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Found 33 results

  1. I am a little over a month into this part of my tapering story, (Celexa-free now) and last week I had a lot of anxiety, which did not come as a surprise to me. I had somatic obsessions, tactile hallucinations, paranoia, and sometimes I wince from the intrusive thoughts or images that come up. My partner has been witnessing moments of this struggle which sparked a discussion. She says it hurts her to see me in pain and she urged me to think more critically about why I am doing what I am doing. When I tried to explain that sometimes withdrawal is just hard and requires patience, she said that I was rationalizing everything and didn't have any plan in place for when I should stop what I was doing or increase dosages again. She feels as if I don't leave enough room for her feelings or take into account how my actions in this process affect our relationship. She does not have personal experience with mental illness or medication which for some reason makes hearing that from her feel even harder. I feel judged in moments, though I really do think this is my own projection, and as a result I am not able to comfortably voice how I feel. I responded to all of this rather defensively. It felt like she wasn't trusting me to know what I need and it also seemed like this process, (which is hard for me already) was burdensome to her somehow. I felt like this is incredibly challenging for me and I need her amazing strength, love, and support right now, more than ever. I care so much about how she feels and this relationship but I want to be in control of this very personal process. She also thinks I am undergoing this journey in hopes of an idealized vision of reality without medication. While I do have hope for what life might be like drug-free, I try really hard to stay grounded and not have too many expectations. Maybe she's right in that regard. I don't know how to create more space for her to have feelings about how I'm feeling. It feels messy. I start dissociating during our conversations and losing time, losing information. She is very sharp and has an amazing memory so I simply cannot compete. We have barely talked in the past two days, we both feel really frustrated. We have both explicitly stated our needs and yet this still does not feel resolved. Neither of us can seem to relax into a willing state of mind until the other does. I feel so angry and I can't tell where it is coming from. Does anyone relate to this? I'm not sure how to move forward? Otto
  2. Hello, Everyone here seems really wonderful and pretty knowledgable. I am trying to get off Lithium and Risperidone. But I need to do it safely as I am in college and can't take time off like I would like to. It seems it is hard to get off of these meds for many people. I got the "ok" from my doctor to get off of them, as I was only on them to begin with because of some traumatic things that happened in my life and I needed help adjusting.. however my doctor isn't really practicing anymore it seems.. its impossible to get ahold of her, so I am trying to figure out how to do this on my own. I really feel I am ready to be off of them yet cannot find a clear answer on the web as the how to do it. Can anyone help me? I have a very long history with medications (I was pretty sick for about 10 years.. only some of the meds are listed in my signature, mostly just ones during my worst) and while getting off of them, I never had withdrawals from any of them besides Citalopram. Currently, I am on 4.5mg of Risperidone and have been for a couple of years and I am on 1200mg of Lithium and have been on it for the same amount of time. I'm not sure if weight/height/age matter for getting off medications but in case it does I am 5'2 124lbs and am 24 years old. I would like to know how slowly I have to go off of these in order for it to not really effect much of my life or if I just need to be prepared to feel awful. Also, should I go one at a time? And if so, which medication should I start with? I am also on Amitriptyline. I deal with depression sometimes. Will going off of Lithium and Risperidone effect my mood? Also, when I was sick those years, I lived in a room and never left, it effected me very much. Thats why I am on Lithium and Risperidone now. When I re-entered society, it was pretty scary and created a lot of anxiety. Just having to ask someone a question was so foreign and startling to me that I decided to go on these drugs to help lower my anxiety and urges that I would get because of fear. I have readjusted really well, am doing great in school, finally able to talk to people, and hopefully will soon be able to better make friends, but these medications effect parts of my brain that I think I need. These medications make me feel less and I miss feeling what is around me. My art practice has kind of crumbled since I've been on them. They were helpful when I needed them but as I have said, I just feel it is time to be off of them. However, I am worried that going off will effect my ability to think clearly. I have come across this information in a few different places. But all in all, I just need some advice as to how to get off of these. If anyone has any advice for me about anything I have shared in terms of these medications, why I am on them or what to do to get off of them, I would really appreciate it. As I am worried I will fall back into a bad place if I don't go off of Lithium and Risperidone carefully. And although I don't have many withdrawals, I am very prone to side effects. If you have shared experiences or stories with either of these medications that would help me, please share them with me.
  3. Hey all, I am mid-hold from my most recent reduction with Celexa. Over the past month I've tapered from 5 to 2.5mg, and though my psychiatrist swears anything below 10mg is sub-therapeutic and cannot be felt, I feel the difference immensely. I am incredibly irritated in a very physical way. In the past week I cannot stand being touched, I feel cold and hot, and I have chills and goosebumps for no reason. My RLS has come back with a vengeance and I'm not sleeping well. I would like to use a magnesium spray to hopefully calm down my nerves I have but I have heard it is contraindicated with Gabapentin. My legs are sore and my knees hurt from unintentionally hyperextending my legs over and over. I would just like to know what is happening to me physiologically because I think it would help me a lot mentally to just become familiar with where this is coming from. Also, if anyone has advice about RLS or overall agitation, I am all ears. Cheers
  4. Hi all, This is my first post here and my first real attempt at tapering off of all psychiatric medications. A very brief background, I have been on 20+ medications since I was 12, ranging from antidepressants, mood stabilizers, benzodiazepines, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, and sleep drugs. I am 22 now and finally, (sober this time) investigating some of the core issues that caused me to self medicate-via doctor and drug dealer-and I'm ready to really sit with my emotions and feel them fully. Currently I am on Lithium-1050mg, Gabapentin-600mg, Celexa-5mg I have been reading as much as I can on comingoff.org and SA and would like to prepare myself and set myself up for success. From what I understand 10% taper is ideal. I am not in any hurry, I just want this to be as positive experience as possible so this is fine. I met with my psychiatrist today and she had some smaller dosages prescribed for me and is on board and on my team for which I am thankful. I am wondering if there are other things I can do smartly prepare. I read briefly about remineralization but am not sure what that entails. Any foods, supplements, behaviors that would ease me into this journey? Ideas? Thoughts? I start this process April 1st and will post updates. Thank you!
