moment.

Relora, phenylpiracetam helped immensely with my anhedonia. It's too bad I never got around to taking phenylpiracetam more than a couple times a week, and I'm off it at the moment. Sticking with relora though. And piracetam. No choline. Actually considering the anticholinergics you were on for those years, you may want to try a racetam WITHOUT any choline or anything that helps make acetylcholine, or anything that inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine.

You guys are not sociopaths, the hallmark of that is a pattern of lack of respect for the rights of others, and obviously can include violation of others, and this isn't limited to violence but lesser violations such as someone's privacy, trust or personal space. Things like anhedonia, subdued emotions, flat or blunted affect, out of touch with reality, these are more closely associated with schizo-related issues and of course depression. This would obviously include things like psychotic depression.
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#5 Michael Rian

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Posted 23 July 2014 - 11:34 PM

Have you tried bupropion? Mucuna pruriens? D-phenylalanine, tyrosine? Zinc? Theanine, relora? Things that help with dopamine (and are not agonists). Alas, our choices are few.

Low dose lithium at bedtime?

I would avoid the amphetamine stims if that's what you had in mind, not only because of your symptoms but because of your history of addiction. Even people without abuse histories struggle with those drugs. Phenylpiracetam, noopept, citicoline, these can increase dopamine receptor density with regular use.


Theanine and relora are kind of magical to me, on the OTC side of the fence. Prescription-wise, I had to go back and get a specific generic brand of bupropion, 150mg SR Mylan. Only thing that's ever done more good than harm to me. So far. New doc wants to give me samples of Abilify, but let me go read about it first, and the literature looks pretty cool, even kills irritability in autistics, the downside is that it's a unique partial dopamine and partial serotonin agonist so that's making me shy away from it at the moment.

Relora, phenylpiracetam helped immensely with my anhedonia. It's too bad I never got around to taking phenylpiracetam more than a couple times a week, and I'm off it at the moment. Sticking with relora though. And piracetam. No choline. Actually considering the anticholinergics you were on for those years, you may want to try a racetam WITHOUT any choline or anything that helps make acetylcholine, or anything that inhibits the breakdown of acetylcholine.

You guys are not sociopaths, the hallmark of that is a pattern of lack of respect for the rights of others, and obviously can include violation of others, and this isn't limited to violence but lesser violations such as someone's privacy, trust or personal space. Things like anhedonia, subdued emotions, flat or blunted affect, out of touch with reality, these are more closely associated with schizo-related issues and of course depression. This would obviously include things like psychotic depression.

 

Hello, Thank you for the reply,

 

Yes, I have tried a few of those mentioned.  Bupropion made me feel much worse and much more cloudy thinking.  Theanine made me feel more out of it, Added to depersonalization feelings.  I believe I get more than enough Zinc through my diet. Havent tried D-Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Relora, so perhaps I will look into those.  Citicoline didn't do much for me after using it for a while, didnt notice any effects/difference.

 

Like Ive said Ive tried most the basic suggestions like racetams and other nootropics with little or no effect.  I have tried SSRIs, Benzos, and NDRI, which all made me feel worse.  

 

I think I have damaged my system with MDMA, cocaine, alcohol, and cannabis use, all while on the SSRI/benzo combo for so many years.  Plus 10 years of smoking ciggs.

 

I have lead a very healthy life for the past few years, a total reversal of my old habits and lifestyle.  I have been clean and sober off of all substances mentioned above.  I have been using lions mane, alcar, fish oil, NAC, Sacrosine, ect ect ect with little or no effect whatsoever.  I search and search the Longecity forums for similar topics and Ive tried other suggestions mentioned, different nootropics, meditation, diets, ect.  I just dont know what to do anymore.  I dont even have a diagnosis or any idea whats wrong with me after years of doctors visits and tests, other than anxiety and depression... which I havent been diagnosed, just told I have symptoms of.. and I should be on SSRIs.... baloney!  I have ZERO anxiety and I am satisfied with how my life is going other than my mental problems. 

