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Altostrata

One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

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Altostrata

That is typical of withdrawal syndrome. You might read a few of the Intro topics.

 

I have no idea what your plan would do.

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Lilu

That's true, Lilu. Problem is, someone would have to write such a book.

 

Much of this site is about how to deal with protracted withdrawal syndrome.

 

See What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

The rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple. Keep it slow. Keep it stable.

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery

 

You are probably better off working with your current psychiatrist. It is highly unlikely you will find one who understands withdrawal symptoms or protracted withdrawal syndrome.

I would think that you would be the perfect candidate for such a book. But I guess for it to be taken seriously by doctors, you would have to have an MD after your name.

 

I'm not sure where to post this, but have you seen Dr. Healy's research papers? They still have "draft" written across all pages, but are a pretty good compilation of information. Although his tapering advice seems a bit convoluted.

 

http://wp.rxisk.org/research-papers/

 

The following papers deal with dependence and withdrawal

Dependence and Withdrawal

Halting Antidepressants

Medicine Induced Stress Syndromes

 

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Altostrata

I am familiar with Dr. Healy's work. Thank you.

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Lilu

I am familiar with Dr. Healy's work. Thank you.

 

What do you think of those research papers?  I guess since they have "draft" written across them, a doctor is less likely to take them seriously?  I am just so tired of doctors always pointing the finger at me, blaming all my symptoms on my "mental illness" and not believing a word I say. Is this a losing battle?  It sure feels this way.  

 

If highly accomplished and respected doctors, like Dr. Healy are not able to make a dent in the prevailing view, then what chance do I have? I don't have the strength nor the energy. Even doctors who are willing to read what I give them, still don't believe. They've never heard of this, never encountered it, they treat me like I am the only one with this crazy problem. They are oblivious to what is really going on.

 

It just makes me so mad when they insist that it's my anxiety that's causing my physical side effects or label me as Bipolar, when I have never been manic or hypomanic in my life.

 

Have you ever thought about creating an Ebook base on the information on this site and things you have learned from reading about psychiatric drug withdrawal?

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Altostrata

Yes, I have considered writing an e-book. I need to find the time. Thank you.

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Lilu

Yes, I have considered writing an e-book. I need to find the time. Thank you.

 

What would be most helpful is an edited version of the piece of writing that you did, which I have seen bits and pieces of, that was I guess originally posted here: https://www.patientslikeme.com/members/34434/about_me

This is the only "article" that even attempts to explain what has happened to me. It would be good to have an article like that to show doctors who don't know about this.  The doctor that helped you, the neuropsychiatrist, would it be possible for him to co-author the article, since he seems to be the only one who recognized the phonomenon of excessive glutamatergic system activity?  I believe that this is the reason why I started experiencing a paradoxical reaction to relaxation techniques that came to rely on, such as sleep hypnosis tapes and deep breathing. I also believe that it's the reason why the Myoclonus that I developed is triggered by deep relaxation of the body and is worst when lying down.  I went to a Neurologist who refuses to believe that Neurontin (Gabapentin) could be the cause of my myoclonic jerks, but really doesn't know anything about psychiatric drugs or withdrawal from them.  It would be helpful if I could give him an article that explains this.  So while an ebook is quite a laborious endeavor, maybe you could create an article that doctors would consider?  I like that in the above link, you mention your credentials and your research, which is more than most of us have. Coupled with your doctor's expertise, it would be great to have such a document. I know that doctors usually want peer-reviewed published studies, but it would be a start. Please consider doing this. Thanks.

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Altostrata

Thank you for your suggestions.

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oskcajga

Admin note: For discussion of lamotrigine (Lamictal), see Lamictal (lamotrigine) to calm post-discontinuation withdrawal symptoms


 

This following is an article that has propagated all over the Web, by someone named Altostrata. It has been updated for this post:

 

As I've been suffering from Paxil withdrawal syndrome since October 2004, I've studied the medical literature on antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. What I've learned about the alerting system and glutamatergic system in antidepressant withdrawal syndrome may be informative.

 

Antidepressants cause downregulation of serotonin receptors. In a mechanism of brain self-defense, the receptors actually disappear, becoming more sparse so as to take in less serotonin. It is thought among withdrawal researchers that people who experience the worst withdrawal are slower than others to repopulate serotonin receptors.

 

Others believe those who suffer the worst are those whose brains are highly neuroplastic and adapted more thoroughly to the influence of the medication.

