Getting off Zoloft

Day 4

This has been a wild ride. I finally decided I had to take my own advice. We have a baby on the way, and I needed to be whole by the time she gets here. I was taking two different medicines (Zoloft and Lamictal) so we halved and eliminated the Lamictal first.

I honestly didn’t think the 12.5 mg of Zoloft was playing any role in my life. Man, I was wrong. It’s not completely out of my system yet, but I’m sleeping better, seeing better, and easily living in the moment. My senses are heightened. I feel more athletic. I know it was the right thing.

Always remember that there was a reason you started taking pills in the first place. Obviously, if you don’t address the fears that were plaguing you before you started your meds, you’re not going to be whole when you stop.

Weaning off is not fun or easy. I was legitimately having anxiety attacks the past couple days, but I’ve learned other ways to cope.

Zoloft effected how I felt emotion. I don’t know exactly how, but I felt a surge of emotions the past couple days. Fear, shame, guilt, and love. It masked all these for me and masked my moral compass.

I was my own god on Zoloft. There was never any ever true getting lost in the moment. I was filtering every word I said and everything I did through my own set of standards. It was exhausting, and caused a delay in my brain’s processing.

I haven’t felt as happy as I do now since I was a teenager. It’s just great. Like for the first time in years, I’m doing streaks of the right things. And for the right reasons

I’m sure there’s more to go through, but now I have the tools to cope.

Depending on the psychiatrist that saw me, I think you realistically could’ve diagnosed me with any of these conditions over different times in the past decade: bipolarism, depression, schizophrenia, ADD, ADHD, OCD, and probably others. My psychiatrist didn’t even want me to get off everything, but I knew it was what I had to do. I had to be purely me-no brain altering drugs-and be happy when the baby gets here. I knew I didn’t need another variable thrown in the mix before I started the weaning process.

So if you’re starting to think about weaning off, here’s what you need to know:

  • You’ll know when and if you’re ready. My process involved eliminating caffeine from my diet and improving my vision.
  • It’s going to be unpleasant.
  • Have coping mechanisms prepared. Prayer, meditation, whatever, you’re going to need it.
  • Lean on your friends and family. You cannot do this alone.
  • Be honest about the way you feel but make no big decisions.
  • You’re going to feel an irrational surge of emotion. Be ready.

It’s all worth it. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Alzheimer’s is curable

Let’s start somewhere else. With a disease that we’ve made some progress on: schizophrenia.

Here are your symptoms:

Behavioral: social isolation, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, compulsive behavior, excitability, hostility, repetitive movements, self-harm, or lack of restraint

Cognitive: thought disorder, delusion, amnesia, belief that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, belief that thoughts aren’t one’s own, disorientation, memory loss, mental confusion, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority

Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, feeling detached from self, general discontent, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, elevated mood, or inappropriate emotional response

Psychological: hallucination, paranoia, hearing voices, depression, fear, persecutory delusion, or religious delusion

Speech: circumstantial speech, incoherent speech, rapid and frenzied speaking, or speech disorder

Also common: fatigue, impaired motor coordination, or lack of emotional response

Onset Age: 12-40 [source]

Treatment: Antipsychotics. They seem to help alleviate symptoms, both positive and negative.

Wow. I thought I was reading an article about Alzheimer’s. You are. Bear with me.

Alzheimer’s symptoms:

Behavioral: aggression, agitation, difficulty with self care, irritability, meaningless repetition of own words, personality changes, restlessness, lack of restraint, or wandering and getting lost

Cognitive: mental decline, difficulty thinking and understanding, confusion in the evening hours, delusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, making things up, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, inability to create new memories, inability to do simple math, or inability to recognize common things

Mood: anger, apathy, general discontent, loneliness, or mood swings
Psychological: depression, hallucination, or paranoia
Also common: inability to combine muscle movements, jumbled speech, or loss of
appetite

Onset Age: 41+

Treatment: Cholinesterase inhibitors and. Memantine. The inhibitors slow the process that breaks down a key neurotransmitter. Memantine regulates the neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory.

The main difference in this article is memory loss. That’s the main symptom difference that we can’t explain between schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. You know what else changes in those onset ages? The subjects ages. And while I have my own theories for why, I think it’s save to say that people start losing their memory as they get older. These diseases effect the same areas of the brain.

Here are some results from an exhaustive study comparing symptoms of Elderly Schizophrenics [ED] to those with Alzheimer’s in the annesiac mild cognitive impairment stage [AD-aMCI]. Take a look at the data here, and read the entire study if you dare. The point is these numbers are practically indistinguishable.

