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  1. ADMIN NOTE Also see Weighted blankets & Bed Tents for restlessness, akathisia, insomnia and anxiety Blog: My Akathisia Experience by akathisiainfo contains many reports of drug-induced akathisia and recovery from it Akathisia survivors? There's an interesting discussion of akathisia buried in this May 25, 2011 post by psychiatrist Steve Balt http://carlatpsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/05/horizant-second-coming-of-gabapentin.html ".... However, the symptoms of RLS (restless leg syndrome) are rather nonspecific: "an urge to move the limbs, which improves with activity and worsens with rest." That's about it. Which leads to yet another problem (a problem that GSK and Xenoport don't see as a problem, that's for sure): with such vague and common symptoms (who among us hasn't felt somewhat restless at times, with interrupted sleep?), a lot of people might get diagnosed with RLS when their symptoms are actually due to something else. A while back, a fellow blogger directed me to the RLS "patient page" on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) web site, where RLS was—and still is—referred to as "akathisia." However, these may be two entirely different things. Akathisia (from the Greek for "not sitting still") has long been recognized as a side effect of some—perhaps most—psychiatric medications, from antipsychotics to antidepressants. It is often described as an "inner restlessness," a "need to keep moving." Sometimes it's associated with extreme emotional distress. In terms of severity, it can range from a mild nuisance to—in some cases—aggressive tendencies. (Indeed, the psychiatrist David Healy has even linked psychotropic-induced akathisia to suicide attempts and violent behavior.) Psychiatrists really don't know exactly what causes akathisia, and disagree on how to treat it. It may have something to do with dopamine blockade, or something completely independent. Treatment might consist of benzodiazepines (like Ativan or Valium), beta blockers (like propranolol), or discontinuing the drug that caused it in the first place. Unlike RLS, which seems to bother people most when they are lying down (hence its tendency to disrupt sleep), drug-induced akathisia is worse when people are awake and moving around. Sounds like a simple distinction. But nothing is quite this simple, particularly when psychiatric drugs—and real people—are involved. In fact, many psychiatric meds can cause other motor side effects, too, involving (theoretically) yet other neural pathways, such as "parkinsonian" side effects like rigidity and tremor. In fact, some antipsychotic drug trials show "restlessness" and "akathisia" as entirely separate side effects (and when I've tried to ask experts to explain the difference, I have never received a straightforward answer.) ...."
  2. Hello everyone, Short history: I have a long history of On/Off misc. antidepressant use for various periods, icluding SSRIs & SNRIs and atypicals. In previous times, when I went off medication I didn't experience withdrawal but I guess that this bombardment of my brain with various chemicals left it scarred and vulnerable. My first withdrawal occured when I went off 150mg of Effexor XR (Venlafaxine). I took it for only 2 months (July-August 2015) and I experienced withdrawal over the course of 6 months (September 2015 - February 2016), in which I was pretty much disabled and all I did was wait until things will get better. Current state: After a reoccurence of severe depression, I felt desperate and went back on antidepressants. The psychiatrist suggested Vortioxetine (Brintellix/Trintellix), a "brand new" drug. I started from a dose of 5mg which I took for 1 week, then went up to 10mg which I took for 2 weeks, after that I went up to 15mg, severe itching ensued so I dropped back to 10mg. I stopped taking it after 1 week without tapering because Vortioxetine has a long half life. All in all, I took it for 4-5 weeks, and have been off it since August 2016. About a week after discontinuing, a myriad of symptoms appeared: Tight muscles in head/traps/shoulders/stomach, hot flashes, extreme irritability and agitation, impaired cognition (no concentration, focus, memory etc...), anhedonia, no motivation, akathisia, jaw pain. In general, I feel like my brain has been fried. Currently, I feel very confused and discouraged. Sometimes it seems that it's getting slightly better, sometimes I feel that no change occured and I'm still experiencing the symptoms in the same strength. I haven't tried any other medications apart from Propranolol in an effort to reduce the akathisia but it didn't help. I'm extremely hopeless, I cannot continue my life in this manner. I will meet the psychiatrist in the next week to discuss reinstatement, although I feel it will be the final nail in my brain's coffin. If anyone has any suggestions or can share his/her Vortioxetine experience I would be happy to hear. Thanks
  3. Hi everyone, So glad to have found this forum in my journey weaning off Paxil. Because of severe withdrawal symptoms during my doctor's recommended tapering schedule, I'm weaning off Paxil painstakingly slowly (liquid prescription, with a syringe). I have a question about tapering at smaller doses. I accidentally missed a dose (just 1.2 mg.) on January 17. Anyone who has taken Paxil knows that you do. not. skip. a dose. I don't know how it happened, but I forgot to take it one night (for the first time in about ten years). For the next TWO WEEKS, I was nauseous, had trouble eating, had mood swings, and worst of all, had some very scary depersonalization (feeling like I was in a dream or on LSD). Very scary. So, this can really happen from just missing a tiny 1.2 mg. dose? I called my doctor and they said this "isn't because of Paxil." Lol. Thanks so much! (This is why I'm so grateful for this forum--people actually dealing with the reality of tapering off these medicines.) Wouldn't tapering get easier as I get down to lower doses? ? What am I going to do at lower doses? The 10% method sounds good in theory, but yikes -- it will take forever just to get off 1.2 mg. My eventual goal is to get off Paxil and Zoloft, but my primary goal is to stay alive. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions! Thanks! I ran out of room in my signature for my quite-lengthy history, so I am expanding it here since this is my intro post: On Paxil since 1996--anxiety and depression. It worked for a while, but had to keep increasing it. 20 mg --> 40 mg --> 60 mg. For years I've wanted to get off it -- it wasn't working anymore, but very difficult to come off. Early 2013--Getting treated for sleep apnea (with CPAP) eliminated about 75% of my anxiety. Who knew?!?!? How long had I had sleep apnea, but treated anxiety with meds? March 2013: Feeling so good with CPAP treatment that I started weaning off Paxil about 10 mg/month: 60mg to 50 mg to 40 mg (NO negative effects whatsoever--if anything, I just felt better and better.) July 2013-- went from 40 mg to 30 mg. Some dizziness; nothing major. Starting a new job; paused taper. June 2014, began Paxil taper again, going from 30 to 20 in one week. (I can't believe that a medical professional actually advised me to do this.) This was very, very bad (dizziness and suicidality--the first time in my life--very scary), so went back to 25mg. Stayed at 25 mg. for another year. Not looking forward to going back down and continuing taper! In June 2015 started a cross-taper while adding Zoloft--went from 25 mg. Paxil to 20, to 10, to [this was the most difficult one] 5.) The cut from 10 to 5 mg gave me akathisia; nausea; suicidal thoughts; rage; and severe anxiety. Most of my time was consumed in dealing with Paxil tapering effects. August 2015 -- obtained a prescription for liquid Paxil. September: 4 mg Paxil October 2015: Suicidality -- doctor advised me to go up on Zoloft; I did so to save my life. Now at 100 mg Zoloft. (But it's not working -- my exercise, eating, meditation, acupuncture, and supplements are.) October to December 2015: 4 mg Paxil --> 3 mg --> 2 mg --> 1.6 mg. Symptoms are tolerable at this rate; the worst is a feeling of being intoxicated for several hours a day. But going this slow makes me feel like it will take forever to get off! ! ! Currently: 1.2 mg Paxil. Also: Vitamin D; Vitamin B complex; magnesium; plenty of protein; exercise; acupuncture; meditation/mindfulness; working with a naturopathic doctor.