  5. Hi all, I am writing here in desperation as I find myself feeling so bad after 11 weeks off all medications, that I am just wanting to die every day. I am feeling horrendous physically, mentally and emotionally. I have been on many medications in various combinations over the last 12 years, none of which ever worked...I just kept going, blindly trusting my psychiatrists and treating team and hoping that the next medications would be the one that finally worked. I have done 13 years of therapy alongside this, and have tried many alternative/complimentary therapies along my way. That said though, I have been reduced to being a 'mental patient' for the last 10 years now, going in and out of hospital and attending medical and therapy appointments being my life... But now I'm trying to move away from that. To start life anew, away from all the medical diagnoses and destructive medications. In July 2017, after a particularly bad hospitalisation, I decided it was time to walk away from the mental health system, and get off the medications which never helped. I have tried this 3 times before, but was not successful. I have now done a lot of research and know about tapering, but unfortunately, I was nearly off everything by the time I had this knowledge. So I have come off my medications very fast, particularly given that I have been medicated for so long. The medications I was last on include Prozac, Lithium and Seroquel. I came off Prozac between June and July 2017 under doctor supervision (it was giving me horrendous sweats). In August-September, I came off 500mg of Lithium (down to 250mg then nothing). With Seroquel, I had been on about 600mg and had already been slowly cutting that down from maybe January 2017 (perhaps earlier) and was down to 200mg in July. Whilst in hospital, that was reduced down to 50mg in one hit (long story!). I then tapered it down until I came totally off it at the beginning of November 2017. Physically, I have been feeling like a have a combination of the flu and a really bad hangover most of the time, feeling nauseous, achy, and dizzy and absolutely exhausted, with absolutely no energy. It has actually become worse over the last month and a half or so, where it is now to the point where it is hard to go out and I need to be lying down a lot of the time. Lights and sounds can be quite intrusive. I am seeing a naturopath for support with this, but nothing is helping yet. I suspect it may be a long process. Mentally and emotionally, things have become really really dark. I am aware that all this could well be withdrawals, but with everyone's experience being so different, it is hard to know if/when this may come to an end... It has been suggested by some that it may be worth going back on a small dose of a medication at this point to help, and then slowly tapering it again once I've stabilised a bit... Is this a wise thing to do this far after withdrawing? And if it is something recommended, which medication? Would I go back on a small dose of Seroquel as that's the last thing I tapered off? It is a pretty horrible and destructive medication... Thanks for reading Amy
  6. Kristine: Not alone

    Moderator note: link to Kristine's benzo thread - Kristine: Protracted clonazepam withdrawal? Hello, I am new to this site and would firstly like to extend my gratitude to all the people who have shared their stories and support. I now know I am not alone. My story is long and complex so I will attempt to condense it. I am 43 years old and was introduced to antidepressants 10 years ago after being diagnosed with MDD, GAD and PTSD (l do not feel comfortable with labels) by my psychiatrist. During the first 8 years of treatment multiple antidepressants and other psychotropic medications were prescribed. I will fast forward to October 2015 when I attempted to end my life (I had never been suicidal prior to taking antidepressants). I had to resign from work and was hospitalised for 1 month. At the time I had been taking citalopram for a number of years and had reached the maximum dose. My intuition told me it was not helping. I wanted to stop this medication and my psychiatrist was supportive of this decision. However, it is obvious to me now that she was inexperienced and uneducated with this process. The citalopram was ceased over one week and due to severe anxiety I was commenced on seroquel and diazepam. After leaving hospital I managed to taper off the seroquel and diazepam but became increasingly unwell both mentally and physically. My psychiatrist convinced me that my mental illness had returned and I was commenced on Parnate which was increased in dose over 3 months. Instead of improving my mental and physical ailments worsened and my psychiatrist sort a second opinion. I was hospitalised again in May 2016 under the 'care' of another psychiatrist. This was the beginning of an indescribable hell where I was treated like a human lab rat. Looking back the medications he prescribed were beyond belief and I was the victim of poly pharmacy without adequte professional rational. Unfortunally, like so many others, I was vulnerable and trusted his guidance. He treated me as both an inpatient and out patient over a one year period. Over this time I was prescribed over 14 psychotropic medication some of which were abruptly ceased and crossed over with other medications. If this wasn't enough I was subjected to 15 sessions of unnessaccery ECT. Not surprisingly, I was in a zombified state, unable to function and unable to return to work. My anxiety and depression was not alleviated and I was plagued with tremors, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and migraines. By April 2017 I ceased my appointments with this psychiatrist (he had little belief in withdraw symptoms or side effects of the medication he prescribed - he resorted to blaming me) and returned to my previous psychiatrist. Over the past eight months I have the mammoth task of withdrawing from multiple medications. These include escitalopram (completed reduction), Lithium (competed reduction), clonazepam (partial reduction), bupropion (completed reduction), seroquel (completed reduction), dexamphetamine (partial reduction) and fluoxetine (no reduction). My withdrawal symptoms are horrendous and relentless. My psychiatrist has been unable to advise me along a comfortable path. She appears to be in denial and her support has mostly evaporated. I feel abandoned, alone and frightened. I was forced to seek information independently (for which I am grateful), which continues to be a hideous realisation that for years I was in a constant state of drug withdrawal, side effects and drug interaction. I also feeling very angry about my treatment. I am tapering at the 10% rate now (one medication at a time) but even though I know road ahead will be long and rocky, I feel a sense of empowerment from educating myself. What I am experiencing is common and I am finally breaking free from the clutches of psychiatry.
