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TurtleLover: Can I ever be my normal self again? (After antipsychotics)


TurtleLover

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Hello!

About three months ago, I had a manic episode because of the adderall I was taking which was prescribed for me because of ADHD. I was taken to a hospital and I was given lithium and 3 mg of risperdal for a total of 23 days.

 

When I got out, I felt terrible. I couldnt experience any emotions. I felt dead inside. I couldn't enjoy anything. I felt disoriented and stupid. I was just like a zombie. And worst of all, I had severe akathisia and it was just hell! I couldn't sit still and I had to take a 17 hour flight so you can imagine my misery.

 

I decided to stop taking the drugs (I didn't know which one was causing these problems so I just quit both). I tapered but very quickly because I just couldn't take it anymore. And then after the drugs were out of my system, I couldn't sleep. I couldn't add numbers fast like I did before when playing card games and my parents were worried so they went to a doctor and got haloperidol and quetiapine (seroquel) and gave it to me without me knowing. The dose was very very small, like one fourth of a tablet. I was on these for about 20 days. Again, I had severe anhedonia during that time and I couldn't enjoy anything and I felt like I was walking on thin ice. Like I could snap and break at any moment.

 

And then I agreed to see the doctor and he gave me perphenazine and biperiden (which is for Parkinson's disease) and I was miserable again. I quit perphenazine after a couple of days but I still took biperiden because it made me feel good albeit a little weird.

 

After a couple of days, I decided to just quit everything and hopefully return to my normal self again but no, I got severe depression. Like the worst depression you could ever imagine. I had never been this depressed in my entire life (I was really hopeless because I had lost everything I loved. They said I couldn't go back to school for a year. And I had to move and be separated from my boyfriend and my friends and literally everything that made my life enjoyable). So, I decided to start lithium again and within a few days, my mood was stabilized and I started taking bupropion (Wellbutrin) too and it was great. I couldn't focus, I felt stupid and slow. I couldn't read or write but thankfully I can do these things now.

HOWEVER, I still don't feel like my normal self. And I have an uncomfortable feeling in my arms and hands when I get excited about something or when I want to do something that demands mental energy. I feel like there is something trapped inside my body that wants to get out and break free. I still feel like there's a barrier between me and the world. I was always an independent go-getter with a sense of humor but now I'm terrified of doing things and sometimes I wonder how I could study and work at an Ivy League school with all the demanding activities that was expected of me. I am now very afraid of the future. I'm afraid of never becoming my old self again. I'm afraid of never getting my creativity and analytical mind back. And I'm afraid of this goddamn feeling in my arms staying with me my whole life. I've searched a lot and it seems that risperidone does that to a lot of people and even after it's out of your system, the negative side effects remain for quite a long time. Has anyone recovered completely from antipsychotics? I've quit many antidepressants in the past easily but antipsychotics are so scary and I'm afraid I might never return to my normal self again.

Edited by JanCarol
white space for clarity

24 days 3 mg of risperidone and 1050 mg lithium carbonate. Tapered quickly in three days

After that, about 20 days of very small doses of haloperidol and quetiapine (seroquel)

For three days took perphenazine and biperiden

Stopped everything and started taking lithium again due to severe depression and 150 mg bupropion (Wellbutrin)

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Hi TurtleLover.

Welcome to the site.

I'm sure there will be other people that will come along with much more accurate info.

I'm also searching for a similar answer.

ALthough our histories are vastly different.  I was on Lexapro SSRI for about 8 years, and have been tapering from 10mg -> 1mg currently right now - taken more than 18 months.

I've had SLIGHT GLIMPSES of being more like me - the barrier you describe rings true for me.

I've heard others describe it like coming up from under water.  I also like to think of it as cobwebs being dusted off.

 

I had small glimpses of it.

I'm still on a small amount, so it's clearly still active in my system.

 

I'm sure others will hop on this thread and give you some great info.

2008 (approx) Lexapro 10mg.  2009 attempted cold turkey 5mg for 2 weeks - crash and burn.  2009 back on 10mg.

2012 - pooped out - but didn't know.   2014 - poop-out got worse.  2014 sept 20mg, 2014 oct 15mg, 2014 nov 10mg

2014 dec 7.5mg,  2014 dec 23rd crashed.  Dec 24th 10mg - trying to stabilize

2015 Jan Stabilized as much as thought I would, 2015 Jan 9mg, 2015 Late Feb, 8mg, 2015 late Mar 7mg.  22nd May 6.3mg

2015 small "slide" down to 6mg.  19th June 5mg. 15th Aug 4.5mg - slid down to 4mg.  Sept 20th 3.8mg.

