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An update from Dr. Shipko, very encouraging


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#1 chicken

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Posted 25 July 2014 - 07:01 PM

Remember how scared I got about akathesia when I read an article from Dr. Shipko.

 

Well, he has posted an update to the old article Playing The Odds. It is encouraging.

 

Playing the Odds, Revisited July 21 2014

http://www.madinamer...odds-revisited/


Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

My PH balance thread: http://survivinganti...wonders-for-me/


#2 compsports

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 02:00 AM

I agree his update is more encouraging.

 

However, I am still discouraged that he seems to minimize withdrawal issues in benzos.   Hopefully, he will eventually come around on that issue.

 

CS


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Diagnosed with sleep apnea 2012 and on pap machine

Dealing with protracted sleep issues


#3 Altostrata

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 04:08 PM

Many people were confused by Dr. Shipko's August 2013 article; our discussion here http://survivinganti...r-shipko-on-wd/

They failed to read the clarification of Dr. Shipko's August 2013 article lower down in that topic http://survivinganti...-on-wd/?p=60372

Since that topic has caused so much confusion, I've closed it to further discussion with a pointer to this topic.

Clearly, Dr. Shipko is still formulating his thinking about withdrawal syndrome. He is very experienced in the use of benzos and seems confident in using them to help patients get over rough patches in "tardive akathisia." We see here that sometimes people do need occasional or short-term use of benzos to settle their nervous systems.

And then they need to taper off the benzos, which can be difficult, too.

Dr. Shipko does acknowledge the risks of benzos and says many of his "tardive akathisia" patients are desperate, thus it's a calculated risk for their benefit.

Still, I see some of our benzo withdrawal people are there to educate him further. As I said, it looks like he's still formulating his thinking. I'm glad someone is thinking about it.

I do not think he's yet completely up to speed on very gradual tapering -- though I see he's made a concession to it in this current article -- or all the ramifications of prolonged post-discontinuation syndrome.

We have a collection of longitudinal case histories here -- it's called the Introductions forum. This could help educate Dr. Shipko and other doctors, which is one of its purposes.
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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#4 btdt

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 08:51 PM

I read the link and still have not read he has had a patient who had a paradoxical reaction to a benzo while in withdrawal... just putting it out there as he said he read the benzo boards maybe he reads this one too. 

So off putting that people have to go there and educate him and he is one of the good ones that is scary.  We needs a few specialist to really work this withdrawal issue and establish some protocols for withdrawal.  I am not sure how we go about getting that small chore done.  Since he says people are finding him randomly now not knowing he has a special interest in this area... it would seem the flood gates are opening and perhaps the demand for such services will create a market for such a working group.  I had always hoped word would get out and things would change without it coming to this ..this as in more and more people being damaged... but apparently I am very naive or optimistic...It would have to be naive.  

peace  


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivinganti...ng-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)


#5 Lilu

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 01:20 PM

How is the above update encouraging? He doesn't say anything to contradict his previous conclusions posted in this article:

http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/

"Citizen scientists developed a set of corollary beliefs; primarily that the protracted withdrawal is largely due to stopping the drug too fast and that if one waits long enough that the symptoms of protracted withdrawal are going to go away.  My clinical observation is that long lasting symptoms occur even in patients who taper very slowly, not just those who stop quickly, and that there is no guarantee that these symptoms will go away no matter how long the patient waits."

(This is true for me)

"Those who are on self-help websites want to believe that if they wait long enough (however disabled they may be in the meantime) that they will get better.  The people that I have seen, suffering and disabled, waiting years for the ‘withdrawal’ to end are heartbreaking – particularly when they may be waiting for something that is not going to end."

 

What if for some of us, the so called withdrawal will never end?


2005-2008 Effexor xr; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit.
7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor xr due to crying spells.
2009-3/2013 Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013 Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014 Tapering Lexapro
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia, resumed using Ambien & Klonopin
12/2014-6/2015 Tried Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron - Adverse Reactions
7/2015 Reinstated Lexapro at 2 mg; Quit Klonopin CT suddenly paradoxical)
Started Gabapentin 100-300 mg for 3 weeks. Developed severe lumbar jerking movements (myoclonus).Quit Gabapentin CT.
8/2015 Continuing Lexapro 2 mg. Baclofen 10mg-AM/20mg-PM - tapered off by 5/2016
1-7/2016 Lexapro 5 mg 
Intro page: http://survivinganti...rsened-by-meds/


#6 Lilu

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 02:05 PM

Remember how scared I got about akathesia when I read an article from Dr. Shipko.

 

Well, he has posted an update to the old article Playing The Odds. It is encouraging.

 

Playing the Odds, Revisited July 21 2014

http://www.madinamer...odds-revisited/

 

You know I really didn't believe that a person could feel fine for 5 months after stopping or even tapering an antidepressant and then suddenly have symptoms of withdrawal. But what happened to me the first time I stopped my antidepressant was exactly as Dr. Shipko describes.  Although I can't say that I was fine, I was functioning well enough to look for jobs and go on interviews. However, the stress of starting a new job triggered severe crying spells and I was forced to go back on Effexor, thinking that this was a relapse.  Yet it didn't make sense. I have NEVER had crying spells before when starting a new job. It wasn't even a career job, just an admin job.  Just like the person in Dr.Shipko's article who suddenly became very frightened of earthquakes, even though they've been through them before just fine.


2005-2008 Effexor xr; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit.
7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor xr due to crying spells.
2009-3/2013 Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013 Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014 Tapering Lexapro
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia, resumed using Ambien & Klonopin
12/2014-6/2015 Tried Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron - Adverse Reactions
7/2015 Reinstated Lexapro at 2 mg; Quit Klonopin CT suddenly paradoxical)
Started Gabapentin 100-300 mg for 3 weeks. Developed severe lumbar jerking movements (myoclonus).Quit Gabapentin CT.
8/2015 Continuing Lexapro 2 mg. Baclofen 10mg-AM/20mg-PM - tapered off by 5/2016
1-7/2016 Lexapro 5 mg 
Intro page: http://survivinganti...rsened-by-meds/


#7 Lilu

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Posted 22 October 2014 - 02:21 PM

How is the above update encouraging? He doesn't say anything to contradict his previous conclusions posted in this article:

http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/

 

Note: ok, looks like I am about a year late in finding Dr.Shipko's articles and all the discussions on SA about them. Hmmm.... he really does strike a raw nerve. I can't help but wonder: If I have to suffer for years stuck in this nightmare, then maybe I should go back on meds, and put myself out of my misery right now.


2005-2008 Effexor xr; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit.
7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor xr due to crying spells.
2009-3/2013 Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013 Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014 Tapering Lexapro
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia, resumed using Ambien & Klonopin
12/2014-6/2015 Tried Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron - Adverse Reactions
7/2015 Reinstated Lexapro at 2 mg; Quit Klonopin CT suddenly paradoxical)
Started Gabapentin 100-300 mg for 3 weeks. Developed severe lumbar jerking movements (myoclonus).Quit Gabapentin CT.
8/2015 Continuing Lexapro 2 mg. Baclofen 10mg-AM/20mg-PM - tapered off by 5/2016
1-7/2016 Lexapro 5 mg 
Intro page: http://survivinganti...rsened-by-meds/


#8 compsports

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 02:56 AM

 

How is the above update encouraging? He doesn't say anything to contradict his previous conclusions posted in this article:

http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/

 

Note: ok, looks like I am about a year late in finding Dr.Shipko's articles and all the discussions on SA about them. Hmmm.... he really does strike a raw nerve. I can't help but wonder: If I have to suffer for years stuck in this nightmare, then maybe I should go back on meds, and put myself out of my misery right now.