 

Relative slowness to upregulate receptors doesn't mean there's anything intrinsically wrong with our brains, it just means there's variability (of course) among nervous systems.

 

Even among people suffering the most severe antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, repopulation of serotonin receptors probably occurs long before symptoms disappear. However, while the serotonin system is repairing itself, an imbalance occurs in the autonomic nervous system. The locus coeruleus "fight or flight" center becomes disinhibited and the glutamatergic system becomes more active than normal. This is called disinhibition of the alerting system, and it generates symptoms that are awful: panic, anxiety, sleeplessness, and dreadful imagery among them.

 

This paper explains the mechanism in withdrawal causing alerting disinhibition: Harvey, et al: Neurobiology of antidepressant withdrawal: implications for the longitudinal outcome of depression; Biological Psychiatry. 2003 Nov 15;54(10):1105-17.

 

Once disinhibition of the alerting system takes hold, it becomes self-perpetuating. The whole question of neurotransmitter imbalance -- a chimera of psychiatry anyway -- becomes moot. No manipulation of serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine is going to help. In fact, it usually makes the condition worse.

 

Noradrenergics -- buproprion or Wellbutrin; mirtazapine or Remeron; SNRIs such as Cymbalta, Serzone, Effexor; and St. John's Wort, rhodiola -- stimulate "fight or flight" activation, as will most SSRIs. Drugs and substances that are stimulating should be avoided.

 

Even drugs that are calming may cause a paradoxical reaction as the alerting system fights to stay in control.

 

My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea and possibly waves of unusually intense "depression" and "anxiety" -- actually, emotions generated by the neurological upset. Later, glutamatergic hyper-reactivity and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes wide hypersensitivity to drugs, supplements, and even foods.

 

Out of control, unrelated to environmental or psychological triggers, the alerting system sends intense, spontaneous signals to the adrenals, which produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

 

This is not strictly brain damage. Brain damage means some physical part has been permanently removed and can never be recovered. Rather, this is iatrogenic neuropsychiatric damage.

 

According to established principles of neuroplasticity, the nervous system can repair itself and regain functioning that is close to normal. In cases where there is no apparent iatrogenic cause for autonomic dysfunction, it often spontaneously resolves. Low stress, good nutrition, and as much sleep and gentle exercise as possible are key.

 

[ironically for those suffering from lamotrogine (Lamictal) withdrawal -- too-fast Lamictal withdrawal causing glutamatergic rebound -- lamotrigine is a drug that tempers the activity of the glutamatergic system, incidentally reinforcing an intact GABA system. Microdoses of lamotrigine can assist recovery from antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. I am being treated with about 5mg per day and it is helping me recover.

 

Cautionary note: Lamotrigine may not be a universal treatment for withdrawal syndrome. If you want to try it, make sure you consult a doctor who is very familiar with using it and start with very small doses -- .5mg to begin, slowly titrate up to 5mg or more; stay at the lowest effective dose. Nausea and headaches are signs of too high a dose. (2mg tablets are available by request from GlaxoSmithKline; 5mg tablets are available by prescription; lamotrigine can be made into a liquid by a compounding pharmacy.) In too large a dose, lamotrigine, like everything else, can make your symptoms worse.]

 

In the medical literature on antidepressant withdrawal, symptoms of alerting system disinhibition -- anxiety, panic, sleeplessness, irritability, agitation among them -- are sometimes misidentified as "unmasking" or emergence of bipolar disorder. This leads the clinician to medicate with a cocktail of drugs upon which the patient does poorly, the neuropsychiatric damage from antidepressant withdrawal being compounded by additional medication and attendant reactions.

 

In Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker describes this process as the way many children, suffering adverse effects from antidepressants, are led into a lifetime of medications for misdiagnosed bipolar disorder.

 

It's always the victim who's blamed, not the drug. It's about time we took a closer look at what withdrawal does to the nervous system, and question whether the chronic downregulation of serotonergic receptors caused by long-term antidepressant prescription is a benign condition.

 


For discussion of lamotrigine (Lamictal), see Lamictal (lamotrigine) to calm post-discontinuation withdrawal symptoms

 

I'm going to give this a shot, try .5mg for a couple of days and see what happens.  I'll order a jewler scale from amazon.com and go from there.   I've tried a 25mg pill before during WD, and it just knocked me out, gave me a weird headache, and I felt DP/DR for a day or two - then I was fine in a couple of days.  So knowing what a higher dose does, I feel safe trying a lower dose.

