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  1. Hello- I am new here. I've been on psychiatric drugs for almost two decades now. I currently take Zoloft 300mg, Adderall 60mg, Abilify 15mg, Mirtazapine 45mg, Trazodone 100mg and Klonopin .5mg. I've only ever been diagnosed with depression which started in 2002. I don't have ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia or any other known disorder. After suffering for many years and wanting to get off these medications I am finally going to do it. I am wondering if anyone has used the tapering strips from Dr. Groot? I am highly sensitive to these medications and from the withdrawal effects I've had briefly in the past- they were excruciating. I currently reside in Arizona but will be moving home to Michigan to start the withdrawal process very soon. Thank you and God bless us all. If you'd like to learn more about my story and experience or if I can be of help to anyone please let me know.
  2. Hello, my name is Manny. I was diagnosed 0CD and schizophrenic in 2008, but I been taking benzos and amiptriptiline since 2005. Currently,taking abilify 20mg,risperidone 2mg,cymbalta 60mg,biperiden 4mg. I am tapering klonopin down to 0,27mg from a dose of 1,25mg. I went to see my doctor this week because a blood test that I did. He said my hepatic transaminases are high because of the medication that I take. I am assuming the APs that I take. What can I do to get my liver function well? I know, quitting the APs, but I can t cold turkey. Any advice,please.
  3. mmcdonald21

    mmcdonald21: intro

    Hey, I've been trying to get off medications for a while now, to no avail. I'm currently on 30mg Remeron, 300mg Effexor, and 10mg Abilify. I also take a lot of vitamins and fish oil with a high concentration of EPA. I don't feel very good right now, and I've had periods where I've felt good, but I'm pretty sure they were just times that were flukes. I think the things that really help me are exercise, meditation, and to some degree, my vitamins and fish oil, but I really do want to get off of the medications. For over four years I've been reliant on these medications, and still I haven't felt very good at all during the time. I started getting off of my medications by taking 75mg less of the Effexor XR (I was on 375mg). I will report back how that goes. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
  4. Topic title: Symptoms getting worse over time (nerve/muscle pain) Has anyone had withdrawal symptoms which have gotten worse over time? I have developed leg pain in both legs which feels like nerve pain. It started right around when I discontinued the imipramine and Abilify (fast taper) last December. But instead of getting better (windows and waves) it is getting progressively worse. It's also worsened by exercise. It wasn't too bad earlier this year but now I can barely walk at this point. Maybe I have some mystery illness and it's not related to the discontinuation. The doctors are mystified. They have ruled out almost all probable causes. Anyone else have something like this?
  5. Hi. I'm new here. Here are the basics of my story. I had been on 150mg of Zoloft for 17 years for dysthymia and generalized anxiety disorder. I decided to taper off, with the blessing of my pdoc. My depression and anxiety returned, and I had to not only increase the Zoloft to 200mg but add 1mg of Abilify (plus Konopin as needed). It's been a year and a half since the episode began and a year since starting Abilify. I'm feeling quite a bit better--I hardly ever take the Klonopin, and my pdoc said I can try doing without the Abilify. I just went 16 days at only 0.5mg of Abilify, but I'm feeling anxious and depressed again and bumped back up to 1mg. I'm so frustrated with the whole situation. I'm working hard to recover: I'm in weekly therapy, I run just about every day (3-6 miles), and I meditate almost daily. I don't want to come off the Zoloft, just the Abilify. Maybe I won't be able to, in which case I need to come to terms with that. Any comments or questions would be greatly appreciated.
