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  1. I posted my story on another forum in a different topic (link below) but I also wanted to share to more people, so here is a repost. It is kind of long, but maybe it will be an interesting read. For anyone interested in my story, I had a relatively short time with zyprexa, around two months, but I quit cold turkey without relapse for over a year and getting better. To begin with, my dose was 10 mg, with lithium for a week, increased to 15 mg at the last week. Every moment of taking these drugs I wished I could get off it, but under the supervision of doctors and threat of hospitalization I was forced to be fed this stuff. Right after the supervision stopped, I convinced my family to let me quit and quit cold turkey by telling them how I felt like I was in a spiral of darkness and emptiness and it would only get worse. At first, for the first week I had absolutely terrible symptoms. I could not sleep even though I was tired, I felt the need to talk and continue talking, and I had this overwhelming feeling of dullness and emptiness in my spirit, and I felt like my body was about to collapse. But my family was super supportive (not to brag but maybe someone that reads this might be more knowledgeable on what worked for one person, also one of my family members is a registered nurse): every morning they forced me to eat a breakfast of toast, eggs and milk, and then go out on a walk with the dog. Then, as often as they could they would take me out to eat, encourage me to listen to music or play an instrument (although I was less than awesome at it ), go shopping, or just drive around to let me feel refreshed. They forced me to go to bed at 10:00 every night even if I couldn't sleep, and even accompanied me by setting up a towel and pillow on the floor. They smiled when they talked to me, ignored the weird stuff I said, and were patient when I spoke slowly. When I mentioned wild things and they were really hurt by it, they never suggested sending me back to the hospital. Sometimes they would get super frustrated, they were even experiencing their own traumas because of my illness, but they kept it between them and didn't say a word to me (they would go to another room and vent or whisper). Also, I didn't have to work or go to school because it was the summer and my family was fiscally supporting me (I am young). One important thing to mention was my personal determination: I felt the medicine was terrible for me and I was willing to go through any and all symptoms no matter how severe because I wanted nothing to do with the medicine anymore. The strict schedule and kind attention and daily exercise and lack of pressure and probably personal determination was the foundation of my good recovery, although time ultimately was the answer. After the first month I was able to express my thoughts better, but I was still dull everywhere. Also, I started to fear that I was changed forever. Most importantly, I started having massive crying spells. When words couldn't come out of my mouth I just started to feel really sad. Sometimes I would sit and cry for hours, with an unexplained mix of feeling of loneliness, neglect, and pain even though everyone was always kind and checking up on me. I believe this may have been associated with the reason why I had to take the medicine in the first place (I am pretty sure it was external social isolation because of my personality, situation, and previous social trauma). One time the neighbors called the police because they were concerned that someone was crying for hours on end all day (the police ended up leaving with nothing because I wasn't crying at the time they came and there was nothing wrong). This increased the tension, and I felt even worse. I started going into the closet to cry, but it didn't make the crying stop. My family started to get really understandably upset because it made them feel sad, but that made me feel worse. I was improving every day still, but it wasn't enough to stop the crying and nobody knew what to do. I tried music, but sometimes a song grew old and didn't make me feel better anymore. Then, I decided I needed to take action in my own hands and got myself a video game machine (2ds) - something I wanted but didn't want to spend money on for years because of the impact it might have on my studies and family, and the social memories it brought back. This stopped the crying, because I felt had something I could do whatever in and there were no consequences, and it probably made me rethink my negative memories in a more positive way. I still struggled with sleeping, always waking up at least once in the middle of the night, and never felt completely refreshed after sleep, but I was happy that I felt improvement. After that, school was beginning, so I was encouraged to go to school (two upper division courses). However, I felt overwhelmed by the material - I was struggling to retain any information and concentrate. I knew i probably couldn't last, but it made the people around me feel relieved, so I dragged it on for as long as I could. When the test scores came in, I thought about my life overall and realized that I didn't have the capacity to do studies at the moment and also the stress hindered my recovery so I dropped the course. My family was upset, but because they saw my effort they were understanding. During this time I happen to find a free class on essential oils at health food store, and attended it. Then, I bought some essential oils for myself (doterra brand oil) and a diffuser, and tried it. It worked wonders and I was able to sleep through the night without waking. When I was stressed out and felt sad, it completely calmed me like I was lifted into another world. I also tried regular meditation, but it was hard, so I stuck with oils, playing video games, and guided meditations that I listened to into sleep (using the free phone app "insight timer"). I also visited a chinese medicine doctor who was in town; he taught me 6 exercises to relieve stress: using fingers to hit the baihui point on top of the head, hitting the sides of the legs (danjing - galbladder meridian), pushing the taichong point on the feet, tensing the gluteus maximum muscle then releasing it (progressive muscle relaxation), standing on toes then dropping the body (shaking the top of the head), then just standing around and shaking yourself for 5 minutes. He said doing that every day for a year would make me recover completely. This made me feel a lot better, both physically removing numbness in my head and knowing there was something I could do to make recovery faster, but I still was worried that I wasn't well enough for school and thought I might stay that way - now I know better because I experienced healing that time brings. Around at the third month, I started to have a new problem: gastrointestinal upset. Everything I ate no matter what came out immediately from the other end. It was awful and when I went to the md they could find nothing. My family contacted the chinese doctor and he gave me some special herbal tea to drink (it cost a lot), which in fact did improve the condition. When the tea ran out I had occasional bouts of diarrhea again, but it was ok because it was only occasional and before I started the medicine I was already having some gastrointestinal problems. As a postscript, this year I tried wormwood tea and found out I had a little bit of parasitic worms, which removing really helped my intestinal health. I still had diarrhea though (probably weak gut bacteria after the medicine) until I started eating around a teaspoon of expeller pressed organic coconut oil daily (originally for oil pulling). The coconut oil also improved my thinking in the week I ate it, so it might have further implications, although I have stopped because I recently got a cold and my intuition tells me to give my body a break. Overall, although I might one day completely recover, I now understand health is a lifelong project, and always trying to find something to make it better is a good habit. Then two months later when the next semester of school came around, I decided to try to both get progress in my life (having a goal really makes recovery less tedious) and improve my physical health so I took a taichi class (upper division). I was terrible at it, still had terrible memorization, and