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  1. I read that it is more difficult to withdraw from a drug with a short half life. It is suggested to switch to a different drug with a longer half-life of the same category (i.e., antipsychotic) before tapering off (mind.org.uk). I have been on Risperidone for 5 years. I started tapering in April at 1.0 mg and am now on 0.70 mg. I am considering asking my doctor about switching to Zyprexa, another antipsychotic, and then tapering off Zyprexa. Does titrating off one drug and onto another need to be done as slowly as withdrawing from a drug, i.e. 10% every month or something like that? Has anyone had experience titrating off an antipsychotic onto another antipsychotic? Since Risperidone has a short half-life, I am concerned that it will be hard to switch onto a drug with a longer half life. According to Medscape, the half-life for Zyprexa is 21-54 hours, and the half-life of Risperidone is 3-20 hours. Thank you!
  2. I had the first manic and psychotic break at 2006, I was 28, mother of a small child. I was admitted to the ER and given a high dose of olanzapine and mood stabilizer, sleeping pills. I don't even remember those first few days, I was locked in a psych ward without any visit from a psychiatrist for 3 weeks. Then I begged to go home (still psychotic but they didn't know) and they let me go home, where I continued the treatment, although I was feeling really unwell, desperate even. With time I got better, then went to a private psychiatrist that put me on quietapine and a mood stabilizer. I took the meds 2 years, struggling to lead a normal life. My brain wasn't functioning well, I felt incapacitated. I managed to find a job but I wasn't happy there to put it mildly and even though I was taking the meds I ended up manic and psychotic again, I divorced my husband, the police went to get me at work to take me to the hospital... This time they didn't commit me and I ended up taking arpiprazol, sleeping pills, and maybe a mood stabilizer. I lost the job, went into depression, but I found the doctor that still is my doctor today. He took me off aripriprazol when he could and I started taking lamotrigine. I never sought a job again because I felt humilliated by the whole situation, I eventually got together with my husband because our separation was all due to my mental health problems at the time. I stayed home with a lot of trauma and low self-esteem for 5 years but with no symptoms. My husband gor me a part time job in his company and that's what I do now. But in 2015 my doctor went to another hospital and I got a new one. I didn't dislike her, I had a crisis that year and after depression. I was put on olanzapine and sleeping pills, and when the olanzapine was over the sleeping pills remained so my brain got addicted to them. She gave me an antidepressant that got me manic and I was miserable, I decided to take matters in my own hands. I quit the antidepressants and the sleeping pills, changed my diet, started exercising (I was fat from the drugs) and lost 15kg while trying to control my mania with olanzapine but I didn't take enough and had another crisis, this was 2017. I was committed and took a huge dose of olanzapine and all the other meds again, the doctor told me that medication was for life and I nodded. As soon as I got out of the hospital sought out my actual psychiatrist that followed me in 2009. I said I wanted the least ammount of meds possible. I started making a very detailed diary of meds and symptoms and slowly got off of everything but olanzapine. He thought I should take preventively 5mg everyday but that dose makes me less human, so I went down to 2.5mg and he was very pleased with how I functioned although I was in a bad depression. In last May the depression finally lifted and I started exercising more and lost 10kg that meanwhile I had got from olanzapine. This winter I'm reducing even more olanzapine, my plan is to wean it off and try another antipsychotic in the spring doesn't mess with my sleep. I'm sleeping badly and having anxiety but I don't want this med anymore, or at least not take it everyday. It's a long story, I started trusting the doctors and doing everything they said but today I'm way more critical. Everyone is surprised when I say the little I take. My seasonality is also something peculiar, I don't get manic or psychotic in autumn of winter so I'm weaning off now. I'll get there eventually, wish me luck.