  6. Hello: I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify). I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking. I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time. Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine. I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam. So, I do not see that as a real hurdle. There is an erroneous date listed in my signature. It should be 2012. If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it. It was kind of a mystery just to create it. I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here. I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor. Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible. Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep. Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety. Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self. I am glad for this. After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days. Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed. My dose tonight will be ~.4700. When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms). I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me. I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...). I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks. Oh, except lamictal. I took that for about 6 months (in 2001). Almost forgot about that one. A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010: Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone. They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them. Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that. The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood. Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners). As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over. Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago. It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications. It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications. That's my history, in a nutshell. Cleerity
  7. I have a lot of dental work that I need done. My molars are rotting and need to be pulled due to a 2 year spat of binging and purging (I stopped months ago....but no matter, the damage has been done). However, I am NOT in a good place right now for this. My body is still trying to adjust to 2 withdrawals. How do I deal with the pain that is to come?? I am freaking out right now and would love a friendly voice or two :(
  8. I have been on quetiapine 200mg, citalopram 40mg and Abilify 5mg daily. I have been functioning well on this combination. My psychiatrist advised me to stop Abilify when I was ready as he said taking two antipsychotics is not recommenced. I noticed a slight tremor in my hands about three months ago and thought that this might be the time to stop Abilify. I stopped 11 weeks ago. I cut to 2.5mg for three weeks with no ill effects, then stopped altogether 8 weeks ago. Generally, I haven’t been too bad, just feeling some tiredness and confusion, but sleeping ok and not feeling anxiety. However, in the last 10 days I seem to have taken a turn for the worse, which started with feelings of anxiety. To compensate, I raised the quetiapine to 250mg. I am in Spain at the moment (until 11th April) and my psychiatrist is in London so I made that decision myself. The anxiety has receded but in the last 24 hours i felt some disassociation and suicidal thoughts - feeling very ill. A local doctor here gave me some Clonazepam to take but I don’t want to take it regularly as the last thing I want is to be hooked on benzodiazepines. i realize that I have stopped pretty suddenly, so I need to think about continuing as I am vs going back on and tapering more slowly. I would love to hear other people’s thoughts and experiences - this is a pretty lonely road! many thanks, rich
  9. I was 22 when I went to the doctor because of a broken heart. He put me on effexor. I had faith in our medical system then, I don't these days. He did not even think the birth control I was on was causing a problem nor did he test for any nutrient insufficiency. It was a brief few minutes. I was crying over a break up and that was all he needed to see and hear to pack me up with several trial boxes full of effexor XR. It seemed like the end of the world and I wanted the pain to stop so I put my trust in my doctor and took the pill everyday until I got pregnant a year later. It was a difficult pregnancy. I was not aware I had a genetic mutation in my MTHFR pathway. I don't even know if that pathway was studied much back then...I am 38 now. Just so you have a time line. I don't know if they were aware that antidepressants made the lack of folate worse. No wonder I had preeclampsia and was on bed rest for the entire 3rd trimester. I felt like crap and was at risk for heart attack and stroke. They had to induce 2 weeks early. She was definitely worth it. Her father, however was not. I needed to go back on effexor after the pregnancy to deal with his abuse. In the end, I wound up with PTSD and he sat 6 years in prison. I had developed a drinking problem at this time. I was out of control. The second pregnancy helped me reel it back in. I went off the meds and did not go back on them until I was unable to handle the stress anymore which was about 2 years post partum. I had 2 daughters, I was working as much as possible and in school full time. My significant other was trying to "hook up" with other girls and my second attempt at a family was failing. They added trazadone this time so I could sleep. Instead of dealing with the problem, I numbed it. My behavior changed a lot. I lost interest in the things I was working so hard for, I became compulsive even more than usual, the alcohol abuse returned. The failing of the family sealed everything. I lost it completely, cut myself so badly and tried to commit suicide. I ended up spending a week in the psych ward where they changed up my meds and added abilify and buspar to the cocktail. Apparently I had gone from just depressed to bipolar. I got off the medication after I found myself pregnant for the 3rd time. I married this one. Love him to death too. After I had my 3rd daughter and even during the pregnancy I was having what I thought were a return of my old bipolar symptoms. I went back on all the meds believing they would help me. They actually made me lose control a bit more and eventually I felt so lost and sick that I knew it was time to get off the meds and actually work towards a happy, healthy life. I was weaned off everything except trazadone. I requested to stay on it for insomnia. I had not been able to sleep for years without a sleep aid and it worked for me. The initial withdrawl was bad. I was on the couch for atleast a month after taking my last dose. I made it through. Shortly after I began developing gastrointestinal issues. I was always nauseated and would have stomach aches. No one thought it was from withdrawl or from the trazadone I continued to take. I carried on in my health quest. I began running and cleaned up my diet. I fell in love with Crossfit and added that to the mix. My gastrointestinal problems continued and got worse. I started eliminating gluten and dairy from my diet. It helped a