 

Sorry to rant, I really appreciate all the help and opinions on this matter.  I have been on a waiting list to see another Doctor to get a second opinion or something, but thats been taking all year.  I have no family and little friends so I just feel so lost.

 

In any matter, thank you for letting me voice my struggles on this wonderful community and thank you for the suggestions, I did not mean to come off sounding rude or ungrateful at all. 

 

Also, I have been on LDN Low Dose Naltrexone for the past months, which has done wonders for my physical health, but hasnt touched my mental health. 

 

I will try and do a update later on.  Thanks again.



#6 medievil

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:38 AM

 

Relora, phenylpiracetam helped immensely with my anhedonia.

You are VERY lucky, most people need much stronger drugs from anhedonia, ive BARELY read any succes storys involving anything else unless the anhedonia is a symption of depression, was that in your case?



#7 Duchykins

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:00 PM

I believe it was/is part of depression, but also combined with my autistic tendency to have narrow interests and get immediately bored with everything else. I'm being evalutated for ASD, and I can already tell they're going to say I either have Asperger's/ASD or schizoid personality disorder. Those two things were used while I was taking bupropion,after I had been taking it for months, and the relora especially complemented the bupropion well. My anhedonia isn't quite 'cured' but it's definitely an huge improvement over two months ago. I wouldn't quite call it success story but better than bupropion alone or with lorazepam.

My new doc wants me to add Abilify to the regimen, perhaps to control irritability, which for the past month only relora made a significant difference out of all the things I tried. I told him I wanted off the ambien and he suggested trazodone for it (after I said no to lunesta), I also suggested gabapentin because of past positive experience using it as a sleep aid, and he said he would do it. So actually right now I'm still trying to decide which of the three to add to the cocktail, leaning toward trazodone.

This stack make me calm and happy, and it lasts until about late afternoon:

6-7am w/o food

bupropion sr 150mg
magnesium malate
potassium citrate
potassium bitartrate
relora (250mg)
theanine
activated B complex (swanson's, the lower dose one)
extra P5P, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, methylcobalamin (varies as needed)
lysine
citrulline malate
d-ribose
micronized creatine
piracetam
shilajit
probiotic

(piracetam, d-ribose, citrulline malate, potassium bitartrate are taken in small 1/8 tsp doses I take several times over the day... the relora needs to be taken three times not two)

8-9am w/breakfast

coQ10
D3
K2 w/nattokinase
Albion multimineral
C
chia seed
hemp & flax seed

Days when I have kombucha are very good days. Very good stuff but expensive to have every day.

Last couple of days I swapped out theanine for picamilon. Frikken awesome, smiles came more effortlessly, more patience with my daughter, more interest in what she doing, got a very mild warmth which I liked, but I wonder if I can take picamilon every day? I wonder if I can give it to her too... she is speech delayed, showing other signs of autism and is scheduled to see a pediatric neurologist next month. Recently I've been experimenting with stuff on myself to see if I could try small amounts to her, right now I only occasionally give her piracetam, lysine, magnesium, B complex, sometimes theanine with her daily zyrtec and gummy vitamin.

Lol, sorry for wandering off topic.

Edited by Duchykins, 24 July 2014 - 03:04 PM.


#8 medievil

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:15 PM

 

I believe it was/is part of depression

I tought so, if its not its only possible to treat with directly rewarding drugs, a lot of ppl critise my suggestions saying I only go for the easy fast acting solutions, but for pretty much everyone that has pure anhedonia only those things work.



#9 Michael Rian

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:20 PM

Would you guys have any suggestions for medications to ask about with my Doctor next visit?  I was thinking of asking about a low dose Stimulant or another type of anti-depressant.  I am just unsure my options, I really didnt like being on the SSRI and I felt that it did more damage than good.   But I am open to all suggestions, I just want my life to feel more like a life, not this half unconscious dream state. 