  7. Eaglesoar

    Hello, I have been taking psychotropic meds for 30 years, primarily antidepressants initially...desipramine, Prozac, Wellbrutrin and then adding ability. I then had 3 manic episodes and started lithium with a number of different antipsychotic meds including zyprexa, seroquill,abiify , and respirdone. I gained a great deal of weight and felt terrible. I worked with a mental Heath naturopath for two years to try to get off my medication. I got down to 45mg of Lomictal and then did very poorly and had to see a new psychiatrist who prescribed 600mg of lithium, 200mg of Lomictal, 300mg of Wellbrutrin, and 100mg of Seroquill , which is now down to 50mg. I know I have to go slow with tapering and only do one medication at a time. I may have to stay on lithium.
  8. Hi everyone, this is my first post and I would like to get your feedback on two questions: 1. I had a strange episode am I am trying to understand if it had anything to do with a lithium taper: I was in treatment for a digestive disorder taking some strong herbal antibacterials (like oregano, coptis, etc). I began to have severe digestive sensitivies, bloating, pain, and cramping. I had a reaction to the treatment that created more symptoms than the disease. I also began to have worsening sleep problems. I would be awakened at night after 2-4 hrs sleep often with heart palpitations, nausea and a cortisol rush. It was extremely hard to get back to sleep. I was sleeping 4-6 hrs a night. At the same time I had been reducing lithium. (see below) After reading extensively on this site, I can see that I reduced by too much at one time. However, I had gone cold turkey off all lithium for 6 weeks without any symptoms. I had a pretty severe reaction to witnessing a trauma during this time and I could feel my brain and body stuck in the fight or flight response. I've never had such a difficult period of little sleep. I felt frozen inside. Then, perhaps due to lack of sleep, I began to experience many neurological symptoms exactly like a concussion I experienced years before (significant light, sound sensitivity, difficulty talking, thinking, and following people's conversation, unable to drive, headaches, etc). After a few months, most symptoms are now gone. Could the anxiety, sleep problems, and PTSD like response be caused by the taper or by tapering too quickly? I've asked several psychiatrists and they disagree. What are your thoughts? Lithium history 900 mg started in 2000 went off cold turkey for a couple months in 2016. No withdrawal sx. Went back on 600 mg before a surgery as a preventative measure August 2016. Reduced to 300 mg around beginning of March 2017 with some increased fatigue. Then reduced to 150 around April, 2017. Very anxious and sleepless with nighttime cortisol surges by May 2017. Had PTSD type of response to witnessing a trauma, then mild TBI sx. Returned to 600 mg 2. Based on history, and this info, which drug would you taper first: Have been on Paxil - 20 mg for around 19 years for major depression which I have not experienced since being on the combo of Lithium and Paxil. My psychiatrist is not sure If I am on the bipolar spectrum or not. I started lithium so I could augment and reduce the paxil from 30 mg. He doesn't have a strong feeling either way about which one I should begin to taper. If any part of the above scenario indicates that I could be on the bipolar spectrum than it would make sense to go off Paxil first. I wanted to go off lithium first since it has caused a thyroid disorder and because I thought it would be much harder to go off Paxil. Thanks for your responses.
