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what to do when everyone thinks you should 'stay on meds'

family not sure what do do alternatives to medications

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#1 Designgirl732

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 04:54 PM

So I have friends in my close circle who have been on AD's for 1 year to 18 months, weaned off them 'just fine' and haven't looked back since..my husband believes in meds last, but never thinks i give anything a good try and 'stick to something', my parents just want me to be happy they don't know many details. My cousin has been on prozac for 6 years on and off but says 'if a pill makes me feel good that's all i care about-although i can't cry anymore'. So these are the people I'm surrounded by. I have one friend in TX who is a holistic counselor but she's far away.

Right now, I'm feeling 'good' on Citalopram-been on AD's a total of 6 months, (with effexor in between but now weaning) started and stopped and everytime I started, I've had awful reactions (suicideal ideation, agoraphobia, and heightened anxiety) but after some time they faded and right now i'm feeling positive, somewhat like myself (despite my HORRIFIC nightmares) and I just feel in my gut that I want to just get off of these meds.

thos around me see these symptoms as ME and NOT the meds..the primary reason I attempted these medications was because my obsessive health worrying was taking over my thoughts to the point i was getting depressed..thoughts like 'what's the point of eating healthy or working out..look at so-and-so and they got sick' - I went nuts.

In this time, I've discovered meditation, self help books, and more tools in general.

 

I'm so confused-part of my problem is my self esteem (trauma from growing up) and i can't make my own decision. I just feel like you guys would understand where i'm coming from. 

thanks for listening!



#2 Designgirl732

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:36 PM

Oh and I have another friend on Cymbalta and I asked her how she felt about coming off of them and she said 'oh i'm just never coming off so i'm not worried' -

why can't i just be that nonchalant!? ack!



#3 Karma

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 07:16 PM

Hi Stacedesign

 

First of all, I suspect that you are weaning Effexor too rapidly ... and that will cause additional anxiety, irrational fears and also result in vivid, disturbing dreams.  I hope you have an introduction thread where we are helping you with your taper from Effexor.

 

You have to make your own decisions.  It really doesn't matter what your cousin's experience is, what matters is what your experience is.  Unfortunately, it is exactly the mindset "if a pill makes me feel good that's all I care about" that makes the pharmaceutical companies very wealthy.  Unfortunately they haven't studied and don't care about the long term effects of these drugs. 

 

I recommend you look for a book called, The Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.  See if you can find a copy of Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare by Peter C. Gotzsche.  Or look for books by David Healy or Peter Breggin, M.D.  Arm yourself with facts, make your own decision and stand your ground. 

 

Your parents only want to help you feel better.  Don't fault them for caring.  The general public doesn't not know the truth about these drugs.

 

Consider this ... your problem may be that you are not being optimally treated for your hypothyroidism.  I noticed you are on levothyroxine and I assume you've been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  This forum isn't for thyroid treatment, but I can direct you to other patient advocate sites where they can provide you with guidance and support.  I just offer this as a possibility for why you have been suffering the symptoms that first brought you to SSRIs.  If we look deep enough, we can usually find the real root cause.

 

Karma


2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & 1 mg Xanax & 200 mg Gabapentin
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg - hold
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg

I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers


#4 Designgirl732

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:31 AM

Hey Karma..

 

Thank you for your reply. I'd love for you to redirect me to help with my thyroid. I see an endocrinologist, and just got all my bloodwork back and all look

good. I even asked for an adrenal gland test. I haven't gotten the results of that. The bad dreams are probably from the effexor xr weaning. I have a lot

of energy and feel positive but i think that's from the Citalopram which I want to get off as well. But that's not until I'm off Effexor xr..one things at a  time.

 

Even though i'm feeling good on this Citalopram I know in the long run it's not a good idea so I just want off of these. I think they made me worse than

I was before I started! Sure, my original anxiety is gone but you can't 'unlearn' something and now that I know what these drugs do to our brains I 

want OUT.

Again, thank you.

 

PS - i know my weaning seems fast (although my psych things he's being conservative) - but remember I was only on effexor for just about 12 weeks before this

wean and January started on 10 mg citalopram and beginning of Feb 20 mg..so I'm not that in the depths



#5 alexjuice

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:10 AM

Stace-

My take is that you have a deep uneasiness about remaining on the medications -- there is likely a reason for this. At the same time you have an additional uneasiness about stopping the meds because things can go badly.