 

He is talking about very extreme cases.   But that aside, your fears are understandable but you still don't know what will happen.   And if you go back on meds, you might have a worse experience.

 

By the way, I am dealing with a similar situation with pap therapy intolerance.  I fear if I don't get this issue straightened out that the cognitive damage I suffered will at some point become irreversible.   But simply letting that fear overtake me is just not helpful even though understandable.


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Diagnosed with sleep apnea 2012 and on pap machine

Dealing with protracted sleep issues


#9 chicken

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Posted 30 December 2014 - 07:33 PM

I was speaking with my psy doc and he said that if I quit an antidepressant and the problem returns, it gets much harder to treat.

 

I believe he may be referring to the same tardive anxiety and akathesia Dr Shipko was speaking of.

 

Shipko quote "When patients request help with SSRI toxicity, I ask them why they didn’t go back to their prescribing doctor and ask them to stop the medicine.  The typical answer is not surprising: the physicians are frequently unwilling to stop the medications at all or insist on substituting a similar medication or an antipsychotic medication.  You would think that a high-functioning, more-or-less asymptomatic person asking to stop medications would find their physician agreeable.  My guess is that physicians do not stop the SSRIs because the physicians have already had a few difficult experiences with what can happen after stopping the drugs.  I suspect that physicians want to think that the problems are not withdrawal-related, but a reappearance of the mythical chemical imbalance or a new onset of bipolar disorder."


Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

My PH balance thread: http://survivinganti...wonders-for-me/


#10 Altostrata

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 11:48 AM

Your psy doc is referring to withdrawal-induced hypersensitivity or iatrogenic "treatment-resistant depression," about which he does not have a clue.

 

It's unclear what Dr. Shipko means by tardive symptoms. I've had many discussions with him about this. Some could be prolonged post-withdrawal syndrome.


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

All postings © copyrighted.

#11 Rhiannon

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 12:19 PM

I didn't read the whole piece due to lack of time today, but I'm glad to see he's talking about that thing where people can come off the med pretty well initially and then get hit with delayed withdrawal symptoms later-- I usually say three to nine months out, I notice he says three to twelve.

 

This is such a common experience (at least here on this board and I can't imagine it's not that way elsewhere) and it's usually the reason people end up back on the med merry-go-round, often for life.

 

I hate these drugs. Here we are, all of us, working on addressing and treating a disease condition that is created exclusively by "medicine".

 

If doctors had any idea how many of us no longer trust medicine or doctors and mistrust treatment for all conditions after having our lives destroyed by these drugs...Because that's an almost universal response that we see here, too.

 

But another topic. And maybe I'll start it one day.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease" as I was told. Long and tragic story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything.

 

Now tapering, ironically (but not surprisingly) healthier and more functional than I ever was during the years on the "meds," even with withdrawal (usually fairly mild at this slow pace).

 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 14 2011:   86 mg Neurontin   144 Lamictal,    5.5 Celexa   0.42 Xanax      1.9 mg Valium

Feb 16 2012:   10 mg Neurontin   115 Lamictal     3.7 Celexa   0.285 Xanax     2.0 Valium

Feb 22 2013:   86 Lamictal    2.05 Celexa       0.23 Xanax      1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

Now:                43                    0.625                 0.0775            1.3

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.


#12 chicken

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 12:44 PM

Rhi,

Do you think a really slow taper will protect someone from what Dr. Shipko is talking about.

 

I'm kinda scared wondering if it is really worth trying to get off meds. I've had suicidal akethiesia before and was saved by going back on meds. I was off meds for 3 years after prozac before I got anxiety again. I don't want to live a life facing this as my future.


Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

My PH balance thread: http://survivinganti...wonders-for-me/


#13 Rhiannon

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 01:03 PM

Dr. Shipko is smarter about withdrawal and more right on than the vast majority of docs, but he doesn't seem to have much experience with the kind of really long, slow taper that some of us are getting such good results with here.

 

The biggest problem with the long slow taper is that so few people are really prepared to put the kind of commitment and determination into it that it requires. 

 

If you can really wrap your mind around that commitment, taking as many years as it takes, from what I've seen here on this board, I am certain that you can safely reduce your meds to a level that will give you back your self and your life to a very satisfying and joyful level. Even if you never come all the way off everything, just getting to the lowest possible dose of the fewest possible meds can produce amazing, delightful results. The bad effects of these drugs are much less at lower doses.

 

I was suicidal (and almost completely dysfunctional in life) most of the time for 15 years, with two suicide attempts, before I tried the extremely slow taper. I've had some ups and downs during these years but nothing like that kind of agony, and I've been able to work full time and maintain a satisfying life. I've seen the same thing with many other people on this board. 

 

It is absolutely crucial to make only very small changes and to allow lots of time between them. The way you have been tapering (according to your sig line) is much, much too fast for the kind of slow taper that people with complex med histories need.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease" as I was told. Long and tragic story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything.

 

Now tapering, ironically (but not surprisingly) healthier and more functional than I ever was during the years on the "meds," even with withdrawal (usually fairly mild at this slow pace).

 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 14 2011:   86 mg Neurontin   144 Lamictal,    5.5 Celexa   0.42 Xanax      1.9 mg Valium

Feb 16 2012:   10 mg Neurontin   115 Lamictal     3.7 Celexa   0.285 Xanax     2.0 Valium

Feb 22 2013:   86 Lamictal    2.05 Celexa       0.23 Xanax      1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

Now:                43                    0.625                 0.0775            1.3

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.


#14 nz11

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 07:40 PM

Shipko is on my heroes list ...yep he is one of the rock stars for the cause for sure..a very kind and generous person as well.

Keep meaning to get his latest book ...i think its 'uninformed consent' bit controversial i hear.


2000 amitryptaline, nortriptaline venlafaxine clonazepam for  arm pain from keyboard use, told I had a chemical imbalance it would fix my arm was just a matter of finding the right med for me not informed of the nature of these drugs assured safe and not addictive, CT off Effexor after being told to double the dose on reporting adverse effects...later ..uncharacteristic psych panic tearful presented to doctor to get answers. Given paroxetine no questions asked 'safe and not addictive' next please.2001-2010 paroxetine (paxil) 2 failed attempts to quit, a learned helplessness set in. Feb 10 - Sept 10,  8 month clueless taper, hell. Doc said I had underlying depression .. I said that's not right' then found online support group and the truth!...overcome with inconceivable humiliation and outrage. 28 Sept 10 drug free ...  daily psych and emotional torture beginning in the waking hours of the morning receding somewhat in the evening only to start up again the next day. 28 Sept 12 (24 months) Stabilizing  (What an indescribable unimaginable non-functional nightmare). sleep issues start up at 3 yrs  waking daily at 2am -4.30am)28 Sept 15 (5yrs drug free), cf, cmw, insomnia  horrifying pssd continues, still feel Rip van Winkle-ish, cognitively doing heaps better. 28 Sept 16 after 6 yrs start working again on a casual basis.

