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  1. Once upon a time , in a land far, far away lived a little girl called Fresh. She lived with her mummy and daddy and big sister and their dog. She was bright , sensitive , creative , a gymnast. Her parents were well meaning (if not a little dysfunctional) and Fresh had a stable life and opportunities to try many different things. Her teen years were challenging , but Fresh finished high school and went on to complete a university degree. At the end of university , Fresh felt lost. She had broken up with her long-term boyfriend , had no permanent employment or income , was applying for jobs and living in a friend's spare room. Her doctor suggested she had a depressive illness and should try an antidepressant. This was a terrific solution! Fresh felt a lot better very quickly , and continued her career path and her journey as a young woman. Fast forward twenty-five years , and Fresh was a mess (see my sig.) (yes , I am Fresh ). In September 2012 , I decided to start tapering from 120mg of Cymbalta. I intended to go from 120mg to 90mg , i.e. one 60mg tab. and one 30mg tab. After a week or so at 90mg , I accidentally forgot to put the 60mg tabs out for a few weeks , and realized later I had been taking only 30mg. I wasn't in a good space at all. But I figured I had been through the worst of it , so I'd just stay on 30mg. Bad idea. I started seeing Dr. Lucire in March 2014. I followed her advice and continued tapering at 2mg per week over 12 weeks. My last dose of Cymbalta was July 21 , 2014. This first video was taken six months after my last dose , the first time the akathisia hit me like a mack truck. http://youtu.be/0_1e0BIQVyc The second video was taken around seven weeks after the first. I like to call it "Akathisia 101". http://youtu.be/4H-oYvsjA1A I stuck it out until May at home. I had been housebound and terrified for months , and believed I could never get better from this , this is how I would be for the rest of my life. These days I'm happy to say I survived that experience , and am doing pretty well.
  2. this may be long but its a complete overview of how psych drugs have destroyed my life(hopefully temporarily) I was put on zoloft at 14 for depression and severe OCD. the effects were actually extremely therapeutic and healing. I havent had any compulsions since( 6 years ago). so I do not regret going on it looking back, but i had no idea i was going destined to go down the rabbit hole of psychotropic meds. zoloft made me develop a duodenal ulcer and berets esophagus which made me feel nauseas all the time, thankfully nexium seemed to fix it and I haven't had gastrointestinal problems since. fast forward 3 years after i moved away to start my first year of college. amongst the workloads and new experiences i accidentally cold turkeyed my meds and decided to stay off. I slowly started to experience depression which seemed managable until i began to feel the anxiety creep back in. it got to the point where i was freaked out enough that my OCD would return that went to my psychiatrist, he thought the logical thing to do was to be put back on the zoloft but i was not keen on that idea because of my fear of furthering my gastro problems in starting the medication back up. I was also tired of feeling exhausted all the time, so he suggested an SSNRI and put me on wellbutrin. i only managed a couple weeks on it i believe as it aggrivated my anxiety, so he took me off and put me on effexor. the effexor worked pretty well for me as i increased my doses. i believe i was on 225 mg. after my freshman year i moved back home because i had made changes to my degree path that the university i was attending couldn't fulfill. I again began taking my meds sporadically and feeling the effects of it, some brain zaps, slight change in though process, anxiety and pretty bad depression. i eventually cold turkeyed the effexor(idiotic) and felt the depression worsen by the weeks. thankfully i was at home where i could be as upset and weird as i needed to be thanks to the worlds most understanding mother( dealt with two of her siblings' bipolar disorder). as i waited for my appointment with a new psychiatrist in my home town, things got to the point where i was ready to take any medication in order to feel better, so i went into my sessions with my new psychiatrist with a completely open yet naive perspective about meds, considering it was the effexor that that screwed me up. he immediately pointed out the other doctors mistake in changing drug classes too quickly. so he decided i should stick with the ssri's. I was hesitant because i thought i was so messed up i was beyond that. boy was i wrong. he put me on lexapro and said it was one of the more heavy duty ssri's. i began taking the medication and felt a slow leveling of my mood as i worked up to 20mg( 3 years ago). however, i was not satisfied with my progress after about a month, so he decided that adding abilify would help things. after taking one abilify pill i would never underestimate the power of psych meds again. I took the abilify at night and went to bed but the abilify would not let me sleep a wink. everytime i would doze off i would jerk awake as if i had a nightmare. there was also a slight feeling of restlessness and anxiety. it was torture but thankfully only lasted that night as i never took a second pill. at this point i figured that the lexapro was enough and it was for about 2 years as my well being kept increasing and i felt completely in control of my emotions. at the time i had bad cystic acne and wanted to go on accutane as a last resort. my psychiatrist approved despite my worries of the potential psychological effects, he thought the lexapro was a good enough safety net. so i went on a 7 month cycle of accutane and developed no psychological issues. however i did feel a dulling to my mental processing nothing too extreme but something i was aware of. I thought it was without a doubt the accutane because at the time i was sold on the effectiveness and benefits of psych meds. 4 months after stopping the accutane i decided to taper down to 10mg, and i did as my doctor instructed, but as we all know now, standard medical protocol for tapering off meds is pretty inaccurate. i started noticing diffuse pain