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Found 9 results

  1. I was given 20 mg of Prozac back in 1997 for depression. I was still technically a minor back then. I had an initial "high" from the Prozac which was mistaken for me not being depressed anymore. A few months later, Prozac stopped working and I had completely lost my sexual functioning. I told my doctor about this, so I was switched to Effexor. I kept on being switched from medication to medication in an attempt to achieve the initial "high" of the Prozac and to reverse the sexual functioning but things just got worse. One day I was put on a medication called Wellbutrin and that caused a manic episode from the first dose which caused me to have to be put into an inpatient facility. I was now switched from just being depressed to having bipolar disorder. I was put on Depakote which stopped the manic episode. Depakote caused me a lot of suffering, so I decided to cold turkey the medication about 6 months later. This led to another inpatient hospitalization and now I was polydrugged with Depakote and Zyprexa. This was the first polydrug combination I was on. This combination of medications was even worse because I was sleeping at least 16 hours a day. After another 6 months or so, I cold turkeyed both of these medications and that led to another inpatient hospitalization. I was fortunate in some ways to have the Zyprexa removed and be able to function somewhat ok on just Depakote and now Klonopin. I stayed on Depakote for years but my sexual issues were never solved and I had a lot of other side effects from Depakote such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease like symptoms. In around 2005, I discovered the first person who had described the same sexual issues I experienced. It was called Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction. I discovered forums similar to this one, and consumed books by people like Dr. Breggin. In 2007, I was able to successfully withdraw safely from all medications by switching over to lithium and valium and using a compound pharmacy to taper down. I felt a lot better and recovered from some of the damages caused by the medications. I began social drinking in 2008 because I felt like I missed out on such a big part of my life. About 6 months later, I completely lost my ability to sleep probably due to the alcohol damaging what the benzos had already damaged. I was forced into a state psych ward and given a diagnosis of bipolar NOS, psychosis, anxiety etc. After 3 or 4 months in the state psych ward, I left on a combination of Depakote ER and Ativan. I had to eventually updose the Depakote ER and switch to Klonopin again. So for the last 3 years or so, I've been on 1250 mg of Depakote ER and 3 mg of Klonopin. While I am not suffering nearly as much as I did when I was bombarded with antipsychotics like Haldol and Geodon, life isn't nearly as good as I know it could be. That's why I want to get help in coming off of the Depakote ER and Klonopin safely. My confidence level is a bit low because I feel like I may be damaged beyond repair due to being on dozens of psychiatric medications and due to the past experience with insomnia I freak out when I cannot sleep and that is what is happening now. I started to taper off of Depakote ER on 11/24/2014 and I'm on 750 mg Depakote ER now and 3 mg of Klonopin. That's my intro but I'm not sure what to do next...
  2. I've been meaning to introduce myself for a while now, but getting myself to sit down and actually write something has been so incredibly hard. I just can't focus. Things I want to say or share come in bits and pieces and are gone by the time I can get on this site. I'very been tapering off Lexapro since August and am down to 10 mg fromy 30. I know it's faster than suggested here, but it seems to be OK. Well, I am still alive anyway. Since I can only seem to put together short thoughts on everything and need to get them out right away, I've decided to use Twitter primarily #TweetingMyRecovery. My handle is @AbleWriterSays if anyone cares to join me or follow along.