  9. Angelles66

    Hi i have suffered from anxiety off and on am 51 years old but usually have gotten through life alright had a bad episode last year stressed out and blacked out for about 15 minutes accidentally opened a car door i thought was mine anyway the owner called the cops and i was hospitalized for no reason was put ontu halidol and lithium for three months fought to get off it as i did nothing wrong they let me off it but still suffer from headpains and dizziness 20 months later life has been tough as i just want to get back to life and work wonder if anybody suffered similarly and if theres a way out of this thank you
  10. I’ll start with the Success Part, before I unfold the story. I am a classic poster-girl story of “Why You Should Taper.” I thought I couldn’t come off the drugs, I was convinced I was a “biological bipolar” – but by using SA’s conservative 10% or less tapering system, I hardly had any withdrawals this time, and could control my symptoms and make space for my stressors by holding. I’m a living example of why anyone should taper and hold in order to come off. And there is no such thing as too slow. I attribute my success to the SA taper, and a number of coping strategies. I got support. I had a psychologist, who was wholly supportive. I bullied my psychiatrist to do the taper “my way” instead of her way. She actually had helpful suggestions for lifestyle changes, too. I got an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, and later added an orthomolecular doctor and osteopath. I told my husband and all of my friends. I prepared for my taper. I owe so much to those who walked this path before me: AltoStrata, GiaK, Rhiannon, Petunia, BrassMonkey, MammaP, Bubble, Dalsaan, MeiMeiQuest, CymbaltaWithdrawal5600, and many more. And – to go further afield – Robert Whitaker for his excellent book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” and Will Hall for the “Icarus Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs” for showing me that it could be done, and how. And for helping me to accept that I may be different – but that different is not a medical condition. I got curious and read everything I could on the web, and learned a lot. I learned the most from SA and Beyondmeds.com. Most of what I have written as a moderator is not original – but is something I learned here or in my researches, that I applied to my life, and which I found effective. My psychiatrist resisted my desire to taper, but she told me she would support me if I put some things in place. We established a contract with my hubby, so that if I went off the rails, he would be able to get help for me. She would not taper me unless I made a commitment to take sun walks for light therapy and mood stabilization. I also eat meat and fish for mood stabilization & brain nutrition. I took up a tai chi practice and found a yoga studio which supports me. My karate mates have always supported me, even when I was too sick to participate. Meanwhile, my psychologist went to hear Robert Whitaker talk, and she came to realize how many of the cases she saw were people suffering from drug effects. She wrote glowing letters of progress to my psychiatrist, who really had no choice but to say, “Okay, I guess she’s doing well.” Nuts and bolts, I took a year to come off a low dose of reboxetine (it’s the least effective SNRI in the world, actually less effective than placebo), and another 2.5 years to come off the lithium. As I was suffering lithium toxicity (diabetes insipidus), I alternated some of my SNRI tapers with lithium tapers. I tapered 10% per month, or if while dry cutting, I had to drop by 15% (my largest taper), I would hold an extra month. I held an extra month if I had any upsets or stressors – funerals, travel, illness, bad news, etc. I held 3 months after the SNRI was gone before tapering the lithium again. My tapers were relatively symptom free. Most of my symptoms were from worry that I really was crazy – and there were mood spikes until I learned to manage my mood on my own. That’s what I should’ve learned when I got diagnosed 20 years ago. Nobody tells you that you can manage your own mood. In fact, nobody tells you that you are the only person who can manage your own mood! I greatly reduced gluten, especially wheat, and dairy. I cut the coffee way back. I start my day with protein (good for adrenals), and finish my day with carbs. I take magnesium baths whenever I feel "crunchy" and after every exercise session. I have raw food smoothies 2x a week. I take a number of supplements to manage my health without drugs. Most important: magnesium and fish oil. For mood & energy: NAC. I couldn’t take up meditation exactly, because of cult abuse in my past, but I can do tai chi and yoga, and I love breathing and mindfulness meditation. I found a great benefit to shamanic practice, because it is not worship of any foreign deity or guru, and my own inner experience is the guide to what I am learning and how I am growing. I took up creativity practices, like music, coloring, drawing, painting and writing. I took up correspondence with special people here on SA and in other places, so I could learn and grow by sharing with others. I was well supported by all of these people and practices, and I feel I have a web which will catch me if I ever fall down again. Sometimes now, I miss a practice. I might not get all the sun walks in, or I might eat wheat or dairy. But now I am well enough – I am buoyant enough – and I have enough practices – that missing one or two Jenga blocks doesn’t make the tower fall. (it also helps to not have a tall tower - our society asks too much of us, I believe, it's inhuman sometimes) When I come back, I’ll give more of my history – how crazy, abused, wild, suicidal, depressed, with unrelenting fatigue, and how I was convinced I was “bipolar.” Now, I have no diagnosis (I leave it on the medical charts so that I can refuse drugs – “No doctor, you can’t give me that, I’m bipolar!”), my body is broken from surgeries, abuse, accidents and pain. My major lasting drug effect is metabolic and autonomic dysfunction but those are compounded by surgeries, too. I still have severe delayed cycle sleep (but I always did: it is my difference), and unrelenting tinnitus. But my mental and emotional life is healthier than I’ve ever been before. I have compassion for my fellow human in a way I couldn’t before. I have passion for what I am doing, and a sense of purpose. I am driven to create, to share, to learn, to grow. I love meeting with people and listening, and feel so incredibly fortunate. I’m older and wiser than ever before, and I still have a lot of healing to do. But I am awake, alive, and grateful to be so.
