Jaco2016

Has anyone decided that it was best for them to stay on meds indefinitely?

59 posts in this topic

Good luck with that. It's difficult for me to say anything about the effects of St. John's wort because I don't know the strength! I should have been kept informed about that I think. I no longer take since Thursday as I started AD on Friday. Today, I am feeling better, less anxious, still fragile but much better. What you said in your first message is exactly what I do; anticipate a terrible outcome, and fill myself with dread. I have referred myself today for CBT. Initially I couldn't get a telephone assessment until august 1st. I reacted by saying that such a long wait was not good for someone struggling with anxiety/depression. The wait is due to the amount of referrals they have. She rang me back an hour later and said more appointments had become available and offered a consultation for this Wednesday! I have downloaded a taster of the book feeling good, and will order it at the library, thank you. I see that you are now drug free. How are you feeling? X

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I was under the impression that it was best to stay on my drug forever simply because I didn't know any better. If I would've known then what I know now, I would've been off this horrible drug 20 years ago. I tried to "wean" twice long ago and had such horrible side effects that made me reinstate quickly. Hindsight says I was very reckless and had no clue about withdrawal. I figured it was impossible to get off this drug so I accepted the fact that I would be on it until the day I die. I hope to prove my old doctors wrong someday.

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I was under the impression that it was best to stay on my drug forever simply because I didn't know any better. If I would've known then what I know now, I would've been off this horrible drug 20 years ago. I tried to "wean" twice long ago and had such horrible side effects that made me reinstate quickly. Hindsight says I was very reckless and had no clue about withdrawal. I figured it was impossible to get off this drug so I accepted the fact that I would be on it until the day I die. I hope to prove my old doctors wrong someday.

 

good you reinstated quickly ,I sadly never did this so I have suffered terribly .I welcome the day you prove your doctors wrong .most or them should hang there heads in shame .

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I'm seriously struggling today - I have a job opportunity that a few years ago I would have considered a dream job. Today however because of continued struggle with anhedonia, anxiety and depression I can't see myself surviving in the environment of this job and I'm angry at myself for that. This job opportunity is a rare one - I was told they haven't hired for it in 10 years. I don't llove my current job

and I don't know if I'll ever be able to leave! At least my current job is low demand and low stress but it's also somewhat slow and boring.

I have applied for this new job and have an interview scheduled. But I've already told myself that I'm not ready for it without even having stepped into the building for an interview. I almost wish I never found out about this job at this time during my withdrawal and depression. I'm also an introvert by nature and this dream job would be tough but not impossible for my personality type but probably very draining because of lots of social interaction.

I wouldn’t take the job, but that’s based on my personal situation. At my job I also don’t have strict deadlines, allowing me to be unproductive during a tough spell. I even write down emotions and wisdoms in a file and then encrypt it because that reads like mad-man’s talk for a third-party. If I were on a high stressed job I think I would be in the doctor’s office soon rather than late.

Also new social interactions would trigger me, even though my current state is also straining my relationship with current collaegues.

I would stay put, heal, then perhaps leave.

 

Good luck!

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This is the question I'm asking myself...I'm still on the fence for now.

 

 

powerback I would have to say 16 months was a pretty rough one for me. Maybe you can try something natural like Inositol. Pure Dark chocolate really helped me. It does get better.

 

 

This is interesting for me to read. Encouraging - I've been trying to find people who've felt horrific at the end of a slow taper.

I'm nearly 3 weeks out from my 14 month taper and feeling worse than ever. (No social interaction, very little housework, pretty much house bound, extremely depressed, irritated / agitated, severe fatigue) N.B I was very unwell already when I started the taper.

 

I'm telling myself that I'll carry on and reassess in 3 months. If I feel any improvement, I'll push it out another 3. (I likely will anyway)

It's just what I have to do to keep going - give myself a timeline.

 

After those 6 months, if I'm this bad or - god forbid - worse, I have to say that I'll look at meds.

