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Posted: 02 December 2014
Updated: 12 December 2017

Serotonin withdrawal syndrome update, and meditation as coping

For completeness, not because I think it affects anyone other than myself, an update on my serotonin withdrawal syndrome.

The vertigo changes in intensity: sometimes it is mild enough that I ignore it, other times it so severe that I have trouble walking.

I have acclimated to the ringing in my ears. It is part of the background noise, just as we ignore the noise of the city or the electric hum of the many gadgets around us. If you want to a slight understanding of how I have adapted meditation techniques as coping techniques in many of my routines, then attempt to reverse the focus of your hearing. Right now, un-listen to the sounds that you believe are important. To do that, gently prefer the sounds coming from the electronic devices all around you. Change your awareness to the device you are reading from, and try to find the dozens or hundreds of electronics around you. Try to hear them. If you are successful at hearing them, you will discover that you have necessarily stopped hearing the other noises that typically dominate your awareness.

When I am overwhelmed by the thoughts in my awareness, I use these meditation techniques to gently prefer awareness of other things. I have preferred awareness of many things to escape from my pain: games, movies, art, photography, web design, reading, dancing, love.

I am only intermittently aware of the ringing in my ears now. I know from past episodes that the ringing will suddenly–almost violently–stop. Similar to emerging from underwater, I will instantly be able to hear more things and I will become aware, in retrospect, of the loudness of the ringing. Until then, I am largely unaware of the ringing.

I have panic attacks regularly. Sometimes, a noise will trigger them. Many times, a dream triggers them, and I wake up shaking and confused. Climbing the stairs sometimes triggers a panic attack because my body misinterprets the increased exertion as a stress event–a danger from which I must flee.

I was able to sleep once, but I did not eat or drink enough and I woke up disoriented and dehydrated. Most of my sleep has been poor and sporadic.

Headaches are common.

The stress, including from my grandmother’s illness, caused so much stomach acid earlier, that I was doubled in pain for many hours–unable to sleep because the pain was too great, unable to move, and largely unsuccessful at using coping techniques to manage the pain.

I have acclimated to most of the body aches.

Brain zaps have decreased in intensity and frequency, and I have acclimated to them.

It has only been five days, but it feels that I have lived this way for months. The symptoms will last for another 10 to 20 days.

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