 

Thank you for your excellent posts on this thread, Alto.

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oskcajga

 

Yes, I have considered writing an e-book. I need to find the time. Thank you.

 

What would be most helpful is an edited version of the piece of writing that you did, which I have seen bits and pieces of, that was I guess originally posted here: https://www.patientslikeme.com/members/34434/about_me

This is the only "article" that even attempts to explain what has happened to me. It would be good to have an article like that to show doctors who don't know about this.  The doctor that helped you, the neuropsychiatrist, would it be possible for him to co-author the article, since he seems to be the only one who recognized the phonomenon of excessive glutamatergic system activity?  I believe that this is the reason why I started experiencing a paradoxical reaction to relaxation techniques that came to rely on, such as sleep hypnosis tapes and deep breathing. I also believe that it's the reason why the Myoclonus that I developed is triggered by deep relaxation of the body and is worst when lying down.  I went to a Neurologist who refuses to believe that Neurontin (Gabapentin) could be the cause of my myoclonic jerks, but really doesn't know anything about psychiatric drugs or withdrawal from them.  It would be helpful if I could give him an article that explains this.  So while an ebook is quite a laborious endeavor, maybe you could create an article that doctors would consider?  I like that in the above link, you mention your credentials and your research, which is more than most of us have. Coupled with your doctor's expertise, it would be great to have such a document. I know that doctors usually want peer-reviewed published studies, but it would be a start. Please consider doing this. Thanks.

 

 

What would be most helpful is an edited version of the piece of writing that you did, which I have seen bits and pieces of, that was I guess originally posted

 

Sorry for the double posts on this topic, but I had never actually seen this writing by Alto before - and strongly recommend anyone who hasn't read it to take a look - it's very interesting.

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oskcajga

 

Admin note: For discussion of lamotrigine (Lamictal), see Lamictal (lamotrigine) to calm post-discontinuation withdrawal symptoms


 

This following is an article that has propagated all over the Web, by someone named Altostrata. It has been updated for this post:

 

As I've been suffering from Paxil withdrawal syndrome since October 2004, I've studied the medical literature on antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. What I've learned about the alerting system and glutamatergic system in antidepressant withdrawal syndrome may be informative.

 

Antidepressants cause downregulation of serotonin receptors. In a mechanism of brain self-defense, the receptors actually disappear, becoming more sparse so as to take in less serotonin. It is thought among withdrawal researchers that people who experience the worst withdrawal are slower than others to repopulate serotonin receptors.

 

Others believe those who suffer the worst are those whose brains are highly neuroplastic and adapted more thoroughly to the influence of the medication.

 

Relative slowness to upregulate receptors doesn't mean there's anything intrinsically wrong with our brains, it just means there's variability (of course) among nervous systems.

 

Even among people suffering the most severe antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, repopulation of serotonin receptors probably occurs long before symptoms disappear. However, while the serotonin system is repairing itself, an imbalance occurs in the autonomic nervous system. The locus coeruleus "fight or flight" center becomes disinhibited and the glutamatergic system becomes more active than normal. This is called disinhibition of the alerting system, and it generates symptoms that are awful: panic, anxiety, sleeplessness, and dreadful imagery among them.

 

This paper explains the mechanism in withdrawal causing alerting disinhibition: Harvey, et al: Neurobiology of antidepressant withdrawal: implications for the longitudinal outcome of depression; Biological Psychiatry. 2003 Nov 15;54(10):1105-17.

 

Once disinhibition of the alerting system takes hold, it becomes self-perpetuating. The whole question of neurotransmitter imbalance -- a chimera of psychiatry anyway -- becomes moot. No manipulation of serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine is going to help. In fact, it usually makes the condition worse.

 

Noradrenergics -- buproprion or Wellbutrin; mirtazapine or Remeron; SNRIs such as Cymbalta, Serzone, Effexor; and St. John's Wort, rhodiola -- stimulate "fight or flight" activation, as will most SSRIs. Drugs and substances that are stimulating should be avoided.

 

Even drugs that are calming may cause a paradoxical reaction as the alerting system fights to stay in control.

