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  1. Hello, I am 24 years old, and am currently going through what I think are Lamictal withdrawals. My story is rather long and complicated, so I will try to sum it up as best I can. If anyone wants me to explain anything further, I can do that as well. I was diagnosed Bipolar II in 2010 at 18 yeara old, and was prescribed Lexapro, Seroquel, Vyvanse, and Klonopin. I immediately felt like a zombie, and stopped taking everything but the Lexapro. Fast forward to May of 2016, I am only on 5mg of Lexapro now and feeling rather depressed. My new psychiatrist wants to try a mood stabilizer (I have always fought against doctors wanting to add new drugs to my cocktail). Unfortunately, my parents convinced me that a new pill would be the answer, and I started up on 25mg of Lamictal. For two weeks I took that and felt alright, a slight improvement I guess. Two weeks later I bumped up to 50mg and started noticing a decent improvement, but also some pretty noticeable side effects. Two weeks later, I upped the dose to 100mg, and the next day felt absolutely horrible. I got terrible flu like symptoms, rash on my hands and feet, swollen glands, spread throat, stomach pains, etc. I went to the hospital and they said it was just a virus. I continued to take 100mg of Lamictal. Two days later, the rash had now spread to my whole body and was extremely itchy. I went back to the ER, and again they said it was just a virus and had nothing to do with Lamictal. I took it upon myself to stop taking 100mg that day (June 5, 2016). The rash went away almost immediately, but the withdrawal symptoms were unbelievably overwhelming so I reinstated 50mg three days later when I couldn't take it anymore. I stabilized for two weeks on 50mg, until I got yet another itchy rash, this titem accompanied with a very dizzy headache and a lot of cognition problems. I stopped cold turkey again, and made it three days before needing to reinstate 25mg as the withdrawal was too much to handle. I then stayed on 25mg for a week (still feeling absolutely horrible the whole time). I experienced insomnia (jerked myself awake every time I was about to fall asleep), rapid heart beat, extreme anxiety, worse depression then I've ever had before, zero appetite (lost 13 pounds and am already underweight), dizziness, terrible brain fog, confusion, memory loss, dp/dr, shakiness under the skin, back and neck pain, extreme fatigue, bouts of crying, extreme anger, and much more. After trying to stabilize at 25mg for that week, both my pDoc and GP told me just to stop the 25mg as it wasn't making anything better and I was past the worst of it. They also prescribed me 2 weeks of Klonopin as I basically hadn't slept the past week. I took my last pill of Lamictal on July 1, 2016. It's now been two weeks since taking my last pill, and I'm not sure if I feel any better. One moment I feel alright and think I can push through, the next minute I feel like it's going to last forever and I should reinstate a small dose and try to stabilize there first. Then I think I've already made it through 14 days with no pills, and my symptoms are not nearly as bad as they were when I was taking 25mg of Lamictal at the end of the taper. The first week after stopping Lamictal I felt rather depressed, but somehow still hopeful that things would get better. I still had a very rapid heart rate, trouble sleeping, dizziness, and feeling generally uneasy, but it wasn't too bad at all. This second week has been somehow harder though, and I feel like I don't know what to do. I am now pretty dizzy all the time, my loss of appetite is back, and I usually feel pretty depressed and hopeless about the future. I also have almost no interest in anything that used to bring me happiness. It's getting somewhat overwhelming and I don't know what to do anymore. Should I just keep fighting? Both my mother and my pDoc think that I should keep pushing through and eventually things will get better. I want to believe that but I feel like my hope is fleeting me each day that I wake up and feel the same. I also am very addicted/dependant on Marijuana, and use it to sleep, eat, stop anxiety, feel better, etc. However, after this whole issue whenever I smoke it makes everything a million times worse. Unfortunately, when I don't smoke, all I can think about is smoking pot and that it will make me feel better. So I then proceed to smoke, feel worse, and then painfully sober up until I go through the whole process again. I want to stop smoking altogether, and have tried hundreds of times, but have never made it more than a few days before I feel like I'm losing my mind. I was taking .25mg of Klonopin 2x/day these past two weeks, but have decided to stop that now as I don't want to become dependant on it. I have also been meditating, eating healthy (when I do eat), trying to stay positive, trying to exercise and stay busy, got myself on a sleep schedule, and want to start taking some supplements. None of these things I was doing before all of this. I also scheduled an appointment with a talk therapist (as I feel I have some deep rooted issues causing my anxiety/depression) and with a Neurofeedback Center (in hopes of lessening my anxiety/depression, reducing pot addiction, and resetting my brain to its natural state). If anyone could offer any insight or advice or experience with anything I've been going through I would be extremely grateful. Right now I have so many concerns I don't even know where to start. Should I continue pushing through the Lamictal withdrawals in hopes the symptoms will reside soon? Should I reinstate any amount of Lamictal to stop the withdrawals symptoms? But couldn't that cause worse symptoms like it did when I was on Lamictal in the first place? Should I keep taking the Klonopin to help with anxiety/sleep or should I stop? Should I just cold turkey stop or try and taper down the Klonopin? Is it possible to already be dependant on Klonopin after only two weeks? I feel as though I may be dependant on it to sleep. Sorry for the long post, I'm not sure if that's alright, but I've been holding this in for a while and am not really sure where else to turn.
  2. lucky12

    lucky12 Brain zaps

    I now have this close to a month and it's driving me crazy. I'm on Paxil 20mg Anafranil 150mg Lamictal 200mg Seroquel 75mg at night. Have not started to taper off of from any medication which is the most disturbing part of this situation. I started to have these incredibly uncomfortable brainzaps. It starts after a few hours from waking up and gets worse the whole day. When I move my eyes and change the direction I am looking, it gets triggered to the peak of this "volt" "electrical shock" and I can not even function at one point. I am afraid to move my eyes and to look somewhere else. I am afraid of any kind of movements. Nothing but sleep seems to help. I am missing my life, got a lot of work to do this week but I simply can't participate in life with this incredibly disturbing feeling. I've waited and waited for almost a month for it to pass on it's own. And my research always ends up with the same thing: "ssri withdrawal" or "tapering off drugs". See the point here is I am NOT withdrawing from anything. Not even tapering off. I am desperate for some help. Went to the neurology department of a hospital but I was feeling well during the EEG MRI and other tests. Everything turned out to be fine. I also sweat A LOT to the point that I get completely wet as a result of a minimum effort movement like climbing the stairs to the 2nd floor. And this is totally new for me too. Any kind of answer, help, suggestion would be very much appreciated. Best regards.