My GP gave me a guilt trip the other day about putting my family through this which was not appreciated, but still managed to really scare me about how this is affecting my 12 year old.

 

Love, Zel.

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This is the question I'm asking myself...I'm still on the fence for now.

 

 

powerback I would have to say 16 months was a pretty rough one for me. Maybe you can try something natural like Inositol. Pure Dark chocolate really helped me. It does get better.

 

 

This is interesting for me to read. Encouraging - I've been trying to find people who've felt horrific at the end of a slow taper.

I'm nearly 3 weeks out from my 14 month taper and feeling worse than ever. (No social interaction, very little housework, pretty much house bound, extremely depressed, irritated / agitated, severe fatigue) N.B I was very unwell already when I started the taper.

 

I'm telling myself that I'll carry on and reassess in 3 months. If I feel any improvement, I'll push it out another 3. (I likely will anyway)

It's just what I have to do to keep going - give myself a timeline.

 

After those 6 months, if I'm this bad or - god forbid - worse, I have to say that I'll look at meds.

My GP gave me a guilt trip the other day about putting my family through this which was not appreciated, but still managed to really scare me about how this is affecting my 12 year old.

 

Love, Zel.

 

Hi zel ,these doctors want to start taking the drugs themselves and see what its like .such a disgraceful GP to do that .

mine are so clueless I will eventually take my records and never go near them again .there worse than useless there part of the problem .

take care

respect

PB

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Posted (edited)

That's the decision I took: trying to turn my insomnia therapy into an anti-anxiety one, in order to cope, since at the moment I'm not stable. 

 

I'll withdraw from meds when I'm over with my PhD! Unfortunately, I still need them, because I'm a chronic insomniac and extremely restless (even misdiagnosed as hypomaniac at first) during the day. Hyperactivity and anxiety came later, as a result of not taking the meds like they were supposed to be taken, but as off-label treatments for insomnia! 

 

I wish I could do it right now... I don't really want to stay on meds for other 16 months... but I don't seem to have much choice at the moment... 

 

It would be unwise and almost suicidal to try to withdraw from them when I'm away from home, I have to live on my salary and I get extremely stressed out at work. I hate that laboratory and the bossy people I meet there. I'd rather to be mistaken for an asocial introvert and avoid people than admitting I'm on psychodrugs. You know how this kind of things work, just never ever admit that!

 

I need someone to rely on, and I can't wait to go back home and trying to heal with my parents' support.

Edited by scallywag
white space at paragraph breaks

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Don't feel guilty about choosing to stay on - if your life collapsed at present you would suffer so much stress and that we pull worsen your long term mental health. There is a risk to withdrawal - there are no guarantees it will work out well. Sometimes stability is better.

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I'm seriously struggling today - I have a job opportunity that a few years ago I would have considered a dream job. Today however because of continued struggle with anhedonia, anxiety and depression I can't see myself surviving in the environment of this job and I'm angry at myself for that. This job opportunity is a rare one - I was told they haven't hired for it in 10 years. I don't llove my current job

and I don't know if I'll ever be able to leave! At least my current job is low demand and low stress but it's also somewhat slow and boring.

I have applied for this new job and have an interview scheduled. But I've already told myself that I'm not ready for it without even having stepped into the building for an interview. I almost wish I never found out about this job at this time during my withdrawal and depression. I'm also an introvert by nature and this dream job would be tough but not impossible for my personality type but probably very draining because of lots of social interaction.

I wouldn’t take the job, but that’s based on my personal situation. At my job I also don’t have strict deadlines, allowing me to be unproductive during a tough spell. I even write down emotions and wisdoms in a file and then encrypt it because that reads like mad-man’s talk for a third-party. If I were on a high stressed job I think I would be in the doctor’s office soon rather than late.

Also new social interactions would trigger me, even though my current state is also straining my relationship with current collaegues.

I would stay put, heal, then perhaps leave.