  11. Moderator's note: link to RainbowDbc's benzo thread - RainbowDbc: What should I do now? Hi everyone..My name is Diana. I am 30 years old. I have been on many drugs but particularly rivotril and lithium. It all started at the age of of 18. I had a psychotic episode and was labeled as bipolar. I didnt have a history before on mood swings or any bipolar traits. So they gave me many drugs and I was convinced I needed them. I was told maby lies. That my brain needed or did not produce enough lithium. That it was for life. I gradually developed insomnia and was given rivotril. 5 years later I realized my body and brain had changed a lot. I started to investigate on youtube and other sources. But no one listened. I was coerced by police my psychoatrists especially my parents. I was being forced on meditation even though my instinct told me it was the wrong path. Its been another 5 years. My memory is gone, I have mental fatigue, I am not creative or very empathic anymore or expressive and spontaneous. My life has turned grey. I feel generally stupid and cannot hold a task for too long. I have tapered from 3 pills to one and am having experiences that werentbthere before. Suicide ideation, fatigue, strong insomnia, feeling empty or adhedonia...generally like my brain is really sick and fragile. I have angry bursts but they make no sense as my braon can make all my thoughts coherent when Im a bit emotional. There is more it to my story but this is what is most prevalent. I wish I had cancer to stop this. Im 30 and have been missing out due to being so drugged and spellbinded. Id like to try amino acids and a very healthy diet..Exercise..Tanning. But I dont have a real way to do things effectively with such strong withdrawal effects. I barely want to leave the house. I dont know of anyone that has taken lithium to talk about this with. I hope anyone could give me some orientation and support. Thank you...
  12. My personal history is in my signature, but I'll put it here in my introduction aswell. I tried three different anti-depressants from December 2012 to December 2013, to treat anxiety. The first was Celexa, the second was Zoloft and the last one was Prozac. In December 2013 I had a manic episode after being on Prozac for a month and a half. Then I stopped taking any medications for about a month. Then I had a second manic episode in February 2014. Then I visited a psychiatrist in March 2014 and was given a bipolar diagnosis (now I know it was an anti-depressant induced mania, not true bipolar disorder). So I was prescribed Lithium 900 mg in March 2014. Then in April 2014 I started taking 50 mg Zoloft again for anxiety (along with the 900mg lithium I had just started taking). Since that time, I have spent 1.5 years at a 50mg level, 6 months at a 100mg level, 1.5 years at a 75 mg level. As of a couple months ago, I am now at the 50mg level again. (Not knowing much about withdrawal, my reduction from 100mg to 75 mg was a single 25mg reduction all at once- I survived that but didn’t recognize the withdrawal symptoms at the time, and I will not do that again! 6 months later I started a process of going from 75mg to 50mg, in 6 to 12 mg chunks. So as of May 2017, I am at the 50 mg level. And I am still taking 900mg Lithium. Luckily I have not experienced any manic behavior since the second manic episode in February 2014. But I know that Lithium withdrawal can cause mania so I know that I need to be careful not to make reductions too quickly.) Now I need to figure out how to taper off BOTH Lithium and Sertraline. My question is- how do I know what order to taper off this drug combination? -Seeing as antidepressants are what triggered a manic episode in me a couple years ago, it makes sense to taper off / quit Sertraline first … and it seems like it would be best to wait to wait to taper off Lithium until I feel “stable” after quitting the antidepressants. -But on the other hand, these two medications seem to have opposite effects. Antidepressants seem to be a little bit more stimulating. Lithium seems to be a little bit more sedating. If I completely quit my antidepressants first, am I going to be extremely sluggish and glum (having no positive emotion)? Could the antidepressant withdrawal effects take longer to recover from in this scenario, because I’m still taking a high dose of Lithium? What do you guys think about my situation- how should I proceed? Has anyone here tapered off the lithium/antidepressant drug combination? Thanks in advance for your help!
  13. I want to know how to detox from all the psychiatric drugs that I took in order to make possible for my body not to need to take them anymore and to eliminate all the side effects that the psych drugs gave me. This is all the drugs that I took from psychiatrists: when I was 16 years old I took first paxil and rivotril (clonazepam) for a year and then only epival er (valproate semisodium) for a year and Then when I got 21 I took paxil and rivotril for 6 months. I changed to a 2nd psychiatrist he gave me symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine) I was with him for 4 months, then I went with a 3rd shrink that gave me lamictal and abilify for 6 months so then I changed with a 4th doctor which was a "neurologist" who gave me strattera for ADD and told me to go with his partner who is another psychiatrist (5th doctor) who added me sertraline, topamax (topiramate), olanzapine, lamictal, and because of the tachycardia that were produce by this drugs he added inderalici for my tachycardia. So after 7 months with this doctor I went with a 6th doctor that gave me paxil, rivotril, lithium and for my ADD he gave me methylphenidate (commercial name is tradea LP which is similar to Concerta). After 6 months with this doctor I changed to a 7th doctor that gave me sertraline in a very high dose and with this I decided to stop taking that pill a was taking but in a one day span it caused me to have a psychosis that made my father send male nurses to kidnapped and locked into a clinic (like hospitalization), in which the skrink that trated me was the one that treated me when I was 16 and he injected me haldol and gave pills more haldol, biperiden, triazolam and risperdal. I LIVED HELL WITH THESE DRUGS. Then the shrink after he saw that I recover reality, I was super depressed so he gave me citalpram but it didn't work so he gave me paxil and lithium. Then I started coming off meds and now I just take one quarter of a lithium pill every day in the morning. My actual side effects that I want to eliminate are: anxiety, very strong heart palpitaions or beats/beating that cause bad breathing and chest pain, difficulty to take decisions, nausea, extreme itching in my face, head, chest and back, buzz in the ears, difficulty to focus or concentrate, bad short-term memory, and wanting to pee all the time. Thank you very much.