 

The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.' - Thomas A. Edison

 

“Paroxetine is not safe, it is not effective and it meets every known definition of addictive.” McLaren, N, (2016) 'Psychiatry as bullsh*t’ p55..."Psychiatry is stuffed full of 'deep nonsense' better known as bullsh*t." McLaren 2016

 

"Within the first week of when you go on an antidepressant you may have a sexual dysfunction, it can go on forever, often only appearing when you go off the drug ...its extraordinarily common" Healy 2015

 

See  my intro post #451 for the xanax back story and for a CV -GSKs.  Come on guys get taperwise see a TaperMe Schedule

 For a staggeringly shocking 'prozac back story' see the truth post #523

 

"If I were an enemy combatant and the NZ army did this to me someone would be dragged to the Hague and jailed!"  nz11


#15 Brandy

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Posted 31 December 2014 - 09:37 PM

Rhi, your post was so valuable and important. Thank you.

 

Is it possible this could be made a sticky on an appropriate section here? I think it addresses concerns and misunderstandings of many members, especially new ones.


I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivinganti...nyone/?p=110343


#16 SelmaLady

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Posted 01 January 2015 - 07:22 PM

I hadn't thot of tapering down to a really low amount of Zoloft and then staying there.  There are so many variables that I never realized and I am much encouraged that the rigidity of the "old" days is on its way out. 


1971-81  Valium 5mg c/t PAWS     1988- through now Zoloft 25mg    2003-05 Valium 12mg Slow Taper Off

2013 Afrin Exposure to CNS    2013 O/D Val 230mg    2013 Doxepin 50mg Clonidine 2mg Zolft 25mg

3/15/16  Doxepin 49mg Mico Tapering  Zoloft 24.3mg Holding taper

3/15/16 Clonidine mg 0.1 1/2 -    Decreasing incrementally. 

10/9/16  Doxepin 48.9  Zoloft 24.3  Clonidine  01.10  Continuing micro taper on Doxepin.

11/16/16 Doxepin 48mg  Zoloft 24.3mg  Clonidine 01.10

 

 


#17 Altostrata

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Posted 02 January 2015 - 04:34 PM

This last article from Dr. Shipko is much better, and more comprehensive than the earlier one.

 

We get so many questions about Dr. Shipko, I will pin this for the time being.


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

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#18 compsports

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Posted 03 January 2015 - 02:15 AM

I just reread the article and I agree that it is a great improvement over his previous one.

 

Rhi, I thought I tapered pretty slowly with the exception of Wellbutrin which I cold turkeyed without any problems.    But I wonder if perhaps I should have waited longer between cuts, particularly for doxepin and remeron since they were sleep meds.    Looking back, I felt so bad that it seemed like there was no difference between holding and doing a small drop.

 

Still, I wonder if I would have had an easier time sleep wise.   But would have, could have, should have probably isn't the most productive thinking.


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Diagnosed with sleep apnea 2012 and on pap machine

Dealing with protracted sleep issues


#19 WiggleIt

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:23 PM

This whole thread completely deflated me after reading what Dr. Shipko said about people on self-help websites who just sit around disabled for years waiting for withdrawal to clear up when it never does.

-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in October 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014, off-label for pain

-Meds were prescribed for an "autoimmune chronic pain disease."  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but did not find out until AFTER meds had caused total damage.  All med tapers & cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline from May 2012 - Dec 2013

-Desipramine from Jan 2014 - October 2014. 60 mg reduced by 10 mg each month. Held 30 mg for 3 months. Rapid taper over 1 week from 30 mg down to 20, 10, 0

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night in 2011. In 2012, used 1 mg per month or less.  Lorazepam on & off Dec 2013 - Aug 2014, did not exceed 1.5 mg, did not exceed 3x a week

-On desipramine had muscle tremors & rigidity. Were they side effects or withdrawal effects as I reduced desip throughout 2014? Or was I in WD from nortrip as I was on desip? First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs were too stupid to help me figure it out

-Last dosage desip 10 mg on Oct. 29, 2014. Last dose lzpam 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Paradoxical reactions to benzos after quitting TCAs

-Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7 off meds: hair falling out; no improvement in vision; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8 off meds: thrown back to acute, including Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9 off meds: tardive dystonia worsened, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat.
-Month 13 off meds: Back to total acute, brain zaps back, plus developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs are now damaged


#20 WiggleIt

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 04:29 PM

In fact, this article completely discouraged and scared me. I keep praying I don't come down with akathisia, but now this jerk says I still might. I had come here for hope.

-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in October 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014, off-label for pain

-Meds were prescribed for an "autoimmune chronic pain disease."  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but did not find out until AFTER meds had caused total damage.  All med tapers & cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline from May 2012 - Dec 2013

-Desipramine from Jan 2014 - October 2014. 60 mg reduced by 10 mg each month. Held 30 mg for 3 months. Rapid taper over 1 week from 30 mg down to 20, 10, 0

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night in 2011. In 2012, used 1 mg per month or less.  Lorazepam on & off Dec 2013 - Aug 2014, did not exceed 1.5 mg, did not exceed 3x a week

-On desipramine had muscle tremors & rigidity. Were they side effects or withdrawal effects as I reduced desip throughout 2014? Or was I in WD from nortrip as I was on desip? First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs were too stupid to help me figure it out

-Last dosage desip 10 mg on Oct. 29, 2014. Last dose lzpam 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Paradoxical reactions to benzos after quitting TCAs

-Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7 off meds: hair falling out; no improvement in vision; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8 off meds: thrown back to acute, including Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9 off meds: tardive dystonia worsened, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat.
-Month 13 off meds: Back to total acute, brain zaps back, plus developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs are now damaged


#21 Quazzi

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 02:15 PM

I just noticed that Dr. Shipko wrote a third article posted on September 1, 2015. 

 

https://www.madiname...-odds-part-iii/


I was on Effexor beginning in 1993. I believe the highest dose I was ever on was 150 mg. I'm not sure exactly when, but I was put on Trazodone 50 mg to help me sleep due to Effexor side effects. Tried to quit Effexor several times but failed and always got back on. I stayed on 75 mg it until the end of 2012, when I switched to Prozac 20 mg to try to taper off of meds. Tapered off of Prozac over a couple of months, then ended up going to the ER in June of 2013 and getting back on Effexor XR at 37.5 mg.

 

Started having horrible tolerance withdrawal after about 5 months but didn't know what was going on and ended up switching back to Prozac 20 mg some time around October of 2013. Then I tapered off of that again over a few months and went completely off in February of 2013. I felt okay for a month or so, then started having horrible insomnia and panic attacks like never before. I tried to reinstate Prozac at 10 mg, but I ended up having a bad reaction and it made things even worse. I stopped trying to get back on Prozac after taking a low dose for 3 days and never took it again. I continued to take Trazodone 50 mg throughout this time, although it did not help me get more than 4 hours of sleep per night.

 

I finally weaned off of Trazodone a few months ago. I have been experiencing complete nervous system instability since March of 2014, with brain fog 24 hours a day, pain all over at times, agorophobia, akathisia-like symptoms of inner restlessness, complete anhedonia, pronounced cognitive impairment and memory issues. In addition to the protracted withdrawal syndrome symptoms, on January 21, 2015 I was rear-ended by an inattentive driver and am now in constant, chronic pain due to spinal injuries.


