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zyprexanumb: Zyprexa anhedonia - my story and questions for the community


zyprexanumb

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Hi all. I want to share my story and ask some questions about my condition since everyone here is so knowledgeable and helpful. Right now struggling pretty badly with discontinuation effects from a two week stint of olanzapine (Zyprexa) in an inpatient ward. 
 

I’m 25 and I’ve had depression/anxiety and severe OCD health anxiety for many years now, was put on Prozac in 2020 during a major mixed episode in which I was bedridden, lost weight, believed I had cancer, etc. 

 

Since then I’d been doing well on Prozac although I’ve had some hypomanic moments. A psychiatrist even theorized I might have bipolar 2 (if that’s even real) because I’ve had some grandiose feelings/actions. I moved to a new city and was doing well until…

 

In the fall of 2023 I felt I was doing well enough on 10mg Prozac so I went off cold turkey - I heard such a low dose and long half-life would be a self-taper. In November I was relapsing into severe health anxiety about physical neurological symptoms. I became convinced I had some severe neurological condition, had countless medical tests and workups (MRIs, CT scans, spinal tap, EMGs) and so many ER visits. I was utterly convinced I had ALS and my body was ceasing to function, it was truly hell but to this day I’m not sure if it ever veered into true psychosis (delusion) or just a severe OCD anxiety/obsession. I stopped eating, bathing, had crying spells. It was bad, really bad.
 

My parents had to fly out to take care of me and bring me to their home across the country. But my state was not improving and I was making it difficult for them so I was checked voluntarily into a behavioral health psych ward in April of 2024. There, I had a freak out because I thought it was completely voluntary and I could leave if I wanted but they didn’t let me leave. Granted, I was pretty agitated and still severely delusional about my health but I told them I just wanted to see a doctor to get checked out. I was given at first low-dose Seroquel but it didn’t calm my fears, I told them I couldn’t tell what was real or not in my own body. I was so dissociated I couldn’t tell how reasonable my worries were. Above all, I was so concerned with my weight loss of nearly 30 pounds. 
 

Then they gave my Zyprexa 20mg (10mg in morning and night) which sure tranquilized my fears. I began eating more and regained the weight. During my stay in the ward, I was enjoying reading and did some writing (I’m a writer). It seemed to help but in hindsight I was completely zombiefied.
 

One week later I was discharged I felt perfectly fine and got back to recovering from my fears. I started doing some research into Zyprexa and after reading about the horror stories everywhere I decided I shouldn’t be on it long-term. I did a one-week rapid taper down to 0mg, so pretty much cold turkey, and everything was okay for about three weeks. Some anxiety crept back but I had benzos to help but then the terrible, anhedonic depression set in around mid May (a month ago).

 

Since then I’ve been extremely anhedonic, lost pleasure in almost everything, no motivation and apathy. Music sounds just like raw noise and I can’t connect to any of my emotions. The first two weeks were so bad I was suicidal from the numbness, lost appetite, brain fog, diarrhea, could barely talk. 
 

It has been a month and a half since the anhedonia and depression started and I haven’t made any major improvements yet. Im sleeping 12 hours every day, managing to eat and get sunlight and trying to take walks. I see a therapist and a different psychiatrist who are aware of the situation. I’m taking basic supplements (fish oil, magnesium, etc) and trying to ease myself into activities but I just sit and watch TV all day and can’t even take care of my dog. 
 

Now I’m mostly concerned about my anhedonia and emotions flattening. I’m really getting nervous I’ll never recover from this. Day by day I can’t feel any improvement but I suppose that compared to a month ago, I might have regained like 15% of my motivation for normal actions but still severely apathetic and emotionally bankrupt. It’s brutal especially when I’m a writer/poet and emotions are the only thing I have.
 

It’s hard because I’m naturally distrustful of doctors (many don’t have our best interest) so I’m struggling with anger at the psychiatrists that put me on these hardcore neuroleptics when all I wanted was to get further doctor reassurance, and I thought checking into the ward wouldn’t force me on anything. I’m struggling with borderline paranoid/anger at the way I was treated even if it might have been the best thing to do at the time. 
 

I just have some questions/concerns: 

 

- Was it justified for them to put me on olanzapine at such a high dose for my case? In other words, I’m not sure if I was truly psychotic or just merely extremely anxious. It’s hard to tell, because at times I was 100% convinced I had a terminal illness but there were moments of doubt and some insight I had into my own fears. I’m just not sure if these doctors made a mistake and were reckless with me when other anxiolytics or high dose of benzos would have helped me get through it. 
 

- Was I wrong to go off my two week plan alone CT without a taper? It was so short term I figured I’d be okay but apparently not. Is there any benefit in a minor reinstatement of a low dose or going on a tiny dose of something like Ability which is a partial dopamine agonist? The brain is obviously so complex, but from what I can surmise from my research into antipsychotics, dopamine system dysfunction seems to be a major reason into depression and anhedonia. Are there other ways to restore a broken dopamine system? Luckily I get a small pickup from Zyn (nicotine pouches) so maybe nicotine helps?
 

- I know everyone recovers at a different pace (or not at all), but I’m wondering if it’s likely if I’ll see improvements even if I was only on olanzapine for 2 weeks. I’m not even sure I’m even through acute withdrawal and into longer discontinuation effects yet. What else might help me recover? Any recommendations or tips would be appreciated. 
 

Thanks for reading and my heart goes out to all you suffering from discontinuation effects and mental suffering in general.

 

EJK

 

 

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

2020 - Prozac 20-30mg

Sept 2023 - Prozac quit cold turkey

November 2023 - Prozac reinstatement 10mg

April 2024 - Zyprexa 20mg for two weeks + change Prozac to fluvoxamine 100mg

Present - Fluvoxamine 200mg 

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  • Emonda changed the title to zyprexanumb: Zyprexa anhedonia - my story and questions for the community
  • Moderator

Hello, and welcome to Surviving Antidepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

This topic is for anything relating to you, and any questions you have. Please do not start another topic.

 

 

What are your goals with your psychiatric medication? Your brain is in chaos from the trials of multiple antidepressants and antipsychotics. I would not consider reinstatement of olanzapine given your two-week use, and that you have now been off for around 2 months. You need a period of extended stability. If you wish to taper your medication in the future, I suggest you follow the guidelines we set out here, otherwise you will experience the same mental and physical debilitation you learned of last year.

 

 

We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of your CURRENT dose each month, to limit withdrawal symptoms. E.g. 10mg --> 9mg --> 8.1mg --> 7.29mg

 

All the answers you are looking for regarding tapering and antidepressant withdrawal are on this site. Please search around and continue to read as much as you can manage. Use the site search function to search for specific words or phrases, such as drugs or symptoms.

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021, 55mg - 23 Feb 2024, 60mg - 20 March 2024, Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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  • Moderator

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

Taper calculator spreadsheet

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021, 55mg - 23 Feb 2024, 60mg - 20 March 2024, Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 55.09mg  (1 July 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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