  3. I am writing this as an addendum to My Story which details what ADs did to my life and discusses to a degree how I got my life back. However, I am writing this to elaborate on what certain problems where posed both physically and logistically after I stopped taking medications. Please keep in mind that I went COLD TURKEY and did not taper, which differentiates me from many people on here; also my story took place over 10 years ago, so my memory is not is 100% clear which means it is hard for me to apply a quantitative number to aspects of my physical recovery. In 2002 I quit cold turkey from a drug cocktail that included an Antidepressant (Celexa), an Antipsychotic (Zyprexa), an Anticonvulsant (Depakote), a Benzo (Ativan), a Z-Drug (Ambien) and a prescription diet pill (Phenteramine – given to me by my pdoc to lose the 60 pounds of weight I gained from the other weight gaining medications). The physical ramifications of quitting cold turkey where hard core, and lasted to the best of my recollection in hard core form for six months. These were: insomnia, exhaustion, akathesia, flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea and vomiting, total loss of appetite and over-sensitivity to certain substances. There were also mental symptoms: overwhelming memories, mania, depression, over-emotional reactions to certain situations (e.g. crying or extreme anger) and PTSD from the whole ordeal. It is important to note that many of these symptoms continued to linger in a much lesser form for several years. I know that many of you would like a firm number of how long I suffered, but I cannot put a number on it because I started my recovery in 2002 – 10 years ago. This is further complicated by the fact that to get through the exhaustion from WD, I smoked cigarettes anywhere from one to one and a half packs for many years after. Since smoking can mimic some of the symptoms of WD (loss of appetite, headaches, mania, anger) it is hard to delineate what was what. However, I do believe that smoking provided mental focus that I would not have had otherwise. I finally quit smoking in 2007, five years after stopping meds. It was an odd thing, I just stopped one day and no longer wanted to smoke anymore. Maybe this was a sign of my recovery, but it may also have been a reaction to the fact that because of NY laws and my husband, if I needed to smoke I had to go outside. Smoking outside in the rain or cold was getting stupid. I do believe that part of this was a sign of final recovery – I didn’t need to mask symptoms anymore. So if this is true, and I had to put a number on it – I would say I battled with minor symptoms and PTSD for five years So what problems was I left with after drugs had stolen my life? And how did I regain control? Here is a list: Weight Gain A ruined job history A ruined credit history from filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Over $20K in debt to the IRS plus two tax liens PTSD Estrangement from my family I was fully aware of the PTSD, and would think on occasion of reaching out to a therapist. However, because the whole ordeal left me extremely suspicious of the whole field of mental health, I declined to reach out to anyone. So based on this list, I will try to tackle how I recovered in each area: 1) Weight Gain: I lost my appetite during WD and I also became a huge walker. In one year I lost sixty pounds with little effort. I did eat, but I ate very small meals, 200 kcal 3-5 times a day, mostly high protein and I ate an apple a day and I drank a TON of herbal tea. 2) A ruined job history: I had been fired from three high paying jobs, all in IT. I had no references, a job gap of four years, but I had good computer and office skills so I reached out to temporary agencies. I worked as a temp for many years, in the NY/NJ area only taking jobs at Fortune 500 companies. I built up my resume this way. Today, I list those jobs as “contract” and I explain that I liked the flexibility of “contract work” and that I was in the process of getting married and building a home with my husband, no one questions it. 3) A ruined credit history: I got a copy of all three of my credit reports and joined a credit law forum. I found that there were many examples where creditors where breaking either or both the FCRA or FDCPA laws on my credit report. I also hired an attorney. The attorney got 50% of it cleared up, I got the other 50% cleared up myself by tenacious letter writing and disputing with the Credit Bureaus. The forum I used had a great database of creditors who gave people with Bankruptcy on their reports a card with a small credit line; I applied to all of these and rebuilt my credit this way. When I married my husband in 2005, he added me as an authorized user to his accounts, giving me a longer and stronger credit history. 4) Tax Debt and Liens: After hiding from the IRS for several years, I contacted them and got on an installment plan. Because I was not working at the time I called them, my payment amount was on $185 for $20K+ in debt. I paid it faithfully for years; in October 2011 I was paid in full. Because the IRS has a law that you cannot pay more than 25% in interest and penalties of the actual tax debt, a good $10K got knocked off the total bill. But I still had two tax liens on my credit report. I did some research and found out about a service called the Tax Advocate service which is run through the IRS. I contacted my local Tax Advocate. For the sake of brevity, I will not go into the details of how I argued my case to get two tax liens released, but I did and in 2005 poof they were gone from my life and my credit report. If anyone needs more info, I would be happy to answer questions later in this post. 5) PSTD: I just endured this, but chose to embrace anger over victimhood. I was one extremely angry person for many years and I ruminated and had nightmares for years. I often thought about writing the SHRINK who did this to me, but refrained. One thing that I learned from this whole ordeal was to trust in my instincts which was empowering and allowed me to pick and chose my relationships with people and situations that were good for me. I let go of many friends who were not healthy for me. 6) Estrangement from my family: In 2003 I was estranged from my entire family (father, mother and brother). Today I am by choice still estranged from by father and brother. This is because I realize it is futile to ever expect them to change and to stay in relationship with them will only hurt me. I have however, repaired my relationship with my mother. I am extremely happy to share that six months ago I convinced her to move from Illinois to New York and reclaim her life. She tapered off multiple pmeds herself around 2007 and was left with two medical conditions diabetes and downbeat nystagmus from taking lithium and depakote for many years. She lived alone, my brother who lived close by was not helping her, and she was not getting the proper medical attention so she agreed with me. Today she lives 2 miles away from me, we are extremely close and I have helped her get her life back. My husband and she adore each other. So that is how I put the pieces of my life back after being devastated by polypharmacy. And I joined this forum because I think it is important that people know that taking these medications can be extremely harmful on so many levels. I hope this information helps someone out there. Please feel free to post any questions you may have. I wish all of you the best and trust that if I could restore my life which was utterly devastated by psychiatry, you can too.
