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PeaDea: New mum nightmare


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Posted (edited)

Hi all! Thanks for having me. 

2024 has been an absolute mess. 

Postpartum anxiety and Insomnia, resulted in my sitting infront of a publicly funded psychiatrist seven days after having my first baby. I had never had significant mental health issues prior to this and was fool enough to trust the psych when he have me a prescription for 2.5mg of olanzipine to help me sleep. He told me it was non addictive, unlike sleeping pills and that I could come off it in a few weeks. The drug worked perfectly, even though I chose to take half the dose prescibed (Thank goodness). I felt pretty much back to normal after two weeks on olanzipine, and was excited to come off the drug and focus on life as a new parent. 

The psychiatrist told me to 'taper' down by taking it every second night for a week. I noticed somthing was off the day after missing my first dose. Despite missing no more doses, things got increasingly worse over the next 3 days. I was a mess for about two weeks; experiencing Nausea, vomiting and depression. 

My prescribing psychiatrist insisted my response was not withdrawal but aggressive postpartum depression. He put me on 15mg of Mertazpine, telling me that it should 'bolster me' so I can stop taking the Olanzipine. 

By this point i had read up on olanzipine and its many side effects and was desperate to come off. 

I had strong reservations, but chose to follow his advice. 

I became sucidal coming onto the new medication which is a known possible side effect. When the sucidality passed I attempted to taper olanzipine again. This time by cutting down the pill by 20% every five days. It went well until it didn't and I became sick once again. 

Seeing as the mertazipine didn't help I decided to come off it after taking it for two months. I did a fast taper and didn't experience any withdrawl symptoms, until around three weeks after cessation. I became tearful, and sucidal. That's basically were I am now. I'm hesitant to go back on to Mertazipine as it was so rough coming onto it the first time. 

If i didn't have postaptum depression before I probably do now after having my mind messed with time and time again.

I don't want to go to hospital as all they will do is put me on more medication. 

I'm hoping I'm stabilising. My appetite is slowly getting better and I'm crying less.
How long do I have to wait before I can be confitent my stability isnt temporary and start attempting a 10% taper? 

Edited by Emonda
New name to title

Prescribed Olanzapine for Insomnia and anxiety when 7 days postpartum.

All tapering done by dissolving into water.

Jan 8-May 1st 1.25mg olanzapine

Feb 13-april 4th 15mg mirtazapine

April 5th down to 7.5mg mirtazipine 

April 9th down to 3.75mg mirtazapine 

April 15th 0mg mirtazipine 

May 4th down to 1.125mg olanzapine. 

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  • Emonda changed the title to PeaDea: New mum nightmare
  • Administrator

Dear @PeaDea

I am truly sorry to read your post.

 

Becoming a mum should be an exciting time. Babies were many many years back for me (and as a dad, not a mum). It is a big change, sleepness nights, crying etc. Insomnia and anxiety sounds like a completely reasonable response to me....certainly not something to solve with Olanzipine to help you sleep, and then 15mg of Mertazipine, when you've never had mental health issues.

 

A referral to Tressillian (Australian-based) would have been a better place to start!

 

Unfortunately, the medical advice you have received was, well...

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

The psychiatrist told me to 'taper' down by taking it every second night for a week.

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

I noticed somthing was off the day after missing my first dose. Despite missing no more doses, things got increasingly worse over the next 3 days. I was a mess for about two weeks; experiencing Nausea, vomiting and depression. 

 

Never skip doses to taper

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

I attempted to taper olanzipine again. This time by cutting down the pill by 20% every five days. It went well until it didn't and I became sick once again. 

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

My prescribing psychiatrist insisted my response was not withdrawal but aggressive postpartum depression. He put me on 15mg of Mertazpine, telling me that it should 'bolster me' so I can stop taking the Olanzipine. 

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

Seeing as the mertazipine didn't help I decided to come off it after taking it for two months. I did a fast taper and didn't experience any withdrawl symptoms, until around three weeks after cessation. I became tearful, and sucidal. That's basically were I am now.

 

Generally, you can become dependent on this sort of medication within 2-4 weeks. Tapering slowly is the way to go: Why taper by 10% of my dosage? The reductions should get smaller and smaller each month, for example: 10mg, 9mg, 8.1mg, 7.3mg etc. Importantly, if you develop unpleasant side effects from tapering, halt the taper, give yourself time to settle, and once stable, taper more slowly and by smaller amounts moving forward.

