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  1. I've been on antipsychotics for nearly 20 years after I had a psychotic breakdown whilst I was taking an antedepressant and experiencing several major life stressors. I've tried to withdraw numerous times but have always become psychotic very quickly. My memory has been affected, I now have diabetes and my weight soared as I put on 10 stone. I'm here because several people recommended this site. I currently take 300mg amisulpride plus medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  2. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  3. Hello...I'm new to this website and I'm still not sure how this works. I'm looking for some hope I guess that's what you'd call it. I have been on meds for 15 years. Only an SSRI until probably 3 years ago. I was on Celexa 40mg, Abilify 10mg and Wellbutrin XL. I was so over medicated I felt numb and I couldn't function. I didn't know what was wrong with me & then I thought maybe it's to much medicine. I lost my health insurance on 12-01-16 so I couldn't afford all these meds so I stopped taking the Celexa & Abilify on that day. I'm still on Wellbutrin. The reason I stayed on it was I heard it would cause seizures if I cold turkey off it. I did not know I shouldn't of done that with the other 2. It will be 5 months on May 1st that I stopped other 2 meds. The only reason I went on medicine was because I lost my grandmother and I was stressed. My friend suggested I see a Dr so I did. Stupid mistake! I didn't even know Abilify was an antipsychotic until I googled it looking for answers about what was going on with me after stopping meds. I came across discontinue syndrome and then this website. Most psychical symptoms are gone and insomnia has gotten a tiny bit better but the anxiety and I guess it's depression is awful!! I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go back on the meds & go back to not functioning. I'm just wondering if I'm going to make it through this? I'm really worried. God Bless!
  4. Hi Everyone! I consider myself the Kimmy Schmidt of internet forums, having been in seclusion for so long, but I grew tired of hiding . My disastrous dance with Big Pharma started in 2006, when I began hearing voices after months of anxiety and panic over a very traumatizing experience. Cops handcuffed me and placed me in four point restraints after I started screaming in public. The good young Doc at the local hospital they shipped me to gave me Zyprexa, never once asking if I had a family history of diabetes. I DC the drug after a week and about 5-6 months later I had another episode. 2007-2011 A true blur. 4 hospitalizations (two in 2007, one in 2008 and the last in 2011). Three months of sleeplessness due to Zyprexa withdrawal (someone in my life at that time told me that their family member discontinued cocaine in 3 days after years of abuse and I should due the same with Zyprexa - huge mistake), lost many friends due to neglecting their needs and my own, and a crazy amount of weight gain. My voices pestered me to the brink of despair. Yet, I still held on... 2011-2015 The breakthrough years. Switched from Zyprexa to Abilify without major impact on my sleep. Started working again although, not employed at this moment. After a spiritual breakthrough and addressing the demons of my past, I am on my way to permanently breaking up with Big Pharma. I attribute this breakthrough to trusting God and the guiding spirits, reading stories from those who have triumphed or in the process of triumphing over psyche drugs, and seeking support from family (although they still believe in the medical model of my so-called condition). Critical Psychiatry sites that delve into the rampant fraud and fear-mongering present in modern US Psychiatry also provided an alternative narrative to the chemical imbalance-broken forever label that my pdocs dumped on me. For the first time in years, hope blooms in my heart and mind. Will I be the same pre-drug woman? No and in many respects, I don't want to be. Those years in spite of the intensity of emotion that I felt and the warm and love in my heart, I could not take care of myself or establish healthy boundaries. Now I do a much better job of that. I don't eat as much sugar, and I have cut out caffeine and alcohol completely. I'm grateful for the victories, great and small. I want to document this journey for my brothers and sisters in the struggle and build community, because I believe in the healing power of relationships and knowledge sharing over BigPharma's so-called quickfixes. Also, I understand that I need to do the work on my own, to self-care regardless of my situation. A balancing act, for sure. Towards a drug-free me and a brighter tomorrow.
  5. Hi Everyone, I am new to the site as a member, but have read quite a bit so far! I am based in Texas, have been around the block a few times with meds. Currently taking lamictal and Wellbutrin and from what I can gather going through a withdrawal from Abilify. Thanks for reading!
