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☼ hugugh: daughter put on Zoloft at age 10 for OCD


hugugh

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Hi - This is my first post.  Here's my story - sorry it's so long! 

 

My daughter was put on Zoloft at age 10 for OCD.  I believe now that her OCD was triggered by an infection (ala PANDAS) but have no proof of this.  She did okay on Zoloft and it did help her OCD.  However, over time it seemed to have an "activating" affect on her.  For example, she started exhibiting ADHD symptoms that she never had before and had a terrible time sleeping.  However, she was mostly okay.

  

When puberty and COVID hit at the same time, she started showing signs of instability - cutting, suicidal ideation, terrible impulsive behaviors.  I never thought the Zoloft could be behind it and the psychiatrists we saw never mentioned it.  They just kept raising her Zoloft dose until eventually she was at the max dose. In retrospect, every time they raised her dose she would get crazier and crazier.  She wasn't sleeping at all at one point and was leaving the house in the middle of the night to wander the streets (unbeknownst to us).  A psychiatrist eventually added Intuniv which helped her sleep and made her more manageable  but didn't really solve her underlying issues.  About a year after this kind of crazy behavior started, she was hospitalized for SI and then spent the next seven months in and out of hospitals and RTCs.  Psychiatrists kept adding more drugs and raising her dosages - until she was on high doses of Seroquel, Zoloft, Intuniv and Naltrexone.  Her outpatient psychiatrist was wanting to raise her Zoloft dose to 250mg (above the max dose) which thankfully he never got a chance to do. 

 

During the last hospitalization, she was cheeking meds so they started crushing up her Zoloft and giving it to her in yogurt.  She refused to take it that way because it made her mouth burn, so she essentially went off of Zoloft cold turkey.  (Note that no one at the hospital told me this or even seemed to think this was a problem).  After a week and a half of cold turkeying off of Zoloft, she was discharged - pumped full of anti-pyschotics they had given her as part of daily meds plus as multiple injections per day to keep her calm.  Our beautiful girl was a zombie - she couldn't walk, she was incredibly irritable and barely functioning.  BUT, she seemed better somehow - like less crazy/impulsive.  We let her continue to not take Zoloft and let her cold turkey off of Seroquel and Naltrexone.  Her outpatient psychiatrist seemed uncaring and said that once 48 hours passes, the Zoloft will be out of her system and she couldn't possibly be having withdrawal symptoms and didn't see an issue with cold turkeying off of anti-psychotics.  Once the Zoloft was more out of her system, she couldn't stay awake so we started tapering her Intuniv which she's now completely off of. (her psychiatrist told us to just stop the Intuniv cold turkey which I fought against because if she missed even a dose she'd have horrible headaches.  He grudgingly wrote an RX for her to taper). 

 

She's now been off of Zoloft for 8 weeks and all other meds for about 6 weeks.  She is mostly relatively happy - going to school, hanging with friends, etc.  She's been home 7 weeks which is longer by far than any time she's been home since the whole hospitalization hamster wheel started.  She's still not 100% - she can get extremely angry and irritable very quickly, has a very hard time getting up in the morning and still has some weird impulses and I think has occasional SI.  She doesn't have much interest in doing anything other than watching TV - although she'll go swimming or do things with friends if that's an option.  (She's lost most of her friends at this point due to weird behavior and just being in institutions for so long).

 

I know this story is pretty crazy - I honestly can't believe everything we've been through.  I don't trust the psychiatric industry at all at this point and my biggest fear is that she'll be hospitalized again and be forced on meds again.  I don't trust her psychiatrist to tell us the truth about what withdrawals are really like and how long we can expect it to last. Unfortunately, she seems to think everything that happened to her was totally okay and she doesn't buy into the idea that the meds were harming her.  I guess I don't know for sure if the meds harmed her but I can fairly confidently say that I don't think they helped her at all (after the initial help for the OCD three years ago).

 

What I'm seeking here is just info from anyone who has experienced something similar.  Also, just want a place to vent.  


Question: do you think it's normal for her to still be very irritable 7 weeks later or maybe the irritability is not withdrawal related?  Does anyone have experience with this type of withdrawals and how long did it last for you?  

 

Thanks. 

 

 

 

 

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

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Want to add that I assume that the general advice might be to go back on Zoloft and then try a slow taper.  However, since I believe the Zoloft was the root of many of her issues and was keeping her on the hospitalization merry-go-round, I am afraid to put her back on any psych drugs.  I am afraid that if she goes back on Zoloft or any other SSRI she might experience the same issues she was having before.  My goal at this point is to keep her out of the hospital and in her regular life as much as possible.  Thanks! 

 

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to hugugh: daughter put on Zoloft at age 10 for OCD
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello, and welcome to SA.  We are a volunteer-run community of people who have been or are getting off of psychiatric drugs.  I'm terribly sorry to hear about all that your daughter has been through.  I think those psychiatrists you described probably ought to find a different profession, in my opinion.   Zoloft is not approved by the FDA for use in a child at the age of 10.  Why was she put on Seroquel?  This drug is for people who have schizophrenia, and having symptoms like hallucinations and delusions.  Why was she on naltrexone?  This is for someone recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction, to prevent relapse.  According to www.drugs.com "The safe use of Naltrexone hydrochloride in pediatric patients younger than 18 years old has not been established"

 

On 6/6/2022 at 2:21 PM, hugugh said:

I don't trust the psychiatric industry at all at this point and my biggest fear is that she'll be hospitalized again and be forced on meds again.  I don't trust her psychiatrist to tell us the truth about what withdrawals are really like and how long we can expect it to last.

You are right not to trust the psychiatric industry.   There are other non drug, non psychiatric options for treating OCD, anxiety, depression, etc.  No one can force your child to take drugs, as long as she is not in a psychiatric ward.  If it were my child, aside from her being homicidal or actively suicidal, I would stop taking her/him to the psychiatrist altogether. It's your decision what to do, but psychiatrists are totally trained to treat people by giving them psychiatric drugs, and hospitalize people, which will really get them on the drugs.  I believe, as the other staff here, that the mental health system is very corrupt, and it's about money and power, not about really helping patients.  All that said, I would suggest you and her family do everything possible to give her as much physical and emotional support as you can yourself.  Please take the time to check out these resources: 

 

https://www.madinamerica.com this site explains what psych drugs do to children, among other things 

 

Robert Whitaker, author Anatomy of an Epidemic video. Whitaker wrote a book explaining the scam that psychiatric drugs are.  They have not been properly tested not proven to work, ever.  Their purpose is to make money for the drug manufacturers.  