  3. NearlyMedlessKate


    Hi, I'm Kate. Hope I'm welcome here. I have successfully withdrawn from antidepressants and recently from an antipsychotic but am in Lamictal hell. I have a long history with the mental health system since the age of 5 - court ordered due to sexual trauma. I'm 37 and have had 25 years of therapy. I went to weekly therapy for 7 years from age 5 to age 12 when I refused to keep going and was sent to a group home. I think therapy did MUCH MUCH MUCH more harm than good to me as a child. I went back to therapy in 2002 and was in therapy continuously until October of 2015. I found I was dreading going and would become anxious the day before because I did not want to go talk about my problems without any therapist ever giving me any kind of insight or advice and so I quit. It was far more upsetting than helpful. I am so much happier since I stopped focusing on my problems and am doing other things to care for myself like diet (organic vegan for 4.5 years), exercise (for about the last 8 months I've been walking, practicing yoga, and swimming) and supplements (zinc, B-complex, and high dose DHA/EPA). Dx have included - Post-partum Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, DDNOS, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, C-PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder. The PTSD and mild BPD are the only two that sort of make any sense. I do not and never have had DID despite doctors and therapists trying to bring out my "alters" for years. I believe the mania Dx as Bipolar is solely due to antidepressant use. I have been officially disabled since 2002 but I believe this is due to the meds rather than severe illness. Instead of being offered help with my abusive situation, I was heavily medicated when I went to my PCP (who is actually an OB-Gyn) complaining of depression and extreme spousal abuse (actual pummeling and threats with guns). I also believe I was funneled onto the disability system by my psychologist who told me I would definitely be approved because his brother was an ALJ and he'd make sure it was approved. I was approved the first time in 7 months. I didn't realize until recently when starting to put the pieces together that my life fell apart after I was medicated wth Effexor and had a severe mania with psychosis which led to two major suicide attempts in two months. This was before the black box warning for young people. I was only 23. I have made four major suicide attempts while on antidepressants. This led to a complete breakdown after which my young daughter was taken from me. My current diagnosis is Bipolar 1 which I do not believe I have since I have only ever been manic when taking an antidepressant. I have been off antidepressants completely since August '15 and have not experienced either a mania or depression since that time. I don't think I would qualify for any Dx at this point were I to be honest with my doctor about my symptom reduction since going off meds. When I stopped going to therapy and refused my psychiatrist's admonitions to continue, her response was "You don't listen to anyone!" which I heard in Cartman's voice from Southpark "Respect my authoritay!" After that I declined to tell her I've been tapering from my meds. It is not her decision and I no longer care about being a good compliant patient. My husband goes in with me to every appointment since I was experiencing memory loss due to the Latuda, so he has witnessed my psychiatrist basically dismissing my desires and telling me what my treatment will be. It was his idea for me to try going off meds to see what happened. We now have a script we use with the psychiatrist when we go in and know exactly what we will tell her to make her think I am still on meds and compliant. I will tell her after I am off the Lamictal and sure I am going to be able to stay off. At this point, that is looking like some time next year. I am trying not to rush getting off Lamictal but I want the rest of my life back. I feel like the last 15 years have been stolen from me. I want to go back to work and do something with my life. I used to hold onto my identity as mentally ill because it made my fucked up life seem like it was not my fault. Now I know it was neither my fault that the trauma happened, nor my fault how I reacted to it, nor my fault for treatment providers putting me on drugs that drastically changed my behaviour, nor my fault in any kind of genetic or biological way. I can recognize where I've made truly awful decisions when I was younger but I have matured and my life does not even resemble anything like what it was then. I have incredible support in doing this from my husband, my mother, and my best friend who all wholeheartedly agree with my assessment that this is medication induced. I went for ten years without treatment entirely as a teen and young adult until I cracked under abuse and then was treated as if I was the one with the problem. No one ever addressed my husband's abuse. I have recently been emboldened in my decision to quit psychiatry by websites like Mad in America and Beyond Meds. Let's do this! (Sorry if this was too much information...) Here is my med history: Meds as a child: Elavil - 1991 - took for two months, quit cold turkey, no withdrawal Lithium 1992 - took for 28 days, gained 49 pounds, withdrew cold turkey, no negative effects Prozac 1992 - made me extremely aggressive, taken off after a few days Thorazine 1992 - injection used nearly daily during ~8 month hospitalization for behaviour control (basically way too smart for my own good and got into trouble out of boredom) There must have been more drugs as I remember taking a boatload of them, but I was too drugged to remember, or may not have been told what I was being given. To my parents credit, they never kept me on the drugs once I was released. I was drug and therapy free for ten years. Meds as an adult: Paxil - '00 - six weeks for PPD, didn't work Wellbutrin '01 - three weeks to try to quit smoking, withdrew due to agitation, no withdrawal Amitryptaline - late '01-'02, low dose no effect Trazodone '2002 - no effect Effexor - '02_'05 - became severely manic until put on Topamax, transitioned to Lexapro Lexapro - '05-'15 - multiple depressions and manias during treatment, withdrawal uncomplicated over three weeks Buspar '02-'03 - little effect, no withdrawal Xanax & Klonopin - '02-'16 Developed extreme sensitivity, can no longer take, Took 2-3 mg a day at my highest Concerta - '05-'07 no withdrawal, supposedly had ADHD during college Straterra - '05 no effect Depokote - '06 gained over 20 lbs in two weeks, quit Topamax - '03 (and '10-'13) caused partial complex seizures above 100 mg Suboxone - '10 - seven weeks while inpatient used as antidepressant, not for drug/alcohol treatment, quit once out of hospital, no withdrawal Latuda - '14-'16 (only with zofran due to vomiting) withdrew in early April 2016 after developing delusions and hallucinations (I'm not schizophrenic) along with parkinsonism, akathesia, and mild respiratory dyskinesia Withdrawal experienced with: Seroquel - '06 -'09 Withdrew cold turkey, became manic for 8 months (while taking Lexapro) and '09-'12 withdrew over a few weeks, became somewhat manic for about 8 months before becoming severely depressed for two years, while taking Lexapro) Gabapentin - '01-'15 Experienced Gabapetin withdrawal syndrome twice with emergency medical treatment twice before successfully withdrawing over three months in late 2015 Lamictal - '05-'12 withdrew too quickly over about two months, had to restart -- '12-'16, currently withdrawing at 1 mg/day Currently only on Lamictal and hope to complete withdrawal within 6 months. I have tried doing step reductions and found that I got really angry and agitated for days after a 10 mg reduction, but as my husband is a chemist and able to weigh the pills to within a mg, so we tried a gradual taper by 1 mg a day and that worked so well that we tried to increase the taper to 1.5 mg a day and I became extremely irritable and snappy so we are currently holding for a few days at this dose and will try 1 mg a day again early next week. If anyone is still reading at this point, you're a real trooper!
  4. Hello everyone. I wanted to jump on here and hopefully gain some perspective on my situation. I started Lexapro 10 mg in Oct. 2012 for situational depression. As that situation resolved, I questioned whether I still needed to be on it and began tapering in April 2014. I went down to 7.5 mg for about a month, then discovered I was pregnant. I really wanted to wean off Lexapro for the duration of the pregnancy. Sadly I miscarried at 10 weeks. I was still on 7.5 mg for a little while. Felt I processed the miscarriage as much as I could, then went down to 5 mg for awhile. I was doing okay anxiety-wise, I thought. Went down to 2.5 and discovered I was expecting again! I was overly anxious the whole time, given the outcome of my last pregnancy. I stayed at 2.5 for pretty much the whole pregnancy, went down slowly from 2.5 as time grew closer to delivery. I got down to less than 1 mg with liquid, and then stopped right after I delivered. I was wholly unprepared for what happened next. Three days postpartum, I had an anxious/depressive meltdown, thinking things like, "I shouldn't have had this baby" (even though he was very much wanted), I've ruined my family's life, how am I going to handle caring for two kids instead of one, etc. I was trying to nurse every 2-3 hours, while fighting through unrelenting panic attacks. I would even wake up from sleep in the midst of an attack. It got so that I didn't want to sleep even if someone offered to watch my son because I was so afraid of the panic attacks. Wild mood swings, couldn't stop crying, suicidal thoughts, feeling hopeless, helpless, the whole nine yards. I felt like I was losing my mind and went to the ER. They were pretty much useless, just telling me to go all the way back up to 10 mg of lexapro and everything would eventually be okay. The panic attacks continued. On my husband's birthday, I woke up in the worst panic attack I'd ever had. I knew I couldn't go back to the ER, and checked myself in to a psych ward because I seriously felt like i was going nuts. They were useless as well, only giving me Vistaril and 10 mg Lexapro. My husband busted through h*** to get me out of there less than 24 hours later. The anxiety from there continued. I felt severe DP/DR, and could barely make myself a sandwich to eat. Changing my clothes and showering was a huge accomlishment. Continuing to feel desperate to get back to myself, I did arguably the worst thing I think I could have done: I checked into an inpatient treatment program for perinatal mood disorders. There they proceeded to pump me full of Lexapro, letting me stay at 5 mg for just one night. It was quickly ramped to 10, then 15, then 20, which I was discharged on a mere two weeks later. I was given Klonopin and Benadryl as needed for sleep. I was also advised to take Risperdal, which I adamantly refused. This was about 10 weeks ago. I have since come under the care of a reproductive psychiatrist who has continued me on Lexapro 15 mg, Buspar 10 mg, Lamictal 25 mg, and Vistaril for sleep. She tried augmenting the Lex with Wellbutrin when she wasn't seeing a "quick enough" response. It made my anxiety worse, and gave me a very frightening moment where I was in the midst of a crying fit, and then suddenly felt like laughing for no reason, so I discontinued it. I'm yards better than I was. However, I am having some problems now that I wasn't before and am hoping to taper back off the Lexapro, because I'm thinking (wondering) that I didn't so much have a new episode of depression. Rather I have a theory that while pregnant, the difficulties of coming off Lexapro were masked by my pregnancy hormones, and after delivery, when those dropped, and my body wasn't getting any Lexapro at all, I crashed and burned. You should've seen the look on my pdoc's face when i told her this theory...I though she was going to have a heart attack. Since reinstating lexapro, I've had racing thoughts (sometimes I can't even figure out what I'm thinking about), headaches, vision problems, increased anxiety, difficulty with word finding, lack of concentration (can't even read an easy chapter book with my 9 year old daughter), difficulty focusing on conversations, weight gain, obsessive thinking, songs looping in my head, random movie scenes popping into my head, suicidal thoughts, intrusive thoughts, brain fog, easily triggered by frightening things, etc. I feel like now, somehow, lexapro is too activating for me. I've wondered if I've slipped into hypomania or something. Women can sometimes be misdiagnosed with postpartum depression, when they've really converted to bipolar disorder. those women are at greatest risk for psychosis. I have no family history of bipolar, though my sister was misdiagnosed with it a few years ago. She's way more on that spectrum than I ever have been. So here is my conundrum: I don't want to go back to where i was after I delivered. I CAN'T go back there. however, I feel that with each pill I swallow, I'm giving myself a chemical lobotomy. I can't afford to lose any stability trying to care for my children. I know I can't ask for medical advice here, but I just have two questions: 1. Is my theory about having a really bad reaction to complete withdrawal totally unfounded, or could this have some merit? 2. Should I even think about tapering off Lexapro right now, feeling that it's too activating for me? I've tried to tell my doctor this many times and she feels that if it's helping even a little, it's worth continuing. I feel as though I have to continue the Lamictal for now. Needless to say, these last several months have been extremely traumatizing for my whole family. I just want to do right by everyone, and remember to include myself in that mix. Thanks for reading.
