Author Topic: What is happening in your brain?  (Read 337017 times)

[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2012, 04:25:28 am »
Interesting theory. Thanks for posting.
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[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2012, 06:21:34 am »
[...]...I [...] adding my voice to the choir of applause.  Truly between this one and the other one I lifted for my blog ([...] Is Here)..you have the beginnings of a Manual of Benzo Recovery.  Blessings, [...]
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[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2012, 12:17:51 pm »
[...]...Thanks so much for your very informative post.

Do you have any theories as to why some of us are unable to take vitamins? I have tried the magnesium glycinate, that you now take, on and off for several months. I only took 100 mg. and it would rev me up horribly for at least 12 hours. If I took it before bed I would get zero sleep. The same is true with omega 3's for me.

I took these with no problem pre benzos.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2012, 01:19:02 pm »
Wow, [...], your post was my morning read and I want to thankyou for writing this :thumbsup:.
While I was tapering I would never have been able to read even 1/8 of that as it was just too much to take in but now I read through the whole post and was able to understand and comprehend it all which proves to me just how much my brain has healed already. :)
 I [...] also going to use the word RECOVERY now post benzo instead of withdrawal to describe what I [...] dealing with as it is easier to visualize a brain in recovery after your insightful post :smitten:
[...]
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[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2012, 01:44:36 pm »
Hey [...]....I was prescribed Remeron but it was a high dose and the Psych was a nut job (pun intended).....so I never took it.

Considering it again and starting up with a new Pscyh.   Any suggestions.....my sx are more physical than mental....severe tinnitus, slow gut, dizzy and insomnia.   Prior to being put on Benzos I never did well with SSRI or AD.   Cymbalta reved me up but I was exhausted....hated the way I felt.

Need something to help we with these horrendous sx....I [...] 5 months off of K.

Thx.

BB.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2012, 02:02:22 pm »
[...]...Thanks so much for your very informative post.

Do you have any theories as to why some of us are unable to take vitamins? I have tried the magnesium glycinate, that you now take, on and off for several months. I only took 100 mg. and it would rev me up horribly for at least 12 hours. If I took it before bed I would get zero sleep. The same is true with omega 3's for me.

I took these with no problem pre benzos.

Hi [...],

Your question is one I have wondered about a lot, too.  The same thing happened to me in recovery.  Or at least I think it did.  I didn't try the magensium earlier on - but I did try the omegas with d3 and couldn't seem to tolerate them until about month 10 - but then they helped me immensely. The reason I say "didn't seem to" is that I [...] never sure along the way if what was happening to me was directly the result of a supplement I tried or just the random nature of crappy symptoms. :)  I did try a few things - but none really seemed to help me until I got far enough along.  It has ALWAYS been trial-and-error for me.  I think I tried omegas about once every 2 months - and if i couldn't hack it - I didn't continue.  But I'm like you - I used to take them before benzos with great success - so I just kept [...].

I have a friend outside of the forum who healed at 14 months.  She and I spoke on the phone and she told me around 12 months is when she started taking vitamins again.  I sorta pieced together ideas along the way of what I could maybe try and when I might try them - however, I never really knew until I took a vitamin what was going to happen.  The "good" news is- (I thought) - if I try it and can't tolerate it, it's going to be out of my system in a few hours - and it's [...] harmless.  So I just went with that idea and kept resting and kept going. (That's what I"m [...] doing.)

I'm sorry the magnesium and omegas aren't working for you.  I understand.  I'm curious, too. The magnesium glycinate....are you taking the Doctor's Best brand I"m taking? Or is it another brand?  If it's a different brand, I can't speak for how I might have reacted to that - only to the brand I'm taking. 
But the other thing I want to know is if you ARE taking the Dr.'s Best brand of Magnesium, does your bottle have "BioPerene" in it?  The reason I ask is that this product USED to have this "BioPerene" as [...] additive listed in the ingredients. It is a "black pepper" substace that is supposed to help things be more easily absorbed and a LOT of people had [...] issue with reacting to it - so from what I read on their website, they took it OUT of the product. I used to use this brand a few years ago when it had BioPerene and stopped it because I was one of the ones reacting to it. But now that the product is WITHOUT BioPerene, I can take it just fine.  Wasn't sure if that had any impact for you...

All I can say for a theory is that we are all different, and this healing is so unique.  Obviously nobody seems to react the same to ANYTHING! :)  We can all take the same benzo for the same time and wind up all over the map. Extrapolating from that -I guess the whole healing process is going to continue to be a mystery.   As much as we react to the SMALLEST things in recovery - probably our DIETS even make [...] impact on symptoms in ways we can't know.  I have friends in recovery who are mostly vegetarians, while I eat meat and drink milk every day.  I even wonder if THAT makes a difference!?