  4. I am on Fetzima80 mg, Geodon 160 mg, Depacote 1000mg, Desaryl 600 mugs Klonapin4mg, Neurontin 1000 mg, Clonadine 25 mg, Percocet2 tabs/day and Tinzanadine 3 tabs/day plus meds forthyroid and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I feel like the meds are a major food group and I'm sick of taking so many meds I have been on this regiment for10 years. I need help on Howard whatto taper off first?
  5. Michael: What to taper first?

    Hello,my name is Michael.I would First like to thank everyone for having me.I hope this group can help with my tapering off of psych meds.I know to go slow and 1 at a time.I take Xanax 3mg,Cymbalta 60mg,and Depakote 1000mg daily.Which drug would be recommended to taper first.Any help or feedback is greatly appreciated
  6. Hi All! Just wanted to say I've been scouring this site for advice from people who have gone through tapering before, and have found the advice here invaluable. I wish I knew about it sooner because it would have saved me a lot of heartache. Here is my history: I had been an extremely anxious child, kind of a hypochondriac, and extremely sensitive. In 2000 when I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with major depression, and had some psychotic episodes (mostly paranoia). During this time, my parents gave me some of my dad's medications (I am not sure which ones) which may have exacerbated the situation. After two weeks, I started on 20 mg of Paxil and 25 mg of Seroquel in 2000. Tapered off of Seroquel quickly after a week or so, stayed on the 20 mg of Paxil until 2007. Cold turkey off of Paxil for 9 months - experienced a number of side effects - head zaps, mood swings, irrational behavior, hypomania. After 9 months, reinstated 20 mg of Paxil, was on 40 mg for a few weeks. Saw my Pdoc and she told me to go on 10 mg Paxil, 50 mg of Seroquel, and 250 mg of Depakote for my new bipolar diagnosis. I stayed on this until summer of 2014 when I tried weaning off of Paxil to 5mg. Within 2 or 3 months I started feeling hopeless and depressed even with the Seroquel and Depakote. Went to Pdoc, he told me my depression was returning, and so I reinstated to 10mg. In March of 2015, I switched from 10 mg of Paxil to 10 mg of Prozac by adding 10 mg of Prozac for 2 weeks, cutting down the Paxil to 5 mg in another two weeks, and then completely off the Paxil in another two weeks. I experienced some minor depression for a few days. I didn't know I was experiencing withdrawal at the time. In May of 2015, I weaned off the Depakote with a schedule from Pdoc from 250mg to 125 mg in two weeks, then off completely two weeks after that. I didn't experience any debilitating withdrawal symptoms with Depakote, except one day of diarrhea which could have also been food poisoning. On 9/9/15 I started tapering off of Seroquel from 50 mg to 25 mg which was my Pdoc's tapering schedule. The night of the cut, I immediately experienced insomnia and got a few hours of in and out sleep. After about 3 or 4 days I got a little bit more sleep and was feeling a lot sharper and less sluggish. I realized that the Seroquel was what was blunting my emotions and contributing to extreme apathy. I was also sleeping way too much and feeling groggy the next day. So when I went off of it, I felt amazing. After about 4 days, I cut the half into another half (12.5 mg), didn't get much sleep but still felt sharp, but experienced cold sweats. Some anxiety started to creep in as well. In my anxiety, I decided I wanted to get off completely, and so I didn't take it that night and had the worst insomnia I'd ever had. I slept for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. The next day I was having trouble regulating body temperature, had chills and sweats, and felt like all my nerve endings were raw and exposed. I reinstated to 12.5 mg and felt immediate relief in my withdrawal symptoms the next day. A couple of days on 12.5 mg wasn't cutting it, so I went back up to 25mg. I was beginning to feel extremely anxious and depressed in the morning, and had mini panic attacks during my lunch breaks at work. I decided to go back up to 35 mg, which is where I am now. 35 mg of Seroquel and 10 mg of Prozac. I am feeling pretty stable these past two days after reinstating the 35mg of Seroquel, still early morning disturbances and manageable levels of anxiety and depression in the morning. I usually feel much better by noon. I do still have dizziness and headaches as well. I