 

Chemical Imbalance is a Myth

 

 

Can you please give us specific information in your signature about your drug history for all drugs you are on and have been on, especially for the past 18-24 months?  It would be especially helpful to have the details of your drugs in a concise vertical list (no symptoms), only drug names, specific dates (as best you can say for example early March if you don't recall the day) and dosages of each medication decrease or increase.  Use this format:

 

Drug name: date, dose, date, dose, date, dose…

Drug name: date, dose, date, dose, date, dose…

Etcetera

 

Please read the link below for instructions.  This will allow us to give you the best guidance.  

 

How to List Drug History in Signature

 

On 6/6/2022 at 2:21 PM, hugugh said:

Question: do you think it's normal for her to still be very irritable 7 weeks later or maybe the irritability is not withdrawal related?

Absolutely normal, yes.  Here is some important information about how these drugs actually work.  This explains why we get symptoms from going off of these medications, and why it takes months to recover this.  Not only that, she is an adolescent, and the hormones of this alone often cause irritability.  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain

 

 

This helps you understand what withdrawal syndrome is: 

 

Video on Recovery from Psych Drugs

 

Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

Here is a link with checklists of common WD symptoms: 

 

Dr Joseph Glenmullen Withdrawal Symptom Checklists

 

 

Here are some techniques to cope with symptoms: 

 

Non Drug Ways to Cope with Withdrawal Symptoms

 

Stability is really important when we are tapering off psych meds.  Please read the link about stability:

 

Keep It Simple, Slow, and Stable

 

 

We don't suggest many supplements, but 2 that many of us find helpful are magnesium and omega-3 fish oil. Here are the links for info about those. It is suggested to add one at a time, and start with a low dose to see how it affects you. 


Magnesium

Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

It sounds as if she is doing quite well, considering the drug carousel she has been on.  We do not suggest reinstatement, unless the withdrawal symptoms are severe, and significantly impact one's quality of life.  There are risks to reinstatement, and it does sound to me like she developed an adverse reaction to the Zoloft.  I hope she has stopped the cutting, and the severe impulsive behaviors.  She is welcome to create her own account on here, if she wishes.  Please keep us posted, and let us know how things are going. 

Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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Hi - Thanks so much for the response!  Yes, I agree that those doctors should not be doctors / should lose their licenses.   The thing was there were probably 8 psychiatrists in total who were involved in this (outpatient, inpatient, RTC psychiatrists).  Not a single doctor ever mentioned that maybe the Zoloft could be the issue.  The last few months I started wondering if it could be an issue and each time I brought it up, the doctors would roll their eyes and tell me there was no way.  If there was just one doctor/facility involved, I would think about suing them but not sure how to sue 8 doctors and facilities.  

 

I think Zoloft is approved for kids 8 and up for OCD (though it really shouldn't be).   But you're right about the other drugs.  They put her on Seroquel to try to calm her down because she was so activated and behaving so dangerously.  She never had psychosis or hallucinations.  They put her on Naltrexone because they said it helps stop self-harm.  Essentially they were trying to chemically lobotomize her - which I suppose worked as the doctors wanted. She was so sedated when she came home from the last hospitalization that she couldn't walk up or downstairs and spent 16 hours a day sleeping.   I think Zoloft was making her self-harm but also being in the psych hospitals/RTCs was triggering for her that she would behave extra crazy while there.  She'd come home covered in deep self harm wounds and having been sedated/restrained every day.  I think she has sensory issues so the chaos of a psych ward/being away from home just made her act out.  Now that she's off all meds and at home, she occasionally does pretty minor self harm (like minor scratches) but nothing like what was happening at the hospitals/RTCs. 

 

I also agree with not interacting with psychiatrists anymore.   She is seeing a therapist who promised that she wouldn't hospitalize her unless she was actively suicidal.  As time goes on, I am more confident that she is not suicidal so this worries me less and less.  We still have everything locked up in our house just in case but I'm feeling a bit hopeful at this point.  

 

Those links are really helpful.  I've been trying to get her to take Magnesium and Fish Oil but she's pretty resistant.  I'm not pushing it too much because she has been on so many medications that it might just be nice to not have to "take"anything.  I think it might help her to see that she can manage without any drugs - even supplements.  She did just start acupuncture which I'm hopeful might be helpful.  At the very least it won't cause crazy side effects.

 

Thanks for listening/reading our story.  It helps me to be able to share it.  I feel like I have some amount of PTSD after this ordeal (tho nothing like what she probably has).  I truly thought for several months that she was going to die and there was nothing we could do.  That was one of the reason we kept agreeing to more and more drugs.  The doctors kept telling us - "just add this drug and she'll be fine".  Thank god we escaped that while she is still alive and wasn't (hopefully) permanently damaged. 

 

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

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14 minutes ago, hugugh said:

Hi - Thanks so much for the response!  Yes, I agree that those doctors should lose their licenses.   The thing was there were probably 8 psychiatrists in total who were involved in this (outpatient, inpatient, RTC psychiatrists).  Not a single doctor ever mentioned that maybe the Zoloft could be the issue.  The last few months I started wondering if it could be an issue and each time I brought it up, the doctors would roll their eyes and tell me there was no way.  If there was just one doctor/facility involved, I would think about suing them but not sure how to sue 8 doctors and facilities.  

 

I think Zoloft is approved for kids 8 and up for OCD (though it really shouldn't be).   But you're right about the other drugs.  They put her on Seroquel to try to calm her down because she was so activated and behaving so dangerously.  She never had psychosis or hallucinations.  They put her on Naltrexone because they said it helps stop self-harm.  Essentially they were trying to chemically lobotomize her - which I suppose worked as the doctors wanted. She was so sedated when she came home from the last hospitalization that she couldn't walk up or downstairs and spent 16 hours a day sleeping.   I think Zoloft was making her self-harm but also being in the psych hospitals/RTCs was triggering for her that she would behave extra crazy while there.  She'd come home covered in deep infected self harm wounds and having been sedated/restrained every day.  I think she has sensory issues so the chaos of a psych ward/being away from home just made her act out.  Now that she's off all meds and at home, she occasionally does pretty minor self harm (like minor scratches) but nothing like what was happening at the hospitals/RTCs. 

