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  1. hello and thanks for your brilliant forum. I was only on the aripiprazole injection for two months and felt sure I could handle the cold turkey as I managed fine last year coming off the tablets (which I was only on for two months too) I've been off for three months (four months since last injection). the withdrawal has been horrendous and am suffering daily with deep depression and zero emotion beyond anxiety, fear, guilt and all that bad stuff. I am utterly exhausted at all times. is it normal to be suffering so long after being on it for so short? Has anyone else had experience of coming off this drug and coming through? I am scared that it had damaged my brain and I will never be my normal self again.
  2. Hello, my name is Manny. I was diagnosed 0CD and schizophrenic in 2008, but I been taking benzos and amiptriptiline since 2005. Currently,taking abilify 20mg,risperidone 2mg,cymbalta 60mg,biperiden 4mg. I am tapering klonopin down to 0,27mg from a dose of 1,25mg. I went to see my doctor this week because a blood test that I did. He said my hepatic transaminases are high because of the medication that I take. I am assuming the APs that I take. What can I do to get my liver function well? I know, quitting the APs, but I can t cold turkey. Any advice,please.
  3. HI, I'm new to the community and at this point am very scared. I will give a quick history and then a couple questions that I would love help with, if you don't mind. I have been on and off prozac for around 9 years(as needed). I was diagnosed with PPD after my son was born. I never experienced emotional blunting while just on the prozac. However, in Dec. 2017 I had a breakdown after suffering a big T (trauma). My doctor prescribed me Abilify to go along with my antidepressant. I almost immediately felt emotionally blunted, and asked if it could be the drugs. I never took them extremely regularly. I would go a month and do great then come off for weeks because I hated how they made me feel. After much research I decided to come off of every thing in May 2020. I have just hit a wall of anhedonia. I would have never dreamed it would get this much worse after being off the medicine this long. Here are my questions: 1. Is it common to have anhedonia set in this late in the withdraw process? 2. Will this last forever, or will my full range of emotions come back? Have I done permanent damage? Thank you in advance. Prozac - 20 mg; On and off since Nov. 2010 Abilify - 5mg ; On and off since Feb.2018
  4. Took and stopped prozac and abilify with not much problem. Following ocd depression and a panic attack took them again. After a week constant panic attack and insomnia. Doctor gives lexapro(10) and zyprexa(5). A Week later i decide i have to stop. Tried tapering zyprexa but because of the ocd coming back failed badly. Took 3 months.Some kindling in the stopping process hurt me. Quit after like a 1 mg a week and at 0.6 mg. After 2 days at 0 mg i had very good energy just breathing made me smile. Then the energy decreased and 4 days later sleep problems started so i took zyprexa again 0.6 mg maybe. After two days sleep kinda stabilised so i stopped. 10 days later im worse than i started but not taking the drug is helping me cope. I pray i didnt do damage. Should i reinstate? Also currently trying to lower lexapro.
  5. I started using Lustral 50 mg & Abilify 5 mg when it was 2012.I stopped taking my medicines for many times and I have never had any withdrawal effects on my body.But when it was 2016 Summer, after I stopped using them again (I didn't even know what tapering was in that time) I got a mania attack.It was like after 3-4 months of stopping my medicines cold turkey.After my first mania attack, my doctor thought that it was bipolar disorder and he wanted me to use Depakine.I refused using that medicine and i continued using Abilify + Lustral at same dosages.But when it was 2017 Summer, I did the same thing as I did when it was 2016 and I got a mania attack one more time.It was much more bad than the first one and I was feeling so anxious and even if I was feeling like there was no problem, I had to continue using my medicines because of my massive anxiety.My dose was always the same.I refused getting higher all the time.I was feeling like it was okay to stop using them abruptly because of the doses of my medicines.But I was completely wrong. After my second mania attack, my doctor asked me to use Depakine one more time because of my second attack.I guess he thought me that I was bipolar but I didn't have any mania history before I started using these medicines. Anyways, when it was 2018 January, after I used them for a while again, I stopped them abruptly one more time and I got withdrawal symptoms for the first time and I didn't even know it was withdrawal.I tried to go on like this for 2 months but I was feeling dizzy.I had to do something and that's why I decided to go to another psychiatrist.I tried to explain the thing I was suffering from but she couldn't understand what I was trying to say.She thought that I was anxious and depressed and she gave me Wellbutrin + Abilify 5 mg.I can't remember dose of Wellbutrin but I guess it was the lowest dose.After Wellbutrin made me angry and furious, she decided to change it to Prozac and I started to use Prozac + Abilify. It has been for 2 months like this and I started to have some jerky movements in my fingers and arms and I realized that there was a problem with my vision.(like blurred vision) I have high myopia and I've been using contact lenses for years maybe it was about it I don't know but my dizziness and light-headedness were gone.I can see now that it was about withdrawal and after she put me on these medicines I was feeling better even if these minor problems.But after 2 months I started to feel uncomfortable again and I stopped my medicines abruptly one more time. Unfortunately, I started to get the withdrawal effects again but I decided to continue like this even if I was suffering.(It was the biggest mistake which I made. ). There was no one who understood what was happening to me and I couldn't understand too.When I realized it was about withdrawal it was too late. I stopped using them when it was July 2018 and now it's April 2020.I couldn't get healed at all.I don't have anxiety or bipolar problems but I have problems with my muscles and my coordination.Jerky movements on my fingers are still on and got worse.My vision got worse too and they got worse gradually. I started to lose my hope about my healing process.What do you think about it? Is there a chance for me to get healed or is it a brain damage which is serious to get rid off? Your opinions are so important for me please let me know what you think about my situation. Thanks.