little. Then I woke up one morning with distorted vision, extreme fatigue, and a general feeling like I had the flu...but it wouldn't go away. I worked with a gastro thinking that something horrible was going on in my intestinal track. Blood work, a colonoscopy, ct scans, numerous emergency visits could not pin point anything wrong. It was a mystery. I thought I was dying at one point. Until I decided it was time to go off of trazadone...and miraculously after I was weaned off all the brain fog, headaches, fatigue went away. My gut did not improve much. But I then had an idea what was causing my issues. I was diagnosed with IBS and it was driving me nuts. I was not aware I was still going through withdrawls nor did I associate the deterioration in my mental state with those withdrawls. I thought, my gut was great when I was on effexor. Lets try it. My body rejected it twice. My gastro tried a low dose of elivil which my body also rejected. I worked out that weekend and woke up on Monday and all the symptoms I had before had returned times 10. I felt like I had fried my brain. I have been trying to recover for the past 6 months. I did see a lot of improvement after working with an integrative doctor. We are trying to increase my serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. My adrenals are shot. My cortisol curve is really messed up. The ability for my body to regulate blood sugar levels was horrible for a long time. But is better now. I can have coffee again in the morning when I need it most. I sleep more than I don't these days. Sleep hypnosis works like a charm to help with the racing thoughts at night. My gut has improved, but my diet is super clean and I try and exercise when I am feeling well enough to. I take methylfolate for my mutation and we are working on getting my body to synthesize B6 better with a ful spectrum of aminos I take as a bone broth protein supplement. I still have waves. They were manageable up until this week. I am having a really bad wave. Migraine, my thermostat is not working right (either freezing or sweating), muscle aches, horrible vertigo, vision problems, balance is off, muscle weakness, fatigue yet cannot sleep well. And the emotional roller coaster has not been fun. I can't wait to get off that ride. Horrible panic, paranoia, fear, anxiety, akathisia, and obsessive behavior, cannot handle any type of stress at all. My poor 13 year old got the brunt of it yesterday. I yelled at her because she needed me to pick her up from school because she was not feeling well. I could not handle the change in my morning plans. I apologized later that night, though. I do try and explain what is happening. This is what it is like, though. I know this is a lengthy post, but I feel it is important to tell my story and I am not going to sugar coat things at all. This whole process has been horrible. It is a nightmare for me and for my family. I just have faith and hope that one day I will wake up and I will be healed...atleast I hear that is how things are suppose to happen.
  10. Hello, I really appreciate seeing everyone's stories and strategies, and it helps to know that I'm not alone. I am in my late 20s and have been on and off many meds since a hospitalization for depression in 2005. By fall of 2016, when I started the “taper”, I was on 4 medications: Cipralex 20mg, Adderall 30-40 mg, Abilify 2mg and Wellbutrin SR 200 mg. The first 3, I think I was taking for around 2 years after numerous failed treatments including various meds and rTMS; however, I have been taking the Wellbutrin for 12 years. On that regimen of 4, from something like 2014-2016, my mood was generally in-check but my life was beginning to fall apart. I graduated and got a full time job in the summer of 2016, but I was having horrible energy crashes randomly during the day. Sometimes I couldn't keep my eyes open or stay seated. I struggled socially. My memory and attention were affected, and I would cry randomly. I had trouble believing it could be from the meds because they were supposed to do the opposite. In Sept 2016, I was off work and on disability. It was an incredibly confusing situation, and everyone, including myself, blamed my brain. Soon after that I began having a gradual and profound shift in perspective as I realised that meds may have been more of a problem for me than a solution. At some point in the fall of 2016, I started my withdrawal journey. First, I stopped the Cipralex over a few weeks, and became incredibly anxious. It was really horrible; I would get spells of pacing and yelling at myself. I couldn't meditate or do anything to calm down anymore. After a few months of that, I then tapered the adderall over around a month. At that point, I became really exhausted, was getting frequent (but not ER level) suicidal thoughts, and had trouble doing anything. I eventually got accepted for a volunteer job to which I had previously applied, and reinstated half of the adderall to function. However, I was scared that the tolerance crashes might come back, so my doc switched me to Vyvanse 20-30 mg. It was smoother but I was still concerned that it was not a long-term solution. I finished the volunteer job, then I read about things that other people had tried and decided to do some lifestyle changes. I stopped sugar and gluten and got outside a lot. Then I tapered both the vyvanse and the abilify at the same time over around 2 months. It was not as bad this time, and after a few more months off of them, I was mostly able to concentrate and wasn't getting very many dark thoughts. My emotional depth and variety, as well as cognition, were even beginning to improve. Once I could sort of focus again, I decided to try the paleo/keto diet and taper the wellbutrin. The problem with wellbutrin is that I have unsuccessfully tried to stop it numerous times over the past decade by following the traditional taper advice. Each time ended with me falling into an awful depression a few weeks later, and eventually back onto the med. I had been convinced that this was evidence of a chronic underlying depression, but now reading other people's stories, I'm going to be optimistic and assume that it was delayed withdrawal. So, I felt a little better on the paleo diet and dropped the WB dose from 200 mg to 100 mg on Oct 25, 2017 (right before I found this forum). I then became very sluggish with low motivation, but after a few weeks I was able to get out of bed in the morning again and do a few things. It's been 5 weeks now and no terrible-delayed-withdrawal-depression yet. I'm mostly just tired with trouble getting started on tasks. I asked for an extension on my leave from work to finish sorting this out. Surprisingly though, my difficulty connecting with people and obsessive thinking are improving in intermittently - I'm not sure yet if that's from going off the meds or from the changes in diet, but I greatly welcome it. By reading other people's success stories here, I learned that my best chance at becoming free from the Wellbutrin is to do the rest of my taper extremely slowly. I have an appointment with my doc next week to make a plan. This doc is good so it should go okay. I would be interested to hear anything from you!