Maybe as time goes on you can keep [...] some of the things you were able to take the past and just see how you do?  If it's not time yet, I'm guessing your body will let you know. :)  Listening to my own body and realizing that THIGNS CHANGE in recovery has been the biggest help to me.  So- if you can't tolerate it now - you likely will be able to soon.  (This goes for medication, too - some things I don't think we can tolerate at different phases of recovery - or they dont' have [...] impact - whereas later on, they may be far more helpful.  Like my Remeron - early on - the WHOLE pill did nothing to help me feel better.  But 8 months later, I was amazingly happy and felt great on only 1/4th of a pill.  The only guess I have is that early on, it would have taken [...] act of God to help me feel better and no medication was going to be able to accomplish that.  But as I healed, less and less Remeron became more and more effective for my mood.  The theory?   I HEALED.  And my own brain was taking up for a good chunk of function. I have learned through trial-and-error, controlled factors, and taking good notes that the trend is that over time - I can tolerate more of EVERYTHING. I'm guessing this is probably going to happen for all of us in each of our body's own timetable.

Do you have any ideas to share or guesses?  All of our information together is better than just one of us. :)

:)[...]

 
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[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2012, 02:16:15 pm »
And just to think -- this whole time -- I thought my brain had been hijacked by garden gnomes.  I like your theory a bit better.  ::)
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2012, 02:18:46 pm »
Hey [...]....I was prescribed Remeron but it was a high dose and the Psych was a nut job (pun intended).....so I never took it.

Considering it again and starting up with a new Pscyh.   Any suggestions.....my sx are more physical than mental....severe tinnitus, slow gut, dizzy and insomnia.   Prior to being put on Benzos I never did well with SSRI or AD.   Cymbalta reved me up but I was exhausted....hated the way I felt.

Need something to help we with these horrendous sx....I [...] 5 months off of K.

Thx.



BB.

Hey [...] -

I don't know about the Remeron. I [...] I"m not giving off the impression that I know more than I do. I do not! :)
All I can share is from my own experience. 

My only ideas are to start SMALL with it - since it's a med that you CAN start small with.  (You can't cut a lot of pills - but you can cut Remeron -and may not need much at all.)  You can even talk to the doctor about having it made into a liquid by taking it to a compounding pharmacy and having the script read "1mg per 1ml" - That way, it's a 1:1 correlation.  If you want to take 3.75mg of Remeron (1/4th of a dry pill) - you take 3.75ml of liquid and it's the same amount. That made it easy for me to measure and use only what I needed to accurately.

If you are interested in it for insomnia - talk to your doctor about that.  From what I've read on the Internet - lots of people (not benzo affected) take Remeron for insomnia. But less can be more. So IF you go this route - you might talk to your doctor about only taking as much as you feel you need. 

But BEYOND that - I don't sleep GREAT every night either. I'm [...] recovering, too.  So - you might have just as much benefit by staying the course.  Just something to think about.

Remeron CAN be constipating- so if you're having that issue already - you may not want to add to it. 

I have somewhat slow-gut, too.  I  started taking a probiotic with 13 billion strain load about 3 weeks ago and at this point in recovery, THAT made a world of difference for me.  Ironic, because in early recovery, I had loose stools EVERY day. And now I'm rebounding into slow-gut territory. (LOL - TMI)  But the probiotic is helping. I have read that a probiotic of the right strains and potency changes the acid/base of your intestines and gets the movement going. That has been the case for me. I take Vitamin SHoppe brand Ultimate 10 with 13 Billion.  Not sure if that could help you or not.  I also just started drinking coffee again every morning - and that has helped me "get things going" once a day.  But no WAY could I tolerate coffee a few months ago.  So it goes to show you that it's definitely trial-and-error.

[...] - I [...] this helps.  If it were me, I'd try the LEAST medication I could in recovery (since my goal is not to be on anything). But that is MY goal.  From what I've read, many people take 1/4th Remeron for years and years for chronic insomnia (which I didn't have prior to benzos).  Also- there have been studies with women in perimenopause who took Remeron for symptoms and for insomnia caused by hormonal changes. I'm not in that category yet, but IF that happens to me as I age and go through hormonal changes, I have filed Remeron away as a "go to" if I'm completely unable to sleep.  Hopefully that won't happen! ;)

:)[...]
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2012, 02:24:29 pm »
And just to think -- this whole time -- I thought my brain had been hijacked by garden gnomes.  I like your theory a bit better.  ::)

Oh crap! I forgot to mention the gnomes!! I need to add that in!!  ;) 
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: What is happening in your brain?
« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2012, 03:19:21 pm »
 I got a great PM from a buddy asking "What about the physical symptoms of pain?" - and think it deserves some theoretical attention.