 

Ideally you want to gather the valued opinions of people you respect, pray and meditate about the best course of action, and then take the first few steps of whatever your chosen path knowing then that difficulties and second guesses will be part of the process. You are much better off to take the time that you need, begin very cautiously and then stay on one course for 3-6 months and then re-evaluate ... that is my best recommendation.

 

Listen to yourself and try to untangle what you are meant to do. You will find the answer if you clear the space to hear it. Good luck.


"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman


#6 Designgirl732

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:44 AM

Alexjice:

Thank You!! you could've read my mind with your words!! That's exactly my problem..i need to just stick to something. Well, I have, and I don't like where it may be headed so I know while the road may be tough, I'll do it very slowly, be as healthy as I can, and take things day by day. I almost HATE that I am finally stable on a medication because I know it's not forever-it's like i'm self-sabotaging but at the same time I'm thinking about my future. Whatever it is, at least I'll have my brain to myself. I was born with it, and I don't like sharing it with guests called Effexor and Celexa. wahh. :)



#7 Tremillian

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:50 AM

Thank you for starting this topic. I know how you feel to some extent. I started taking meds for bipolar at 18 (10 years ago).  My psychologist disagreed with my other doctor about me taking them. I had a counselor recently who felt similarly. All the while I'e had this feeling like it was a bad move.

 

I don't feel like my family or most of my friends really understand my decision to at least decrease my meds some.  Every time I have trouble they just pile on more pills. I started to wean myself off of some of the drugs (after talking to my doctor), but I did it too quickly and finally realized yesterday that after I did that it was withdrawal.  It's so bad that about an hour before I take my meds I start feeling badly. It happens the same time every night right before I take them.

 

I'm not even suggesting being completely drug free (although that would be ideal).  I just want to know if it's the meds, or something else.  I just want to try alternative treatment that doesn't involve hard psychoactive drugs whose side effects as a bad as not taking them, and ones that the long term effects are unknown.

 

I wish I knew if there were a better psychiatrist or maybe just talk to my primary physician about this.


Been on medication for bipolar for 10 years. Trying to taper. Don't know if I'll be able to go completely drug free, but I'll be trying.

 

Current medications:

 

Seroquel- 300 mg

Lamictal- 200 mg

Navane (Thiothixene)-5 mg (down from 7 mg)

Propranolol-None (formerly 10 mg)

 

Withdrawal-When I take less seroquel, I have very vivid dreams. However, my dreams are pretty vivid on the drug as well.

 


#8 Tremillian

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 04:50 AM

Thank you for starting this topic. I know how you feel to some extent. I started taking meds for bipolar at 18 (10 years ago).  My psychologist disagreed with my other doctor about me taking them. I had a counselor recently who felt similarly. All the while I'e had this feeling like it was a bad move.

 

I don't feel like my family or most of my friends really understand my decision to at least decrease my meds some.  Every time I have trouble they just pile on more pills. I started to wean myself off of some of the drugs (after talking to my doctor), but I did it too quickly and finally realized yesterday that after I did that it was withdrawal.  It's so bad that about an hour before I take my meds I start feeling badly. It happens the same time every night right before I take them.

 

I'm not even suggesting being completely drug free (although that would be ideal).  I just want to know if it's the meds, or something else.  I just want to try alternative treatment that doesn't involve hard psychoactive drugs whose side effects as a bad as not taking them, and ones that the long term effects are unknown.

 

I wish I knew if there were a better psychiatrist or maybe just talk to my primary physician about this.  I had to reinstate my meds at the original dose. I guess this is a long-term thing. It's frustrating, but I have to know if it's the pills or me.


Been on medication for bipolar for 10 years. Trying to taper. Don't know if I'll be able to go completely drug free, but I'll be trying.

 

Current medications:

 

Seroquel- 300 mg

Lamictal- 200 mg

Navane (Thiothixene)-5 mg (down from 7 mg)

Propranolol-None (formerly 10 mg)

 

Withdrawal-When I take less seroquel, I have very vivid dreams. However, my dreams are pretty vivid on the drug as well.

 


#9 pjsandchocolate

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 07:04 AM

I was only able to convince my husband to support me in coming off the meds after almost 15 years when I found and made him read this article.

 

http://www.madinamer...1/depression-2/

 

Once he read what accepted institutions had been repeatedly finding over the decades, he agreed to stop fighting and to start supporting me.

 

Hope things get better.