in my body. i thought i was just working out too hard, as i exercised and lifted weights 6 days a week. but the pain progressed to a point where my workouts had to be compromised and my muscle movement became slightly rigid and my connective tissue was snapping and popping, so i eventually went to the doctor. i was referred to a rheumatologist who did a full work up and found no signs of inflammation. which was both relieving but also unsettling because the nonspecific diagnosis of fibromyalgia was not good enough for me. I was also told that i may or may not be developing an autoimmune disease which scared the **** out of me( ha if only i knew how much worse things were going to get). the popping and snapping made me believe i was developing rheumatoid arthritis. the fear drove me to an alternative and proactive approach to healing. I began eating vegan, then paleo/anti inflammatory. the diet was difficult and made me lose a lot of muscle mass. but i kept on it until i was invited to a friends 21st birthday party in vegas. during that weekend i threw away all dietary restrictions all at once and payed for it. the very first night of heavy drinking exacerbated all of my symptoms and added a neurological flavor to it; i began to experience weakness and tremors.this occured eveyrtime i drank in the future. i didnt want to miss out so i powered through it. I managed to come back and continue my diet temporarily before i moved for school again. fall of 2014, I moved to SF for school and was so excited about the possibilities awaiting me in the city. i was still on 10 mg of lexapro at the time and felt mentally sound accept for a and clear increase in brain fog which i thought was related to whatever mysterious illness was brewing in me. still, i never thought to attribute it to the lexapro because in my mind, there was no way an antidepressant could manifest such physical symptoms but I weaned off the 10 down to 5 over a couple weeks to be sure. my time in SF only lasted 2 months as the symptoms progressed and I fell more ill. I began experiencing reccuring fevers of 104 and missed a lot of class. the health center doctors there swore is was just a bad virus. but i wasnt getting better and I began to notice twitches in my muscles at rest. I missed so much class, i had to come back home and get my health back in line. the possibilities were extremely distressing. i was reffered to an infectious disease specialist who believed i might have contracted HIV or Lyme disease. after some blood tests, he ruled out HIV but wanted to be absolutely sure it wasnt lyme or some other infection he might have missed. he decided a spinal tap would be the best way to confirm. it made complete sense that i would have lyme disease since my symptoms matched the criteria completely however the results were negative. the spinal tap procedure was pretty much painless, but the spinal headache and back pain drove me to pop Vicodin like dr. house. it would only subside when i was completely flat. this lasted a little over a week. the hole in my spine was leaking so much that i temporarily lost my hearing while visiting my brother in chico. i woke up and my right ear was not picking up anything and the headache had worsened. I informed my mother and we drove to the ER. after waiting 5 hours in the waiting room a nurse took us back to a hallway gurney. I'll never forget this nurses name because of what she put me through. my options were an emergency blood patch, or fluids and pain medication. I went with the latter because i was done with needles going into my back. the nurse hooked me up to an iv and told me the drug cocktail she was going to give me was a non narcotic combination of muscle relaxers, anti inflammatories, and antiemetics. after all the vicodin i was done with narcotics so I agreed to the cocktails administration. even now as i write this I get an overwhelming feeling of regret. the cocktail contained, benadryl, toradol, and compazine. little did i know that compazine was first generation antipsychotic. I immediately felt the effects. horrid akathisia radiating from my chest, agitation, terror, anxiety, increased twitching, and instantly put into a state of depersonalization where i became unable to think with any clarity. I felt as though i needed to run up and down the hospital hallways but i was too terrified to even speak to my mother and the benadryl was making my body weak and drowsy. the attending came back and asked how i was feeling, I wanted to get the hell out of there so i told them better. after i was discharged we drove back to my brother's place where i unsuccessfully tried to sleep off the meds. I woke the next day still feeling high as i called it at the time. after we came back home I had a panic attack over not being able to unwind to sleep. I just couldn't relax and sit still. so i took more benadryl which did nothing and i researched other people's experiences with compazine. this was both a mistake and a tool as i found out about my experiencing akathisia and depersonalization. i kept waiting for the drugs to wear off but weeks went by and there was not change. I went back to my psychiatrist and he said that the compazine would eventually work its way out of my system. its been 2 months since the IV compazine and 3 months since i weaned off the lexapro and things have only gotten worse. i still felt mentally sound after i came of the lexapro despite the physical symptoms everything changed when i was given the compazine. everyday now is a struggle. I cannot be a functioning member of society in this state, my sleep has now become affected, it feels like im in an initial state of sleep and staring at my eyelids. im constantly uncomfortable and few things are helping me cope. this experience has taught me about the true harm of psychotropics. I wouldve never thought the lexapro was actually causing my lyme disease symptoms. my question is, has anyone experienced a recovery from compazine and or lexapro or acute drug induced akathisia and depersonalization??? since drugs got me here in the first place i plan to ride things out as long as i can on my own, are there any supplements worth taking to help ease or heal me? this really is what hell on earth feels like. if you read all of my story, thanks for your interest.