I want to take some time to add some theories about PAIN and physical symptoms such as burning, akathisia, and tingling, prickling, and things that happen during recovery of this nature.

I will also add this as [...] addendum to the original post on page 1.

First off, let it be said that I can only "theorize" as to this, - I [...] not a doctor.  But I DO think logical theories are helpful because they give us a story and mindful logic to cope with in the MEANTIME as we are going through this.

So these are multiple sources of information that I'm tying together - some are from nerve regeneration, and some are from what we know about "how the brain works".  And some or ALL of this is likely going on when it comes to pain and skin/muscle sensations:

First off - I think a good quote comes from a Plastic Surgery practice that has published things on "nerve regeneration after injury". 

The quote follows:

"The usual events associated with normal nerve regeneration can be painful. As the regenerating ends of the nerve, called sprouts, travel, they make contact with each other and with structural proteins. The neural impulses generated by this activity may be interpreted by your brain as pain. It should be expected that for the time period associated with nerve regeneration there may be pain sufficient to need therapy and/or pain medication. Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence.  This condition is not just one of pain, but is associated with over activity of the sympathetic nervous system, so that the area of pain is a different color, like pink or purple, and is usually a different temperature, like cooler, than the surrounding non-painful skin."  http://www.riversongplasticsurgery.com/pdfs/nerve_injury_nerve_reconstruction_recovery.pdf

Well- this article isn't talking about "benzo - related nerve damage. It's talking about nerve damage caused by physical trauma of crushing, cutting, or compressing nerves. But what can we glean from it nonetheless?

We can assume that if the sympathetic nervous system is involved in the presence of pain related to healing nerves - AND IT IS- that it is also NORMAL for us to have pain as we are undergoing healing.

When I was in earliest recovery, I would often get out of the shower and have pink spots all over my feet and my abdomen. At first they were bright pink for about 2 months - and then they faded out and I don't have them anymore.  I have no idea what they were - but they were NOT there 12 days prior to my rapid taper - and then they showed up.  The spots weren't symmetrical - they followed no pattern, but they were alway in the same place on my skin.  And only after getting out of the shower.  It is easy to see how the nervous system could be involved in skin redness, irritation, and weird feelings associated with recovery.

Likewise, throughout recovery, I've had and continue to have cooling, burning, prickling and occasional stabbing sensations. I've had it feel like my skin was "wet" when there was no water on it.  Again, though. This is all normal - and like the quote says above.."Just understanding that this is expected to occur, and is "good pain'; or pain for a good reason, is enough to help many people adjust to its presence."  It doesn't make the pain FEEL any better in the moment, but it does help us not to become anxious about it. It's normal.  And it's a sign of healing.

What about akathisia?
Well  - from the reading, the exact cause of akathisia is not 100% conclusive, but it seems to be related to dopaminergic and/or noradrenergic activity in the brain  (dopamine and norepinephrine or noradrenaline as it is also called). These are just neurotransmitters - and it doesn't look (to me) to be exactly conclusive WHY this happens - but akathisia can happen after the use of many psychoactive drugs- not just benzos - and likely because anything that alters brain chemistry can alter dopemine and norepinephrine. So - okay. That makes sense.  We all took "brain altering" drugs - and now some of us have akathisia.  Guess what?  It seems [...] normal!  It's not fun. But it's normal.  And it can come and go and then go away eventually.  For me, I didn't get akathisia at all until month 8. It was a surprise.  It was intense and awful. But it passed in a few weeks. Since then, I have had it off and on - but not to that degree.  And now - it's mostly just annoying.  Something as simple as a good hard cry in the bathtub can COMPLETELY remove it at times.  And other times, I just have to wait for a wave to pass. But all in all, from all this information - it's normal. And the fact that it's coming and going and I'm getting hit here and there - it's a sign that the wheels are turning up there in the noggin - and things are shifting and attempting to rebalance.  So if we can keep that quote in mind - it's normal - and while the sensation itself is very uncomfortable - if not painful - it can be regarded as a "good pain" if we are able to recognize that our feeling it means we have a brain and nerves that are regaining their abilities to function.

Likewise, as a scab heals over a wound, the new skin formin underneath can become "itchy". Why does this occur? Why does a scab itch?