ended up failing it. However, it made my family happy that I tried and I felt more confident about myself (I got through the semester without dropping). During this time I also met regularly with my primary physician - I wanted to maintain a good relationship with my doctors (assists in the trauma caused by the experience). At first they recommended I meet with a psychiatrist, but when I was adamant I wanted nothing to do with that field since it muddied up things too much, they were alright with it because I seemed to be improving. My doctor allowed me to visit a neurologist to address my concerns of involuntary twitching (happens all over the body when I am emotional, getting much better over time), and while the neurologist completely brushed off my concerns, it made me feel like I was making progress in understanding myself (at least I got to voice my concerns and feel less alone). Looking back, it also addressed the primary cause of my illness (social isolation). Mostly, I just followed my own gut on what to do next, and at this time my flexibility, optimistic view, attacking the original problem, and family support was the key. Around the ten month mark, I decided I might never be able to go to school again (still unconfident in my ability to learn), so I went to the local community college to talk about other options. In the college they recommended that I might get a job, which I never really had before. Therefore, I went and applied to my dream job (doesn't require school) which was being a carrier at the postal office. I was very lucky, because they were in a shortage of new hires so I got the job. This really boosted my confidence and self worth, and I tried my hardest at work. It was a full time job, 9 to 5, and really demanding, but I was living out a dream I always had and exercising all day, which probably really made me recover better. However, I lacked the physical strength, and some of my coworkers and managers encouraged me to do something else, while others were really kind and encouraging. For the first time in my life, I felt "workplace problems" and "pride in my own work" and "following a dream" and I also felt "being needed and belonging". These all related to my initial problem and were very therapeutic in living out and solving, which was probably the biggest turning point in my recovery. Before this point I was also reluctant to go to school (relevant to my initial illness), because it reminded me of my social problems and I didn't understand the urge. Now that I did, and understand the value of school and its relation to my personal life, I determinedly decided to go back to school, making my family happy, quitting my previous "dream job", and going for my degree. Doing this also improved my other family member's high blood pressure they had for over a decade. The past few months really showed this recovery: this semester in school, I was able to read over 20 chapters of textbook, take long essay exams and passed two upper division classes with A's. Still, I feel woozy at times, and can have grumpy tantrums, but I am understanding how to be patient with myself, trying to continuously improve, and ready to take on challenges in my life. I feel I have effectively resolved my initial problem to the point I can keep growing, and mostly recovered from medicines, and I also have a much better attitude in life. I am still recovering, however, but it has become just another part of my life. Yesterday I came across this form while searching for information on zyprexa (because I learned klonopin was a controlled substance from a cop cam show and wanted to do and wanted to see if zyprexa was one too), and related very well with other people's experiences, so I wanted to share mine. I writing so that my experience might inspire happiness and belief in oneself to others. The important thing to hang onto, in my opinion, is a belief to see things through with yourself whatever happens and keeping in touch with the people that are important to you.
  2. Hello I always wanted to return to the site and thank all that helped me in the dark hours and also the forum owner and originator for the tireless work that has helped so many people Heres my thread when I first asked for help http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6865-andy-hello-tapering-from-zyprexa/ I wont go into how I finally quit the drug because it wasnt the normal 10% approach although I tried 5 times and failed miserably.I found a good understanding doctor who helped me reduce and more than anything listened to me without prejudice.This helped enormously,I finally jumped off at 1.25mg and to be honest it wasnt to bad,by far the worst reduction was going just under 2.5mg,I had severe migraines ,nausea,heart palpitations,sickness,depression,mania,mood swings and relentless insomnia.The insomnia was by far the worst symptom as it made me anxious and very irritable ,all this while trying to be a good father and holding down a very stressful and demanding job.Of all the drugs I was put on Zyprexa was the hardest to quit,it was hell and back but it can be done I have recently started my Taekwondo training again that I practiced for over 15 years but couldnt while I was on this terrible drug,I now feel calmer and sleep well.I put on over 3 stone while on zyprexa even though I ate a well balanced diet,I felt lethargic and had no interest in life,that has all changed and the weight is coming off steadily. Excercise has been the most helpful tonic for me and even when I had had zero sleep I went to my class and worked out.It slowly but steadily improved my sleep and made me feel confident again that I could get over all of this,when you start to see improvements you start to see light at the end of the tunnel Things are heading in the right direction and my outlook on life is positive once again.I feel good Once again thankyou for all your help and for people just starting the journey dont ever give in it can be done,god bless you all Andy
  3. @Andy reading your story is absolutely amazing I'm tapering now I been for a few months I was prescribed 7.5 of zyprexa once a day about 5 years ago but I only took half I refused to take the whole thing and I'm glad that I didn't I did gain weight but my weight stayed the same for these past 5 years in the summer time I didn't like how I was feeling and started reading on the Internet about this drug and realized why I was feeling the way I was and mind you I was only taking half of 7.5mgs so I stopped taking half and started cutting them into 1/4s which I done for awhile and about a week ago I switched to 2.5mg and cut them in half do I been only taking half's some days I feel good and some days I don't I keep reading stuff which helps especially when there are positive storie's like this one but today is a little rough day cause I just don't feel like myself but I just praying to God to get though this I'm tapering slowly because I just don't wanna stop abruptly so I'm taking it slow but I did notice when I was taking 1/4 of the 7.5 I noticed a difference like feeling almost normal now I'm taking half of 2.5 I'm praying it makes me feel more and more like myself I also was just put on another blood pressure med as well but I will keep my faith that this too shall pass and I vow to never take medicine like that again in life I rather take life each day and live it to the fullest than to be put on medicine like zyprexa I really wish I didn't take it in the 1st place I'm also a recovering addict for 7 years now I been clean from prescription opiates and my son keeps me motivated he is my sunshine and a true gift from God and I want to be the best I can be for him always and be an inspiration to him as well as others!! But I will keep my faith that I'm able to stop the half of zyprexa 2.5 soon I will take it down as needed to be nothing but any tips or advice will help and like i said reading positive storied definitely makes things so much better and my advice to everyone if you really don't have to take medicine please done try alternative routes if you can obviously this **** sucks only if I knew what I know now back then things would be different but I learned and again I will keep my faith and take it one day at a time and from now on I will live a healthy life style and do what I can without medicine!! Sending prayers to all remember We got This!!