  3. Anybody had any experience with this controversial therapy, good or bad?
  4. Thanks so much for this forum and all of the information here! I've been on psych meds for almost 20 years. Eventually, I'll add my history in bits. Even the last 2 years of my experience is a lot to cover. I started a multi-med taper about a year and a half ago. Seroquel, Trazodone, Perphenazine, Cogentin and Trazodone. Today, I wanted to start with a hard lesson in humility and respect for these drugs that are carelessly marketed to the unhappy and anxious between episodes of Law and Order as the answer to all of our problems. Don't get me started on my Conspiracy Theory about that combination of advertising. After quick initial drops (I'll talk about in later posts), I've been pretty good about doing a slow taper, rushing it a bit as tolerated every three to six weeks, but one med at a time. I've had some withdrawal symptoms along the way, but would quickly bump back up and they'd resolve. I've tapered down to 6mg of Trazadone from 200mg. I wishfully thought I could simply drop the 6mg without a further taper. I was hoping I could be one of those folks. It's such a little amount, right? Everything I've read here has told me No, but nothing speaks better than learning the hard way. I tried to drop the last 6mg last night. Within 6 hours of missing my dose, I woke up in a sweat, full body akathisia, racing heart and a horrible feeling of panic I've all felt before when I've completely forgotten a 200mg dose. So I got up and took the dose which mostly resolved it, but I do have residual issues I know will take a few days to shake off. I am definitely one of those who will have more trouble tapering the last tiny little bit than I did at higher doses. It's shocking to me how powerful the reaction is at such a seemingly small dose. It horrifies me that I'm more aware of this even being a possibility than my psychiatrist is. I've often concerned myself with why this is, why the last tiny bit is a harder road than, in my case, the first large jumps. But the more I find out, the more I realize how simplified our understanding of how these drugs affect us is. This is how I see the journey of my med taper:
  5. Quazzi

    Quazzi Intro

    Hello, It's very difficult to concentrate right now, but I thought I would try to post an intro anyway. I'm not a man of many words, so this is going to be somewhat brief. I really don't have great memory capacity at this time, and can't tell you a detailed history of myself, but I was on Effexor XR from some time in 1993 when it first came to market, until 2013, when I switched to Prozac to try to get off of it completely. A few times over the years I had tried to wean off of Effexor, but after a few months of not getting any better I always ended up going back on it. I actually never felt as bad off of the Effexor as I do now after switching to Prozac and tapering to zero. I only recently (in February) went completely off of Prozac with a very slow taper down to as little as 1mg per day. That was a few months ago, and now I completely regret that I went off. I tried to reinstate Prozac a month or so later with 10mg, which felt good the day that I took it, but then I had a bad reaction in the middle of the night and have been worse since. I tried to take a little bit less (5mg) for two days, but I couldn’t stand it and stopped. I had noticed that my sleep was getting worse even while I was still on the low dose of Prozac, but now my sleep is so bad that I can hardly function, and I have constant impaired concentration and memory issues. I also now have a type of akathisia every day and night that makes me not able to stay laying in my bed and makes it difficult to sit at work or in social situations. I am in constant agony and feel like I’m 100 years old. My nervous system is so dysfunctional and hyper-sensitized that I can hardly take any supplement or drug without having some kind of paradoxical effect. I can’t believe that I did this to myself when I was doing well just a few months back. I had all my energy then and was still sleeping well. I had the energy to pack a moving truck mostly by myself and move 2000 miles. I can hardly imagine doing that now. I recently gave in to friends telling me to go to a psychiatrist, who I tried to explain everything to. He did the usual mis-diagnosis of telling me that withdrawal doesn’t last that long, etc. and that there’s a possibility that I am bi-polar. I cringed at the drugs he suggested to me, so he finally ended up just giving me a prescription for Propranolol to supposedly help with the akathisia so I could sleep. I have not taken any of it yet and really don’t want to, although I am considering trying it. I can’t believe that’s the best he could do is give me a prescription for a drug that messes with my heart! Like messing my brain up isn’t enough, now we’re going to screw around with my heart. I am afraid that it is going to probably mess me up even more than I already am.