  11. Cigarettes at age 11. Alcohol periodically from age 13 to age 30. Valium episodically from age 18 to age 27. I have been on myriad anti-depressants since 1982 for major depression and generalized anxiety. Imipramine, desyrel, ativan. Off drugs from 1984 till 1995. Started Prozac 1995 till 2014 (did well from 1995 to 2011). Tried Wellbutrin, Cymbalta. Abilify and Trintellix from March 2014 till August 8, 2017 (depression free). Had to withdraw due to cervical dystonia and tremors which still persist. Terrible experience withdrawing from Abilify and Trintellix. Started Wellbutrin 150 mg. and Prozac 10 mg. for one week to help with withdrawal. Then increased Wellbutrin to 300 mg. and experienced ringing in ears; stopped the Wellbutrin and increased Prozac to 20 mg. (10 in A.M.; 10 in P.M.) Now on Prozac 20 mg. per day, occasional Propranolol for tremors (doesn't help). I've read that coming off Abilify can take up to 3 months or more, and it has been 2 months so far. I feel like I've spent (wasted) my entire adult life trying to feel better, first by self-medicating, then by psychiatric medicating. I'm 72 years old. I wonder if there is any hope for me.
  12. Wow! First of all I would like to say how relieved I was to have found this forum. For the years I've been struggling with this I have gotten so tired of other people (including doctors and therapists!) telling me that what I've experienced isn't possible and that I'm either making it all up or still sick. Everything started in my junior year of college. I had struggled with varying levels of depression and anxiety for most of my life, even resorting to SI when I was younger, but had finally hit a point where I thought that I needed some professional help. Looking back, I'm sure that the sudden drop was situational as much as anything. Most of my friends had moved away or graduated, my family was going through some money trouble, and I was working more hours to be able to be more self-sufficient. I started to become more withdrawn and my academics started to drop. I was an A and B student so this was very stressful to me. Thinking I was being proactive and doing the right thing, I went to my school's counseling center who then referred me to the campus clinic. The psychiatric nurse practitioner prescribed Prozac (20mg). About two weeks later I was hit with the worse anxiety I had ever had. I barely left my house unless I had to for class or work, would start shaking at random times, and had near constant chest pain. I tried to wait it out but eventually gave up and went back. She switched me to lexapro(20mg). This seemed to do the trick so I stayed on it though the end of the semester and over the summer. Unfortunately, when I started back up at school I started to struggle again. I'd tried to make positive changes in my life: made some new friends, got in contact with old ones, and started trying to date. Then, as it happens all too often in college, the guy I was seeing got me drunk and took advantage. This led to me having a bit of a breakdown and my friends urged me to go to the hospital. While there they switched me to zoloft(50mg), remeron(15mg), and lorazapam(2mg as needed). This is where things start to get really wonky. At first I thought it was helping but about a month after I got out of the hospital I started having these intense intrusive self-harm thoughts. Violent and strong enough to scare me. I had a medication review and those three were dropped and I was put on WellbutrinXL(150mg). Again things were better for a little while but about a month later started to go south. The intrusive thoughts were back and I had started to feel very unlike myself. Impulsive and disconnected. I later learned that this was probably a kind of dissociation. One night all of the stress and darkness got to me and I impulsively decided to chase the rest of my pills with half a bottle of vodka. It was strange because I wasn't trying to kill myself, the mindset was more: "I wonder what this will do. It can't be worse that what I'm already feeling." It didn't feel real, like it was happening to someone else. That put me back in the hospital where I then dropped out of college and moved back in with my parents. I had to be on a wait list but eventually I started seeing a new psychiatrist who decided to diagnose me with Bipolar based on the impulsiveness and out of character behavior I had while taking Wellbutrin. She called it agitated depression or mixed mania. At the time I believed her. I was scared, desperate, and seriously doubting my sanity, and I