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#10 Duchykins

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:24 PM

Anhedonia doesn't happen in a vacuum. It's part of a larger issue, whether psychiatric or medical, and treatment of it varies with whatever the cause is. I don't know what you mean by 'pure anhedonia' or 'fast acting solutions' but if they involve some of the typical dopaminergics then I can see why others took issue with that.

#11 medievil

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:27 PM

Pure anhedonia is anhedonia without any depression and possibly other mental health issues, this mostly relates to shizoprhenia, we can call this "mini schizophrenia" where theres only a negative symption without any positives, AVPD and ADHD are examples of this.



#12 Duchykins

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:30 PM

Pure anhedonia is anhedonia without any depression and possibly other mental health issues, this mostly relates to shizoprhenia, we can call this "mini schizophrenia" where theres only a negative symption without any positives, AVPD and ADHD are examples of this.


You just confirmed what I said.

#13 Duchykins

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:38 PM

Would you guys have any suggestions for medications to ask about with my Doctor next visit? I was thinking of asking about a low dose Stimulant or another type of anti-depressant. I am just unsure my options, I really didnt like being on the SSRI and I felt that it did more damage than good. But I am open to all suggestions, I just want my life to feel more like a life, not this half unconscious dream state.


I'd probably come off as biased but you can suggest bupropion, which is a DNRI and mild stimulant. I also did pretty bad with and SSRI and tricyclic, but the bupropion was the first that kicked my ass out of the house. Only the Mylan generic though, Watson and Sandoz generics made me crazy because they were releasing the drug too quickly. Unfortunately we don't too many choices outside the serotonergics, especially if you cut out the drugs inappropriate for long term use.

#14 Michael Rian

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:46 PM

 

Would you guys have any suggestions for medications to ask about with my Doctor next visit? I was thinking of asking about a low dose Stimulant or another type of anti-depressant. I am just unsure my options, I really didnt like being on the SSRI and I felt that it did more damage than good. But I am open to all suggestions, I just want my life to feel more like a life, not this half unconscious dream state.


I'd probably come off as biased but you can suggest bupropion, which is a DNRI and mild stimulant. I also did pretty bad with and SSRI and tricyclic, but the bupropion was the first that kicked my ass out of the house. Only the Mylan generic though, Watson and Sandoz generics made me crazy because they were releasing the drug too quickly. Unfortunately we don't too many choices outside the serotonergics, especially if you cut out the drugs inappropriate for long term use.

 

 

Yeah, as Ive stated above, I have tried Bupropion and it made my issues worse, cognitive impairment especially.  Thanks anyways.
 



#15 medievil

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:50 PM

What are drugs inapropiate for long term use? DXM and memantine turns most of those into long term solutions.



#16 medievil

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 03:56 PM

 

'fast acting solutions' but if they involve some of the typical dopaminergics then I can see why others took issue with that.

People shouldn't take issues with that if its one of the only working options, recommending against them from the start isolates ppl away from what works and puts them on a long tern path of never finding a solution.

 

Im very open for non addictive solutions for anhedonia and id appreciate all positive anecdotes definatly, but they just aren't there.



#17 Duchykins

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:33 PM


People shouldn't take issues with that if its one of the only working options, recommending against them from the start isolates ppl away from what works and puts them on a long tern path of never finding a solution.


But are they *really* working?

#18 Duchykins

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:43 PM

Yeah, as Ive stated above, I have tried Bupropion and it made my issues worse, cognitive impairment especially. Thanks anyways.


Oh, forgive me, I forgot.

Can you tolerate tyrosine well?

I ask because when I was trying to take myself off of the Watson bupropion because it was making me crazy, I used d-phenylalanine and I was able to stop the bupriopion cold without any withdrawal symptoms for several weeks - which means the d-phenylalanine was psychoactive and supported dopamine enough to avoid dopamine crash symptoms. The only thing that stopped me was the d-phenyl causing migraines because I am sensitive to tyramine which is made from tyrosine. If not for the migraines I would still be using d-phenyl. Not dl-phenylalanine, just d-.