  4. Diagnosis: Severe Bipolar 1, Severe Depression, Severe Anxiety Disorder. (tried Big S 3 times, Self Harm (cutting, burning, smash indexes with hammer)), Bought 2 cars in 2 days, 4 Rolex watches in 3 days Blah Blah. 80 ECT's. I think the Doctor's have me properly diagnosed but improperly medicated. I spilled the beans I've been dropped from one med and changed to another so many times I can't list. However, no problems doing so. 2003: CT Klonipin and Xanax at same time. I was put on 10mg Klonipin, 3 weeks later had withdrawals within hours of taking dose. Doctor's added Xanax to take during the day. I started withdrawals continuously. My body built up a tolerance within a month where the Benzo's couldn't be controlled. Ended up in psych hospital. Doctor's CT's me off Benzos. I was in and out of the psych ward for 60 days. One day I woke up and symptoms were gone. I was only on the Benzo's about a month so maybe that's why I didn't have any lasting effects after withdrawal. Dec 10-present: Rapid taper (Directed and supervised by my Doctor) from 30mg Zyprexa due to serious health side effects caused by Zyprexa. Basically 6 extremely intense months and still feeling the effects today. I am off Zyprexa but it was HARD and not completely over symptoms. Comment: I experienced intense withdrawal symptoms coming off Zyprexa. Some symptoms were just intensified symptoms I've always had and new symptoms I've never had before. However, now I'm off Zyprexa the new symptoms I experienced during withdrawal come and go but not severe. The symptoms I had before starting Zyprexa (insomnia, anxiety) are back to where I was at before Zyprexa (not the intensified level during withdrawal). The Zyprexa cured nothing, did not relieve anxiety or make me sleep. It helped control mania and psychosis during mania. That's it. Now I'm off Zyprexa I'm not a walking Zombie living in a drug induced fog and I feel better in that I can feel more control of my brain. Hard to describe. However, I still have mental health issues that I'm working on controlling ALONG WITH MY DOCTOR without drugs. Not all Doctors are just ignorant drug prescribers. I think all of it depends on what dose you're taking, how long you took it, as well as your tolerance to enduring discomfort and willpower.
  5. All, I originally read Andy's thread, joined the forum, and replied. The Moderator moved my reply to the new members intro section. My experience is very similar to Andy's. My last dose of Zyprexa was almost 12 weeks ago. I took it for 14 years and I started my rapid taper at 30mg/day. I started my taper at 10% and immediately got about every withdrawal in there is. I had to get off Zyprexa because the side effects started killing me once I got to such a high dose and for so long. My Doctor wanted me off so she had me taper by 25% every 10 days. when I got down to 2.5 mg, I went to 1.25, then 0.625. The toughest for me was at 0.625 then when I stopped. For me that's when it got really rough. The absolute worst was when I hit the 4 week mark. That was the worst time for me. I have no reason why. Just happened. My doctor had me try Ambien and Valium to help with the insomnia/anxiety but they didn't work so I stopped them before I ended up getting hooked on those. Benzo withdrawals suck and sleeping pills aren't fun either. At week 9 I started getting better (except the insomnia and no energy). I had good days and bad days (mostly good). Then about week 10 my withdrawals stopped except the insomnia and low energy which was something I could easily live with. I saw my Doctor 4 weeks ago today. She put me on Trazodone for sleep and suggested I try pure CBD oil. The Trazodone hasn't helped a whole lot. I started the CBD last week and it's helped. In fact I've fallen right asleep and gotten 7 hours+ straight sleep the last 4 nights. I personally think it's the CBD since I've been slowly upping the dose until I found what works. I don't know if its the CBD, Trazodone for sure, or if I'm just getting better. I asked my Doctor today if I could start tapering the Trazodone and she suggested that I stay on both the Trazodone and CBD until the energy level increases. I'm very similar to Andy. The thing that helped/helps the most is exercise. I'm a swimmer. Hadn't swam for years but started again under my Doctor's advice. She said that the brain has to learn to adjust and work without the drug stimulation. She said the fastest way to help the process along was to do a aerobic exercise as often as possible to get the endorphins naturally released. I started swimming again Feb 2 and I was lucky and was able to build up my endurance to one mile (freestyle, no stops) after 6 days. I now swim around 1-1/2 miles nonstop 5 days per week. It really helps. When I was experiencing really bad withdrawals, after I swam, most of my symptoms were gone. However, in the evening, they'd return. At least I'd get 3-4 hours of relief. When I initially started Zyprexa, I gained about 50 lbs. I've always been a very active and athletic person. I started eating well and exercised (mostly walking). I lost all the weight until my dose was increased from 20mg to 30mg last year. Then my weight went back up by 25 lbs. Now I'm down to less than my original pre-Zyprexa weight by a few pounds, my Zyprexa side effects issues have pretty much resolved themselves, and I'm feeling much better. Zyprexa did help me but I kept building up a tolerance and had to keep going up in dose. Since I originally took the weight gain back off, I didn't really have any side effects other than not being all there mentally. It's only when I put on 25 lbs after the last dose increase is when the side effects really took hold. My theory is that if one can keep the weight off and not eat junk food like Zyprexa makes you want to do, you can keep the Cholesterol, Blood-Sugar, and high liver panels in check. I completely agree with Andy about staying off the internet once you start the taper unless you're seeking positive advice. I didn't know this website existed until last week. All I read were horror stories and failures and not success stories. Reading the bad stuff just gives one a negative feeling and I think makes things worse. I always thought I'm not giving up. Just doing the taper itself took a couple of months. For me it was too much of a waste of time to give up. While it sucked to be me withdrawing from Benzos years ago, it did teach me that with time, it would end. I kept that attitude and always thought forward that one day the Zyprexa withdrawals would stop which they did. Good luck to all and Andy's given everybody great advice and told it like it was for me.
