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  1. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to gandolfication in Today 3   
    Oh, okay, no problem.
    I think my older brother is reading or recently red that book.
    he summed one broad conclusion for me.  I asked if we really know exactly why (scientifically etc.) why we do sleep...I'd always read we don't, and he said, per the book:  no.  But the real question is why we don't sleep more, when sleep makes EVERYTHING ELSE better.
    Point taken.
  2. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from Tears_Always in Today 3   
    I completely understand the feeling. However, you have a fan club to consider ;) I'm reading " Why We Sleep" by neuroscientist  Matthew Walker. (There are YouTube videos too). Meds, mental illness, and sleep interweave in complex ways, as you know. I just want you to feel better. 
    (Didn't mean to imply apnea could be detected by bloodwork; 2 separate thoughts. Tried to take shortcut ... I'm slow on the phone)
  3. Sad
    uncertain1 reacted to JD4010 in Today 3   
    Ditto. I cancelled two procedures I was supposed to have done earlier this year. I also have a mouth full of broken teeth that ain't gonna get fixed. Who cares? I certainly don't.
  4. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from Tears_Always in Today 3   
    @gandolfication,  when's the last time you had a physical with blood work? I recall  @Sophy suggesting some tests, e.g. thyroid function. You're young, but is there any chance you could have sleep apnea? I just has a temporary  crown "sanded down" and slept past 4:00 a.m. for the 1st time in over a month. 
  5. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from JD4010 in Today 3   
    Very glad you got a bit of relief. I hope it goes well today and that you don't push yourself too hard. (((hugs)))
  6. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from JD4010 in Today 3   
    @gandolfication glad you're here. 
  7. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from JD4010 in Today 3   
    @gandolfication,  when's the last time you had a physical with blood work? I recall  @Sophy suggesting some tests, e.g. thyroid function. You're young, but is there any chance you could have sleep apnea? I just has a temporary  crown "sanded down" and slept past 4:00 a.m. for the 1st time in over a month. 
  8. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to gandolfication in Today 3   
    I prepared a bit, went down to a federal hearing in Cincinnati, and we won 2 of the 3 issues, with the 3rd to be determined in 3-4 months when the government processes the transcript and makes a decision.
    That was pretty unexpected and feels good.  I still can't seem to wake up these days, but it feels good.  And feeling good about anything is really saying something.  I'll take it like a bandit.
  9. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from Sophy in Today 3   
    Very glad you got a bit of relief. I hope it goes well today and that you don't push yourself too hard. (((hugs)))
  10. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from gandolfication in Today 3   
    Very glad you got a bit of relief. I hope it goes well today and that you don't push yourself too hard. (((hugs)))
  11. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to LonelyHiker in Today 3   
    Thanks for letting us know you're ok my friend...I am sorry you are in such a bad spot 😟
    F.uck this disease..
  12. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from gandolfication in Today 3   
    @gandolfication glad you're here. 
  13. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from Sophy in Today 3   
    @gandolfication glad you're here. 
  14. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to gandolfication in Today 3   
    Hey thanks everyone (and sorry I guess too).  I really didn't mean to alarm anyone.  I'm just having trouble coping.  With everything.  Work.  Home.  $.  Emotions.  Relationships.  Anxiety I'm struggling to deal with what seems like every moment.  Despair.  Loss of hope.  Everything, everyone here is intimately familiar with.
    I don't really think I have means for wherewithal to take any final action...don't really have much of a plan right now either.  I don't have means around the house.  At work, I'm not sure if or how I can access the roof.  I feel like it.  I want to.  But I don't think I am close.  I wish I were.  I really wish I were.
    I did see that the previous Today 2 thread was suspended, closed for further replies, I presume because there was concern.  Apologies again, I really didn't intend that.  I was just expressing the way I felt and feel.  Which is awful.  No one here needs it explained - you all know.  (because this is a new thread, I'm cc'ing those of you I can think of now from the old one)
    Anyway, thank you all.  I got a number of messages, and even calls - and thank you all - I tried to respond to everyone who did.  If I missed anyone, please know how deeply I appreciate your concern and empathy.  I have been having trouble managing everything lately, and in a spiral I'm trying to get some control of.
    Thank you
    @uncertain1, @LonelyHiker, @Sophy, @JD4010
  15. Thanks
    uncertain1 reacted to Saliency in I am doing so much better   
    Thank you everyone for your kind words. You support and encouragement really means a lot to me.
    Hi Atra,
    I essentially followed the Ashton Manual for tapering off the Valium. You should be able to easily access this by doing a Google search for "Ashton Manual". It should be one of the first results. It's essentially a free, online instruction manual from a university professor who has studied the topic and helped patients through withdrawal.