"The itch of a healing wound is caused by the growth of new cells underneath the old scab. New skin cells would be growing underneath, and as they form a new layer of skin, then the scab becomes more tightly stretched over this zone of activity. This can make it feel itchy. The itch sensation for burn survivors may be a tingling feeling caused by nerves re-growing, or from dry skin caused by the lack of natural oil production since oil glands may have been damaged or destroyed by the burn. As the nerves grow and start to receive and send messages, they may create that itchy feeling. The skin in this area will be a lot less thick than everywhere else, so these new nerve cells will be under a lot more pressure. Itching is a sign of healing." (Mayo Clinic)

As we can surmise, the umpteen bajillion sensation we have going on are not 100% conclusive in their origins....HOWEVER...
There IS a trend.

From what it seems like from all the reading...
NERVE REGENERATION CAN CAUSE UNPLEASANT SENSATIONS. As counterintuitive as it is,  HEALING CAN FEEL LIKE HURT. :)
But it's NOT further hurt or damage. It's the REVERSAL of damage. 

Um  - yeah - okay. Great - but what do I DO about it.

[...] much the things that I have discovered that help through this healing are to "CONFUSE" the nerves as much as possible, IF possible. 
What? Confuse the nerves?

You know how you get a cut or [...] insect bite and you immediately press on it to make it feel less painful? What you are doing when you press or squeeze the area is "desensitizing' the entire skin region of the cut by applying pressure to ALL the nerves in the area. That way, the ONE sensation of pain from the cut isn't the only thing your brain is feeling.  The pressure from pushing down on  ALL the nerves in the area helps to send multiple sensation to the brain to "counteract" the pain sensation.  And it works.
Similarly, other things can help "confuse" nerves:
-Heat
-Cold
-[...] Pressure
- Massage
-creams like "Icy Hot" with menthol

All of these things have helped me cope in recovery.

Let me take it one by one:

Heat: I took and [...] take hot baths almost every day. In the peak of akathisia, I lived in the tub. :)  As hot as I could stand it really helped me. All the heat was "overregistering" in my brain and I was unable to feel the akathisia as much when in the tub. It was confusing the nerve signal and it was temporary relief.  I hated those days. But I got through them.  Likewise, a heating pad for pain was my friend a lot of the time. 

-Cold -  I used a cold washcloth on burning skin - and on my face and hands - and kept dipping it in ice water and applying it.  This is [...] easy one, but it helped. I had a wave with 3 days of "fireface" last month and all I could do was apply the washcloth, lay there and think about how "this is healing" and keep going. But the wave passed.

[...] Pressure  I use a 15 pound weighted blanket to sleep. I have for YEARS. I ordered it online. It has many pockets with little plastic balls equally distributed to create a very heavy blanket that creates "[...] pressure". This kind of pressure is calming for anyone's nervous system. Occupational Therapists use it for children with autism, but people with anxiety can benefit from sleeping with one. And in recovery, I was glad to have it.  I used it often together with a heating pad.  It took the edge off just long enough. 

Massage This one CAN be helpful - but sometimes not.  I used to ask my husband just to "press down" on my head or my legs.  Just press there. Don't rub.  My skin hurt too much to rub, but the [...] pressure from pressing was helpful. Other times, the actual massage was a help for sore muscles.  I was too agoraphobic to schedule a [...] massage. LOL. But just this help from my family was nice to have.

Creams You're going to laugh, but there was a day that I put Vick's VapoRub on my face because my face was so HOT!  I figured if this is safe for my baby's skin, it's probably okay to try it on my face.  It worked! Oh man - my face felt SO good all day.  I used that for a few days until the wave passed.  I have also tried "Icy Hot" on my back when it was sore.  Things like this work on the same principal to "confuse the nerves".  If your nerves are too busy feeling the heat/cool of menthol, they cannot simultaneously feel "pain". So for a short time, the pain is not "felt" even though the "soreness" is technically [...] there.

All of these are ways I have coped.  I'm sure there are others you guys have used!! :)

The broad idea here is that
1) Healing is happening.
2) The sensations that feel like injury are NOT injury. They are the CORRECTION of nerve injury.  They just "fire off" as they heal.
3) We can use some things to cope.
4) It's going away in time.

I know this is not a "fix" to the feelings.  There is nothing anyone could say to me while I was IN pain that made the PAIN better.  All I could do was cope and cry and try to get through it.  But knowing it's normal and that I'm not getting worse; I'm [...] - is always something I benefit from knowing. 

I [...] get these symptoms - and I'll be SOOOOOO glad when they are gone.

Thanks to the Benzo Buddy that brought this up.  ;)

:)[...]


Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.