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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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 :(
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Hello friends, I am a 33-year old soul from Canada. I am biologically male and identify socially as such. English is my native language, though I have near-native fluency in French and some Spanish. A little over a year ago, I had posted a little bit about myself, including my horrific experience on Risperidone and other neuroleptics and the hellish place that I was at back then. It is with irrepressible elation, then, that I would like to tell you all what is now my wonderful story: Currently, I am nearly six months free of the scourge of Risperidone and other anti-psychotics and junk meds, I now drink alcohol less than I ever have at any point in my adult life, and I am 13 months clean of marijuana. Furthermore, by finally being able to discover and manage the devastating health condition that had crippled me for the first 33 years years of my life – namely one of the most severe cases of sleep apnea to have ever been diagnosed -- I have also overcome the cruel demons that had spent over 30 years not only sapping my cognitive strength, but also devastatingly undermining my emotional, social, spiritual, and physical well-being. I now feel better than I ever have: I feel happy, energetic, focused, and optimistic, all without the delusions and the manic or psychotic symptoms that I experienced the last time I felt this way. But the path that I took to reach this point and the anguish that I've had to endure for far too long to get here have been so relentlessly torturous that they are not something that I would even have wished on Adolf Hitler. For not only did I have to contend with severe undiagnosed sleep apnea for almost all of my life, but the changes that my CPAP therapy for the condition caused to my body and my mind led me to a severe episode of manic-psychosis, in spite of my only previous history of mental health problems having been a few months of intermittent panic attacks in 2005 that went away after my treating individual attacks with Lorazepam (ativan) for a few months. This condition, which is understandably difficult for psychiatrists and mental health professionals to understand and diagnose, occurs in some people upon getting treatment for severe sleep apnea and is known as CPAP-induced mania (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208920/). While it is more common among patients with a prior history of bipolar disorder, the study that I just linked to shows that it has been observed on occasion in individuals with no prior history of severe mental illness. The psychotic attack led to my being hospitalized and put on meds that may have initially been a necessary evil given the acute severity of my condition, but the consequences of my having taken these meds and my having to deal with their corresponding side-effects led to a severe episode of depression, the complete decimation of my energy, motivation, libido (risperidone and then latuda), and sense of pleasure or fun, a case of Cotard's Syndrome that had lasted for over a year (I thought that I was dead and in the afterlife of Hell and that this was my punishment for the all wrong I had done in my life), and constant delusions of reference that kept feeding the Cotard's Syndrome. All of this led to a second hospitalization and a misdiagnosis of Bipolar 1 with co-morbid alcohol and marijuana dependencies. It is only by quitting all meds in June that I have been able to come out the other side in these past months. That said, I am grateful for the years of torment and, even more so, for the most acute suffering that I particularly endured this past year and a half: For if I were to have been blessed with the gifts with which I have been bestowed without first having had to suffer being constrained by the chains of misery, I would be sorely lacking in the empathy, in the perspective, and in the sense of justice that make me who I am today. Without the past year and a half, I would still be far too petty, far too angry, and far too weak and easily-rattled to achieve anything close to my potential. If I may plagiarize Stan Lee, I would have this great power without also having the awesome sense of responsibility that must come with such incredible strength. With this preamble out of the way, let's move on with the bulk of my story. It is probably quite long and taxing, and I'm not sure how much value it will have for others, but it's a story that I nonetheless desperately need to tell.