  4. GracieAnn

    GracieAnn: Akathisia

    Hi Everyone. I’m new here and just realized that my severe akathisia has a name and a cause-Prozac. For years I just thought I had severe anxiety and a lot of adrenaline. It is ruining my life. Now that I have connected the dots I’d like to slowly wean and find a med to help my symptoms(clonidine?). i pray I can heal my brain and am hoping to hear some success stories. I’m very grateful for this group.
  5. Unsure if I'm posting in the right place but this is somewhat of an introduction. 1.5 years ago I started on 20mg of Prozac for OCD. There was restlessness with starting but it went away. Gradually I tapered down to 10mg of Prozac which I was on for a full year. 2 months ago, I felt the sudden onset of a a very severely agitated feeling. It was very vague but I can pinpoint the exact moment I noticed it -- I was sitting, doing nothing remarkable, and unstressed. I had felt something like this before throughout my treatment but it was very very temporary and felt more like an agitated depression brought on by external circumstances. When this feeling started I could not pinpoint anything else as the cause. Things were good in all parts of my life. I had not messed with the dosage of Prozac at all for a year. Is it still possible that the Prozac is causing this long term agitation/akathisia that I still experience today? A month into the feeling I decided to taper off Prozac completely. I experienced very little withdrawal...just mild headaches and dizziness. The akathisia didn't get worse or better. But it is still quite bad. And the longer it continues the more hopeless I become and probably the more depressed as well because I can't see a life without this agitation anymore. Started on some Klonopin to treat the restlessness and help me sleep. Has anyone else experienced akathisia without a dose change? And also only being on a low dose?
  6. Once upon a time , in a land far, far away lived a little girl called Fresh. She lived with her mummy and daddy and big sister and their dog. She was bright , sensitive , creative , a gymnast. Her parents were well meaning (if not a little dysfunctional) and Fresh had a stable life and opportunities to try many different things. Her teen years were challenging , but Fresh finished high school and went on to complete a university degree. At the end of university , Fresh felt lost. She had broken up with her long-term boyfriend , had no permanent employment or income , was applying for jobs and living in a friend's spare room. Her doctor suggested she had a depressive illness and should try an antidepressant. This was a terrific solution! Fresh felt a lot better very quickly , and continued her career path and her journey as a young woman. Fast forward twenty-five years , and Fresh was a mess (see my sig.) (yes , I am Fresh ). In September 2012 , I decided to start tapering from 120mg of Cymbalta. I intended to go from 120mg to 90mg , i.e. one 60mg tab. and one 30mg tab. After a week or so at 90mg , I accidentally forgot to put the 60mg tabs out for a few weeks , and realized later I had been taking only 30mg. I wasn't in a good space at all. But I figured I had been through the worst of it , so I'd just stay on 30mg. Bad idea. I started seeing Dr. Lucire in March 2014. I followed her advice and continued tapering at 2mg per week over 12 weeks. My last dose of Cymbalta was July 21 , 2014. This first video was taken six months after my last dose , the first time the akathisia hit me like a mack truck. http://youtu.be/0_1e0BIQVyc The second video was taken around seven weeks after the first. I like to call it "Akathisia 101". http://youtu.be/4H-oYvsjA1A I stuck it out until May at home. I had been housebound and terrified for months , and believed I could never get better from this , this is how I would be for the rest of my life. These days I'm happy to say I survived that experience , and am doing pretty well.
  7. LellieH

    LellieH: Lexapro

    I am new to this group. Boy how I wish I knew tapering information before I came off Lexapro. Only 6 weeks after my last dose, I am experiencing the kind of akathisia of extreme anxiety, agitation, fear.... I dread going to sleep, as it means I will be awakened by fits of anxiety and fear-filled dreams. The reason to get off of antidepressants in the first place was to far into my PTSD, the reason why I took AD in the first place. Reading the information on how long WD might take, I am really trying to wrap my head around how I need to change my attitude towards all of this. It is a very lonely feeling to go through this. I have family and friends who are willing to listen to me thank goodness. There is a side of me that feels I should go to live in an emotional rehab/living community
  8. Hi everybody. I never joined a forum before but now it's time. I've been on AD's for about 20 years now. Always resistant to staying on them, because of flat affect and just a lot of fear of side effects. Started on maprotiline (yeah, nobody's heard of it) a tetracyclic, then tried St John's Wort, SAMe, TCM, before getting prescribed Celexa. My pattern was to stay on until I felt OK, than go off, probabl;y way too fast for my sensitive system, and crash. Aside from sadness and lack of energy/motivation, my main symptom was horrible insomnia -- I have atypical PTSD symptoms from a major trauma that included pretty much not sleeping for three weeks. Sleep is a big deal, not sleeping gives me really bad anxiety. So I went up and down on Celexa at the advice of my GP, pretty much staying below 20mg, and at one point on 5mg for quite a while and doing well. Used lorazepam periodically for sleep, and went off that really slowly without too much difficulty. Unfortunately, when I decided to go off Celexa (at the advice of a TCM doc who was supposed to be brilliant and said I didn't need it) I ran into a major stressful life event (my 19 yr old learning disabled daughter got pregnant and decided to have her baby) and crashed. In addition to the stress, it was again probably a mistake to stop 5mg cold. I didn't know. After a few weeks of hell and lots of acupuncture, I went back on but it took too long to start having an effect and... I eventually went to the ER, and was advised by the doc who advised not to go to the psych ward, and prescribed more lorazepam. Two days later I saw a PDoc for the first time. She prescribed a small dose od Zyprexa to "augment" the Celexa, and help me sleep. Which it did -- three days later I felt better and could function again. 20mg Celexa and 1.25 Zyprexa. A couple of months later when I was still up and down she added 50mg of lamictal to help me with "stability". So now on three drugs, sleeping, relatively stable. Over the next couple of years, I was able to bring the Zyprexa down to about .35mg, but couldn't get off without crashing. My PDoc called it a "homeopathic dose" and didn't try to get me off. REALLY sensitive to this stuff. Three years into this, a year ago, I had another stressful stretch, and incrreased to 1mg Zyprexa. Then I developed a tremor in my right hand. I freaked -- my dad had Parkinson's. After being in denial for 4-5 months, I finally went to a neurologist and after several tests told me it could be Parkinson's or it could be the Zyprexa. She suggested I try to switch to Seroquel that is supposedly less likely to have this side effect. Oh my, here comes the really bad part -- my PDoc said I could just do a switch of Zyprexa for Seroquel at "equivalent" doses. She knows how sensitive I am and this was a BIG mistake. I switched, and totally crashed. I was supposed to then increase the Seroquel until I felt better. That lasted about two weeks when I developed akathisia. Was given Cogentin and UGH, I couldn't think, my hands trembled, I couldn't have a normal conversation and my memory went downhill. PDoc said switch back to Zyprexa so I did but now at a higher "equivalent" dose (2.5mg). Akathisia didn't go away. Tried to drop Zyprexa to 2mg and BOOM, more depression. Back up, more akathisia. My PDoc then gave up and passed me on to another PDoc (not a bad thing at this point, but I felt abandoned). Since then, I'm titrating down on Zyprexa by .05mg per week. At 2mg now and akathisia is somewhat better but I still can't relax at all, and I still don't know if the tremor is drug induced or Parkinson's. I get the 10% per month and I plan to follow that as closely as I can. I've had enough of these meds. It makes me really sad that I know it's a long road ahead to get back to a semblance of normal. I wake up every morning trembling and depressed. I eat really healthy and walk 6-9 miles a day. By mid-day I feel a bit better but can't stop obsessing about the tremor. Can't concentrate much or I get really tired. Afraid to go outside my routine because it's more stressful and the symptoms get worse. I'm looking into TMS as a way to support this process. Whoever reads this thanks for listening, it gets really lonely sometimes, I'f you're here, I'm sure you know.
