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  1. 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.
  2. Hi! I will keep this post pretty plain for now, as my WD symptoms (the pains, mainly) make it hard to even use a computer for long. I will also try to make a short "signature" version of my history later today. When I was signing up, I was asked to provide a history of my case. I'm gonna paste it below. So, here goes. ---------------------------------------- All of the following changes/switches were done in 1-2 weeks each (except where otherwise noted). I.e., very quickly (which is bad). - Started Amisulpride 600mg and Escitalopram 30mg in 2014 for OCD. - In 2017 Amisulpride dose became 500mg. A few months after that, I developed tardive dystonia (cervical). - In 2018 autumn switched from Amisulpride to Abilify (about 15mg), to combat the dystonia. Indeed the movements stopped, but I was very sleepy (was taking lots of baclofen too). So I moved back to Amisulpride 500mg. - In 2019 february made another attempt at switching to Abilify (22.5mg). It was successful. But since then, I gradually developed disabling joint pain. - In 2019 (around July) reduced Abilify to 15mg, and nothing much changed. - In 2019 September switched from Escitalopram to Paroxetine (40mg) to combat the joint pain. Got a slight improvement in joint pain. Since the first day of Paroxetine, I began having eye problems. - About 3-4 weeks later I reduced Paroxetine to 20mg and Abilify to 7.5mg. Nothing much changed. - About a week later, I reduced Paroxetine to 15mg and Abilify to 3.75mg. Finally the joint pain was almost gone. - Soon, the joint pain reappeared so I started taking 4x3.75mg Abilify and since then, my joint pain is quite minor. - About 3-4 weeks later I switched (Cold Turkey) back from Paroxetine to Escitalopram (7.5mg) to combat the eye problems. That did not help, and I started getting disabling muscle cramps (in quadriceps). Then I found the "paroxetine withdrawal support" FB group. - About 4 days later, I switched (Cold Turkey) back from Escitalopram to Paroxetine (15mg), because of the cramps and because of what I learned from the FB group. - That didn't reduce the cramps. So I increased Paroxetine back to 20mg, which did help somewhat. - 1-2 weeks later, we're at the present moment (24 Dec 2019). ---------------------------------------- I'll be happy to communicate with you guys in order to help one another in this journey! In Facebook I'm actually afraid to help other people, because Facebook is too addictive with the "likes" and "loves" etc. Especially for lonely people like me. I hope this forum will be different in this regard!
  3. 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.)
  4. Hello, So I was switched from one Anti-Psychotic{s} (AP{s}) Zyprexa [Olanzapine], to another AP Abilify [Aripiprazole]. I decided to stop taking the medication between the switch as I've only been on Zyprexa for 3 months. APs have left my head as scrambled eggs and I cannot function clearly on them. Much too much Zombie. November I was put in hospital for a breakdown, given 5mg -> 7.5mg ->10mg Zyprexa over a month. Since leaving Hospital I agreed with a GP to reduce down to 5mg in one fell swoop, not knowing that this is actually very risky - since that point my sleep is not good; I seem to get only 3 hours per night and spend the remainder tossing, turning and feeling so incredibly low about life... It has been driving me slightly loopy. I reduced to 3.75/2.5mg (however I could cut them up semi-accurately) for one week and have now run out of Zyprexa except 2x 5mg tablets as the Dr switched me over and the supply ran out, so tapering is not an option.... Before I start a different AP I have decided to just stop taking APs while I have support in a family setting. I am unsure what the cut-down from 3.75mg to nothing will do to me after 3 months going from 5-7.5-10-5-3.75/2.5mg supply. I am extremely concerned having read countless horror stories. My breakdown in hospital was drug/alcohol induced but I lied about it and ended up on medication probably unsuited; I was just high and drunk. I do not feel like I have bipolarity, I do feel that the medication has made me zombified (anhedonic [sp*?]) and I am not myself anymore. Before the timeline gets too long I wanted to just stop and escape the trap of Pharma and APs. I wanted to try SSRIs for my lack of motivation especially after abuse of Cannabis (before hospital 2g/day of the super strong stuff) or just normalise without any medication to see if I can cope. The APs make it incredibly difficult to work effectively and I have been off work for too long to take something that will make concentration so difficult. This is a risk as I am unsure what the effect will be. So far I have Constipation and Amnesia after 3 hours every night. At 10mg I was sleeping most of the night; but the fallout in the mornings was awful. I have 7 days of sleeping pills prescribed to help me sleep - i might space them out to try and get a good nights rest every several days as I'm unsure if the GP (UK Doctor) will give me more. Any advice from people for me. I am taking a risk I feel but I do not know if there is another route out without prescriptions for the medicines to taper off. So the task is: ~3mg Zyprexa to 0mg (or use the 2x 5mg tablets somehow) 7x sleeping pills. Amnesia & constipation - early morning depression from 3am to 2pm. All advice welcome.