felt like I couldn't trust myself. She started out by prescribing me Abilify(15mg) and Effexor (75mg). This was my second nightmare. A few days later I started having akathisia and had similar feelings of impulsiveness and feeling out of control. When I told my doctor she urged me to wait it out which led to me relapsing into SI for the first time in over 6 years to cope. That combination was obviously stopped and I had the most physical withdrawal symptoms that I had so far. I couldn't leave my bed for two days I was so nauseous and dizzy. I feel like I should point out at this point that I was on most of these medications for max of a few months and didn't taper at all. Cold turkey then right on to another. Next on the list was Latuda(40mg - 60mg). My insurance ended up not really covering that one so what I ended up on as my final medication was Lithium. This was a blessing in a way because it didn't really do anything, which turns out, is what I needed. At one point I was up to 1600mg a day to control my "symptoms" which I'm now convinced was almost entirely side effects mixed with withdrawal. That dose completely destroyed my short term memory. After finally stabilizing, I had gone back to school and this was making classwork almost impossible, so after much debating the dosage was stepped down to 800mg. Finally, in the summer of 2017, I took a summer job working at a research station in the forest. After a lot of solo time hiking in nature I had an epiphany. This was the best I had felt in years and that all of my serious problems started after I sought "help." When I got back to see my doctor I told her my plan to stop taking medication. She was extremely judgemental and basically told me I'd be back when I had a relapse and just told me to tapper off with the what I had left (about a weeks worth). I'm very happy to say that she was wrong. All I've done since then is get better. I still struggle with some depression and anxiety but if that is the trade off I will gladly live with that. After a year and a half of being free of psychiatric drugs I'm surprised at the difference. On medication I was dissociating, having panic attacks, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. I felt like a complete basket case. It's terrifying to me how easy it is to get stuck in a downward spiral like that. Not ONE of the doctors or therapists that I'd seen even considered that the medication could be what was causing me to get worse and worse. They just saw worsening "symptoms" that they had to "get ahead of" and I believed it too. Now, even that the worst is over, the experience still haunts me. I feel so guilty about the way that I behaved and I have no idea how much was my fault versus the medication. I know that it was a factor but I remember making the decisions to hurt myself and destroy my life and I'm not really sure how to live with that. I have nightmares where I'm back in the worst of it feeling like I'm slowly losing my mind and I have permanent scars from the SI. I saw a new primary care doctor recently and the first thing she tried to do was get me back on mood stabilizers after seeing "bipolar" on my chart. I don't know how to get that removed or if I even can. The only people who believe me are my friends and family who saw me go from a somewhat stressed young adult to nonfunctional almost overnight. I know that this hasn't ruined my life... but it certainly feels like it sometimes. I'm sorry that anyone else had to go through this hell but I'm so, so glad that I'm not alone in this. Even now I'm not sure that I'm completely recovered. I guess time will tell.
  13. Hey everyone thanks for reading. I was wondering if anyone recovered from large doses of antipsychotics. I was put on 4mg risperidone from November until about 2 weeks ago I stopped taking it here in May. I was also on the largest dose of abilify for a couple weeks. I've been extremely messed up since November and I have pain in my body,heart I'm completely non functional, unemployed now and I have pressure/pain in the side of my head. It's hard to explain how awful I feel and lifeless I am now. I was put on such a high dose because I got drunk one night started hearing voices and made the mistake of going to the hospital. They diagnosed me with schizophrenia but the voices went away a month ago and I wish I just would've kept it to myself instead of getting treatment for it. Are there any other high dose antipsychotic quitters out there? Do you think I will get better? I miss working and having a normal life/feeling normal.