  9. Anybody had any experience with this controversial therapy, good or bad?
  10. I came across this. It is wonderful. http://psychrights.org/articles/newdrugsnewproblems.htm
  11. It has been 3 months since i quit using sertraline 50mg and mirtazapine 15mg. I have used mirtazapine 15mg for 4 months with sucess and had a bad adverse reaction to prozac after using it for 3 weeks before this. But i have been going downhill ever since. It started with being slightly unfocused but now i can't remember what happened few hours ago! I lost every ounce of personality i ever had. I have no problem solving skills and i am not intelligent anymore. I am losing all my acquired skills too. I lost my musical ear and i am not as good as i used to be with speaking English (not my native language.) It feels like i never even started playing piano 3 years ago and it drives me nuts! I lost everything in my life because of my need to ease anxiety. No one thinks this could be true. Psychiatrist thinks this is good ole anxiety and threatens me to put on antipsychotics. My family refuses to believe me and prefer to listen to ''professionals'' instead of me. I have a few friends to listen to but none to truly understand (or want to understand) what i am going through. I can feel the stress literally burning my mind 24/7 non stop. I really do feel my mind burning and it does not look like it will go away soon. I have lost everything yet it still destroys me nonstop. I just want this to end. If this goes on like this i don't think i will want to live much longer. I am just a whiny depressed person in other peoples' eyes and i refuse to recover by not taking pills. They won't acknowledge anything i say about losing myself with the introduction of the drugs or the stress-like burning mind sensation that started with the drugs. Anything i say and do is being used against me to show how depressed or anxious i am and how much i need meds. I have lost all hope and i am expected to attend university in 2 years with the mind of an 8 year old. So if i don't show any prowess after 2 years i will end it all without a single doubt. I don't want to live a life i am not happy in. Please share anything that you can relate to this issue. Have you ever experienced something like this? When did you start to recover? How much did you lose and how much did you manage to recover? Even the tiniest bit of hope is enough to make my day and push me forward. Right now all i can do is crying.
  12. If you have a movement disorder (Tardive Dyskinesia , Dystonia, Akathisia, Myoclonus etc.), that you believe was caused by Effexor XR (or made worse by this drug), you are eligible to join a multi plaintiff lawsuit now forming. To join this lawsuit, please message me on this forum, or email me at effexortd@gmail.com. For US residents only. Posted by permission of Group Admin for informational purposes. Posting does not necessarily signify Group endorsement.
  13. I was put on buspar last year. Was on 5mg for 2 months, then 10mg for a month before I stopped it cold turkey on January 16th due to side effects.. The panic attacks and anxiety that hit after stopping were wickedness. Was calling my dad at all hours begging him not to die cos I was terrified of losing him. There was gradual improvement, if you can call it that, but then a week ago, well, I don't know if it was the magnesium (unlikely, I'm sure?) or the buspar withdrawal, but I started having issues with akathisia to the point I can't sleep at night. I took too much magnesium, the recommended dose on the bottle which was 800mg. I had a calm for an hour and a half, then it faded and an aching started in my kidney area. I googled and found the recommended daily dose should be no more than 350mg. The akathisia started a day or 2 after that, hence why I don't know if it's connected, but figure the timing is just coincidental. I've been going thru this hell for 2 months now. The anxiety and panic seemed to worsen a bit when the akathisia started. My question is for those of you who've gotten the akathisia as the result of withdrawal from a medication ...how long before it stopped? I don't know how I can hold up, but having a potential time line would sure be helpful, it would put a light at the end of my tunnel again, even if my symptoms do end up lasting longer. This is the scariest and hardest thing I've ever been thru.
  14. Reading back over my neuro problems document I wrote earlier when everything started; it seems like pretty much everything can be traced back to established problems associated with tapering and withdrawal of SSRI’s. I began tapering down from 100 mg earlier this year (2015), in the spring. I went from 100 to 75 to 50 to 25, at which point I ceased taking the Zoloft. I went very slowly with the taper, with the knowledge that a fast taper could lead to withdrawal problems. I went perhaps a month between each reduction. I completely finished at the very beginning of July, I want to say July 2nd. For the month of July, I didn’t notice any problems. In the beginning of August however I started feeling an intensifying of the symptoms I already had written down in the neuro problems doc, including a depressed mood. I also had my first migraine of my life on August 8th. I had the visual aura preceding the migraine. I went to the E.R. where I got a CT scan, and was told that everything checked out fine. When my mood didn’t seem to be getting any better, I attempted to reinstate the Zoloft at 25 mg for three days on August 12-15th. I seemed to get a serotonin syndrome response from this, so I stopped taking it in the hopes that perhaps the withdrawal symptoms would clear on their own. From August 15th to October 2nd I was traveling in Europe. I was supposed to stay longer, but by October 2nd the withdrawal symptoms were getting worse and I knew I needed to go home. On October 3rd I attempted another reinstatement of the Zoloft, this time at 12.5 mg for two days and had the same problems I had earlier in August with the reinstatement. I stopped taking it again and the serotonin syndrome seemed to clear up, but by this point the withdrawal symptoms had started full force. For the entire month of October and now the beginning of November, I’ve had horrible cognitive symptoms that have kept me from being able to function normally. I have a hard time planning future events, including structuring a day plan. I have a hard time reading, writing, and speaking to people (I just can’t think of things to say, to continue conversations). Even listening to music or watching t.v. is overwhelming. Overwhelming is the best word I can think of to describe any kind of stimulus to me right now. My cognitive and physical functioning is just overwhelmed with everything, and I get tired very easily. Despite being tired, it’s hard for me to shut off. I’ve spent a few nights just laying in bed for hours without being able to sleep. One thing I’ve noticed this last month is that my heart just pounds all day long. I have ringing in my ears as well, which irritates me when I’m trying to fall asleep. I get dizzy easily when I stand up too fast, which makes me feel nauseous. For the first month of this, (October) I had intense thirst all the time. The intense thirst seems to have dissipated this last week. Now however I am getting nauseous where I wasn’t before. Also food seems to have lost all appeal to me. Nothing sounds good to me to eat, and nothing tastes good. It’s hard to describe, but my taste just seems to have numbed. Other things I’ve noticed: Face hot and flushing all the time Feeling of fast heart rate Can’t concentrate or think very well Severe memory problems Sore back of the neck Headaches all the time Feeling of electricity running along my spine & arms, especially in response to music. Mentally exhausted easily when trying to read, follow conversation, watch t.v. Incredibly hard to look in people’s eyes when having a conversation, almost physically incapable sometimes, I feel like I need to close my eyes and look away. It’s physically difficult to make myself smile, or make any facial expression. Reduced affect display. Unable to remember words, sometimes unable to recognize written words Aphasia Zero interest in anything at all Living in a fog, daze, feeling drunk all the time Feeling of being frozen; i.e. not being able to plan next thing to do Utter and complete lack of confidence in ability to do anything Intense thirst has disappeared One of the best things that has happened in this last week is that my feeling of restlessness seems to have dissipated for the most part. For the better part of October 2015 I had what can only be described as intense mental restlessness. I was not content anywhere in any context, and felt that the only way to feel better was to keep moving (going from location to location, upstairs, downstairs, outside) and everywhere I felt this intense unease. I looked this up and apparently it’s called akathisia. Horrible upper back pain that radiates into my shoulder blades, chest, throat. Usually lasts for around 20 minutes to an hour of excruciating pain. Feels almost as if my throat is clenching or tightening. Constant buzzing in my ears, especially my left ear. Especially writing this and stressing myself out thinking about what a hell my life has become. Ear popping as well, they always feel like they are full, and I need to pop them, as if I’ve been in an airplane. Inability to plan even the simplest tasks in my day, where I used to make lists and successfully plan a full productive day. Now it takes weeks and months to accomplish tasks simply because I can’t plan a way to make myself do it. Every task seems insurmountable and scary. When I started stressing out, it feels like I shut down. So: January 2015: 100 mg February: 100 mg March: 75 mg April: 50 mg May: 25 mg June: 25 mg July: 0 mg, totally fine August: Just beginning of the withdrawal September: Feeling worse and worse, more of the physical side effects of withdrawal October: Mental side effects of withdrawal officially and horribly begun Akathisia Intense thirst Insomnia Ringing in ears November: Withdrawal as before December: Withdrawal