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  1. 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.
  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. 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
  4. mmcdonald21

    mmcdonald21: intro

    Hey, I've been trying to get off medications for a while now, to no avail. I'm currently on 30mg Remeron, 300mg Effexor, and 10mg Abilify. I also take a lot of vitamins and fish oil with a high concentration of EPA. I don't feel very good right now, and I've had periods where I've felt good, but I'm pretty sure they were just times that were flukes. I think the things that really help me are exercise, meditation, and to some degree, my vitamins and fish oil, but I really do want to get off of the medications. For over four years I've been reliant on these medications, and still I haven't felt very good at all during the time. I started getting off of my medications by taking 75mg less of the Effexor XR (I was on 375mg). I will report back how that goes. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated.
  5. 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
  6. Here is a question for everyone who has used anti-psychotics (especially athletes): Have you experienced poor blood circulation after using anti-psychotics? please reply with your experience in decent detail. I myself am an athlete and after i took risperdal, my blood circulation dramatically weakened, i was much less vascular and could barely experience a muscle pump after working out; I recovered from that side effect after a rough 14 months. later i took abilify and the same exact thing happened, poor circulation, less vascular and of course fatigue in the gym. after bloodwork, the only thing that was abnormal was prolactin (it was high after risperdal and low after abilify).
  7. I started Abilify 3 months ago and it has done very little depression wise, but has definitely given me akathisia, muscle twitching, and increased anxiety. I am currently taking 2mg and wish to taper off as safely as possible. I’d like to use liquid if possible. Any advice, dosing schedules, success stories would be greatly appreciated.
  8. 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
  9. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  10. Greetings all, Around July of last year i suffered a direct blow to the temple (by far the worst pain I've ever felt in my life) which lead to me having a concussion, shortly after that I smoked what I thought was weed with my roommates but it turned out to be a drug called Spice. These two events led to me having hallucinations one day and I checked myself into a hospital. Long story short they didnt diagnose me with anything they just doped me up with 8 different medications some of the ones i can remember are Abilify, Depakote, Risperdone, Zyprexa, Ativan, Vistril, and Lithium ( i can't recall the other drugs names). I was on so many meds I don't remember the first two days I was there. Long story short they held me against my will for three and a half weeks before I was able to get a different doctor and get released. Since my release I have felt emotionally numb i cant feel happiness or joy, sadness nor pleasure. I feel like I have lost some intelligence, as well as vocabulary and my creative ability. Prior to being given I was very creative all my life I enjoyed writing music and poetry, I also loved playing sports mainly football, Working out, Playing video games and watching movies. I no longer get any enjoyment what so ever from anything i once found interesting. I find it hard to carry on a conversation I feel socially unconfident due to the fact that I feel like i cant think like my brain is just an empty slate. I get major headaches that occur pretty much everyday, I have insomnia (I can fall asleep just fine but wake up at the same time every night which is 3 am). Also I have experienced a tremendous loss of libdo and interest in sex like i just dont desire it anymore, I really feel like I lost myself and I'm scared that I wont get my pre-med self back, I have been doing everything in my power to get my life and old self back I have been seeing a pdoc who prescribed me zoloft which I feel isnt working and also trazodone to help with sleep. I have also been going to counseling sessions weekly which has helped a little. I have done extensive research and have come across many people who are experiencing the same things that I am and we all have the same question can the brain recover from antipsychotics and if so how long does it take??