PjsAndChocolate

  • Trazadone nightly - 1999 through 2014 (50 mgs nightly)
  • Various AD's daily - 1999 through 2014 (settled on Lexapro in 2002)
  • Ritalin daily since 2007 through 2014

Completely off all meds since December 2015

 

 

 


#10 Altostrata

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 07:56 AM

People in general are commonly brainwashed by the discredited "chemical imbalance" theory, which indicates people need to stay on the drugs for life, like insulin. This is very wrong.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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#11 blazesboylan

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 05:36 AM

I was only able to convince my husband to support me in coming off the meds after almost 15 years when I found and made him read this article.

 

http://www.madinamer...1/depression-2/

 

Once he read what accepted institutions had been repeatedly finding over the decades, he agreed to stop fighting and to start supporting me.

 

Hope things get better.

 

 

I have just read the above. What is worrying me is the fact that relapse seems to be more common in people who have been treated with antidepressants rather than those who have not. Anyway, I am have been tapering my venlafaxine and it is going well generally. I haven't had any major withdrawal. I should be making another cut soon enough.


Previously - zopiclone, risperidone, lyrica (pregabalin), ativan (lorezapam)
 
16/May/2016 - 90mg Effexor, 5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
07/Jun/2016 -  80mg Effexor, 5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Jun/2016 -  80mg Effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
04/Jul/2016 -  72mg Effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
01/Aug/2016 -  65mg Effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
12/Aug/2016 -  75mg Effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
03/Oct/2016 -  70mg Effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
29/Oct/2016 -  65mg Effexor, 4.5mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Nov/2016 -  65mg Effexor, 4mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
25/Dec/2016 -  60mg Effexor, 3.6mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
18/Jan/2017 -  60mg Effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
27/Mar/2017 -  54mg Effexor, 5.25mg olanzapine, 15mg mirtazpine
 
Valium (diazepam) as needed. Not daily. Rarely in fact.
 
Note : I would really hope that nobody uses my tapering history as a guideline. It seems to be working for me (at the moment) but might not work well for somebody else tapering similar medications.

 


#12 KarenB

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 05:45 PM

Late reply:  I am finding that families don't want us to stop meds due to their own fear.  In my case, my husband is deeply worried that I'll return to being the raging, defensive, paranoid person I was prior to meds.  It's a real fear.  The trick is to answer that fear with a real answer - and meds is only a veneer, not a real answer.  I am setting up my life now in preparation for withdrawal.  One of the things I am doing is mentioning to hubby everything I am learning and reading about w/d.  Discussing with him the work I've done in counseling around finding perspective, handing anger etc.  Asking him for his specific concerns, then finding ways to address those. 

 

It is horribly frustrating not to be understood or supported, and especially because I feel like if I am worth what any person is worth, then surely I'd have the help I need to get off these damaging drugs.  People who blindly want us to stay on them are implying otherwise, even though probably unthinkingly.  We have discovered for ourselves what we are worth, and it hurts when others ignore it. 


2010 May Fluoxetine 20mg. Raging mostly stops, become more functional.
2011 February Escitalopram 10mg (sudden switch). 2012 January Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Early June Feeling great, decide to taper. Doc advises alternate days 20mg/10mg for 4 weeks.  Late June Steady. Drop to 10mg daily. Early July Not coping, raging, flu symptoms, shaky, anxious, low, spaced-out, self-destructive.  Mid July Return to alternate days 20mg/10mg - minimal improvement. Early August Return to full dose 20mg. Lost.
2014 February Switch to Venlafaxine. (First reduced Esc. to 10mg/day for a week) Feb-April Lost, 'light' self-harm, exhausted.
April Increase Ven. to 150mg/day. Dizzy. July 75mg twice a day to improve dizziness. Deep depression remains.  2015 Feb Vigilant dose spacing partially eases dizziness. Mar Switch to Effexor 75mg 2x/day. May Cut 10% to 135mg - bad w/d 2 mths, held 1 mth.  Aug 1.3% cut - bad 1mth, held 1mth. Oct 4 wkly 0.4% cuts held 6 weeks. Jan 2016 2 wkly 0.4% cuts. 8 month hold. Sept Wkly cuts: 0.5%, 3 1% cuts.  Oct 4 wkly 1% cuts, hold 3-4 weeks.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamins E & C, magnesium, iron, MSM, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.  My story of healing: ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor or counselor; please do your own research and be prepared to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.