  6. hey, before half year, i cold turkey take 80 mg prizma* that i take for 10 years because of ocd and ariply* 5 mg. 1 month and half ago i start to feel tremor in hands, muscle cramps, tinnitus and equiliburim. after 4 weeks i start to feel numbness in leg and sometime in arms. there is a chance it's a withdrawl symptoms or it's so much time? * From drugs.com: Ingredient matches for Prizma Fluoxetine Fluoxetine hydrochloride (a derivative of Fluoxetine) is reported as an ingredient of Prizma in the following countries: Israel Aripiprazole is reported as an ingredient of Ariply in the following countries: Israel MOD NOTE: Abilify = aripiprazole
  7. 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
  8. Hello, I would like to ask you, how to prepare little doses from Zyprexa 5 mg Velotab. It weighs 16 mg, and my scale is to 1 mg. I am not so good in making liquid form We do not have 2,5 mg Zyprexa in the market. Thanks for advice..
  9. Tapering Abilify too fast, now at 5 percent health issues and sleep issues Hi there. Thanks in advance for reading this long post. If it helps you in anyway I am glad. If not please disregard. I am not a health professional or taper expert. What is good for me may not work for you. Tapering on my own because my old prescriber no longer felt I should. I am on a second attempt to taper abilify. The most I took was 7mg. I tapered at a 5 to 10 percent rate jumped off at .7 and wound up in hospital due to sleep issues hearing voices and mother who called ambulance because she. was worried (also was not aware I was tapering). I agreed with my doctor upon discharge to reinstate at 2 mg and lithium 600. I I was on that dose for about 5 months. For the first week took prn of klonapin .5 and seroquel 100(which I stayed on until sleep was normal and less anxiety for about a week then cut in half a couple days and then stooped. I was also taking 600 mg of lithium. When I decided to try a taper again I also switched to lithium orotate 15 mg, which I had done during previous taper over about 8 months. During that 8 month period I felt fine and that the taper was going well. For aches pains and mild anxiety I used cbd thc and kratom. On vacation I went off the weed traveling abroad for one week. Also forgot abilify so jumped off. Upon return decide to stay off abilify. A month later upon returning felt anxious with some voice hearing with only a few hours sleep each night. I felt lost in need of help but unable to get it from either professionals or peers. Now I have a therapist who knows I am tapering and friend and family members who provide support as well as extra help I can call on in the form of a somatic therapist and a med free coach. This time around I want to be smarter. My original cut was 25 percent which I was on for about 5 weeks. At that time I started having severe debilitating pain in my shoulder. I thought it might relate to an old injury. I was taking a turmeric supplement plus cbd and cannabis as was usual for me. I went to a chiropractor. The pain was only affected a bit. I also started pain in spine, back and other old injured areas. It has been a couple of weeks and in this time the pain moved to my gut. I stopped taking the turmeric and added some supplements to remedy my apparent inability to tolerate sulfur foods. Over the past few days I have noticed mood and cognitive issues and sleep issues. I slowed taper to 5 percent. I am off weed, cbd coffee alcohol too because I can barely tolerate food and I realize I am having withdrawal as well as gut issues possibly from the turmeric. I have had similar gut issues when not tapering in the past so I had a clue to look at sulfur/thiols issues. Where I am now, why I am here, and what I am looking for.. Last night I broke down and took a seroquel 50. I took it because sleep is so important to me and I felt I was in a dire situation., iI did sleep for 4 hours so I took another 50 and woke about 4 or 5 hours later.. I also ate some rice with digestive enzymes that I researched and seemed safe. It feel like a relief and felt at one point like I felt safe for the first time in the past few days. I know seroquel is not the answer. I am motivated to heal my whole self. I want to be off abilify and antipsychotics and if possible all drugs because I want to be the real authentic me. I must say that through this process I have felt glimpses of that. More creative more intuitive more loving more sexy more compassionate. Today I feel okay (though I do not like affects of seroquel). I was able to eat with no pain. I feel relatively stable. My plan is to stay at the 5 percent taper at 1.95 using my digital scale. Which I take at 2 pm daily. I may take seroquel for a few days at 100 before bed with my lithium. The only other changes I plan is to add a probiotic similar to one I have taken before. I plan to stay 6 weeks at this dose provided things are ok. I came here to share my experience and to seek support in any form, and just to say hi. I have read and posted before. Glad to be here. In solidarity, Kathy