 

Following the advice you were given, WD symptoms are the likely outcome: Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

If i didn't have postaptum depression before I probably do now after having my mind messed with time and time again.

 

Completly understandable to be traumatised!

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

I don't want to go to hospital as all they will do is put me on more medication. 

 

I'd be hesitant, too!

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

I'm hoping I'm stabilising. My appetite is slowly getting better and I'm crying less.

 

This is good news:

 

Windows and waves pattern of stabilization

 

On 5/12/2024 at 8:58 PM, PeaDea said:

How long do I have to wait before I can be confitent my stability isnt temporary and start attempting a 10% taper? 

 

I'm going to ask one of the other volunteers to help me out here. Perhaps have a read of this to start with:

 

 

This is your own Introduction topic.  Each member has only ONE Introduction topic.  Your own Introduction topic is the best place to ask questions and the place to journal your progress.  This keeps your history in one place and means you do not have to repeat your story. 

 

Once again, welcome to S.A.

 

Emonda

 

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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  • Administrator

Can you please add to your signature the exact dates/doses you started/stopped / tapered the drugs?

 

Thank you

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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@Emonda thankyou for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. 

I have changed my signature to show the exact dates I have changed doses so far.

The 'Windows and waves' pattern of stabilisation worries me as I don't like thinking the stability I have been enjoying for almost a week might be temporary. It feels like a bad idea to start tapering if there Is a risk of backsliding independent to the dose change. 

Prescribed Olanzapine for Insomnia and anxiety when 7 days postpartum.

All tapering done by dissolving into water.

Jan 8-May 1st 1.25mg olanzapine

Feb 13-april 4th 15mg mirtazapine

April 5th down to 7.5mg mirtazipine 

April 9th down to 3.75mg mirtazapine 

April 15th 0mg mirtazipine 

May 4th down to 1.125mg olanzapine. 

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  • Moderator

@PeaDea 

 

As a mom myself, and someone who similarly suffered postpartum depression that was treated inappropriately, I'm so sorry this happened. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of education out there about the huge (but temporary) shift in hormones that occurs postpartum.

 

I know you likely want to get off this medication asap, but holding is in your best interest right now, especially with the recent taper from mirtazapine. Your body is going through a lot. From what you've said, it does sound like you might be starting to stabilize, but I would give yourself at least a month, if not more, before making any reductions. In the meantime, I would focus on bolstering yourself naturally with a clean diet and exercise. 

 

This link on Stability has a good write-up.

 

1 hour ago, PeaDea said:

The 'Windows and waves' pattern of stabilisation worries me as I don't like thinking the stability I have been enjoying for almost a week might be temporary. It feels like a bad idea to start tapering if there Is a risk of backsliding independent to the dose change

 

The stability you've had in the last week is a good sign!

 

Please reach out if you have questions ❤️

 

LotusRising

2003-2009 on and off various SSRI's for short periods, Ativan prn

2010-2011 Ativan, up to 1.5mg/day - tapered off without issue

2013-2021 ativan 1-1.5mg 10-12x/month, daily starting Oct 21 to help with buspar WD

2016 - Effexor 75mg, short-term

2021 Mar -Jun Buspar ADR at high dose, tapered 3 months

2021 Aug Wellbutrin 150mg for 5 days (ADR), then MIrtazapine 7.5mg for 7 days (ADR)

Oct 22/21 - Direct switch ativan to clonazepam (don't do this)

Tapered clonaz Oct/21 - Apr/23  - 0mg!

 

Supplements: omega-3, mag-glycinate

 

"Believe that your tragedies, your losses, your sorrows, your hurt, happened for you, not to you. And I bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open, because the world needs you open" - Rebecca Campbell

 

*** Disclaimer: Please note, my suggestions/comments are based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a knowledgeable practitioner to discuss decisions regarding your medical care *** 

 

                                                             *** Please do not send me PM's ***

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  • Administrator
9 hours ago, PeaDea said:

It feels like a bad idea to start tapering if there Is a risk of backsliding independent to the dose change. 

 

Yes, best not to rush this.

 

8 hours ago, LotusRising said:

I would give yourself at least a month, if not more, before making any reductions

 

I'm with LotusRising. 

 

Let us know how you're doing.

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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13 hours ago, LotusRising said:

I would give yourself at least a month, if not more, before making any reductions. In the meantime, I would focus on bolstering yourself naturally with a clean diet and exercise. 