symptoms diminishing January - October 2016: Increasing cognitive difficulties, apathy, October: Beginning of difficulty with facial expressions, maintaining eye contact with person I’m talking with, aphasia (difficulty understanding speech, creating speech, continuing a conversation, feels as if my brain just stops mid conversation, the only thing that feels easier is writing, although I can tell that my word choice is becoming limited and especially use of prepositions is becoming difficult, choosing the wrong word). One thing that bothers me the most is dyschronometria. I have a severely limited ability to perceive time passing, that’s become increasingly impaired. I am fairly certain that from the limited research I’ve been able to do, that I might be experiencing Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI) http://www.behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Breggin2011_ChronicBrainImpairment-Ref-for-ECT-post-140.pdf Going forward; options: Continue without SSRI’s While exercising, eating healthy, taking supplements Or start taking either fluoxetine or citalopram After which point I can attempt another taper after stabilizing December 2015: I don’t have any obligations that I need to do before January, so at this point the best option seems to be sticking it out without SSRI’s. I feel that I’ve made progress (at least emotionally, cognitively I don’t feel the same progress), and that this progress will continue. Reasons why: I only took Sertraline for 2 years, albeit at 100 mg. This is still not the highest dose given. I did a relatively slow taper (although from continuing research I’ve noticed that many people attempt even slower tapers) I am young, 24. And with younger patients, Dr. Healy has noted that recovery is more likely (within 1 to 4 years). I am already seeing progress (thirst has disappeared, intense akathisia (mental as opposed to physical) has dissipated, depressed mood has for the most part disappeared (time between episodes of intense despair longer and longer), as for intense anxiety (heart rate seems to be more regular, morning anxiety not as bad). I am cautiously optimistic at this point. Now, October 2016: Before this all started, I was quite competent. I can get references from friends / family, I was doing well in school (finishing a Psychology degree until this started, was even able to get A’s in two classes in Spring of this year while I was going through withdrawal). I was very socially aware as well, never had any problem with social cues, creating meaningful relationships. Now perhaps due in part to a lack of confidence, I’m having a very difficult time maintaining meaningful relationships. I'm sorry for the disjointed introduction, I'm having a harder and harder time writing a coherent message, and I just wanted to start involving myself in the discussions here. I thought might as well share this document that I've begun to trace the development of this horror this last year.
  15. Hey so I got aka from latuda.i was on 20 mg for 2 weeks then 40 for another week and a half.Stopped it because of aka and it's been almost 3 weeks and the aka is killing me not letting up.Please give me hope this will go.I don't understand why it's still here when I stopped the meds 3 weeks ago it isn't in my body anymore and I wasn't on the med long.When will this end I can't see a light at the end of my tunnel.This is like inner restless torture.
  16. Hi, Following a rapid (lesson learned) taper from Mirtazapine approx 5 months ago, I have been suffering from persistent Akathisia. This has been by far the most horrendous and distressing of a long line of side effects. It appeared 5 weeks after coming off meds and appeared to subside and become less intense, thus some quality of life returned. Over the last couple of weeks it has intensified and I am once again in its awful grip, constantly pacing, crying, feeling agitated with a return of those terrible feelings of grief and despair. I have seen three different doctors, none of whom have ever heard of Akathisia, so I have had to do my own research (thank heavens for forums like this one). I have managed to get an appointment with a neuropsychiatrist in a couple of weeks, so really hoping to at least have a conversation with someone who actually understands what this is! The downside of doing your own research is that I have been left feeling scared to death about the various stories of different types of Akathisia (acute, chronic, withdrawal and tardive) and whether it is likely to resolve. I'm hoping fellow sufferers out there can offer some support and share their knowledge and experiences with me, as there doesn't seem to be that many treatments available for withdrawal Akathisia. I am currently not taking any meds for this (tried Propranalol but it gave me heartburn). I've also been prescribed benzodiazapines for agitation but I'm now so reluctant to take any meds that may aggravate or prolong this side effect. I am also reluctant to take anything that will lead to a further withdrawal process in the future. On the plus side, all other withdrawal symptoms have gradually faded away (high anxiety, extreme claustrophobia, panic attacks, hot flashes, stomach upsets and insomnia). Thank you for your support
  17. Hello everybody! And thank you for this forum I have just discovered. I am reading it through but in the meantime I explain my story to you. So, I am Italian leaving in Spain, I am almost 33 and during one of the treatments I I followed to cure my vulvodynia I unfortunately had to take antidepressants (1 year and a half of Laroxyl up to 15 drops I think) and another year and a half of Cymbalta (up to 90mg). None of these antidepressants cured me, they only relieved some symptoms and moreover I began to have side effects, so I decided to quit them at the end of 2014. My neurologist told me to drop from 90 mg to 0 mg of Cymbalta in approx. 6 weeks. I experienced at the beginning a sort of vertigo which slowly went away, together with low mood. I also began having ringing which never went away. After about one month from the suspension, in February 2015 I began feeling inner tremors and shakes, I was feeling always tense and nervous, from when I woke up to when I went to bed. I went to another neurologist explaining my symptons and she referred it as chemical imbalances due to this suspension and she put me on a month on bromazepam, and I was back to normal. I suspended it and I felt the same symptoms again, so we decided to start Lyrica which could help both my anxiety and my chronic pain. Lyrica helped, as the inner tremor and shakes went away, but they returned at the end of November 2015. Desperate I went back to bromazepam and I was a little better, but then I decided I want to get rid of both Lyrica and anxyolitics, so I began to take them away little by little. At some point I felt normal meds free but only for a week as I began to have jaw problems because of my bruxism, and few weeks ago I was diagnosed with disc luxation because of stress/anxiety, so my system activated again with shakes and inner tremors and ever since never deactivated. I began feeling again from the morning to the night inner tremors and shakes, together with ringings and sense of huge tension and stress and this still occurs until now. I know I won't kill or hurt myself but there are times I have thoughts I want my life to be over as I suffer too much and don't have a pause or ever feel relaxed. I forgot to tell i have mutation of Factor V of Leiden and mutation of gene MHTFR. All my doctors (neurologist, psychiatrist, family doctor, cardioligist) refer my symptons as anxiety and that this is my personality and when questioned why I began to felt that way I never felt before, they say that I probably always had anxiety but until that moment my anxiety was blocked by those drugs. They said that antidepressants don't harm the brain ( I did a MRI and that was ok) and that it's not WD as my body already deintoxicated from these substances long ago. I have to say, I am an anxious person and tend to worry about things but I never felt this way. I went on therapy for some years and did improve in many things so I can't explain how I feel now. I don't refer it as something psychological - of course there are some stressors which trigger me and of course I feel stress and anxiety from time to time but not that long and that high- but rather as something physical. Almost nothing except anxyolitics help me, I tried meditation, yoga, mindfulness, relaxing herbs, 5htp, relaxation techniques but I have no relieve. What do you think I suffer from your experience? Anxiety or WD? What is your advice? Is it bad to resist again these symptoms and should i go back to meds or should I give time for my body to heal? And how? It's been 1 year and a half already and it's been a hell... Do you know doctors I can refer to? What should I do? Are there supplements that help our body healing? Thanks a lot for your help, Regards, xxx
  18. Hey Guys, I found some info online about a law firm that is looking for people to come forward who have incurred movement disorders from psych meds. I called the number and spoke to the law firm, and I can vouch that they are serious. They spoke with me for an hour and I am also sending them my medical paperwork. Be assured that steps forward ARE being taken. I was so pleasantly surprised at how seriously the law firm took me, and how kind they were. Here is the information for others who want to call. This is what I copied and pasted from online, and it includes the phone number to call: "Have you come down with a movement disorder from psych meds, whether they were prescribed to you on-label OR off-label? Did you come down with permanent or temporary dystonia or dyskinesia or akathisia or myoclonus from psych meds? Please join me and others who are working with a law firm to hold the pharma companies accountable. Call Grisham and Barnhardt at 434-293-2939. Ask to speak with partner attorneys Tyler or Addison, or with their assistant/paralegal Bethany. Please, we need ALL the victims to come forward, no matter how long ago this happened to you!"