  6. Link to kirby's success topic: my-story-1.2-years-and-getting-better For anyone interested in my story, I had a relatively short time with zyprexa, around two months, but I quit cold turkey without relapse for over a year and getting better. To begin with, my dose was 10 mg, with lithium for a week, increased to 15 mg at the last week. Every moment of taking these drugs I wished I could get off it, but under the supervision of doctors and threat of hospitalization I was forced to be fed this stuff. Right after the supervision stopped, I convinced my family to let me quit and quit cold turkey by telling them how I felt like I was in a spiral of darkness and emptiness and it would only get worse. At first, for the first week I had absolutely terrible symptoms. I could not sleep even though I was tired, I felt the need to talk and continue talking, and I had this overwhelming feeling of dullness and emptiness in my spirit, and I felt like my body was about to collapse. But my family was super supportive (not to brag but maybe someone that reads this might be more knowledgeable on what worked for one person, also one of my family members is a registered nurse): every morning they forced me to eat a breakfast of toast, eggs and milk, and then go out on a walk with the dog. Then, as often as they could they would take me out, to eat, go shopping, or just drive around to let me feel refreshed. They forced me to go to bed at 10:00 every night even if I couldn't sleep, and even accompanied me by setting up a towel and pillow on the floor. They smiled when they talked to me, ignored the weird stuff I said, and were patient when I spoke slowly. When I mentioned wild things and they were really hurt by it, they never suggested sending me back to the hospital. Sometimes they would get super frustrated, they were even experiencing their own traumas because of my illness, but they kept it between them and didn't say a word to me (they would go to another room and vent or whisper). Also, I didn't have to work or go to school because it was the summer and my family was fiscally supporting me (I am young). One important thing to mention was my personal determination: I felt the medicine was terrible for me and I was willing to go through any and all symptoms no matter how severe because I wanted nothing to do with the medicine anymore. The strict schedule and kind attention and daily exercise and lack of pressure and probably personal determination was the foundation of my good recovery, although time ultimately was the answer. After the first month I was able to express my thoughts better, but I was still dull everywhere. Also, I started to fear that I was changed forever. Most importantly, I started having massive crying spells. When words couldn't come out of my mouth I just started to feel really sad. Sometimes I would sit and cry for hours, with an unexplained mix of feeling of loneliness, neglect, and pain even though everyone was always kind and checking up on me. I believe this may have been associated with the reason why I had to take the medicine in the first place (I am pretty sure it was external social isolation because of my personality, situation, and previous social trauma). One time the neighbors called the police because they were concerned that someone was crying for hours on end all day (the police ended up leaving with nothing because I wasn't crying at the time they came and there was nothing wrong). This increased the tension, and I felt even worse. I started going into the closet to cry, but it didn't make the crying stop. My family started to get really upset because it made them feel terrible, but that made me feel worse. I was improving every day still, but it wasn't enough to stop the crying and nobody knew what to do. Then, I decided I needed to take action in my own hands and got myself a video game machine (2ds) - something I wanted but didn't want to spend money on for years because of the impact it might have on my studies and family, and the social memories it brought back. This stopped the crying, because I felt had something I could do whatever in and there were no consequences, and it probably made me rethink my negative memories in a more positive way. I still struggled with sleeping, always waking up at least once in the middle of the night, and never felt completely refreshed after sleep, but I was happy that I felt improvement. After that, school was beginning, so I was encouraged to go to school (two upper division courses). However, I felt overwhelmed by the material - I was struggling to retain any information and concentrate. I knew i probably couldn't last, but it made the people around me feel relieved, so I dragged it on for as long as I could. When the test scores came in, I thought about my life overall and realized that I didn't have the capacity to do studies at the moment and also the stress hindered my recovery so I dropped the course. My family was upset, but because they saw my effort they were understanding. During this time I happen to find a free class on essential oils at health food store, and attended it. Then, I bought some essential oils for myself (doterra brand oil) and a diffuser, and tried it. It worked wonders and I was able to sleep through the night without waking. When I was stressed out and felt sad, it completely calmed me like I was lifted into another world. I also tried regular meditation, but it was hard, so I stuck with oils, playing video games, and guided meditations that I listened to into sleep (using the free phone app "insight timer"). I also visited a chinese medicine doctor who was in town; he taught me 6 exercises to relieve stress: using fingers to hit the baihui point on top of the head, hitting the sides of the legs (danjing - galbladder meridian), pushing