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Hello everyone, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 1 when I was 15. It's been 12 years and I have taken quite a few different medications over those 12 years. I've been up and down but the overall tone has been either having manic episodes or being numbed out. I now often sleep for 12 to 13 hours a day, sometimes more and I feel tired and numb in the head. I have no passion or spark. Last year in 2012 I saw a video on youtube by BipolarorWakingup and it hit me like a lightning bolt. For a few days I felt strange. It awakened a part of me I had completely forgotten and I felt like a part of me had been vindicated. From when I was first diagnosed with the condition, a condition which was triggered by a medication (Paxil) in the first place, I knew that taking medications was wrong and not the solution. I knew it and resisted as long as I could but in the end as a 15 year old, I was forced to take it. And slowly but surely I was convinced by the people in my life, the doctors and the community at large that I had something wrong with me and that I needed to take medications for the rest of my life. Sean Blackwell (BipolarorWakingup) burst open that door and that deep part of me that knows truth said YES, YES this is truth. And since then I've been investigating how to do this, how to taper off. I've been reading quite a few books since then: 1. Am I Bipolar or Waking Up? by Sean Blackwell 2. Spiritual Emergency by Stanislav Grof M.D. and Christina Grof 3. Healing the Split by John E. Nelson. M.D. 4. Kundalini Yoga Meditation Techniques Specific for Psychiatric Disorders, Couples Therapy and Personal Growth by David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa And then a few weeks ago I found out about this website. To see people tapering off medications and succeeding is wonderful beyond words. It is so excellent and I would really appreciate your support in doing this myself. My psychiatrist seemed to be on board with the idea a year ago but I've had about one to two manic episodes in June and it seems that because of those episodes he has changed his mind. He has now relinquished his support in tapering off my meds. I would consider the manic episodes I had to be more like spiritual emergencies since I was much more clear than my previous manic episodes and I was in touch with consensual reality. In the second episode I had learned from the first episode and I even prevented a hospitalization. It's strange because previously he told me if I can get my ego strength high enough I can have a spiritual emergency. I also suggested he read Healing the Split which is written by a psychiatrist who is or was (may be retired) in good standing with the psychiatric community. He agreed to but never did. In any case, he told me I could get a second opinion and I got a referral to another psychiatrist who I am currently waiting to see. In the mean time, if you guys can give me some suggestions on how to taper off my medications I would really appreciate it. This new psychiatrist may say no as well so I might have to do this on my own. I notice there is a tapering off guide here. I was wondering if you guys could offer specific instructions for the particular medications I'm taking. Here are the medications I am currently taking. I have been taking them for about three years. The Olanzapine was increased after my two "manic" episodes from 1.25 mg to 2.5 mg back in June. Once a day at night I take: 1. Lithium Carbonate capsules 900 mg 2. Lamotrigine tablet 100 mg 3. Olanzapine tablet 2.5 mg It also says PMS before and after each drug name on the prescription label. I don't know what that stands for. I don't think it's premenstrual syndrome. Thank you so much. GreenFlameTiger
Hi been battling with depression since my early 20's and now 45. Initially I would get what I consider now minor bouts of SAD which I regret starting meds for. If I could go back in time like so many here I'd totally never start. Anyways throughout my 20's depression and anxiety were mild until my mid thirties. In 2011 I started to get panic attack at works and thing got worse until I could barely leave my house. I was ok though alll things considered as I could work from home and get food delivered to my nyc apt. Instead of trying to let it pass I decided to go on mirtazapine which after a couple days gave me total insomnia. My psychiatrist swore to me it was my illness and not the mirtazapine as its supposed to help sleep. Until that moment in life I never experienced insomnia at all nor did I have suicidal ideation. However after 3 months of almost no sleep with heavy benzo/z-drug usage included I was ready to take my life and to this day I have PTSD over the whole episode. Thankfully I stopped seeing that doc and stopped taking my mirtazapine. In 10 days I could sleep very well but i was still on paxil and slowly tapered the benzos till I was off. From that point I was told it wasn't worth it for me to come off SSRIs anymore so I didn't for years until 2017 when I just felt I could do without so i did. Everything seemed fine for many months but then I went to mexico and got a stomach bug. I should have just let it be but I took flagyl and ver the next couple months I was alright but i kept waking up earlier than usual etc (i believe the flagyl did it). 