  19. http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/04/legal-journal-says-antidepressants-can-cause-violence-and-suicide/ Legal Journal Says Antidepressants Can Cause Violence and Suicide April 18, 2016 Antidepressants have been reported to cause a state called “akathisia,” where people feel extremely agitated and restless and may become preoccupied with thoughts of violence. In a new article, to be published in the latest issue of the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, researchers investigate the role of antidepressants in three recent murders. The researchers, a medical specialist and a forensic psychiatrist and pharmacogeneticist, suggest that tests may be done to assess the role of antidepressant toxicity in violent events that may affect legal determinations, potentially even absolving people charged with homicide. The “new generation” antidepressants, SSRIs and SNRIs, appeared in the 1980s but, according to the reviewers, “their adverse effects and clinical trial data have not been fully disclosed.” In 2004, the FDA published a public health advisory warning of worsening depression and suicidality in some patients being treated with antidepressants. In 2007, a Black Box suicide warning was extended from just teenagers and suggested monitoring all patients up to age 24 for anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, hostility, impulsivity, and akathisia. Recent findings show an increased risk for violent crime in young adults taking antidepressants and a groundbreaking reanalysis of the infamous Study 329 on the effects of Paxil on teens found a heightened risk for suicide that was not initially disclosed by the drug companies. The authors report that genetic variations in metabolism affect how individuals react to antidepressants and that research indicated that “ultra-rapid metabolizers” may be at an increased risk for changes in behavior. More at above link...
  20. Congress Proposes Research on the Link Between Psychiatric Drugs and Suicide By Chuck Ruby, PhD Featured Blogs March 30, 2016 Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) has recently introduced the Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 4640). The bill calls for the VA to study veteran suicides over the past five years and to determine what extent psychiatric drugs are implicated in those suicides. The International Society of Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry (ISEPP) has long been concerned about this issue, and more broadly, how our veterans and military members suffering from the horrors of war and other traumatic experiences are being treated. I sent letters of support to Mr. Jolly’s office, offering ISEPP’s assistance in any way possible. In 2012, ISEPP launched “Operation Speak Up” (OSU) as a response to the alarmingly high suicide rate of veterans. The name signifies our desire to help veterans speak up, rather than being shut up with psychiatric drugs. Although it started as an effort to encourage Congress to consider a non-medical model approach to helping those suffering from trauma, it quickly turned into a grassroots and consumer focused endeavor from the ground up under the leadership of our OSU Director, Mary Vieten, Ph.D., ABPP, U.S. Naval Reserve Commander. Mary has since made great strides in partnering with Melwood, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities in the greater Washington DC area. Together with Melwood’s support and funding, Mary has created a program called TOHIDU (a Cherokee word meaning “peace of mind, body, and spirit”) as a wonderful alternative to conventional treatment. You can see more about TOHIDU here. Mr. Jolly’s bill will be the first to establish congressional oversight of this alarming problem of using psychiatric drugs shotgun style to quiet the screams of trauma. Despite the increasing concerns of the deleterious effects of psychiatric drugs, they continue to be the mainstay form of treatment within the VA and Defense Department, as they are on the outside. This has to change.The extant research makes it abundantly clear that psychiatric drugs do not correct chemical imbalances. It would be better said that they cause chemical imbalances. They artificially alter brain chemistry in ways that are not clearly understood, and that numb important emotions that signal meaningful issues in our lives. The brain tries to counteract their effect by making changes in how neurotransmitters are used. The person experiences these changes in very agonizing ways, the most worrisome is called “akathisia,” or a state of agitation, restlessness, and a terrible sense of not feeling welcome in one’s own skin. This can lead to unpredictable irritability and violent behavior, including violence toward oneself. To read more on this, see ISEPP’s White Paper. More here: http://www.madinamerica.com/2016/03/congress-proposes-research-on-the-link-between-psychiatric-drugs-and-suicide/ Also on that page is information about how to contact Congress to express your support for this bill. It would be a great idea to also encourage them to investigate the suicide-drug link in other populations too!