  10. Hi Alto & fellow Survivors, Thought I would update you on my progress. So in July of 2011 I had reduced my Pristiq down to the minimum (50mg). Pristiq, just like it's predecessor Effexor has a very short half life and therefore more intense withdrawal symptoms than the old fashioned Prozac. So I switched to Prozac - the first day I think it was 80mg, then 60mg for a day or so, then 40mg for a few weeks, then down to 20mg. It was at this point I wrote my original post and took Alto's advice to let myself stabilise on the 20mg. This was a very difficult time but I just persisted with it. I was able to get the Prozac in a tablet form under the brand name Lovan which allowed me to slowly reduce down to 5mg over the next 5 months or so. During this time I experienced many days where I was nauseated, would sometimes vomit or feel as if I was about to at any moment, had brain fog, felt anxious, felt depressed, but these symptoms fluctuated and sometimes were way better than others. I began to feel my emotions coming back slowly, which I had not felt in a long time. When I was on Pristiq I was just numb, no good emotions, no extreme emotions, just nothing. I also became a little more outgoing and made friends at school more easily. I was able to keep all my appointments & turn up to class everyday and get assignments done (sometimes i needed extra time and this was granted) despite feeling crappy. However, when I went down to the last 5 mg, my anxiety took a turn for the worse. I started to have increasing intrusive thoughts that were extremely distressing and this made me feel suicidal. I began to exhibit symptoms of OCD, developing obsessions and compulsions (both mental & physical). My therapist did not diagnose me with OCD but she TREATED me for OCD for the next 12 months to help me learn how to manage the distress and anxiety and that is something that has really helped me get by. At one point in around November/December 2011 my Doctor commnced me on Abilify 10mg as he thought was concerned about these thoughts in the contxt of his bipolar diagnosis. He chnaged my diagnosis to Bipolar 1 and interpreted these symptoms as 'verging on psychosis'. My therpaist and myself both disagreed with this as at no point did I ever lose touvh with reality, have thought insertion, broadcasting, thought disorder, ideas of reference, halucinations etc. However the Abilify did lift my mood, decrease my anxiety (not initially but within a few weeks)and help me feel less suicidal, and i was able to finish the schhol semester. But of course I then had to taper off the Abilify (I stopped the Prozac 5 mg as soon as I started the Abilify). I tapered off the Abilify 1/4 of a tablet every week until I was off it by the end of January this year. I was on break from school at the time, and put a lot of effort into looking after myself physically from that point on, more vegetables, more good fats, more fruit, more meat, more exercise, more social contact, and more SLEEP! Since then I have continued to focus on physical health to relieve mood & anxiety symptoms. The big thing that helps me is a walk every day. If I don't do that, I start to get flat. I also put into use every day the skills I learned in therapy to deal with anxiety. I was able to finish my degree in July and have since started working full time in my new profession, so i am off disability, I'm contributing in my own way and feel the rewards of that, and I've been slowly integrating healthy lifestyle choices and making a routine around work. I have to be very careful to stay in a routine as best I can, fit a walk into my day on MOST days, eat fruit and vegies and see my friends every second week or so and get enough sleep. My life to others probably appears very boring at the moment, but I am quite content. I keep up with my chores, am organised, and I have less episodes of feeling depressed, & my anxiety is more managable. I haven't felt those old suicidal feelings for several months now although i still have periods of feeling down, but these are less intense and go away quicker. And I haven't had any symptoms of mania whatsoever. Eventually I hope to be able to start some hobbies (or at least one)and start doing a few extra outings like the movies and theatre etc, but now I feel I just need to focus on the basics of staying well. My friends are amazed that I am my old self again if not better! So that is a success story of sorts. So if you are struggling - persevere. Get the support you need from friends, family, therapists etc to see you through this difficult time. part of coming off meds is learning adaptive techniques of coping with symptoms other than taking medicatiosn, and this isn't easy to do on your own. Take care of your physical health, and be compassionate with yourself. Your brain is amazing and is not doomed to always feeling these effects of psychotropics, It will heal and adpat in time. Mine is still adapting, but I'm a lot better than where I was.
  11. I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day. But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors. However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me. I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight. There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there. Meanwhile, here's what helped me: #1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end. #2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy. I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible! Wishing everyone my very best, Lisa
  12. I was put on abilify 2 years ago. I had suffered several losses within a six month period. I started having anxiety attacks. The drug did work for me initially. I did not realize it was going to be a life contract. I want my life back and have tried to get off this terrible drug. Has anyone been successful in weaning off?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.)