  14. Here is a question for everyone who has used anti-psychotics (especially athletes): Have you experienced poor blood circulation after using anti-psychotics? please reply with your experience in decent detail. I myself am an athlete and after i took risperdal, my blood circulation dramatically weakened, i was much less vascular and could barely experience a muscle pump after working out; I recovered from that side effect after a rough 14 months. later i took abilify and the same exact thing happened, poor circulation, less vascular and of course fatigue in the gym. after bloodwork, the only thing that was abnormal was prolactin (it was high after risperdal and low after abilify).
  15. Good afternoon everyone~ I am so very grateful for stumbling upon this website and extremely glad you are all here. I have been continuously medicated, with the exception of a couple of short hiccups due to insurance snafus, for 19 years. I am now 44. I have done my best to outline my taper history over the last 18 months in my signature. I have been on about 20 different medications and endless combinations of those over those past 19 years. I have been on Social Security Disability benefits since October of 2017, which is actually a huge blessing because there is no chance I'd be able to function at all right now in a job, due to the severity of my withdrawal from Abilify. Holy cow, where do I even start? For starters, I have canceled all further appointments with my psychiatrist. I have developed a severe mistrust of all things psychiatry at this point, and of this doctor in particular. This guy told me a few months back that a person can get off Abilify--30mg, no less, the maximum dose--in a month. This irritates me to no end--he's not the only psychiatrist who disseminates total lies about withdrawal (oops, excuse me, "discontinuation syndrome") and acts like there's nothing to it. There's one story these MDs know how to tell and they keep telling it: These meds are not addictive or dependency-fostering, and it's a piece of cake to get off of them. All one has to do is hop on the Internet to know that the actual experience of patients tells a RADICALLY different story. I know I can't trust this psychiatrist at all. Any doctor who would have me believe that getting off Abilify, after 13 years on that antipsychotic, takes a month is a total fruitcake, as far as I'm concerned. This doctor also was strongly pushing Electroconvulsive Therapy on me last summer. He wouldn't let up on that for about two months. I refused and refused and refused, no matter how awful I felt. The good doctor tried to tell me that there are minimal long-term consequences of ECT, and that memory loss is negligible. Um, I KNOW more than one person who has had ECT and they can't remember what you said to them five minutes ago. What is even happening here? Why this tremendous disconnect between the psychiatry party line and the actual real-life experiences of patients? The whole of mainstream psychiatry is completely gaslighting the American public and I'm so, so, so, so tired of it. Enough. It's ravaged my life. Anyhow, at this point, I'm down to a micro-dose of Abilify when my withdrawal symptoms become totally unbearable. This averages out to a tiny, tiny dose (about 3-4 mg) every 10 days or so. I know it's bad to be doing this myself, essentially, but that psychiatrist I've been going to is a total joke, and all waitlists in my region for Medicaid psychiatry patients are closed. It's insane. I got a prescription for Requip from my Primary Care Physician last week to control the agonizing muscle restlessness. Requip is a dopamine agonist given to Parkinson's patients. It worked wonderfully for about 3 days and then I developed a tolerance to it. I also tried magnesium powder to control muscle twitching, jerking, and agitation, but that caused very severe diarrhea. I mean, actually, I was totally willing to live with diarrhea 25-30 times a day if it meant controlling muscle agitation, but then the magnesium stopped working too. I am not EMOTIONALLY suicidal at all but the muscle agony is enough to make a person want to die. My M.O. right now is daily hot yoga, daily Centering Prayer (my meditation practice), good nutrition, a daily Vitamin D, neurofeedback, traditional talk therapy, and the support people who are really in my corner with this. I'm so angry. When I went on medication at age 25 I was in the throes of a terribly painful romantic relationship, but somehow let myself be convinced by psychiatry that I had a "chemical imbalance". Now they tell me I am "Medication Treatment Resistant." Seriously. Probably because I never had a "chemical imbalance" in the first place. Oh, and I'll wrap up with this. Gotta love the provider favorite, "If you had diabetes, you'd take your insulin every day." PLEASE. Give me a break. What a horrible and misleading analogy and I'm so tired of it. My mom just tried to use it on me yesterday. I love my mom dearly, but I think this is how she justifies her and my dad being on antidepressants and benzos for 35+ years now. Tired of the lies. Tired of the crap. Tired of the gaslighting. I'm so sorry for the angry tone of this post. I'm just sort of coming to terms with it all. I'm on Social Security Disability now, for crying out loud. Things just got worse and worse and worse on the meds. It has changed the course of my entire life. I know many of you on here can relate. I'm grateful to be here. Since there are so few sane people out there with the power of a prescription pad, it seems like we really have to rely on each other to get through this. Thank you.