  21. Hello everyone, New here, terrified, desperate and doing everything in my power to fend off suicide. I just exchanged several emails with Dr Shipko who first agreed to consult with me, but then said my polypharmacy history was too complicated for him to help me. The pattern, as i have experienced it, is quite straightforward though: I have been on Lexapro, the drug that destroyed my brain, for approx 13 years. 80-90% of that time I was on 10 mg. I have stopped the drug three times, and each of those times a very similar pattern occurred: Mar. 2006 rapid wean-1.5 months post-WD severe melancholic depression with insomnia, appetite loss and dysautonomic symptoms emerged--1 month later reinstated 10 mg--symptoms rapidly resolved but became impulsive and manic, made some very self-destructive decisions and took 2 years to regain balance. I was not fully functional until 2009. Jun 2012 rapid wean-again, 1.5 months post-WD severe melancholic depression, same dysautonomic symptoms. Waited again to reinstate until a little past 2.5 months post W/D. Right around the 2.5 month mark (before reinstatement), I developed EXTREME akathisia, insomnia, dyskinesia and other bizarre symptoms. I had recently weaned off of a benzo and opioids, but this was definitely not the cause of this syndrome as reinstating them even at much higher doses did not help (I had been on benzos and painkillers a couple times before while ON Lexapro, and it was quite easy to wean off); also, this akathisia syndrome felt very continuous with the "Lexapro depression"--it was a smooth and inexorable degeneration down from the depression into the neurological syndrome. Unfortunately I had not yet known that SSRI withdrawal could cause such extreme symptoms so I was on a merry-go-round of neurologists, infectious disease specialists etc, wondering if I had a prion disease or a rare brain infection. Bashed my head into a wall several times, episodes of weakness, twitching, screaming, nearly constant violent shaking. I had to give up my life and move back in with an ex-boyfriend I didn't like because it was the only way I could get the 24/7 care I needed to survive. (Jun 2012 cont'd) After reinstating the Lexapro 10 mg approx 2.5 months post-WD, I did not notice any particular change (there was so much going on I don't recall; my memory is damaged and there may have been a change I don't remember) However, by 3 months post-reinstatement (late 2012) the severe symptoms were completely gone (whew!) and I was able to start on the long road back to finding a "life" again, albeit with some disabling symptoms which seemed quite tolerable in comparison: GERD, hot and cold flashes, hypersomnia, intermittent depression, memory loss. In summer 2013 I started treatment with Xyrem (a strong sleep medication, for my hypersomnia) and Klonopin. This rid me of all of my residual health problems but I felt the combo of 3 drugs was dulling my mind so I began to wean down Lexapro slowly, by 1 mg every 2 months. I was OK during this time; in Dec. 2014 I stopped Xyrem. I was on a low dose of 3 mg Lexapro at this time, and my only other psych med was 1.5 mg Klonopin. I felt great, clear, better than ever. A rapid taper of Klonopin (to 0.25 mg within 3 weeks) made me very ill. Reinstating Klonopin at 1 mg worked and I was feeling good again by Feb. 2015. I very gradually tapered Klonopin to 0.75 mg, held the dosage, and continued weaning Lexapro. I discontinued my last 1 mg of Lexapro on May 18. I was doing well until that same 1.5 month point when depression emerged, but it was not as severe as in 2012. I also noticed some mild autonomic instability--HR and BP went high easily. But it was all manageable until that dreaded 2.5 month mark which I have just now passed. 1.5 weeks ago a mild surgery sent me into a severe episode of hypertension and ever since, I've been on the fast track back to the worst parts of 2012. I've had attacks of severe akathisia, screaming, twisting and uncontrollable violent behavior. My BP and HR go through the roof at the slightest notice, I can't eat or sleep. The scariest part is that I have become INSENSITIVE to all sedatives--the Ambien that helped me sleep in 2012 barely gives me 2 hours now, my tolerance to any sedative med goes up instantly. So while I am super-sensitive to anything stimulating, and super-sensitive to any delay in getting my Klonopin, I am not at all sensitive to sedative meds, it's like my nervous system is on fire. In 2012 I was in a similar state but a couple months after reinstating 10 mg Lexapro, the benzos and Ambien became much more effective. The best times of my life were when I was on a LOWER dose of Lexapro, say 3-5 mg, not the 10 mg I reinstated to before...and of course, the times before I started the $#@&ing drug! But I know I can't even live through another week of this if it becomes chronic, so it seems like my best chance is to reinstate the Lexapro. Since I have only one prior experience to go on and even then I don't know whether the akathisia would have been better or worse had I reinstated lower (or higher? Dr. Shipko mentioned sometimes having to increase from the original dose), I am terrified that this time reinstatement won't work, especially if I pick the wrong dose. It is also different than before in that I weaned slowly and was very stable and happy on a 3 mg dose last winter. So what do people think? What dose should I try to reinstate at, and how soon should I increase it if symptoms do not improve? It's so scary thinking that if I make the wrong move I could be condemned to an agonizing death, because that's what will happen if anything worse than 2012 happens (or for that matter, even if 2012 were to start again and become permanent). Sorry the message is so long. I'm having a very hard time controlling/calming my thoughts and it is hard to think calmly so this is the best I can do. I really appreciate your help!!
  22. Hi there, I’m in my mid 40’s and am here hoping for some help with my current issues with anxiety, agitation, insomnia (early morning awkening) and akathisia, which I think may be medication related. My current meds are: Effexor immediate release tabs, 100mg in the morning, 50mg in the evening - taken for 18 years at various doses Trazodone 50mg at bedtime - taken for 18 years Klonopin 0.25mg 1-2 times/day as needed - taken for about 6 mos Lamictal 100mg twice a day - titrated up over several weeks and at stable dose for about 2 weeks now Risperdal 0.5mg at bedtime, 2-4 times a week as needed, for several weeks Restoril 15mg at bedtime, 2-4 times a week as needed (not with the risperdal though), for a few weeks Omega 3's, 4 capsules a day Vit D3 5000IU /day So my story in a nutshell is that in early 1997 when I was 26, I became clinically depressed after a bad breakup. I was sequentially given a large number of antidepressants and other psych meds including Prozac, Serzone, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Remeron, Buspar, Nortryptiline, Depakote … none of which I could tolerate for one reason or another. SSRIs seemed to agitate me fairly quickly and the depression became a terrible agitated depression and I was hospitalized twice. The second time, I was there for 3 weeks and somehow was put on a cocktail that actually worked: Effexor, Trazodone, Risperdal. I came off the risperdal fairly quickly on my own and, after that, I was able to function fairly well and did quite well for several years. I just took the Effexor (mostly at 100mg twice a day) and Trazodone 50 at night, until the end of 2003, at which point I decided to taper off both over 2-3 months, which was associated with the brain zaps and other withdrawal badness but I was off both by the end of the year. In Spring 2004 I had what I thought was a relapse into an awful agitated depression (but which I now think may have in fact been withdrawal from Effexor) and restarting Effexor did not seem to help. I was tried sequentially on yet another bevy of psych meds including Prozac, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Remeron, Buspar, Librax, Neurontin, Klonopin, Cymbalta, Lithium, Lexapro, Abilify, none of which made a dent in the agitated depression ... there was a suicide attempt and by summer/fall was I hospitalized twice again. The second time, I got ECT, just 8 unilateral treatments, which was CURATIVE and incredibly I was well again, and back on Effexor 100mg in the morning and 50mg in the evening, along with trazodone 50mg at bedtime. This seemed to keep me stable for many years, and I did very well again, was high functioning, accomplished a lot and was quite happy with my life. Very social, able to work hard, very in control of things and overall very content. In early 2014 I got into a relationship which had good things about it but also some very very difficult qualities, and my self-esteem was slowly eroded over the course of the next year or so. In addition, for whatever reason, I decided to taper off the evening dose of effexor at some point, so that I was only on 100mg in the morning (again, immediate release doses). Still, I remained functional until late 2014/early 2015 when I started noticing increasing anxiety, which seemed relationship-related at first, but slowly began to be more constant. By March of 2015 (this year) I was waking up early every day, which has always been a sign of my clinical depressions in the past. By May I was unable to work; the relationship became strained and we ultimately broke up, which added to the stress. I increased the Effexor back to 100mg/50mg and then to 100mg twice a day, and also saw a pdoc who prescribed Klonopin 0.5mg tabs as needed, of which I've only taken a half tab as needed, being terrified of benzo dependence, although I'm surely dependent by now as it’s November and I’ve taken at least 0.25mg every day since May (but not more than twice per day). The anxiety has continued and worsened along with recurrent clinical depression, and I was tried