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☼ Jcris77: looking for some encouragement


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Hi Friends,

New here. I was put on 5 mg of Aripiprazole on Nov. 15th to deal with possible Bipolar II. Over the weeks I started to see that it was causing anxiety and depression so I decided to quit CT. I honestly thought I would be fine because I had been on zoloft in the past and had done the same without issue. Big mistake. I quit on Christmas and by a week later I had severe depression. 9 days after that the akathisia and insomnia started to set in. I was so afraid I ended up in the hospital and was advised to go back on the drug for relief, which I did. So I was on for about a week of the 5 mg and thought I would start a taper. I'm not sure if I reinstated long enough being that it was only a week before I started to go down. The akathisia is what's really bothering me at this point. I feel like if I could get off the drug, I could heal better but I'm also seeing that a fast taper isn't recommended and I just feel confused. Does anyone have any hope, encouragement, or guidance? Thank you in advance.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Jcris77: Looking for some encouragement
  • Moderator

Hi @Jcris77


Welcome to SA. We are a volunteer run site with members going through what you are or have gone through it.


This is your introduction page where you will receive information, you can ask questions, and meet members on the site. We ask that each member only have one page so we can keep all your information in one place.


Can you please create a signature?


Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature


You definitely tapered Aripiprazole way too fast. We don't suggest anything faster than 10% a month.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


Dr Joseph Glenmullen's WD Symptoms Checklist


What is Withdrawal Syndrome?


Brain Remodelling


Fear, terror, panic, and anxiety




In my opinion, I would hold until I stabilized before thinking about tapering anymore in the near future. It might be 2-4 months before you feel better after stopping and then starting again.


We don't suggest any supplements but 2 on here. They seem to help a lot with nerves. If you want to try one, take a small amount, wait a few days before introducing the other one.



Omega-3 Fish Oil


Once you have read the information, please reach out to us with any questions on how we may help. I'm glad you found us.


PREVIOUS medications and discontinuations: Have been on medications since 1996. 

 Valium, Gabapentin, Lamictal, Prilosec and Zantac from 2000 to 2015 with a fast taper by a psychiatrist.

 Liquid Lexapro Nov, 2016 to 31-March, 2019 Lexapro free!!! (total Lexapro taper was 4 years-started with pill form)

---CURRENT MEDICATIONS:Supplements:Milk Thistle, Metamucil, Magnesium Citrate, Vitamin D3, Levothyroxine 25mcg, Vitamin C, Krill oil.

Xanax 1mg 3x day June, 2000 to 19-September, 2020 Went from .150 grams (average weight of 1 Xanax) 3x day to .003 grams 3x day. April 1, 2021 went back on 1mg a day. Started tapering May 19, 2023. July 28, 2023-approximately .87mg. Dr. fast tapered me at the end and realized he messed up. Prescribe it again and I am doing "slower than a turtle" taper. Last dose June 24, 2024

19-September, 2020 Xanax free!!! (total Xanax taper was 15-1/2 months-1-June, 2019-19-September, 2020)

I am not a medical professional.

The suggestions I make are based on personal experience.

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  • 4 months later...

I'll do a signature and full success story soon but wanted to say, while I know there are studies to support it people who have been on it longer - I was not going to stay on a drug for ten extra months and allow it to wreak further havoc on my system when I was only on it for 5 1/2 weeks. I had watched a specialist talk about how it was like climbing a staircase and how you need to climb back down, so that's exactly what I did. Fortunately I was able to successfully discontinue in two months. 

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  • Administrator

Good to hear, @Jcris77 What was your taper schedule? When was your last dose? Did you have any symptoms after going off?

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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It's a complicated story which I'll share when I do the full thing but I had to jump ship with aripiprazole completely as I started to develop suidcidal ideations and wasn't going to wait and regulate, I needed it out. My psych nurse put me on Rexulti to help off set the withdraws so that's what I did and then tapered the Rexulti. So while I'm sure I went through withdrawls with Aripiprazole (Abilify), I believe the Rexulti helped lessen that and then I tapered the Rexulti. I was on it for about 3 weeks and then started shaving it down with an exacto knife from .5 mg. I shaved it down about every week and went down to a crumb before I jumped. Sure I felt some effects when I would cut but like I said, I wasn't going to stay on it longer than I needed to be. My last dose was March 20th and only dealt with some anxiety, G.I. issues and insomnia which have all resolved although the stomach issues lasted longer. I know this site advises against it but I took a ton of supplements and I believe most of them were significant in my healing. 