  11. Hi Alto & fellow Survivors, Thought I would update you on my progress. So in July of 2011 I had reduced my Pristiq down to the minimum (50mg). Pristiq, just like it's predecessor Effexor has a very short half life and therefore more intense withdrawal symptoms than the old fashioned Prozac. So I switched to Prozac - the first day I think it was 80mg, then 60mg for a day or so, then 40mg for a few weeks, then down to 20mg. It was at this point I wrote my original post and took Alto's advice to let myself stabilise on the 20mg. This was a very difficult time but I just persisted with it. I was able to get the Prozac in a tablet form under the brand name Lovan which allowed me to slowly reduce down to 5mg over the next 5 months or so. During this time I experienced many days where I was nauseated, would sometimes vomit or feel as if I was about to at any moment, had brain fog, felt anxious, felt depressed, but these symptoms fluctuated and sometimes were way better than others. I began to feel my emotions coming back slowly, which I had not felt in a long time. When I was on Pristiq I was just numb, no good emotions, no extreme emotions, just nothing. I also became a little more outgoing and made friends at school more easily. I was able to keep all my appointments & turn up to class everyday and get assignments done (sometimes i needed extra time and this was granted) despite feeling crappy. However, when I went down to the last 5 mg, my anxiety took a turn for the worse. I started to have increasing intrusive thoughts that were extremely distressing and this made me feel suicidal. I began to exhibit symptoms of OCD, developing obsessions and compulsions (both mental & physical). My therapist did not diagnose me with OCD but she TREATED me for OCD for the next 12 months to help me learn how to manage the distress and anxiety and that is something that has really helped me get by. At one point in around November/December 2011 my Doctor commnced me on Abilify 10mg as he thought was concerned about these thoughts in the contxt of his bipolar diagnosis. He chnaged my diagnosis to Bipolar 1 and interpreted these symptoms as 'verging on psychosis'. My therpaist and myself both disagreed with this as at no point did I ever lose touvh with reality, have thought insertion, broadcasting, thought disorder, ideas of reference, halucinations etc. However the Abilify did lift my mood, decrease my anxiety (not initially but within a few weeks)and help me feel less suicidal, and i was able to finish the schhol semester. But of course I then had to taper off the Abilify (I stopped the Prozac 5 mg as soon as I started the Abilify). I tapered off the Abilify 1/4 of a tablet every week until I was off it by the end of January this year. I was on break from school at the time, and put a lot of effort into looking after myself physically from that point on, more vegetables, more good fats, more fruit, more meat, more exercise, more social contact, and more SLEEP! Since then I have continued to focus on physical health to relieve mood & anxiety symptoms. The big thing that helps me is a walk every day. If I don't do that, I start to get flat. I also put into use every day the skills I learned in therapy to deal with anxiety. I was able to finish my degree in July and have since started working full time in my new profession, so i am off disability, I'm contributing in my own way and feel the rewards of that, and I've been slowly integrating healthy lifestyle choices and making a routine around work. I have to be very careful to stay in a routine as best I can, fit a walk into my day on MOST days, eat fruit and vegies and see my friends every second week or so and get enough sleep. My life to others probably appears very boring at the moment, but I am quite content. I keep up with my chores, am organised, and I have less episodes of feeling depressed, & my anxiety is more managable. I haven't felt those old suicidal feelings for several months now although i still have periods of feeling down, but these are less intense and go away quicker. And I haven't had any symptoms of mania whatsoever. Eventually I hope to be able to start some hobbies (or at least one)and start doing a few extra outings like the movies and theatre etc, but now I feel I just need to focus on the basics of staying well. My friends are amazed that I am my old self again if not better! So that is a success story of sorts. So if you are struggling - persevere. Get the support you need from friends, family, therapists etc to see you through this difficult time. part of coming off meds is learning adaptive techniques of coping with symptoms other than taking medicatiosn, and this isn't easy to do on your own. Take care of your physical health, and be compassionate with yourself. Your brain is amazing and is not doomed to always feeling these effects of psychotropics, It will heal and adpat in time. Mine is still adapting, but I'm a lot better than where I was.
  12. I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day. But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors. However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me. I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight. There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there. Meanwhile, here's what helped me: #1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end. #2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy. I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible! Wishing everyone my very best, Lisa
  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. godiswithme-xanax-taper-after-cold-turkey-of-lexapro-and-abilify It has been 8.5 weeks since I ct'd off 30 mgs of generic lexapro and 2mg of Abilify. I was depressed because my father who lived with us had died and marriage was getting rocky from the stress. I had been taking the generic lexapro for 2 years. This doctor added Abilify in Jan '16. I trusted her. I was depressed over life issues. I have no previous mental health diagnosis other than some anxiety which I had taken Xanax over the past 5 years. Most .5 three times per day. varied in usage - often less. I quickly became dysfunctional and family doctor prescribed .5 Ativan twice per day or I would have died. I have only become a bit more functional. but barely. I don't know what to do. I am very scared.