the taichong point on the feet, tensing the gluteus maximum muscle then releasing it (progressive muscle relaxation), standing on toes then dropping the body (shaking the top of the head), then just standing around and shaking yourself for 5 minutes. He said doing that every day for a year would make me recover completely. This made me feel a lot better, both physically removing numbness in my head and knowing there was something I could do to make recovery faster, but I still was worried that I wasn't well enough for school and thought I might stay that way - now I know better because I experienced healing that time brings. Around at the third month, I started to have a new problem: gastrointestinal upset. Everything I ate no matter what came out immediately from the other end. It was awful and when I went to the md they could find nothing. My family contacted the chinese doctor and he gave me some special herbal tea to drink (it cost a lot), which in fact did improve the condition. When the tea ran out I had occasional bouts of diarrhea again, but it was ok because it was only occasional and before I started the medicine I was already having some gastrointestinal problems. As a postscript, this year I tried wormwood tea and found out I had a little bit of parasitic worms, which removing really helped my intestinal health. I still had diarrhea though (probably weak gut bacteria after the medicine) until I started eating around a teaspoon of expeller pressed organic coconut oil daily (originally for oil pulling). The coconut oil also improved my thinking in the week I ate it, so it might have further implications, although I have stopped because I recently got a cold and my intuition tells me to give my body a break. Overall, although I might one day completely recover, I now understand health is a lifelong project, and always trying to find something to make it better is a good habit. Then two months later when the next semester of school came around, I decided to try to both get progress in my life (having a goal really makes recovery less tedious) and improve my physical health so I took a taichi class (upper division). I was terrible at it, still had terrible memorization, and ended up failing it. However, it made my family happy that I tried and I felt more confident about myself (I got through the semester without dropping). During this time I also met regularly with my primary physician - I wanted to maintain a good relationship with my doctors (assists in the trauma caused by the experience). At first they recommended I meet with a psychiatrist, but when I was adamant I wanted nothing to do with that field since it muddied up things too much, they were alright with it because I seemed to be improving. My doctor allowed me to visit a neurologist to address my concerns of involuntary twitching (happens all over the body when I am emotional, getting much better over time), and while the neurologist completely brushed off my concerns, it made me feel like I was making progress in understanding myself (at least I got to voice my concerns and feel less alone). Looking back, it also addressed the primary cause of my illness (social isolation). Mostly, I just followed my own gut on what to do next, and at this time my flexibility, optimistic view, attacking the original problem, and family support was the key. Around the ten month mark, I decided I might never be able to go to school again (still unconfident in my ability to learn), so I went to the local community college to talk about other options. In the college they recommended that I might get a job, which I never really had before. Therefore, I went and applied to my dream job (doesn't require school) which was being a carrier at the postal office. I was very lucky, because they were in a shortage of new hires so I got the job. This really boosted my confidence and self worth, and I tried my hardest at work. It was a full time job, 9 to 5, and really demanding, but I was living out a dream I always had and exercising all day, which probably really made me recover better. However, I lacked the physical strength, and some of my coworkers and managers encouraged me to do something else, while others were really kind and encouraging. For the first time in my life, I felt "workplace problems" and "pride in my own work" and "following a dream" and I also felt "being needed and belonging". These all related to my initial problem and were very therapeutic in living out and solving, which was probably the biggest turning point in my recovery. Before this point I was also reluctant to go to school (relevant to my initial illness), because it reminded me of my social problems and I didn't understand the urge. Now that I did, and understand the value of school and its relation to my personal life, I determinedly decided to go back to school, making my family happy, quitting my previous "dream job", and going for my degree. Doing this also improved my other family member's high blood pressure they had for over a decade. The past few months really showed this recovery: this semester in school, I was able to read over 20 chapters of textbook, take long essay exams and passed two upper division classes with A's. Still, I feel woozy at times, and can have grumpy tantrums, but I am understanding how to be patient with myself, trying to continuously improve, and ready to take on challenges in my life. I feel I have effectively resolved my initial problem to the point I can keep growing, and mostly recovered from medicines, and I also have a much better attitude in life. I am still recovering, however, but it has become just another part of my life. Yesterday I came across this form while searching for information on zyprexa (because I learned klonopin was a controlled substance from a cop cam show and wanted to do and wanted to see if zyprexa was one too), and related very well with other people's experiences, so I wanted to share mine. I writing so that my experience might inspire happiness and belief in oneself to others. The important thing to hang onto, in my opinion, is a belief to see things through with yourself whatever happens and keeping in touch with the people that are important to you.