  6. Hi Everyone, I just joined and I have a question about Abilify withdrawal. I am on Lamictal and Wellbutrin and for the last year 2mg Abilify, I was on it at a higher dose years ago and then stopped and I dont seem to remember a lot of side effects when stopping. Anyway...I stopped around 2 1/2 weeks ago as my Pdoc and I decided I needed to get off it, I was foggy, memory was not great etc. So we went fro 2mg to 0 Everything was good until about 7 days ago and everyday for 7 days I am anxious, really nauseas, bad appetite, headaches....is this me withdrawing? I have read a lot about tapering in I think I should have tapered. However by the end of this week I am going on 3 weeks, part of me is wondering if I should try and see this out? How long typically can this go on for? I apologize if this is the wrong forum, I am just really looking for a bit of help. I see my Pdoc again but not for about a week Thank You
  7. Hi All, Diagnosed schizophrenic here currently on a 300mg depot injection of Abilify monthly until March 2016, on a community treatment order. Am doing everything I can to get off medication ASAP, as am experiencing akathisia, anhedonia, complete loss of libido, numbness, and a loss of spirituality. I'm sure most of you know how horrible this can be, especially when previously I was a healthy & happy, loving guy full of life and energy. In total I'll be on the abilify for a year, what are my chances of recovery? Has anyone in a similar position ever come off medication and found their voices to return (mine were extremely loving, and quite special to me)? Could anyone provide me with tips to detox/cleanse, or peace of mind that I will recover? I smoke ciggarettes, take st johns wort, to try to counter the effects of the abilify, which help, along with numerous other supplements. Exercise regularly, eat as healthy as possible. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate any help or guidance on the topic of antipsychotics.
  8. Hey there everyone. You can call me Fawn or Deer. I would like to share my journey with you all in this introduction. I'm hoping I can get some helpful feedback and advice on how to approach tapering off the medications I currently take. So, to start, I am 21 y/o and currently taking 40mg of Celexa, and 5mg of Abilify I also take vitamins and supplements which are listed in my signature. I think it's important to address my background briefly. I come from a very difficult background, I have been emotionally/psychologically abused by parental figures nearly since infancy up until the last few years, and had countless traumatic experiences both inside and outside of the abuse going on at home. I struggle with mental illness symptoms and physical pain, and I have since about 7 or 8 years of age. There's a lot to say, and I'm unsure of how much is relevant... I will just go into the medication aspect now. At 16, I asked my mom for help. I was experiencing severe depression and anxiety symptoms. I also suffered from an eating disorder and was severely underweight. On top of that, I was having audio and visual hallucinations. I suspect most of this was a result of complex trauma and malnourishment. I went to a hospital first, because I was suicidal. They put me on a medication for hallucinations (I can't remember the name) but it was making my symptoms worse so I didn't take it. My mom took me to see a psychiatrist, who said I was bipolar and anorexic and put me on Celexa and Topamax. The timeline is fuzzy but I think I was on these meds for a year or so before I saw a new psychiatrist through an intervention program for acute symptoms of psychosis. The new psychiatrist suspected that I had a personality disorder, and could possibly end up psychotic, so he started me on Abilify in addition to the Celexa and Topamax. I was 17. Of course, my symptoms became more manageable, and I started gaining weight (without changing my eating habits all that much, mind you). About 2 years went by. I went through periods where I felt like the medications weren't really helping me, so I would stop taking them cold turkey for a month or two. Not surprisingly, I would feel much worse and start taking them again. I was constantly pressured by my doctors, mother, and grandmother to continue taking these medications, but I couldn't help but feel like something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it, though. When I was 19, the program I was in got a new psychiatrist. Around that time I had been taking my medications inconsistently, and when I told that to the new psychiatrist she said that if I wasn't taking them, they must not be working. She suggested something different. She decided to stop the Abilify, Topamax, and Celexa, saying if I wasn't taking them consistently for the last couple months it should be fine to stop them. Instead, she put me on Latuda and another medication (I can't remember the name). The next 3 months were utter chaos. I was more depressed than I had been in my life. I couldn't get out of bed, and I started eating more. A lot more. Especially sweets. I kept insisting that the new medications were making me this way. I was told repeatedly for weeks that I had to wait it out and it would get better. After 3 months I ended up in a psychiatric hosptial for 5 days. The psychiatrist at the hospital took me off the new meds and put me back on celexa and abilify. I have been on them consistently for the last 2 years. And in that time, my health has declined in many aspects. I have gained so much weight that I've gone from severely underweight to overweight in a few years. I crave sugar and caffeine all the time. I sleep a lot, sometimes 12+ hours, and I am fatigued almost 24/7. My anxiety and depression are not managed all that well, either. In doing research, I started seeing that many people taking these types of meds have experienced the same thing... and I've tried 3 times to taper off the Abilify without success. Every time, I go through severe withdrawal symptoms. I'm sick of this. I don't feel good, I don't feel healthy and I am almost certain my psychiatric meds are making it worse. I have a new therapist who is very supportive of holistic approaches to mental health and I have decided to talk to her about tapering off these meds. I want to get off Abilify first because I think that is the worst medication that I'm on. Then the Celexa. I'm really angry at the irresponsibility of the health professionals who put me on these meds and persuaded me, a vulnerable young person, to stay on them despite feeling like it wasn't in my best interest. I'm really angry at what's happened to my body and mind being on these medications. I'm angry at the system that allows this to happen. So... enough of my rambling... What does everyone think? I am open to questions, advice, anything really... help is very much appreciated. -Fawn
  9. Hey this is my first post on this site and wanted to post about ability. I feel it has made my illness, if you want to call it that, much worse than I was in the past. I am impulsive, compulsive, and more serial than I was. I feel it has torn my 20s away. I feel it is setting me back. I was alarmed when I saw lawsuits about it on commercials. Anyway I am on 10mg of abilify since April 2011. Finally had a psychiatrist convinced I need to reduce it even though she was hesitant. She increased it back to 10mg when I told her I smoked bud, which I want to stop as well. (Too much going illicit or not). I want to talk to her about going back to 7mg even though I have enough of the 5mg and 2mg to wean off of. Also, I am on 75 MG of welbutrin which I am told is the lowest dose. Also clonezepam.5 MG, 2x a day as needed. I take about 1 MG a day. I would like to first wean off the abilify. Then welbutrin. Then clonezepam. How do I go about this with the 10% reduction in meds ( I'm not great at math) and at what point do I stop smoking, or slowly wean off as well. Thanks in advance, all answers are appreciated.