  3. Hi all - new to the forum and very grateful for the members who are walking the path to get off these SSRI. I was always depressed as a child and was prescribed Lexapro in 2003. 2004: Prescribed Cipramil instead of Lexapro after going hypomanic for 6 months, and lamictal to stablise. Got diagnosed with bipolar II... 2014: Came off lamictal with no issues, stablised using a buttload of coconut oil to stablise and a paleo diet. 2004-Dec 2015 - 5mg Cipramil once a day. Noticed that Cipramil stopped working from mid 2015 and decided to stop (only lasted a week) with severe WD symptoms - dizziness, diarraha, flu like symptoms, anxiety, OCD thoughts etc.... 20 Dec 2015 - 2.5mg Cipramil a day hoping to taper by 10% per period, depending on tolerance. Am feeling kinda ambitious and want to go down 10% once a week but will most likely fall on my face, which is fine too. Been doing really well this week - I can feel below my belly button and my sex drive is coming back! Went on a boat and did want to die (One of the side effects was painful sex and really crap at travelling on boats/cars/bus). But am feeling really tired alot and a little dizzy, nothing to write home about. Need some help fro other more experience members with WD.... Q1: A friend of mine is trying to convince to try Kambo - anyone tried this? I am really skeptical and don't think I am up for it as am feeling abit fragile and in addition to being depressed I have fairly constant inflammation (eczema), never mind its like $140 per treatment (!!) http://forums.phoenixrising.me/index.php?threads/from-bedbound-to-fit-and-able-in-14-days-effects-of-the-amazonian-medicine-kambo-on-a-cfs-patient.22952/page-4 Q2: Also read about the prozac bridge which seems like alot less trouble, I am seeing my shrink in January should I ask for this to try? Since I have never even had prozac (I have only ever had SSRIs) so not sure?
  4. I’ve been on both of these meds since I was 15 years old and I am now 21. Im scared to get off due to the side effects that may occur… I had a really scary episode of phycosis where I tried to harm myself but the doctors don’t know what lead to it and I think it may be the medications im on.. I don’t really know what to do anymore im on 10mg of citalopram currently and 75 of lamotrigine… please help. Im experiencing anxiety and panic attacks at this time which I have never experienced before..
  5. Hi all, this seems like such a lovely community, I am in a desperate place. I finished my aripiprazole taper 3 weeks ago but because it has such a long half life (45 days I believe) my withdrawal continues and only gets worse. My psychiatrist did it all too fast I think: I got down to 2.5mg then just stopped altogether. I am in mental agony. I have never had such strong suicidal urges, I'd even go so far as to say I have been committed to do it. My family have hidden knives, they supervise my access to the balcony and have taken my medication from me so that I don't take too much. I have been to A&E twice but they don't want to admit me to inpatient because I am withdrawn and quiet and they think the noise in there would cause too much distress. I have an NHS crisis team supporting me but they have put me on two more drugs that I will eventually have to taper from: clonazepam and quetiapine. I am getting addicted to the drowsy feeling these drugs give me and I find myself waiting all day until my next dose so I can experience more relief. For background: I have autism, ADHD and mixed affective Bipolar Disorder and my stable meds are Lamotrigine 100mg and Elvanse 30mg. I have already tapered off so many medications but this antipsychotic withdrawal is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I would love some support as despite going through such a tough mental health journey for most of my life, this is the most isolated I've ever felt. I'm experiencing anhedonia for hours then searing mental anguish that makes me want someone to murder me or for my loved ones to just let me do it myself. I hope I've said enough here. I could write a book but I don't want to waste anyone's time.
  6. I have spent hours looking through all of the information here. The more I read, the more confused I become. So I have decided to ask for help. I have been on different medications since 2008 for pain, depression, anxiety, bi-polar. My life over those years until now have been a roller coaster. Lost jobs, loss of friends, divorce. blah blah blah. I've become pretty much a dead soul with a brain that seems to be disintegrating. I don't care much about anything except family. I just stay at home and sleep- 15 hours, 16, 18 hours a day. I had no feelings. Just cold and empty. I decided in the beginning of this year that I needed to change my life, because I wasn't doing anything but surviving on a day to day bdo I asis; what the hell. Nothing to lose. So I decided to quit cymbalta and lamotrigine, cold turkey. My thought was that I could suffer-tough it out-for a few days, maybe weeks. I mean, I can do whatever I tell myself. You know, mind over matter. Well, since starting this disaster on February 22, this year, the days have become a blur. The feelings, emotions and physical pain that I thought were gone, are back and intense. Apparently, I am alive after all. So much so that I need to do something about starting cymbalta and/or lamotrigine again. But how? There is soooo much information that it is frustrating, confusing, causing me to become angry and even rageful. I've been screaming, swearing, scratching my skin ferociously, punching myself. I'm unable to focus, think logically. I can't decide whether life was better with no feelings and emotions while on the meds. Or now, which is the complete opposite being overwhelmed with feelings and emotions. From what I have read-and I have read a lot, I think that I need to start taking cymbalta and/or lamotrigine again. This leads me to my question/problem: 1. Do I reinstate both at the same time?