  15. Hello, all! I've been reading the website for the better part of an hour, now, and it seems to be an invaluable resource, a scientifically-sound one, for this complicated and severely-unstudied process of stopping medication. I've been diagnosed bipolar type 2 some 8 years ago, having been under some type of treatment every day since. My diagnosis came after visiting 4 different psychiatrists (as I would not accept the diagnosis, every time a doctor would say it to me). What I am currently prescribed: - morning - 15mg Aripiprazole - morning & evening - 2.5mg Oxybutynin - morning & evening - 40mg Propranolol - evening - 400mg Quetiapine - evening - 1000mg Sodium Valproate I also have access to Clonazepam, 2mg pills, for an as-needed dosing, but I haven't taken that in a very long time, now. Since this Monday, after an absolutely horrific psychiatrist visit, I've halved all my medication... Each dose, I take at the same time, but would break up the pill in half. I've been feeling great (to be honest, I've actually been feeling, which is an accomplishment), but I want to continue this down to 0mg of each substance. I've read the topics on polysubstance stopping, but it is not clear to me what best course I should follow, given the above cocktail. Can I cold-turkey the Oxybutynin and Propranolol, and after focus on tapering off the mood stabiliser, with an end goal of doing the same with the antipsychotics? My initial train of thought was to halve each week, and I was prepared in a few weeks' time to take a vacation from work, just so I could lay in bed with withdrawal symptoms. This is based on me stopping the Quetiapine in the past (OK, some 4-5 years ago), under doctor supervision, because I had been selected for a medical trial... That process took around 2 weeks, and even if I was prescribed Ambien to sleep, it would only "knock me out" for 2-3hr, after which I'd play video games, as I couldn't sleep at all. It was a painful process, during which I spent about a week in bed, but if the process can be the same this time, I'm ready to withstand all that pain, just so I could be myself, again. Thank you all for any contributions, in advance!
  16. Jennifer78

    Jennifer78

    Hello...I'm new to this website and I'm still not sure how this works. I'm looking for some hope I guess that's what you'd call it. I have been on meds for 15 years. Only an SSRI until probably 3 years ago. I was on Celexa 40mg, Abilify 10mg and Wellbutrin XL. I was so over medicated I felt numb and I couldn't function. I didn't know what was wrong with me & then I thought maybe it's to much medicine. I lost my health insurance on 12-01-16 so I couldn't afford all these meds so I stopped taking the Celexa & Abilify on that day. I'm still on Wellbutrin. The reason I stayed on it was I heard it would cause seizures if I cold turkey off it. I did not know I shouldn't of done that with the other 2. It will be 5 months on May 1st that I stopped other 2 meds. The only reason I went on medicine was because I lost my grandmother and I was stressed. My friend suggested I see a Dr so I did. Stupid mistake! I didn't even know Abilify was an antipsychotic until I googled it looking for answers about what was going on with me after stopping meds. I came across discontinue syndrome and then this website. Most psychical symptoms are gone and insomnia has gotten a tiny bit better but the anxiety and I guess it's depression is awful!! I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go back on the meds & go back to not functioning. I'm just wondering if I'm going to make it through this? I'm really worried. God Bless!
  17. Hi everyone, so I had been on Olanzapine for 3months, then tried to quit cold turkey couple times, which was a very bad idea, I developed severe insomnia, and couple other issues, then withdraw with tappering in 2months - too quickly, bad idea tried Trazodon for sleep, it did not help Ended up on Aripiprazole 7.5mg + mianserin 20mg for sleep. Still dealing with following issues: insomnia, but less than before headaches heart pain chronic fatigue I found Pregnenolone 50-400mg to significantly reduce headaces. As a source of my illness i suspect: heavy metal poisoning (my hair test was inconclusive) lyme dissease Borrelia burgdorferi (i had couple ticks) Currently im chelating from heavy metal poisoning using Andrew Cutler Protocol.