  10. I'm sure I'm going to leave something out, but here is my brief history: 1989 saw psychiatrist - took Prozac 1991 - 1995 was on various depression medications, none really helpful 1996 heard about wheat allergy from friend - began eating all natural, using supplements 2003 went to natural clinic - took megadoses of vitamins - set me back, never recovered ability to work full time 2013 read about MTHFR mutation - yup, I've got it. At least it gave me some hope. 2015 moved home, can no longer cut it in the real world. Saw Judy Tsafrir - put me on regimen espoused by William Walsh. Worked! To some degree at least, no SAD. Still no energy. 2016 Seeing naturopath to see what I can do about MTFHR, etc. Things seem to work some days, not others. Strange. I'm currently trying to withdraw from Abilify, under supervision. Thing is I have no medical symptoms, am super-healthy. Nothing touches the depression/fatigue though. Also, some days I'll miss taking Abilify and feel really great the next day. Is this common? Feel like the meds gave me just barely enough functioning to survive, and only that. Am supposed to start Wellbutrin (?) in 4 weeks, and stop Abilify. Have looked over this site for a long time now, I know I'm decreasing too fast but would love input/would welcome making suggestions.
  11. hello, so about 5 years ago i was taking bath salts(stupid, i know), a lot of bath salts, and i developed a symptom like bulging eyes which destroyed my life this symptom lasted for one month but already i developed an obsession with how my eyes looked to other people which is still present in my life so i got depressed and isolated still obsessing over my eyes so what to do next? with my mother persisting in going to get help i ended in a psychiatric hospital, after 5 minutes of describing the symptoms and telling the cause (bath salts) to the psy I've got my identity and the sentence, I've got BDD, body dysmorphic disorder and the sentence was 2 zoloft in the morning 1 solian(antipsychotic) in the evening we all know whats coming next, after months on this treatment I've got worse, another diagnose, bi-polar - 2 zoloft + 3 norset + 1 abylyfy + 1 solian and an extra 4 serestra and that went for 5 years which comes with psychotic episodes, attempted suicides, forced psy hospitals stays, violent behavior, unable to form thoughts and without emotions, drug use, drinking and in the process i lost my soul and after only two years I've started hearing voices, pretty scary, but i was afraid talking with my psy because of another diagnose which all know that they say is for life, schizophrenia. And after all the suffering caused by this treatment they wanted to give me more powerful dosages I'm not going in to the details, i don't want to remember, it's hard not trusting your doctor, thinking is the devil, which he is imo. It's pretty hard for me to get off this drugs because I'm being forced in to the treatment and watched every day, there are nurses which came every day to give me the meds because of my attempted suicides, so they give me a glass of water and watch me if i swallow the meds , pretty scary, i know. The doctor it's convinced that i need the treatment all my life because of my behavior. So how i came off without anyone knowing? One night (of many) without sleep i went on YouTube watching movies reviews and by divine luck I've come across a video about big pharma an psychiatric drugs which changed everything and going deep into the subject i discovered the truth, which at the time seemed fantastic and scary. I mean you think all the time that your doctor wants to help you and has years of studying this thing in school and there is the ''science'' to back all this, come on! it's a doctor, a psychiatrist, he must know things, no? and suddenly you see the other face of the coin and here comes the rage. It's hard for me to tamper because i don't have the drugs, they give me the drugs, so my only option it's going cold turkey, made them think that i swallowed the drugs, hiding them in my hand. So now I'm two weeks in cold turkey, trying to stay ''normal'' for family and doctors not to give away that you are in withdrawal, it's pretty hard. I'm going trough hell here and it's been only two weeks. I've been searching for information all this time, when I'm not in severe depression. I've found 5-htp which I'm on for 3 days now and it's good, placebo? i will take everything which will help me I've found meditation which make sense for me, but to try to concentrate on your breath for 5 minutes right now seems pretty hard, reading books on the subject helps me, I'm gonna do everything that i can to stay off the meds even if i need to die in the process.