  15. Hi All, Diagnosed schizophrenic here currently on a 300mg depot injection of Abilify monthly until March 2016, on a community treatment order. Am doing everything I can to get off medication ASAP, as am experiencing akathisia, anhedonia, complete loss of libido, numbness, and a loss of spirituality. I'm sure most of you know how horrible this can be, especially when previously I was a healthy & happy, loving guy full of life and energy. In total I'll be on the abilify for a year, what are my chances of recovery? Has anyone in a similar position ever come off medication and found their voices to return (mine were extremely loving, and quite special to me)? Could anyone provide me with tips to detox/cleanse, or peace of mind that I will recover? I smoke ciggarettes, take st johns wort, to try to counter the effects of the abilify, which help, along with numerous other supplements. Exercise regularly, eat as healthy as possible. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate any help or guidance on the topic of antipsychotics.
  16. I am getting ready to begin a taper for 2 mg of Abilify, but am a bit terrified since I have tried reducing the dosage - 2 mg - before and ended up with debilitating depressive symptoms and had to return to the medication. At the time, I wasn't aware that the symptoms might have been from withdrawal and just assumed that my depression was lying in wait and the only way of keeping it at bay is to stay on the drugs indefinitely. I am finally fed up with the weight gain and the effects on my memory and want to try again to get off the medication. Has anyone successful eliminated Abilify and, if so, do you have any words of advice and/or encouragement?
  17. I have been consistently medicated for over two years now (2016-2018). I would like to taper off my medications, but with the high doses of lamictal and prozac I’m not sure where to start. I have had minor twitching throughout my body. Although I can’t remember when it started, my doctor thinks it’s because of the abilify. She suggested I start taking 1mg instead of 2mg. I took 1mg for two weeks then took my last dose of abilify in thr beginning of December 2018. Any advise on which I should taper first: lamictal or prozac? I say I’m terrified because even though I’ve only been medicated two years, I don’t know who I am without medication. I also am scared of the uncertainties of the withdrawal process and side effects.
  18. godiswithme-xanax-taper-after-cold-turkey-of-lexapro-and-abilify It has been 8.5 weeks since I ct'd off 30 mgs of generic lexapro and 2mg of Abilify. I was depressed because my father who lived with us had died and marriage was getting rocky from the stress. I had been taking the generic lexapro for 2 years. This doctor added Abilify in Jan '16. I trusted her. I was depressed over life issues. I have no previous mental health diagnosis other than some anxiety which I had taken Xanax over the past 5 years. Most .5 three times per day. varied in usage - often less. I quickly became dysfunctional and family doctor prescribed .5 Ativan twice per day or I would have died. I have only become a bit more functional. but barely. I don't know what to do. I am very scared.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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).