  16. I came across this forum in the recent New Yorker article and I’m excited to connect with others going through similar experiences. I’ve been dealing with this in isolation for far too long. JAN 2019 Over the years, I’ve been put on an increasingly complex regime - see signature. At the start of the year as I understand it, the mainstays were Wellbutrin + Pristiq, augmented by Latuda. Plus Adderall to combat daytime lethargy. I wasn’t satisfied: 1) I don’t like being on so many meds. I felt a personal stigma, plus I’m scientifically trained. Surely this was too many variables in terms of optimizing further. 2) I was still suffering from evening lethargy, basically crashing out around 8-9pm which was impacting my relationship and family. 5mg Adderall and a coffee at 7pm, and I could still pass out an hour later. WHERE I AM NOW: STREAMLINING MY REGIME This year, I’m working to simplify the regime with my psych. Immediate goals - taper Pristiq, stop Latuda. 2019 goal - reduce to two or three meds. To taper the Pristiq, we added 10mg Prozac. We also added Abilify to replace the Latuda, which I hope to discontinue soon. So I went from 4 meds to 6, hoping this makes sense. The Pristiq tapering has been a real journey - The hardest phase was when I was taking 50mg every 2 days, then every 3 days. - Thanks to this forum, I read that that was a bad idea (the rollercoaster certainly felt like one), and we switched to 25mg daily. Thats where I am now. - The switch from 50 mg every 3 days -> 25mg daily surprised me by being the hardest transition in terms of depressive symptoms. This was combined with a foot injury which meant I couldn’t exercise much. When it rains, it pours! Would love to hear your thoughts on any of the above. Stay strong.
  17. I was diagnosed bipolar II in 1999, when I was 45. I was put on Bupropion first, then switched to a cocktail of 2000 mg of Valproic Acid (Valproate), a mood stabilizer, 30 mg of Prozac and 10 mg of Stelazine. The Stelazine was swapped out for 10 mg of Abilify in 2014. So now I'm 65 I've been taking a heavy duty cocktail for 20 years. As a retirement present, I'd like to try withdrawing and rediscovering my bliss. Is this dangerous? Not just the withdrawal, but, afterwards? Am I going to turn into a crazy old man? Go on shopping sprees? I've had prostate treatment, so I'm post sexual, that behavioural pattern isn't available, but I'm relatively well off, I could spend my brains out? Will this happen?
  18. Hi. I'm trying to taper off Abilify and I'm flying solo because my GP has no clue about how to do it. She did say I should taper but had no guidelines. So last October I stopped taking it cold turkey because I am foolish and forgot what she said. One week later, I was a complete mess. So I went back on, and started to taper. I decided to decrease by .5 mg (started at 5 mg) every 2 1/2 weeks, the timeline was mostly just because it's easy to remember. I didn't have much of a reaction to the tapering, so I was pleased. However, I finally got down to .5 mg at the beginning of February (so hard to cut those pills ugh) and then stopped about a week ago. I'm starting to have withdrawal symptoms again -- the anxiety especially; it doesn't seem as bad as when I stopped at 5 mg in October but . . . it's just a week now and last time it got worse . . . I'm sort of lost as to what to do now. Was it too fast? Should I go back on .5 mg and stay there for a month or so and then try to stop completely? Or should I just try to wait out the symptoms? Any advice would be welcome! I have had trouble going off antidepressants in the past . . . Zoloft was a problem, as was Wellbutrin (although not the first two times I went off). I can stop taking Prozac on a whim with no problems, though? *shrug* (I'm also taking Prozac and Wellbutrin, no changes to those in some time. Oh, and dextroamphetamine but not depression related.)
  19. I've been on antipsychotics for nearly 20 years after I had a psychotic breakdown whilst I was taking an antedepressant and experiencing several major life stressors. I've tried to withdraw numerous times but have always become psychotic very quickly. My memory has been affected, I now have diabetes and my weight soared as I put on 10 stone. I'm here because several people recommended this site. I currently take 300mg amisulpride plus medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  20. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  21. I started Abilify 3 months ago and it has done very little depression wise, but has definitely given me akathisia, muscle twitching, and increased anxiety. I am currently taking 2mg and wish to taper off as safely as possible. I’d like to use liquid if possible. Any advice, dosing schedules, success stories would be greatly appreciated.