  12. Hello friends, I am a 33-year old soul from Canada. I am biologically male and identify socially as such. English is my native language, though I have near-native fluency in French and some Spanish. A little over a year ago, I had posted a little bit about myself, including my horrific experience on Risperidone and other neuroleptics and the hellish place that I was at back then. It is with irrepressible elation, then, that I would like to tell you all what is now my wonderful story: Currently, I am nearly six months free of the scourge of Risperidone and other anti-psychotics and junk meds, I now drink alcohol less than I ever have at any point in my adult life, and I am 13 months clean of marijuana. Furthermore, by finally being able to discover and manage the devastating health condition that had crippled me for the first 33 years years of my life – namely one of the most severe cases of sleep apnea to have ever been diagnosed -- I have also overcome the cruel demons that had spent over 30 years not only sapping my cognitive strength, but also devastatingly undermining my emotional, social, spiritual, and physical well-being. I now feel better than I ever have: I feel happy, energetic, focused, and optimistic, all without the delusions and the manic or psychotic symptoms that I experienced the last time I felt this way. But the path that I took to reach this point and the anguish that I've had to endure for far too long to get here have been so relentlessly torturous that they are not something that I would even have wished on Adolf Hitler. For not only did I have to contend with severe undiagnosed sleep apnea for almost all of my life, but the changes that my CPAP therapy for the condition caused to my body and my mind led me to a severe episode of manic-psychosis, in spite of my only previous history of mental health problems having been a few months of intermittent panic attacks in 2005 that went away after my treating individual attacks with Lorazepam (ativan) for a few months. This condition, which is understandably difficult for psychiatrists and mental health professionals to understand and diagnose, occurs in some people upon getting treatment for severe sleep apnea and is known as CPAP-induced mania (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208920/). While it is more common among patients with a prior history of bipolar disorder, the study that I just linked to shows that it has been observed on occasion in individuals with no prior history of severe mental illness. The psychotic attack led to my being hospitalized and put on meds that may have initially been a necessary evil given the acute severity of my condition, but the consequences of my having taken these meds and my having to deal with their corresponding side-effects led to a severe episode of depression, the complete decimation of my energy, motivation, libido (risperidone and then latuda), and sense of pleasure or fun, a case of Cotard's Syndrome that had lasted for over a year (I thought that I was dead and in the afterlife of Hell and that this was my punishment for the all wrong I had done in my life), and constant delusions of reference that kept feeding the Cotard's Syndrome. All of this led to a second hospitalization and a misdiagnosis of Bipolar 1 with co-morbid alcohol and marijuana dependencies. It is only by quitting all meds in June that I have been able to come out the other side in these past months. That said, I am grateful for the years of torment and, even more so, for the most acute suffering that I particularly endured this past year and a half: For if I were to have been blessed with the gifts with which I have been bestowed without first having had to suffer being constrained by the chains of misery, I would be sorely lacking in the empathy, in the perspective, and in the sense of justice that make me who I am today. Without the past year and a half, I would still be far too petty, far too angry, and far too weak and easily-rattled to achieve anything close to my potential. If I may plagiarize Stan Lee, I would have this great power without also having the awesome sense of responsibility that must come with such incredible strength. With this preamble out of the way, let's move on with the bulk of my story. It is probably quite long and taxing, and I'm not sure how much value it will have for others, but it's a story that I nonetheless desperately need to tell.
  13. Hey all! My name is Cat (she/he pronouns) and I'm 20 years old. I've been on medication for depression and anxiety since I was 13 (7 years, what the heck). I've tried a wide range of medications since then, but I only put about the last year in my signature, There's been a lot less switching around in those years, which I'm grateful for! Recently, my psychiatrist was going to switch me to latuda from abilify. He told me to quit taking my 5 mg dose for a week, then start the new drug. That week (last week) was absolutely hellish. I had tried to come off of abilify before due to the large amount of weight gain it's caused me, but with bad results. I didn't ask my doctor about tapering this time, though - I figured he knew what he was doing and didn't really self-advocate. Horrible depressive symptoms, brain fry, fatigue, and confusion followed me stopping abilify, and they persisted even after my psychiatrist told me to go back on 2.5 mg. Yesterday he told me to start taking 5 again, and I've been feeling a little better (less like I want to die). This entire process has solidified some doubts about medication I'd been having. I'm a psychology undergraduate student in college and the more I learn about medication, the more I realize how guess-and-check the process is and how the studies don't tend to measure real-world results. I'm thinking about trying to come off some of my medications because even though they are "working" in the sense that I'm not suicidal, having panic attacks daily, and I can function fairly well, it's been so long since I haven't been a cocktail that I'm not even sure how my mood would be like not on 4 different drugs... I don't like taking and depending on this many pills. So yeah, I'm going to look around the forums and see what I can do to learn and help myself make an informed decision
  14. Hi everyone! I was prescribed Abilify for severe depression and anxiety and I have been able to slowly taper off thanks to miracle product called cysteine, highly recommend it. When I crossed 15mg of Abilify, instead of constipation I got diarrhea. Now, when I was on 9-8mg, even my genital numbness receded a little. However now, when I lowered the dose to 7.5mg, my genital numbness is even worse, I got constipation again as well as water retention. What might be going on?