 

 

 

 

 


I'm so sorry for you daughter and it makes me angry that she had to go through all this violence at the hands of psychiatry. My heart goes out to you both, - It's not disimilar to my own story - I was hospitalised when I was 15 after  a suicide attempt after being put on Prozac followed by Risperdal and Seroqual, I have severe trauma from being hospitalised so young and being trapped there and taken from my family, discarded from society and all the horrors I experienced and witnessed - it still haunts me on a daily basis 12 years later. I really hope things improve and she stays out of the psychiatric system as they only make things worse and cause far more pain and suffering.

2009-2017 - 40mg Prozac, 2mg Risperdal, 200mg Seroquel, 7.5mg Zopiclone, 1.5mg Lorazepam, 50mg Setraline, 6mg Valium, 1mg Clonzepam, 7.5mg Zopiclone 7.5mg, - Adderall 20mg, 20mg Ritalin, 1mg Clonazepam, 7.5mg Zopiclone ,50mg Trazadone  40mg Citalopram, 40mg Strattera - 5mg Abilify, 250mg Trazadone, 40mg Testosterone (pills) - 100mg Seroqual, 50mg Remeron- 150mg Wellbutrin XL - Clonazepam 1mg > 5-6mg (and Bridge to Valium 40mg), Pregabalin - 300mg > 600mg, Ritalin 40mg,  0.25m>0.5mll Testosterone Entate, Adderall 30mg, Oxycodone 10mg, Loxapine 40mg, Seroquel 100mg, Lamitical 75mg, Cyclobenzaprine 15mg, Tramadol 200mg, Codeine 120mg, October - 2017 - Begin Valium taper at 40mg - 2mg every two weeks June 2018 - Rapid Detox in rehab from 200mg Tramadol, 600mg Pregabalin, 4mg Valium over 3 weeks. August 2018 Cold Turkey 70mg Lisdexamfetamine  October 2018 - 30mg Cymbalta, Feburary 2019 reinstate 70mg Lisdexamfetamine March 2019 Cold turkey Cymbalta&Lisdexamfetamine July 2019 - Reinstate 30mg Cymbalta and 70mg Lisdexamfetamine. October 2019  start taper 5-10% Cymbalta every 2-4 weeks  February 2021 2.42mg Cymbalta (15 beads) 0.4ml Testosterone Enantate IM biweekly Discontinued CT - Lisdexamfetamine 70mg
March 2021-March 2022- remove 1 bead Cymbalta per month-6 weeks - switch to Testogel 50mg then back to Enatate 0.4ml
March 2022 - Switch to Nebido 1000mg (every 12 weeks) - 2 beads Cymbalta (0.3mg)

April 2022 - 1 bead Cymbalta (0.15mg)

May 18th 2022 - 0 Beads (0.00mg) - 100% PSYCH DRUG FREE!
Supplements - Magnesium Malate, (half teaspoon) Glycinate, L-theronate (quater teaspoon) dissolved in water 2mg Melotonin, 1000mg Omega-3 Fish Oil x3 daily

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  • Administrator

Welcome, @hugugh

 

Unfortunately, we have many similar stories here. Your daughter is fortunate in that she escaped the drug merry-go-round relatively early.

 

On 6/6/2022 at 12:21 PM, hugugh said:

She's now been off of Zoloft for 8 weeks and all other meds for about 6 weeks.  She is mostly relatively happy - going to school, hanging with friends, etc.  She's been home 7 weeks which is longer by far than any time she's been home since the whole hospitalization hamster wheel started.  She's still not 100% - she can get extremely angry and irritable very quickly, has a very hard time getting up in the morning and still has some weird impulses and I think has occasional SI.  She doesn't have much interest in doing anything other than watching TV - although she'll go swimming or do things with friends if that's an option.  (She's lost most of her friends at this point due to weird behavior and just being in institutions for so long).

 

This sounds very promising. She does not sound incapacitated from withdrawal. She may still be feeling surges of withdrawal syndrome or fatigue from going off all those drugs. Can you ask her how she's feeling inside?

 

Most likely, if she can get regular sleep and good, fresh food, her recovery from going off the drugs will slowly continue. You may wish to see a trauma-informed psychotherapist as a family to process all that's happened.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please summarize your drug and withdrawal history in your signature  regarding your daughter's drug history. You may need to use a computer to do this.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus
15 hours ago, getofflex said:

Please take the time to check out these resources: 

 

https://www.madinamerica.com this site explains what psych drugs do to children, among other things 

 

Robert Whitaker, author Anatomy of an Epidemic video. Whitaker wrote a book explaining the scam that psychiatric drugs are.  They have not been properly tested not proven to work, ever.  Their purpose is to make money for the drug manufacturers.  

 

In addition to the great information Getofflex has provided, I want to add another link. This is also on the Mad in America site (Robert Whitaker is the founder). It's an online support forum for parents and other caregivers of children caught up in the psychiatric drugging system: 

 

Mad in America - Online Parents Support Group

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

These so called "doctors" will deny the first drug is causing a problem, but then add more drugs to deal with the problems caused by the first drug, and then everything is just compounded.  These drugs hijack our brains.  

 

13 hours ago, hugugh said:

 I think Zoloft was making her self-harm but also being in the psych hospitals/RTCs was triggering for her that she would behave extra crazy while there.  She'd come home covered in deep self harm wounds and having been sedated/restrained every day

As Dirtvoid pointed out, those psych hospitals and wards are not nice places.  I am not surprised that it would make her act out and self harm worse.  Thank God that she is out of that system. Please do everything in your power to keep her out of that system.  

Edited by getofflex

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

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@hugugh

I am so sorry for what your daughter and you and your family have been going through. 

 

Good on you for getting away from the psychiatric system. 

 

I was first hospitalized as a minor, committed to inpatient youth psych. There I was promptly overmedicated, misdiagnosed, and experienced what I now believe to have been immediate adverse reactions. I was told that any unpleasant reactions were either necessary side effects or a sign of underlying further illness, e.g. psychosis. I was told I had a chronic condition with a high likelihood of relapse and needed to be on medication, under psychiatric supervision for the rest of my life. Long story short, there were more psych ward stays to follow, more diagnoses, many more drugs and adverse effects. Not once in my life have I ever seen anyone enter inpatient psychiatric "care" and get better. I've only ever seen patients -- children, teens, adults -- get worse or develop new and different problems.

 

Today looking back I believe many of the painful issues and problematic behaviors I developed in my late teens and early twenties were actually iatrogenic reactions. But of course they were not seen this way by the doctors; they were only ever seen as further diagnostic evidence of my inherent mental illness(es) and chemical imbalance(s).