Prescription wise, Abilify is something my doc wants me to try. It's an atypical antipsychotic, partial dopamine and partial serotonin agonist. I don't think I'll do it for certain reasons, one being it's expensive.

#19 Michael Rian

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 09:17 PM

 

Yeah, as Ive stated above, I have tried Bupropion and it made my issues worse, cognitive impairment especially. Thanks anyways.


Oh, forgive me, I forgot.

Can you tolerate tyrosine well?

I ask because when I was trying to take myself off of the Watson bupropion because it was making me crazy, I used d-phenylalanine and I was able to stop the bupriopion cold without any withdrawal symptoms for several weeks - which means the d-phenylalanine was psychoactive and supported dopamine enough to avoid dopamine crash symptoms. The only thing that stopped me was the d-phenyl causing migraines because I am sensitive to tyramine which is made from tyrosine. If not for the migraines I would still be using d-phenyl. Not dl-phenylalanine, just d-.

Prescription wise, Abilify is something my doc wants me to try. It's an atypical antipsychotic, partial dopamine and partial serotonin agonist. I don't think I'll do it for certain reasons, one being it's expensive.

 

 

Haha no worries,

 

I will have to try Tyrosine some day, I do not know how it will effect me. 

 

I just want to be able to read a sentence and actually absorb the content, I miss reading books like I did before, Now it is so hard to remember much.  I had a theory that I was self-medicating a lot of underlying issues that I didnt know about for so many years.  Perhaps I deal with some sort of depression, add, slow cognitive tempo, or something and I was using all those substances unknowingly to feel better?  Or else I have just done a lot of damage to my system over the years and its going to take way more than 3+ years of sobriety to recover?  Who knows.  I am aware of a lot of supplements and over-the-counter medications, but I would like to hear anyones suggestions for prescription medications please.  Maybe an antidepressant + a low dose stimulant would help me.  I have some modafinil, prescribed as a test, but it didn't do much for me at all.  Anyways, I appreciate you guys adding to the discussion and sharing your views and stories!  I dont feel as alone whenever I come on Longecity! :)  Thank you


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#20 pheanix997

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:22 PM

 

 

Yeah, as Ive stated above, I have tried Bupropion and it made my issues worse, cognitive impairment especially. Thanks anyways.


Oh, forgive me, I forgot.

Can you tolerate tyrosine well?

I ask because when I was trying to take myself off of the Watson bupropion because it was making me crazy, I used d-phenylalanine and I was able to stop the bupriopion cold without any withdrawal symptoms for several weeks - which means the d-phenylalanine was psychoactive and supported dopamine enough to avoid dopamine crash symptoms. The only thing that stopped me was the d-phenyl causing migraines because I am sensitive to tyramine which is made from tyrosine. If not for the migraines I would still be using d-phenyl. Not dl-phenylalanine, just d-.

Prescription wise, Abilify is something my doc wants me to try. It's an atypical antipsychotic, partial dopamine and partial serotonin agonist. I don't think I'll do it for certain reasons, one being it's expensive.

 

 

Haha no worries,

 

I will have to try Tyrosine some day, I do not know how it will effect me. 

 

I just want to be able to read a sentence and actually absorb the content, I miss reading books like I did before, Now it is so hard to remember much.  I had a theory that I was self-medicating a lot of underlying issues that I didnt know about for so many years.  Perhaps I deal with some sort of depression, add, slow cognitive tempo, or something and I was using all those substances unknowingly to feel better?  Or else I have just done a lot of damage to my system over the years and its going to take way more than 3+ years of sobriety to recover?  Who knows.  I am aware of a lot of supplements and over-the-counter medications, but I would like to hear anyones suggestions for prescription medications please.  Maybe an antidepressant + a low dose stimulant would help me.  I have some modafinil, prescribed as a test, but it didn't do much for me at all.  Anyways, I appreciate you guys adding to the discussion and sharing your views and stories!  I dont feel as alone whenever I come on Longecity! :)  Thank you