  15. Good morning. I will start by saying that I am a healthy, sober, active woman in a happy supportive marriage and mom to 2 (mostly) wonderfuI teenage boys. Here's my story. I started taking Zoloft 17 years ago to help with postpartum depression and seasonal affect disorder that seemed to be worsening with age. I learned that I could get by with 100 mg in the summer and increase to 150 mg in the winter. A couple of years ago-during the summer- I noticed an increase in my depression. I was lacking joy, lacking motivation and energy, having difficulty focusing on tasks and was often weepy. I was intrigued by the commercials I saw for Abilify which promised to give me the boost I needed to get through the day. I tried talk therapy for a couple of months, but finding no relief, I asked to be prescribed Abilify. I experienced an immediate improvement in my mood and motivation. About a year in, I was discouraged by the inability to make it through the day without napping. Sometimes, I napped all afternoon. My Dr. prescribed Adderall to boost my mood and energy. The cocktail of Zoloft, Abilify and Adderall did seem to help for a while. The symptoms of lacking joy and motivation returned and I eventually concluded that the effect of the Zoloft had petered out. I came to believe over the years that I suffered from a chemical imbalance that would always need medication-it was the only logical explanation for depression considering my otherwise fulfilling life. So rather than increasing the Zoloft, I spoke with my Dr. about switching to a different antidepressant. I had come to believe that the Abilify really wasn't helping my symptoms and was perhaps contributing to the lack of motivation, so in an effort to wean from current medications in order to switch to a new one, Abilify was the first to go. I was running low on the prescription, so rather than refilling, I decided that I could taper with the remaining tablets since I was "only" on 5 mg. I don't know exactly how long that taper was-2 weeks or so. At first, there was no problem. Then about 3 weeks in, all hell broke loose with diarrhea, lack of appetite, crying jags and anxiety. Over the course of 3 weeks the only persistent symptom was debilitating anxiety. I tried eating better, exercising more, yoga, meditation, breathing, vitamin supplements to no avail. Although I suspected the anxiety was related to the Abilify discontinuation, my Dr. made no reference to this and seemed as mystified as me. After 2 months of trying holistic approaches, I conceded to trying new drugs. First she prescribed Gabapentin, 300 mg. With no improvement after 2 weeks, I discontinued. She then prescribed 75 mg of Welbutrin which I also discontinued after 2 weeks. She switched me to 30 mg of Adderall which seems to help boost my mood and energy without ironically, increasing my anxiety. Tired and depressed from the constant anxiety I was prescribed .5 mg of xanax 2 times per day. This does alleviate most of the anxiety. Curious about the root problem and concerned with taking Xanax, I started doing some research and eventually was directed to this site which affirms to me that I am suffering from prolonged discontinuation syndrome (4 months) resulting from my rapid discontinuation of Abilify. I am now more concerned than ever about using even a small amount of Xanax to calm my overactive nervous system, don't know if the Xanax may be prolonging the healing from the original Abilify discontinuation, wondering if reintroducing Abilify at a low dose and doing a 10% taper will work at this point and wondering how long this will last if I just suck it up and suffer the anxiety until it goes away. My ultimate goal was to stop taking everything so I could switch to a different antidepressant to deal with my "faulty chemistry". Now I don't know what to do and it is clear that my Dr. has no idea either.
  16. I am currently weaning off from both Wellbutrin and Abilify according to my psychiatrist's instructions, and I'm experiencing fatigue and loss of interest in doing anything. When I drink some strong coffee, my ability to cope and work returns, though I don't want to be dependent on caffeine either. It's my fifth day currently of not taking any medicine at all. I was told by my doctor that to return to myself without medication, it'll take about 7 - 9 days total. I'm hoping that it's just the withdrawal of medicine that's making me feel fatigued and uninterested in things, because I don't want to be like this naturally. These medicines were used to treat depression, but my doctor now suspects that I have bipolar II disorder. In case things go really bad before our appointment next week, he gave me a backup prescription of Carbamazepine -- but I really don't want to take it after reading the side effects. I was hoping that through exercise, I can cure my depressive episodes, just like some people have cured depression through rigorous exercise. I admit I am not exercising every day, but I did manage to run half a mile twice last week. I think I'm getting there, hopefully, and I'll try really hard. Essentially, I'm on a journey now to be medication-free and learn how to cope better without it (and I think I am more emotionally mature now, and all that needs to change is my energy levels and mood).
