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JJC42482: New member- History of Major Depression


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Hi all. 

I came about this website from a simple google search regarding 'tapering off psychiatric medications.'  I guess I'll start off by stating that I first became severely depressed at the age of 13 (I'm 32 now), pretty much out of no where.  My parents at the time had no idea what was wrong with me, as I was just telling them I felt horrible and couldn't do anything. 


I was eventually diagnosed with depression a few months later and was given Prozac.  It worked wonders for me, and I stayed on it through high school, with no recurring depression.  However, when I was 18, the Prozac was giving me sexual side effects, so a psychiatrist took me off of it and gave me Wellbutrin. 


Little did I know (but the doctor should have) that Wellbutrin affects dopamine, and Prozac affects serotonin.  Long story short, a couple of months went by and I got majorly depressed out of no where again (when all the Prozac was depleted from my body).  I eventually got put on both Prozac and Wellbutrin and within a few months I was okay. 


I had a recurrence of depression and was added Klonopin to my meds when I was in the first year of college.  So, I was on Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Klonopin through my college years, and had no recurrence of depression for the most part.  After I graduated college, I got a job with the federal government, and because the Klonopin made me very, very sleepy (I would fall asleep in classes, driving, etc.) I decided to wean off of it.  However, I was also weaning myself off of the Wellbutrin, and substantially lowering the dose on Prozac.  Well, that didn't work out well, as I became immediately majorly depressed.  I had to quit my job it was so bad. 


Over the next few years I was put on a phlethora of different medications and combinations.  One psychiatrist suggested I was bipolar because I mistakenly told him that I had 'racing thoughts', when in actuality I misspoke and meant to say I have a lot of 'rumination.'  So this psychiatrist was treating me for bipolar and depression.  He had me on Lithium, Lamictal, in combination with Prozac.  He then had me on Lexapro and Lamictal I believe.  I was also given Abilify, Cymbalta, among others.  Nothing worked. 


I eventually went to see another psychiatrist and he had me on Prozac, but it wasn't helping.  He then added Risperdal (as an 'add on antidepressant'); that did not help either.  After several months, he added a third medication, Pamelor.  That was in May of 2009.  After a few months of being on Prozac, Risperal and Pamelor, I was no longer depressed, and I have been depression-free for the past five years now, still on that same combo. 


I have tried to wean off of Risperdal in the past with very bad results.  After reading some of your forums on here, it appears I was tapering off way too fast.  My doc thinks it would be best to wean off of Risperdal since I have been on it for over 5 years (and personally, I don't think it ever helped, until after Pamelor was added).  So, I'm just looking for advice on how to safely and effectively taper off of Risperdal. 


At this time, I have zero intentions on coming off of Prozac or Pamelor.  Risperdal, being an anti-psychotic, should have never been prescribed to me to begin with, in my opinion.  And after it was clearly not helping with my depression, I should have been taken off of it before being prescribed the Pamelor.  So, any advice would be greatly appreciated. 



Edited by Petu
added paragraphs for readability

09/1996: Prozac; 05/2000: Wellbutrin; 07/2000: Effexor; 08/2000: Prozac and Wellbutrin; 01/2001: Added Klonopin to Prozac and Wellbutrin; 10/2006: Xanax; 11/2006: Cymbalta and Seroquel; 12/2006: Prozac, Lamictal, Wellbutrin; 2007: Prozac, Abilify, Lamictal; 02/2008: Lithium, Prozac, Lamictal; 06/2008: Lexapro; 09/2008: Prozac; 12/2008: Added Risperdal to Prozac; 05/2009: Added Pamelor to Prozac and Risperdal

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi JJC, welcome to SA.  I am astounded at the number of drugs you were 

given and sadly it is a familiar story.


We recommend a slow taper by cutting no more than 10% of the current

dose with no less than 4 weeks between cuts to allow the brain and nervous

system time to adjust between cuts. 


Here is our topic on tapering risperdal http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1716-tips-for-tapering-off-risperdal-risperidone/

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi JJC42482,


Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants, I'm very sorry for all you've gone through. Thank you for sharing your story.  I'm sorry you have been on so many drugs from such a young age, have you ever had any counseling to find out what may be causing the depression?


Many of us are here because we tapered too fast while believing we were doing it right.  We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising.


Here is the link to our tips for tapering off risperdal:




I'd highly recommend reading Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. Psych meds can be pretty perilous and in my opinion should only be used for short times and very cautiously, if at all.


Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature.  Putting a short version of your drug history in your signature helps people understand your context, it appears below each of your posts.  Here are instructions for how to do it:




You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.  I'm glad you found us, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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  • Administrator

Welcome, JJC.


I strongly question the value of a diagnosis on the basis of a pubescent's moodiness. It also sounds to me like the "depression" you might have suffered before when you tried to come off drugs was most likely withdrawal syndrome.


We have many people here who have gotten sucked into a lifetime of psychiatric drug cocktails and ever more elaborate diagnoses that were misdiagnoses of drug adverse effects. Psychiatrists are very, very poor at being able to recognize withdrawal syndrome and other adverse effects.


Please taper carefully off risperidone and consider whether your other drugs are truly needed.

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

Hi, JJC-


Lots of people become depressed "out of nowhere" both during adolescence and at other times as well.  Often the cause is something medical, such as a hormonal imbalance, over or under active thyroid, or side effects from a medication. I became severely depressed a few years back due to Lipitor lowering my cholesterol into the danger zone where my brain was beginning to starve for lack of fats. It's my personal opinion that true, stand-alone depression is a very, very rare phenomenon. I hope you'll become a bit of a skeptic yourself after reading some of the stories here.


But for now, the important thing is to get you off of Risperdal safely and sanely. I agree that you never should have been put on it in the first place.  Drug companies are giving doctors the misleading idea that the atypical antipsychotics somehow boost the effects of antidepressant medications when in fact all they do is add even more serious and dangerous side effects.


If your doctor is inclined to cooperate with your tapering off Risperdal, he or she may be willing to prescribe it in liquid form or you can make your own following these directions:  How To Make A Liquid from Tablets or Capsules . Having a liquid available will make it much, much easier for you to decrease your dosage by the recommended ten per cent, especially as you get down to smaller doses.


Please do add your drug history to your signature as Petu asked above.  It will help us to know where you stand with your medications.  If writing down your whole history is just too much, you might fill in the details for the past five years or so and summarize what came before. This history will then appear at the bottom of all your posts and that way, people who want to help or commiserate will be aware of your background.


Welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of good information and friendly support here.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor

Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/


Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I have always had my thyroid checked over the years and it's been normal.  I asked about having some kind of hormonal imbalance, and the doctors said that wasn't it.  But anyway, my doctor just prescribed me the liquid form of Risperdal so that I can more accurately taper off it 10% at a time.  I just started tonight.  I'm going from 1 mg to .9 mg.  The syringe is very small and the lines are very close together, so it's not easy to pinpoint .9 compared to .95 or .85.  I'll try and do the best I can.  Hope this is going to work.

09/1996: Prozac; 05/2000: Wellbutrin; 07/2000: Effexor; 08/2000: Prozac and Wellbutrin; 01/2001: Added Klonopin to Prozac and Wellbutrin; 10/2006: Xanax; 11/2006: Cymbalta and Seroquel; 12/2006: Prozac, Lamictal, Wellbutrin; 2007: Prozac, Abilify, Lamictal; 02/2008: Lithium, Prozac, Lamictal; 06/2008: Lexapro; 09/2008: Prozac; 12/2008: Added Risperdal to Prozac; 05/2009: Added Pamelor to Prozac and Risperdal

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