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  • 4 months later...

My success story after coming off Abilify (Aripiprazole) and Rexulti


Hello Everyone,


I would like to share with you my full success story for coming off of Abilify and Rexulti.


Near the end of 2021 I was put on Abilify as a "mood stablilizer" after seeing a psych nurse about my anxiety issues. I started the drug and at first it felt like it really helped my moods with become more consistent. After about 3 weeks that seemed to wear off and it was now starting to make me feel consistently low, like my whole personality had started to flat line. My anxiety also started to return, only somewhat different where I would now become fixated on specific fears and not be able to shake it.


After only 5 1/2 weeks on Abilify it was apparent to me that I had been much better off before taking this medication. Before this time, I had only been on Zoloft two different time periods in my life. One as a teen where I was on it for about a year and then came off cold turkey...I didn't recall any side effects back then. Later, I tried Zoloft about 10 years ago to help with some low moods surrounding a hard time in my life. I came off a very low dose after about a month, again no side effects. I assumed that it would be the same scenario with stopping the Abilify. I realize now they are very different drugs and coming off of something one time with zero effects doesn't mean that will happen the next time. Other than this, I was not on any medication of any kind.


After stopping the Abilify I noticed at about 5-7 days off my mood took a MAJOR dip. The depression was unlike anything I had ever experienced, it was a blackness that seemed to fill every space of my mind and it was extremely difficult to do life. I planned to stick it out and wait for it to pass.


After about 3 days of this depression I tried to go to bed one night and my whole body felt like a weird switch went on inside where there was this buzz type feeling. I was up all night and felt this overwhelming feeling that I had to move and walk and it was very uncomfortable. I found out this is called akathisia. I decided to go to the ER, thinking that somehow they could make this all stop. I was advised to go back on Abilify to stop the symptoms and then taper off slowly. I should add that I was on 5 mg of Abilify. I went back on the full dose of Abilify and that seemed to help  alleviate the depression pretty quickly although the akathisia was definitely still there. That night my heart pounded so hard I thought I was going to have a heart attack. It was very scary.


I went to the internet looking for answers and this site shared with me that my taper was too fast and about the recommendation was 10% a month to go down. This didn't feel like something I was willing to do. To each their own, you have to go with what you truly believe you can handle but I couldn't rationalize staying on a drug that was doing this to my body for 10 extra months when I had only been on it for 5 1/2 weeks to begin with. I knew that my taper was going to be quicker. Not saying it wasn't very painful at first, it was, but I know me and I know that it would have driven me insane to stay on this medication and I'm glad I went with my instincts. I started cutting the Abilify and yes, it was too fast...pretty much cold turkey.


My psych nurse suggested I take Rexulti at .25 mg to offset the symptoms of the Abilify and said I could then taper the Rexulti. I know that may sound strange, but it made sense to me and I did it. While doing this fast taper, at one point I was convinced I would have to end my life and god...it was the lowest point I have ever experienced. I looked at pictures of my kids and I couldn't believe it had come to this. The suicidal ideations were strong. I laid there one night while my husband was away at a trade show and would have these scary, intrusive thoughts. As I would have the thought, I would feel actual heat, surge through my body. It was like being in the worst horror movie that was taking place in my mind. To say it was absolutely awful feels like a gross understatement. It was pure hell. My husband called and I told him what was going on and he came home immediately. I am very grateful for him as he was a constant voice of positivity and hope to me during this time.


That night I KNEW I had to stop the Abilify, all of it, done, right then and there. I stayed on the Rexulti but I just knew that I had to jump from the Abilify and I did. The suicidal ideations went away a few days after. I was now going to have to taper the Rexulti. At this point, I was only on Rexulti for a few weeks and I decided to use an exacto knife and cut it down, slowly at a time, at the pace I felt comfortable with. Overall it took about two months to taper the Rexulti. During this time the akathisia continued as well as an array of other symptoms. I would cut the pill and hold for several days before cutting again but usually when I made the next cut, I felt it.


