SSRI Withdrawal.

Cubital is pretty much gone.  Great.  Awesome.  In my continuing adventures of literally one thing after another [except, I caused this one –] I’m working through SSRI Withdrawal from Zoloft.  I’ve tried this a few times before but was sick for around a month, which didn’t work out so well when I was going off to grad school or whatever, but now that I’m not-yet-employed I figured it’d be a good time to star this.

I think I wrote about this before, noting that I’d started weening myself off around Sunday.  That means it’s been around four and a half days.  Doesn’t seem long, but it feels long.

Here’s the gist.  I was on 50mg of Zoloft, but I cut it to 25mg a while ago because I wanted to ween myself off of it.  I’m taking it for anxiety, but I don’t feel it’s doing all that much — or, at elast, I’ll not know if it’s not doing that much unless I stop it and try.  After the 25mg, I cut the 25mg pills in half for around six months; that’s 12.5mg.  I honestly thought this was the smallest amount I coult take (I was shown there’s a “liquid form” of it that goes all the way down to 1mg) so I started taking it every other day.  Then every three days.  Last weekend, I decided to stop it completely since I didn’t feel so bad with the every three days.

Here’s the symptoms.  Pretty strong dizziness; nothing I can’t handle, but I felt a little awkward riding my bike around.  I felt like I had to concentrate a lot.  I had numb lips for a bit, but that went away.  I feel like my anxiety is fairly strong, but I think it might be a reaction to the dizziness.  There’s a feeling of being out of my body [depersonalization] sometimes.  Other than that, think: mild flu symptoms.  Actually, it feels a lot like the flu except you don’t actually have a fever or much else you can do.

This is all fairly manageable for me.  I thought I’d be useless at working, but the feeling of wanting to get away from the dizzy feeling actually made me concentrate a bunch more on my work, making me fairly productive.  Relatively productive.  Somewhat productive.  But the worst part is that there is no telling how long this kind of thing will last.  Before, I came off of 50mg and it took a month before I gave up and went back on it.  It seems much more mild now, so I imagine around (like all of my other things) three weeks to a month.  That’s a lot of time, but it seems that this kind of things often gets worse, then gets better in the same amount of time.  At least, that’s what some reddit accounts have noted.

For scaling and personal reference (and for the reasons of seeing if things are better or worse), I’m going to score a few things here out of 10.  Here, 10 is relative to the worst I felt, not how bad it is in the grand scheme of things or something.


Dizziness: 8

Depersonalization: 7

Ability to Focus: 3

Fever-like: 4

Tiredness: 8

5.3.2016

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.  For the most part, this is gone.  It only appears slightly if doing the glided exercises, or after a night of having my arm bent.  I ought to stop doing that for regular health reasons.

But, my body has excellent timing.  Beginning Sunday, right after the CTS subsided, I began having dizziness, numb lips at times, feelings of disorientatioin, feeling of having a fever — coincidentally, the withdrawal symptoms of Zoloft, coincidentally as I’m weening myself off of Zoloft.  So, I’m going to call this Zoloft Withdrawal.  I sort of brought this one on myself, but it’ll be worth it to be off of Zoloft for me.  It will make job hunting a bit annoying, but this is a pretty decent time for me to do this.  I was on 12.5mg every other day for a few months, weening down from other doses, and this is as small as I could consistently get the pills; I decided to stop after I missed my dose for two days and realized that this would be a good time to get off of them.  They don’t do much for my depression.

Ordinarily, Zoloft Withdrawal takes around “a few weeks” to subside, and given the 2-week periods that my other sicknesses took, I’m going to give this one around two weeks as well.  Fairly annoying, but I can’t do much about it.  I don’t currently have the “brain zaps” (the most annoying part, when I did this a few years ago and couldn’t handle it) which is nice, but we’ll see what comes up.

4.27.2016

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.  I think this is getting better.  I still feel it, but it no longer bothers me like it used to.  It felt great after riding my bike all over the place yesterday.  Maybe that’s something I ought to be doing more.  I still feel it if I do the gliding exercises, but I rarely feel it otherwise.  More of a bother than anything now.  Awesome.  Let’s see if this continues.  The timeline for seeing a doctor was to wait 3 full weeks, so I’ve got a week and a half left.

 

4.25.2016

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.  Seems a little bit better today, but I’m not sure.  Again, might just be getting used to it.


Started doing planks.  Hopefully that’ll do something.  Going to finish Regression today, hopefully, then go on to another module.  It’s worth it so far; I learn about things that I didn’t know about before.  My goal is just to do a quick Kaggle or two before starting the new class.

4.24.2015

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.  It’s been a week and a day and I’m not sure if it’s getting better or not — but it has only been a week and a day.  It does seem like it’s better directly after sleeping with the elbow thing on, but then it kind of comes back if I do any kind of flexing.  Pretty irritating, but I’ll see how it is in the next two weeks and then get it checked out.