  10. I am a young adult who has a history of using psychiatric drugs for the past 14 years of my life. Before the most recent round of drug use, I was athletic and working as a volunteer for a library and doing things like pickleball, and swimming occasionally. All of these things have now stopped due to the drug withdrawal and recovery period, February 2020 to present. I was put on different drugs for different reasons - ADHD, Anxiety, and recently ones for Bipolar. I was hospitalized 4 times, for extended psychiatric holds and with the first evolving into inpatient therapy for an eating disorder. The most recent two times were in late 2019 and early 2020. I never had encouragement to do thorough independent research on the drugs, and had been told to trust doctors instead of making my own decisions about psychiatric drug use. My basic drug history is: Adderall (amphetamine salts) - 2009-2017 Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) - 2011 Propranolol - 2010 or 2011 Lexapro (escitalopram) - 2011 Ambien (zolpidem) - 2011 - 2013 Xanax (alprazolam) / Klonopin (clonazepam) - 2012 - 2017 Topamax (topiramate) - April 2014 - July 2014 Risperdal / Invega (risperidone / paliperidone) - February 2018 Effexor (venlafaxine) - February 2018 - October 2019 Wellbutrin (bupropion) - May 2019 - October 2019, March 2020 - Present Abilify (aripiprazole) - Late October 2019 - Early February 2020 Latuda (lurasidone) - March 2020 - April 2020 Lamictal (lamotrigine) - February 2020 - June 2020 Klonopin (clonazepam) - April 2020 - Present My recent drug history, with dosage details: Last year, in October 2019, I was hospitalized for the third time and they took me off Effexor and Wellbutrin put me on Abilify 15mg. It was my first continuous use of an antipsychotic, as I only had a depot (a loading dose and then single maintenance dose, back to back) of Invega in the hospital in early 2018 and a single oral dose of the Risperdal during that same stay. Luckily, I don’t think I had any lasting effects from the antipsychotics I took in 2018, however, the recent ones I took in 2019-2020 I feel have given me indefinite side effects and have changed a few things in my brain and body. I discuss these persistent effects a few paragraphs down. I took Abilify from late October 2019 through early February of 2020 (~3 months in total). It made me feel emotionally numb, and I developed a flat mood and had weight gain and problems like numbness in my hands after waking up from sleep. I told my doctor I wanted to stop it and they had me quit it cold turkey. This helped with the hand numbness but I am still waiting for the other effects to get much better. I was started on Lamictal directly after this, 25mg titrating up to 50mg. After a month of Lamictal, I stopped due to the fatigue it was causing. The March taper off Lamictal lasted only a week and involved dose-skipping - 25mg every other day. I was only off of it for a couple of weeks because I experienced bad withdrawal symptoms, and was rehospitalized as a result of all of the drug effects from Lamictal and Abilify. I was put back on the Lamictal at 100mg, and they added Latuda 60mg and Wellbutrin 150mg (later increased to 300mg). After two weeks of taking them in the hospital, I went off Latuda shortly after getting out. I was then put on Klonopin .5mg twice a day as needed after I got out and have been taking .5mg 0-3 times a day (usually just one .5mg pill if any at all). I have espresso drinks every day and alcohol up to a few times a week, but plan to be reducing my caffeine intake. I am still learning how to manage better without drugs, because my family has always pressured me into drug use and to do whatever the doctors are saying to do. I most recently tapered off Lamictal 100mg over a period of about 4 weeks starting in April or May and reached zero in early June. I was dropping my dose by 50% each time and went to zero from 12.5mg. The feelings I had after reducing Lamictal the first time were severe