  5. Sorry this is complicated, but this is a general overview of my history with antidepressants. Overall the main problem I've dealt with most of my life is trouble sleeping. One part of it is that I can have a lot of difficultly quieting down my thoughts. Another current aspect is that my friends/roommates stay up all hours of the night, and I've been getting influenced by this way too much. Over the past number of years I feel that I gotten too dependent on doxylamine/diphenhydramine for sleep, and it can be limited in how much it helps due to how fast the tolerance builds up. My overall reactions to antidepressants suggest that I have some form of bipolar. I did try a number of antidepressants around 1997-2000, and I tolerated them just fine, although I'm not sure if they really helped. The next time I tried an antidepressant was 2008, which was 20mg of cymbalta. This made me completely wired with racing thoughts, and unable to sleep for 3 days. In 2012 I was given temazepam for sleep (30mg), and I was told that it would be fine to take continuously. After about a month I started feeling strong tingling sensations through my whole body, and I this hunger that would not stop no matter how much I ate. I told my doctor and he said to just stop taking it. Once I did, my brain just went haywire. I started getting rapidly alternating bouts of severe anxiety followed by calmness. This turned me into complete emotional wreck over the next month. I went to my doctor and he said me that withdrawal is not a problem with temazepam, so he sent me to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me the same thing about temazepam, he thought something else was going on. I was given 7.5mg of remeron, and this solved everything after the first pill. It was able to put me to sleep quite well for the first two weeks, but then the sedation wore off. He upped the dose gradually to 22.5mg over a course of a month, and it eventually shifted to feeling like some sort of crazy stimulant. He had me stop it immediately, and afterwards I didn't sleep for 3 days while not feeling at all tired, and my mood was quite good. This is something I'd never felt before. If took me about 5 months to settle out and start feeling normal again. I found that during this time I was immune to all the sleep medications that had worked before. Also, if I had anything that had any amount of caffeine, it felt maybe 10 times as powerful as it should. In the beginning of 2015 some majorly stressful events happened to me, and a different physician sent me to another psychiatrist because I just couldn't sleep with all the stress. I've always found that long periods of sleep loss can send me into an emotional meltdown, and once I start sleeping again my mood resolves itself. I was given 50mg of amitriptyline, and it worked great for sleep for 2 weeks, but then the the sedation wore off. They were quite surprised that I was no longer getting any sedation, but they wanted me to keep taking it anyway. I had the same issues with caffiene feeling dramatically more powerful at any amount. I've been strictly avoiding it ever since. I stayed on the amitriptyline for about 3 months, until I started feel this building anxiety with this anger and frustration towards the end of the day. When I would take the amitriptyline, this feeling would disappear. This was another new thing that I hadn't experienced before. I went off of it and then this feeling was gone within 3 days. This past winter was particularly bleak. I had next to no social contact and I got severely depressed. My sleep became very restless where I would get maybe 1 hour of sleep a night for 4 days. I started getting the same bouts of anger that I got from the amitriptyline. I might be able to sleep well for a few days and start to feel normal, but then I would crash hard. This was extremely alarming, because once again I had never experienced anything like this before. I went back to the psychiatrist and I was put on lamotrigine and paxil. I started with 25mg of lamotrigine and that was upped to 50mg. For paxil I started at 5mg which was brought up to 15mg. I was able to start sleeping again around the 5-10mg dose. Once I got to the 15 dose, I started getting a lot of muscle twitching. With in a day or two, my whole body was shaking uncontrollably. This unbelievable amount of anxiety came out, and I was having a complete emotional breakdown. I could sleep for maybe a hour after a few days when my body would sort of drop from complete exhaustion. Another thing that happened is my pupils got really dilated, colors got incredibly bright, and I started getting hallucinations: where things would moving around and I was seeing faint, shimmering geometric patterns in objects. This was an utterly horrifying experience. I was given a bottle of temazepam (15mg) to help deal with this, and I think this is the only way I managed to survive this. The psychiatrist was only available through email and she told me to just keep taking the paxil. Once I got them on the phone, I got the shout down treatment. They called BS on this being any form of bipolar, and they told me to get to work to take my mind off things and that I was sitting around worrying myself to death, however I did finally manage to convince them that antidepressants were not for me, and they had me stop taking the paxil. I eventually got in contact with my work and explained the situation, and I decided to leave the hospital completely and switch health insurance. I visited a new physician that looks to be a very good one, and I discussed the temazepam with him, which I had been taking for about 3 weeks. The only reason I had continued to take it that long is because I was afraid of the withdrawal. The physician told me that some people can take it for a very long time and not have any withdrawal, while a smaller group of people can have quite a lot of trouble after only two weeks. Temazepam, is proving to be very difficult to get off. I've been trying for the last couple of months to balance getting rested, getting my life and work back together, figuring out of the new medical system, while trying to taper off the temazepam. For a good long while I felt that I was totally back to normal. I found that anytime I lowered the dose, the anxiety and sleeplessness would come back. I did have 3 days when I was out of temezapam and I couldn't get anymore due to an insurance/pharmacy mix up. I ended up getting powerful tingling sensation all through my body, along with sensation of things crawling across my skin. Visually, I was seeing exaggerated after images. Sleep was not happening. This stopped once I was got more temazepam. So, I'm about two and a half months into temazepam. The tingling sensations and anxiety are continuously getting worse as I take it. I went back to physician, and he sent me to a new psychiatrist, though he said with the new medical system he's on, he doesn't know the people he's referring the patients to, and he doesn't know if they're any good. The new psychiatrist dismissed that the tempazepam could be a problem. They interpreted the issues I had when I couldn't get tempazepam as a bipolar episode, and I'm having trouble buying into that. They want me to up the dose of lamotrigine (bringing it eventually to around 300mg), which I'm on 50mg of and to keep taking the tempazepam. I do agree with the bipolar stuff to a point. Any description I've read of full mania is not something I can relate to in any way. Hypomania only really fits how I felt after I stopped taking remeron, but I can't say ever felt like that otherwise. Some things fit, like the difficulty with turning thoughts off, and taking on too many projects. Atypical depression best fits the type of depression I get. The elevated mood and euphoria is not something I can relate to. But things get tricky when they say patients have a poor ability to recognize these things. So, this is the point I'm at, and I'm not sure what move to make next. (There are probably a lot of errors. Sorry, writing is not my strong point.)