 

My guess is: The first phase of withdrawal, the acute phase, is the initial shock of withdrawal, with the most defined symptoms, such as brain zaps and nausea and possibly waves of unusually intense "depression" and "anxiety" -- actually, emotions generated by the neurological upset. Later, glutamatergic hyper-reactivity and autonomic instability take over. Often the autonomic instability causes wide hypersensitivity to drugs, supplements, and even foods.

 

Out of control, unrelated to environmental or psychological triggers, the alerting system sends intense, spontaneous signals to the adrenals, which produce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

 

This is not strictly brain damage. Brain damage means some physical part has been permanently removed and can never be recovered. Rather, this is iatrogenic neuropsychiatric damage.

 

According to established principles of neuroplasticity, the nervous system can repair itself and regain functioning that is close to normal. In cases where there is no apparent iatrogenic cause for autonomic dysfunction, it often spontaneously resolves. Low stress, good nutrition, and as much sleep and gentle exercise as possible are key.

 

[ironically for those suffering from lamotrogine (Lamictal) withdrawal -- too-fast Lamictal withdrawal causing glutamatergic rebound -- lamotrigine is a drug that tempers the activity of the glutamatergic system, incidentally reinforcing an intact GABA system. Microdoses of lamotrigine can assist recovery from antidepressant withdrawal syndrome. I am being treated with about 5mg per day and it is helping me recover.

 

Cautionary note: Lamotrigine may not be a universal treatment for withdrawal syndrome. If you want to try it, make sure you consult a doctor who is very familiar with using it and start with very small doses -- .5mg to begin, slowly titrate up to 5mg or more; stay at the lowest effective dose. Nausea and headaches are signs of too high a dose. (2mg tablets are available by request from GlaxoSmithKline; 5mg tablets are available by prescription; lamotrigine can be made into a liquid by a compounding pharmacy.) In too large a dose, lamotrigine, like everything else, can make your symptoms worse.]

 

In the medical literature on antidepressant withdrawal, symptoms of alerting system disinhibition -- anxiety, panic, sleeplessness, irritability, agitation among them -- are sometimes misidentified as "unmasking" or emergence of bipolar disorder. This leads the clinician to medicate with a cocktail of drugs upon which the patient does poorly, the neuropsychiatric damage from antidepressant withdrawal being compounded by additional medication and attendant reactions.

 

In Anatomy of an Epidemic, Robert Whitaker describes this process as the way many children, suffering adverse effects from antidepressants, are led into a lifetime of medications for misdiagnosed bipolar disorder.

 

It's always the victim who's blamed, not the drug. It's about time we took a closer look at what withdrawal does to the nervous system, and question whether the chronic downregulation of serotonergic receptors caused by long-term antidepressant prescription is a benign condition.

 


For discussion of lamotrigine (Lamictal), see Lamictal (lamotrigine) to calm post-discontinuation withdrawal symptoms

 

I'm going to give this a shot, try .5mg for a couple of days and see what happens.  I'll order a jewler scale from amazon.com and go from there.   I've tried a 25mg pill before during WD, and it just knocked me out, gave me a weird headache, and I felt DP/DR for a day or two - then I was fine in a couple of days.  So knowing what a higher dose does, I feel safe trying a lower dose.

 

Thank you for your excellent posts on this thread, Alto.

 

 

After doing more extensive research on the subject, I think that "giving it a shot" is the entirely wrong approach and it warrants a response to my own post, even though it's 3 posts in one day.  On second thought, after reading through all the other threads related to this subject, it would seem that taking lamictal is a real commitment, and can take a long time to titrate up, and then taper down - so I would amend my previous post by saying:  Sounded like I'd give it a shot, but upon further investigation I need more time to think about whether or not this is the correct approach to take at this time - considering the level of commitment involved.

 

I apologize for the 3 posts, but I felt it was necessary to amend my previous comment and course of action.  If there was a way for me to condense all these posts into one, I'd do that, but unfortunately cannot at this time.

 

Thank you.

 

Cheers,

Osk

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Lilu

What would be most helpful is an edited version of the piece of writing that you did, which I have seen bits and pieces of, that was I guess originally posted here: https://www.patientslikeme.com/members/34434/about_me

 

Sorry for the double posts on this topic, but I had never actually seen this writing by Alto before - and strongly recommend anyone who hasn't read it to take a look - it's very interesting.

 

Yes, I agree. In fact, I think it should be pinned, Alto, as a separate topic.