depression, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, worry, ruminating thoughts about the lasting brain damage effects from the Abilify. I did better the second time I quit, like not feeling suicidal and symptoms feeling less intense, because I had more information and support. The negative cognitive effects of using Lamictal have improved since I reduced and quit, and I have been using Lumosity to help with my cognitive abilities. My scores have been improving in time, so I take that as a good sign. I also have been having weekly therapy appointments to help with this. The headaches have gotten worse and worse for the first few weeks completely off it, in June. I am still experiencing pretty debilitating fatigue since coming off of the Lamictal. I am still finding it harder to do things like working out and having the motivation and energy to take walks and things like that. I also find it harder to multitask on activities; it feels like my mind and brain are in slow motion and unable to go at the speed it once was. I am wondering if this also improves based on other people's experiences from using these sorts of drugs. Some things I have been trying to do to help my brain during these difficult times is playing the game Luminosity, which I do see my scores improving in, resting as much as I can, eating healthy, and speaking with a therapist weekly. I am partly here because I feel like I need more social support; my family doesn’t understand what I am going through. My ultimate plan is to get off of everything - only the Klonopin and Wellbutrin are left now. It has been somewhat discouraging to try to discontinue multiple drugs in a row because some of the symptoms that were improving after going off one drug get worse for a while or happen again after reducing the next drug and it feels never-ending. Persistent effects I am still struggling with: After using the Abilify, I was experiencing lack of flexibility and normal ability to walk, and every time I would walk I would get cramps in my calves and it felt hard to stand straight without feeling pain in my legs. I had trouble swallowing for a while after quitting, but that has gotten better while most effects have not gotten better or have only gotten partially better. The most debilitating lasting side effects that I am still experiencing include: extreme fatigue, lack of energy/motivation, sexual stuff (genital numbing, inability to orgasm, limited lubrication, etc), reduced responsiveness to psychotropics (alcohol, cannabis, caffeine). During the earliest stages of getting off Abilify, I was not able to build muscle very much when exercising, and was struggling with those neuromuscular issues I mentioned. My body would fatigue much more quickly than before I had taken Abilify, and my movements didn’t feel normal, either. This has all partially improved, but is still something I am trying to recover from. The fatigue from quitting Lamictal has made exercising very difficult, but I was starting to work out more again after being off the Abilify a few months until I made the last couple of Lamictal reductions. My cognitive abilities seem to be improving, though I do still experience memory problems and problems with focus and attention. I have been able to stay up later; before, on the Abilify, I had been going to bed as early as 5PM. My sleep has improved, in the months of recovery, but the Lamictal withdrawal had me sleeping much of the day in the past several weeks and I am having a hard time being as social as people are expecting because I spend most of my time resting in bed or in my room. I know my personality has changed during the recovery process and it’s been I guess 5 months off Abilify now and I am still learning how things have changed and what might improve over time. The caffeine thing has actually been one of the most upsetting things to endure and I was wondering if this happened to others after taking antipsychotics and if the responsiveness to stimulants improves or if it ever gets to how it was like before. I have read a lot of worrying things online about people not recovering and I feel afraid I will never be able to feel caffeine like I used to. This sort of happened the first time I took antipsychotics for a short period, back in 2018, but the effect did not last this long. If people here have advice for me, or encouragement, I would really appreciate input. Thanks!
  11. 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!
  12. 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.)