#22 Altostrata

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 04:23 PM

This is exactly what we are talking about here:

By ultra slow, I mean tapering at a rate so slow that there are no discernible symptoms at each dosage cut.  For example, I have a patient who has been on 40 mg of Paxil for 15 years, and we started by cutting down by 1 mg a month.  In this sort of tapering, if there are any withdrawal symptoms on the dosage cuts, we go back to the last comfortable dose, and stabilize before making another cut – which might be a lower dose cut.  It will be years before I know if this is useful or not, but in the meanwhile, my patients are working and living a normal life while tapering instead of suffering and being disabled, as is so often the case.

 


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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#23 nz11

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:52 AM

Shipko says,

"Even with a good attitude and linguistic strategy, going back to the prescribing doctor is often futile.  When confronted with a patient who has any sort of emotional problem – even if it is a side effect of drugs -   the doctors tend to pull out a prescription pad and want to try one drug after the next in hope of being helpful."

 

Aint that the truth.


2000 amitryptaline, nortriptaline venlafaxine clonazepam for  arm pain from keyboard use, told I had a chemical imbalance it would fix my arm was just a matter of finding the right med for me not informed of the nature of these drugs assured safe and not addictive, CT off Effexor after being told to double the dose on reporting adverse effects...later ..uncharacteristic psych panic tearful presented to doctor to get answers. Given paroxetine no questions asked 'safe and not addictive' next please.2001-2010 paroxetine (paxil) 2 failed attempts to quit, a learned helplessness set in. Feb 10 - Sept 10,  8 month clueless taper, hell. Doc said I had underlying depression .. I said that's not right' then found online support group and the truth!...overcome with inconceivable humiliation and outrage. 28 Sept 10 drug free ...  daily psych and emotional torture beginning in the waking hours of the morning receding somewhat in the evening only to start up again the next day. 28 Sept 12 (24 months) Stabilizing  (What an indescribable unimaginable non-functional nightmare). sleep issues start up at 3 yrs  waking daily at 2am -4.30am)28 Sept 15 (5yrs drug free), cf, cmw, insomnia  horrifying pssd continues, still feel Rip van Winkle-ish, cognitively doing heaps better. 28 Sept 16 after 6 yrs start working again on a casual basis.

 

The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.' - Thomas A. Edison

 

“Paroxetine is not safe, it is not effective and it meets every known definition of addictive.” McLaren, N, (2016) 'Psychiatry as bullsh*t’ p55..."Psychiatry is stuffed full of 'deep nonsense' better known as bullsh*t." McLaren 2016

 

"Within the first week of when you go on an antidepressant you may have a sexual dysfunction, it can go on forever, often only appearing when you go off the drug ...its extraordinarily common" Healy 2015

 

See  my intro post #451 for the xanax back story and for a CV -GSKs.  Come on guys get taperwise see a TaperMe Schedule

 For a staggeringly shocking 'prozac back story' see the truth post #523

 

"If I were an enemy combatant and the NZ army did this to me someone would be dragged to the Hague and jailed!"  nz11


#24 Mort81

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 11:38 AM

Just came back from the Doctor. A new one shes straight out of school 31 yrs old.  I gave her my Rxisk report today. I have seen her before as shes my new Doctor since about 6 months ago but shes never said any of my side effects have anything to do with Medication. However 1 thing I do give her credit with unlike my other doctors is she never told me to go back on them and shes listens not making feel crazy. However I can tell shes out to lunch with WD issues. Anyway better than the tyriant I used to see.


Was on 30mg (Lexapro) for 7-8yrs20mg for 3 months (This was my choice my Doc wanted me to drop much faster)15 mg 2week10mg 2 weeks 5 mg 1 week0 since August 24th Clonazapam. Currently 0.10mg daily. PPI Dexlant 20-30mg for last 29 months currently at 30mg

#25 westcoast

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:53 AM

Mort, if she ends up learning from you, maybe she'll become a mini-evangelist. It sickening how little-recognized the side effects are. If all doctors knew, much suffering would be averted.

 

I re-read old emails with a shrink (again). I was on an epilepsy drug and Effexor, which is like being killed by a firing squad and being hanged at the same time for good measure. She prescribed abilify (add guillotine to previous), and I told her on the day I went pick it up from the pharmacy that I was doing so. The next day I said my heart rate was 100 beats per minute and I felt like I was in fight or flight mode. Soon, I was telling her that this was unbearable (which is what people with akathisia say), and I added that I am not given to hyperbole. (Normally I would say something is close to unbearable, if I am in fact bearing it.) I to,d her I was running up and down the staircase, had a tremor, and "felt like I was jumping out of my skin" (which is also what people with akathisia say). I went to emergency on the weekend because I had a troubling  and painful infection arise quickly. They gave me cipro for that (which can cause psychosis, btw). I told them also that I had "ptsd"* and couldn't stop pacing, and my record shows that I told them I was on Abilify. They gave me some Ativan, which did help, but didn't they clue in to akathisia.

 

*that was one of my wrong diagnoses.


2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:


#26 picchy

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 06:30 PM

I am not a fan of this doctor, and when I was in full withdrawal and read his article, it almost pushed me over the edge to suicide - given his claim that the damage may be permanent.

 

I do not believe this for a second. My symptoms could not have been worse, including the akathisia (and many, many others), and they have almost all resolved. I'm still improving and know they will all disappear in time (mainly just some brain fuzziness), and without interference from other psychoactive drugs. The brain will recover and needs time, and my withdrawal symptoms now are totally bearable.

 

He seems to claim he's seen people who have not recovered from symptoms such as akathisia - yet at the same time mentions that he's treating them with benzos as he can't bear to watch them suffer. My question is: how on earth can he claim people do not recover, when he is actively prescribing further drugs and not observing the recovery process? And how long he is monitoring people for, to make the claim that they will not recover? Several years, without drug interference? Doesn't seem so.

 

He also states that forcing yourself to exercise will help you to recover. If exercise triggers symptoms, which it seems to for some/many, it will not help. I think many folk on this site have realised that. It may sound like a relatively small cricitism of his work, but to my mind it further questions his credibility.

 

For those in severe withdrawal - don't listen to him! The brain is neuroplastic, even when we are older, and will recover. Baylissa Frederick's book 'Recovery and Renewal' was like a bible to me through the worst times (she will also provide phone/skype counselling for withdrawal). She has seen countless people in withdrawal and is 100% more positive (realistically so) about recovery. What she says concurs with my own experience and everything I've read about brain neuroplasticity.

 

Don't listen to Shipko!


Sufferer of moderate ME/CFS since 2005

Started 20mg Citalopram in March 2008 due to bereavement

Was fine since then with no adverse effects or depression - so decided to taper off

Came off it in March 2014 after a five-month taper, which I thought was a long time

Experienced a month of uncharacteristic depression in April 2014

Two months feeling fine

In June 2014 return of depression then an overnight physical crash leaving me debilitated in July

Tried to take moclobemide at low dose for 2 weeks in July but severe reaction

Housebound since then, ME now severe

No meds taken

Female, 38 years old


#27 cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 04:18 PM

 

Don't listen to Shipko!

