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  1. I am going to do my best to type this out so that it makes sense. I am suffering severe anxiety & it is clouding my thoughts. I have been on 400mg of Lamotrigine for over a year now. I have recently had to stop taking it abruptly. I can no longer afford it. This is week 2 of my life without it. I made it through the first symptoms, brain zaps, felt rushed up, tired & out of body. I have now moved on to having anxiety. The anxiety started in a mild way, I thought that it would be something I could get through. The past few days though, the anxiety has become extreme. I can not force myself to keep a clear head & I am on the verge of a panic attack. I feel so overwhelmed. I keep thinking how long will this last & can I make it through it. I am new this morning so I am still learning to navigate this forum. Are there any topics on here dealing with just lamictal withdrawals? How long have others taken to get through the worst of it?
  2. ashleydoll87

    ashleydoll87

    I began taking meds in the Spring of 2008 at the age of 20. I was suicidal, probably because I was abusing pills and alcohol. I was officially diagnosed with "mood disorder, not otherwise specified" and had to deal with social anxiety issues as well. I continued regular and escalating substance abuse until August 2009, when I tried to kill myself and really seriously almost died. When I woke up in the hospital, I had an epiphane--I knew I was being given a second chance by God and that I had more to accomplish before I left this life. Fast-forward to Spring 2013...I finally have a job that pays all my bills, I'm stable, and I leave my crazy boyfriend. I'm kind of starting over and I decide to get off my meds because I no longer think I need them, I read about the long-term health effects, and become interested in natural therapies, supplements, and healthy eating. I first tried to stop taking Lamictal in July without help from my doctor. (I lost my insurance over a year ago, so I went to county health where they bounced me between several doctors, none of whom have taken the time to get to know me.) Knowing that all drugs have withdrawal effects, I cut up my pills and reduced from 300mg of Lamictal to 0mg over the period of a month. HORRIBLE!!! I thought I was going crazy, and it took a good friend's Google search for me to find out that I was having intense and debilitating withdrawal effects. To further prove it was indeed withdrawal, just a few hours after taking my normal dose I was feeling WAY BETTER. I knew I needed a better plan...
  3. I am Charlene from Utah USA, I am withdrawing (w/d) from Lamictal, and would like some help with it. Shortish summary of most recent mental health drug history: 150 mg/day lamictal, 50 mg/night trazadone (as needed for sleep), are current medications. I have already sucessfully w/d from 300 mg/day effexor, prior to that abilify (prior med was respiradal). I have script for wellbutrim that I have not started on, though I have taken it previously without (w/o) serious side effects, but wondered if it was "working" for less depression. I was recently diagnosed with anxiety, due to great trouble at work, I started using proprananol, but have not continued taking it as I think the growing job anxiety was due to w/d from effexor, not "me". Diagnosis I have been tagged with in the last few years include: major depression, severe, recurring; bi-polar I, generalized anxiety, and the wonderful one, borderline personality disorder. I was hospitalized by consent in 2011 for 2 weeks (huge work related difficulties were a driver), which is when I got the BPD diagnosis, possibly due to continuing having suicidal ideations and conflicts in relationships there (and in usual life); which have continued most of these 2 years. But, I think some things like "getting along with others" is getting better, possibly due to w/d from effexor? I have been prescribed many tri-cyclic and SSRI and SNRI anti-depressants; my summary at this point on anti-depressant use for me is that at best some of them have "raised the bottom" of my low moods - which at times of stress has been crucial I suppose. None of them however are something that I want or intend on staying on the rest of my life, which I believe is the pro-pharma medical establishments recommendation for me up to this point. Augmentation with resperidal for irritability, then abilify later, depakote (more than a couple years ago) and now lamictal (taken previous periods too, w/d due to memory/concentration/focus Extreme problems in 2004 and 2010 - why do "they" keep putting me on it? I was on double the dosage back then than I was this time however. Other medical/physical diagnosis (most likely from taking the above!) include hypertension, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, irritable bowel syndrome. I am currently interested in continuing Lamictal w/d and trying not to go back on any anti-depressants. I am a bit concerned that continuing w/d may exasperate my tendency to disorganization and sometimes fluctuating mood and more irritability......things I have noticed over the previous 2 months or so. I am trying to stay very motivated to deal with low moods by actions such as hiking, biking, possibly getting back to running trails, staying involved in community by tutoring and organizing hikes, try to get back to daily meditation and other ways to deal with repetitive thoughts and low and not useful thoughts/actions. I currently work part-time at a lower stress job, have financial difficulties due to being on private disability for 2 years, which payments have stopped now. How do I go about slow w/d from lamictal? So far have decreased to 150 mg/day from 200 mg/day, by cutting the blue tablets in quarters. I went down to 100 mg/day, but felt rising anxiety from the turmoil and lack of patience and such that I was feeling, so went back up to 150 mg/day and have been back there for more than a week now.