  17. Hi everyone. Thanks for reading this! This is my first post but I've read a lot. I'm in the south. 28 year old male. around 3 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist at the same office. I have a great relationship with both and I really trust them 100% with my care. I currently take 300 Wellbutrin, lamictal, buspar, abilify and cogentin Wellbutrin has been awesome over the years and so has buspar and lamictal. I was not diagnosed bipolar but they are using it as a mood stabilizer and it works well However over the years I've had some pretty bad circumstances and been on and off abilify. It works I guess in the way it can stop my obsessing andrew my mind slow down etc. I had been on about 10mg a year ago or so and then I stopped when I started lamictal. I had a bad turn around October last year and the cycle started again. Right now I'm on 5mg split between morning and night. 2.5mg. Oh and add the cogentin for good measure I have started to be quite foggy and started having some short term memory issues I think. The only thing we have changed in the last while was adding the cogentin and abilify back. I'm so worried my memory will not come back. I also need to talk to my pdoc this week as I want to start tapering off it. Thanks for reading! My mood was up and down and we started
  18. I had the psychosis diagnosis in 2011. Takeing Abilify. Want to stop takeing. The next visit to doctors is at 1 mai. And i want to take action now so i dropped my dosage to 15 mg. Plan to stay on it 50 days and the drop again by half. I am a little afraid because i havent told anybody. Im afraid of criticisim and confrontation. I plan to tell my brother when we meet, he is my rock but others to tell it is complicated. I started 4 months ago also family Psychotherapy and it has helped me alot.
  19. I'm a 32 year old bipolar female. Ive been on medication since I was 15 years old. I've been on Lexapro the longest. I've been on far more medication than I can remember and I was a vegetable for about 5 years as a teenager due to being put on way too many heavy meds before my family caught on to it and we switched to a new psychiatrist. I lost my charts from age 15 to the age of about 25 when I moved about 6 years ago so I don't have information of a very good memory of my past medications. I know Topamax was very bad for me as well as Wellbutrin, which gave me very bad sleep paralysis and nightmares. I wanted to go off Abilify due to foreseen expenses at changing insurance so I brought this to the attention of my doctor. He didn't lower my Abilify but proceeded to up my dose of Lamictal quickly while halving my Lexapro and then I was pulled off after a week. He also slightly increased my Abilify from 5 to 7.5 to 10 mg. All this happening at once seemed strange and I thought i trusted someone finally with my medications management. I have an IUD as well that was recently put in after my old one was taken out after 5 years. It doesn't help that I am now getting 2 periods a month while I already have severe depression related to my cycle. I am suicidal right now, so I called my psychiatrist to get an appointment or up my Lexapro and try again but he was unreachable. The first two days of going off the lexapro I felt really good. Then I got manic and couldn't sleep for about a month. Cycling between severe anger/anxiety and the worst depression. I told my doctor in my last appointment i thought it was because I got my period during the withdrawal and I needed it fixed before my next one. He upped my Lamictal again by 50mg. He says he wants me on 200mg of Lamictal by the end of the changes. Then have my period again after one week off. I don't know what to do. I can't sleep at night and I wake up worrying immediately. Panic attacks every night. The only thing that helps me relax at night is repeating "I'll be dead soon" in my head because thoughts about the future are tearing me apart. I'm taking Buspar every night and morning and then I need sometimes two more in the day to cover up panic attacks. I have a supportive environment. I know it cannot be easy for them. I was googling information to figure out what could be going on with me. I'm extremely fatigued the last two days. I thought I might have autism my memory and attention span has decreased but it was bad before, too. It's not that I am not trying to listen but I pretty much have always only heard half of what people say. My mind wanders really badly. So I work around it with patterns and filling in between the lines so I can meet day to day functioning. But since that's something unrelated, it seems, to the Lexapro withdrawal, it's not needed. It's just something I am just realizing, so I mentioned it. I have no job right now. I really would like to work and need the money but I'm not able to "human" right now. One thing that does help, is I like to write and paint and it is not effected by the depression/mood swings/cycling/whatever and my husband and friends are being super supportive. I found a local therapist today and have set up an appointment so hopefully that will help. I am considered disabled as I was put on SSI for bipolar and I have a piddling work history. Im still trying to fix that. I am also diagnosed recently with Borderline Personality Disorder, but my therapist said, before she left the group I go to, she doesn't think I have it. I wasn't even told. I just looked at my check out sheet one day and it was added at the top as a new diagnosis in the header. I found this site and I realized that it must be the withdrawal from Lexapro causing this problem. It gives me some hope that maybe it will get better. Thank you for making this site. It must take a lot of work.