  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 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.
  7. 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
  8. Referred to psychiatrist approximately 4 years ago due to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Have experienced depression all of my life and have been taking SSRIs for a long time, now late 60’s. My psychiatrist said that the CFS was the single symptom of depression, furthermore he diagnosed me as being bipolar II. He prescribed various anti-psychotic and anti-depressants all of which had unwelcome side effects. The most recent anti-psychotic has been abilify and sertraline has been my most recent SSRI. The only instance of a manic episode in the last 4 years was when I was taking an SNRI. Experienced very unwelcome side effects from abilify, the worst being impulsiveness and anxiety so decided to taper. Did some research regarding tapering protocol but probably have tapered too fast. Gradual reduction of both over a one month period. Yes, I have read since that I should only have tapered one at a time and I should have tapered a lot more slowly. Have informed my psychiatrist regarding my decision to taper abilify and he indicated that I should stop taking sertraline. He wanted me to start taking lithium or other anti-psychotics similar to abilify, I have agreed to try another anti-psychotic if I experience manic symptoms. The only withdrawal side effects that i have noticed have been; a mild headache for a few days, restless leg syndrome (RLS) only at night and, disturbed sleep. I have supplemented with GABA and L-Theanine at night. The RLS is gradually diminishing in severity. My GP prescribed Alepam to address anxiety issues but I have only used very sparingly. Wish I had found this site sooner, but I have completed tapering both and the RLS is diminishing. I will continue to consult with my psychiatrist and have started sessions with a psychologist to address anxiety issues.
  9. Where do I go from here? The first week of Nov. I tried to CT .5mg of k. I think I was off 4 days and then reinstated once the withdrawals hit me. I thought I would be able to stabilize so suffered for a month with intense anxiety and nausea with no relief. I thought for sure the V would save me so I crossed over to 10mg the first week of Dec. Unfortunately I was one of the rare, unlucky ones and couldn’t handle it. It caused horrific depression. After giving it 2 weeks I went back on .5mg k. Since then I’ve just been trying to make it day by day. Although the depression lifted a little bit I still cry everyday and the anxiety/nausea has slowly crept back in. I don’t know how or when I’ll be able to start my taper. I’m so scared. Prior to CT off benzo- I gave up my life in Arizona and moved home to live with my parents in Michigan this past Oct. I was on 6 psychiatric medications for depression. I CT the mirtazapine and Abilify I was on and felt amazing until I tried the same thing with the benzo. I also went down to 200mg from 300mg Zoloft and went down from 60mg Adderall to 10mg. I had to increase my dosage of Trazodone from 100 to 200mg. I’m 36 yo, divorced, no friends, no job. I don’t want to live with my parents forever. I don’t know how I am ever going to rebuild a life for myself.
  10. Hello to all; I'm John from Spain, I'm currently on withdrawal stage since 3 weeks, I was taking Abilify 15 mg at first; two weeks after I started taking it, it was lowered to 10 mg; finally, after 2 months my pdoc stopped it cold-turkey. I've passed through akathisia and racing heart, but at this moment I think this medication "burned my nervous system" in the sense that these last weeks I find it very hard to do daily activities, I feel very depressed, with lack of the initiative I know I had before taking these meds and a feeling of poor concentration. I entered here in a try to find (at least approximately) how much long the withdrawal symptoms could take and to read about similar experiences (not only in time -just few months, not years- but also on dosage -not 2 or 5 mg like many people took but what it seems the standard dose, 10-15 mg-).