  14. I am 54 years old, and experienced my first manic episode, starting 1st November of last year, requiring a month of involuntary hospitalisation starting 14th November brought on by numerous stressors. I was on Lithium and Haloperidol, from the 15th Nov, then ±900mg Lithium and 0.5mg Risperidone from the 15th Jan . I started tapering the Risperidone from the Feb 16th. My last dose was 0.125mg on 15 March. How long will the withdrawal symptoms last? The reason why I'm asking is I'd also like to know if I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms or bipolar depression? The intense depressive feelings arrive and leave suddenly and unexpectedly, sometimes lasting a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, after which I feel mildly depressed again, which is a general state. I am able to be lifted, for example by gardening, good cooking, humour etc, during this general milder state. I have general anxiety about several factors which triggered the original mania, namely money (increased now, due to difficulty working), accommodation for my and my spouse's ageing parents who are both difficult to work with, those being by far the most major among other stressors. I have found that very carefully-considered and rare - perhaps twice a week - use of Diazepam can also return me to this state from the more intense state. I intended to start tapering the Lithium once I feel more stable and know myself better after this current tapering. I apologise if this has been covered before, but I find reading and writing about my condition extremely stress inducing, which is to say getting to this point has not been easy. I am eternally grateful in advance for the help.
  15. 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.
  16. I am new here and writing at this time on behalf of my son (53) who is in the very beginning stages of AD discontinuation. Diagnosis: Major Clinical Depression. He has been on numerous ADs in the past 10-15 years, but these last 6+ months it is 120 mg Cymbalta, 600 mg Lithium, 300 mg Wellbutrin. He also is on other meds for diabetes, hi blood pressure and cholesterol, feels like a walking pharmacy, and desperately wants to come of the ADs. He has been feeling absolutely terrible for a long time, and there have been many times when I feared for his life (has made an attempt before). The last psychiatrist simply pileed one med upon another whenever my son reports all the symptoms he is experiencing (hi anxiety, panic attacks, terrible fear, relentless depression, night sweats, brain zaps, etc.). He has been with the same CBT therapist for 10 years, and is currently also attending a NAMI support group. I also have told him about this site and hope that in time he will join himself (he isn’t much of a writer but otherwise very articulate about what he is feeling). After a long and arduous search I found a holistic clinic where he is currently receiving acupuncture, massage, chiropractic manipulations, nutrition and, most importantly, is seen by an M.D. who is managing the AD discontinuation, starting with Cymbalta in 20 mg slow increments (unfortunately, there is no 10 mg capsule). He was told by his pharmacist (confirmed by the M.D.) that if one opens the capsules (Cymbalta) then the formulation is destroyed and the med releases in different parts of the body incorrectly. This can be dangerous and can cause mood swings, which he has been experiencing. There is no way of knowing how successful the work at the clinic will be. Having gone this route myself, I know how slow and excruciating it is. BTW, MCD seems to be generational and runs in my family which, of course, had remained unrecognized until my adult life. Needless to say, he gets very discouraged. Amazingly, though, he is still able to soldier to work every day (as a digital matte painter at a major film studio) where he apreciates the “normalcy” of the day’s structure and interaction with colleagues. However, he is terrified of losing the job and never finding another. He is in an extremely vulnerable state, cries easily, gets terribly frustrated and hits himself. I guess this is a state that has been called neuro-emotions? I have yet to find any useful information about what would minimize these terrifying withdrawal effects. Cymbalta only being one (and possibly the worst), followed later by Lithium and Wellbutrin. Nevertheless, this website is very helpful and I thank the operators for keeping it going. Lastly, I apologize for this rambling post…..
  17. Hello! I want to say upfront that I'm not withdrawing from SSRI's, but that I'm here because I'm a support person to my brother-in-law (henceforth brother who will be tapering off of lithium starting in September, and also a support person to my mother-in-law who just began Zoloft, in addition to multiple medications for sleep and anxiety. I have my own journey with depression and anxiety, which I have self-treated sometimes successfully, and sometimes not. I came here after searching for more info on lithium tapering, which led me to JanCarol's thread, which I have now read almost in its entirety, in the process falling in love with this community, and in complete awe and love for JanCarol's courage and determination (and humour!). In preparation for the taper both my brother and I will be doing a vegetarian version of Kelly Brogan's 30 day plan, as outlined in her book, A Mind of Your Own. My brother is currently taking magnesium bisglycinate, active b-vitamins, a dha enriched vegetarian omega 3-6-9, vitamin d, and vitamin c. I hope it's OK for me to receive feedback and support for my support . I will also be sharing more about my history, and the journey of the dietary and lifestyle changes recommended by Brogan.
