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Scotzmen Me Newbe, Introduction


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Hello everyone, I'm Scott. I live in Northern NJ close to NY City. I'm married, have 3 kids and a Brittany Spaniel. I've come to this site with hopes of getting off all my meds and hopefully getting better.


Just a quick history, I have treatment resistant depression and been on disability because of for the past 22 years. I've been on a tremendous amount of meds through the years, also I've done several courses of ECT. Actually I currently have the Vagus Nerve Stimulator on for 2 months hoping that might help. 


This illness, disease or just overmedication has devastated my life. Luckily I have my family and I'm very grateful. But beyond that I don't have a life. No friends, no hobbies I sit at home everyday alone. I try to do things around the house, fix things, I can go out most of the time but lately (for the last 8 months) I've been horrible. I hate getting up, I hate going to bed. I just sit on the computer and eat. I really don't care about much anymore.  Anyway, depressing I know,


8 months ago when everything went from bad to worst I started to reduce Risperdal 2mg. I first dropped .5 mg and I had terrible panic attacks, fear I never had that before.  I ask my shrink and he said there are no withdrawals from Risperdal.  I didn't believe him, I don't understand shrinks, they deny that there are withdrawals from meds.  So eventually then I got better and I continued to reduce .25 every 3 weeks.  I did stop for a month or so, But now I'm at .25 left, It's been 3 weeks, do I just stop the finally dose now? 


I really believe my misery over the past months has been from improperly reducing Risperdal.  I'm really desperate.  I haven't told my shrink how bad I've been feeling because he'll just ignore its cause.


I'm getting tired so to finish, I'm trying to find a Dr. in the NJ/NY area that knows how to taper, so far no luck.  Does anyone know of any of a doctor? I'm on 5 other meds, which I'd like to get off of.  My hope is that the meds may have been causing my depression. The one thing I ever responded to was ECT, not even one med.  22 years of my life are gone it's effected every aspect of my life including my family. 


So I hope I didn't bore you, this is me, well part of me. I'm looking forward to meeting you and If there is anything you want to ask me feel free.  I research every day for a few hour trying to find an end to this hell and I've learned a lot.  Thanks for looking, have a good day.

Edited by Altostrata
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Hi I'm quite new and cannot give advice but just wanted to say hello and I totally understand. I hope you find relief.

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!


On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.


Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.



Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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Welcome! There is a very expensive dr. in NYC, Kelly Brogan MD. She mostly works with women, but sees men for medication withdrawal. Kellybroganmd.com. There is also a thread on recommended physicians, etc. pinned in Tapering or Symptoms, I think there are several in NYC.


My thought would be that you regroup and see how things go. If you get stuck, look into other things that cause depression, I think gut problems are becoming a huge cause in our society, I think it is my root cause, but I have a horrible family history, so I am not sure. I have also been helped by mensahmedical.com, but they might be overkill for you.


Study your drugs, study your illness, and fight on! But 22 years of meds will take a lot of time and patience...join the party :)


One of our mods strongly recommend D's the books Anatomy of an Epidemic and Breggin's Your Drug May Be Your Problem.


Finally, the mods will appreciate it if you list your medication history in your signature.


Good luck!

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum Scott I'm sorry to hear you have been struggling so much. Thank you for sharing your story, but I'm sorry you have to be here.


I also have a long drug history, if you look at my signature, you can see it.  Unfortunately, I stopped taking my medications completely the wrong way, long before finding this site and the good information here, so I'm in protracted withdrawal.  I'm glad you found us when you did.  We will be able to offer help and support with safe tapering off your drugs, if that's what you want to do.


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




What is most helpful are all medications ever taken, including approximate years, but details, including dates and dosages of all current drugs, including any recent past or present tapering attempts.


When things started to get worse 8 months ago, did this happen before you started reducing the Risperdal, or did your symptoms only start when you began tapering?


It sounds like you may have been having withdrawal symptoms.  Doctors are unaware of how bad withdrawal syndromes can be. Doctors who understand psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes are few and far between, even among psychiatrists.  Please read:

What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?


You have been tapering too fast.  We suggest reducing most psychiatric medications by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising.  Please read through this which will explain why:


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  (The general philosophy of gradual tapering)


Here are our tips specific for tapering off Risperdal:




Now that you have held at .25mg for a few weeks, how are you feeling?  If you are still having withdrawal symptoms, please hold where you are, read through the links I have provided so you can learn how to safely taper down off the last amount.


My hope is that the meds may have been causing my depression.


Its quite possible that much of what you are experiencing are side effects, especially if you are on a lot of drugs.  If you are taking more than one medication, there may be interactions between them, which your doctor is unaware of, these may be adding to your symptoms.  Please put ALL the drugs you take in the drugs.com Drug Interactions Checker at:


Drug Interactions Checker


You may post the results here in your thread.


As Meime also mentioned,  Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. would be a good book for you to read.  Other resources you may find helpful are Your Drug may be you Problem by Dr. Peter Breggin and Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry


I'm sorry for throwing so much information at you, but please take your time reading through it all. 


You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want.  Once you get back to us with more details about your drug history and situation, we will be in a better position to offer support and suggestions.



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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Meimei and Petu have covered it but I would emphasize: stop tapering the Risperdal right now and hold where you are with that, and don't reduce anything else for now until you are stable and you've learned how to taper safely (we have the info you need for that).


Your doctor doesn't know anything about tapering after multi-decade use of psychiatric meds, and the reason I can say that confidently is because nobody knows that, because those studies have never been done. That has never been studied. So if he says he knows you can't be getting withdrawal effects from Risperdal, or anything else he claims you can't be experiencing, ask him for the papers, the citations, the research to back it up. It's called "evidence-based medicine" and when it comes to long-term use of psychiatric drugs, it doesn't exist.


The other thing I would emphasize is: read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.


You can definitely seriously reduce your drug burden, if you taper slowly, but it's going to be a long process, and it starts with just learning. This forum has the most extensive collection of information on tapering off psych meds anywhere. 


Welcome, and good luck to you!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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