am now 29 years old, have a 9-5 job, work out regularly (4-6 times a week), and am eating as well as I can. I am taking no supplements. This forum has been extremely helpful to me and was instrumental in my reinstating. I have often been too stubborn, thinking all my effort is going to waste, and end up suffering a lot. It is important to me to continue working and keep up with my social life and exercise. I know that it will contribute to my healing, along with prayer and knowing Jesus is beside me every step of the way. From the Slowness of Slow Tapers thread, I found a lot of encouragement to be patient and to hold until feeling stable. This is going to be a long and arduous journey, but I have hope that I will at least be on as little medication as possible, or none at all.
  7. In 2007 I was put on meds at 19 for depression. Then they decided I was bi-polar, the bi-polar where you are just really depressed. So from 2007 until November 2012 I was on a cocktail of meds. Three meds at a time. I was on abilify, wellbutrin, sequel ( only for two weeks because it made me extremely tired) Lamictal, Depakote, Effexor and so on. So what would happen is my psychiatrist would prescibe meds and I would feel better and didn't want to take them so I would stop or miss a lot of days. When I would go to see him I lied and said I was taking them and they didn't do anything so he would prescribe a different medication. It was always three at a time and I would stop or skip days of taking the medications. So this went on for 5 years. So in I believe July 2012 I was prescribed Effexor and was also on Lamictal and something else. So I was missing days as usual for months and in mid November 2012 I woke up and had this really weird detached feeling like I was in a dream, things weren't real. So I freaked out. I had been trying to get a hold of my psychiatrist and had learned within two weeks he unexpectedly retired and fled the country and no one could communicate with him. A few days later I stop the Effexor, Lamictal and whatever that drug was cold turkey. I didn't know what to do. Oh I forgot to mention, my leg went totally numb in August 2012. In early December 2012 I got double vision. So my family doctor sent me in for a MRI. I had an appointment in Cleveland on December 23rd 2012 and they diagnosed me with multiple sclerosis. So I thought "this feeling" I had was caused by my ms. So in January 2013 I was put on zoloft, Lamictal and abilify. Later that summer 2013, I had a breakdown bc of being diagnosed with ms and was hospitalized. They changed my meds to abilify, zoloft and depokote, because I had been on them before. Then from that time to now I have switched meds. Zoloft was a constant and I tried, Topamax, and the invega and abilify shot. So for the past year, I have been on latuda 40mg and zoloft 200mg. I have started weening off. My doctor just started me on 20mg of Latuda to ween off. I am starting with Latuda and then zoloft. So I thought for years this feeling was due to my ms, but I am learning more and more it's most likely due to the on going meds I have been on. Hence why I am finally weening off and stopping! Can someone please give me any advice or info, thank you for any help. I was wondering if you think my derealization/ depersonalization is from the meds?? Will it go away after weening off these meds for good? Do you think it will take years to heal and get rid of this horrible dr/ dp? Is there anything else I can do to help myself go back to normal and get rid of this feeling for good? I will still be taking my ms medication which is Tecfidera. Please and input would be much appreciated, Thank You
  8. Hello! This is my intro post. Currently my brain is rather fuzzy due to withdrawal symptoms so I apologize if this post gets confusing or if I end up giving up before I've had a chance to share all the info that I need to. If I do, I'll come back and add info later. Feel free to ask me questions too! I'm a 32 (turning 33 next month) year old female from the Sacramento area of California. I'm a freelance graphic designer currently living with my boyfriend of 7 years. He's the primary bread winner of the household and we're currently not hurting too bad for money so I chose this time to go off of my medications. I'm also fortunate enough to have a very wonderful and loving support network of family and friends. I joined this site so that I have a place to talk about what I'm going through