  20. I am planning on having oral surgery to perform two implants where I have missing teeth. Fortunately these teeth are hidden at the back of my mouth so cosmetically not really an issue, but my bigger concern is maintaining normally healthy teeth throughout my life. First I consulted my regular dentist and he advised me that I am a candidate for either dental implants or bridgework. They look at bone structure and proximity to nerves running through the mouth. Next I requested a list of the medications prescribed in association with the procedure and researched them against my current medications. Since I am also taking a benzo I went to the benzo site and researched each of the meds there. In my case the following prescriptions are given: Amoxicillin/Cephalexin as a prophylatic antibiotic to prevent infection Chlorhexidine 0.12% as an oral antibiotic to help prevent any chance of secondary infection Vicodin/Percocet as narcotic pain medication Ibuprofen 800 mg as prescription strength pain medication Medrol Dospak as a corticosteriod to reduce post-operative swelling Next I met with the oral surgeon and explained that I am hypersensitive to medications. We discussed my drug history and the problem I had with Cipro back in fall 2011. I also told him how albuterol causes me to shake all over and that I am concerned about epinephrine. He recommended that I go with what is called twilight anesthesia. Twilight anesthesia is an anesthetic technique in which the patient is not unconscious, but sedated. The patient is sleepy, but able to answer questions and follow simple directions from the doctor. In this process they use a combination of midazolam, fentanyl and propofol. Midazolam (versed) is called a dissociative, it keeps nerve sensations from reaching the brain. Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid analgesic with a rapid onset and short duration of action. Propofol is a hypnotic/amnestic agent (puts you to sleep and causes you not to remember). He will also use a local, but since I will be sedated he only has to use about half as much of the local as he would if I wasn't sedated. I read on the benzo site where someone over there had this procedure with just the local ... and they used carbocaine rather than novacaine and did just fine. Not sure I'm that brave ... I think I'd rather be slightly knocked out and not remember the procedure. My procedure is scheduled for about 3 weeks from now. I'd be interested in any comments from members who are withdrawing from antidepressants and who have either had implants or used any of these meds while in the process of withdrawing or after withdrawing. I am going to do some more research, but if all goes as planned I will update this thread with my experience for other members who may plan this type of procedure in the future.
  21. Hello All, I am glad I found this site because I have been at wits end trying to find someone who has information/experience about withdrawing from the drug abilify I was put on it after a brief hospitalizatioon in May 2013 for a suicide attempt/depression side of bipolar. I also take Trileptal 900mgam/pm. On Abilify I have experienced anticholinergic effects, orthostatic hypotension, and a sedated kind of doped out feeling and thoughts are not always clear. It is my desire to get off Abilify because of its dangers of more intense SE's as time goes on and the desire to prepare my body for pregnancy. My husband and I are currently trying now. I am 43 and believe my childbearing years are waning. I recently discussed my situation with my doctor in letting him know about my feelings, etc. At that point we made the agreement not to get off just yet because I had been studying for an RN refresher course and had a huge exam in which I took two days ago. I had been searching all over the internet and making calls to detox centers and no one has heard of abilify detox. I regret going on the abilify and think a lot of these drs are very quick to prescribe anything for any little thing. My doctor likes to tell me "You are doing better than you think you are" and I have to disagree. I canceled my appt which was a day before my exam with him specifically bc I did not want to get into a stressful conversation with him before my nursing exam which was a wise choice on my part. My next appt with him is Oct. 2. I am tired of being convinced that I need to be on it and leaving his office with yet another prescription for 15mg of Abilify. And when I discuss all the dangerous SE"s with him that e could possibly happen he just says Oh that's a small percentage and the drug company has to put that on the list because there's a 0.1% chance of that happening. This really bothers me.....And I am not sure how any Dr. can consciously and ethically prescribe this drug knowing all the possible things that could happen. (See Drugs.detox.com) I just want to get off of it safely and I honestly don't think most Dr's know how to do this or even want to. The last time I expressed getting off a regime before he wanted me to sign a liability waiver. I am not sure how to approach this subject again with him and I am tired of being "compliant" He has made so much money off of me visiting him every two weeks. And to complicate matters since I was hospitalized the state board of nursing put me on a 5 year probationary status where I am tied into seeing this Dr. and they are looking for compliance. But does compliance mean doing everything the doc says? My doctor believes that the only possible reason to give the board as to tapering down is a possible pregnancy since he has to report to them every 90 days. (He seems to dismiss any of the SE's I am experiencing as a reason to discontinue) And I'm afraid if I get pregnant then he's going to want to take me down fast. So I need to know how to propose to him taking me down BEFORE I get pregnant. I feel like a gullible fool for him making me believe I need this and me knowing all the dangers associated with it but I know there is a physical dependence going on here. And I'd l to like to know how others have done this and approached their Dr's on this issue (of getting off) I'd like to know the best way to self advocate....and how I can guide my doctor into the best way of tapering down and what is that? I have heard the 10% rule but a lot of these docs want to go down 30 to 50% within a week to four weeks and because I have an upcoming hospital clinical in the next two months I don't want to attempt a drastic change.but the need for me to get off this is very strong......Any suggestions of how to handle this next appointment? My nephrologist says that I should be political, about it but I am not sure exactly what that means or how to go about it. (Help!!)