  11. Hi i was hospitalized in feb for mental health reasons basically a panic attack. they put me on abilify, i have no mental condition (schizo, bipolar etc) I have been extremely stupid, clumsy, forgetful since being on it. I was only on it for a few a week and when i came out of the hospital i couldnt do things i could normally do anymore, i went off it and everything stayed the same. I felt so awful feeling this way i went back into a hospital and they putting me back on it and i ended up going off it again a month later cause i knew its what was causing all the problems. Im seeing a neurologist next week i want to figure out if i have brain damage and i also might have TD the movement disorder that abilify can cause cause im pretty sure my hands are twitchy and shaky. I know my brain isnt normal because I compete in esports (video games) and I havent been able to since i started abilify, inaccurate, poor judgement, and just really bad at it now. I also have a hard time forming sentences i just cant think of the right words sometimes i feel so stupid. I feel like the rest of my life is ruined, ill never be able to go to school like these, compete which i was planning on making my career for a long time, or even get a decent job because of how dumb and clumsy i am. its been a year so it feels like brain damage i dont really have any hope anymore. I feel like things get better for people but they probably dont fully recover. Not everyone does something like i do that is pushing their mind to its limits constantly so thats why its effecting me so much. I just dont want to live like this anymore im only 20 and it feels like my life is over.
  12. Hi all and thanks for welcoming me in this community! Here's my brief story with psychiatrists until now: - In the end of 2015 I got a burnout which resulted in insomnia & psychosis. Visited the psychiatrist and was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder. - Took Risperidon 2 mg for 2 months + Akineton (anti-Parkinson for the adverse effects) - Took Abilify 7.5 mg for the next 10 months. Stopped it CT with the blessing of my doctor, because I had some adverse effects, the most obvious one was weight gain, but I also had some anxiety in situations like being in a car or train. - 3 months later, being drug-free, I got involved in a road accident, which resulted in a lot of stress and triggered insomnia again. Was too afraid to go into a relapse, so I started with what I had left from the Abilify, again 7.5 mg for 1 month. - In 2-3 months got gradually down to 2 mg Abilify (with mostly non-existant side effects) after some negotiation with my doctor (she sent me out with the words "You know your condition, do whatever you decide" - I guess I was being too pushy). Kept that for the next 2.5 years, as I was travelling a lot on my own. - Moved to a new country, found a new doctor. When I settled down, went from 2 mg to 0 in 3 months. - Around 3 months of being drug-free in April 2019, again after some stress (related to other health issues) and being alone for a while I started getting back into insomnia. Initial symptoms of psychosis started reappearing (paranoid thoughts and delusions), so I went straight to my doctor. After 1 week of Risperidon (this time 1 mg IIRC) and some Zopiclon and a melatonin additive, the insomnia was under control and the psychotic symptoms dissappeared, so we switched back to Abilify, this time 5 mg. I've been on Abilify, 5 mg since then and I don't plan to go lower for now, as I'm travelling again in the next few months. I'm hoping to go down to 2 mg eventually, as with this dose the adverse effects were really tollerable. My sleep schedule is now mostly stable (going to bed around 10 pm and getting 8-9 hours of almost uninterrupted sleep). I got a sleep tracker, I take magnesium additive roughly 2 weeks/month (with intentional breaks) and I started doing mindfulness exercises. I do some light, not very regular exercise in the gym and swimming. I'm mostly interested to hear if anyone had similar experience as mine and what did your doctor say about it - is the insomnia + initial symptoms of psychosis due to the withdrawal (don't know if it's realistic 3 months after stopping the meds) or is it due to a relapse of the underlying condition. Thanks!
  13. 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.