Here are all the symptoms I experienced: akathisia, notable depression, disassociation, insomnia, muscle pains, stomach issues, bad anxiety...it felt tremendously hard during this time. I was so worried I wouldn't heal or that I was somehow permanently damaged. I sought out stories of healing from Abilify but sadly I had found very little that had fit my experience. I did see one that stood out on this site and I reached out to the poster and she was very kind and reassuring, sadly I don't remember where I saw her post or what her name was.


Every day felt like a battle and not being able to sleep just felt so hard. Before this whole thing I would go to the gym 5-6 times a week for at least two hours. I was very active and would take my children everywhere. This all changed greatly. My husband would strongly encourage me to go out with him every weekend with the kids although it felt very difficult. We would do things that he hoped would be helpful to me and I did my best. I would cry every single day...with regret and just emotional pain.


At one point it dawned on me that I had lost my hope at some point and I needed to get it back. I had always been a "cup is half full" kind of person and I purposely started setting out and bringing that back to mind. Where I believed in healing and perserverance and knew I would come out on top. I started reading books and stories that only propgated this idea for me and sure enough, my hope started to come back. I read a story about a brilliant woman, Lauren Delano, who had cold turkeyed (she was not recommending this) 5 psychiatric medications after being on them for 10 years. She healed and was now going and talking about her story around the country and probably the world. I know her story was much different than mine, but it encouraged me greatly and that was all that mattered. I decided that I would heal. I cleaned up my diet greatly.


I stayed away from stories and movies that would be hard on my emotions. I took a lot of vitamins regularly, D, fish oil, Empower Plus minerals, tumeric supplements, Magnesium, B stress...that's all I can think of right now. I would force myself to go to the gym and would do as much as I could do. While it was hard seeing that my strength and motivation had declined so much, I put on my kick a$$ playlist and pushed as hard as I could go. I started to feel things change...slowly. By the time I finished my taper near the end of March, I had cut the Rexulti down to a crumb...and then I jumped. All my symptoms continued to decrease until they finally all went away. It took about 3 months until they went away fully and a little bit longer until I felt like my complete whole self again. I'm happy to say that I now mitigate any anxiety with a holistic approach and have been doing great...I feel incredilby thankful.


I'm not sure if this is allowed but I wanted to mention that when days were very hard, I took a low dose of kratom and it helped tremendously. I know that many are adamant against taking anything while going through withdrawls but for me it was very beneficial. I would only take it for a few days when things were hard and then stop for several days so there was no dependency. I also took OTC sleeping aids and they too were very helpful. I was very worried that I wouldn't be able to sleep on my own again because of the sleep aids but I would use them interchangeably so I didn't develop too much of a dependence. You can imagine my joy when I slept one night without anything. 


I know that some of you are probalby so discouraged and I wanted to share with you that there is hope. Please don't look at my story as not something that could happen for you just because I hadn't been on the meds that long. It happened for that woman, Lauren Delano, and it absolutely can  happen to you.


I subscribed to the Gaia network where there were a lot of documentaries about healing your body and mind. How our thoughts can make us sick. How our limiting beliefs that something "can't happen" will manifest itself in our own lives which is why it is so important to believe that we CAN HEAL. I truly when on a journey and decided I was going to come out on top and I promise you, if you stick to it and go after your healing, it will come to you. Don't focus on the many negative stories that are out there, if the story doesn't end with fighting hard and perservering, it's not going to benefit you. If anyone ever needs some extra encouragement I'm happy to give more specifics. 


Edited by ChessieCat
removed email, added spacing and topic title before merging with Intro
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jcris




Please create your drug signature.  It allows everyone to see your drug history at a glance and not have to read through your posts to get the information.




Instructions:  Withdrawal History Signature
Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature


Edited by ChessieCat
updated instruction link


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Jcris77: looking for some encouragement
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi jcris,


Well done on managing to get off your drugs.


Because you're feeling better, I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.


Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!


Please see this topic:  How to write your success story


From the above topic:


On 11/17/2012 at 3:24 AM, Altostrata said:

If your withdrawal syndrome is completely resolved -- you've been off ALL drugs for a year -- please open a topic for yourself here.



Edited by ChessieCat


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:  (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq  on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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