 

I heard from another member that Shipko's pronouncements on the permanence of disability were very upsetting. I wonder why we even have such dismal fare at all when our message is one of hope and hanging on till it gets better (which for the majority happens sooner rather than later. There are those who do take longer it seems.) I wanted to say something about the exercise: only gentle exercise did not make symptoms worse, anything too strenuous brought on waves of upset. But there does come a time when you have to push a little to pop up into the next plane of healing, you cannot stay glued in one place. I don't know how one tells when the time is ripe (and I am only talking about those of us with very severe autonomic disturbances.) Those with slow managed tapers might have less upset and be less influenced by heavy workouts.

 

I just knew when I had to move a little harder and though it was hard at first, it was just the right thing to do at the right time. But do it too soon and you are set back.

 

Shipko has an account here but have not seen him log on lately. In fact, not since Jan 2015. He is obviously too busy to spend any time reading here. Too bad, but what do you expect. We are on opposite sides of the prescription pad after all.


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivinganti...ion/#entry50878

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

#28 btdt

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 06:34 PM

 

 

How is the above update encouraging? He doesn't say anything to contradict his previous conclusions posted in this article:

http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/

 

Note: ok, looks like I am about a year late in finding Dr.Shipko's articles and all the discussions on SA about them. Hmmm.... he really does strike a raw nerve. I can't help but wonder: If I have to suffer for years stuck in this nightmare, then maybe I should go back on meds, and put myself out of my misery right now.

 

He is talking about very extreme cases.   But that aside, your fears are understandable but you still don't know what will happen.   And if you go back on meds, you might have a worse experience.

 

By the way, I am dealing with a similar situation with pap therapy intolerance.  I fear if I don't get this issue straightened out that the cognitive damage I suffered will at some point become irreversible.   But simply letting that fear overtake me is just not helpful even though understandable.

 

What makes one an extreme case?  How do we know if we are one?  Am I an extreme case and if I am how can we tell... does the 8+ years of waiting make it extreme do the extreme cold turkey symptoms make it extreme.. it is both?  What is an extreme case and if it is both the above... can he say never to me with a straight face when there are really no other choices for me at this point as all drugs cause a bad reaction?  

How can it be he has never found a patient who can't take drugs... is my situation really that rare?  I wonder.  Just as he doubts those of us here who seem extreme perhaps to him... (I am not sure of the criteria)  may recover in time.. I doubt he understands all the ins and outs of wd. I sure hope  he is wrong about me at least... How long has he waited to see his people recover before drugging them?  I have a lot of questions and no answers. 

 

This whole thread completely deflated me after reading what Dr. Shipko said about people on self-help websites who just sit around disabled for years waiting for withdrawal to clear up when it never does.

It sure hit a nerve with me too tho I am long past taking what any doctor says as the truth of the situation.. to me he is just another doctor saying what he thinks.  I got a million of em... all saying what they think lined up in my past...some to come I am sure.  How I take what they say sure has changed since I hit the wall on psych drugs... all attempts made to get me back to balance by drugging me made me worse they failed.  For me this is the only game in town and sink or swim I can't take the drugs. He does not have a very nice idea of what actually goes on here while it painful for him to watch people in his care live in wd it is also painful to watch people on here living in wd... seems he does not have the brass to tolerate what we are forced to live day in day out... and help others with if we can in some small way.  Once again it hits full force how unnatural this experience is when a well meaning doctor with some empathy can't bear to watch it go down.  It is good to have a doc with empathy I guess but in this case real understanding would trump empathy.. some of my docs were empathetic to and they gave me more drugs to try year after year till my body said no more.  It will be interesting if and when some of his patients turn out to be like me and can't tolerate any further drugging... I wonder what he will do with them then... maybe he will send them here to wait out there lives hoping for healing... as what choices does he have it is pills or nothing right?  When all you have is a hammer... I guess it is the same old problem all over again.  Now this is not his doing he did not create this mess we are all in...but he does have some power so I do applaud him for speaking the truth as he sees it as it is a start maybe other doctors will trust him on some of this I hope they don't follow his lead on everything.  It actually sounds like watching all this is making him depressed and I actually think that to be a healthy reaction for any human being when they see what people in wd suffer.  Knowing the small truths about this has that affect on people.  I wonder where he will go from here in 10 years more of watching patients how will his ideas change it will be interesting to see. 

 

Shipko says,

"Even with a good attitude and linguistic strategy, going back to the prescribing doctor is often futile.  When confronted with a patient who has any sort of emotional problem – even if it is a side effect of drugs -   the doctors tend to pull out a prescription pad and want to try one drug after the next in hope of being helpful."

 

Aint that the truth.

Yes it is the truth completely agree but is it all really their fault they do the best they can.. I wonder if we did a survey here to add to the knowledge base of things we want people including doctors to know about withdrawal... could we help turn this around educate since they are coming here anyway to learn.. can we see to it they learn what we think are the important things... what are the important things to each of us would make a good topic for another thread.. what do you want doctors to know about withdrawal... we have been waiting for doctors to learn... how are they going to do that?  who is going to teach them?  what do we want them to learn?  If nobody seems to know about it and then those of use who think we know something maybe should dig deep on our best days and see if we can come up with anything decent... it could help. What do you SA people think?

 

I am not a fan of this doctor, and when I was in full withdrawal and read his article, it almost pushed me over the edge to suicide - given his claim that the damage may be permanent.

 

I do not believe this for a second. My symptoms could not have been worse, including the akathisia (and many, many others), and they have almost all resolved. I'm still improving and know they will all disappear in time (mainly just some brain fuzziness), and without interference from other psychoactive drugs. The brain will recover and needs time, and my withdrawal symptoms now are totally bearable.

 

He seems to claim he's seen people who have not recovered from symptoms such as akathisia - yet at the same time mentions that he's treating them with benzos as he can't bear to watch them suffer. My question is: how on earth can he claim people do not recover, when he is actively prescribing further drugs and not observing the recovery process? And how long he is monitoring people for, to make the claim that they will not recover? Several years, without drug interference? Doesn't seem so.

 

He also states that forcing yourself to exercise will help you to recover. If exercise triggers symptoms, which it seems to for some/many, it will not help. I think many folk on this site have realised that. It may sound like a relatively small cricitism of his work, but to my mind it further questions his credibility.

 

For those in severe withdrawal - don't listen to him! The brain is neuroplastic, even when we are older, and will recover. Baylissa Frederick's book 'Recovery and Renewal' was like a bible to me through the worst times (she will also provide phone/skype counselling for withdrawal). She has seen countless people in withdrawal and is 100% more positive (realistically so) about recovery. What she says concurs with my own experience and everything I've read about brain neuroplasticity.

 

Don't listen to Shipko!

I have not read here book I want to know if you can tell me what is the longest you or she has ever seen a person have windows and waves and still go on to heal?  Please don't worry about hurting my feelings I want to know the longest I am all for continuing the path I am on since I have no choice as I can't take drugs.. I just want to know if you would please tell me. 