  7. @pug i am so pleased to read your healing journey. Im just in the beginning of mine. Its been absolute hell for the past 5 months. I went through benzo withdrawls 9 years ago and ended up on zoloft took it a year and got off fine. 3 years later had a panic attack ended back up on zoloft low dose 25mg for 13 months and wanted off i was having tons of side effects. I tapered per my pysch in march which was way too fast and when I took my last piece ended up with SI, reinstated got worse ended up inpatient they upped the zoloft and added buspar got 100x worse went back they ct me from zoloft and buspar after 6 days and put me on zyprexa, took it 10days switched to lamictal for 13 days had life threatening rash went back to zyprexa for 10 days and tapered over 5 weeks. The depression is hell ive never ever had depression, the suicidal ideations are hell too. Today is 5 weeks off the zyprexa thank god i only took it short term and the zoloft at the lowesy dose for 13 months. My sleep has been horrible except for when i was on the zyprexa, but the past 3 days ive slept 5 hours straight and no night sweats!!! Im hoping thats improvement. I also dont have the internal Akathisia anymore thank goodness that was horrid. I do get windows and waves, my windows i dont feel great in but i feel like a little piece of me comes back? The waves seem to be not as absolutely horrible and the depression may be improving ever so slightly? I know I read where u said u had windows and waves the first year and then continued the whole second year? what did u experience the second year? This scares me 😕 as i thought windows and waves were healing? How are u doing now? How did u cope with the soul crushing depression? Suicide scares me so much but sometimes thats what my brain thinks is best? Make sense? Any encouragement or hope id appreciate it. Hope your doing well. Thank you.
  8. Wonderful. You gave me so much inspiration and our stories seem similar. Im almost 11 months off zoloft and almost 8 months off zyprexa i was on the zoloft for 1 year. And tapered too quick tried reinstating made me worse ended up in the pysch ward and put on zyprexa for 10days and slowly tapered. Its been a long very scary year. Im big into nutrition too. I was wondering what kind of diet/lifestyle do you reccomend i eat extremely well. Also just finished tapering the naturthroid the dr put me on 8 months ago and felt was making me worse :/. Obviously have adrenal issues. I still struggle with windows and waves but much improvement. Insaw you said you had suicidal ideations which was horrible those just let up. But the severe depression hopelessness has been horrible but thay has been better better but it comes and goes. Did you have this too? Any insight or advice much appreciated thank you. Glad your doing so well!@
  9. @Aeroman im so glad to see your doing well. I went through benzo withdrawl 9 years ago, I actually chalked it up to post partum this whole time until now as Im going through antidepressant withdrawl from zoloft right now. After my benzos 9 years ago i went on zoloft for 8 months and got off fine. 3 years later I had a panic attack and went back on low dose 25mg for 14 months and had so many adverse reactions, I had no idea antidepressants could cause withdrawl :(. In march of this year I tapered according to my pysch over 2 weeks I actually added a week. Immediately I got suicidal ideations and got scared, found the zoloft group on fb and reinstated at 12.5mg for 3 weeks that made me worse, I ended up having to go in patient they upped my zoloft to 50 and added buspar, that made me 100x worse I had internal Akathisia and homicidal thoughts and went back 6 days later, the ct me and put me on zyprexa for sleep. I was on 5mg for 10 days and my pysch switched me to lamictal for 2 weeks and I got the life threatening rash and had to go back on the zyprexa for 10 days and I tapered over 5 weeks. Im now 3.5months free of zolofr and 3 weeks free of zyprexa. Its been absolute hell. The worst now is the intrusive horrible thoughts the suicidal ideations and the soul crushing depression. Its so hard to make it through the day. I try to distract and thats hard too, but i do have some days where things arent as crushing. Did you have these symptoms too? It does get better yes? Ive done a bunch of testing too im on natural thyroid now as well and eating really well. No more meds either. I will heal right? Your such an inspiration. This depression is just very scary. Thank you!
  10. Congrats Andy for comming off Zyprexa! I ve been on Zyprexa and Kvetiapin via misdiagnosis (anxiety and lack of sleep) for 4 months now and will try to taper slowly. My plan from 3,75 mg is 3 weeks on 2,5 then 3 weeks 1,25 and then 3 weeks 0,625, do you think that is too fast? Hopefuly goes well because side effects are killing me, I ve been a cyclist all my life (41 y) now I dont have a mood or energy to even ride a bike, put alot of weight and cant concentrate at my job, let alone my sex life gone.... Also I would like to ask you how much were you sleeping while on Zyprexa? Because I hadrly sleep 4 h mostly less.... thanks
  11. I am still waiting to stabilize on Paxil and Zyprexa. How stable were you when you started your Zyprexa taper? Were you taking anything else at the time?
  12. I was lucky in that able to get 2.5 mg tabs. I went to 1.25 mg then halved those to 0.625 mg. Going below 2.5 mg was most difficult for me. I know some places have liquids and strips. Get to the level as low as possible before taking your last dose. I’m not an expert. I went off Zyprexa too fast. Going below 2.5 mg was tough for me Good luck
  13. Hi Andy , hope your doing well. I was on Zyprexa Wafers for 7-8yrs and I'd had enough and bout 6wks ago i went from 15mg Wafers then 2wks later dropped to 10mg then another 2wks to 5mg then 2wks more stopped completely. Im now just into my 4th wk of Withdrawals. Ive been having alot of aches an pains headaches an terrible insomnia. I do have some Dizzy spells aswell. Dispite all this my mind is very clear an has been since i went of Zyprexa. I think this is making me determined to see it thru. I'd like to ask you or anyone on this forum do or have you experienced any of my Withdrawal Symptoms? ? If so how much longer will i have to have these Symptoms? ? Thanking you Lloyd
  14. Hi Andy, happy to hear you fully recovered. Gives hope. I'm currently on 2.5mg and by a doctors guidance I'm going to lower it to 2mg next month and the down to 1.25 the following month and then stopping. I'm wandering how exactly you did it? Can you be clearer with what you did? There's only a minimum of 5mg zyprexa where i live. So I'm currently cutting that in half. The plan next month will be to cut the 5mg in half and chop some off the half so it's 2mg but it will be hard to know exactly how much I'm taking. I'm starting to get into a workout routine so I'll be fit to work out when insomnia hits. I'm nervous about the drops. But it has to be done. I just don't know what to expect. How long will the withdrawal symptoms last? If i have severe headaches can i take an advil pill to calm it? How will i deal with insomnia? How long will it last. If you can give more information would be amazing. Thanks!