  7. Hello and thank you you to all the users, moderators and general community. My name is Andy and I'm from Seattle. I'm cold turkey of Sertraline going into week 7. I've done this before but all memory of the experience of doing it in the past eludes me. This process feels BRAND NEW and the regret of going CT is hitting me hard every few minutes, all day, everyday. I'm coping. Days feel like a war, a fight. I'm as fragile as glass or like skim ice on a puddle of water. I'm pushing SO hard through this while practicing mindfulness, meditating and researching. I'm a father of 13 and 4 yr old girls and have a partner/wife (for now at least). I've made it past debilitating brain zaps mostly. Spontaneous crying has subsided a bit, I'm now in a place of extreme anxiety and fear. Not eating well (only in the evening but not much) but taking a multi-vitamin, omega-3 fish oil, methyfolate, Tumeric and vitamin d as supplements. I've just started occasional epsom salt baths. Mornings are terrifying (cortisol spike?) and evenings are fragile but calmer. I take 6mg Melatonin every night but wondering if I should. I have so much to share but I don't know how to start. I have read through many user posts and am finding a lot of comfort in shared experiences and also terror. I've fought so long over decades to be free of antidepressants. I'm now 47 and can't continue a life as a prisoner of "medicine" that has diminished my soul and personality and made me fear my own self.
  8. I am in the midst of Lamictal withdrawal and it isn't going so well past couple of weeks. Was only doing 10% drops and when withdrawal symptoms passed would drop again. Thinking about going back up a couple of mg to stave off these awful effects? Am on 40mg, down from 45mg a fortnight ago but this drop has been absolutely awful :-( Not sure whether to go back up the full 5mg or just 2-3mg being that I am a fortnight into that. Only held the 45mg for a couple of weeks though because I was doing pretty well at that point. Am having panic attacks just sitting at home and it is reminding me of a past Zoloft withdrawal which was horrid!!
  9. Hi I am new to this forum, coming from benzobuddies forum. I was on an AD wellbutrin for 7 years and then a P Doc took me off cold turkey and I wound up in a psych hospital for 10 days December 2012, I was reinstated on Wellbutrin in the hospital and upon leaving I found a new P Doc immediately. He diagnosed me with Bipolar ll. He kept me on the Wellbutrin and added Lamictal and 40 mg Valium for insomnia. I became tolerant after 3-4 months to the Valim and I started a micro taper off the 40 mg valium 1/2013. I am currently at 1.5 mg as of 10/01/2014. Withdrawl symptoms were not to severe with the micro taper until 3mg valium. Now down at 1.5 mg withdrawl symptoms are pretty intense ,insomnia, anxiety, feeling poorly. My P doc didn't want me to come off of the valium because he thought it helped with keeping my bipolar stable. He agreed to help me with the taper if I wanted to get off. I just wanted to get off because I was tolerant and didn't want to stay on a benzo any longer. I also recently decided I would like to decrease my AD dose after I am off the benzo, but I'm not certain I can completely taper off because of my bipolar. I discussed this with my P Doc and he said he would consider this after I'm stable on my valium taper. I was reading thru some posts here and noticed that tapering the AD first might have been better then tapering the benzo according to many here. I started my benzo taper first because I wasn't going to taper down my AD at the advice of my P doc.. I have decided that I would like to taper down my Wellbutrin at least to a lower dose but I assume I should wait till I am off the benzo at this point? If I do taper down my Wellbutrin will it be harder now that I am tapering off the benzo first Also I need some advice about getting off the 6mg of Doxepin (Silenor), I have been taking for insomna the past year, it is no longer helping with my insomnia. Since it is such a low dose do I need to taper off this slowly or can I just jump off. Thanks
  10. Hi friends this is JB, I have a specific question for those of you out there in regards to heightened sensitivity to sound. Does anyone have any experience with antidepressant induced sensitivity to sound? I experienced a couple of years of severe reactivity to sound, inability to filter noise and converse, loud noises and certain music intrusive. Was getting a physical respnse to sound felt as real as being slapped in the face. Fast forward to now a year later slowly tapering off celexa my mind is clearer i am better able to think and cope with sound sensitivity. However, I still have this overreaction to sound where I perceive volume on just about anything to be intolerable and too loud. I often try to calm myself with my music. This works often except for the lower frequencies that “intrude” and can be heard and felt through headphones. Does this ring a bell with anyone?