  18. Hey everyone! My name is Cat and I've been taking antidepressants since I was 13. I'm now 19 and I've been on more medications than I can remember, as I say in my signature. I'm currently coming off of abilify , but taking viibryd and lamictal to keep my depression /anxiety combo at bay. I'm also taking ritalin for ADHD. I really hated the side effects of the abilify - at a higher dose (15 mg) it was making me extremely fatigued, and it's made me hungry all the time at pretty much all doses, leading to significant weight gain (Over the course of taking, if I'm remembering correctly, I've gone from 150ish to about 190). I kind of quit it cold turkey do to some pharamacy mix ups and for the first few days I didn't feel any adverse effects so I asked my psychiatrist how she'd feel about me coming off of it. Her response was that she agreed that I could continue off my dose of 7.5 mg and then we'd see how I felt when it was totally out of my system. Now, however, I'm feeling like my brain is fried and foggy. Concentrating and motivating myself are becoming hard, I'm worried that I came off the drug too quickly and, as I'm in college, I'm really worried about the effects this might have on my ability to learn, do homework, and get good grades. I don't really know how to approach this site, so I guess I'll just go exploring and see what I can find! On another note, I definitely want to look at my medication history now. It's probably huge and I think it'd be interesting to share it with you all.
  19. My journey started 23 years ago when I had postpartum depression and my doctor told me I was bipolar. In and out of hospitals for the next 23 years and a barrage of medications. At one point I was on seven antidepressant two mood stabilizers and two anti-anxiety pills. I was still trying to kill myself or find a way to do it everyday. I was locked in my own mind of a living hell. About four years ago I decided to wean down from the medications to just Abilify and Effexor. The Effexor stay because everytime I try to wean off of it I never could because of the side effects. August of 2015 I was faced for the first time with not having insurance. I was unable to afford my effexor. I was forced into a withdrawal. For the next 4 months as most of you know I was in a living hell of vertigo throwing up aches and pains like I've never had before. As the vertigo and other symptoms subsided my pain became more and more excruciating to the point of intolerable. Now after a year-and-a-half at times I am unable to lift my arms. I have constant pain in all of my joints and muscles. Not just flu like pain but excruciating debilitating pain for I cannot function. I cry all the time because it is so intense. I have been to Mayo Clinic and all my test came back inconclusive. I'm actually extremely healthy. I've always let a healthy lifestyle and used to be a bodybuilder. Now I have pain everywhere everyday. So I asked the doctor if this could be a result of being on Effexor. He said absolutely. As I left that answer resonate I knew I had a friend who was a psychiatric nurse. I asked her the same question. Could I be experiencing this horrendous pain because of taking Effexor for so long. Her answer was the same. Yes. So for the last year of being off Effexor I have never been happier. I smile everyday. I had 23 years of my life taken away from me because of a misdiagnosis bipolar 1 and actuality it was just hormones. Now I'm free from trying to kill myself every day. Trying to survive everyday. Weaning off of the Effexor. And now I am faced with living the rest of my life with no quality of life period excruciating pain where I have to go to the emergency room constantly to get relief. Dilaudid Percocet Oxycontin nothing works for the pain. And I know it was due to the Effexor. I don't know what to do now. I don't know how to go on. But I will tell you I have never had one day and the last year of depression or suicidal ideation like I did when I was on Effexor. I'm so happy finally.