  15. daybydaystepbystep

    andy: Finally off zyprexa

    Thank you for sharing your story Andy! I too successfully came off Zyprexa cold turkey. I wish there were more success stories on the Internet of Cold Turkey survivors. It took me about 3 months of being off zyprexa (10 mg) to see a lot of recovery. My sleep has recovered a lot too. the insomnia was the worst. peace, hope, love. Day by day.
  16. I am writing this as an addendum to My Story which details what ADs did to my life and discusses to a degree how I got my life back. However, I am writing this to elaborate on what certain problems where posed both physically and logistically after I stopped taking medications. Please keep in mind that I went COLD TURKEY and did not taper, which differentiates me from many people on here; also my story took place over 10 years ago, so my memory is not is 100% clear which means it is hard for me to apply a quantitative number to aspects of my physical recovery. In 2002 I quit cold turkey from a drug cocktail that included an Antidepressant (Celexa), an Antipsychotic (Zyprexa), an Anticonvulsant (Depakote), a Benzo (Ativan), a Z-Drug (Ambien) and a prescription diet pill (Phenteramine – given to me by my pdoc to lose the 60 pounds of weight I gained from the other weight gaining medications). The physical ramifications of quitting cold turkey where hard core, and lasted to the best of my recollection in hard core form for six months. These were: insomnia, exhaustion, akathesia, flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea and vomiting, total loss of appetite and over-sensitivity to certain substances. There were also mental symptoms: overwhelming memories, mania, depression, over-emotional reactions to certain situations (e.g. crying or extreme anger) and PTSD from the whole ordeal. It is important to note that many of these symptoms continued to linger in a much lesser form for several years. I know that many of you would like a firm number of how long I suffered, but I cannot put a number on it because I started my recovery in 2002 – 10 years ago. This is further complicated by the fact that to get through the exhaustion from WD, I smoked cigarettes anywhere from one to one and a half packs for many years after. Since smoking can mimic some of the symptoms of WD (loss of appetite, headaches, mania, anger) it is hard to delineate what was what. However, I do believe that smoking provided mental focus that I would not have had otherwise. I finally quit smoking in 2007, five years after stopping meds. It was an odd thing, I just stopped one day and no longer wanted to smoke anymore. Maybe this was a sign of my recovery, but it may also have been a reaction to the fact that because of NY laws and my husband, if I needed to smoke I had to go outside. Smoking outside in the rain or cold was getting stupid. I do believe that part of this was a sign of final recovery – I didn’t need to mask symptoms anymore. So if this is true, and I had to put a number on it – I would say I battled with minor symptoms and PTSD for five years So what problems was I left with after drugs had stolen my life? And how did I regain control? Here is a list: Weight Gain A ruined job history A ruined credit history from filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Over $20K in debt to the IRS plus two tax liens PTSD Estrangement from my family I was fully aware of the PTSD, and would think on occasion of reaching out to a therapist. However, because the whole ordeal left me extremely suspicious of the whole field of mental health, I declined to reach out to anyone. So based on this list, I will try to tackle how I recovered in each area: 1) Weight Gain: I lost my appetite during WD and I also became a huge walker. In one year I lost sixty pounds with little effort. I did eat, but I ate very small meals, 200 kcal 3-5 times a day, mostly high protein and I ate an apple a day and I drank a TON of herbal tea. 2) A ruined job history: I had been fired from three high paying jobs, all in IT. I had no references, a job gap of four years, but I had good computer and office skills so I reached out to temporary agencies. I worked as a temp for many years, in the NY/NJ area only taking jobs at Fortune 500 companies. I built up my resume this way. Today, I list those jobs as “contract” and I explain that I liked the flexibility of “contract work” and that I was in the process of getting married and building a home with my husband, no one questions it. 3) A ruined credit history: I got a copy of all three of my credit reports and joined a credit law forum. I found that there were many examples where creditors where breaking either or both the FCRA or FDCPA laws on my credit report. I also hired an attorney. The attorney got 50% of it cleared up, I got the other 50% cleared up myself by tenacious letter writing and disputing with the Credit Bureaus. The forum I used had a great database of creditors who gave people with Bankruptcy on their reports a card with a small credit line; I applied to all of these and rebuilt my credit this way. When I married my husband in 2005, he added me as an authorized user to his accounts, giving me a longer and stronger credit history. 4) Tax Debt and Liens: After hiding from the IRS for several years, I contacted them and got on an installment plan. Because I was not working at the time I called them, my payment amount was on $185 for $20K+ in debt. I paid it faithfully for years; in October 2011 I was paid in full. Because the IRS has a law that you cannot pay more than 25% in interest and penalties of the actual tax debt, a good $10K got knocked off the total bill. But I still had two tax liens on my credit report. I did some research and found out about a service called the Tax Advocate service which is run through the IRS. I contacted my local Tax Advocate. For the sake of brevity, I will not go into the details of how I argued my case to get two tax liens released, but I did and in 2005 poof they were gone from my life and my credit report. If anyone needs more info, I would be happy to answer questions later in this post. 5) PSTD: I just endured this, but chose to embrace anger over victimhood. I was one extremely angry person for many years and I ruminated and had nightmares for years. I often thought about writing the SHRINK who did this to me, but refrained. One thing that I learned from this whole ordeal was to trust in my instincts which was empowering and allowed me to pick and chose my relationships with people and situations that were good for me. I let go of many friends who were not healthy for me. 6) Estrangement from my family: In 2003 I was estranged from my entire family (father, mother and brother). Today I am by choice still estranged from by father and brother. This is because I realize it is futile to ever expect them to change and to stay in relationship with them will only hurt me. I have however, repaired my relationship with my mother. I am extremely happy to share that six months ago I convinced her to move from Illinois to New York and reclaim her life. She tapered off multiple pmeds herself around 2007 and was left with two medical conditions diabetes and downbeat nystagmus from taking lithium and depakote for many years. She lived alone, my brother who lived close by was not helping her, and she was not getting the proper medical attention so she agreed with me. Today she lives 2 miles away from me, we are extremely close and I have helped her get her life back. My husband and she adore each other. So that is how I put the pieces of my life back after being devastated by polypharmacy. And I joined this forum because I think it is important that people know that taking these medications can be extremely harmful on so many levels. I hope this information helps someone out there. Please feel free to post any questions you may have. I wish all of you the best and trust that if I could restore my life which was utterly devastated by psychiatry, you can too.