Test/subtest ES group AD-aMCI group p value
WMS-R
GM index 80.0 ± 16.2 77.8 ± 10.5 0.58
AC index 91.0 ± 14.7 98.6 ± 11.7 0.046
DR index 76.3 ± 17.2 58.8 ± 8.6 <0.001
GM-DR 3.6 ± 10.7 19.9 ± 8.6 <0.001

WAIS-R
Information 10.1 ± 3.7 11.2 ± 2.8 0.37
Digit symbol substitution 8.0 ± 2.7 11.6 ± 2.3 <0.001
Similarity 9.9 ± 3.2 12.5 ± 2.2 0.024
Picture completion 8.5 ± 4.0 11.2 ± 1.8 0.037
Block design 8.4 ± 2.7 11.5 ± 1.9 0.0018

We don’t know much about the brain. And the nature of science is to broaden fields. To specify. This is about simplification. 

We’ve even used the same treatment and gotten similar results. 

Here’s the theory: these are the same disease. We call schizophrenia Alzheimer’s after you turn forty. Assume for a moment that I’m right. That these are the same disease.

We’ve made progress on schizophrenia. Some people with schizophrenia have made full recoveries. So if Alzheimer’s is schizophrenia, then Alzheimer’s is curable.

There is hope after all.

So how do we cure schizophrenia? We don’t treat symptoms. Some people say that theirs is in “remission” but they only say that because of how we convey the nature of the disease.

So, if for whatever reason, you’re still with me. Alzheimer’s and Schizophrenia are the same disease. How can I say that they are curable? It’s the nature of the human mind. It has all the same hardware it had when you were born. It’s perfectly designed and capable of a full recovery. 

Here is the brain model that lead me to these solutions.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Trust Your Psychiatrist

Disclaimer: Changing psychiatric mediation comes with obvious risks and should not be done unless supervised and supported by a professional. If you have no intentions of changing your behaviors, your life, or your brain, there is no reason to believe that anything will be different this time around. The purpose of this is to establish the fact that there is a version of you that is OK without medicine.

No offense.

But we just are in the beginning stages of learning about the human brain. Psychiatry is like the bloodletting of the 21st century. Sure, we’re testing these drugs before we hand them out, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t let someone who know’s nothing about cars rebuild your engine. It just makes no sense.

Everybody’s wired differently. We just have to find the right mix of chemicals. This is all bullshit. All they know is that they can write you scrips that sometimes help people feel better for some amount of time. It’s all about trial and error.

They don’t know the actual nature of change. Not numbing you into some third party in your own life. Actual change.

Read about all your meds before you take them. Most of what they prescribe have some crazy side effects. There are multiple studies out there about whatever you’re thinking about taking.

Grill your shrink about your diagnosis. Ask as many questions as it takes until you are on board with everything.

Be honest with them. They can only diagnose what you tell them. It doesn’t help anyone to lie or to just not take your medicine. Tell them you’re not taking that pill. Tell them you’re not on board with an increase. The decision every day whether or not to take the pill is yours. 

Stand your ground. Your sanity is a stake here. You’re talking about medicine that will deeply impact your life.

Ask about alternative routes. Think critically about the other variables in your life right now. You’re about to double down. What if you’re completely happy on these meds? Is that the real you?

Your goal should be to eventually ween off. But DO NOT take my word for it. Do your own research. Form your own opinion. You only get one go at this.

Remember: you were designed to be happy. And you’ve been happy before without meds. 

 

 

Here’s Your Brain Model

So far here’s what we have. If you only read one thing I write, let this be it. Do not take my word for it. Think critically and with an open mind.

  • You were given a perfectly functional brain.
  • Your eyes are completely capable of seeing.
  • Aging starts in the mind.
  • Your brain can be reprogrammed.
  • There is only one brain disease.
  • You are completely capable of restful sleep.
  • We can prove Intelligent Design without any math or complicated science.
  • Genetics doesn’t explain everything.
  • There is a mental ground state where you see your best, perform your best, and sleep your best.
  • The brain follows an entropy model.

  • Your brain is capable of forming new memories, and recalling old ones.

  • The brain is a logic engine, with no time component.

 

Clutch is a mindset

Steph Curry is a good golfer…a really good golfer. He essentially competed on the professional level, and didn’t embarrass himself.

So how does that connect to being clutch? Bear with me.

Here’s why his golf ability shouldn’t surprise you: he’s the best shooter in the NBA. You could probably argue he’s the best shooter in NBA history. How does that translate to golf? Well in fundamentals, it doesn’t. But the mindset is the same. The state of mind it takes to replicate shots from beyond the arc is similar to that of a professional golfer.

What you’re going to say is that Steph’s dad was in the NBA, so he’s just got good genes. Believe that if you want. Tell your kids they can never shoot like that. They can.

