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New here: Aripiprazole/Ablify withdrawals are hell on Earth


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Hi all, this seems like such a lovely community,


I am in a desperate place. I finished my aripiprazole taper 3 weeks ago but because it has such a long half life (45 days I believe) my withdrawal continues and only gets worse. My psychiatrist did it all too fast I think: I got down to 2.5mg then just stopped altogether.


I am in mental agony. I have never had such strong suicidal urges, I'd even go so far as to say I have been committed to do it. My family have hidden knives, they supervise my access to the balcony and have taken my medication from me so that I don't take too much. I have been to A&E twice but they don't want to admit me to inpatient because I am withdrawn and quiet and they think the noise in there would cause too much distress.


I have an NHS crisis team supporting me but they have put me on two more drugs that I will eventually have to taper from: clonazepam and quetiapine. I am getting addicted to the drowsy feeling these drugs give me and I find myself waiting all day until my next dose so I can experience more relief. 


For background: I have autism, ADHD and mixed affective Bipolar Disorder and my stable meds are Lamotrigine 100mg and Elvanse 30mg. I have already tapered off so many medications but this antipsychotic withdrawal is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. 


I would love some support as despite going through such a tough mental health journey for most of my life, this is the most isolated I've ever felt. I'm experiencing anhedonia for hours then searing mental anguish that makes me want someone to murder me or for my loved ones to just let me do it myself. I hope I've said enough here. I could write a book but I don't want to waste anyone's time. 

Modafinil 2016-2021

Sertraline 2017

Mirtazapine 2017

Lamotrigine 2018-present

Aripiprazole 2018-June 2021

Lithium 2020-2021

Buspirone 2020

Elvanse June 2021-present 

Clonazepam July 2021-present

Quetiapine July 2021-present


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  • Moderator

Hi @christabel,


Welcome to SA. Sorry to hear about what happened to you and the terrible withdrawal symptoms. Have you considered reinstating the drug? It does seem you jumped off at too high of a dose. Reinstating may help relieve the withdrawal symptoms, after which you can stabilize and slowly taper off the rest of the drug. The half-life for aripiprazole (oral) is 75 hours, although if you were taking the depot version it could be as much as 45 days, yes. But withdrawal can continue for long periods regardless of drug half-life. Even for short half-life drugs it can last many months or even years, but it has more to do with the changes the drug caused to your nervous system than how long it takes to leave your body.


I would recommend reinstating the drug, rather than starting new medications. You can read about reinstating here. Since you jumped off at 2.5mg, it would be best to try and reinstate at a very low dose (around 0.25mg to start), since your system is likely sensitized by withdrawal. The low dose is to avoid an adverse reaction. If this helps or produces not reaction, you can slowly increase the dose. More details are available in the linked topic. Once you are stabilized (this may take several months), we'd recommend tapering by 10% to start, slowing if symptoms increase. Tapering slowly helps minimize both symptoms and symptom severity, ensuring you can remain functional while you get off the drug. Reducing more quickly than 10% can be too fast for many people, and as you get to lower doses you may want to slow the reduction even further, since receptor occupancy of these drugs tends to decrease more rapidly at lower doses.


Some drugs and supplements can interfere with metabolism and can also have psychotropic effects (antibiotics, steroids, some supplements, coffee, nicotine etc.). It would be very helpful if you could create a drug history in your signature like this one. This link will take you directly to the signature. Signatures generally look like this: 



2001–2002 paroxetine 
2003  citalopram 
2004  paroxetine
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to 2016 Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg


This will allow any moderator or member to quickly see your history and where you are in your taper, and thus be able to help more easily without too much reading (most people here are volunteers and have other jobs).


In the meantime, you might find some of these non drug coping techniques helpful to ease your symptoms. Hope you start feeling better soon : )

Remeron - 2004-2005 (bad withdrawal)

Clonazepam - 2005-2018 (jumped around March)

Olanzapine - 2014- late 2017

Domperidone - 2008-2018

Many drugs in between including Lexapro, other benzos and z-drugs.

Still suffering post-withdrawal from Clonazepam (Klonopin), Olanzapine and Domperidone. 

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Welcome @christabel


I am new here also but so far I have found this site to be source of comfort, hope and truth. I’m glad you found your way here too.  I’m so sorry to hear of the withdrawal pain you are feeling now.  Please hang in there and remember that you are so much more than the sum of your withdrawal symptoms.

2004 - prozac then wellbutrin (don't recall dosages)

2005 - 150 mg Effexor Rx (or generic equivalent)

April 28, 2021 first day without Effexor after very rapid titration off (probably equivalent to CT).

July 23, 2021 Reinstatement of ~3mg of Venlafaxine ER (~8.9mg of capsule material).


50 mg Chelated Magnesium, 4X a day

1000mg DHA+EPA Fish oil 2X day



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You are on a number of antipsychotic meds that some have a lot of difficulties tapering from -- not only the depot aripiprazole but also the clonazepam and quetiapine.  I am so sorry you are in this position.  Hopefully the short length of time you've been taking these helps avoid the difficult withdrawal.  

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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