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compsports

 

What would be most helpful is an edited version of the piece of writing that you did, which I have seen bits and pieces of, that was I guess originally posted here: https://www.patientslikeme.com/members/34434/about_me

 

Sorry for the double posts on this topic, but I had never actually seen this writing by Alto before - and strongly recommend anyone who hasn't read it to take a look - it's very interesting.

 

Yes, I agree. In fact, I think it should be pinned, Alto, as a separate topic.

 

I wanted to add my vote for this.  Alto, in rereading this, I wonder if I am still suffering from WD issues even though I tapered very slowly off of the meds and got off in 2010.   None of the sedating antidepressants have helped with sleep at low doses and when I wake up prematurely, I feel like my system is in hyperalert mode.  Thought it was related to pap therapy intolerance but now I wonder.

 

Probably could take my sleep doc into trying the Lamictal but I fear his lack of knowledge could be a hindrance.   But maybe I should still give it a shot since I have nothing to lose.

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Altostrata

This topic is included in the pinned What is withdrawal syndrome?  at the top of the Symptoms forum. All of those topics are important to understanding withdrawal syndrome.

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Lilu

This topic is included in the pinned What is withdrawal syndrome?  at the top of the Symptoms forum. All of those topics are important to understanding withdrawal syndrome.

I meant that your story should be pinned, where you share information about your background and explain about the role of glutamatergic activity in withdrawal insomnia, etc. 

https://www.patients.../34434/about_me

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starcontrol2

How does one know when acute phase is over?

 

I know I am still on zoloft with Lexapro withdrawal but the periods of really intense depression hit regularly...

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Altostrata

If your symptoms have lasted more than a few weeks, you have post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

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starcontrol2

If your symptoms have lasted more than a few weeks, you have post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

 

Oh, I see so it is not a severity of symptoms but rather length of time that determines that? Thanks!

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Toulouse

So earlier this week I met with a new doctor who I'd heard was minimalist in his theories of prescribing drugs. Almost an hour into the conversation, that went well,  he explained that he has seen so many people like me, coming off of SSRIs after many years and he says I sound exactly like everyone else he's seen. I gave him a sheet with a breakdown of all of my symptoms from the last year, since quitting paxil.

He sounded look he could be a member of this board actually, with his disdain for big pharma and the reckless doling out of antidepressants by anyone with a medical license. 

 

I visited him to hear his thoughts on how I should handle my recent wave of strong anxiety / panic.    All seemed to be going well until he started saying that medicine is the only way to settle some peoples brains down, like mine. That my brain is hyperactive and giving me all these symptoms.

 

He then mentioned he would put me on Gabapentin, an anti-convulsant.  He theorizes that all of these mental issues people have, depression, anxiety, etc., are forms of epilepsy.  I had never heard this before.

He apparently is writing a book on the subject now, (and has written several books in the past on mental health). He told me I could take this drug forever.  He also said it acts similar to my Xanax I take (in emergencies) but much safer and non addicting. Also he told me there are no WD effects and I don't have to taper down. I can just quit.  He says he has treated between 500-1000 patients this way with rarely an issue in almost 20 years.

 

This all sounded promising, like a magic bullet.  Until I went home and researched Gabapentin and found out it is addicting, it does have WD issues, and is similar in that way to a typical benzo. I was very disappointed to read very contradictory information than what he told me.

 

Anyway - I wanted to post about this experience as I found this conversation very interesting regarding his theory of our issues being a form of epilepsy.  Has anyone ever heard this from one of their P docs?  He told me this was ground breaking thinking he was doing.  

 

If this has been discussed before, I'm sorry. I did not find anything in the search except for random mentions of Gabapentin.

Thanks for reading

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Altostrata

Yes, many withdrawal symptoms are due to excessive, dysregulated activity in the nervous system.

 

ADMIN NOTE Please read the first few posts in this topic.

 

Please see One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

topic now merged

 

If you can recommend this doctor for withdrawal, please add his contact information to http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v

Edited by Altostrata
updated

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Toulouse

Yes, many withdrawal symptoms are due to excessive, dysregulated activity in the nervous system.

 

Please see One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

If you can recommend this doctor for withdrawal, please add his contact information to http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v

I'm not sure about his advice though, Alto. Should I try the Gabapentin to settle things down?  Hearing him talk, I wanted to try it. But reading up on Gabapentin online, about side effects (feeling suicidal, anxiety) and also the withdrawal element made me pause and check here.