  11. ItsNearlyMedlessKateAgain

    ☼ ItsNearlyMedlessKateAgain

    Hi, I'm Kate. Hope I'm welcome here. I have successfully withdrawn from antidepressants and recently from an antipsychotic but am in Lamictal hell. I have a long history with the mental health system since the age of 5 - court ordered due to sexual trauma. I'm 37 and have had 25 years of therapy. I went to weekly therapy for 7 years from age 5 to age 12 when I refused to keep going and was sent to a group home. I think therapy did MUCH MUCH MUCH more harm than good to me as a child. I went back to therapy in 2002 and was in therapy continuously until October of 2015. I found I was dreading going and would become anxious the day before because I did not want to go talk about my problems without any therapist ever giving me any kind of insight or advice and so I quit. It was far more upsetting than helpful. I am so much happier since I stopped focusing on my problems and am doing other things to care for myself like diet (organic vegan for 4.5 years), exercise (for about the last 8 months I've been walking, practicing yoga, and swimming) and supplements (zinc, B-complex, and high dose DHA/EPA). Dx have included - Post-partum Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, DDNOS, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, ADHD, C-PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder. The PTSD and mild BPD are the only two that sort of make any sense. I do not and never have had DID despite doctors and therapists trying to bring out my "alters" for years. I believe the mania Dx as Bipolar is solely due to antidepressant use. I have been officially disabled since 2002 but I believe this is due to the meds rather than severe illness. Instead of being offered help with my abusive situation, I was heavily medicated when I went to my PCP (who is actually an OB-Gyn) complaining of depression and extreme spousal abuse (actual pummeling and threats with guns). I also believe I was funneled onto the disability system by my psychologist who told me I would definitely be approved because his brother was an ALJ and he'd make sure it was approved. I was approved the first time in 7 months. I didn't realize until recently when starting to put the pieces together that my life fell apart after I was medicated wth Effexor and had a severe mania with psychosis which led to two major suicide attempts in two months. This was before the black box warning for young people. I was only 23. I have made four major suicide attempts while on antidepressants. This led to a complete breakdown after which my young daughter was taken from me. My current diagnosis is Bipolar 1 which I do not believe I have since I have only ever been manic when taking an antidepressant. I have been off antidepressants completely since August '15 and have not experienced either a mania or depression since that time. I don't think I would qualify for any Dx at this point were I to be honest with my doctor about my symptom reduction since going off meds. When I stopped going to therapy and refused my psychiatrist's admonitions to continue, her response was "You don't listen to anyone!" which I heard in Cartman's voice from Southpark "Respect my authoritay!" After that I declined to tell her I've been tapering from my meds. It is not her decision and I no longer care about being a good compliant patient. My husband goes in with me to every appointment since I was experiencing memory loss due to the Latuda, so he has witnessed my psychiatrist basically dismissing my desires and telling me what my treatment will be. It was his idea for me to try going off meds to see what happened. We now have a script we use with the psychiatrist when we go in and know exactly what we will tell her to make her think I am still on meds and compliant. I will tell her after I am off the Lamictal and sure I am going to be able to stay off. At this point, that is looking like some time next year. I am trying not to rush getting off Lamictal but I want the rest of my life back. I feel like the last 15 years have been stolen from me. I want to go back to work and do something with my life. I used to hold onto my identity as mentally ill because it made my fucked up life seem like it was not my fault. Now I know it was neither my fault that the trauma happened, nor my fault how I reacted to it, nor my fault for treatment providers putting me on drugs that drastically changed my behaviour, nor my fault