The fundamentals are easy, the mindset is what takes practice. You can teach a kid how to shoot a basketball in an hour. But to have him be able to pull a three with confidence at the buzzer in the NBA finals, there are only a couple people on the planet even qualified to have that conversation.

Think about all the guys you knew growing up that were “naturally athletic.” Maybe you knew that guy that was good at everything. This is not a coincidence. The mind and body work best together at a certain state, and they have just found it. Malcom Gladwell wrote about it taking 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. That may be true, but some people get head starts, and this is how.

Steve Kerr [Steph’s coach] uses the Inner Game of Tennis for psychology in pressure situations. [article] This book is about the psychology of an athlete, and how to separate your thinking self from your playing self, and how to perform your best.

It’s all the same. When you find the infamous zone you’ve found your ground state. When you’ve removed yourself from the equation and let your body do what it already knows how to do.

Don’t let your mind get in the way of your performance. It has no place on the court, whether it be basketball, tennis, or golf. When you start thinking, you start losing.

 

 

 

Aging starts in the brain

I’m not a neurologist. I’m not even a doctor.

So how did I draw this conclusion? Really a bunch of pseudo-science that you won’t believe anyways. Just bare with me. Your eyes are perfect, and thus your brain is perfect. You are separate from your mind. The functionality of your brain does not change. It remains the same fully capable, complex computer. You do. You’re ability to control your mind may slip, but it is still just fine.

So what is aging? It really doesn’t exist. Because time doesn’t exist. You today is the same as you yesterday, and is the same you in two weeks, and two years, and so on. So when did you get old? When you changed your mind. When you began to stop being you and fight the forces keeping you sane. This resistance and stress caused refractive error that changed the whole nature of your being [more here].

Is it reversible? Yes. I mean, I’m not promising that 70-year old could compete in the Olympics, but we can retake our minds at any point. I think of it like a computer virus. We get trapped in these infinite loops, cycles of misery, but there are ways out. The eyes were my way out. I truly think of the Matrix every time I go down this string of thoughts. Hey, other people with credentials think the same thingsmatrix_header

So how do you debug your mind? First, you have to identify your loop, the mindless cycle that is killing you. The list of possibilities here would take an entire article in itself. But there is something that you probably do every day that hinders your ability to control your mind. Don’t be a creature of habit, unless that’s what you want to be. You set the rules here, not your body. Not your programming. You decide which thoughts to act on, and which ones to let pass. You filter out what’s completely insane from what’s socially acceptable before you say or do anything.

Then you exit the loop. I say that like it’s simple. It’s not. But your habits are breakable. Your mind can be reset. This is your world. You make the rules. [For help exiting the loop, read this.]

Don’t let this world rule you. Take your mind back. Reboot.

 

How to age like white people

If you don’t like sarcasm, go read anything else I’ve written.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. We’re really on to something. For those on the outside looking in, here’s what you need to do to catch up.

Starve Yourself. Just eat less. Or don’t eat at all. Who care’s if you were born to be 250 pounds? Humans have survived worse. Just as long as you can stand on the scale and feel good about yourself.

Drink Coffee. This is super helpful when you’re trying to starve yourself. It really kills the appetite and gives you that burst of energy that you used to have all the time when you were whole.

Get glasses. In the stress of starving yourself, you’re going to start to feel different. Your vision may start to blur. Glasses can help alleviate this annoyance and get you back to what’s important: getting as thin as humanly possible.

Workout when you don’t feel like it. Earn your gold stars. Outwork your friends. That’s what it’s all about. Looking good naked. Win the race to the grave.

Ignore your body. Don’t worry about how sore you are, or how much your stomach is growling after that big salad you just ate. Just keep plugging away. Maybe your headache will go away. You can always just go get coffee in a couple hours.

Get depressed. As you starve yourself with the aid of glasses and exercise, this should be easy. Just go with it. You’ll hate every minute of every day.

Take Meds. Since you can’t figure out what went wrong, and you can’t go five minutes without flipping someone off, go talk to someone. Get them to give you pills. That’s what you need: one more variable to sort out.

That should be enough to get you started. If you don’t start seeing results in 30 days, you’re doing something wrong.

 

Proving Intelligent Design

I’m sure this has been done before, but it’s my turn.

So…you’ve accepted the fact that William Bates, Jake Steiner, or whoever else was on to something. You believe me that your vision is fine, or maybe you’ve looked into it and already started working on your own vision. Regardless, if you don’t accept that premise, stop here. [Start with Don’t Read this Post First or How to see better today]

If you can accept it for a moment, even hypothetically, please continue. So if everyone’s vision is fine, but everyone’s eyes are really just holes in their face, what does that mean? It means that all of our brains are fine. More than fine. They are perfect.