Good luck!

Thanks for your comment. Looks like the decision was made for me - I haven't gotten any call for a follow up interview within the specified timeline. I likely could have performed better in my interview while on drugs but I don't think I would want to work for that person as a boss (very type A, bottom line driven). Even with the meds it would be very stressful and not at all enjoyable !

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Even though it's not polite from them, I think it might be a good thing that they didn't call. We really should minimize external stress factors. Our lives are already tough enough.

The ego boost of getting a tough job is short-lived, while the stress it brings is long-lasting.

I'm just transposing myself in your situation. Who am I to say what is best for you...

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On 6/4/2017 at 6:29 AM, joy2730 said:

Don't feel guilty about choosing to stay on - if your life collapsed at present you would suffer so much stress and that we pull worsen your long term mental health. There is a risk to withdrawal - there are no guarantees it will work out well. Sometimes stability is better.

Thanks for this. I've had an awful week with some interpersonal work stress, unexpected bills/financial stress. I put myself back on meds after two months off to avert a crisis. Like you say, I wasn't getting any better, and I have bills to pay and mouths to feed!  I had anxiety like this before medication and I truly believe this was not a wave.  When my kids are older and moved out I may try again but until then I see no other choice.

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Had I known that discontinuing my citalopram would result in my life being ruined for 10 years and counting, I would never have tried to discontinue it. I don't have a life nor a future anymore, I sit at home on disability because I can't do anything else.

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Earthworm, that is so sad, this is what I fear, making my situation worse.  Did you cold turkey the citalopram and did you ever trying reinstating a small amount.  Were you on a large dose to start with?  I apologise for the questions, which obviously you don't have to answer, but I am having trouble working out how to view people's signatures on this new site, in fact if you know how to do that can you let me know.

 

I have spent a lot of my life on disability and am now working again, and wish to continue working for a few more years yet.  I have withdrawn from many drugs and am just left with citalopram, but find it difficult.  I can't take a lot of risk.  Looking forward to hearing from you.  Joy

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For me it's been very complex, i have come to an acceptance of the diagnosis (schizophrenia) & dependence on a relatively low dose of one medication (300mg Amisulpride).


However i have tried stopping this drug i suffer very severe illness / consequences. It seems like a lesser of evils to stay on this drug at this stage.

 

i know all the different arguments around it all. Yes IF there had been access to better understanding / support then maybe things could have been / would be different - But that hasn't been & isn't, & that is the realities of it all.

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Well I think that is a positive decision, individuals can struggle and acceptance gives a kind of peace.  I am the same, I am half prepared to accept a diagnosis of bipolar, manic depression as there have been times when I have been very ill.

 

It can be difficult to make these decisions and there is a backlash against using meds, but they can have a place at times.  Lot of love, Joy

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13 hours ago, joy2730 said:

Earthworm, that is so sad, this is what I fear, making my situation worse.  Did you cold turkey the citalopram and did you ever trying reinstating a small amount.  Were you on a large dose to start with?  I apologise for the questions, which obviously you don't have to answer, but I am having trouble working out how to view people's signatures on this new site, in fact if you know how to do that can you let me know.

 

I have spent a lot of my life on disability and am now working again, and wish to continue working for a few more years yet.  I have withdrawn from many drugs and am just left with citalopram, but find it difficult.  I can't take a lot of risk.  Looking forward to hearing from you.  Joy

 

I didn't cold turkey, I tapered over 3 months. I went back on SSRIs about 2 months after and been on them since... 9 years. The withdrawal becomes too severe when I try to taper off, so I'll just stay on it. I'm also trying to find another drug to get onto which would help taper off the SSRI, but so far no other drugs have worked, in fact it seems they now give me the opposite effect of what they are meant to do. But who knows, maybe I'll find one someday or new drugs are developed.

 

To view signatures, click on your name in the top right corner, and go to account settings, signatures, and check the view signatures button.