    After I quit alcohol completely, I started on 10mg of Valium per day, 5mg in the morning and 5mg at night. I then dropped my dose by 1mg every ten days until I got down to 4mg of Valium per day (2mg morning and 2mg at night). Once I got down to the 4mg per day, I went a bit slower and reduced my dose by 1mg every 14 days. I stopped taking the Valium completely after I had taken the final 1mg per day for 14 days.The Ashton Manual recommends dropping the dose of Valium by no more than 1mg every 7 days, at the fastest. But you have to adjust your schedule to your own symptoms, so the Ashton Manual shouldn't be taken as Gospel. It is a very effective and helpful guide, however. A lot of people end up finding out about it when they want to taper off their benzos and it's relied on by people all over the world.
    The general consensus is that if you're tapering off benzodiazepines, you need to give up alcohol as this acts on the same receptors. You could probably start drinking alcohol again after you're off the benzos, but you should wait at least a few months after the end of your taper. I plan to avoid it in the long-term for a plethora of reasons. You should also check what other medications you're on and make sure none of these medications act on GABA. Most antidepressants are safe as they do not act on GABA, but a lot of the anticonvulsants do act on GABA in some way, even if it's not via the same mechanism as the benzodiazepines. These anticonvulsants are commonly used to treat bipolar disorder and some other mental illnesses, and they include: topiramate, gabapentin, pregabalin, lamotrigine and sodium valproate. Obviously if you're prescribed these for long-term use, don't stop taking them when you begin the benzo taper. You should speak to your doctor and you should only be tapering off one drug at a time. The reason I mention these drugs though is that a lot of people want to just jump straight from their benzo to one of these drugs instead of doing a proper taper and having a washout period before they start new meds.
    In addition to medications, you should avoid taking any herbal supplements for anxiety, as a lot of these affect GABA and act on the same receptors as the benzos. These supplements include Valerian, Kava, Gotu Kola, Ashwagandha and maybe Bacopa. I say maybe because the actual pharmacology of a lot of herbal supplements isn't totally understood. However, vitamin and mineral supplements are generally safe. I used magnesium to help during my taper and continue to take it. A lot of people swear by magnesium supplements, but the worst they can do is not work for you. It won't disrupt the tapering process.
    In terms of withdrawal symptoms, I had constant suicidal thoughts, anxiety so severe I couldn't read, constant crying spells, insomnia, rapid heart beat, weight loss and I couldn't control my emotions. It was really awful. But once I gave up the alcohol completely and started tapering the Valium properly, all these symptoms started to dissipate. I had a couple of random crying spells near the end of my taper, but overall it was a pretty smooth process. I took 10mg Lexapro in the morning and 15mg of mirtazapine and 2mg-3mg melatonin at night. Mirtazapine and melatonin really helped with sleep and got rid of the insomnia. Lexapro helped reduce my anxiety and depression. I also took propranolol and prazosin as needed for the physical symptoms of anxiety, like the rapid heart beat, sweating and shaking. Apart from these meds, magnesium and a multivitamin were the only other things I relied on.
    If you educate yourself about the process and what to expect, set up a decent tapering schedule, tell your loved ones about what you're going through and find a supportive doctor (if you don't have one already) to help you through the process and monitor your symptoms, it doesn't have to be a horrible process. Make sure you get all of these things sorted to the best of your ability before you actually start the tapering process to avoid giving yourself more anxiety. A lot of people still manage to work and/or go to school while they're tapering, as long as they're doing a proper taper.
    The final thing I will say is that other than finding the Ashton Manual online and reading/understanding that, you should stay away from all the online Benzo Withdrawal communities. I know some people do find these online forums/communities to be very helpful, but they just gave me more anxiety because they were full of horror stories and worst case scenarios. You need to avoid all this negativity while withdrawing because your heightened anxiety will trick you into thinking that your withdrawal will be a worst case scenario. People are highly sensitive to suggestion when withdrawing due to their high anxiety levels. The mind is powerful and can trick your body into having worse withdrawal symptoms. 
    Sorry for the super long post, but I hope this helps you - if you are planning to taper yourself, I think you might have just meant this question as a general query - or anyone else who is having a problem with the benzos and wants to come off them. Obviously keep in mind that I didn't study Medicine or any Health Science degrees so I'm not a professional. So talk to your doctor (or at least a doctor) about your withdrawal plan. I had a great doctor that I saw regularly during withdrawal and I highly recommend finding a doctor like this. You will need a doctor to provide the prescriptions for Valium in any case. The other information I've provided is based on my own experience and the experience of others that I gathered during my research.
  16. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to extendedrelease in I Just Need Someone To Talk To That Has Anxiety   
    Try asking for something just for the anxiety, like Klonopin or Xanax.  If you get a low dose it can take the edge off the anxiety without any worry about getting hooked on it. Exercise is the best medicine for both depression and anxiety but I know from personal experience that is easier said than done. I hope you are doing better today.
  17. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from Sophy in Today II   
    How frustrating. .. as if you don't have enough to do. On a better note...what a sweet letter to daddy from your eldest! 
  18. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to lonelyforeigner in How Do You Feel Right Now #10   
    Well said my friend! Parents posting here may not be perfect parents but the fact that they come here shows that they care and want to improve themselves and the lives of their children. No matter how many mistakes someone makes as a parent the most important thing to a child is parental love, everything else is secondary. Bad parents are the ones who don't care, the ones who don't love their children, the ones who make their children feel like they are worthless and don't matter. 