  18. Hi, They say Lithium has no withdrawal effects other than rebound symptoms. Then others say it has some, but they are mild and short lived. They say it can cause permanent brain/CNS damage as well. I'm wondering what else it can damage. I'm wondering if anyone has heard of or experienced what has happened to me with Lithium withdrawal. Before Lithium withdrawal, I did have toxic symptoms but not what I am listing below. To repeat my signature: Had chronic Lithium toxicity. Was abruptly withdrawn in ER with IV fluids. Within days, experienced severe electric shock sensations, skin tingling/crawling and various hard to describe nervous system sensations. Lost emotional control, felt near suicidal. Admitted to hospital psychiatric for 3.5 months, stabilised somewhat on new medications but still experience symptoms. Could not sit or sleep, had to be sedated at night. Physical sensations were never really addressed or treated and persist to a lesser degree to this day. I forgot to add, some sounds (even people talking) send a sharp pain through my nerves now sometimes... it's getting better though. I experience overwhelming flooding of sadness that I'm not familiar with and I don't recall ever having before along with long crying spells. I get a strange feeling that I can't breath right off and on (all the time before), but I can actually breath fine... I can feel this in my head! It's impossible to describe except it doesn't feel like anxiety or my lungs. This is usually accompanied by severe sadness and negative thoughts - perhaps understandably? In hospital I could barely control my "sadness" at all sometimes. Again, could be a bipolar thing. Every doctor I've dealt with is at a complete loss as to what to do... even at a special mental health hospital, they were scratching their heads (4 doctors, 3 students, 1 intern, some docs in the ER, many nurses). I was never successfully treated for these symptoms, I was left to suffer with them. They tried benedryl, cogentin, clonazepam, propranolol - none worked. Divalproex was given to me for my mood and seemed to help the physical sensations as a side effect, but not enough. Of course divalproex helps with nerve pain, anxiety and such too, so that could explain it. I'm bipolar, so I did have rebound mania and eventually rapid cycling along with severe anxiety that had to be dealt with... they were capable of that. I've seen 3 neurologists who all seem to think this is not permanent damage, rather something else but then they offer no help or suggestions on what to do (because they think it's a psychiatrists problem). One neurologist didn't seem surprised at the symptoms, but still blamed it on an "organic cause" that she felt was best taken up with my GP or psychiatrist. She said Lithium's effects can take a long time to resolve. EMG pad tests found nothing, but a needle test did... but the neurologist blamed it on a pinched nerve - I don't buy that for one second. I'm in the blurry grey area between neurology and psychiatry. I hate it. My psychiatrist and GP have no idea what is going on either - my GP suggests it's "chemical". They all seem to think this is temporary and I should wait, but it's been 7 months so far. That's a long time to wait. It makes me wonder if someone experienced/educated enough could help me find relief. I'm curious if restarting Lithium would just fix the problem like I've heard you can do with antidepressants. But my doctors can't tell me if that will work or if it's safe either. One of the oldest and best researched drugs out there and nobody knows anything! I'm more stable on Synthroid 75mcg, divalproex 2000mg, clonazepam 1mg, and moclobimide 450mg now. Lately I feel improved mood and anxiety, less restless and can sleep and sit down. I get tingling/burning skin on my legs, arms, hands and back off and on - it seems like moclobibide may have exacerbated this after it was improving. Just before leaving the hospital in April 1016, I started getting significant muscle and joint pain. This started getting worse as time went by and now I experience it often, but intermittently. Again, doctors are not helpful with regards to this. I suspect divalproex is the cause, but there is no way to determine that just yet. Again, the doctors are in no rush to do anything about it. So, I'm in better mental health now. And is physical pain and discomfort everyday. Even on a good mood/anxiety day, the physical sensations get to me. The best suggestion I've gotten so far is "take ibuprofen" and exercise. The psychiatrist at the hospital advised me to exercise and eat extremely healthy. I think this is what doctors say when they have no idea what to do. I'm trying out 800mg ibuprofen today, I'll see how it goes. I use a 0.5% lidocane gel sometimes, but it barely works. Experimenting with a homemade capsaicin oil but it burns . Voltaren Emugel barely works and is expensive. Summary of withdrawal symptoms: - paraesthesia / neuropathy / akathisia / ? Basicaly all related from what I can tell - all over body, even in my mouth! - anxiety, horrible sensation when breathing or being short of breath - more significant depression than ever - sound sensitivity - severe muscle and joint pain (could be divalproex) I know it's complicated because some of this is returning or worsening bipolar/anxiety stuff, but the pain/neuropathy - no way... this is nuts. I'm hoping to find some answers, help, suggestions, shared experiences... a name of a doctor who knows what they're doing? Thanks for reading, I hope this helps someone or someone can help me! I'm sick of all the the information out there about how Lithium has no withdrawal and everything will be fine... in my case it is absolutely not true. Lithium has withdrawal!