  6. I came across this. It is wonderful. http://psychrights.org/articles/newdrugsnewproblems.htm
  7. Hello all, I found this forum and am very glad. I want to share my experience and welcome any advice and support because it is what I do not have much. Two months ago I had a kidney infection, alergic reaction to ATB and I simply could not sleep anymore. Besides, I would like to point out that I do not have any history of depression, anxieties, simply nothing of the kind. I contacted a help center and they told me I was having panic attacks maybe started by the illness and the lack of sleep. Ok, I was put on Trazodone as a sleeping pill. I did not know it was an antidepressant, I did not know at the time what an antidepressant was. When I was put on 100 mg I started to experience extremely strange things, I started to fear I will cutt myself or I will jump from the window. I was scared to death, I immediately contacted the doc (at that time I had not my psychiatrist, it was still the help center), he just told me it is the elevated anxiety in my head. I told the psychologist at least 5 times, the same reply. I had the strange feeling that something is going on inside my head and that it is not my feelings. But as they kept saying it, I gradually started to believe the docs. After 2 weeks on 200 mg, everything worsened and worsened, I had stragest thoughts about death, my death, it was so horrible. It was like the rests of my outgoing personality fight with the drug, really. I told a new psychologist, she was really scared, called the doctor, he told me to get off Trazodone (but privately told the psychologist it cannot be Trazodone). He told me to go from 200 mg immediately to 100. Which I did four days ago and I feel the most horrible sensations in my life. I asked him whether there could be problems, he said nope, it is safe. During the weekend, I googled and find so many useful info, Dr. Glenmullen´s, for instance...so many terrible stories about SSRI, about what I feel. I now know the problem is the drug not me! But I am still scared to death because I feel so vulnerable with all these thougts. I do not know how long it will take them to vanish...I would use any of my money left to be able to enter some private psychiatry ward for monitoring since I do not feel safe, but there are non in my country and all psychiatrists seem to disregard the side effects, I read blogs from our most prominent psychiatrist that all this is rubbish. So here I am, desperat mum of three young children whom I love so much which aggravates my fear.
  8. ADMIN NOTE Also see Weighted blankets & Bed Tents for restlessness, akathisia, insomnia and anxiety Blog: My Akathisia Experience by akathisiainfo contains many reports of drug-induced akathisia and recovery from it Akathisia survivors? There's an interesting discussion of akathisia buried in this May 25, 2011 post by psychiatrist Steve Balt http://carlatpsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/05/horizant-second-coming-of-gabapentin.html ".... However, the symptoms of RLS (restless leg syndrome) are rather nonspecific: "an urge to move the limbs, which improves with activity and worsens with rest." That's about it. Which leads to yet another problem (a problem that GSK and Xenoport don't see as a problem, that's for sure): with such vague and common symptoms (who among us hasn't felt somewhat restless at times, with interrupted sleep?), a lot of people might get diagnosed with RLS when their symptoms are actually due to something else. A while back, a fellow blogger directed me to the RLS "patient page" on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) web site, where RLS was—and still is—referred to as "akathisia." However, these may be two entirely different things. Akathisia (from the Greek for "not sitting still") has long been recognized as a side effect of some—perhaps most—psychiatric medications, from antipsychotics to antidepressants. It is often described as an "inner restlessness," a "need to keep moving." Sometimes it's associated with extreme emotional distress. In terms of severity, it can range from a mild nuisance to—in some cases—aggressive tendencies. (Indeed, the psychiatrist David Healy has even linked psychotropic-induced akathisia to suicide attempts and violent behavior.) Psychiatrists really don't know exactly what causes akathisia, and disagree on how to treat it. It may have something to do with dopamine blockade, or something completely independent. Treatment might consist of benzodiazepines (like Ativan or Valium), beta blockers (like propranolol), or discontinuing the drug that caused it in the first place. Unlike RLS, which seems to bother people most when they are lying down (hence its tendency to disrupt sleep), drug-induced akathisia is worse when people are awake and moving around. Sounds like a simple distinction. But nothing is quite this simple, particularly when psychiatric drugs—and real people—are involved. In fact, many psychiatric meds can cause other motor side effects, too, involving (theoretically) yet other neural pathways, such as "parkinsonian" side effects like rigidity and tremor. In fact, some antipsychotic drug trials show "restlessness" and "akathisia" as entirely separate side effects (and when I've tried to ask experts to explain the difference, I have never received a straightforward answer.) ...."
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