Thanks for the link. I will be reading it.

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Mort81

I woudn't try it ​out .  Your mind and body will heal with time naturally , the body knows how to heal.  The crappy part as we know is we have no idea when but from our recovery stories it seems like 1-5 yrs on avg.  I think this might really set u back if it goes wrong // just my 2 cents.    My 1st Pdoc did the same thing to me with Lyrica , than I read about how awful this drug was. I almost took it though.

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Meimeiquest

You might check out Nancy Mullan's site, nancymullanmd.com. I have recently been using the supplements she recommends for healing the neurons' cell membranes with a positive response, you can sign up for sort of an e-book there. Please note that she recommends adding supplements very slowly.

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Altostrata

From others' experiences with gabapentin, we are not seeing it being much help. How does your doctor use it?

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Toulouse

From others' experiences with gabapentin, we are not seeing it being much help. How does your doctor use it?

He wants me to start at 100mg 3 times a day for several days, then if I do well, stay there. If not, updose to 200mg 3x and finally 300mg 3x daily. But if the lowest dose works he says stay there.  He says some people are fine at that dose and don't need to go up. 

He says this will calm my 'hyperactive brain' down. He also said it's good for my longevity, my brain as well as my heart. 

But he also said there is no WD and I can just stop whenever I want, no taper. Which is concerning me, since I'm reading online it does cause WD and it does need to be tapered.  So that bit makes me question everything he said in our session. 

 

But what do you think of his theory that all of these mental issues are really different forms of Epilepsy?

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Hibari

I am not an expert on this drug but most doctors dismiss potential wd from medication.   It seems like a lot of medication to start with and since you are now med free, maybe there are other things you can do to help your nervous system.

 

I have shared this before and it's only my experience but I have found L-Theanine very helpful for anxiety and I was someone who used to take Clonazapam.  My psychiatrist is the one who told me about it when I first started tapering Remeron and was hit with huge anxiety-the kind where I was jumping out of my skin.   I took 100-200mgs 3x a day and it really helped.  I now only use it as needed.   Again, this is only my experience but there is a L-Theanine thread on this site.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1032-l-theanine-for-anxiety-insomnia/page-2?hl=l-theanine

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compsports

Hi Toulouse,

 

Your doctor sounds like someone I looked into seeing several years ago who said he specialized in movement disorders from psych meds.   So he seemed like a good candidate to consult with regarding withdrawal issues.   Nope, as his only tools were to prescribe other meds.   He didn't say that outright but it was quite clear in talking to him on the phone that is all he did.

 

This doctor sounds exactly like the one I was considering as he seemed to be talking out of both sides of his mouth.   "Well, SSRIs are evil but do take a drug with no side effects."   Yeah, right.

 

And regarding the Gabapentin, regarding my sleep doc's suggestion, I tried 100mg for sleep a few times and already the next day, I had side effects I suspect due to being very sensitive to meds even though I have been off of psych meds for several years.    So I can't imagine taking triple the dose with you currently tapering off of them.   I would tread very carefully.

 

And any doc who says a drug doesn't have any WD issues is another reason why you should regarding his advice with suspicion.  

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Toulouse

Has this doctor found this treatment to be successful with other patients?

 

Read One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome  to discuss further.

He says yes. It has helped most of his patients (he says between 500-1000 over 20 years of practice), citing only a few rare cases of a paradox reaction. 

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Toulouse

Copy and pasting this from a recent thread I made to continue the conversation here. 

 

So earlier this week I met with a new doctor who I'd heard was minimalist in his theories of prescribing drugs. Almost an hour into the conversation, that went well,  he explained that he has seen so many people like me, coming off of SSRIs after many years and he says I sound exactly like everyone else he's seen. I gave him a sheet with a breakdown of all of my symptoms from the last year, since quitting paxil.

He sounded look he could be a member of this board actually, with his disdain for big pharma and the reckless doling out of antidepressants by anyone with a medical license. 

 

I visited him to hear his thoughts on how I should handle my recent wave of strong anxiety / panic.    All seemed to be going well until he started saying that medicine is the only way to settle some peoples brains down, like mine. That my brain is hyperactive and giving me all these symptoms.

 

He then mentioned he would put me on Gabapentin, an anti-convulsant.  He theorizes that all of these mental issues people have, depression, anxiety, etc., are forms of epilepsy.  I had never heard this before.