 

New site stuff for smaller pieces than thiscommutes.  It’s hard to find time to blog, so this one should be a bit easier, I hope.

4.23.2016

Either the cubital tunnel syndrome is getting slightly better (it feels less intense when doing exercises and in general) or I’m just getting used to it.  I’m hoping it’s the former, but I’ll keep on updating here.  The only time when I feel it significantly is when I do the arm-by-ear exercise.

I also managed to mess up sleeping on my back again.  It’s a lot harder than I expected.  I don’t know why, but even when I’m dead tired there’s something that keeps me awake.  I’ll keep at it, I guess, for another week but then I have to figure something out.


 

Yesterday I got up to the point of doing gradient descent on some data.  I don’t think the GD algorithm worked.  It made sense, it was following directions, but it dudn’t seem to jive with the data they had.  Ugh.  So I’ll be doing that again today.  Exciting.

more of the same.

I’m going to try something like splitting this into daily activites and then health stuff.  Might read more like a journal then.

 

Continuinig the Regression data science coursera course, but picking up speed.  I feel like I’ve been slacking off for a month and that I won’t get a job as easily.  Lasso is L1, Ridge is L2.  I guess a mnemonic to this would be that l2 looks sort of like an “R”, so we have L2 is Ridge.  Pretty silly, but —

I’m going to try to complete most of the course today, that’s my ultimate goal.  I need to get going with Kaggle stuff if I want to show anything off.  I think there’s six total data science courses; the fundamentals, regression, then the rest.  If I really buckle down, I can complete a bunch and begin applying by next week.


 

This cubital tunnel thing is pretty annoying.  I tried sleeping on my back without much success and wound up sleeping on my side.  I’ll try again tonight because I feel like if I just keep at it, it’ll be easier.  I think I kept my arm straight most of the night, so that’s good.  I’m going to hang out at Starbucks today to keep my mind off of it and to force me to keep my arm straight.

The exercises actually feel a bit better today.  I’ll continue to do them, though I have some reservations about them actually working.  I can’t find any papers studying this, so I’m not sure.  In any case, it’s best to avoid surgery, if only because of how bad a cast would look to employers (ha) and the money.

We’ll see.

intro. problems.

An attempt at making a journal.  Not just a health journal, but also a lifestyle journal.  Hopefully that’ll keep me accountable but you never know.

Some current background problems.


Agoraphobia [Claustrophobia?].  I don’t like going far distances on my bike; for whatever reason, I’ll begin to freak out around the 5mi mark if I’m not sure exactly where I am.  This is especially bad if I’m not comfortable with the roads or it’s really, really cold out.  In addition, I do not like to go on trains because of the potential to stop for an indefinite amount of time between stations.  In addition to that, I don’t like to be in other people’s cars driving places — maybe that’s a control thing?  I’m not really sure.  Cabs are okay, but only for certain comfortable distances.

This has been happening for most of my life — since around 22 years till now at 29 years.  I don’t anticipate this one going away but it’s made better by getting myself out of the house every day and trying to go to new places and do new things.

As a note, this does not manifest into social anxiety (strangely!) and I also don’t have the usual associated depression.

The Rx for this was Zoloft 50mg and benzos as needed.  I still do the benzos sometimes, but I’m weening myself off of the Zoloft slowly.  As of right now, I’m on 12.5mg every other day.  I expect to space them out even more over the coming weeks, then stop it entirely.  It doesn’t do much at all.


Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.  I’ve only had this for a few days now.  The gist is that it’s a nerve that’s being compressed (like a pinched nerve) somewhere between my left shoulder and my wrist.  It feels bizarre: it’s the pins-and-needles feeling that you hit your funny bone, but just all the time.  Began April 17th, began exercises on April 18th.  Does not seem much better as of April 21st, but I’m trying to get better at not putting my elbows on desks and keeping my arm straight.  This also means that I need to sleep on my back, which I’m going to attempt to do tonight.  We’ll see how that goes.

I’m waiting for at least two weeks before I see a doctor; if it doesn’t seem like it’s going away, I’ll go in two weeks.  More conservative methods usually work, but, if they don’t, it might require some surgery, and that surgery requires money.  Even the EMG (a test to look at nerve action) would wind up being around $1k with insurance according to my insurance website.


 

I’ve been exercising in cardio classes for a few weeks, but I need to start doing strength training and get my diet in check.  Most likely will be doing body-weight exercises.  Tonight, I tried to do them but I got sore wrists; I need to work my wrists more.  Tomorrow, I’ll be learning how to properly do squats and rows to integrate them into a workout.  Hopefully my CTS [above] won’t bug me too much with that.  I’ve been slacking at the gym for fear that it would act up.  I’m not sure if it would or not, but it would be pretty annoying being in a class if it does.