 

I can relate to your initial post regarding the depersonalization feelings without actual anxiety. I went through this period after I got off SSRI's after 2 years. I went through a 9 months periods of feeling very, very tired, zoned out, foggy, fatigued, cognitively slow - basically everything you stated. It's hard to know the cause of that. Maybe it was the SSRI that did the damage, but I don't think so. For me anyway. I think my body just kind of reverted to its pre-medicated stage MINUS the anxiety (because I learnt to overcome that through other strategies). It's possible I never truly noticed the existing depersonalization already inside me because of the heavy anxiety and tension, which covered it up. The way I see it, when I went through the depersonalization phase, it was my body essentially recovering from a lifetime of anxiety and stress and poor health habits.

 

In your case, you will also need to go through that recovery phase, considering your past history with drug abuse which may have covering up and complicating underlying psychological dynamics. So your body is kind of letting down now... whereas before you were probably trying to frantically escape your painful feelings, e.g. through drug abuse. You're clearly on the right path, and you'll definitely recover from this (no doubt in my mind, considering all the avenues of health you're hitting), but there's a reason you're going through it. 

 

Think of it like this. In the past, you would probably consider yourself psychologically "unhealthy" given all that you mentioned. But now you're climbing back up to baseline. Your diet is healthier. Your lifestyle is better. Your minds in a better place, but your still reaching "baseline" health. Where you seem to WANT to go is to be psychologically/ cognitively "healthy". And you can get there, but you probably have to go through the burnout stage first.  You can't skip from heavy drug abuse to psychologically healthy... your body and mind have tallied up debts and there making you pay it up now. 

 

That said, going back on an SSRI has helped me climb out of the worst part of the depersonalization... but it's still lingering there some days nonetheless. So you're right, an antidepressant will probably help.. whichever kind that may be. 

 

Edit: I forgot to mention how much I identify with the "not feeling fully awake" during the day. This has led me to getting sleep tests done, which found nothing. The SSRI has surprisingly helped this, though I didn't expect it too because in the past it made me feel more fatigued. So this might confirm the idea that serotonin plays a role in feelings of social/ emotional/ societal comfort... whereas a lack of serotonin relates to feelings of disconnectedness. The symptoms you're describing seem to be related to the negatives symptoms of schizophrenia, and isn't schizophrenia thought to be caused by excess of dopamine, which would in turn be rock-bottom serotonin?

 

So I think the problem (in my case anyway) is that when I went off the SSRI, my brain was so dependent on that outside source that it stopped naturally producing serotonin, which caused the feelings of depersonalization and made me feel so "out of it." Now, when I read about post-ssri problems, people described experiencing the same thing after stopping SSRI's. From what people said, apparently it takes the brain a long time to start producing its own levels of serotonin again... the general time frame given was 9 months. But since I was feeling terrible 9 months in post-SSRI, I decided to jump back on. 

 

Consider googling "SSRI protracted withdrawl" and check out forums like Paxil Progress and you'll find a lot of people dealing with the same issues. Good luck. 


Edited by pheanix997, 24 July 2014 - 11:35 PM.

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#21 drg

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:23 AM

Yea it could be depression. If you have tried all the conventional antidepressants there is still a wide range of off label things you can try... pramipexole for example, though I have never tried it. Also you should read about NSI-189 it is an antidepressant and seems to work well for most people though it is not through the drug pipeline.


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#22 Michael Rian

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 01:43 AM

 

 

 

Yeah, as Ive stated above, I have tried Bupropion and it made my issues worse, cognitive impairment especially. Thanks anyways.


Oh, forgive me, I forgot.

Can you tolerate tyrosine well?

I ask because when I was trying to take myself off of the Watson bupropion because it was making me crazy, I used d-phenylalanine and I was able to stop the bupriopion cold without any withdrawal symptoms for several weeks - which means the d-phenylalanine was psychoactive and supported dopamine enough to avoid dopamine crash symptoms. The only thing that stopped me was the d-phenyl causing migraines because I am sensitive to tyramine which is made from tyrosine. If not for the migraines I would still be using d-phenyl. Not dl-phenylalanine, just d-.