  19. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to gandolfication in Today II   
    I had left a note of encouragement for my oldest this morning, who's going through some stuff.

    I didn't expect this from her younger sister to me.  
    The last few lines say:
    "You are my spikey bear. You are one of the best things in my life. I hope I am too for you," and then a poem:
    "You take me places everywhere & what is always in my hair.  R & S forever"  

    Her hair is a beautiful, ridiculous hot mess of blond curls that highlights per sprightly personality perfectly.  When she was born and began to grow, because we were so enchanted, tickled by and did not know where she got her blond hair from, we always told her it was from the mail man, a statement she would repeat to others.  She's the best.
    How lovely.  I have lovely kids and people in my life.  I need to remember it, as I'm pulling another late nighter with two briefs due tomorrow.  Ag

  20. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from Sophy in Today II   
    I'm not sure there can be, will be, or needs to be an insight to make the relationship better. By writing that letter to your wife, you changed your *behavior* and maybe that's the right way to start. 
    On the Cymbalta debate...please don't stop or start these cold turkey. I seem to recall you did that with Lamictal, risking the possibility of seizures. ( please don't get upset with me if I sound like I'm in "mom" mode...it's related to "friend" mode. Sinus headache is wearing on me)
    Can I wrap love in a hug?  (love)
  21. Thanks
    uncertain1 reacted to MaepleSyrup in To everyone with depression.   
    I just wanted to take a moment and tell you all that I am so proud of you for waking up to another day. I know it may be hard and I know you all are struggling, but what matters most is that you survived another difficult day- know why?
    Because you are strong. You have managed to fight those depressive thoughts and managed to wake up to another morning. I want us all to be proud of each other for still being here and not giving in to our suicidal thoughts. You all deserve better days and better lives, but don't forget how strong you are for facing your own battle.
    Sometimes, it may seem like you are waking up to the same morning or same day, but just try to believe in that one special day where everything changes. It's almost like war- there's almost no way to determine when the battle will end, but there will always be an ending. That day will come. Just keep it in mind.
    I wish you all the best day/night, and again: I'm so proud to see all of you who make it past each and every night. Every day you wake up to is another yesterday succeeded!
    Keep your heads up! You got this 🙂
  22. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to lonelyforeigner in Therapists: Psychologist (PhD/PsyD) or Social Worker (LSW)?   
    It is indeed! You're still functioning enough to fight for yourself but someone who doesn't have that drive/energy is just screwed unless they have a relative advocating for them. 
    That's why I gave up on looking for one. Got tired of making phone calls just to be ignored and put on a LONG waiting list... When I'm bad enough to need to talk to a therapist I don't have the patience for all this BS. 
  23. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to gandolfication in Therapists: Psychologist (PhD/PsyD) or Social Worker (LSW)?   
    I've spent probably 6-7 hours the past 2 days, on the phone and on line, reviewing info on doctors and therapists, from my insurance company, calling them, talking to them, etc.
    I do have an apt. next week with a behavioral health practice where I do a financial interview first, then meet with their PCP, then they refer me to their in-house psych, and then I think to a therapist.  For some reason, I have misgivings even about this, but am going to the apt.
    Other than that, I've struck out with everyone.  My own PCP declined to give me a referral, just saying it was hard, and I should call (!).  Going to talk to him about that - he's been practicing here 25 years.
    Every integrated community BH care center so far, I've been ineligible for due to either income, or having insurance (again, way to go crappy private insurance!), or not being a resident (that'll change soon), or not having the right insurance, or not accepting new patients, etc.  Several groups have a single nurse practitioner, because you can't get in to see the psych.
    And my calling around is after I had contacted 3-4 government and quasi-government professionals whose job it is to know about the landscape of access to mental health care.  
    In my current role, I am not yet established enough to do this unfortunately, otherwise, I'd want to write about this as an advocacy article.  At some point I am going to.  This is atrocious. 
  24. Like
    uncertain1 reacted to gandolfication in Therapists: Psychologist (PhD/PsyD) or Social Worker (LSW)?   
    Yah, good description, and this is what I had in VA.  I did some significant research and calling here, and have at this point narrowed to a small handful of community integrated behavioral health care places...so far the main 3 don't seem to be overly service oriented with respect to new/prospective clients.  I strongly prefer a center where each of these 2-3 people work mainly at the same place so that it actually is integrated.  
    I think the profession otherwise is fatally flawed in that these supposed experts literally do not talk to each other, or at any rate, not adequately.  The difference is everything to me.
    Anyhow, I'll keep trying.
  25. Like
    uncertain1 got a reaction from LeavemeB in How Do You Feel Right Now #9   
    Is there something of hers, like a necklace, that you can wear? That has helped me at times...I can hold it and whisper "let that love be there" or "I love you". I don't think one has to be religious to feel like our loved ones will always be with us. It just has to hurt so f'ing much. (hugs)   
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