  20. Hi everyone. Thanks for reading this! This is my first post but I've read a lot. I'm in the south. 28 year old male. around 3 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist at the same office. I have a great relationship with both and I really trust them 100% with my care. I currently take 300 Wellbutrin, lamictal, buspar, abilify and cogentin Wellbutrin has been awesome over the years and so has buspar and lamictal. I was not diagnosed bipolar but they are using it as a mood stabilizer and it works well However over the years I've had some pretty bad circumstances and been on and off abilify. It works I guess in the way it can stop my obsessing andrew my mind slow down etc. I had been on about 10mg a year ago or so and then I stopped when I started lamictal. I had a bad turn around October last year and the cycle started again. Right now I'm on 5mg split between morning and night. 2.5mg. Oh and add the cogentin for good measure I have started to be quite foggy and started having some short term memory issues I think. The only thing we have changed in the last while was adding the cogentin and abilify back. I'm so worried my memory will not come back. I also need to talk to my pdoc this week as I want to start tapering off it. Thanks for reading! My mood was up and down and we started
  21. Good morning. I will start by saying that I am a healthy, sober, active woman in a happy supportive marriage and mom to 2 (mostly) wonderfuI teenage boys. Here's my story. I started taking Zoloft 17 years ago to help with postpartum depression and seasonal affect disorder that seemed to be worsening with age. I learned that I could get by with 100 mg in the summer and increase to 150 mg in the winter. A couple of years ago-during the summer- I noticed an increase in my depression. I was lacking joy, lacking motivation and energy, having difficulty focusing on tasks and was often weepy. I was intrigued by the commercials I saw for Abilify which promised to give me the boost I needed to get through the day. I tried talk therapy for a couple of months, but finding no relief, I asked to be prescribed Abilify. I experienced an immediate improvement in my mood and motivation. About a year in, I was discouraged by the inability to make it through the day without napping. Sometimes, I napped all afternoon. My Dr. prescribed Adderall to boost my mood and energy. The cocktail of Zoloft, Abilify and Adderall did seem to help for a while. The symptoms of lacking joy and motivation returned and I eventually concluded that the effect of the Zoloft had petered out. I came to believe over the years that I suffered from a chemical imbalance that would always need medication-it was the only logical explanation for depression considering my otherwise fulfilling life. So rather than increasing the Zoloft, I spoke with my Dr. about switching to a different antidepressant. I had come to believe that the Abilify really wasn't helping my symptoms and was perhaps contributing to the lack of motivation, so in an effort to wean from current medications in order to switch to a new one, Abilify was the first to go. I was running low on the prescription, so rather than refilling, I decided that I could taper with the remaining tablets since I was "only" on 5 mg. I don't know exactly how long that taper was-2 weeks or so. At first, there was no problem. Then about 3 weeks in, all hell broke loose with diarrhea, lack of appetite, crying jags and anxiety. Over the course of 3 weeks the only persistent symptom was debilitating anxiety. I tried eating better, exercising more, yoga, meditation, breathing, vitamin supplements to no avail. Although I suspected the anxiety was related to the Abilify discontinuation, my Dr. made no reference to this and seemed as mystified as me. After 2 months of trying holistic approaches, I conceded to trying new drugs. First she prescribed Gabapentin, 300 mg. With no improvement after 2 weeks, I discontinued. She then prescribed 75 mg of Welbutrin which I also discontinued after 2 weeks. She switched me to 30 mg of Adderall which seems to help boost my mood and energy without ironically, increasing my anxiety. Tired and depressed from the constant anxiety I was prescribed .5 mg of xanax 2 times per day. This does alleviate most of the anxiety. Curious about the root problem and concerned with taking Xanax, I started doing some research and eventually was directed to this site which affirms to me that I am suffering from prolonged discontinuation syndrome (4 months) resulting from my rapid discontinuation of Abilify. I am now more concerned than ever about using even a small amount of Xanax to calm my overactive nervous system, don't know if the Xanax may be prolonging the healing from the original Abilify discontinuation, wondering if reintroducing Abilify at a low dose and doing a 10% taper will work at this point and wondering how long this will last if I just suck it up and suffer the anxiety until it goes away. My ultimate goal was to stop taking everything so I could switch to a different antidepressant to deal with my "faulty chemistry". Now I don't know what to do and it is clear that my Dr. has no idea either.
  22. I am currently weaning off from both Wellbutrin and Abilify according to my psychiatrist's instructions, and I'm experiencing fatigue and loss of interest in doing anything. When I drink some strong coffee, my ability to cope and work returns, though I don't want to be dependent on caffeine either. It's my fifth day currently of not taking any medicine at all. I was told by my doctor that to return to myself without medication, it'll take about 7 - 9 days total. I'm hoping that it's just the withdrawal of medicine that's making me feel fatigued and uninterested in things, because I don't want to be like this naturally. These medicines were used to treat depression, but my doctor now suspects that I have bipolar II disorder. In case things go really bad before our appointment next week, he gave me a backup prescription of Carbamazepine -- but I really don't want to take it after reading the side effects. I was hoping that through exercise, I can cure my depressive episodes, just like some people have cured depression through rigorous exercise. I admit I am not exercising every day, but I did manage to run half a mile twice last week. I think I'm getting there, hopefully, and I'll try really hard. Essentially, I'm on a journey now to be medication-free and learn how to cope better without it (and I think I am more emotionally mature now, and all that needs to change is my energy levels and mood).