  22. I'm 17 and I have been on Celexa 10mg, Abilify 10mg, and Adderall XR 20mg for over a year now. I was prescribed these medications for depression and bi-polar disorder (bi-polar runs in my mothers side of the family). The Abilify was tacked on along with the Celexa as a "stabilizer" for the Celexa, as my original psychiatrist said. When I first started taking these two medications I did have uncontrollable face movements, where it would look like I was disappointed or frowning, but this stopped after a month. My mind was foggy during the first few months, so I was prescribed Adderall for concentration. The Adderall does make me feel weird, but overall I feel it has been helped me overcome the fogginess. For the first 6-7 months of being on the medications, I would say I felt "better", but I never quite felt "myself" since I have been on them. The medications have helped me with making my mood more stable, I used to get very sad or have anger outbursts. Although I do not have these mood swings anymore, I feel very "blah". As if I am just there and that is it, every day I feel like I am just floating by. Another thing that effected me since starting the medications was my social life, especially in the past few months. Now I am very shut and closed off towards my friends and others. If I go out to a gathering with my friends I am extremely quiet and everyone is constantly asking, "are you okay?". I asked the few friends that know that I am on medications if was always shut off, they said I changed a lot; the people that do not know I am on medications just think I am going through something. For the past few weeks I have really been feeling "blah", and because of this I am really considering stopping the medications to go back to the better, old me. I made this post to share my story and would really love to hear your thoughts and opinions. Thank you for taking the time to read my long post.
  23. New to the community. Joined after reading Schizor's (forum member) story. I'll try & make this short. Hospitalized twice. (For "psychosis"). Once for a month in psych ward (Oct - Nov 2016), second time for a few weeks. (Feb 2017) For the first time, forced to take Risperidone & Abilify. Approx 10mg. After complaining it was gradually decreased down to 1mg. Upon release from ward, through trial & error, stopped one drug, tried the other & vice versa. Eventually went cold turkey off both drugs. Second hospital stay was given a shot of Invega. It seems you guys know the drill .... Zombie like feeling, loss of balance, stomach pain, pounding headache, face numbness, involuntary muscle movements, aches, sore eyes, insomnia etc ... After constant arguments, battles & calls to local pharmacists ... Decided to go off the drugs cold turkey. Again it seems you guys know the drill .... After constant nights of bad withdrawals ( a few weeks or so), kinda - sorta made it through only to still have major insomnia, lack of motivation, no energy, weird thoughts, sensitivity to lights & noise, jerky movements, aggression, a bit of sexual dysfunction & so on. Ladies & gents ..... What now ??? I feel exactly like Schizor did. Only wanna sleep but can't really, only wanna eat but don't feel satisfied, lack of emotion & stone cold thoughts, loss of character etc ..... On top of all this I have legal issues & may face jail time. A nightmare is almost an understatement when it comes to these drugs. It's also caused me to become completely paranoid of any doctor diagnosis, (psychosis !?? ... More like psychosis induced) psychiatrist, hospital, medical help of any sort. Thanks for reading (if ya did).
  24. Dear all, I am currently coming off abilify, I am on 3ml of abilify liquid titration. 2007 August- voluntary patient in a private clinic abroad- fro 3 months- turning point for me for the better- prescribed abilify..and lorazepam...took abilify for 7 years but not the benzo as luckily, when I returned my GP took them away from me saying they were highly addictive.... After returning to university and graduating .. It was then I decided to face events from the past and ask questions.. which were never answered at the time. In 2013 I decided to come off them, a withdrawal plan was set up and my brain went like a yoyo- after taking 15 mg for 6 years.. psychiatrist prescribed 15 for a month, 10 alternating days, 10-5 mg for another few months alternating days... my delicate CNS was in so much pain.. I stopped at 5 mg in 2014 around June..but I went from 10to 5mg big drop.. ..from September 2014 to January- the most horrible pain ever.. January 2015- now 2.5mg also half. It was when I went on holiday in spain after going to A&E that in september 2014 after not being able to cope for months with these headaches..that I was told not to decrease so rapidly, or on alternate days, or more than 15%- news to me. ..In august 2015 decided to go back to 5mg- I had to make the decision to increase the meds and face pain and improve memory than have more memory loss and also pain...I will get there but don't know how long it will take..hoping..can someone please advise.. all I seem to be getting is guesswork
  25. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
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