  17. hi dkslueth when I was younger (mid to late 20s) I was on several APs, the older ones, stelazine and haldol (haldol for about a year..? then back on for some months here and there, and then given other APs, trilafon, respiradol (sp?) and I forget what else) I recovered from that round of APs sometime between 2002 and now**, I was on huge doses of seroquel for a long time, 400 was the min dose, I think it went up to 600 or more. I was also on zyprexa but I got so heavy on that and was so sleepy I had to discontinue it- I think that was actually in 1996, when I was 40. anyway, I did have some pretty severe physical symptoms going off the seroquel, esp a painful neuropathy in my hands and mostly in my feet. I was also on ADs so I don't know if those masked any emotional or psychological symptoms of WD, sorry I can't help you there but the main point of my post is that yes, I am someone who was on a lot of APs and have recovered from it. My feeling is that my recovery from the APs was actually quicker than the recovery from those horrible SSRI's but I could just not have a good sense of the timeline and I def have a poor memory (partly due to not wanting to remember, to be perfectly honest) I hope this gives you some hope. I think you will probably be ok. **sadly my rRx drug load was very high and varied during this time, so I can't tell you the precise dates, sorry!
  18. my regular thread was locked, it's no problem posting here!! It's helpful to others to see these conversations, I'm sure sorry you're going thru such a rough time. akathisia, that's the worst I've never heard of kavinace, will have to google that I hope things settle down quickly for you try hard to keep things as simple and as steady as you can. You've been thru a lot of meds so your system is probably very sensitized and things that once had one effect, now may have the opposite, sadly that is what I found out when I tried something that had always worked for me in the past (zyprexa) it was ok the first dose or two but then it went paradoxical on me. I recovered quickly from that experiment fortunately.
  19. Hey guys , i took zyprexa , flupentixol and imipramine few years ago and am not healed yet
  20. Madeline - you read other stories of others who slow tapered off zyprexa? How are they now? Are you back to normal after the zyprexa? I can't remember. How long were you on it?
  21. Andy thanks for sharing. Your story gave me strength and hope. rupa: I read a couple of other stories of slow tapered who also off zyprexa. Rupa: I also Tapered off zyprexa though was on it a very short time-- see my signature. I cut the 2.5 pills into quarters using a razor blade. I'm still on Zoloft unfortunately and tapering that....
  22. Hia aria, great story very inspirational to all of us. I like to ask you a question regarding some of the symptoms that we experience during withdrawal and how they might progress. I spent over the last year and a half polydrugged with zyprexa, lexapro, xanax, and zoloft. It's been now almost 6 months that I tapered/ cted everything. I had akathisia right after zyprexa Ct. it is gone now but I still experience some sense of inner tension and extreme anxiety from time to time. I like to ask you how did post drugs anxiety progress for you. also, starting from month 5 drugs free I started having uncontrolled lip movements especially when I'm upset with something. Are those Tardive dyskinesia symptoms? When did your symptoms start and how did they progress ? I would describe mine as mild but very scary as I'm afraid they become more severe. Thank you in advance god bless you
  23. Hey aero, i have really bad brain fog and cognitive issues they wont go away now im 4 months clean. Anhedonia as well. But unlike you i took zyprexa. Could it be irreversible brain damage done by this drug ? Zyprexa is more dangerous than ssris. Did you have those symtoms ? ty
  24. Hey andy, how long have you been off zyprexa ? Are you completely drug free now ? ive been off it 9 months now but i feel really bad brain fog, short term memory loss and anhedonia. I took lexapro and xanax for a while when i quit zyprexa but im drug free now for over 4 months and i have those horrible symptoms. Do your have them too? Will they ever go away ??
  25. Hello, I hear you tapered off zyprexa succeessfully; I took took it last year for about 3 months and I used other drugs as well for a period over a year. Today i'm almost 4 months drug free but I still feel brain fog and restlessness as well as memory problems and cognitive issues as well. How long have you been off the drug? Are you completely med free right now? Are you left with cognitive issues? please share any experience you have about this drug because i'm really afraid zyprexa has done irreversible damage to me Thanks in advance
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