If you have this information it would be even better for me to see it for myself and digest the particulars of this case myself I have been reading these sites a long long long time and have knack for digesting histories rather solidly and quickly... I get the gist of it fast when I am in my best of windows.  

thanks 

 

peace all B


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivinganti...ng-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)


#29 compsports

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 02:03 AM

I went back and reread everything Dr. Shipko has written and I just don't see the negativity that others see and that I thought I saw initially with my earlier posts.   I think he is just being very honest about the issues which I greatly appreciate about him.

 

He seems to understand that a micro taper like Rhi has suggested is a very good option particularly for people who have been on the meds long term.  I also liked the fact in his last article, he suggested rehabilitation type strategies which make sense since I have found that having psych med damage is like having a TBI.

 

I don't agree with his strategy of using benzos for relief but heck, we're not going to find any doctor who is perfect regarding advice they offer regarding psych med withdrawal

 

CS

 

BTDT, I can't take meds either so any reinstatement is not an option for also.


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Diagnosed with sleep apnea 2012 and on pap machine

Dealing with protracted sleep issues


#30 cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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Posted 15 June 2016 - 04:06 AM

I have just started to look into what Shipko actually said and it will be slow going as site search does not go back more than a year reliably.

 

In this post, Alto says this;

 

 

As Drs. Shipko, David Healy, and Peter Breggin have observed, there are a small number of people who have difficulty tapering at any rate and may never be able to go completely off. I spoke to a knowledgeable doctor recently about this and he was confident that eventually he would be able to find the right "bridge" for these people. (Prozac works as a bridge off antidepressants for most people.)

 

Alto, do you remember who this was and do they still feel this way? Do you have any new info to add? The post was from 2012. (I don't even rem what I had for bf yest, so you may not rem either)

 

Oh how I wish all the Shipko stuff was in the same place, or the tags were correct (or even used at all! I am still up for the task of editing them, hint hint).

 

I know there's more but SEVERAL people report that what they have read of Shipko's pronouncements cause them extreme upset. Is it all here or is some of it on MIA? I'd be interested to know how he feels NOW and if he is still successfully using benzos to dampen the effects of AD withdrawal.

 

People are reacting to something, I know I have read it and I have not found it yet. If anyone has, please quote and attribute it here, if you will. I might be 'post blind'.

 

His use of benzos is probably helpful for those who started off the drugs too quickly, got wd syndrome and are given the benzos to quell the sx until they stabilize. Or he may be using it to get them off quicker, leave them on it until they have been on it long enough and then taper them slowly off the benzo. Is there anybody who has ever reported being treated thusly by him?

 

That's what we really need are first person stories in the absence of Shipko actually coming here and reporting on his protocol success himself. (Fat chance of that happening.)

 

And oh dear, I may have muddied the waters here, the topic I referenced is the context of BENZODIAZEPINE (XANAX) withdrawal, not AD wd. But they are mixed in there.

 

More research......


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivinganti...ion/#entry50878

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

#31 cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 12:56 AM

Well, DUH! The referenced article was named in the first post and it WAS on MadInAmerica (linked again here).

 

There are 2 crucial concepts in the article that I believe need explanation and emphasizing because they have everything to do (I think ) with people's frustrations in dealing with their doctors regarding the antidepressants they get put on (and the other crap piled on to either make them work 'better' or to treat the inevitable side effects they create.)

 

 

The problem starts with nomenclature.  The citizen scientists [that's us!] of the Internet have labeled the problem ‘protracted withdrawal.’  To physicians, withdrawal is a phenomenon that starts when the blood level of a substance drops to near zero and persists for a week or two.  The concept of ‘protracted withdrawal’ is inconsistent with the very definition of withdrawal.  So when a patient tells their doctor that they have ‘protracted withdrawal’ the doctor draws a blank.

 

Yep, they get the concepts surrounding how drugs act drilled into them and that knowledge is cemented by those 24-48 hour shifts they spend on duty in various hospital specialty areas during their internships and residencies. There is no precedence for the way psych drugs really act and I am sure there will never be (until the likes of us and more Healys and Breggins and others flood the scene.)

 

To a doctor there is no such thing as protracted withdrawal. Perhaps we should ever and always refer to it as "discontinuation syndrome" or perhaps "rebound effect" (docs are familiar with that term as it refers to the use of nasal sprays: you stop their chronic use and oft times the rebound congestion leaves you mouth breathing forever it seems. And stopping PPIs seems to do the same thing. The body gets used to something in its system and when you yank it away you see in reality what it has been doing all along is rebelling against chemical meddling with a vengeance.)

 

The other term in the doctor's mind is this "tardive dysphoria" concept. Shipko again:

 

 

What I have observed is that the ‘withdrawal’ symptoms occur while patients are on a steady dosage of the drug, shortly after stopping the drug and weeks or months after stopping the drugsThe only precedent for this type of presentation is tardive dyskinesia (TD).  Tardive refers to symptoms that occur later and dyskinesia refers to movement disorder. TD is generally associated with antipsychotic medication, and is also a manufacturer labeled side effect of the SSRIs.  TD occurs while on antipsychotics, primarily occurs shortly after stopping them, and may occur months or even longer after stopping the drugs.  With the SSRIs, it is not so much a tardive movement disorder as a tardive problem with akathisia, a sort of constant restlessness or agitation that is accompanied by an agitated anxious/depressed state.  It is a very  uncomfortable sensation.

 

Of note here here is that he does not state specifically that not everyone gets this. But from that he slides right into:

 

 

It is generally unappreciated that people who stop SSRIs often develop a new onset of severe depression or anxiety months after stopping the drugs.  It took me years before I realized that this is what was occurring, but this seems to be fairly common.  Patients often did well for months, only to develop fairly acute profound states of anxiety and or depression.  The anxiety and/or depression was not a relapse, because the patients never had these symptoms before starting the drugs.  Because people are thinking of the discontinuation problem as withdrawal, they are not considering the later onset symptoms as related to stopping the drugs.  What is somewhat frightening to consider is that patients with tardive dyskinesia sometimes do not manifest symptoms for years after stopping antipsychotics.  Will this be the fate of those who stop SSRIs?  This won’t be known for a long time, particularly if nobody is doing careful research on the topic.

 

Ah, the WHOLE quote really needs to be in red ink, bold letters and the equivalent of the 70s internet type of flashing banner in contrasting neon colors. It's the tardive dysphoria that happens to many of us. The "tardive" word may come into the mind of the doc (and us) and it's all downhill from there.

 

It is entirely possible that even using the term "tardive" sets up a quite dismal outlook in people's (doctor's) minds because after all, it is most associated with movement disorders seen to develop after long term use of antipsychotics and some of those don't seem to go away for a long time.

 

But our "late blooming" perturbations of feelings, emotions, and thoughts after psych drug use do eventually return to a more "normal" state after SOME period of recovery the longer we stay off the drugs. I am nearing the start of year 4 of recovery from a precipitous stopping of 3 powerful drugs and I had an epiphany last night.

 

We recoverees often go through a period where we cannot watch tv or read. Then, we may be able to watch a bit of TV but any show with violent content can really affect us badly. I was stuck watching HGTV and "Pawn Stars" till my eyeballs bled, anything else started up waves of bad feelings. I remember that year, on History Channel (where Pawn Stars airs) there were previews for that viking show beginning that fall and I'd have to have the remote at the ready to mute that part and turn my head. Just hearing the music was enough to set me off.