2015 gradual decrease between Oct and Nov 10th to 3mg:  Dec between 3-2mg.  2016 Jan15th 2mg  Feb: 1.8mg, somewhere got to 1.6mg.

2016 Feb 25th crashed!  Not sure if sick or WD, back to 2mg.

2016 During March - gradual decrease to 1.8mg, then 1.5mg.  April 19th 1mg

2016 June 8th 0.8mg   July 1st 0.6mg:  Sept 0.4mg (long hold)

2017 Jan 0.2mg

2017 May 0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YAY

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello TurtleLover, 

 

I have moved your topic to create an Intro for you since your post is about your situation and you are new around here :-).  You will get more traffic here, and it will be your place to ask questions, give updates, and express any concerns.  You will receive lots of support here on SA, so I am very happy that you have joined us!

 

Thank you for filling out your signature block!  It would help if you put the dates of when you stopped the various drugs you were on short term and when you started the lithium (dosage) and Wellbutrin.  

 

You wrote:  

 

After a couple of days, I decided to just quit everything and hopefully return to my normal self again but no, I got severe depression. Like the worst depression you could ever imagine. I had never been this depressed in my entire life (I was really hopeless because I had lost everything I loved. They said I couldn't go back to school for a year. And I had to move and be separated from my boyfriend and my friends and literally everything that made my life enjoyable). So, I decided to start lithium again and within a few days, my mood was stabilized and I started taking bupropion (Wellbutrin) too and it was great. I couldn't focus, I felt stupid and slow. I couldn't read or write but thankfully I can do these things now. 

 

That severe depression is a withdrawal symptom, one of the many Neuro Emotions we experience while tapering or in withdrawal.  We know it is due to the meds because even those, like you, who never had depression before and were put on these meds for other reasons develop depression in withdrawal.  You were on meds a pretty short time but your system is acting as though something got its hooks in you regardless.

 

You have had a lot of change ups with meds recently and your nervous system is destabilized from it all.  I am putting your post to the other mods for consideration. Are you still on the Adderall?  How long had you taken Adderall and at what dosage?  Are you taking any other medications?  How is your sleep?  If you are NOT taking Adderall, it may be that you are experiencing withdrawal from that one.

 

Are you interested in coming off of these meds?  We are a forum for people who want to come off their meds and be done with psych meds, and for people suffering from withdrawal syndrome from coming off too fast.  If you would like to come off the lithium and Wellbutrin, we can help you come up with a plan.  You will eventually get back to normal and are lucky that you haven't put in months and years on these drugs.

 

Once we have answers to the above, we can have a better idea of what we can do to help you.

 

Welcome to SA!

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

TurtleLover, I am giving you some links that will hopefully help you understand why you are feeling not your self.

 

Introduction to AD Withdrawal Syndrome

 

It would be helpful if you could put all the meds you are currently taken in the drug interaction checker.  Copy and paste the results here.  Drug Interactions Checker

 

This may be helpful as well:  Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness

 

Please come back with questions and answers!

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

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

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Thank you for your help.

 

I have actually been depressed all my life and I've tried pretty much every antidepressant in the book.

 

I am not taking adderall. I took it for about three months 10 mg.

 

I am still scared of stopping lithium and Wellbutrin.

 

My main problem is my arms and the fact that I don't feel capable. And I'm pretty sure it's because of the effects of risperidone. I want to know if anyone has fully recovered from the damage that antipsychotics cause.

24 days 3 mg of risperidone and 1050 mg lithium carbonate. Tapered quickly in three days

After that, about 20 days of very small doses of haloperidol and quetiapine (seroquel)

For three days took perphenazine and biperiden

Stopped everything and started taking lithium again due to severe depression and 150 mg bupropion (Wellbutrin)

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  • Administrator

Welcome, TurtleLover.

 

You have quite the history with odd combinations of drugs for "depression."

 

How long have you been on lithium (what's the dosage?) and Wellbutrin? When do you take them? What's your daily symptom pattern (please keep notes on paper)?

 

It could be that going on and off drugs has left your nervous system somewhat sensitized to all drugs and stimuli such as light. Also, you have some depersonalization, emotional anesthesia, and difficulty concentrating. These are common side effects of drugs and are also common withdrawal syndrome symptoms.

 

You may also have had an adverse reaction to Risperdal causing some movement problems.

 

Although psychiatry ignores the problems of going on and off psychiatric drugs over years, this can be very wearing on a nervous system. Your nervous system needs stability. Under chemical stress, it can be destabilized and not behave normally.

 

If you are feeling fairly well with your current cocktail, if I were you, I'd stick with it for a good long time to let your nervous system settle down, and stop looking for a chemical tune-up for "depression" or whatever. Your drug may indeed be your problem.

 

Also see Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

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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