When you notice that your mind at rest sees, and feel it for yourself, you will start to understand what I’m talking about. So if your mind is perfect, and it sees best when you are relaxed and happy, you were designed to be happy. It is your ground state. This is not a huge leap of logic. We know in physics that nature loves the path of least resistance. Well the path of least resistance for you is happiness and peace. Sight is really just a symptom, but I harp on it because it is the key to it all. It unravels the secrets of the universe.

Next: If you were designed to see and to be at peace and happy, there must have been a Designer. We were all given the same chance. The same hardware. It’s our choice what to do with it.

We create all of our own misery. You were perfectly programmed to be perfectly happy. Just think about your childhood. What’s happened to you in between then and now is your doing. You’re the only one that can set the clock back. You’re the only one to blame. Not the circumstances. Not the environment. Take your life back. Take back your mind. Use what was given to you and do what you were designed to do: be happy.

 

 

There is only one [brain] disease

I don’t know what to call it yet. But give me a chance to explain.

Here are the symptoms:

  • depression
  • obsessive compulsive behavior
  • fear
  • loss of eyesight
  • tiredness [poor sleep]
  • aging
  • anxiety
Mood
  • apathy
  • general discontent
  • guilt
  • hopelessness
  • loss of interest
  • mood swings
  • sadness
Sleep
  • early awakening
  • excess sleepiness
  • insomnia
  • restless sleep
Whole body
  • excessive hunger
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • restlessness
Behavioral
  •  agitation
  • excessive crying
  • irritability
  • social isolation
Cognitive
  • lack of concentration
  • slowness in activity
  • thoughts of suicide
Weight
  • weight gain
  • weight loss

 

Treatment:

  • Caffeine
  • Glasses
  • SSRIS
  • Stimulants
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Alcohol

Each of these loses their effect over time in the same manner. As the mind develops resistances or weaknesses, depending on how you look at it, it becomes dependent on these drugs [and devices] as their strengths need to gradually increase as the patient’s mind weakens.

Cure:

No known cures at this point. The disease typically progresses as the subject ages. The mind and the body begin to break down. The subject eventually dies of “natural causes.”

So how can I possibly lump all this together? We were all given the most perfect and complex machines to run our bodies, and some of us need to re-calibrate, or even need to relearn how to use them. Our computers catch these loops, and latch on to our treatments, and we can start downward spirals that end up killing us, sooner or later.

Your eyes are the way in. They can change your mind. They are your treatment. You brain is perfectly capable of doing everything that you need it to on its own. Your fears are slowing it down. Fears about the present, the past, or the future. Maybe your dysfunction has the same name as mine, or maybe not.

You were made for happiness. Your mind is a perfect tool that you need to relearn how to use. Fix your vision and fix your mind.

 

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

I know that these are very serious conditions, and I mean no disrespect to anyone who’s either battling these or other neurological diseases, or their families or friends. What’s important here though is to look at these diseases from a broader perspective, and perhaps see things from a different point of view.  I only want to help.

Yeah. I lumped them together. Why? Keep reading.

Here’s what we know:

  • Old people get it
  • There are no cures
  • They seem to lose their minds
  • They do not sleep well
  • Diet and Exercise may help
  • Early life Depression has a strong correlation
  • A bunch of fun medical terms I choose to ignore.
  • They are not genetic.

Hypothesis, it’s either us prolonging the life of someone who is essentially brain dead, or they have fried their brain on a system that we’ve discussed previously. They have so many brain problems treated by medications with so many side effects, vision problems, that this one is going to be hard to parse through. What I’m starting to think now is that we have a fancy name for a lot of different diseases, but what sets this apart from dementia?

In reading about both of these diseases, they have several progressive stages of each disease. Worth noting, is that medicine and research have no absolute timeline in either disease. “Some cases progress from stage one to two in months, and some take years.” “Each person experiences these stages differently. ” What this means to me is that we have no idea about either one of these diseases, we only treat symptoms.

The premise is easy though: our minds are perfect, because our eyes are perfect. We create our own misery.

So if this is true, and we know what causes aging and how to prevent it, what does it matter what different flavors we have of losing your mind. We so many different neurological diseases, perhaps a broader view grouping symptoms and diseases together will help us gain some ground. I read somewhere that some of these diseases are practically indistinguishable. Maybe it’s a mixture of meds on a mind weaker with age and refractive error. If we can reverse refractive error, we can save the mind from itself and help it find its preferred resting place: peace.

So guess what: we’re never going to find a “cure” for these illnesses. The only true solution lies within.

Source: http://theconversation.com/what-causes-alzheimers-disease-what-we-know-dont-know-and-suspect-75847