#13 AliG

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Posted 07 March 2015 - 03:18 AM

Karen, I identify with you. My husband also thinks I should go back on the drugs , because he , like everyone else has been hypnotized by the "media".

I have been trying to educate him about this, now that I know, but  popular ideas, perpetuated by  culture and media die hard.  I was seduced myself, by

the doctors, by the messages that we get from everywhere these days.  It's all about the $$$, that drives everything .  It's a conspiracy, and we are the pawns

in the game. Only, it's not a game to us!!  Back to point - The thing is, I've spent hours researching this. I didn't know either, until recently.  I have literally spent

most of my time , trying to find a solution to my problems.  The  ironical thing for me in my quest for answers is , that I started looking for the perfect

antidepressant. I wanted one with no weight gain, no sexual side effects, no fatigue, no insomnia, no dizziness, no anxiety, or panic attacks, no feeling like a zombie, no liver enzyme problems, no cholesterol raising, no blood pressure increase, no heart palpitations, no agoraphobia, no headaches, no shaking,

no anger,  and  no chronic fatigue!!  What was I thinking!  I thought if I could just find the right pill, my problems would be solved. That's what the conditioning does to us.  So  I'm learning and I am trying to teach my family as well.   Good luck to us all.


Many SSRI's &SSNRI's over 20 years . Zoloft - 7 years .  Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and many more - on and off . No tapering. Cold turkey -  Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                            Drug free since May, 2014
.
             "Find a place inside where there's joy and the joy will burn out the pain" - Joseph Campbell


#14 RachelE

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 10:02 AM

People in general are commonly brainwashed by the discredited "chemical imbalance" theory, which indicates people need to stay on the drugs for life, like insulin. This is very wrong.

According to Dr. Pies any well-informed psychiatrist knows that the chemical imbalance theory is only a metaphor. I call it a lie.

 

In order to prepare for my eventual "coming out" to my family after remaining drug free for a year, I printed out a journal entry by the president of the APA where he makes this assertion. I think my parents, and everyone hornswaggled into drug use/abuse has a right to know!


I have been on so many medications since I was 20 and diagnosed as "mentally ill" that I have lost count.

Right now, however I have been taking:

Lamictal 25 mg: I went on it in March for only 13 days, then cold turkeyed off when I thought I was developing a rash because of it. Pretended to go back on it, but didn't. Not the best idea, but I had no way to reduce the dose. Anyhow I had no adverse withdrawal reactions, probably because I was on it for less than 2 weeks.

Abilify 20 mg:  I have been on this for several years. Actually at least half the time I have spent as a meds "consumer" I have been on this nasty pill. I finished tapering off it at the beginning of 2016. Was reinstated during the 4 days I spent in a psych ward in March. Tapered off it again in 10 weeks, from say March 15-June 30. Needless to say this is not exact, but I remember I was off it before July 4 (patriotic holiday in America!) I am doing fine, although I know I may have to wait till Christmas or later to know I am out of the danger zone for withdrawal psychosis. The main thing I notice about being off is that I no longer crave sweets all the time and am losing weight without trying. Good thing since I used to weigh 350 lbs.!

Effexor 150 mg: This is the real trouble-maker. Since I have no other way of tapering I do the best I can by bead counting. I unscrew the gel capsule and count out the tiny micro-capsules or beads inside. This works fairly well with the generic time release version. Only 120 beads to count of almost identical size. Lately I have been "holding" at 20 bead removal due to some major stress in my life. Moving hundreds of miles from my old home and a bout of strep throat that wouldn't respond to antibiotics.  I guess that means I'm on 120 mg of Effexor right now. On October 16 I am going to recommence my taper since I am safely moved and no longer have strep! 

I admit now that I did something stupid. I had trouble opening the extra strength gel capsules containing the beads so I reinstated at the original dose for a week. I know it's not good to play ping pong with my brain, but I could never open the capsules without spilling those microscopic balls all over so I was never sure what dosage I was taking! Thank the LORD that I finally have the old kind again and can safely count out the amount. I am now back on 135 mg and feel somewhat better.

October 30, 2016. I am down to 120 mg effexor. November 27, 2016. Down to 105 mg effexor. December 25, 2016. 90 mg effexor. January 15, 2017. 75 mg effexor. January 21. 82.5 mg effexor. January 23, 90 mg again. Feb. 14, 81.25 mg. Mar. 15, 72.5 mg.






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