  14. I'm currently taking 20 mg of Abilify, 40 mg of Paxil, 30 mg of Cymbalta. I am diagnosed with either Major Depression/Psychosis or Schizoaffective (depressive type). I have been on similar ones over the last 20+ years, always an antidepressant and antipsychotic. I have been reading about how they are obesogenic and would like to come off them cause of that, and also to see how I do now without them and try natural diet and treatments. I am thinking of starting by eliminating one antidepressant, maybe Paxil and see how I do with just Cymbalta and Abilify, before tapering slowly off those two together. I've tried to go off cold turkey and by tapering off all of them too quick before, and get suicidal depression and racing thoughts.Once I take the meds it goes right away.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Hi. I am 62 years old and was dxed with bi-polar disorder at age 27. I have been on and off psyche meds since my dx and have been on abilify and effexor for about 18 years. I have a friend who has tapered off of all her psyche meds and has said she feels so much better mentally and physically. I have been very stable for many years now and feel I would like to also try to taper off of my medications to see if I would feel better mentally and physically. I especially want to come off the effexor as I know it has such terrible withdrawal effects for me. If I miss even one dose, I start to feel dizzy and nauseous. I don't want to be dependent on that kind of medication should I ever lose the ability to pay for it. I lost my insurance once and was lucky to have had money to cover the cost of a one month supply so I didn't have to suffer the withdrawals. I have had to withdrawal a few times from the abilify because I ran out of money and insurance. I don't want to go off both of them at once, but I do desire to get off of both in the future. I have not told my NP yet of my decision, but will the next time I see her. I want to do this safely and so I need her help and the help of this site which my friend told me about. I look forward to texting with this site and its members. I appreciate all of the posts I have read so far.
  19. 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
  20. 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 :(
  21. TNnightowl

    TNnightowl

    Hi there, everyone. I have been hanging around this site for a few weeks now, and I've discovered so much valuable, helpful information. Actually putting myself out there is a big step for me, but I am convinced that this is where I belong. I have recently made the decision, after much research & thoughtful/prayerful consideration, to come off all the psych meds I am taking. I understand this will take time, but I'm in it for the long haul. So much of what I have learned over the past few weeks, and much of it from this site, is terrifying...and very much an eye-opener. I was first prescribed antidepressants back in 1989, and I may not be able to recall all the different meds I've taken since then nor the exact time frames taking each one. I will try to be as accurate as possible. Major Depression 1989, hospitalized for 22 days Amitriptyline (strength/dosage ?) Can't recall the anti-anxiety med prescribed. Maybe Xanax. Since that time I have been prescribed numerous antidepressants & anti-anxiety meds over the years. I am unable to be more specific than to name a few that I can recall. Time frames are impossible to recall as well. Lexapro Xanax Paxil I was med-free for a few years and functioned very well...even as a single mom of three very active boys. Then, approximately 10 yrs. ago I went down into that pit of depression again. Began antidepressants again and have been on them ever since. About 5-6 years ago, I resigned myself that I would need these meds for the rest of my life. I have lived in my own little world, functioning, but I have realized I want my life back. Currently: Sertraline (generic Zoloft) 100mg. 2 X a day Bupropn (gen. Wellbutrin) HCL 150mg. XL 1 X a day Lorazepam (gen. Ativan) 1mg. 1/2 - 1 tablet up to twice daily as needed. Have been taking a whole tablet before bed each night for about a year. As of 4 weeks ago, I am in the process of tapering and will begin tonight with a nightly dose of 1/2 tablet. (Was taking this dosage until a major event in my life about a year ago, then I began with one whole tablet at bedtime.) I have a pill cutter and have tapered slowly. I intend to hold it at this dosage until I have my med check appt next month, then go from there. Abilify 5mg. (on and off this one for about 3 years at different strengths, 5mg. being the highest) Started tapering off about 3 months ago but as I discovered on this site, taper wasn't slow enough. Experienced nightmarish w/d symptoms for 2-3 weeks, then began slowly to feel better. Symptoms have since subsided...ups and downs, though, over a few weeks. Will NEVER put this poison in my body again! I am making changes in my diet, exercising, and being mindful of & rerouting my thought patterns...and socializing more, which is very difficult for me. My grown sons & daughters-in-law, brothers & sis-in-law, and a couple close friends are aware of my goals. They are all very supportive and are "there" for me...24/7. This is very comforting to me. I have my faith, and I have a wonderful therapist who has been & is extremely helpful to me and is supportive of my efforts to become psych meds-free. I am very thankful to have found this site. Reading others' experiences helped me to survive the w/d symptoms after tapering off Abilify. So thank you to all who share here!
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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!
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