  6. In 2007 I was put on meds at 19 for depression. Then they decided I was bi-polar, the bi-polar where you are just really depressed. So from 2007 until November 2012 I was on a cocktail of meds. Three meds at a time. I was on abilify, wellbutrin, sequel ( only for two weeks because it made me extremely tired) Lamictal, Depakote, Effexor and so on. So what would happen is my psychiatrist would prescibe meds and I would feel better and didn't want to take them so I would stop or miss a lot of days. When I would go to see him I lied and said I was taking them and they didn't do anything so he would prescribe a different medication. It was always three at a time and I would stop or skip days of taking the medications. So this went on for 5 years. So in I believe July 2012 I was prescribed Effexor and was also on Lamictal and something else. So I was missing days as usual for months and in mid November 2012 I woke up and had this really weird detached feeling like I was in a dream, things weren't real. So I freaked out. I had been trying to get a hold of my psychiatrist and had learned within two weeks he unexpectedly retired and fled the country and no one could communicate with him. A few days later I stop the Effexor, Lamictal and whatever that drug was cold turkey. I didn't know what to do. Oh I forgot to mention, my leg went totally numb in August 2012. In early December 2012 I got double vision. So my family doctor sent me in for a MRI. I had an appointment in Cleveland on December 23rd 2012 and they diagnosed me with multiple sclerosis. So I thought "this feeling" I had was caused by my ms. So in January 2013 I was put on zoloft, Lamictal and abilify. Later that summer 2013, I had a breakdown bc of being diagnosed with ms and was hospitalized. They changed my meds to abilify, zoloft and depokote, because I had been on them before. Then from that time to now I have switched meds. Zoloft was a constant and I tried, Topamax, and the invega and abilify shot. So for the past year, I have been on latuda 40mg and zoloft 200mg. I have started weening off. My doctor just started me on 20mg of Latuda to ween off. I am starting with Latuda and then zoloft. So I thought for years this feeling was due to my ms, but I am learning more and more it's most likely due to the on going meds I have been on. Hence why I am finally weening off and stopping! Can someone please give me any advice or info, thank you for any help. I was wondering if you think my derealization/ depersonalization is from the meds?? Will it go away after weening off these meds for good? Do you think it will take years to heal and get rid of this horrible dr/ dp? Is there anything else I can do to help myself go back to normal and get rid of this feeling for good? I will still be taking my ms medication which is Tecfidera. Please and input would be much appreciated, Thank You
  7. HeatherRose

    Heather Rose: Hello

    Hi. My friend referred me here. She is concerned about all my medications and bad side effects I have been having for a long time such as forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, shaking and dependency. I am on many medicines and have been taking various meds for almost 26 years to control my mood disorder. I have had times of shaking problems. I also have trouble staying focused and concentrating. I used to be a big reader but now it is hard for me to read a whole book. My attention just drifts. I am dependent on them for sleep especially. I wanted to see what this was all about so perhaps can come down off of them without serious consequences.
  8. I am in the midst of Lamictal withdrawal and it isn't going so well past couple of weeks. Was only doing 10% drops and when withdrawal symptoms passed would drop again. Thinking about going back up a couple of mg to stave off these awful effects? Am on 40mg, down from 45mg a fortnight ago but this drop has been absolutely awful :-( Not sure whether to go back up the full 5mg or just 2-3mg being that I am a fortnight into that. Only held the 45mg for a couple of weeks though because I was doing pretty well at that point. Am having panic attacks just sitting at home and it is reminding me of a past Zoloft withdrawal which was horrid!!
  9. I'm 45 years old. I have been on psychiatric drugs since I was 25. For years, 17, I was on Paxil 20mg and tegretol 200mg. I believed I tripped off my first depression after using ecstasy, which I think altered my brain's serotonin functioning. Four years ago I went to my gynecologist seeking help for worsening pms, as I believed perimenopause was coming into play. I failed to consult with my psychiatrist and trusted her. After a too-quick taper off of Paxil and onto Lexapro things just completely deteriorated. After 6 months I was a wreck, did another, even shorter, taper off of Lexapro back onto Paxil. But I was sunk...I think my central nervous system was wrecked. The ensuing year of onto and off of a variety of drugs was nothing short of a nightmare. Sparing all the details, I landed on the following drugs: Remeron 15mg Paxil 20mg Lamictal 125mg Pristiq 100mg Lithium 600mg Klonopin .5mg Trazodone 50mg It's criminal. A John's Hopkins psychiatrist specializing in women's hormone related mood issues said my gynecologist's cavalier actions verged on malpractice. A recent, and current, rash believe to be pityriasis rosea prompted my current psychiatrist to insist I stop Lamictal cold turkey. The dermatologist diagnosed it. He, without seeing the rash himself, is insistent. In light of what I feel is a damaged central nervous system I have decided to trust my dermatologist. That said, this situation has prompted me to consider the idea of eliminating the Lamictal. It's a start. I also believe Lamictal in some way tinkers with estrogen, something I'd like to avoid. It has been a hellish journey. I do not trust the psychiatric industry. I believe that how my case has been handled, so carelessly and without regard to actual true health, is shameful. I never, ever thought I'd be on multiple drugs like this. I am a high functioning, intelligent woman with a constitution sensitive to endocrine changes. I have been terrified of even considering touching any of this. While in the back of my mind wondering....what will happen to me after years of being on so many drugs? For the record, I have never been manic, ever. Lithium does function for me as an antidepressant. I understand that I'm somewhere on the spectrum, and because of long periods of happiness and wellbeing interrupted by 3 episodes of major depression, each with clear origins, I have been labeled bipolar2. I don't care much for labels. All I know is I'm on a serious amount of drugs. And I'm finally willing to find the courage to wrap up this bizarre ride. Lamictal first. Thanks for reading. Any encouragement or feedback gladly welcomed. Hope
  10. Hi all. I am in desperate need of help but so tired and untrusting and out of hope. I stopped Cymbalta 2 months ago. I'm on nothing now. I was taking Lamictal at 50mg as well but stopped that too because of the rashes I was getting. Most of the physical withdrawals are gone, but now I'm experiencing anger (at nothing in particular) and extreme depression. I'm not quite sure how to get through it other than going back on a medication....which I don't really want to do since they've screwed me up physically. I swear I've tried everything but TMS...and my insurance doesn't cover that. I'm 3000 miles away from home. I have no close friends out here. My Dad is suffering of stage 4 cancer back home. I'm obligated to be here for another 7 months. I just don't know what to do anymore. I have no confidence, no real hope, no energy. I exercise almost every day but it's not helping anymore. I have chronic pain and am suppose to get a spinal fusion. I don't know if I could handle that though since I'm still depressed even while I'm exercising. Should I go on Prozac to take the edge off....so I can at least get through the next 7 months? I don't even know if that would work though. Last time I was on Prozac it was just as good as being on nothing at all. I've tried amino acids. they don't seem to work either. St. John's Wort gave me rashes. I honestly don't think my life is worth very much. I don't and haven't had a significant other in some time. The last one I had beat me up emotionally all the time. It was just like my inner critic turned to a separate human being. I have friends, but they aren't that close and would probably run away if they knew how big my pain was. I am so sick of this part of me that keeps coming back every time I try to live off antidepressants. I hate this part of me. Why can't I be just like everyone else and be grateful for what I have? How the hell do you get out from under the darkness that wants to kill you?
  11. 1. It seems that some people, such as myself, can get 2 hours and then 1 hour for a total of about 3 hr sleep. Also a nap or two 2 each about 30 minutes is also possible. Can about 3.5 hr sleep cause more brain damage leading to less sleep creating a deadly cycle ? 2. I have a alerting problem during day too. I can't keep eyes open, too little cortisol. This can be more acute when I exercise - I fear falling on face when walking. I went for long walk, then sat in armless chair for hour with people, and constantly almost fell out of chair. Unfortunately exercise only induces nap of about 30 min. I use this at night at times exercising right before bed. Is this paradoxical (SP?) Response to exercise and poor daytime cortisol regulation unique ? 3. For 18 years I was on low dose ssri. Withdrew from last 5 mg cold turkey. No withdrawal for 6 weeks, then brain zaps , insomnia, deep depression, etc. All starting about Oct 1 2015. So I am 5 months into true withdrawal. Ssri took 6 weeks to bleed out bones, fat, etc. I had 2 reasons for withdrawing: worsening sleep disturbance and belief that although I was one of fortunate few to have ssri reduce depression for 18 yr, almost no one will have them work for 30, 40 or more years. Although Dr Shipko warns against withdrawing after 10 years what choice do I have if I might live another 30 years at which time the resultant untreatable depression may be unimaginable. I asked a psychiatrist do you really believe anti depressants will work for me for 30, 40-50 years total, he just showed a horrified look no response. What special advice does anyone have for those on ssris for decades, especially about insomnia??? Dr Shipkos suggestion for ssri withdrawal is scary. *** seems that some people, such as myself, can get 2 hours and then 1 hour for a total of about 3 hr sleep. Also a nap or two 2 each about 30 minutes is also possible. Can about 3.5 hr sleep cause more brain damage leading to less sleep creating a deadly cycle? Thanks
  12. I weaned myself slowly from Lamictal about 3 months ago. Since that time I have experienced ever- increasing & debilitating fatigue. I have malabsorption problems & iron-decifiency anemia. My ferritin was low again so I had 2 iron infusions in November. Usually, I perk right up, but not this time. The fatigue has been so overwhelming that I thought it must be something else. My labs are pretty normal except for a low white cell count. I really believe my physical decline must the Lamictal withdrawal. I had no idea it would last this long. Has anyone had this sxperience? How long did it take for some return to normalcy?