Prescription wise, Abilify is something my doc wants me to try. It's an atypical antipsychotic, partial dopamine and partial serotonin agonist. I don't think I'll do it for certain reasons, one being it's expensive.

 

 

Haha no worries,

 

I will have to try Tyrosine some day, I do not know how it will effect me. 

 

I just want to be able to read a sentence and actually absorb the content, I miss reading books like I did before, Now it is so hard to remember much.  I had a theory that I was self-medicating a lot of underlying issues that I didnt know about for so many years.  Perhaps I deal with some sort of depression, add, slow cognitive tempo, or something and I was using all those substances unknowingly to feel better?  Or else I have just done a lot of damage to my system over the years and its going to take way more than 3+ years of sobriety to recover?  Who knows.  I am aware of a lot of supplements and over-the-counter medications, but I would like to hear anyones suggestions for prescription medications please.  Maybe an antidepressant + a low dose stimulant would help me.  I have some modafinil, prescribed as a test, but it didn't do much for me at all.  Anyways, I appreciate you guys adding to the discussion and sharing your views and stories!  I dont feel as alone whenever I come on Longecity! :)  Thank you

 

I can relate to your initial post regarding the depersonalization feelings without actual anxiety. I went through this period after I got off SSRI's after 2 years. I went through a 9 months periods of feeling very, very tired, zoned out, foggy, fatigued, cognitively slow - basically everything you stated. It's hard to know the cause of that. Maybe it was the SSRI that did the damage, but I don't think so. For me anyway. I think my body just kind of reverted to its pre-medicated stage MINUS the anxiety (because I learnt to overcome that through other strategies). It's possible I never truly noticed the existing depersonalization already inside me because of the heavy anxiety and tension, which covered it up. The way I see it, when I went through the depersonalization phase, it was my body essentially recovering from a lifetime of anxiety and stress and poor health habits.

 

In your case, you will also need to go through that recovery phase, considering your past history with drug abuse which may have covering up and complicating underlying psychological dynamics. So your body is kind of letting down now... whereas before you were probably trying to frantically escape your painful feelings, e.g. through drug abuse. You're clearly on the right path, and you'll definitely recover from this (no doubt in my mind, considering all the avenues of health you're hitting), but there's a reason you're going through it. 

 

Think of it like this. In the past, you would probably consider yourself psychologically "unhealthy" given all that you mentioned. But now you're climbing back up to baseline. Your diet is healthier. Your lifestyle is better. Your minds in a better place, but your still reaching "baseline" health. Where you seem to WANT to go is to be psychologically/ cognitively "healthy". And you can get there, but you probably have to go through the burnout stage first.  You can't skip from heavy drug abuse to psychologically healthy... your body and mind have tallied up debts and there making you pay it up now. 

 

That said, going back on an SSRI has helped me climb out of the worst part of the depersonalization... but it's still lingering there some days nonetheless. So you're right, an antidepressant will probably help.. whichever kind that may be. 

 

Edit: I forgot to mention how much I identify with the "not feeling fully awake" during the day. This has led me to getting sleep tests done, which found nothing. The SSRI has surprisingly helped this, though I didn't expect it too because in the past it made me feel more fatigued. So this might confirm the idea that serotonin plays a role in feelings of social/ emotional/ societal comfort... whereas a lack of serotonin relates to feelings of disconnectedness. The symptoms you're describing seem to be related to the negatives symptoms of schizophrenia, and isn't schizophrenia thought to be caused by excess of dopamine, which would in turn be rock-bottom serotonin?

 

So I think the problem (in my case anyway) is that when I went off the SSRI, my brain was so dependent on that outside source that it stopped naturally producing serotonin, which caused the feelings of depersonalization and made me feel so "out of it." Now, when I read about post-ssri problems, people described experiencing the same thing after stopping SSRI's. From what people said, apparently it takes the brain a long time to start producing its own levels of serotonin again... the general time frame given was 9 months. But since I was feeling terrible 9 months in post-SSRI, I decided to jump back on. 