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. Hi group, may I introduce myself? I have had social anxiety and energy depression since childhood. I’ve been on Effexor since 1996 (24yrs!). This last month, I braved a medication review and the psych Nurse Practitioner added 2mg Abilify to boost my mood. The first pill took away all my body pains in an amazing wave... in a couple days I had more energy and less procrastination... but on day 11, I had shooting head and chest pains, scary blood pressure of 155/86 and heart rate of 100. My vision had zigzags in it. Of course I stopped taking it and called the Psych NP office. She told me that there was No Way a baby dose of 2mg could have caused the cardiac issue, and I should see primary care physician. I knew that Abilify has a long 4 day half-life (6day for some people) so I decided to wait and flush it out for 2 weeks. I drank hibiscus tea and went off caffeine and took some blood pressure meds as needed. The pains largely persisted. The psych NP then suggested I switch to Effexor’s potent daughter, desvenlafaxine (Pristiq). There would be a reduction in milligrams from 150 to 50mg but the overall effectiveness was supposed to be equivalent with less side effects (possibly not as likely to raise blood pressure). Since brand Effexor has become SO expensive and generic doesn’t work well for me - I agreed to try the des-venlafaxine. On the 3rd day I took a day nap and cried a little. On the 4th day I was wild with anxiety about my chest pains and sobbed when my physician let me come in for an EKG. The MD encouraged me to keep going on the Pristiq for 2 weeks, and keep working with the psych NP. The MD also made me feel more secure since the EKG and her other checks were OK. I was just freaking out, basically. So... The baby dose of Abilify caused a strong seratonin reaction in me, and dropping Effexor for its daughter caused a strong withdrawal reaction in me. I didn’t know what to think until I found this site, SA.org. What a giant help to get real information for once! Yes, SSRI and SSNRI’s have very, very strong effects on the body. I think I’m going to hold steady for a while, scared from these 2 bad experiences (btw I am being referred to a cardiologist). But I know now about NMT 10% dose tapering and that it is OK to remove the beads in Effexor, and OK to repackage in gelatin capsules...for when I am ready to try tapering. But is it worth trying Pristiq? Is it worth the hard shaky effort and strain to my relationship to go off Effexor??? My memory is shot and my blood pressure is high. But will they get better?
  16. Hi everyone, I am a 30 year old woman from California. I have been on Prozac since I was 13 years old. 3 years ago I started feeling extra depressed, and my psychiatrist doubled my dosage from 20 mg to 40 mg. I felt insanely good for a couple of weeks, and then I became even more depressed. I had made a plan to OD and kill myself. I agreed to voluntary hospitalization at the suggestion of my psychiatrist. When I was released, I was taking 10 mg of Abilify, 100 mg of Lamictal, and 20 mg of Prozac. They diagnosed me as bipolar 2. Over the past 3 years I have been pretty stable. I am getting my Masters in Counseling Psychology. I have been in therapy and have grown a lot. I started to question my diagnosis and whether I needed to be on medication. The more I learn about therapy and family systems, the more I wonder if I was the Identified Patient in my family. I suspect my depression as a teen was the result of a dysfunctional family, and not the result of a chemical imbalance like my parents and doctor told me. When I talked to my psychiatrist about going off meds, he lectured me about how you don't mess with bipolar and how bipolar people always want to go off their meds. I decided to see a new psychiatrist who might be more supportive of my position, so I had a couple of sessions with a new doc and he told me how to taper. In January I tapered off the Prozac. I was pretty dizzy for a few weeks, and I felt a little more sensitive/ less blunted. Nothing intolerable. Then I went off the Abilify in March. Started losing the weight I gained when I went on it. Hooray. Now I am off the Lamictal, and boy am I struggling. The last I had any was Mother's Day, 15 days ago. 10 days ago my boyfriend of 2 years went to visit family. Now he is back, but we are social distancing for a couple of weeks to be safe. A few days into him being gone I started spiraling. I have been spending hours scrolling Reddit to distract myself. I find it hard to get off my couch. I have been having difficulty sleeping. I feel pressure in my chest, like I can't get enough air, and the only way to get it is to yawn. I feel so disconnected and isolated. I haven't talked to my boyfriend about this, but I think he knows something is up. We have been having relationship issues and are working on it. I know I need to communicate with him about this, but I feel so far away from him that I'm having difficulty asking for support. I have a lot of conflicting thoughts and emotions. I wonder if it would be this hard if COVID wasn't happening and life was normal. Then I would have more obligations and more human interaction. Maybe this is more a result of COVID than withdrawal. Maybe if I were on the drugs, I'd be feeling this way too. I feel disappointed in myself. I thought this would be easier. Maybe I am bipolar and I need to accept my diagnosis and go back on drugs. Maybe the psychiatrist I fired was right. I have an interview tomorrow. If I get an offer the new position will take up a lot of time and I will be forced off Reddit. Hopefully I can get it together and nail the interview. I guess I'm just looking for feedback or words of encouragement. And suggestions for things to do that will get me off my couch. Thanks for reading. I'm happy to be joining this community.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  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. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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-).
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