He apparently is writing a book on the subject now, (and has written several books in the past on mental health). He told me I could take this drug forever.  He also said it acts similar to my Xanax I take (in emergencies) but much safer and non addicting. Also he told me there are no WD effects and I don't have to taper down. I can just quit.  He says he has treated between 500-1000 patients this way with rarely an issue in almost 20 years.

 

This all sounded promising, like a magic bullet.  Until I went home and researched Gabapentin and found out it is addicting, it does have WD issues, and is similar in that way to a typical benzo. I was very disappointed to read very contradictory information than what he told me.

 

Anyway - I wanted to post about this experience as I found this conversation very interesting regarding his theory of our issues being a form of epilepsy.  Has anyone ever heard this from one of their P docs?  He told me this was ground breaking thinking he was doing.  

 

EDIT: After reading some responses in the other thread and also researching online, I am skipping this as an option. I feel like it's not worth the risk to me and the progress I've made.  I feel like there are better and safer options to handle my WD anxiety issues.

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Irvingkirsch

 

Copy and pasting this from a recent thread I made to continue the conversation here. 

 

So earlier this week I met with a new doctor who I'd heard was minimalist in his theories of prescribing drugs. Almost an hour into the conversation, that went well,  he explained that he has seen so many people like me, coming off of SSRIs after many years and he says I sound exactly like everyone else he's seen. I gave him a sheet with a breakdown of all of my symptoms from the last year, since quitting paxil.

He sounded look he could be a member of this board actually, with his disdain for big pharma and the reckless doling out of antidepressants by anyone with a medical license. 

 

I visited him to hear his thoughts on how I should handle my recent wave of strong anxiety / panic.    All seemed to be going well until he started saying that medicine is the only way to settle some peoples brains down, like mine. That my brain is hyperactive and giving me all these symptoms.

 

He then mentioned he would put me on Gabapentin, an anti-convulsant.  He theorizes that all of these mental issues people have, depression, anxiety, etc., are forms of epilepsy.  I had never heard this before.

He apparently is writing a book on the subject now, (and has written several books in the past on mental health). He told me I could take this drug forever.  He also said it acts similar to my Xanax I take (in emergencies) but much safer and non addicting. Also he told me there are no WD effects and I don't have to taper down. I can just quit.  He says he has treated between 500-1000 patients this way with rarely an issue in almost 20 years.

 

This all sounded promising, like a magic bullet.  Until I went home and researched Gabapentin and found out it is addicting, it does have WD issues, and is similar in that way to a typical benzo. I was very disappointed to read very contradictory information than what he told me.

 

Anyway - I wanted to post about this experience as I found this conversation very interesting regarding his theory of our issues being a form of epilepsy.  Has anyone ever heard this from one of their P docs?  He told me this was ground breaking thinking he was doing.  

 

EDIT: After reading some responses in the other thread and also researching online, I am skipping this as an option. I feel like it's not worth the risk to me and the progress I've made.  I feel like there are better and safer options to handle my WD anxiety issues.

 

 

This guy sounds like a quack. What proof does he have?

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Toulouse

 

 

This guy sounds like a quack. What proof does he have? 

 

None. Just his theory.   He's put many of his patients on this medication though. 

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Altostrata

Toulouse, please read the first post in this topic and a few posts after that.

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Toulouse

Alto, I am pretty close to trying Gabapentin, which is similar to what you tried. I discussed with two different P-docs as well as a neurologist and feel a bit more comfortable giving it a go.  I am starting at what is considered a low dose of 100mg.  I'm supposed to start at 2x a day and then gradually increase it if it doesn't kick in (and I have no ill effects). I will start with just 1x 100mg tomorrow and see what it brings.  From what I've read and been told it is nothing like a SSRI and won't effect me in the same way the paxil did.  Hope they're right. 

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tntd

Toulose, I'm wondering how things went with the Gabapentin. 

 

When I was experiencing severe anxiety from a taper from clonazepam they gave me Gabapentin. It had a paradoxical effect for me and I had some really bad side effects. Felt like my face was burned and swollen. They told me not to to take it again. I hope you had good luck with it.

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ravijaua

if I had to choose I would choose lamictal over gabapentin esp low dose lamictal below 25 mg is not going to have any kind of long term effects.

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scallywag

ravijuau -- There are people that are affected by low doses of lamictal. It's good that you're clear about what you would do but your conclusions can't be generalized to everyone.

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