  22. Hey, I've been trying to get off medications for a while now, to no avail. I'm currently on 30mg Remeron, 300mg Effexor, and 10mg Abilify. I also take a lot of vitamins and fish oil with a high concentration of EPA. I don't feel very good right now, and I've had periods where I've felt good, but I'm pretty sure they were just times that were flukes. I think the things that really help me are exercise, meditation, and to some degree, my vitamins and fish oil, but I really do want to get off of the medications. For over four years I've been reliant on these medications, and still I haven't felt very good at all during the time. I started getting off of my medications by taking 75mg less of the Effexor XR (I was on 375mg). I will report back how that goes. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
  23. I took Wellbutrin XL for eleven years. The first couple of years at 150 mg, then up to 300 mg. About 5 years ago, 1/2 of a 2 mg Abilify every 3 days was added to the mix. I actually felt fine on the meds for the most part. I briefly went off of the Wellbutrin about 6 or 7 years ago, and then went right back on because I felt like crap. I'm actually only off the drugs now because my insurance changed, and I couldn't afford the drugs out of pocket. So when I ran out, I (FOOLISHLY) quit taking them. Cold turkey. I actually still have some of the Abilify, but I didn't want to take it without the Wellbutrin. It's been about 5 long weeks, but I no longer feel like I'm living underwater. However, I still have days or stretches of the day where I have brain fog, low motivation, and anhedonia. I know I should have tapered, but I didn't. The first two weeks, I ate like a pig--totally uncontrollable, especially at night--and felt like I was in molasses. I gained weight, which has become a problem. I've never had a weight problem my entire life, and then the last 3 years, I've gained 30 lbs. Then, I started taking L-Dopa and Tyrosine, which I think helped. But now, I'm looking to rebalance my brain without more brain altering substances that leave me dependent. For the past week (on tyrosine only, decided to take a break from the L-dopa), I've been unexpectedly tearful at certain moments, which I hadn't experienced since the year after my mother died (6 years ago). These have been prompted by real emotional situations (one friend's father died and we were commiserating about losing parents; another friend's dog died and one of my dogs died a year ago December). I'm realizing that I've been partially blunted by medication for so long, I'm not sure who I am emotionally or how who I am right now will shift as my brain continues to reboot. Right now, I'm trying to focus on eating a really healthy diet and weaning off of sugar and flour. I'm still drinking alcohol, which is my next thing to try to eliminate as I try to get my brain to function "normally" and to lose weight. I fear I may have monkeyed terribly with how my brain functioned and that I may not be able to get back to the way I was 10-12 years ago, which was going through some depression, but otherwise functioning well with eating, weight, motivation, exercise, etc.
  24. I am new to this site and would like to introduce myself and get some support. I have been on antidepressants for 21 years and have struggled with them and trying to go off of them. I have always followed doctors advice and it has hurt me. Currently I tapered down to 10 mg of celexa very fast over the last year after many updoses to 80mg at one time. I have been at 10mg for 9 weeks and having horrible adrenaline all day and night. This began a few years ago and is getting worse. I was also directed to stop temazepam 15mg 9 days ago after 2 months of use. I didn't know it was so addictive otherwise I would not have taken it. I have had sporatic benzo use over the years but nothing more than small doses used infrequently about 4 times in 20 years. I do not know what to do now. I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms for so long, should I hold at 10mg and wait for stabilization or up dose the celexa. I am struggling quite a bit and can't write as much as I would like. Any support would be appreciated.
  25. Dear all, I am currently coming off abilify, I am on 3ml of abilify liquid titration. 2007 August- voluntary patient in a private clinic abroad- fro 3 months- turning point for me for the better- prescribed abilify..and lorazepam...took abilify for 7 years but not the benzo as luckily, when I returned my GP took them away from me saying they were highly addictive.... After returning to university and graduating .. It was then I decided to face events from the past and ask questions.. which were never answered at the time. In 2013 I decided to come off them, a withdrawal plan was set up and my brain went like a yoyo- after taking 15 mg for 6 years.. psychiatrist prescribed 15 for a month, 10 alternating days, 10-5 mg for another few months alternating days... my delicate CNS was in so much pain.. I stopped at 5 mg in 2014 around June..but I went from 10to 5mg big drop.. ..from September 2014 to January- the most horrible pain ever.. January 2015- now 2.5mg also half. It was when I went on holiday in spain after going to A&E that in september 2014 after not being able to cope for months with these headaches..that I was told not to decrease so rapidly, or on alternate days, or more than 15%- news to me. ..In august 2015 decided to go back to 5mg- I had to make the decision to increase the meds and face pain and improve memory than have more memory loss and also pain...I will get there but don't know how long it will take..hoping..can someone please advise.. all I seem to be getting is guesswork