  22. Moderator note: link to benzo forum thread - apuddle: Have any of you suffered from frequent urination and urgency while being on clonazepam? I'll try and keep it short because I feel cognitively blunted at the moment. Last year I was put onto 1mg of clonazepam at night. Then towards the end of the year I was put on effexor 75mg and It did nothing for me and I had no side effects. Near the end of last year it was decided to up my dosage to 150mgs of effexor. I was OK for a month or so. In January I was finally diagnosed with a new chronic condition and had my clonazepam upped to 6mg and was put onto abilify at 10mg. I can't give you exact times and dates but I would say that around February time I started to suffer from urinary hesitancy. It got to the point where I had to sit on the toilet for around 15 minutes until I could finally push the urine out. I tried to see if it went away within a few weeks but it didn't. So I tapered off of effexor and around the 37mg mark I could finally stand and pee (i'm male). Around a week or two later I was fully off of effexor and everyting seemed to be back to normal. Three weeks later, out of nowhere, I was sitting on my chair watching tv and had an intense urge to pee. it was awful. it felt like something had exploded in my bladder and I just needed to pee and never stop. I had a constant feeling of urgency, frequency and nocturia. When I tried to sleep, I would lay down and my bladder felt like it had pins and needles, which prompted extreme urgency and a feeling of my bladder being full. I'd get up, go to the toilet and only drips would come out. Awful! No matter what position I laid in I had that awful feeling in my bladder with extreme urgency. The strange feeling when trying to sleep eventually calmed down after 2-3 weeks, and I realised that not drinking 4-5 hours before bed really helped me get some sleep and stop the nocturia. I stopped the Abilify but nothing happened. It had no affect on my bladder and how it was feeling. I am now only taking clonazepam 6mg, but I should be taking 2 other meds but refuse to until I get some idea of what's going on. I have seen a urolgist. I Have had blood tests, urine tests, antibiotics, a camera down my penis and into the bladder, and a urodynamics test. Everything has come back clear! They have no idea what is causing it and are calling it idopathic. I have tried the medications for bladder spasms to they do nothing but make me constipated and dry my mouth out. So my life for the last 6 months has been nothing but peeing up to 20 plus times a day. Needing to urinate when my baldder fills with 100mls of urine and just feeling lost and hopeless. I find it very coincidental that I was having issues with my bladder on Effexor, and then 2-3 weeks after completely stopping this new bladder condition comes out of the blue. It'S also possible that abilify somehow did this to me. I am currently tapering off of Clonazepam and I am on 5.5mgs. I have so far seen no improvement when it comes to my bladder, and to be honest I don't expect to. I have done so much reading up on the drug (clonazepam, hoping, praying that it could all be down to the benzo, but it's just so unlikely. Surely I would have developed these symptoms during the 9 months I was on them. Unless they are somehow interfering my body healing itself after coming off effexor, but that was 7 months ago now. I'm angry and I refuse to believe that this just came out of nowhere! I'm a healthy 32 year old male who will now most likely have to live with this awful condition for the rest of my life, or eventually have a bag on my stomach. Has anyone else had similar problems? Anyway, that's me and my introduction. Thanks.
  23. Plshelp

    Plshelp: olanzapine 5mg

    Hello fellow SA members! I am curious to know if anyone has come off antipsychotics and gone onto antidepressants and recovered from antipsychotics? My pdoc says that she's had ppl recover in this situation, but I'm in disbelief. Any comments and info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Xo
  24. Hi Everyone! I consider myself the Kimmy Schmidt of internet forums, having been in seclusion for so long, but I grew tired of hiding . My disastrous dance with Big Pharma started in 2006, when I began hearing voices after months of anxiety and panic over a very traumatizing experience. Cops handcuffed me and placed me in four point restraints after I started screaming in public. The good young Doc at the local hospital they shipped me to gave me Zyprexa, never once asking if I had a family history of diabetes. I DC the drug after a week and about 5-6 months later I had another episode. 2007-2011 A true blur. 4 hospitalizations (two in 2007, one in 2008 and the last in 2011). Three months of sleeplessness due to Zyprexa withdrawal (someone in my life at that time told me that their family member discontinued cocaine in 3 days after years of abuse and I should due the same with Zyprexa - huge mistake), lost many friends due to neglecting their needs and my own, and a crazy amount of weight gain. My voices pestered me to the brink of despair. Yet, I still held on... 2011-2015 The breakthrough years. Switched from Zyprexa to Abilify without major impact on my sleep. Started working again although, not employed at this moment. After a spiritual breakthrough and addressing the demons of my past, I am on my way to permanently breaking up with Big Pharma. I attribute this breakthrough to trusting God and the guiding spirits, reading stories from those who have triumphed or in the process of triumphing over psyche drugs, and seeking support from family (although they still believe in the medical model of my so-called condition). Critical Psychiatry sites that delve into the rampant fraud and fear-mongering present in modern US Psychiatry also provided an alternative narrative to the chemical imbalance-broken forever label that my pdocs dumped on me. For the first time in years, hope blooms in my heart and mind. Will I be the same pre-drug woman? No and in many respects, I don't want to be. Those years in spite of the intensity of emotion that I felt and the warm and love in my heart, I could not take care of myself or establish healthy boundaries. Now I do a much better job of that. I don't eat as much sugar, and I have cut out caffeine and alcohol completely. I'm grateful for the victories, great and small. I want to document this journey for my brothers and sisters in the struggle and build community, because I believe in the healing power of relationships and knowledge sharing over BigPharma's so-called quickfixes. Also, I understand that I need to do the work on my own, to self-care regardless of my situation. A balancing act, for sure. Towards a drug-free me and a brighter tomorrow.