  23. I had the psychosis diagnosis in 2011. Takeing Abilify. Want to stop takeing. The next visit to doctors is at 1 mai. And i want to take action now so i dropped my dosage to 15 mg. Plan to stay on it 50 days and the drop again by half. I am a little afraid because i havent told anybody. Im afraid of criticisim and confrontation. I plan to tell my brother when we meet, he is my rock but others to tell it is complicated. I started 4 months ago also family Psychotherapy and it has helped me alot.
  24. My question is: How much time (in an average estimation) do synaptic receptors (5-HT/dopamine) need to recover from atypical antipsychotics, such as risperidone or aripiprazole, at the standard dosage after a short amount of time taking them (let's say, 2-3 months)? If anyone has information about this subject, please do share. Thanks.
  25. Hello All, I am glad I found this site because I have been at wits end trying to find someone who has information/experience about withdrawing from the drug abilify I was put on it after a brief hospitalizatioon in May 2013 for a suicide attempt/depression side of bipolar. I also take Trileptal 900mgam/pm. On Abilify I have experienced anticholinergic effects, orthostatic hypotension, and a sedated kind of doped out feeling and thoughts are not always clear. It is my desire to get off Abilify because of its dangers of more intense SE's as time goes on and the desire to prepare my body for pregnancy. My husband and I are currently trying now. I am 43 and believe my childbearing years are waning. I recently discussed my situation with my doctor in letting him know about my feelings, etc. At that point we made the agreement not to get off just yet because I had been studying for an RN refresher course and had a huge exam in which I took two days ago. I had been searching all over the internet and making calls to detox centers and no one has heard of abilify detox. I regret going on the abilify and think a lot of these drs are very quick to prescribe anything for any little thing. My doctor likes to tell me "You are doing better than you think you are" and I have to disagree. I canceled my appt which was a day before my exam with him specifically bc I did not want to get into a stressful conversation with him before my nursing exam which was a wise choice on my part. My next appt with him is Oct. 2. I am tired of being convinced that I need to be on it and leaving his office with yet another prescription for 15mg of Abilify. And when I discuss all the dangerous SE"s with him that e could possibly happen he just says Oh that's a small percentage and the drug company has to put that on the list because there's a 0.1% chance of that happening. This really bothers me.....And I am not sure how any Dr. can consciously and ethically prescribe this drug knowing all the possible things that could happen. (See Drugs.detox.com) I just want to get off of it safely and I honestly don't think most Dr's know how to do this or even want to. The last time I expressed getting off a regime before he wanted me to sign a liability waiver. I am not sure how to approach this subject again with him and I am tired of being "compliant" He has made so much money off of me visiting him every two weeks. And to complicate matters since I was hospitalized the state board of nursing put me on a 5 year probationary status where I am tied into seeing this Dr. and they are looking for compliance. But does compliance mean doing everything the doc says? My doctor believes that the only possible reason to give the board as to tapering down is a possible pregnancy since he has to report to them every 90 days. (He seems to dismiss any of the SE's I am experiencing as a reason to discontinue) And I'm afraid if I get pregnant then he's going to want to take me down fast. So I need to know how to propose to him taking me down BEFORE I get pregnant. I feel like a gullible fool for him making me believe I need this and me knowing all the dangers associated with it but I know there is a physical dependence going on here. And I'd l to like to know how others have done this and approached their Dr's on this issue (of getting off) I'd like to know the best way to self advocate....and how I can guide my doctor into the best way of tapering down and what is that? I have heard the 10% rule but a lot of these docs want to go down 30 to 50% within a week to four weeks and because I have an upcoming hospital clinical in the next two months I don't want to attempt a drastic change.but the need for me to get off this is very strong......Any suggestions of how to handle this next appointment? My nephrologist says that I should be political, about it but I am not sure exactly what that means or how to go about it. (Help!!)
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