  13. Hi all - new to the forum and very grateful for the members who are walking the path to get off these SSRI. I was always depressed as a child and was prescribed Lexapro in 2003. 2004: Prescribed Cipramil instead of Lexapro after going hypomanic for 6 months, and lamictal to stablise. Got diagnosed with bipolar II... 2014: Came off lamictal with no issues, stablised using a buttload of coconut oil to stablise and a paleo diet. 2004-Dec 2015 - 5mg Cipramil once a day. Noticed that Cipramil stopped working from mid 2015 and decided to stop (only lasted a week) with severe WD symptoms - dizziness, diarraha, flu like symptoms, anxiety, OCD thoughts etc.... 20 Dec 2015 - 2.5mg Cipramil a day hoping to taper by 10% per period, depending on tolerance. Am feeling kinda ambitious and want to go down 10% once a week but will most likely fall on my face, which is fine too. Been doing really well this week - I can feel below my belly button and my sex drive is coming back! Went on a boat and did want to die (One of the side effects was painful sex and really crap at travelling on boats/cars/bus). But am feeling really tired alot and a little dizzy, nothing to write home about. Need some help fro other more experience members with WD.... Q1: A friend of mine is trying to convince to try Kambo - anyone tried this? I am really skeptical and don't think I am up for it as am feeling abit fragile and in addition to being depressed I have fairly constant inflammation (eczema), never mind its like $140 per treatment (!!) http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/from-bedbound-to-fit-and-able-in-14-days-effects-of-the-amazonian-medicine-kambo-on-a-cfs-patient.22952/page-4 Q2: Also read about the prozac bridge which seems like alot less trouble, I am seeing my shrink in January should I ask for this to try? Since I have never even had prozac (I have only ever had SSRIs) so not sure?
  14. Greetings fellow warriors of the "Free Brain" resistance army, A great battle is underway as we take on the oppressive Evil Empire: Big Pharma and the Pdoc minions who carry out their orders. These last 3 years I have been fighting alone, David vs Goliath style, and have proved no match for the powerful chemical Agent Neuron Walkers. I personally have been battling the front in the northern frontier of the CNS (Central Nervous System) facing the Triple Threat, a legion of 3 pharmaceutical terrorists, who are trying to set up a Caliphate in my brain: Zyprexa, Lamictal, Wellbutrin. The battle must go on…but new strategies are needed. I'm grateful to have found all of you, the coalition of the willing, at this critical moment. We Shall Overcome! Ok, so time to get serious (well, relatively serious). Short version: Hi, I’m the Opal Owl, I fly by night. Starting in Dec.2012 I was put on 20mg of Zyprexa for a few weeks after a drug induced psychosis and 10 day stay in the crazy house. This was later reduced to 10mg—no side effects. About 6 months later I was put on 300mg of Wellbutrin. I had 3 withdrawal attempts from Zyprexa and Wellbutrin. All of them failed due to going cold turkey or too rapid of withdrawal—and it was horrendous. However, I was able to get down to 5mg of Zyprexa with no withdrawal effects and 150mg Wellbutrin (with some negative effects). In mid-2014 I was put on Lamictal (200mg) with the goal of discontinuing Zyprexa. Over the past 1.5 years I have reduced the Zyprexa to 1.25mg—I did 50% reductions: 5 to 2.5, 2.5 to 1.25. I have been on 1.25mg for about 2 months—no noticeable withdrawal effects (in my experience, I can get down to the tiniest of doses with no withdrawal effects. It’s only when I go off completely that all hell breaks loose). 3 weeks ago I did a 50% reduction of Lamictal to 100mg. I started feeling the withdrawal effects intensely this past week—nausea, headaches, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite. All my old friends. Last night I saw my Pdoc and he said “Big mistake!”. He said he would support me going off of Zyprexa and Wellbutrin, but not Lamictal (which he seems convinced I will have to be on for life). So, I agreed to reinstate the Lamictal. 150mg this week and then 200mg next week. Once I stable out, I will decide to take on either the Zyprexa or Wellbutrin. Zyprexa is the most evil and I’m not sure I’m ready for that battle. The Pdoc said he would put me on Seroquel 100mg (1/4 or ½ tab) to help with the, as we all know, insufferable insomnia (don’t have any experience with Seroquel—and am not aware of its soporific effects--any thoughts on this plan?). Perhaps it would be better to start with the Wellbutrin. Thoughts/suggestions/advice would be appreciated. I’m learning from this forum that I will need to settle in for a war of attrition (something my “I want it now!” personality has a very difficult time with). I gratefully await your thoughts and suggestions. Long version: December 2012, Chicago. A drug/alcohol induced manic episode (preceding the end of the Mayan calendar, and perhaps the end of the world) leading to psychosis and an eventual 10 day stay in the psych-ward (one of the most fascinating, and scary experiences of my life. I really do think most of those nurses and doctors were highly advanced AI. Has the singularity already happened? Are we indeed living in a simulation?). After a stay in solitary confinement they decided I had suffered enough (or they were done testing my psychosis-induced special powers and probing the outer limits of human sanity). I was given 20mg of Zyprexa and was almost instantly zombified. I was then bestowed with a diagnosis of Bi-Polar 1 and chemical dependency (bada bing bada bang, that diagnosis took all of 5 minutes. Though to be fair, it wasn’t the first time I received this diagnosis). A few days later I was given the boot along with my prescription for Zyprexa (signed by the Devil). Fast-forward 6 months and I’m taking 10mg of Zyprexa and 300mg of Wellbutrin. I decide, “Well, I’m glad that is all over. How about I kick these meds?” Little did I know I was already deeply entrenched in the briar patch, covered in pharmaceutical tar. So, I go cold turkey and get my first ass-kicking from the man with horns that carries the bag of unfortunate souls trapped in the vile throngs of Zyprexa (on their way to the 7th ring of hell where Mother Zyprexa sits on her throne of Lilly pills). I learn my lesson and decide that a new strategy is in order: Tapered, but rapid, withdrawal. Second ass kicking—“You think it’s going to be that easy?” chuckles the horned one. A few months later another meek attempt. This time with my secret weapon of lorazepam to fight the insomnia. Well, that worked for about a month and then another knock at my door, “Yep, good try. I’ll be taking that soul back now. Thank you very much.” So, I surrender and make a compromise: Here’s my soul back, but let me stay on the lowest possible dose. The agreement is Zyprexa 5mg and Wellbutrin 150mg. This was the second time I had made a deal with the Devil. The first was during my 2012 psychosis when I pleaded to leave the country and was granted permission, but...BUT…I had to pick up every single cigarette butt I came across. Needless to say, I have failed to live up to this promise and fear whether I will ever be able to leave my current entrapment (though I do give credit for the environmentally friendly agreement—who knew the devil could wear green?) I maintain this contract until 2014. At this point life has become painfully monotonous (Insanely, I long to return to the psychosis-induced alternative reality of the psych ward—where in addition to my secret powers, the food was great, the people were interesting, and I could make collages all day). Instead, I’m tired all the time, I’m working less than part-time, and I’m living with my grandparents at age 30. The magic and enchantment of life are gone. I’m about ready to choose “Not to be”, but I can’t quite get over the “what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil?” Then a ray of light, a chance for escape. Yes, an extreme plan, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m offered a teaching job in Saudi Arabia. It pays bank. I can get out of debt, I can gain back my independence. And, with the money I earn, I can put into action my secret plan to get off all of the meds FOREVER (we’ll get to that later). Well, Saudi turns out to be a case of “out of the frying pan, into the fire”. Not surprisingly, I’m miserable. I want to jump out of my 9th story apt. window into the desolate desert below, be trampled by a camel, and disappear forever beneath a giant sand dune. By the grace of the universe I’m put in contact with a Western-trained psychiatrist (mental illness is hardly acknowledged in Saudi. Therapy and psychiatry are done rather clandestinely. However, they have every modern pharmaceutical medicine, and it can all be easily acquired without a prescription). We come up with a plan: I will start taking Lamictal, wean off the Zyprexa and continue the Wellbutrin. 1.5 years later and I’m taking 200mg Lamictal, 150mg Wellbutrin and 1.25mg Zyprexa. Note: I did not do the recommended 10% tapering (wasn't aware of it). I jumped from 5mg to 2.5mg, and then 1.25mg (The smallest dose here in Saudi is 5mg, so I just cut the pill into 4 pieces). So far, I have not had any major withdrawal effects (maybe this is tempered by the Lamictal? This is what the Pdoc thought). However, I should mention that in all of my previous attempts of Zyprexa withdrawal I could get down to a very tiny dose and not feel any withdrawal effects. It was only when I quit the drug completely that hell was unleashed. I have now been on 1.25mg for about 2 months. Satisfied with my current situation, I thought I would attempt a reduction of the Lamictal. So, 3 weeks ago I once again took the 50% route and reduced my dosage from 200mg to 100mg. Things were ok until last week when I started to feel nausea, anxiety, depression, and severe headaches. Yep, my old friends were back. Just this evening I met with the psychiatrist (who I had not been in touch with for about 6 months). As mentioned above, his response was “Big Mistake!”