 

Today I am off drugs and recovering from PAWS. I trust my brain and nervous system are healing. But I will never get back the 25+ years of my life that have been spent (wasted?) knocking about the psychiatric system or living in ignorance of the iatrogenic harm at the root of much of my adult inability to function.

 

I understand that it was terrifying for my family to witness my suffering as a teen. They felt powerless and scared, and not knowing what else to do, they entrusted my care to doctors, as per the mainstream recommendation. They could not afford privately paying a qualified psychotherapist for counseling sessions. However, psychiatry and medications were covered by health insurance, and were thus financially viable whereas trauma therapy or other forms of support were not. And why not trust doctors? Most of us grow up with a reverence for the profession and look up to their authority. In lieu of a specific reason not to trust government regulations on drugs and healthcare, most of us implicitly trust that psychiatry and its approved medicines are safe. (Until now, when we most certainly have every reason not to.)

 

To this day I have scars on my body from where I "self-harmed" prior to hospitalization. My mother still believes psychiatry and drugs saved my life. That is her reality. To me the marks on my skin are negligible. Superficial. Fleeting. Nothing compared to all-encompassing psychiatric violations and complex existential ramifications thereof. 

I apologize if this sounds crude, I am allowing myself to speak plainly. I would take any number more "self-harm" scars over the 25+ years of iatrogenic-harm scars I got instead (on top of what was there to begin with). I believe I would have recovered better, sooner, and more thoroughly -- despite possibly accumulating some extra scar tissue on my skin -- without the decades of polydrugging and psychiatric gaslighting. If I had gotten out of psychiatry while I was still young, it would have been a true gift. 

 

All this to say, I wholeheartedly support you, your daughter, and your family as you go through this. A kind, experienced, wise, trauma-informed therapist is an invaluable resource, and I wish you to find someone qualified to work with. I wish I had had my own therapist back in the day; and I also wish my mother had gone to therapy herself, with her own counsellor, to get support for what was undoubtedly a very difficult experience. I wish you, your daughter, and your family faith, healing, growth, and excellent support. 

 

In solidarity,

A. 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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P.S.

If you ever start to doubt your decision to take your daughter out of the psychiatric system and off of drugs, you might be interested in reading about the other side of the experience. 

 

For people who were drugged as children is a help topic where SA members write about their experiences being medicated from a young age and now, years later, going through withdrawal coming off the meds. 

 

I don't know what it's like to be you or to parent a suffering child. But in case you ever wonder about a possible parallel universe version of things, here's a peek into some human experiences. 

I have yet to come across anyone who was drugged throughout their childhood into adulthood and comes off the meds and doesn't wish they hadn't been medicated for all that time. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment

@ArielThank you for sharing your story.  It does sound very similar to our experience except I'm the one who thinks a lot of her issues were caused by medications and my daughter doesn't.  I am guessing she'll come to see the truth at some point but for now I just try not to talk to her about it.  I think it might be hard for her to accept that people in trusted positions like doctors were causing her harm.  

 

On 6/9/2022 at 5:06 AM, getofflex said:

As Dirtvoid pointed out, those psych hospitals and wards are not nice places.  I am not surprised that it would make her act out and self harm worse.  Thank God that she is out of that system. Please do everything in your power to keep her out of that system.  

The things she tells me about the hospitals are horrifying.  She's told of sexual abuse (not to her but to others), grooming of kids by techs who contact kids once they are discharged.  That on top of the sedation, restraints, solitary confinement, etc.  I trusted the system to keep her safe - she was just 13 when she went to these places - and they did not keep her safe.  

 

Thanks everyone for the support.  

On 6/8/2022 at 8:56 PM, Altostrata said:

This sounds very promising. She does not sound incapacitated from withdrawal. She may still be feeling surges of withdrawal syndrome or fatigue from going off all those drugs. Can you ask her how she's feeling inside

She will not talk to me or anyone about what she's feeling and gets angry if anyone tries to ask.  So I just base my assessment of her by her behavior which seems mostly fine and sometimes scary. She has a therapist who is trying to get her to open up but hasn't really been successful yet from what I can tell.

 

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

Link to comment

Question:  Do you think some of her continuing SI and self harm could still be from drug withdrawals or maybe this is just who she is now?  She is mostly fine but I think does have occasional SI and still self harms on occasion. It's terrifying because I feel very alone in trying to keep her safe and am afraid to reach out for professional help since she was so harmed by this in the past.  Our house is very safe - everything is locked up and we never leave her alone.  But, I still worry about her and hope that as the withdrawals ease that these thoughts and behaviors will start to fade.  (I think they have already faded somewhat though not entirely sure.)

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

Link to comment

@hugugh

My heart goes out to you, your daughter, your family. 


Healing takes time. The body protects itself by holding things close until it feels safe. When the time is right the body begins to open up and let go of trauma. It is all part of the healing process. 

 

It sounds like you are making wise choices by cultivating good conditions to facilitate healing. Practicing patience, acceptance, faith, and self-compassion are very important in your position as you need to make sure you're taking good care of yourself and replenishing your own resources so that you are able to be the parent you want to be for your daughter. Do you have your own therapist? It sounds like a very scary potentially traumatic experience for a parent to go through as well. Please be gentle with yourself. 

 

In solidarity and support,

A. 

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
8 minutes ago, Ariel said:

It sounds like you are making wise choices by cultivating good conditions to facilitate healing. Practicing patience, acceptance, faith, and self-compassion are very important in your position as you need to make sure you're taking good care of yourself and replenishing your own resources so that you are able to be the parent you want to be for your daughter. Do you have your own therapist? It sounds like a very scary potentially traumatic experience for a parent to go through as well. Please be gentle with yourself. 

Thank you - yes, honestly I think I have trauma from what we've been through.  I keep expecting something terrible to happen and sometimes at night if she's not sitting right next to me and a car drives by I have a mini-panic attack thinking it's an ambulance or police officer coming to take her away in handcuffs again.  I do have a wonderful therapist and try to do fun things with friends when I can and take care of myself as much as I can. 

 

I am really working on not reacting to her angry/irritable moods right now.  She is mostly wonderful and kind but can turn on a dime and be really mean to me and scream obscenities, etc.  My goal is to just tell her calmly I don't like it when she does that and then just give her space to recover. She usually does fairly quickly and then apologizes. Sometimes I feel like a bad mom for letting her treat me so badly without consequences.  I keep telling myself that she's still recovering and as long as she's home sleeping in her own bed that this is enough for now.  We can work on the rest later. 