 

That's all gone now it seems. I watched the entire rerun of Jaws last night, even the last scene with sharkie doing his thing and I did not flinch once. I deliberately did it to see what my internal reaction would be, and it was the usual "oh gross!!!" as it would have been pre-AD withdrawal.

 

So to sum all this up, I think we need to scrub Shipko's dire pronouncements from the site, they do little to give hope to the ones beginning their period of suffering and everything to discourage them. They can stick in your mind and fester there....

 

I'll cast the first vote.


What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivinganti...ion/#entry50878

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

#32 Nextra

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 04:37 AM

Where as I am thankful that Dr Shipko is acknowledging and speaking out about some of the fallout from psych meds, I too have fallen back to a period of "I may as well end this right now" thinking - every time I have read one of his articles. They are the articles on MIA linked to on SA.
I am one of the tardive/protracted variety who lives in bed. I understand his opinion to be that not only will I likely not get better but the fact that I am totally disabled and unable to get out and about in itself will prevent me from improving? I do acknowledge that this experience has provided me with a pair of grey/blue tinted glasses that may effect my interpretation of what he writes. I look for hope, but inevitably the worst case scenarios jump out at me.
I guess old habits die hard and a lifetime of believing that the professionals know better still rears itself in me sometimes. I have to keep reminding myself how very wrong they have been about so many things regarding psych meds.

Thanks picchy for your post above, it pulled me a little way out of the black shipko hole I tumbled into.
Zoloft 8yrs CT (for anxiety) Crashed few months later, diagnosed major depression. Reinstating did not work.
Several poorly tolerated short term meds including Effexor, Mirtazapine. Eventually stabilised on Lexapro.
Sometime in the 90's bipolar diagnosis added and seroquel. CT'd from that quickly as I didn't think I fit the diagnosis.

Lexapro 5yrs? (9 month taper 2010) - Diagnosed ADD shortly after becoming psych med free.
Dexamphetamine- 2011-July 2014 (6 month taper)
Crashed late 2014: over sensitive to light, sound, people, usual foods, caffeine and life.
{July 2014- quit smoking, Dec 2014 quit caffeine, chocolate, sugar, processed foods, don't drink}
Supplements: Magnesium Citrate, Vit C, Pro-biotic.
Feb 2015-current: intolerance to minor stimulation, terror, anxiety, doom, delirium, anhedonia, insomnia, lethargy, weakness, bodily tingling, numbness, ticks and jolts, tinnitus, back pain, gastric disturbance, facial pain, ticks and tingling, EHS.........
Oct 2015- developed frozen shoulder-ongoing

#33 cymbaltawithdrawal5600

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 04:45 AM

Nextra,

Love the 'Shipko hole' comment, lol

If you don't have a topic in Intros perhaps you would start one so we can get to know you better?

He is farther ahead than most, but I don't like the 'hole' people may find themselves in their thinking and never question where it came from.
What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivinganti...ion/#entry50878

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

#34 Christian

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 06:05 PM

Where as I am thankful that Dr Shipko is acknowledging and speaking out about some of the fallout from psych meds, I too have fallen back to a period of "I may as well end this right now" thinking - every time I have read one of his articles. They are the articles on MIA linked to on SA.
I am one of the tardive/protracted variety who lives in bed. I understand his opinion to be that not only will I likely not get better but the fact that I am totally disabled and unable to get out and about in itself will prevent me from improving? I do acknowledge that this experience has provided me with a pair of grey/blue tinted glasses that may effect my interpretation of what he writes. I look for hope, but inevitably the worst case scenarios jump out at me.
I guess old habits die hard and a lifetime of believing that the professionals know better still rears itself in me sometimes. I have to keep reminding myself how very wrong they have been about so many things regarding psych meds.

Thanks picchy for your post above, it pulled me a little way out of the black shipko hole I tumbled into.


Nextra,
I'm sorry you are suffering. May I ask for how long ? What are your remaining symptoms? Have you improved at all?


Lexapro: started in 2002 at 10 mgs.

Ambien: started as a as needed sleep aid in 2010. 

Quit Lexapro cold turkey in June 20015 due to contributing to low sodium issues.

Restarted Lexapro in late November for a week (only 5 mgs) but quit due to dizziness side effects. Side effects worsened for 3 weeks until 

12/24/15: Protracted WD hit, experienced extreme anxiety, insomnia lack of full concentration and social challenges.

Reinstated Lexapro on 1/1/16 at 5 mgs. Increased per Dr to 7.5 MG. Tapered off Lexapro in March 2016.   

Started 50MG of Seroquel in late January 2016 for bedtime to help in eliminate Ambien. Tapered off both Seroquel and Ambien in March 2016.  

2/14/16: Prescribed both Remeron (15 MG) and Temazapam (15 MG) for sleep. Also use Klonopin and Ambien again in place of Temazapam to avoid addiction. However I did take Temazapam 60 straight days

6/15/16: Stopped use of all benzo's and now use Belsomra 1-2 times a week. Still on 15 MG of Remeron    

10/11/16: Off all psych medications

 

After kindling, trying to regain my strength suffering from severe mental and physical fatigue. 


#35 btdt

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 05:39 AM

Where as I am thankful that Dr Shipko is acknowledging and speaking out about some of the fallout from psych meds, I too have fallen back to a period of "I may as well end this right now" thinking - every time I have read one of his articles. They are the articles on MIA linked to on SA.
I am one of the tardive/protracted variety who lives in bed. I understand his opinion to be that not only will I likely not get better but the fact that I am totally disabled and unable to get out and about in itself will prevent me from improving? I do acknowledge that this experience has provided me with a pair of grey/blue tinted glasses that may effect my interpretation of what he writes. I look for hope, but inevitably the worst case scenarios jump out at me.
I guess old habits die hard and a lifetime of believing that the professionals know better still rears itself in me sometimes. I have to keep reminding myself how very wrong they have been about so many things regarding psych meds.

Thanks picchy for your post above, it pulled me a little way out of the black shipko hole I tumbled into.

 

I have spent a good amount of time in bed in the 8 years I have been living this.  I wonder what stage your at?  Last bout of bed was within the last 8 wks.. a wk in bed was my inspiration to try the supplement route big... likely went too big and did that wrong too... I do most things wrong to start...but desperate people will do desperate things.  

 

If you were to share some more information maybe I would have some ideas of things you could try... maybe maybe not.  I have learned a lot from other people who have lived this chances are it could be the same for you.  

 

I completely understand the grey blue glasses too.  The longer it takes to go away the less I believe the time heals all theory... Alto is the longest I have heard of to date healing at the 9 year mark. I am not sure if waiting only is the way to overcome this.  I have tried a lot of things and I guess I am not done trying yet.  Some of it may help you... it could maybe. 

 

There have been times all I could do was be in bed... yet I have to eat to live and go to the bathroom and wash myself... those things to me constitute being out of bed... it is a start wherever you are just start from there. 

 

Things to do in bed... deep relaxation videos if you have a laptop.. or phone... they are on utube... getting to a state of deep relaxation was the first thing I noticed helped me the more I do it the better I feel usually.  Tapping or EFT emotional freedom therapy uses accupressure points and talking to help you over come things... I like the guy in the red shirt EFT for depression also on utube... 