Thanks for your response @LotusRising. Iv been excersising everyday and trying to eat well. I will be sure to wait at least a month before making my first 10% cut. I'm hoping I continue to be stable otherwise I won't feel safe to attempt a cut. 🤞 I haven't had more then two weeks of stability since my baby's birth so I'm a bit nervous it won't happen.

Prescribed Olanzapine for Insomnia and anxiety when 7 days postpartum.

All tapering done by dissolving into water.

Jan 8-May 1st 1.25mg olanzapine

Feb 13-april 4th 15mg mirtazapine

April 5th down to 7.5mg mirtazipine 

April 9th down to 3.75mg mirtazapine 

April 15th 0mg mirtazipine 

May 4th down to 1.125mg olanzapine. 

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6 hours ago, Emonda said:

Let us know how you're doing.

The last few days have been good 😊 My appetites back and Iv stopped crying. I feel like i can be a bit more stoic about the situation when im in a better head space. Fingers crossed things continue to go well for me all the way off this drug. 

I'm looking forward to having some peace.

Is the goal to taper at a rate inwhich you don't have any symptoms? Or is it OK to gave symptoms as long as they are resolved before you make another cut? Thankyou 😊

Prescribed Olanzapine for Insomnia and anxiety when 7 days postpartum.

All tapering done by dissolving into water.

Jan 8-May 1st 1.25mg olanzapine

Feb 13-april 4th 15mg mirtazapine

April 5th down to 7.5mg mirtazipine 

April 9th down to 3.75mg mirtazapine 

April 15th 0mg mirtazipine 

May 4th down to 1.125mg olanzapine. 

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  • Administrator
1 hour ago, PeaDea said:

s the goal to taper at a rate inwhich you don't have any symptoms? Or is it OK to gave symptoms as long as they are resolved before you make another cut?

 

It'd be nice if there were no symptoms, but that's not how it plays out for most of us.

 

We aim for WD normal. You feel symptoms, but they are manageable and don't stop you from functioning as normal. If things flare up, you hold the taper.

 

1 hour ago, PeaDea said:

The last few days have been good 😊 My appetites back and Iv stopped crying.

 

Good news. As I said above, completely normal to be a tad overwhelmed with a newborn. I think crying (from everyone in the house) and fatigue are to be expected for a period of time.

Please don't send me PMs. I am not a doctor. My comments are based on my personal experience with ADs and tapering. Consult your doctor about your own medical decisions.

Start of taper: Jan ’22 Vortioxetine 15mg, 

End year 1: 4.5mg, 

End year 2: 2.38mg, 

Year 3: 19 Jan 2.33mg, 26 Jan 2.28mg, 2 Feb 2.24mg, 8 Feb 2.19mg, 29 Feb 2.15mg, 7 Mar 2.10mg, 14 Mar 2.06mg, 21 Mar 1.99mg, 10 Apr 1.95mg, 17 Apr 1.91mg, 24 Apr 1.87mg, 1 May 1.83mg,

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  • Moderator
10 hours ago, PeaDea said:

I haven't had more then two weeks of stability since my baby's birth so I'm a bit nervous it won't happen.

I know it can feel that way, but stability will happen! Your body is going through a lot right now, and I expect you've got a lot going on with a new baby on board. The birth of a baby is an exciting time, but not without its challenges. Give yourself some grace here and allow yourself (and your body) to adjust ❤️

2003-2009 on and off various SSRI's for short periods, Ativan prn

2010-2011 Ativan, up to 1.5mg/day - tapered off without issue

2013-2021 ativan 1-1.5mg 10-12x/month, daily starting Oct 21 to help with buspar WD

2016 - Effexor 75mg, short-term

2021 Mar -Jun Buspar ADR at high dose, tapered 3 months

2021 Aug Wellbutrin 150mg for 5 days (ADR), then MIrtazapine 7.5mg for 7 days (ADR)

Oct 22/21 - Direct switch ativan to clonazepam (don't do this)

Tapered clonaz Oct/21 - Apr/23  - 0mg!

 

Supplements: omega-3, mag-glycinate

 

"Believe that your tragedies, your losses, your sorrows, your hurt, happened for you, not to you. And I bless the thing that broke you down and cracked you open, because the world needs you open" - Rebecca Campbell

 

*** Disclaimer: Please note, my suggestions/comments are based on my own personal experiences. Please consult a knowledgeable practitioner to discuss decisions regarding your medical care *** 

 

                                                             *** Please do not send me PM's ***

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On 5/15/2024 at 4:49 PM, Emonda said:

We aim for WD normal. You feel symptoms, but they are manageable and don't stop you from functioning as normal. If things flare up, you hold the taper.