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2 hours ago, Earthworm said:

 

I didn't cold turkey, I tapered over 3 months. I went back on SSRIs about 2 months after and been on them since... 9 years. The withdrawal becomes too severe when I try to taper off, so I'll just stay on it. I'm also trying to find another drug to get onto which would help taper off the SSRI, but so far no other drugs have worked, in fact it seems they now give me the opposite effect of what they are meant to do. But who knows, maybe I'll find one someday or new drugs are developed.

 

To view signatures, click on your name in the top right corner, and go to account settings, signatures, and check the view signatures button.

Earthworm, unfortunately for some once they try to get off it starts the ball rolling and the body seems to remember that it is in discontinuation mode, despite what medication you throw at it.  Perhaps you can try the 10% taper protocol.  I implemented that system and I have to say life was bearable the two years I took to taper off.  Taking 2-3 months to get off is almost akin to a cold turkey and the mind/body needs a taper so small that its not perceptive of the fact you are getting rid of the medication.  Wishing you well.

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36 minutes ago, Tootsieroll said:

Earthworm, unfortunately for some once they try to get off it starts the ball rolling and the body seems to remember that it is in discontinuation mode, despite what medication you throw at it.  Perhaps you can try the 10% taper protocol.  I implemented that system and I have to say life was bearable the two years I took to taper off.  Taking 2-3 months to get off is almost akin to a cold turkey and the mind/body needs a taper so small that its not perceptive of the fact you are getting rid of the medication.  Wishing you well.

 

10% and much slower methods don't work for everyone. I remember people tapering super slow and crashing and starting over all to crash again. I don't want another crash, but I do plan on tapering to lower my dose. I would love to get down to 10mg, or ideally 5, because 5 is the point after which trouble starts for me.

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Thank you Earthworm and Tootsieroll for your replies, they are so reassuring to me personally.  I think lots of people are in this situation.  When I read more widely on the internet and in books about this subject it appears as many as 55% of repeat prescriptions for SSRIs are because people can't get off them (UK).  There are now lots of people petitioning the UK Government and the Scottish Government to try to get them to address the situation.

 

I never realised until about 2 years ago that there was a problem with SSRI withdrawal and then I heard by accident.  A client's daughter was suffering great anxiety and I asked her if she had considered modern antidepressants and she told me that she would never take the because her friends said they couldn't get off them.  I had just started my first ever taper at that point, and I didn't believe her.  I didn't know then that she was accurate in her concerns but her anxiety was life crippling, she had given up work and just about everything in life except church.  She really suffered as did her husband watching her suffer, also her sister.

 

My own GP surgery, a very small rural practice, has warned me I may get down to 10 mg, but no further.  They are at least honest about the situation and are clearly aware.  Now that I know I am addicted and dependent I put spare packs of mine in the car as I work away from home a lot. 

 

I am afraid it is history repeating itself, it was similar with MAOIs and then the tricyclics, although I found it easier to withdraw from tricyclics than SSRIs.  Perhaps the brain and body adapt to whatever product it is in such a way that withdrawal becomes hard.  But some individuals do find it relatively easy.

 

I think when you are older, I am 58 now, the body and brain must find it more difficult to adapt, especially if you have been taking meds for a long time, and for some reason people are saying females find it harder than males.  Perhaps the female brain is wired differently.

 

The only consolation is we are not alone with this problem, it is society as a whole that owns the problem, and doctors in particular, along with the drug companies.

 

I like you Earthworm, plan to continue to lower the dose if possible by very slow tapering, but I will be surprised if I get anywhere with it. 

 

Thank you for replying, and for the tip about viewing signatures, this site has really opened my eyes to the situation I have found myself in.  It is also very sad that even the slowest of slow tapers can result in the symptoms coming back, as if the brain has learnt what is happening.

 

However, the undesirable side effects of these drugs continue and that is a life compromise because some people probably would feel a better quality of life without them, it is just that they will never get the chance to try and see.  That is unacceptable, everyone should be given the chance to see how they are without meds and then reevaluate whether they were better on them or off them.