  19. Hi! I'm from Philippines, 20 yrs. old, female. 3 yrs. ago I develop depression due to severe stress. It lasted 6 months. Now, again because of so much stress, I develop Mania, got delusions and psychosis. So I was admitted at the hospital and got injected that make me sleep.That was Feb. 2016. When I wake up, I feel nothing. I lost my personality, got anhedonia, lose focus and concentration! I wonder if anyone got there emotions and their normal life back. It's so frustrating cause Here I was, “The Joy Engineer” of all things, who could not feel joy! It was the ultimate irony. : (
  20. I'm 45 years old. I have been on psychiatric drugs since I was 25. For years, 17, I was on Paxil 20mg and tegretol 200mg. I believed I tripped off my first depression after using ecstasy, which I think altered my brain's serotonin functioning. Four years ago I went to my gynecologist seeking help for worsening pms, as I believed perimenopause was coming into play. I failed to consult with my psychiatrist and trusted her. After a too-quick taper off of Paxil and onto Lexapro things just completely deteriorated. After 6 months I was a wreck, did another, even shorter, taper off of Lexapro back onto Paxil. But I was sunk...I think my central nervous system was wrecked. The ensuing year of onto and off of a variety of drugs was nothing short of a nightmare. Sparing all the details, I landed on the following drugs: Remeron 15mg Paxil 20mg Lamictal 125mg Pristiq 100mg Lithium 600mg Klonopin .5mg Trazodone 50mg It's criminal. A John's Hopkins psychiatrist specializing in women's hormone related mood issues said my gynecologist's cavalier actions verged on malpractice. A recent, and current, rash believe to be pityriasis rosea prompted my current psychiatrist to insist I stop Lamictal cold turkey. The dermatologist diagnosed it. He, without seeing the rash himself, is insistent. In light of what I feel is a damaged central nervous system I have decided to trust my dermatologist. That said, this situation has prompted me to consider the idea of eliminating the Lamictal. It's a start. I also believe Lamictal in some way tinkers with estrogen, something I'd like to avoid. It has been a hellish journey. I do not trust the psychiatric industry. I believe that how my case has been handled, so carelessly and without regard to actual true health, is shameful. I never, ever thought I'd be on multiple drugs like this. I am a high functioning, intelligent woman with a constitution sensitive to endocrine changes. I have been terrified of even considering touching any of this. While in the back of my mind wondering....what will happen to me after years of being on so many drugs? For the record, I have never been manic, ever. Lithium does function for me as an antidepressant. I understand that I'm somewhere on the spectrum, and because of long periods of happiness and wellbeing interrupted by 3 episodes of major depression, each with clear origins, I have been labeled bipolar2. I don't care much for labels. All I know is I'm on a serious amount of drugs. And I'm finally willing to find the courage to wrap up this bizarre ride. Lamictal first. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement or feedback gladly welcomed. Hope
  21. 1. It seems that some people, such as myself, can get 2 hours and then 1 hour for a total of about 3 hr sleep. Also a nap or two 2 each about 30 minutes is also possible. Can about 3.5 hr sleep cause more brain damage leading to less sleep creating a deadly cycle ? 2. I have a alerting problem during day too. I can't keep eyes open, too little cortisol. This can be more acute when I exercise - I fear falling on face when walking. I went for long walk, then sat in armless chair for hour with people, and constantly almost fell out of chair. Unfortunately exercise only induces nap of about 30 min. I use this at night at times exercising right before bed. Is this paradoxical (SP?) Response to exercise and poor daytime cortisol regulation unique ? 3. For 18 years I was on low dose ssri. Withdrew from last 5 mg cold turkey. No withdrawal for 6 weeks, then brain zaps , insomnia, deep depression, etc. All starting about Oct 1 2015. So I am 5 months into true withdrawal. Ssri took 6 weeks to bleed out bones, fat, etc. I had 2 reasons for withdrawing: worsening sleep disturbance and belief that although I was one of fortunate few to have ssri reduce depression for 18 yr, almost no one will have them work for 30, 40 or more years. Although Dr Shipko warns against withdrawing after 10 years what choice do I have if I might live another 30 years at which time the resultant untreatable depression may be unimaginable. I asked a psychiatrist do you really believe anti depressants will work for me for 30, 40-50 years total, he just showed a horrified look no response. What special advice does anyone have for those on ssris for decades, especially about insomnia??? Dr Shipkos suggestion for ssri withdrawal is scary. *** seems that some people, such as myself, can get 2 hours and then 1 hour for a total of about 3 hr sleep. Also a nap or two 2 each about 30 minutes is also possible. Can about 3.5 hr sleep cause more brain damage leading to less sleep creating a deadly cycle? Thanks
  22. Hi, I need to keep this short because I have chronic fatigue & can't concentrate for long. I've been off & on (mostly on) medication for 25 years. I've just come to the conclusion that my Bipolar 2 Dx may be incorrect in that, I think my hypomanic symptoms may be caused by antidepressants. I never had those symptoms before I started taking them. I guess I'll never know for sure :-( I've just been reading about how long term use can turn depression into a chronic disease (if it wasn't already) and about the symptoms of Tardive Dysphoria. Sounds like me. I've been taking Lithium, Cymbalta and a bit of Valium for years now. I feel like I'd like to try to come off the Cymbalta (to start with) but I just wonder if it's too late for me now. I've been reading about how some of the side effects may not be reversible. I've come off meds before and I would use Prozac to get off the Cymbalta as I've done before successfully. But how do you know - two months, six months, a year down the track, if you're still feeling the effects of withdrawal in your moods etc, or if you're back to yourself - or at least as good as you're going to get post years of meds??? Thanks for reading, Zel
  23. Help777: Journal

    Effexor x12 years. Added lithium in sept 2015. Added prozac in october to help bridge taper from effexor as i started having symptoms. Started withdrawing effexor in September 2014. Over last 4 months i went From 112.5 to 14mg as of last week.. Last week I seemed to all of a sudden hit a wall. Crying uncontrollably constantly. Shaking, nausea, extreme fear and overwhelming need to cry. Ive read your site. Ive reinstated to 20 mg of effexor for last 3 days but absolutely no improvement. Im so scared. I cant go to work like this. Continuing prozac 20 and lithium 300. Please help.
  24. 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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