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

Link to comment

P.S. 

Do you know about Will Hall

In terms of safe, non-psychiatric, non-stigmatizing "professional help", Will Hall is someone I would trust. I don't know him personally but am very impressed with his story and the work he does. 

According to his website (linked above), he offers counseling, consulting, and coaching. He also seems very well connected in terms of a network of practitioners who operate holistically outside the psychiatric paradigm. I wonder whether he might be able to offer some insight. If he's not available to work with you (or not a good fit for whatever reason) maybe he could recommend someone closer to where you live. Or he might just have some ideas and experience to offer.

There are qualified professionals out there, you just have to vet people carefully. What's good is that you now know what you don't want -- I'm sorry you had to learn this the hard way, but consider it a precious albeit hard-won lesson. You will get better and better at sniffing out the right kind of care, and I do believe it's available, and will become more and more widely available. 

Just keep talking with us and with other people, that's how this all grows and develops, when we exchange info and support and ideas we help expand what is possible. 

<3

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
2 minutes ago, hugugh said:

I do have a wonderful therapist and try to do fun things with friends when I can and take care of myself as much as I can. 

 

I'm glad to hear this. 

Parenting is the hardest job there is. And it starts with oneself. Respect. 

Sending you a hug <3

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
1 hour ago, hugugh said:

Question:  Do you think some of her continuing SI and self harm could still be from drug withdrawals or maybe this is just who she is now?

I think the chances are good that yes, it is still from drug WD.  She has only been med free since May.   It takes many months to fully recover from this.  Your daughter has a big edge over most people, as she is so young. Did you read the link in my first post?   It explains all that needs to go on to recover from these drugs.  Here it is again:  

 

How Psychiatric Drugs Remodel Your Brain.  

 

This link will explain it even more thoroughly.

 

What is Happening in Your Brain? (Explains why recovery takes so long)

 

I'm hoping she will open up and talk to her therapist.  I hope her therapist is a warm, trustworthy, empathetic person.  

Please do not private message me.  Only tag me for urgent questions about tapering and reinstating - thank you.  

 

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

 

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 2010 - 10 mg;  started taper August 2017, recent taper info: Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06, Nov 21 0.05, Dec. 17 0.04, Jan 14 '22 0.03, Feb 19 0.02, Apr 18 0.01, May 15 0.005,  Jul 8, 0.00.  Psych Drug Free as of July 8, 2022!!  Woohoo!!!

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

magnesium in small amounts at 4 AM, before bed

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, multivitamin, zinc

suppl 8 PM: magnesium 350 mg, extended release vitamin C, melatonin 2 mg

 

Paxil 2002 - 2010, switched to Lexapro 2010 

Trazodone 50 mg. 2002 - 2019, fast tapered in 2019 

Xanax 0.5 mg as needed 2002 - 2019, up to 3x weekly 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, hugugh said:

Question:  Do you think some of her continuing SI and self harm could still be from drug withdrawals or maybe this is just who she is now?  She is mostly fine but I think does have occasional SI and still self harms on occasion. It's terrifying because I feel very alone in trying to keep her safe and am afraid to reach out for professional help since she was so harmed by this in the past.  Our house is very safe - everything is locked up and we never leave her alone.  But, I still worry about her and hope that as the withdrawals ease that these thoughts and behaviors will start to fade.  (I think they have already faded somewhat though not entirely sure.)


Very likely it is a mix of withdrawal and a response to the complex trauma she has experienced.

2009-2017 - 40mg Prozac, 2mg Risperdal, 200mg Seroquel, 7.5mg Zopiclone, 1.5mg Lorazepam, 50mg Setraline, 6mg Valium, 1mg Clonzepam, 7.5mg Zopiclone 7.5mg, - Adderall 20mg, 20mg Ritalin, 1mg Clonazepam, 7.5mg Zopiclone ,50mg Trazadone  40mg Citalopram, 40mg Strattera - 5mg Abilify, 250mg Trazadone, 40mg Testosterone (pills) - 100mg Seroqual, 50mg Remeron- 150mg Wellbutrin XL - Clonazepam 1mg > 5-6mg (and Bridge to Valium 40mg), Pregabalin - 300mg > 600mg, Ritalin 40mg,  0.25m>0.5mll Testosterone Entate, Adderall 30mg, Oxycodone 10mg, Loxapine 40mg, Seroquel 100mg, Lamitical 75mg, Cyclobenzaprine 15mg, Tramadol 200mg, Codeine 120mg, October - 2017 - Begin Valium taper at 40mg - 2mg every two weeks June 2018 - Rapid Detox in rehab from 200mg Tramadol, 600mg Pregabalin, 4mg Valium over 3 weeks. August 2018 Cold Turkey 70mg Lisdexamfetamine  October 2018 - 30mg Cymbalta, Feburary 2019 reinstate 70mg Lisdexamfetamine March 2019 Cold turkey Cymbalta&Lisdexamfetamine July 2019 - Reinstate 30mg Cymbalta and 70mg Lisdexamfetamine. October 2019  start taper 5-10% Cymbalta every 2-4 weeks  February 2021 2.42mg Cymbalta (15 beads) 0.4ml Testosterone Enantate IM biweekly Discontinued CT - Lisdexamfetamine 70mg
March 2021-March 2022- remove 1 bead Cymbalta per month-6 weeks - switch to Testogel 50mg then back to Enatate 0.4ml
March 2022 - Switch to Nebido 1000mg (every 12 weeks) - 2 beads Cymbalta (0.3mg)

April 2022 - 1 bead Cymbalta (0.15mg)

May 18th 2022 - 0 Beads (0.00mg) - 100% PSYCH DRUG FREE!
Supplements - Magnesium Malate, (half teaspoon) Glycinate, L-theronate (quater teaspoon) dissolved in water 2mg Melotonin, 1000mg Omega-3 Fish Oil x3 daily

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  • Mentor

@hugugh  I am so sorry you and your daughter had to go through this. 