this time (on top of the Effexor and traz) on Zyprexa, seroquel, Abilify, Lyrica, Lexapro, none of which helped, or side effects were too much. During this entire time I’ve still had early morning awakening, never sleeping past 430AM. I never have a problem *falling* asleep. In June-August 2015 I had another round of ECT again hoping for a similar curative effect as in 2004, and wound up having 25 treatments including 15 bilateral and several with ketamine. Unfortunately this did not help much and I was having the same amount of bad anxiety (with consequent depression) as before the ECT. This along with discouraging memory loss and cognitive impairment, which I still have effects from. Since September, I’ve gone back to Effexor 100mg in the morning and 50 in the evening. I was recently started on Lamictal which I’m currently on 100 twice a day, Restoril 15mg for sleep as needed, Risperdal 0.5 as needed for sleep. No matter what I try for sleep (zyprexa, seroquel, restoril up to 45mg, risperdal) I simply cannot sleep past 4-430AM. My pdoc gave me Halcion 0.25 to try when I wake up early, but that doesn’t help either. Recently, my pdoc has attempted to switch the Effexor to Pristiq (too activating, plus effexor withdrawals, sweating, worse anxiety), and Brintellix (also too activating, with headache, worse akathisia, and could not go down on Effexor much without brain zaps and that sinking headache feeling). In fact the Lamictal is somewhat activating as well, but I’ve stuck with it. Everything seems to make the anxiety worse. Actually, I feel better for a day or two after starting a new med, then the anxiety catches up and I can’t tolerate it. This whole time I’ve wondered if it’s just the Effexor which somehow stopped working in 2014 and is now just giving me anxiety, akathisia, agitation. Or, am I just not taking enough of it?? Regardless, I brought the dose down yesterday to 75mg in the morning and 50mg in the evening. I feel like I have to get off the Effexor somehow but I’m terrified of another severely agitated depression occuring like in 2004. The depression this time has not nearly been as bad as the previous ones, and right now I think it’s mostly the constant anxiety that’s the problem. However I still have very little interest in almost anything I used to enjoy, and am not functioning very well in areas of my life that I had absolutely no problems handling for years. It is not anywhere near an agitated depression though, at least not yet. The anxiety is quite bad though, and has led to near-agoraphobia and an almost complete inability to socialize or even to listen to music or watch TV - too many things trigger anxiety attacks or feelings that I’ve wasted my life somehow or that I’m falling behind in my life … things that aren’t logical but my mind just feels twisted and having odd anxious thoughts constantly. I’m tired of adding more and more meds and this website has given me hope that maybe the problem isn’t “not enough meds” but “too many meds”. I was wondering if there are any suggestions on what I should try … I feel like the Lamictal should help at least with preventing another massive depression if I come off the Effexor? Yet the Lamictal is another med now that I’m stuck on. BTW my diagnosis during most of this has been unipolar major depression, although my current pdoc feels like there might be a component of Bipolar 2, hence the Lamictal. Also, I started rTMS (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation) last week in a “last-ditch attempt” to try to control the depression and anxiety; hopes are not high for this but I figure it can’t hurt … I'm so pissed that I've sunk back into barely functioning depression and anxiety after being so well and high functioning for so many years ... so pissed Sorry for this huge post but if anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
  23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26348804 J Psychiatr Pract. 2015 Sep;21(5):359-69. doi: 10.1097/PRA.0000000000000101. Determining Whether a Definitive Causal Relationship Exists Between Aripiprazole and Tardive Dyskinesia and/or Dystonia in Patients With Major Depressive Disorder: Part 1. PRESKORN, FLYNN, and MACALUSO Department of Psychiatry, University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita, Wichita, KS. Abstract This series of columns has 2 3 main goals: (1) to explain the use of class warnings by the US Food and Drug Administration and (2) to increase clinicians' awareness of movement disorders that may occur in patients being treated with antipsychotic medications and why it is appropriate and good practice to refrain from immediately assuming the diagnosis is tardive dyskinesia/dystonia (TD). $$$ (3) To train you as an expert witness in malpractice law suits This first column in the series will focus on the second goal, which will then serve as a case example for the first goal. Clinicians should refrain from jumping to a diagnosis of TD because a host of other causes need to be ruled out first before inferring iatrogenic causation. The causal relationship between chronic treatment with dopamine antagonists and TD is based on pharmacoepidemiology (ie, the prevalence of such movement disorders is higher in individuals receiving chronic treatment with such agents than in a control group). There is nothing pathognomonic [indicative of any specific disease] about movement disorders, nor is there any test that can currently prove a drug caused a movement disorder in a specific individual. Another goal of this series is to describe the types of research that would be needed to establish whether a specific agent has a meaningful risk of causing TD. In this first column of the series, we present the case of a patient who developed orofacial dyskinesia while being treated with aripiprazole. In this case, the movement disorder was prematurely called TD, which led to a malpractice lawsuit. This case highlights a number of key questions clinicians are likely to encounter in day-to-day practice. We then review data concerning the historical background, incidence, prevalence, and risk factors for 2 movement disorders, TD and spontaneous dyskinesia. Subsequent columns in this series will review: (1) unique aspects of the psychopharmacology of aripiprazole, (2) the limited and inconsistent data in the literature concerning the causal relationship between aripiprazole and TD (3) the use of class warnings by the US Food and Drug Administration, which are automatically applied to a drug if it belongs to a specific therapeutic or pharmacological class unless the manufacturer provides convincing data that it does not warrant such a class label (4) the types of prohibitively expensive studies that would be needed to determine whether a meaningful causal relationship between aripiprazole and TD exists. Preskorn S, Flynn A, Macaluso M. PRISTIQ drug $3,400 via ProPublica
  24. this may be long but its a complete overview of how psych drugs have destroyed my life(hopefully temporarily) I was put on zoloft at 14 for depression and severe OCD. the effects were actually extremely therapeutic and healing. I havent had any compulsions since( 6 years ago). so I do not regret going on it looking back, but i had no idea i was going destined to go down the rabbit hole of psychotropic meds. zoloft made me develop a duodenal ulcer and berets esophagus which made me feel nauseas all the time, thankfully nexium seemed to fix it and I haven't had gastrointestinal problems since. fast forward 3 years after i moved away to start my first year of college. amongst the workloads and new experiences i accidentally cold turkeyed my meds and decided to stay off. I slowly started to experience depression which seemed managable until i began to feel the anxiety creep back in. it got to the point where i was freaked out enough that my OCD would return that went to my psychiatrist, he thought the logical thing to do was to be put back on the zoloft but i was not keen on that idea because of my fear of furthering my gastro problems in starting the medication back up. I was also tired of feeling exhausted all the time, so he suggested an SSNRI and put me on wellbutrin. i only managed a couple weeks on it i believe as it aggrivated my anxiety, so he took me off and put me on effexor. the effexor worked pretty well for me as i increased my doses. i believe i was on 225 mg. after my freshman year i moved back home because i had made changes to my degree path that the university i was attending couldn't fulfill. I again began taking my meds sporadically and feeling the effects of it, some brain zaps, slight change in though process, anxiety and pretty bad depression. i eventually cold turkeyed the effexor(idiotic) and felt the depression worsen by the weeks. thankfully i was at home where i could be as upset and weird as i needed to be thanks to the worlds most understanding mother( dealt with two of her siblings' bipolar disorder). as i waited for my appointment with a new psychiatrist in my home town, things got to the point where i was ready to take any medication in order to feel better, so i went into my sessions with my new psychiatrist with a completely open yet naive perspective about meds, considering it was the effexor that that screwed me up. he immediately pointed out the other doctors mistake in changing drug classes too quickly. so he decided i should stick with the ssri's. I was hesitant because i thought i was so messed up i was beyond that. boy was i wrong. he put me on lexapro and said it was one of the more heavy duty ssri's. i began taking the medication and felt a slow leveling of my mood as i worked up to 20mg( 3 years ago). however, i was not satisfied with my progress after about a month, so he decided that adding abilify would help things. after taking one abilify pill i would never underestimate the power of psych meds again. I took the abilify at night and went to bed but the abilify would not let me