  25. Hi, i'm new to this forum, so forgive me if i make mistakes, i'm still learning. I'm about two years out from withdrawing off of Paxil that i tapered down on, and about one year from one situational exposure to benzodiazepines, and two years from consistent benzodiazepine usage (the klonopin,) as i withdrew both the antidepressant and the benzodiazepine at the same time. I am drug free for an entire year. The drugs tagged in my post are also drugs i have been previously exposed to, or had other exposures in the same class of drugs, (E.g, i have also been exposed to zoloft, prozac, and pristiq in the "Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor" category over the course of 14 years, though paxil was my last exposure to an SSRI drugs.) For the sake of simplicity, i will spare the details. I am posting here today because i am struggling with a couple issues that the specialists i've seen cannot help me with, and i hope to find resources here. I have ruled out thyroid issues, cardiovascular issues, vitamin deficiency in standard ranges, and other infectious disease issues through doctors and testing. I am debating about seeing an endocrinologist, but have lost a lot of faith in medicine since my psychiatric outpatient stent and the answers for my health that continue to elude me. I have listed my main issues below: 1. Fatigue - From what i've read and am trying to understand, fatigue can be a huge factor in antidepressant and benzodiazipine post acute withdrawal because of potential effects on hormones and neurotransmitters. I've also read that amphetamine withdrawal, especially in the context of abuse can cause fatigue, but my exposure to amphetamines was a decade ago, so i don't know if that could still be a contributing factor or not? The fatigue seems to come on intermittently, i drink green tea to help with wakefulness as the fatigue can feel debilitating throughout the day, and i feel like my brain just doesn't want to function on all gears. I am also sensitive to caffeine - if i ingest more than normal it can send me into a panic attack. My intermittent benzodiazepine exposure last year was in part induced by too much coffee, but i used to drink a pot of coffee a day without too much anxiety on paxil. 2. Emotional Blunting - I know that emotional blunting is also a factor in both benzodiazepine and antidepressant use and withdrawal, but i am a little perplexed that i still feel difficulty with emotional attachment. I theorize that this may be due to the benzodiazepine withdrawal mostly, for the reason that benzodiazepines inhibit or prevent neurological recovery from trauma, from what i understand. Is it possible that my body and mind are still in a state of survival even two years out from antidepressant and benzos? I understand that the psychological trauma from years of being medicated may also play a key factor in trust and developing relationships, but that is a psychological piece that should resolve itself through counseling, CBT, once the body begins to function correctly again. My other theory is that all my exposure to drugs over the years, (especially in the context of intermittent antipsychotic and benzodiazipine exposure) has caused irreversible atrophy to the neurological circuitry that is responsible for those functions (pre-frontal cortex and frontal lobe?) I'm looking for any input, resources, or suggestions that might help with those pieces Thanks, - NR EDIT: I don't have any recreational drug exposure either, all my drug exposure has been exclusively psychiatric with the exception of alcohol on a few celebratory occasions. I have also had antibiotic exposures on three separate occasions in the past five years.
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