with people who have gone through it and are currently going through it. My support network is great, but there's only so many questions they can answer. I also don't want to cause any added stress to their lives. Here's my long and boring history with psych meds (note, my memory isn't that great, so dates may not be completely accurate)... Prescription and diagnoses history: I was prescribed Prozac for depression at around age 16 (1997), which made me incredibly manic and gave me hallucinations, so I was switched to Clomipramine shortly after that. I reacted badly to the Clomipramine as well, so they then switched me to Paxil. It was then suggested at around age 18 (1999) to my mother and I that I probably had bipolar disorder and so I was prescribed Lithium to take along with the Paxil. Between 1999 and 2002-ish, I continued on the Paxil, but my second medication changed a few times, from Lithium to Zyprexa to Depakote. The Zyprexa made me gain a LOT of weight. Around 2003 or 2004 I switched to Celexa because the Paxil was making me unable to cry or orgasm (sorry if TMI). I have since been on 20mg Celexa and 500mg (and later 250mg) Depakote daily from then until earlier this year. I've also been taking Lorazepam as needed (though not very frequently, maybe an average of one dose per week or so) since around 2001. Why I decided to go off of my meds: Well for one thing, I was an adolescent when they were prescribed to me and I'm now in my thirties. Also, doctors were handing these meds out like candy at that time (probably still are, I'm not sure, I don't have any kids of my own). I feel like my brain and body and metabolism have changed a lot since then. When I was first prescribed them, I was under 100lbs and when I started tapering I was 175 (I've lost 10lbs since tapering). I'm in a different place in my life as far as stability and mental state goes, and when I would start to think that I would have to be on these meds the rest of my life just to function, I got incredibly depressed at that thought. Also, there's a slight chance that I might want to have kids someday (still very unsure, but the remote chance is there), and I wouldn't want to be on these meds while pregnant or breastfeeding. I decided that I would go completely off of all meds, then re-evaluate. I don't want to ever go back on the meds, but I'd like to look into other treatments if needed. The counselor that my doctor has me see once a month says that based on my history, it doesn't sound like I ever was bipolar, but of course that remains to be seen. I personally think I was misdiagnosed. Depakote taper: I tapered off of the Depakote by skipping progressively more doses every few weeks until I felt worse on the days that I took the pill than I did on the off days. I have been completely off of Depakote since July of this year. The first two dose reductions were pretty rough. Mostly mood swings and headaches and lack of appetite. Going off completely from taking one 125mg pill every 4 days was pretty easy for me. Celexa taper: I started tapering the Celexa in mid August, starting by breaking my 20mg tablets in half (they're oval shaped and scored in the middle so that was easy). Then I started cutting the halves in half for my second reduction, which wasn't as easy. The first few weeks of each dose reduction were pretty rough. Symptoms included mood swings, irritability, rages, flu-like symptoms, chills, sweats, loss of appetite, food tasting different, difficulty digesting certain foods (greasy foods, red meat), inability to tolerate much alcohol or caffeine. I used to drink one to two cups of coffee per day, but I can now only handle up to a half of a cup or I get incredibly jittery and wired. But if I drink no coffee, I get bad headaches. Since this latest reduction (from 5mg to 0, which started on the 19th of October), my friend suggested switching to green tea. So far it's helping. My symptoms don't feel quite as bad after having a cup. So that brings me to now. As of today, I'm on day 9 of no Celexa. The first 2 days weren't too bad. The third day was manageable. The fourth day and every day since has been progressively worse. I've had flu-like symptoms most of the time. I'm not exactly getting the "brain zaps" that I would sometimes get if I missed a few doses before, but they're more like "brain twitches" I guess. Just slightly less jarring than brain zaps. If I lay really still, I can avoid them, but other than