 

Those are two things I did while in bed... if the light bothers you cover the windows in tinfoil... by a fan for the sweating ... heating pad for the freezing... a maid would be nice... but likely not possible... epsom salt baths... electolytes for babies I could not toerate the adult verson... ensure for times you can't eat. 

 

I wish you peace


WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivinganti...ng-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)


#36 Lilu

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 09:53 AM

Much more encouraging. Describes a successful super slow micro taper.

 

http://www.madinamer...-odds-part-iii/

 

 

 

September 1, 2015

My prior MIA blog posts have largely addressed the problems that can occur when people try to stop taking serotonin-related antidepressants, particularly  after taking them for a long period of time. I wanted to share a few updated thoughts that I have on the problem.

Protracted withdrawal needs a better name.  The term “protracted withdrawal” does describe the time sequence  of symptoms after stopping serotonin based antidepressants, but is a poor choice of language when discussing this with your doctor.  Medicine does not recognize such a thing as protracted withdrawal.  Withdrawal is considered something that goes away within days or weeks of stopping a drug.  If you are going to talk to your doctor about these sorts of problems, then it is best to describe the problem as symptoms that happened after stopping the drugs.  I realize that many physicians will declare these new symptoms the start of a new mental illness – usually bipolar – but calling it protracted withdrawal just confuses the doctor.  Although I refer to protracted withdrawal as drug neurotoxicity, it is still a bad idea to give the doctor a diagnosis rather than to present symptoms.  It’s just the way that doctors work.  They want to make the diagnosis and often feel put off by patients who present with a complaint and a diagnosis.

On the other hand, doctors are increasingly influenced by information from the Internet which is told to them by patients.  They generally do not want to see a lot of printed off pages, as there is no time to really read them during the office visit.  Even with a good attitude and linguistic strategy, going back to the prescribing doctor is often futile.  When confronted with a patient who has any sort of emotional problem – even if it is a side effect of drugs -   the doctors tend to pull out a prescription pad and want to try one drug after the next in hope of being helpful.

The consequences of reinstating the same drug or starting similar drugs are highly variable.  Sometimes the patient returns to a comfortable baseline and sometimes they get incrementally worse with each new drug.  Even when reinstatement results in resolution of symptoms, it is unavoidable for the patient to be thinking about how uncomfortable it is to be taking a drug that created the problem in the first place.  Obviously whatever damage the drug did before is going to be increased over time.  So what will the next 10 years do to the nervous system?

Problems related to stopping SSRIs after long term use are becoming more common in my practice.  People on the SSRIs for years with no noticeable symptoms often decide that they don’t need the drug and decide to stop taking it.  After all, they were told that the drug isn’t addicting, and were never warned that there could be problems stopping it.

Experiencing a fairly rapid and severe ‘akathisia’ like syndrome, usually  a few months after the last dose is fairly common.  I put the word akathisia in quotes because it’s really difficult to describe exactly what it is that happens and the full toxicity syndrome has not been formally described.  Akathisia is probably the best term to describe what is going on, however, akathisia is primarily considered a movement disorder that comes with a subjective feeling of inner restlessness.    Sometimes I do see the typical pacing and motor restlessness of akathisia, but not usually.  Like akathisia, the discomfort is extreme and impairing.  In fact, the SSRI toxicity related symptoms appear much more uncomfortable than even serious anxiety or depression unrelated to SSRIs.  Some describe it as anxiety and some as depression, but typically it has a fairly abrupt onset and is worse than anything previously experienced.  The patients seem to be unable to describe it except to say that it is extremely uncomfortable – crawling out of my skin.  My suspicion is that patients are reluctant to talk about how they feel because they are having suicidal thoughts and fear the possibility of involuntary hospitalization.  Akathisia is probably the best term currently in use to describe the syndrome of late onset and persistent withdrawal symptoms, but  these symptoms need to be better categorized, studied, and described.

The phenomenon of late emerging, intractable withdrawal related symptoms occurring after a period of months with no problems seems to be widely recognized by patients, but has never been studied and is unknown to physicians.  Increasingly it is the tardive, or late onset withdrawal related problems that bring patients to my office.

Often patients are down on themselves because they believe that their problems relate to having tapered too rapidly. It seems like a lot of the same problems occur in people who stop slowly and those who stop abruptly.  That having been said, I have been doing some ultra slow tapering.  In my last blog I wrote about a man stopping Effexor after a 14 year exposure. We tapered from 150 mg to 0 mg from 2012 until early 2015.  This patient never had any acute withdrawal symptoms, no symptoms after stopping the last dose and no late onset symptoms 7 months after the last dose.

Since there are so few tools to use for people who want to stop the serotonin related antidepressants, ultra slow tapering might be useful.  By ultra slow, I mean tapering at a rate so slow that there are no discernible symptoms at each dosage cut.  For example, I have a patient who has been on 40 mg of Paxil for 15 years, and we started by cutting down by 1 mg a month.  In this sort of tapering, if there are any withdrawal symptoms on the dosage cuts, we go back to the last comfortable dose, and stabilize before making another cut – which might be a lower dose cut.  It will be years before I know if this is useful or not, but in the meanwhile, my patients are working and living a normal life while tapering instead of suffering and being disabled, as is so often the case.

Patients who are having toxic withdrawal related symptoms almost always want to know how long it will last.  There is no good answer for this question, but the time frame is going to be in the realm of months and years and not days or weeks.  This is an important issue for the person who is highly debilitated by symptoms.  If a person is disabled and unable to function at work or to socialize, then it is probably not a great idea to wait indefinitely for it to go away.  Reinstatement of the drug, or use of a benzodiazepine – while not ideal, may be worth the risks.

I note that a lot of people are seeking the “antidote” for the withdrawal related symptoms.  Reinstatement and benzodiazepines can help with symptoms, but do not reverse the process.  As it stands there is no antidote, and absent an understanding of the pathology involved, this is unlikely.  Perhaps one day the problem will be studied and understood in such a way that an antidote can be found that will take away all of the withdrawal related problems.

In the meantime, I want to emphasize that rehabilitative related treatment is useful in improving symptoms.  Recently I saw a person who had to drop out of college for the semester because they could not concentrate enough to do the computer programming needed for classes.  As a rehabilitation strategy, the person was encouraged to do some similar type of programming every day.  It was a slow start, but it looks like this person will resume school next month.  Staying in bed and resting in hope that the problem will go away may not be as good as forcing oneself to engage in exercise, socialization, proper diet, meditation, spiritual activities and work like activities.


Edited by brassmonkey, 25 July 2016 - 03:48 PM.
Increased Font for Readability

2005-2008 Effexor xr; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit.
7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor xr due to crying spells.
2009-3/2013 Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013 Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014 Tapering Lexapro
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia, resumed using Ambien & Klonopin
12/2014-6/2015 Tried Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron - Adverse Reactions
7/2015 Reinstated Lexapro at 2 mg; Quit Klonopin CT suddenly paradoxical)
Started Gabapentin 100-300 mg for 3 weeks. Developed severe lumbar jerking movements (myoclonus).Quit Gabapentin CT.
8/2015 Continuing Lexapro 2 mg. Baclofen 10mg-AM/20mg-PM - tapered off by 5/2016
1-7/2016 Lexapro 5 mg 
Intro page: http://survivinganti...rsened-by-meds/