You might find some validation from the couple and what happened to their daughter on the Documentary Medicating Normal.   

https://medicatingnormal.com/ 

Your daughter is lucky to have such a wise parent.❤️

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/24894-greatful-is-this-withdrawal-or-to-many-med-changes-at-once/

1995? Prozac,  tried several Paxil, Serzone, St John's Wart back to Prozac and Trazodone ct:d Traz

 Lexapro. Tried to stop Crash in 2015  Kindled   Hospitalized, Vybrid, Seroquel, Effexor, Abilify  Pristiq, Wellbutrin-- 2016  ended back on   Prozac and Lamictal 200mg

5/2020  thru 12/2020 taper from 20mg  Prozac  down to 3mg.  Crashed  12/13/2020 Zoloft 50mg 1/29ct  1/29/2021 Seroquel 50mg ct  2/12/2021 Wellbutrin 75mg.  Became hypo manic 2/1  6ct Trazodone 50mg 4/25  25mg 2/5/ 2021 Lamictal 150mg.  2/24  100mg   4/9  75mg   4/21 37.5 

2/16/2021 Seroquel 50xr  3/3 100mg  3/17  150mg  side effects ct   4/3 2021 Lexapro 5mg  4/14  7.5mg  4/30 10mg  5/10  7.5mg 

2021/ 5/16  5mg Lexapro   37.5 Lamictal   25mg trazadone,   xanax  .0625mg  3x a day   

Lexapro  Taper> Sept/01/2021  4.90mg>  Sept/25  4.75mg>   Oct/19 4.69mg > Nov/14 4.2mg    Jan/30/2022-- Split dosing 2x a day All liquid  4.2mg  (2.20mg at 8am & 2mg at 4pm) 2/17 4mg>  2/24  3.8mg  slow taper to  Aug/12/2022 2.04mg  2023> 2mg,  1.90mg, 1.80mg, 1.70mg, 1.5mg, 1.4mg, 1.3mg 1.2mg, 1.1mg, 1mg, 0.9mg, 0.8mg, 0.7mg 0.65mg, 0.6mg, 0.55mg, 0.5mg, 0.45mg, 0.4mg, 0.35mg, 0.3mg, 0.25,mg, back to once a day dosing 0 .1mg, 0.07mg , 0.05mg 4/1/2024   0

Lamictal  taper  4/17/ 2022 25mg, 9/9/ 22 -20mg, 9/25/22- 15mg , 10/20/22-   0

 Trazodone..2023.>down to 14mg, 7mg, 6mg  July 2023   0

Xanax  0.0625 3 x a day,  2023>  0.042 3x a day

Supplements  Magnesium glycinate, Omega 3, D3, vitamin c , zinc, NAC 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
15 hours ago, hugugh said:

The things she tells me about the hospitals are horrifying.  She's told of sexual abuse (not to her but to others), grooming of kids by techs who contact kids once they are discharged.  That on top of the sedation, restraints, solitary confinement, etc.  I trusted the system to keep her safe - she was just 13 when she went to these places - and they did not keep her safe.  

 

15 hours ago, hugugh said:

She has a therapist who is trying to get her to open up but hasn't really been successful yet from what I can tell.

 

 

If it's a conventional therapist, that therapist is a part of the same system that locked your child up in a violent place and put her on toxic drugs. It's dangerous for her to open up. She needs an advocate who will fight for her, not a therapist who's nothing more than a parole officer for the coercive psychiatric system. Conventional therapists turn in their patients for forced treatment if they speak of feeling suicidal or are expressing thoughts of self harm. 

 

Your child needs an alley who will talk her through these feelings. She also needs a therapist who understands withdrawal and can message to her that what she's going through is normal for people coming off these drugs and that she's not broken, she just needs time to heal. 

 

She'll also need time and patience as she struggles to learn to regulate her emotions off of these drugs. And she'll need time to grieve the loss of a large part of her childhood. 

 

14 hours ago, Ariel said:

Do you know about Will Hall

 

Ariel's suggestion here is excellent, hugugh. Will Hall is a psychiatric survivor who was locked up and drugged and finally was able to get out of the psychiatric system. He now works as a trauma therapist and is especially good at working with people who've been harmed by psychiatry. He's comes highly recommended. He is the co-author of the The Icarus Project - Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, so he understands withdrawal. 

 

His contact information is in the link that Ariel posted. 

 

On 6/9/2022 at 5:13 AM, Shep said:

In addition to the great information Getofflex has provided, I want to add another link. This is also on the Mad in America site (Robert Whitaker is the founder). It's an online support forum for parents and other caregivers of children caught up in the psychiatric drugging system: 

 

Mad in America - Online Parents Support Group

 

Have you had a chance to check out this online parents forum? 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to update that our daughter is now 5 weeks medication free and is doing spectacular.  We just went on a six day back country trip and she had a blast (except for the uphill hiking). It was amazing to see her just soak in the landscape, swim in lakes and giggle with friends over card games in the tent at night. I keep thinking that if we hadn't taken her off her meds, she would probably have been locked up in some institution getting sedated and restrained instead of out enjoying all that life has to offer.

 

She mostly seems pretty happy and content - hasn't self harmed since she's been med free  and I don't think she has any SI anymore.  Her scars are healing, she smiles a lot, likes to laugh - it's like a dark cloud has been lifted from her. She's not super motivated to do anything but luckily it's summer so I think it's fine for her to just rest and reset after all the trauma.  She does have moments of being irritable/anxious but seems within realm of normal teenage behavior. 

 

All in all, I think she survived the cold turkey pretty well and it's more and more clear every day that the medications were causing most of her issues.  The withdrawals were hellish but luckily she seems to be over the worst of it and is just moving forward with life.  Thanks for the support! 

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

So happy to read the above update on your daughter.  Thank you for letting us know that she is doing well.

 

Something that I think needs to be learned by everyone because a lot of people don't have these skills (and we have seen this here at SA), is how to self soothe and how to cope with the general ups and downs and bigger downs that life sometimes throws at us.  We all have bad stuff happen in our lives, it is just different bad stuff.

 

I suggest to people, young and old alike, if I think it might help them, to find a supportive counsellor and be taught general life coping skills.  I learned CBT only 7 years ago (I'm now 64) and wish I had learned it whilst growing up.  There are other techniques, by different names, which can be helpful too.

 

I have found relaxation techniques very helpful too.  It isn't going to stop the external stress from happening but it can help to reduce the impact of that stress on your body.

 

With the relaxation I think it is better to do short periods of it throughout the day, regardless of whether you feel you need to do it.  Think of it like an old fashioned kettle on stove, the sort with the whistle.  If you keep turning the heat on and off the whistle will never blow because the steam won't build up.  Relaxation techniques work in a similar way.  You probably won't get rid of the stress completely but you keep bringing it down a bit so that it doesn't get to the build up.