 

Consider googling "SSRI protracted withdrawl" and check out forums like Paxil Progress and you'll find a lot of people dealing with the same issues. Good luck. 

 

 

Wow, Thank you so very much for reaching out like this.  After reading your response, I feel hope that I can and will improve.   I really appreciate you sharing your personal story with me, It sounds eerily similar to my experiences.  I will definitely check out those "SSRI protracted withdrawal" searches and websites!  I've enjoyed your detailed response very much, but forgive my short reply, I am just headed out the door.  I will be sure to update this thread again, since I believe there are many other people dealing with the same issues as we have, who are also members of longecity.  Again, thank you for the comforting words and I wish you all the best in your life.  Cheers
 



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#23 Michael Rian

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 04:22 AM

So I have made yet another appointment with my Doctor to discuss medications.  As much as I dont want to ever take an SSRI again, I am getting very desperate.  I am going to try and make a small list of medications that I can discuss with him, and research online first so I am prepared.  I will update this thread once I see my Doctor on Monday.  I know it might not be interesting to some people, for me to be updating, but at least I have a personal log of what I am going through and the effects of my trials.  Thanks to everyone yet again for their input. I wish you all, all the best.  Take care



#24 jaiho

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 04:53 AM

I'd personally try moclobemide + selegiline before an SSRI again.

 

If that fails, I'd try an SSRI + Nortriptyline.

 

If that fails, an SNRI like Effexor.

 

If that fails,

Irreversible MAOIs such as Nardil / Parnate


Edited by jaiho, 27 July 2014 - 04:54 AM.


#25 ZHMike

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 05:02 AM

Hey Jaiho.. Im not doubting or being sarcastic.. But what would an ssri and a tricyclic like nortriptyline do? Nortrip is an ssri and snri.. Why not just use the snri?

#26 jaiho

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 05:04 AM

Less side effects & withdrawal symptoms. An effective combo. I'm abit of a follower of Dr Gillman's work. http://www.psychotropical.com



#27 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:08 AM

Wait, wait, you guys, hold on the serotonergics for a minute.

Rian, in your OP you said you were also on advian for 4 years. Did you mean ativan/lorazepam or some other drug?

If you meant ativan, then that benzo could actually be your biggest problem. How long has it been since you got off that 4-year regimen?

#28 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:15 AM

http://en.wikipedia....zodiazepine_use

#29 Michael Rian

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

Wait, wait, you guys, hold on the serotonergics for a minute.

Rian, in your OP you said you were also on advian for 4 years. Did you mean ativan/lorazepam or some other drug?

If you meant ativan, then that benzo could actually be your biggest problem. How long has it been since you got off that 4-year regimen?

 

I was on ativan*, sorry I always called it adivan for some reason, bad memory from ativan haha.  I was on it for about 4 years, but ive been off of it for about 2.5 years.  I still feel dumbed down and cognitively impaired from those drugs.  I abused ativan with alcohol a lot back then though, so perhaps I have done a lot more damage.  I hope I can recover some of my mental clarity some day.  I eat very healthy, exercise everyday, and sleep well, so I am hoping maybe in a few more years I will recover a bit, but I feel stuck these days, Ive come to a point of progress in my life where I dont seem to be moving up anymore.  Maybe the ativan abuse is permanent.  Anyways, thanks for catching that Duchykins



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#30 Duchykins

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 04:44 PM

I've read stories of people who took a benzo for about 6 months and were 'never the same' for several years afterward. This shit scares me to and it's why I always refused to fill any benzo prescription I was given.

I bet if you take this benzo concern to your doc he/she will disregard it. Permanent and semi-permanent damage from benzos (and antipsychotics) is a matter of huge debate in the medical communities. I think pharma companies are wielding some influence over our doctors and research into the matter.





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