sleep a wink. everytime i would doze off i would jerk awake as if i had a nightmare. there was also a slight feeling of restlessness and anxiety. it was torture but thankfully only lasted that night as i never took a second pill. at this point i figured that the lexapro was enough and it was for about 2 years as my well being kept increasing and i felt completely in control of my emotions. at the time i had bad cystic acne and wanted to go on accutane as a last resort. my psychiatrist approved despite my worries of the potential psychological effects, he thought the lexapro was a good enough safety net. so i went on a 7 month cycle of accutane and developed no psychological issues. however i did feel a dulling to my mental processing nothing too extreme but something i was aware of. I thought it was without a doubt the accutane because at the time i was sold on the effectiveness and benefits of psych meds. 4 months after stopping the accutane i decided to taper down to 10mg, and i did as my doctor instructed, but as we all know now, standard medical protocol for tapering off meds is pretty inaccurate. i started noticing diffuse pain in my body. i thought i was just working out too hard, as i exercised and lifted weights 6 days a week. but the pain progressed to a point where my workouts had to be compromised and my muscle movement became slightly rigid and my connective tissue was snapping and popping, so i eventually went to the doctor. i was referred to a rheumatologist who did a full work up and found no signs of inflammation. which was both relieving but also unsettling because the nonspecific diagnosis of fibromyalgia was not good enough for me. I was also told that i may or may not be developing an autoimmune disease which scared the **** out of me( ha if only i knew how much worse things were going to get). the popping and snapping made me believe i was developing rheumatoid arthritis. the fear drove me to an alternative and proactive approach to healing. I began eating vegan, then paleo/anti inflammatory. the diet was difficult and made me lose a lot of muscle mass. but i kept on it until i was invited to a friends 21st birthday party in vegas. during that weekend i threw away all dietary restrictions all at once and payed for it. the very first night of heavy drinking exacerbated all of my symptoms and added a neurological flavor to it; i began to experience weakness and tremors.this occured eveyrtime i drank in the future. i didnt want to miss out so i powered through it. I managed to come back and continue my diet temporarily before i moved for school again. fall of 2014, I moved to SF for school and was so excited about the possibilities awaiting me in the city. i was still on 10 mg of lexapro at the time and felt mentally sound accept for a and clear increase in brain fog which i thought was related to whatever mysterious illness was brewing in me. still, i never thought to attribute it to the lexapro because in my mind, there was no way an antidepressant could manifest such physical symptoms but I weaned off the 10 down to 5 over a couple weeks to be sure. my time in SF only lasted 2 months as the symptoms progressed and I fell more ill. I began experiencing reccuring fevers of 104 and missed a lot of class. the health center doctors there swore is was just a bad virus. but i wasnt getting better and I began to notice twitches in my muscles at rest. I missed so much class, i had to come back home and get my health back in line. the possibilities were extremely distressing. i was reffered to an infectious disease specialist who believed i might have contracted HIV or Lyme disease. after some blood tests, he ruled out HIV but wanted to be absolutely sure it wasnt lyme or some other infection he might have missed. he decided a spinal tap would be the best way to confirm. it made complete sense that i would have lyme disease since my symptoms matched the criteria completely however the results were negative. the spinal tap procedure was pretty much painless, but the spinal headache and back pain drove me to pop Vicodin like dr. house. it would only subside when i was completely flat. this lasted a little over a week. the hole in my spine was leaking so much that i temporarily lost my hearing while visiting my brother in chico. i woke up and my right ear was not picking up anything and the headache had worsened. I informed my mother and we drove to the ER. after waiting 5 hours in the waiting room a nurse took us back to a hallway gurney. I'll never forget this nurses name because of what she put me through. my options were an emergency blood patch, or fluids and pain medication. I went with the latter because i was done with needles going into my back. the nurse hooked me up to an iv and told me the drug cocktail she was going to give me was a non narcotic combination of muscle relaxers, anti inflammatories, and antiemetics. after all the vicodin i was done with narcotics so I agreed to the cocktails administration. even now as i write this I get an overwhelming feeling of regret. the cocktail contained, benadryl, toradol, and compazine. little did i know that compazine was first generation antipsychotic. I immediately felt the effects. horrid akathisia radiating from my chest, agitation, terror, anxiety, increased twitching, and instantly put into a state of depersonalization where i became unable to think with any clarity. I felt as though i needed to run up and down the hospital hallways but i was too terrified to even speak to my mother and the benadryl was making my body weak and drowsy. the attending came back and asked how i was feeling, I wanted to get the hell out of there so i told them better. after i was discharged we drove back to my brother's place where i unsuccessfully tried to sleep off the meds. I woke the next day still feeling high as i called it at the time. after we came back home I had a panic attack over not being able to unwind to sleep. I just couldn't relax and sit still. so i took more benadryl which did nothing and i researched other people's experiences with compazine. this was both a mistake and a tool as i found out about my experiencing akathisia and depersonalization. i kept waiting for the drugs to wear off but weeks went by and there was not change. I went back to my psychiatrist and he said that the compazine would eventually work its way out of my system. its been 2 months since the IV compazine and 3 months since i weaned off the lexapro and things have only gotten worse. i still felt mentally sound after i came of the lexapro despite the physical symptoms everything changed when i was given the compazine. everyday now is a struggle. I cannot be a functioning member of society in this state, my sleep has now become affected, it feels like im in an initial state of sleep and staring at my eyelids. im constantly uncomfortable and few things are helping me cope. this experience has taught me about the true harm of psychotropics. I wouldve never thought the lexapro was actually causing my lyme disease symptoms. my question is, has anyone experienced a recovery from compazine and or lexapro or acute drug induced akathisia and depersonalization??? since drugs got me here in the first place i plan to ride things out as long as i can on my own, are there any supplements worth taking to help ease or heal me? this really is what hell on earth feels like. if you read all of my story, thanks for your interest.
  25. Hello all, I found this forum and am very glad. I want to share my experience and welcome any advice and support because it is what I do not have much. Two months ago I had a kidney infection, alergic reaction to ATB and I simply could not sleep anymore. Besides, I would like to point out that I do not have any history of depression, anxieties, simply nothing of the kind. I contacted a help center and they told me I was having panic attacks maybe started by the illness and the lack of sleep. Ok, I was put on Trazodone as a sleeping pill. I did not know it was an antidepressant, I did not know at the time what an antidepressant was. When I was put on 100 mg I started to experience extremely strange things, I started to fear I will cutt myself or I will jump from the window. I was scared to death, I immediately contacted the doc (at that time I had not my psychiatrist, it was still the help center), he just told me it is the elevated anxiety in my head. I told the psychologist at least 5 times, the same reply. I had the strange feeling that something is going on inside my head and that it is not my feelings. But as they kept saying it, I gradually started to believe the docs. After 2 weeks on 200 mg, everything worsened and worsened, I had stragest thoughts about death, my death, it was so horrible. It was like the rests of my outgoing personality fight with the drug, really. I told a new psychologist, she was really scared, called the doctor, he told me to get off Trazodone (but privately told the psychologist it cannot be Trazodone). He told me to go from 200 mg immediately to 100. Which I did four days ago and I feel the most horrible sensations in my life. I asked him whether there could be problems, he said nope, it is safe. During the weekend, I googled and find so many useful info, Dr. Glenmullen´s, for instance...so many terrible stories about SSRI, about what I feel. I now know the problem is the drug not me! But I am still scared to death because I feel so vulnerable with all these thougts. I do not know how long it will take them to vanish...I would use any of my money left to be able to enter some private psychiatry ward for monitoring since I do not feel safe, but there are non in my country and all psychiatrists seem to disregard the side effects, I read blogs from our most prominent psychiatrist that all this is rubbish. So here I am, desperat mum of three young children whom I love so much which aggravates my fear.
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