 

In my first ever taper, which went surprisingly well as it was very fast, but ultimately crashed, I started to love my family members more than I do now.  That was quite a shock, so I could be missing out on loving my family by continuing with the meds.  I know and think I love them now, but do I really?  That is serious stuff.

 

 

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Excellent post, joy2730.

 

I believe it takes decades to start to accept that one may have to take, at least some, of these drugs for all time.

 

Quality of life - both for one and one's family -  is far more important than suffering in the forlorn hope that you may be able to say to yourself in years "I am totally clean."

 

Nevertheless, one can always live in hope of achieving that, but must not be fooled into thinking it is 100% achievable for all.

 

Now 72 years of age, I have come to accept these terms.  With the help of this excellent site and a disciplined 10%, or smaller, monthly reduction since last year, I have reduced from 225mg to 112.5mg Effexor, and remain fairly well, and still with some optimism.  Prepared for anything, though.  Practical experience has taught me that the hard way. 

Overall, I think I am in the right place of attitude and balance just now.

 

Best wishes to all others with the dilemma - I hope my words can reassure some of you to be philosophical about what to do - or not do.

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Uh, no, because they aren't meds? You could either call them drugs (as in heroin, cocaine) or poison. Problem is the drugs obtained from naturally occurring alkaloids like cocaine, cannabis, coffee differ from the synthesized big pharma ones in two respects.

 

First - they are not nearly as addictive, heroin (and other opiates), as far as I know, can be quit cold turkey and the users go through absolute hell of a withdrawal, but it passes and they are able to live normally. Not so much with the synthesized big pharma drugs - I know there is a group of people who can quit them cold turkey, but the other group can get so addicted as to not be able to withdraw those drugs at all, and if they do withdraw them cold turkey, unlike with heroin, they can never stabilise.

 

Second - the aforementioned alkaloid-based drugs produce pleasant, desirable sensations. People take them for a reason, okay, in many cases they kill them in the end, but at least they are getting something out of it they like. In the case of the synthesized drugs, they are nervous system depressants (or suppressants) and they make you feel wretched, unable to feel pleasure, unable to feel or perceive fully. Now, the idea is that to people who are undergoing serious suffering this is a desirable effect, because they block the pain. I, personally, don't think damaging your brain is a good way to resolve problems, but the corporations who have been marketing the drugs, seem to think otherwise.

 

As to the schizophrenia thing - schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been invented by a guy called Emil Kraepelin, the founder of modern psychiatry who also happened to be a proto-nazi. He deeply believed in the nobility of the human species, aside from a dangerous group of psychopaths (he also invented that term), alcoholics, syphilitics, Jews and homosexuals, who he considered weeds that needed to be uprooted. He also lived around the time that eugenics was a course at many universities, in the United Kingdom and the States, where it proved to be particularly popular. Those were strange times, and the misinterpretation of Darwinism that said the Earth was a big arena for nations and individuals to fight for survival was very popular. Oh, also Kraepelin was an opponent of public education, he thought the lower classes didn't deserve it. Overall a great guy, that's when I think about him coining the term schizophrenia and bipolar (and his research consisted of visiting asylums around Germany), I get a bit sceptical.

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Actually, to correct myself (as I don't think it's possible to edit posts here), he didn't coin those terms, but but his work lay a foundation for later researchers. Eugen Bleuler coined the term "schizophrenia", another eugenicist.

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On 6/22/2017 at 6:26 AM, Earthworm said:

Had I known that discontinuing my citalopram would result in my life being ruined for 10 years and counting, I would never have tried to discontinue it. I don't have a life nor a future anymore, I sit at home on disability because I can't do anything else.

Does the citalopram not work for you anymore?  What symptoms do you deal with daily? Since your taper was only 3 months, how did it ruin your life?  

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