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Cloudy: 8 months off Zyprexa


Cloudy

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Hello everyone,

 

I first would like to thank the moderators and the community here as it has helped get me off a horrible drug I never would have been able to alone. It was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I cannot thank you enough!! I have been lurking this site since 2018 on and off and was waiting to come back once I made a recovery but I still am not quite there yet.

 

I was put on Zyprexa back in 2017 (October) and began tapering off a second time in 2019 (January) and have been completely off since November of 2020. I no longer deal with the severe insomnia withdrawal caused by this drug and I am sleeping about 7-8 hours a night although still not as good as it was before taking Zyprexa. My emotions have returned to a certain extent as well and my memory has gotten better.

 

However I am still experiencing symptoms (brain fog, burning sensation in head, mood swings, emotional blunting, feeling disconnected from myself, blank mind, difficulty socializing) and I am not sure anymore that these symptoms are all related to withdrawal or mental illness and I am losing hope. I have made very gradual progress in recovery since the beginning of my taper and also now that I have been completely off medication, but it still feels like there is no end in sight.

 

The thing I am having a hard time coping with is not being able to socialize like I once was able to. I usually cannot come up with things to say spontaneously other than short reply's and this feeds my depression when I try to be social. My mind feels like it is offline somewhere else most of the day and when i try to communicate. It feels like my thoughts are blocked and I don't have access to them anymore. I miss the silly and fun personality that I use to have and am afraid that it might never return. I thought it might be related to having a low mood but there are times when I feel my mood has improved, I still just don't feel connected to my mind like I once did.

 

I have been diagnosed with Schizoaffective (Bipolar) and have a history of severe episodes of psychosis and mania, but it has been several years since.

 

I believe that partly what I am experiencing might be negative symptoms of my illness because I have felt similar in the past just before a psychotic episode, but it was much more disabling. This was before being put on any sort of medications. I am not sure what to do anymore and am having a hard time continuing living like this. Any word of advice?

Edited by manymoretodays
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2017-2018 Zyprexa 20mg-2.5mg

2019 Zyprexa taper 2.5mg (January) 10% each month

2020 Zyprexa discontinued (November)

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  • Altostrata changed the title to Cloudy 8 months off Zyprexa
  • Administrator

Welcome, @Cloudy

 

How did you go off Zyprexa this last time?

 

On 7/18/2021 at 1:27 PM, Cloudy said:

I no longer deal with the severe insomnia withdrawal caused by this drug and I am sleeping about 7-8 hours a night although still not as good as it was before taking Zyprexa. My emotions have returned to a certain extent as well and my memory has gotten better.

 

However I am still experiencing symptoms (brain fog, burning sensation in head, mood swings, emotional blunting, feeling disconnected from myself, blank mind, difficulty socializing) and I am not sure anymore that these symptoms are all related to withdrawal or mental illness and I am losing hope.

 

It sounds like you had fairly significant withdrawal symptoms after going off Zyprexa, but you have seen improvement over the last 8 months. It's not unusual for recovery from withdrawal syndrome to take many months, even several years. Most likely, you'll see continued improvement.

 

How has your symptom pattern changed in the last 3 months?

 

If you feel like you want to socialize, you might start slowly and carefully to get used to it. You might want to join a club, for example, where you play board games or music or go on walks -- whatever you enjoy doing -- and don't have to make small talk. Or take care of pets. This can help you gain confidence.

 

See @Shep 's story

 

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.

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I am in awe of you for getting over the terrible insomnia some folks have tapering off Zyprexa. That is a huge achievement. And I am sorry to hear you may be having negative symptoms.  Do you have people that are watching out for you in case you enter into a prodromal phase?

Previously: Lithium (incorrectly diagnosed bipolar although I never had a manic or hypomanic episode)(taken during summer/fall 2020); Olanzapine (taken from late spring 2020 until late December 2020); Abilify (briefly for a couple of weeks in 2016, caused akethesia); Risperidone (2014-2016); Fluoxetine (two weeks in 2020); various sleep aids, e.g., Ativan, trazadone, mirtazapine and other antihistaminics (winter through summer of 2021).  I don't remember most of the dosages and am leaving them blank.

 

Currently: Latuda (40mg) (hoping to taper). 

Other: I do not smoke, do not drink, have only one cup of coffee in the morning, and don't use anything else.  I exercise 3-4 times per week and watch my diet. 

 

My posts do not include any medical advice and I am not trained in medicine. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Hi, @Altostrata

 

Thank you for replying,

 

I was able to follow the 10% reduction each month from my previous dose (more or less depending on how it would affect my sleep) with the gemini-20 scale recommended on here until I was down to about 95% and made the jump off.

 

Its hard to say what has changed with my symptoms in the last 3 months because they can fluctuate throughout the day from feeling better to worse at times. I do notice that my emotional range has improved. I experience some emotions now when doing things I once enjoyed, but not nearly as strong. I still have to make an effort to do those things because of the lack of pleasure. I am able to communicate with others better, but I have to keep it short because I feel impaired and it can be hard for me to think of things in the moment.

 

I have been meeting up with friends recently and we go out skateboarding. They kind of understand what I've been going through so I feel pretty comfortable around them. I just get down on myself when I don't have much to say but there really is no pressure from them.  I am into joining some kind of group therapy in the future though.

 

Shep's story is very inspiring and I hope one day this will all be a thing of the past.

 

19 hours ago, JohnBanes said:

I am in awe of you for getting over the terrible insomnia some folks have tapering off Zyprexa. That is a huge achievement. And I am sorry to hear you may be having negative symptoms.  Do you have people that are watching out for you in case you enter into a prodromal phase?

 

Thank you, John.

 

It was not easy to say the least, especially because there was a high risk of relapsing and I was still working somehow through it all. I just listened to my body and proceeded slowly. The first time I tried to taper off Zyprexa how my doctor suggested, I was getting around 2 hours of sleep a night or less. This lasted for 3 months as I could not take it and I had to reinstate and taper off at a much slower rate. It was still very difficult but I got through it. Some nights I still don't have that natural sleepy feeling but am still able to fall asleep. It's still so bizzarre to me.

 

I recieve care from a mental health clinic and I see a therapist twice a month. I also live with my parents who keep eye on me. I have a different antipsychotic medication at my disposal if I suspect Im slipping into psychosis, but am holding off of course for as long as I possibly can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-2018 Zyprexa 20mg-2.5mg

2019 Zyprexa taper 2.5mg (January) 10% each month

2020 Zyprexa discontinued (November)

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  • Administrator
On 7/18/2021 at 1:27 PM, Cloudy said:

The thing I am having a hard time coping with is not being able to socialize like I once was able to. I usually cannot come up with things to say spontaneously other than short reply's and this feeds my depression when I try to be social. My mind feels like it is offline somewhere else most of the day and when i try to communicate. It feels like my thoughts are blocked and I don't have access to them anymore.

 

@Cloudy, this may be a hangover from taking a strong drug for more than a year. Be patient, we have seen the fog very slowly lift -- you've had improvement already. The skateboard group sounds like a very good thing for you to do. Please let us know how you're doing.

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.

Link to comment
  • manymoretodays changed the title to Cloudy: 8 months off Zyprexa

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