 

I now find that I more quickly pick up when I am starting to feel "different" (tired, confused, anxious etc) and it's second nature now to do some sort of non drug technique (self talk, breathing exercise, get up and look at something different) to cope with whatever it is that is happening.

* NO LONGER ACTIVE on SA *

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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@hugugh

Thank you for sharing this beautiful news <3 

 

It's not impossible that your daughter may yet experience a wave in the future as healing develops, deepens, expands.  

I say this not to put a damper on things but just to say, if that should happen, it in no way detracts from the progress already made. 

You now have this wonderful experience of your successful back country trip to nourish, nurture, and inform further ongoing process. 

 

I trust your daughter will continue to heal and grow.

I wish you and your family all the best moving forward. Enjoy your summer together <3

In solidarity and support,

A.

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@hugugh

Thinking of you and your family <3

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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Dear Hugugh,


I would not be surprised if PANDAS affected your daughter, but you do not need to prove that to be aggrieved for the way she was “treated” by the medical system.  I, too, would forget about suing and focus all my efforts on protecting my child and helping her heal.  The number of times doctors have been held accountable for malpractice on psychiatric patients are very, very few.  It’s a waste of time and energy, as angry as that fact makes me.
 

I was also on Zoloft, and my condition worsened with each increase in the dose.  I had been cold turkeyed off of Celexa after my child was born.  The Zoloft was started at 10 mg and increased to 150 mg over 4-5 years.  However, I had been on trials of various ADs since the age of 19 thus making me fragile and at greater risk of an adverse reaction.  
 

At about age 30, I starting taking an AD long term for the first time, Celexa.  I did not know that I was in long term withdrawal from a pain medication that I had no problem giving up about 4 years earlier.  According to my husband, I was adversely affected by Celexa, but he could not convince me of that fact.  This phenomenon is known as “medication spellbinding.”  The phrase may have been coined by a doctor who has become so distrustful of the medical profession that he has made statements about Covid recently with which I disagree, but his critique of the psychiatric profession is spot on.  He knows exactly what he is talking about when it comes to psychiatric malpractice.
 

I was 42 when the cold switch to Zoloft occurred, and my world unraveled continuously over the first 5 years of my child’s life as my dose was increased over and over again.  I cold turkey Zoloft when I decided that the med was the problem.  That was a mistake, but I have healed tremendously in the last 5 years.

 

I believe that what happened to your daughter was likely an adverse reaction to Zoloft.  This may have happened after one of the increases in dose.  The pills are not made in very many denominations, you may know.  An increase from 10 mg to 20 mg is doubling, and can cause an adverse reaction.  Many doctors double doses even when it is possible to increase by only 5 or 10 mg.  They may even double from 50 mg to 100 mg.  It’s madness, but it’s also common.

 

AD withdrawal syndrome and adverse effects have very similar symptoms, by the way.  It’s difficult to have any idea which is affecting a person if the dose has been lowered or stopped abruptly prior to an increase that may have caused an adverse reaction.  Ultimately, it does not matter which, adverse reaction or withdrawal syndrome, caused the disruption in the function of the autonomic nervous system.  The healing trajectory is the same — not linear, but in a windows and waves pattern.  I hope you find info on this pattern on this website and study it intensely.  It will explain much of the back and forth healing, regressing, healing, regressing that you may see in your daughter’s recovery.

 

The longer a person is off of an AD, the more serious the adverse reaction might be when the person starts taking the AD (or any drug that affects the brain) again at a normal dose. This is to say, please do not ever consent to your child taking another psychotropic medication.  This includes antibiotics (Cipro is a common one) known to cause psychiatric problems (“floxxing”), acne drugs such as Accutane, and even adrenaline based numbing agents for dental work.  (There is a non-adrenaline based agent you can request.  Do so.  No exceptions.) Each time I am given the adrenaline based agent, my symptoms of adverse reaction/withdrawal return.  
 

You must carefully research every drug that is suggested to make sure it has not been associated with psychiatric problems.  The SA website can help.  There are difficulties with many, many drugs for former drug users, including addicts.  Unfortunately, those of us who took ADs now have a nervous system condition that also affects street drug addicts.  It is called dysautonomia. This is the real tragedy behind the use and misuse of ADs by psychiatrists and GPS.  The dependence on an AD is the harm, and the fact that there are no cravings for the drug has no effect on whether the drug can cause long term withdrawal syndrome.  Cravings are associated with addiction, but dependence on a drug can be formed regardless of whether that drug causes cravings.  We are not called addicts because we do not crave the drug, but we have become dependent nonetheless.  That dependence set the stage for long term withdrawal or post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) aka dysautonomia.  It is the same condition that affects alcoholics and opioid or street drug addicts.  (And I am furious that this was not disclosed to me prior to my prescription!)
 

The good news is the our bodies can heal this condition all by themselves.  Dysautonomia will eventually resolve itself over several years, and we will become less sensitive and fragile, but for the time being, we must be very, very careful not to increase the degree of dysfunction in our nervous systems by taking drugs.  I have found that Tylenol and ibuprophen are safe for me, and even Benadryl, now, but that was not always the case.

 

The fact that ADs cause anxiety and ADHD symptoms is known.  The fact that they cause withdrawal and long term withdrawal is known.  The fact that adding antipsychotics to ADs is risky is known.  Perhaps many doctors do not want to believe they have harmed their patients.  However, what happened to your daughter is absolutely outrageous.  It is also common.  The cascade effect is common, the progression from ADs to antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and SNRIs or other psychotropics drugs is common.  Polydrugging is common.  In fact, psychiatrists have been harming their patients for decades.  Whatever place ADs have in medicine, they are not used responsibly, their adverse effects are not taken seriously, and withdrawal syndrome, long-term withdrawal syndrome and various other negative effects are not studied.  Despite this, the negative effects of ADs such as anxiety, ADHD symptoms, suicidal tendencies and attempts, and even increased depression have been known side effects of ADs since the 1990s.  There was research into these ill effects that was ignored, covered up and denied for 30 years.  
 

The problem is that our government does not study drugs. No neutral agency studies drugs.  The pharmaceutical companies study drugs, and they cover up the bad results.  They bury studies with poor results.  They remove people with adverse effects from studies and hide their existence.  The FDA allows the drug companies to hide studies and only report the studies that have “positive” outcomes.  This means that the true effects on all the people who were guinea pigs for a drug are never known.  The drug companies do study after study until they get 2 or 3 that are positive.  The entire time they are whittling down the people in the studies to only those people who are unlikely to have adverse effects.  Eventually, they get “positive” results. The fact that ADs cause SI in children was hidden for many years.  ADs cause SI in adults, too, but the FDA did not require that warning.  ADs and adverse effects caused me to be suicidal for 30 years.  There is no safe age for any of these drugs.
 