  4. Hi everyone, I joined this site because after 13 years of contributing to the pharmaceutical fund, and investing my retirement into the tuition of the children of my shrinks (eleven of them), only to mess up my brain chemistry and find no relief, I am tired of being on medication and looking for a way out. How it started. Fifteen years ago, I developed an eating disorder, which started as anorexia then after two years turned into bulimia. At the time, I had no other psychiatric issues. I was not depressed, did not suffer from anxiety (except relating to food) or cyclothymia... All of which I have been diagnosed with afterwards. I was started on medication immediately, before any other forms of treatment were tried. The doctor who diagnosed me with cyclothymia also had me on Topamax or Lamictal (can't quite recall), which can cause mood disturbances, mania, depression,etc. i am now convinced that I was suffering from the side effects of the drug. Also, my nutritional state was very deficient and affecting my cognitive abilities. This particular doctor was a nightmare. He had me committed to a mental institution for a month instead of considering that perhaps the drugs he had me on were responsible for my altered state. Before the medicines, I was mentally balanced. Two weeks after I started, I end up in a psych ward. The link is obvious. Its hard to keep track of what medications I have taken and when, so I will just list them, in no particular order: - prozac - zoloft - topamax - lamictal - zyprexa - cymbalta - welbutrin - xanax - effexor After six years of being a medical guinea pig, and finding no relief, I was prescribed wellbutrin, which helped significantly. At this point, I was very depressed. Wellbutrin helped me get out of bed i. The morning and helped me to get at a stable point, mentally and physically. It was the only drug that ever helped. However, after four years, I was still suffering from a chronic eating disorder I was functional but my quality of life sucked. I started working with a treatment team and the doc took me off Wellbutrin and put me on Effexor. I am now up to 225 of Effexor and wish I could go back in time and never have taken it, if I forget just one dose, the withdrawal is awful. If I go even one day without a dose, a migraine sets in. It is followed by dizziness, vertigo, brain zaps. Once the unquenchable thirst sets in, I begin to experience extreme moods that scare me and those around me. The worst part is that it hasn't really helped. I wanted so desperately to get better that I stuck out the initial side effects (anorgasmia, fatigue, nausea, dizziness) for months until I got used to the medication. Now I just sweat like I am going through menopause at 28, soak through my sheets at night, and feel blah all the time... Total apathy for everything. I feel trapped by this medication that doesn't help, but if I don't take it, I feel terrible. Slowly, my eating problems have improved, but that is through therapy, CBT, group therapy, mindfulness, yoga, and a variety of other tools. At first the Effexor seemed to help, since my eating issues were improving, but I now realize that it was a combination of the other tools I was using at the same time, which I had previously not been doing, I am planning on seeing a new doctor in two weeks to discuss going off Effexor. I would love to be drug free, but at this point I would be happy getting back on Wellbutrin or anything that is not Effexor. I am scared about getting of Effexor, since I have been doing so well despite it, but at the same time I am sick of being on it. I am happy I found a place where other people are going through something similar and appreciate your comments and thoughts.
  5. I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day. But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors. However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me. I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight. There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there. Meanwhile, here's what helped me: #1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end. #2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy. I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible! Wishing everyone my very best, Lisa
  6. I am new to this site I took Paxil for 13 years and Lamotrigine for 3 years. At 31 months out I am still having bad symptoms like tinnitus, brain fog, agoraphobia and a few others. Unfortunately I cold turkey because at the time I had no knowledge of tapering from anyone. Is this a normal pattern? Sure would like feedback. Thanks
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