that they're pretty much constant. It's incredibly disorienting, so I can't drive at all. I'm constantly alternating between being too hot and too cold. Sometimes I feel like I have a fever, but it's only ever low grade when I take my temperature. My muscles are sore, I'm starting to get twitches that make my head kinda rotate to one side quickly. My jaw clenches tightly for no reason sometimes. I've been manic for the most part, wanting to do "ALL THE THINGS!" but my brain is too foggy to be able to deal with even some of the things. Loud noises are incredibly disorienting to me, it feels like my ears kind of clench up and my brain sort of "twangs". I have a hard time dealing with certain situations and I'm very quick to anger. I have to keep myself from snapping at people. I love my boyfriend very much, but I have a hard time dealing with him when he's home since I've started tapering. I feel the intense need for alone time, like I can't deal with people at all, even the ones I love the most. The past few days I've been having a hard time finding words when speaking (it's not too bad typing) and I get easily confused and my short term memory is horrible. I've been having incredibly vivid dreams with all senses very much in full effect, mostly dreams about mundane everyday stuff, so it's very hard to differentiate between what's really happened and what was a dream. My doctor has prescribed me benadryl to help me sleep, so I take that almost every night and I'm sure that's not helping with my symptoms. I've also had to take my Lorazepam more often to deal with the anxiety from the withdrawals. I think it's gonna be a long time before I can go completely off of that. Oh, and last night I had my first random crying spell, but I felt much better afterwards. Some things that help: Music, watching favorite TV shows on Netflix, indulging in my hobbies (art, archery, books, geeky fandom communities online), hanging out with my cat. Animals help me a lot. Sometimes I'll sit by the window and listen to the birds, or if I'm out and about I'll go to the pet store and look at the animals. Also meditation and stretching help a lot. And sensory stuff, like squishy stress balls or silly putty. I have 3 sets of bucky balls (little super strong ball magnets) that I play with sometimes and make shapes with, then squash. Wow! This got way longer than I had planned. I guess I had a lot to get off of my chest and I've got a kind of long history. Sorry if I put anyone to sleep. I'm looking forward to being a part of this community, helping anyone I can help, and reading about your experiences as well! I'm pretty drained now so I think I'll step away from the computer for a while, but I'll come back later to see if there are any replies and to read the other threads. Nice to meet y'all! -Stormy
  9. Hello everyone. I'm new to the group. I've been on lithium for more than 3 years. Lately, my memory loss has been worse, I've been having frequent nighttime awakening to go to the restroom because of the Lithium so over the past year my sleep has been off. I am exhausted and extremely frustrated that they pushed a label on me to begin with when I was finally discovering myself. In any case, I don't have a lot of support from my husband or psychiatrist and my psychiatrist is recommending that I switch to Depakote because of the side effects of the Lithium. So I know that in order to get off the medication without having a manic episode, I need to do it slowly and i obviously can't continue with lithium for that long. Do I introduce Depakote in the meantime and drug myself up with both until I get to a stable dose? Is Depakote hard to get off of? What do you recommend? I don't get it.. I had infections both times that I had a manic episode, plus both times I got my period in the hospital. Both times I was sleep deprived beforehand... and my psychiatrist even admitted to me that sleep deprivation causes people to lose some of their inhibitions. I was also going through profound transformations at the time and getting in touch with emotions and parts of myself that I hadn't allowed myself to be and what gives them the right to tell me I have bipolar when they can't even explain the physical/emotional components? Plus I have MTHFR (a genetic mutation) and some other sensitivities and deficiencies like anemia (not iron deficiency). Thank you. Looking forward to your input.
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