. He said he would support me going off of Zyprexa and Wellbutrin, but not Lamictal. So, I agreed to reinstate the Lamictal up to 200mg. If I go off the Zyprexa completely, he wants to put me on Seroquel to help with the insomnia, though I'm not too keen on this proposal). I also told him about my Secret Plan, which I will now unveil to all of you. The Secret Plan: Wean myself of all my current meds in a 4 month period (goal is by April 10). Travel to the Peruvian Amazon. Participate in a 3 week Ayahuasca retreat (which requires me to be off all the meds), including a diet with medicinal plants to help with withdrawal symptoms. Face my demons and childhood traumas (that may be at the root of my mental illness and substance abuse) and see what else the Mother plant spirit has to show/teach me. Use my savings to stay in South America for 6 months in a safe place to recover and suffer through whatever withdrawal symptoms come my way, continuing to rely on plant medicine and a strict diet. A battle between Indigenous medicine and Western medicine, with hopefully the former being the victor. Return to the US free from all psych meds FOREVER. Begin life anew. He didn’t outright reject my plan, but he also didn’t see it as being an effective long term solution. And he may be right. Is this plan foolhardy? Am I setting myself up for failure again by trying to take a short cut? Is the horned man waiting for me in the jungle? Will I ever drain my soul of these demonic chemicals!? I’m slowly accepting, after reading many posts on this forum, that I may have to bunker down for a War of Attrition, rather than a war of Shock and Awe. So be it. As a lover of the Sufi poets, I’ll close with this: “You carry All the ingredients To turn your life into a nightmare (i.e. every pharmaceutical drug)- Don’t mix them! You carry all the ingredients To turn your existence into joy, Mix them, mix Them!” ~Hafiz So, that’s what I’m hoping to do—mix the right ingredients. I await your suggestions and insights; as well as strength, experience, and hope. Dream Slow, The Opal Owl
  15. Hi, I'm a 22yo autistic woman with PTSD and possible bipolar disorder. I was put on Lamotrigine 100mg in 2014 in response to a "hypomanic" episode (unclear whether this was correctly diagnosed) whilst taking Venlafaxine and Mirtazapine (for severe depression). The psychiatrist I saw recently was concerned that Lamotrigine was causing cognitive side effects such as inability to remember words and told me to withdraw it by 50mg per week (i.e. take 50mg for a week, and then reduce to nothing). I reduced to 50mg on one Monday, had symptoms such as nausea, instability, dizziness, vomiting and mood swings which were pretty much as expected. The next Monday those symptoms had pretty much gone so I went ahead with reducing to 0mg as planned. Since then (5 days) I've been having more of the same, plus some escalations in my autism manifestation (shut downs/dissociation and sensory processing difficulties in particular) which is fairly standard when I'm ill or under stress. Basically I've now done online research, which I didn't do initially because reading online tends to be unnecessarily scary re discontinuation symptoms. However I'm feeling pretty grim and having now read stuff I'm thinking this was done way too quickly and I shouldn't have trusted the psychiatrist when he said to reduce by 50% a week (life lesson not to trust doctors I guess..). But now I've been off it for 5 days, I guess there's very little left in my system? So I'm not sure if I should reintroduce 25mg and then come off it more slowly or if at this point I'm better to just "grin and bear it". The discontinuation symptoms are getting better rather than worse, so perhaps the latter is the better option? I don't want to confuse my nervous system even more by coming off it then going back on it and then coming off it again..
  16. Hi, I joined because I'm withdrawing from Lamictal. I'm also taking gapapentin, but the importance of coming off of that isn't a concern right now. The Lamictal is my concern and my issue. It is absolute hell for me. I'm hoping I can get some help here, and possibly some solutions for some of my symptoms. Any relief would be great relief. My doctor isn't helpful at all; he suggested I start tapering 50 mg a week, from 300 mg a day. I told him that would be a problem, but he didn't listen. So I've slowed it down myself and have been trying to get him to work with what I want instead. He doesn't listen, nor does he seem to care. So I'm hoping he just does what I ask in terms of prescribing monthly doses. I've been tapering about a month and a half and was down to 200 mg as of three days ago, but I couldn't stand the way I felt, so I brought it back to 225 mg. I'm still having a lot of trouble. The physical symptoms are bad, but the mental symptoms are hellish. I feel like I'm insane more than half the day. I feel I should up my dose a little more, but I hate to go backwards. I can't live like this. I'm hoping to find some advice and relief from this forum. Good to see other experiences and happy endings as well.
  17. In the last 15 months I've developed bilateral edema, leg fasciitis, bilateral hand contractures w/ bilateral carpal tunnel and a high eosinophal count. Ive researched and found that lamotrigine has the side effect of producing eosinophal counts...which can cause the maladies listed above. Eosinophals are white blood cells produced in the bone marrow and I have too many of them. My hematologist told me to speak with my psych Dr first, then get off the lamotrigine and on something else if I need it. I just got off the phone with him and, after reminding him I'm on the 150mg pill asked how I should taper the drug since I've heard there can be withdrawal symptoms. He's calling in some 100mg pills and told me to taper as follows: 100mg for two weeks, then 50mg for 2 weeks and then Stop. He said I could take 1 month intervals instead of 2 weeks if I like. Has anyone actually tapered like that? What were the results? Before I started researching, I had planned to reduce in 25mg increments with 2 weeks at each level. He didn't mention the possibility of seizures. He did say if my symptoms returned (and the probably would) and to come in then and we can talk about an alternative.
  18. Hi, Im Lauren, I've been on lamictal 150mg and celexa 10mg for about 2-3 years, originally for major depression with some "bipolar II qualities" ie hypomania, panic attacks. For the last 6-9 months I havent been taking them every day, more like every other to 3rd day sometimes as long as every 4th day. I didn't notice any ill effects and thought this was maybe a good way to limit my dependence if/when I ever wanted off. In retrospect I can see some increasing anxiety (esp rebound anxiety from other meds) over the last year but I chalked that up to the other meds. Then I got the bright idea to come off both of them cold turkey, thinking because I wasn't taking them every day it would probably be ok and if I started feeling sh*tty I'd get back on. I was "fine" for over 2 weeks...didnt notice the increaseing but subclinical anxiety over the last week, or didn't chalk it up to that, until 3 days ago. If I had trouble with it I'd take a little clonidine blocker or gabapentin, because I thought it was a side effect of mild opioid withdrawal (one of my opiate meds is causing more trouble than its worth so Ive been limiting its use off and on) and those meds help. Then things got a LOT worse; last night I HAD to take a benzo to make it through school, and today I woke up in full panic/terror, the kind where I feel like if I had to feel this way indefinitely I would surely kill myself. (PS I do know a lot about benzo and opiate withdrawal, and Im terrified of becoming dependent on benzos so every time I have to use more than one in a week period I feel anxious about that) In retrospect I feel SO stupid after reading this site, I should have known better, and with all of the complicated things I had going on that I thought I was doing to better my health when really it was just destabilizing my nervous system (esp GABA/glutamate which all the drugs Ive mentioned have some effect, even indirectly like opiates). I am still in the throes of panic (klonopin and redosing helped but still unstable feeling) and so Im sure my thinking is extra irrational and catastrophic right now, but Im really scared Ive been messing around too much here and didnt realize it and that Im going to have a lot of trouble restabilizing, or maybe be one of those people who can't restabilize at all. Does the fact that the klonopin worked AT ALL (and I dont know really how much of my feeling better was that vs reinstating the lamictal and celexa) mean that my system is still ok, able to respond well to these meds, and therefore I can restabilize without a lot of suffering? Should I continue to reinstate both meds at once? At what dose? ANy other tips for getting restabilized as quickly and painlessly as possible? How long should I stay on again before trying a MUCH SLOWER more mindful taper? I now know not to do alternate dosing, btw. Please pray for me that I didnt **** things up badly here and can get back to where I was, soon.