Recently, the National Health Service in the UK recognized AD withdrawal syndrome and published a pamphlet about the syndrome.  There are numerous bodies that recognize the ill effects of ADs and many activists who are trying to raise awareness.  That long term withdrawal or PAWS can result from ADs has not been acknowledged by the NHS or the FDA.  The drug companies are not going to do studies that prove the connection.  The government won’t do them, and there is no neutral agency that can do them.  So, the fact that this happens to people is denied.  There is no proof. How convenient.
 

Unfortunately, once a person has been exposed to ADs or antipsychotics or mood stabilizers and has suffered an adverse reaction, that person’s nervous system is fragile, and further use of many types of drugs is very likely to cause serious problems.  The condition caused by adverse reactions and withdrawal is actually, as I mentioned, dysautonomia.  It is a destabilization of the autonomic nervous system.  The healing therefrom is not linear.  That is why some members of this forum have cautioned you that your daughter may experience further challenges even after she appears healed.  Please know that she will weather those periods and come through them to see increased good health, if she can avoid suicide and further drugs, but may vacillate back and forth for months or years.  Occasionally, she may seem much worse that she has been for weeks or months.  This is normal for the healing process from AD injury.  SI may come and go.  You will need to take precautions for that long after you believe it is resolved, just in case.  
 

We often hear stories of people who seemed fine and then one day, they are suddenly extremely suicidal.   This is similar to the sudden anger you are seeing that resolves quickly followed by an apology.  I have dealt with this roller coaster of SI, sudden anger, and disability now for many, many years.  There are people who heal quickly and are completely normal in only 2-3 years.  I have not been that lucky, but I can say that improvement is continuous and that I am forever getting better.

 

Ironically, Zoloft caused severe OCD for me.

 

I wish you the best of luck, and I am so very sorry that you and your daughter have gone through this horrible experience.

 

Rosetta

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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  • 3 months later...

Just wanted to post an update - now 6 months post psych drugs for my child.  She is getting better everyday - she doesn't report any SI, SH and seems happy.  She's engaged in life and is much less angry.  She's going to school, reconnecting with friends and even starting to think about joining a sport again.  The difference in her from six months ago to now is unbelievable - it's like she's been reborn.  Thankfully the cold turkey of Zoloft and fast taper of all other drugs didn't seem to cause her too many problems.  I know that fast taper/ct wasn't ideal, but we had to get her off everything quickly because the meds were making her so unstable and were threatening her life.  We were lucky to be able to provide 24 hour care while she went through the worst of the withdrawals - no way we could have done that if I had a different type of job.

 

It's been six months and I still can't believe that this happened.  It seems like a dream/nightmare and I still can't believe that so many professionals didn't ever stop to wonder if maybe the drugs were causing her harm.  Why did we have to figure this out - and then deal with the repercussions on our own with no validation or help from any medical professional?  (Thank god for the validation from this community and other online communities)  I  I believe she would have died if we had continued on the course we were on - and it was only by stepping out of the mainstream and away from "professionals" that we saved her life.  I'm a pretty mainstream person so I just have a really hard time reconciling all this.  

 

I always assumed that psychiatrists come mostly from a good place of wanting to help people - but it's hard to hold onto this with memories of them thoughtlessly throwing drugs at my child like she was part of some experiment.   I've been requesting her records from all the different doctors who treated her and the superficial and short notes that each psychiatrist wrote while they upped her dose or added additional drugs were just stunning.  It was like they were prescribing these potentially deadly drugs to my kid and couldn't bother to write more than one or two sentences in the chart.  I never saw an explanation for why they were prescribing either.  It was just so haphazard.  They also lied in the charts stating that they talked about potential side effects to me and to her.  One even wrote that she saw signs of tardive dyskinesia and talked with me about it - which is an absolute lie.  I never heard that term until I started reading about these drugs on my own.

 

My task now is to just move on from the anger and disbelief.  I do enjoy every single moment I have with our family all together.  I cherish every laugh, every meal together, every time I drop the kids off at school together and watch them walk in to class giggling and talking with friends.  I'm trying to simply cherish and appreciate these simple and normal moments instead of cherishing them while also feeling incredible rage that this was all almost taken away from us because of thoughtless prescribing.

 

@Rosetta - Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reply.  Sorry it's taken me so long to respond!   

 

Daughter's Med History: 

Zoloft (25 mg-200mg) 2019-2022.  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Guanfacine (1mg-4mg) 2021-2022.  Tapered off May 2022

Lamictal (low dose) 2021 for brief period

Abilify (can't remember dose) 2021-2022 

Seroquel 2022 (225 mg):  Cold turkeyed April 2022

Naltrexone 2022 (brief period -stopped cold turkey)

Lexapro (5mg) 2022:  Started to help with withdrawal symptoms.  Only on for 2 weeks. 

Med free as of May 2022

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

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

 

Please continue to let us know how you and she are doing. I hope you will add a story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

 

Please see this topic:  How to write your success story

 

Have a success story written by a parent about a child would do wonders for other parents going through this with their children.

 

Thanks for continuing to come back and give us updates. 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am so happy and relieved to read that your daughter is doing well!  There are lucky ones who heal quickly, and what a gift that she is one.  
 

Yes, it’s really that bad in the psychiatric profession.  They are killing people.  Not just people, but children, and the parents of children.  They know no bounds.  I’m not sure how we became this sort of a civilization, but being aware of the degree of the problem, we can protect ourselves. @hugugh

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/16629-rosetta-ct-may-2011-too-fast-taper-feb-2017/?page=25

2001-2011 Celexa 10 mg raised to 40 mg then 60 mg over this time period

May 2011 OB Doctor's Cold switch Celexa 60 mg to 10 mg Zoloft sertraline (baby born)

2012-2016 - Doctors raised dose of Zoloft up to 150 mg

2016 - Xanax prescribed - as needed - 0.5 mg about every 3 days (bad reaction)

2016 - Stopped Xanax

Late 2016- Began (too fast) taper of Zoloft

Early 2017 - Trazodone prescribed for bedtime (doseage unknown)

Feb 2017 - Completed taper/stopped Trazodone

Drug free since Feb 2017

2017 - Unisom otc very rarely for sleep

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