Cool! I'm hoping it's not too bad. I guess I'll have more of an idea when I do my first 10%. 

Thanks again 😊

 

Prescribed Olanzapine for Insomnia and anxiety when 7 days postpartum.

All tapering done by dissolving into water.

Jan 8-May 1st 1.25mg olanzapine

Feb 13-april 4th 15mg mirtazapine

April 5th down to 7.5mg mirtazipine 

April 9th down to 3.75mg mirtazapine 

April 15th 0mg mirtazipine 

May 4th down to 1.125mg olanzapine. 

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Wow @PeaDea- I just wanted to say hello, and say how sorry I am that this happened to you.  This should absolutely have never happened, but sadly, the days are gone when we can trust our doctors to give us accurate information. 

 

I can somewhat relate, but my story is somewhat different.  I did have a psych history when my daughter was born- I had been on and off psych meds for 15 years when I had her.  I went off all my meds over a one month period when we decided to get pregnant (I know now that it was stupid, and I certainly paid the price).  After her birth, I had a psychotic break- hallucinations, I couldn't be alone because of suicidal and homicidal thoughts.  It was, by far, the most horrible time of my life, which is devastating in hindsight, as I really missed out on an important chunk of her life. I couldn't bond with her at all.

 

I only share this because, somehow, I got through this period with no medications.  My daughter had a stroke, and I could not continue to breastfeed her if I went back on my medications as they are excreted in breastmilk and lower the seizure threshold, and she was already having seizures.  It was the hardest thing I ever did, being a new mom, and not having any sense of control over my own brain.  But I did it.  And my point is that you can do this too!!!  You're in the right place, and you will have wonderful support here along the way.  Slow and steady is the path, and just keep posting!  The mods and other members are awesome here- no judgement, only compassion.

 

Congratulations, BTW lol... it is an exciting time.  I know it's a struggle getting off of these meds, but I promise, you will come out on the other side with some wonderful memories, even though there will be tough times in between. Sending lots of hugs your way...

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin and escitalopram to get pregnant.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- 03/24-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  04/24- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Thank you for sharing your experience with me @Catwoman73 It sounded more full on then my experience of new motherhood! I hope you and your daughter are both doing well now.  

23 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

somehow, I got through this period with no medications.

I hope to have another baby in after I get off this medication and I have no plans to go back on medication. This experience has turned me off psychiatric treatment entirely. 

23 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

 

Congratulations, BTW lol...

Thankyou! 😊 My experience of new motherhood has not been what I hoped but I'm finding as I stablise I'm more able to enjoy my bub.

All the best 😊

Prescribed Olanzapine for Insomnia and anxiety when 7 days postpartum.

All tapering done by dissolving into water.

Jan 8-May 1st 1.25mg olanzapine

Feb 13-april 4th 15mg mirtazapine

April 5th down to 7.5mg mirtazipine 

April 9th down to 3.75mg mirtazapine 

April 15th 0mg mirtazipine 

May 4th down to 1.125mg olanzapine. 

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On 5/17/2024 at 9:23 AM, PeaDea said:

Thank you for sharing your experience with me @Catwoman73 It sounded more full on then my experience of new motherhood! I hope you and your daughter are both doing well now.  

I hope to have another baby in after I get off this medication and I have no plans to go back on medication. This experience has turned me off psychiatric treatment entirely. 

Thankyou! 😊 My experience of new motherhood has not been what I hoped but I'm finding as I stablise I'm more able to enjoy my bub.

All the best 😊

We're both great now... minus my long covid and withdrawal issues lol.  Life is always full of challenges!

I completely get it.  Now that I have a better understanding of these drugs, I will never go back.  Nor will I ever see another psychiatrist.  I had a good one that actually did talk to me, but she still had me on 4 meds at one point.  NEVER again. 

I'm so glad you're able to enjoy your new addition- it's such a special time.  I hope the rest your taper goes smoothly... I've always found the step to zero to be the most challenging.  Planning that for a time where you have lots of help is always a good idea.

Cheers! :)

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin and escitalopram to get pregnant.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- 03/24-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  04/24- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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