  19. Hi everybody. I never joined a forum before but now it's time. I've been on AD's for about 20 years now. Always resistant to staying on them, because of flat affect and just a lot of fear of side effects. Started on maprotiline (yeah, nobody's heard of it) a tetracyclic, then tried St John's Wort, SAMe, TCM, before getting prescribed Celexa. My pattern was to stay on until I felt OK, than go off, probabl;y way too fast for my sensitive system, and crash. Aside from sadness and lack of energy/motivation, my main symptom was horrible insomnia -- I have atypical PTSD symptoms from a major trauma that included pretty much not sleeping for three weeks. Sleep is a big deal, not sleeping gives me really bad anxiety. So I went up and down on Celexa at the advice of my GP, pretty much staying below 20mg, and at one point on 5mg for quite a while and doing well. Used lorazepam periodically for sleep, and went off that really slowly without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, when I decided to go off Celexa (at the advice of a TCM doc who was supposed to be brilliant and said I didn't need it) I ran into a major stressful life event (my 19 yr old learning disabled daughter got pregnant and decided to have her baby) and crashed. In addition to the stress, it was again probably a mistake to stop 5mg cold. I didn't know. After a few weeks of hell and lots of acupuncture, I went back on but it took too long to start having an effect and... I eventually went to the ER, and was advised by the doc who advised not to go to the psych ward, and prescribed more lorazepam. Two days later I saw a PDoc for the first time. She prescribed a small dose od Zyprexa to "augment" the Celexa, and help me sleep. Which it did -- three days later I felt better and could function again. 20mg Celexa and 1.25 Zyprexa. A couple of months later when I was still up and down she added 50mg of lamictal to help me with "stability". So now on three drugs, sleeping, relatively stable. Over the next couple of years, I was able to bring the Zyprexa down to about .35mg, but couldn't get off without crashing. My PDoc called it a "homeopathic dose" and didn't try to get me off. REALLY sensitive to this stuff. Three years into this, a year ago, I had another stressful stretch, and incrreased to 1mg Zyprexa. Then I developed a tremor in my right hand. I freaked -- my dad had Parkinson's. After being in denial for 4-5 months, I finally went to a neurologist and after several tests told me it could be Parkinson's or it could be the Zyprexa. She suggested I try to switch to Seroquel that is supposedly less likely to have this side effect. Oh my, here comes the really bad part -- my PDoc said I could just do a switch of Zyprexa for Seroquel at "equivalent" doses. She knows how sensitive I am and this was a BIG mistake. I switched, and totally crashed. I was supposed to then increase the Seroquel until I felt better. That lasted about two weeks when I developed akathisia. Was given Cogentin and UGH, I couldn't think, my hands trembled, I couldn't have a normal conversation and my memory went downhill. PDoc said switch back to Zyprexa so I did but now at a higher "equivalent" dose (2.5mg). Akathisia didn't go away. Tried to drop Zyprexa to 2mg and BOOM, more depression. Back up, more akathisia. My PDoc then gave up and passed me on to another PDoc (not a bad thing at this point, but I felt abandoned). Since then, I'm titrating down on Zyprexa by .05mg per week. At 2mg now and akathisia is somewhat better but I still can't relax at all, and I still don't know if the tremor is drug induced or Parkinson's. I get the 10% per month and I plan to follow that as closely as I can. I've had enough of these meds. It makes me really sad that I know it's a long road ahead to get back to a semblance of normal. I wake up every morning trembling and depressed. I eat really healthy and walk 6-9 miles a day. By mid-day I feel a bit better but can't stop obsessing about the tremor. Can't concentrate much or I get really tired. Afraid to go outside my routine because it's more stressful and the symptoms get worse. I'm looking into TMS as a way to support this process. Whoever reads this thanks for listening, it gets really lonely sometimes, I'f you're here, I'm sure you know.
  20. Hello there, I'm, itching to start a withdrawl but keep changing my mind on which one.. - mirtazapine (45mg) will probably be the easiest from past experience and makes me fat - but does help me sleep and potentially buffers the sexual side effects of venlafaxine - venlafaxine (112.5mg ER) is nasty stuff and I want to see if I have a proper libido left! Feel it caps my emotions a lot. Scared of reducing it though after cymbalta experience in 2007 - lamotrigine (300mg) on this high dose is really slowing me down, starting to compromise my immune system and I reckon doesn't help libido. since going up to this dose alcohol even ocasionally in small amounts is nasty. Like the idea of getting it down somewhat. I came off it back in 2011 OK but that was from a possibly sub-therapeutic almost placebo dose of 150mg not the monster 300mg I'm now on. Feels like poison at this level. My suspicion is that the earlier stages of the reduction of this - perhaps the opppoisite of AD's - will be the hardest? Is it best to start with the easiest? Is lamotrigine best kept on while reducing AD's due its GABA/glutamate effects? How about focusing on one for a bit, then another, then returning to the first? I am planning a slow taper. Just generally feel they don't do much apart from the side effects, my body is still trying to present the deep trauma that needs facing and I still need to work on taming the mind. They seem redundant and I am learning to trust in other tools and my body but scared of the withdrawl effects..I am having a lot of life changes so won't do it just yet but want to be prepared. Try not to let my anger at psychiatry and pharma and fear compromise my nervous system further but that can be hard Thanks! Here's my history: ----------------------- Current: Venlafaxine 112.5mg; Lamotrigine 300mg; Mirtazapine 45mg restarted Lamotrigine/Mirtazapine in 2012, bumped up Lasmotrigine and then very reluctantly added Venlafaxine in 2013 and further bumped up Lamotrigine in 2014. Got a new psychiatrist since who is less med focused! Reduced Vn to 75mg in 2013; brief experiment a year later reducing venlafaxine to 37.5mg, ended up going back to 112.5mg! (bit hasty). This year dropped Lamotrigine to 250mg under psychiatrist's advice (he suggested to 225mg) - nasty stuff, too quick! A time of personal change so decided to put back up rather than tough it out - maybe too hasty but I have the fear! Impatient to start getting off them - libido, weight gain, tiredness, capping of mood yet not really helping with depression. Though I have a lot of life changes at the moment so more that i want to get prepared so I can hit the ground running. Recently started seeing highly recommended acupuncturist with experience of med WD to boost my system, take omega 3 (recently started fermented cod liver oil in addition to EPA/DHA) and restarted vit D., try to follow guidelines in Mood Cure book (keep meaning to give gluten free diet a proper go), do good therapy on psychological issues, work part-time etc Previous meds: 2006 Citalopram quickly switched to Duoloxetine; 2007 off Duloxetine with continual tiny taper over six months (sexual side effects), bad WD's in the end, lasted a couple of months off and was then tried on... 2008: Mirtazapine up to 45mg (off 2010) + Lamotrigine up to 150mg 2009-2010 came off mirtazapine in 6 tapers of 7.5mg, no big issues, felt better for it. 2011 - came off lamotrigine over a few months, tapers of 25mg a time - little bit of depression returning. summer 2012 big crash after lots of life changes over the last year! Feel like my nervous system is severely sensitised even with (or due to!!) the meds. Diagnoses: reactive depression, bipolar depression, borderline traits - according to which professional you speak to!