2018 I decided fine lets do the paxil again but this time it gives total insomnia. I stop it but its too late I can't sleep and I need to work. My PTSD from not sleeping in 2011 comes back and i'm taking a bit of kloopin to drift off at night. In a couple weeks i'm hooked. Doctor gives me trazadone which helps and i'm back on paxil with klonopin until the paxil hopefully helps. It does six months later once I reach a high dose and i taper of klonopin and trazodone. Sorry for dragging this out but I'm not sure what else to put here. 2021 now on lexapro because paxil raises my liver enzymes. Feel fine and sleep fine. April go in for first covid shot moderna. A few weeks later I can't sleep without trazadone and lexapro seems to be causing anxiety all of a sudden (this is the first time I had problems with sleep while on an SSRI). Please understand I am not anti-vax and in fact am very for it however I believe it is what triggered the episode I am in which has taken over nine month now. Anyways I switched to paxil until last month when it began making anxiety worse and now on 100mg luvox + 150-200mg trazodone. Sleeping but lightly with lots of dreams and having bouts of anxiety during the day with lots of suicidal ideation as I feel SSRIS can't help me anymore. This makes feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life. Do I start taking benzos again knowing that if th SSRIs don't work I will never come off and eventually kill myself once tolerance set in which it always does (I know I would, I want to do it now and I'm not going through benzo withdrawal). Or I dunno just stop taking luvox and trazodone and brace myself for hell now? Will I ever sleep again? I know my PTSD about not sleeping will kick in and everything will be so much worse. Will I come out on the other side or will I have anxiety and insomnia for life? (which would pretty much cause me to go back to scenario one above and inevitably lead to suicide. ) I know lots of catastrophizing here and other cognitive distortions but thats alI I feel right now. I didn't take my luvox today and don't know if I'll be able to skip my trazodone tonight. Words of encouragement would be appreciated. Feel like these are the last few weeks of my life. 1998: 4 months paxil for SAD1999: 4 months paxil for SAD2000: 3 months paxil for SAD2001-2010: On and off PAXIL, Lexapro for depression flareups but very inconsistent use.2011: Went on mirtazapine, 80 mg paxil, 2 mg klonopin.2012: tapered off mitazapine and klonopin once paxil helped.2013-2017: 10-20mg paxil or 10mg lexapromid 2017:off lexapro2018: reinstated 20mg Paxil, .75 klonopin, 150 trazodone2019: tapered off klonopin and trazodone, switched to 50mg luvox2020: switched to 10 mg lexapro2021: switched to 40 mg paxil, added 150mg trazodone
Hello to the community, I've been reading and browsing this site for a while, but hadn't ever formally joined. I've been taking medication (Paxil then Effexor) for the past 15+ years. In the past year or two I've become much more emotionally healthy and have entered a stable place in my life. From many different discussions with different medical professionals (and from personal experience!) I know it is best to taper from a position of strength and relative good mental health and I've fought so so hard to get to where I am. I want to taper off of my medications to recover my emotions and to potentially try to become pregnant. I find that I've become much more emotionally blunted - I am neither happy nor sad about things that would be joyful/upsetting for most people. I am also at the age where many of my friends are having children, and would also love to have a child. From the literature searching that I have done, I've found many conflicting opinions on whether or not a pregnant woman should take mental health medications - Effexor XR in particular. I've consulted 3 MDs and one naturopathic doctor and have connected with MotherRisk at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. I have been told the following: My GP: you should switch to Celexa ( less side effects/ lower risk of birth defects/) 2nd Doctor: keep taking your medication (Effexor) - don't worry about it. Naturopathic doctor - difficult decision - there is no one right answer and each person must decide the level of risk that is acceptable to him/her and also balance your own mental health needs. SickKids RN - Keep taking your meds. Internet research - conflicting opinions, scary stories etc. Some children of mothers taking Effexor are born and have withdrawal symptoms. I want to stay out of judgement - I think everyone needs to do what is right for them. Right now, for me it feels right to try and taper. In the past 7 months I've tapered slowly down with the assistance of a mental health RN and Naturopathic doctor who advised supplements for the brain zapps. I feel like there are so many people who take medication for mental health, and so many women getting pregnant - but the issue of the two together is very rarely talked about, at least in my experience. If there is anyone out there who has gone through this issue, or has some experience I would love to hear about it. I have found a few articles, and I believe there was recently a film made called "Moms and Meds" although I haven't seen it yet... possibly because I don't want to sob quietly for 30 or 40 minutes before bed. https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/pg75mg/for-pregnant-women-with-mental-illnesses-medication-can-be-a-minefield Taking things one day at a time. Whee... Cokemachineglow
Lots of good info & facts in both of these. 1st one is like a run down if the history of these drugs 2nd one is about withdrawal Show these videos to people, doctors who don't understand or don't believe https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T9VrXONsI6o