  21. HI, I'm brand new to this site. I've had a hard couple of years. It started with a drug called Domperidone. It is a drug that inhibits dopamine. It's widely prescribed off lable (although not in the US, but a nurse told me about how I could get it from a site in Montana) for increasing milk production in lactating mothers. While I was taking it I started to feel a deep internal "itch". I felt it first in my lower abdomenal area. I went off of this drug too quickly--I didn't know it would be so serious, but I know now that it was like stopping an anti-psychotic drug too quickly--everything went haywire. Terrible depression and insomnia set in immediately. So I got Zoloft. I took that for 2 weeks and slept less and less until I was up for a week straight and checked into a psych hospital for 3 days. After that I tried to stay off Psych meds, but I had recurrent insomnia and depression that came in waves. I was given benzodiazapines, mirtazapine, amiptriptylene, ambien, and others in the next few months. It was suggested to me by a couple of friends that maybe I had bipolar disorder, so I sought out a diagnoses in the hopes that I could get on a mood stabilizer and "feel fabulous". So I started Lamictal. I started having itching again 2 weeks after starting it, but not on my skin. It was internal--in my stomach, chest, bladder, heart, spine, and back. I had this sensation off and on for the year that I took Lamictal. I also still had to take a small dose of Klonopin every 3 days or so to sleep. Seroquel was in there at the beginning too. The itching and not sleeping were getting worse, so I quit Lamictal and Klonopin slowly. Then I started Risperdal in January. That is when I learned about protracted withdrawal syndromes and the recovery movement. I no longer think I had bipolar disorder. It is clear to me that these drugs can devastate the brain, and that is what made me sick. Even though I have been off of Lamictal for 6 months now I still have the itching dysesthesia sensations just about every day around 2 pm. I'm hoping someone can shed light on what is going on. I have nearly tapered off of the small dose of Risperdal that I began in January, and my mood symptoms are 99% gone, but I still have this itching symptom. I've been going on the assumption that my nervous system was damaged by these drugs, and that the itching is caused by that. I've searched high and low for someone who has this symptom, but I can't find anyone who knows for sure what it is. No diseases seem to have it listed. If it's a drug side effect or a withdrawal side effect I can handle that. I am just afraid that it may be some other disease that I am neglecting because I'm assuming it's a med effect. My PCP and Psych doctors have no knowledge of this kind of symptom. I've had an X-ray of my chest. I've had all kinds of tests, so I am trying not to freak out. Has anyone else had this? Thanks for your kind support!
  22. Hello all. I'm 2 months off benzos after 7 years daily use (prescription) and after a hell of a 2.5 year taper. I've been on sertraline since 2006 starting at 100mg, however, during the benzo taper I got myself down to 37.5mg. The lamotrigine was added at the end of the benzo taper to help me finally jump off, to prevent seizures, ease my mind, whatever, etc. I was at 75mg at the beginning of the year and started tapering this month and am now down to 50mg. I could go into more detail about everything, but basically I'm extremely sensitive to these medicines and I need some advice and support on the best way to get off of the sertraline and lamotrigine, when to start, what method to use, etc. I'm very familiar with all the different kinds of tapering from just having got off benzos and trying nearly every method in an attempt to find anything that would work out better. Please let me know your thoughts on tapering these final 2 medicines and which to go for first. Thanks guys!
  23. Hi All, I'm joining SA as a way to give and receive support as I work my way out of 14 years of poly-drug treatment for a "severe mental illness" diagnosed after I was involuntarily hospitalized in an extreme state in 2001. When I was released from the hospital, I was on Seroquel and Depakote, constipated, confused, sad and dopey. I slept all the time, gained weight, my hair fell out. Deemed in the depression cycle of bipolar disorder, I was prescribed Celexa (terrible headaches and nausea), then Effexor (caused me to lose consciousness after exercising), then Welbutrin. Lamictal and trileptal were added, Depakote taken away, Neurontin tried for awhile, stopped, all to "stabilize" my "mood". A good career and high salary were history. For 2 1/2 years, I could barely function. My history of previous hospitalizations and mother's suicide 6 years prior made my SSDI claim sail through. I lost the ability to socialize or feel comfortable into public. I could blank out and hit the ground if someone startled me or trapped me. Six years ago, I started using a trained service dog for tasks related to PTSD (protect my body space and assist me out of dissociative episodes). That assistance allowed me to get off the seroquel and start doing things outside my home. In 2013, coincidental with starting a part time job, I had an access challenge that involved the police. My anxiety went over the top. Psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel, then Klonopin to deal with that, but I had to come off the Temazepam to take the Klonopin. I hated Klonopin and wasn't sleeping. Psychiatrist said, "If 'we' take you off the Welbutrin, maybe you won't have so much anxiety." I realized all along he had been prescribing additional drugs to treat side effects. He had added Sertraline to the Welbutrin on a couple of occasions and insisted I go on that before coming off the Welbutrin, which I did. Sertraline made me miserable. I decided to stop taking it after 1 month. I had gone back on the Temazepam for sleep, but once off the Welbutrin, didn't need that, either. By April, 2014, I was off everything but Lamictal, Trileptal and Levothyroxine (thyroid). I felt like a different person, awake! I could think! Wow. My skin cleared up. I started enjoying life and others started noticing how different my energy was. I fired the psychiatrist and approached my primary care doc to help me taper off Lamictal and Trileptal (the only two psych drugs left). Since a hidden study (not released until after the Lamictal's patent expired), showed it no more effective than placebo for bipolar depression, I started with that first. I did 10% taper until I got to half. Then did 10% taper of the half, cutting back every 2-3 weeks. Two weeks after my last dose of Lamictal, I started to slip into an altered state. Contributing factors, IMO: 1) Lamictal and trileptal have a synergistic effect. Lamictal increases the dosage of trileptal by about 40%. Coming off lamictal was like tapering off both; 2) In altered states 5 times (first in 1974), I was always locked up and drugged, and never able to naturally resolve the process; 3) The 20th anniversary of my mother's suicide approached. The unresolved grief, numbed out by so many years of drugs, blindsided me; 4) I didn't sleep for 5 days; and 5) Given what I'm reading here, there may have been some delayed withdrawal effects in the mix. Fortunately, loving friends stayed with me, helping me avoid the trauma of lock up. I've never been a danger to myself or others. I needed sleep. My primary doc prescribed temazepam. This time, it worked poorly. I had to take 3X what I'd taken before and it wore off within 3 hours. I'm now using medical marijuana to sleep. That works better than anything else I've tried (other than the seroquel which created a walking coma, not to mention the cholesterol soaring). I'm concerned about the anticholinergic effects of the drugs I've taken, including the 600 mgs Trileptal I'm still taking. With a family history of Alzheimer's, I do not want to add any more fuel to that potential. I plan to start tapering off the trileptal this coming week. Thanks to all of you for being here.
  24. Trigger warning. She got StevensJohnson syndrome and was misdiagnosed with flu. Sensitive people please avoid watching. http://www.myfoxla.com/story/28552915/georgia-grad-student-has-rare-terrifying-reaction-to-common-medication
  25. Hi Everyone, I'm glad this site exists. As it says in my title I'm trying to eventually come off all psychiatric medications that I'm on. I currently take: 0.375 mg Risperdal (after about 1.5 years at 2 mg) 50 mg Lamictal 100 mg Zoloft Right now I am trying to taper off of Risperdal. I just spoke to the compounding pharmacy today and should have the liquid form in three or four days for more precise tapering. My history: I entered therapy when I was 18 as a senior in high school in February 2010. I started taking Welbutrin, then added Zoloft, then stopped taking Welbutrin. In the summer of 2012, after my sophomore year of college, my psychiatrist let me decrease my dose of Zoloft from I think 100 mg to 50 mg. In March 2013, I was admitted to a mental hospital and put on Lithium, Risperdal, and Cogentin, and my dose of Zoloft was increased to 100 mg. In December 2013 I came off the Lithium cold turkey. I think I stopped taking the Cogentin (meant for shakiness/muscle spasms) then as well. So from December 2013 to June 2014 I only took 2 mg Risperdal and 100 mg Zoloft. In June 2014 I was suicidal and put on 50 mg Lamictal. In August 2014 I graduated college (George Mason University in Fairfax, VA-- Northern Virginia) and returned to the Philadelphia, PA area where I'm from. I'm currently enrolled in a Dialectical Behavioral Therapy program here. I meditate daily and that has helped me a lot. If you have any questions about me feel free to ask! Thanks for reading!
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