in any kind of genetic or biological way. I can recognize where I've made truly awful decisions when I was younger but I have matured and my life does not even resemble anything like what it was then. I have incredible support in doing this from my husband, my mother, and my best friend who all wholeheartedly agree with my assessment that this is medication induced. I went for ten years without treatment entirely as a teen and young adult until I cracked under abuse and then was treated as if I was the one with the problem. No one ever addressed my husband's abuse. I have recently been emboldened in my decision to quit psychiatry by websites like Mad in America and Beyond Meds. Let's do this! (Sorry if this was too much information...) Here is my med history: Meds as a child: Elavil - 1991 - took for two months, quit cold turkey, no withdrawal Lithium 1992 - took for 28 days, gained 49 pounds, withdrew cold turkey, no negative effects Prozac 1992 - made me extremely aggressive, taken off after a few days Thorazine 1992 - injection used nearly daily during ~8 month hospitalization for behaviour control (basically way too smart for my own good and got into trouble out of boredom) There must have been more drugs as I remember taking a boatload of them, but I was too drugged to remember, or may not have been told what I was being given. To my parents credit, they never kept me on the drugs once I was released. I was drug and therapy free for ten years. Meds as an adult: Paxil - '00 - six weeks for PPD, didn't work Wellbutrin '01 - three weeks to try to quit smoking, withdrew due to agitation, no withdrawal Amitryptaline - late '01-'02, low dose no effect Trazodone '2002 - no effect Effexor - '02_'05 - became severely manic until put on Topamax, transitioned to Lexapro Lexapro - '05-'15 - multiple depressions and manias during treatment, withdrawal uncomplicated over three weeks Buspar '02-'03 - little effect, no withdrawal Xanax & Klonopin - '02-'16 Developed extreme sensitivity, can no longer take, Took 2-3 mg a day at my highest Concerta - '05-'07 no withdrawal, supposedly had ADHD during college Straterra - '05 no effect Depokote - '06 gained over 20 lbs in two weeks, quit Topamax - '03 (and '10-'13) caused partial complex seizures above 100 mg Suboxone - '10 - seven weeks while inpatient used as antidepressant, not for drug/alcohol treatment, quit once out of hospital, no withdrawal Latuda - '14-'16 (only with zofran due to vomiting) withdrew in early April 2016 after developing delusions and hallucinations (I'm not schizophrenic) along with parkinsonism, akathesia, and mild respiratory dyskinesia Withdrawal experienced with: Seroquel - '06 -'09 Withdrew cold turkey, became manic for 8 months (while taking Lexapro) and '09-'12 withdrew over a few weeks, became somewhat manic for about 8 months before becoming severely depressed for two years, while taking Lexapro) Gabapentin - '01-'15 Experienced Gabapetin withdrawal syndrome twice with emergency medical treatment twice before successfully withdrawing over three months in late 2015 Lamictal - '05-'12 withdrew too quickly over about two months, had to restart -- '12-'16, currently withdrawing at 1 mg/day Currently only on Lamictal and hope to complete withdrawal within 6 months. I have tried doing step reductions and found that I got really angry and agitated for days after a 10 mg reduction, but as my husband is a chemist and able to weigh the pills to within a mg, so we tried a gradual taper by 1 mg a day and that worked so well that we tried to increase the taper to 1.5 mg a day and I became extremely irritable and snappy so we are currently holding for a few days at this dose and will try 1 mg a day again early next week. If anyone is still reading at this point, you're a real trooper!
  12. Hi anything would help. i was prescribed Zoloft, prestiuq,rexulti, lamotragene,Paxil during a 14 month period all at separate times and tapered off in 8 days. Also experiencing black mold toxicity. I’ve been off meds for almost 3 months. And out of the apartment for a month. Very desperate. I’m experiencing derealazation , massive depression and anxiety. I have no idea where to start to address these things. Psychiatrist wants to put me on Prozac and and taper in 3-4 months. Symptoms from both are conditions are similar and again don’t know where to start.
  13. Hey Warriors! I’m approaching 3 months tapering off Pregabalin, reducing 1-2mg/day using water titration. Today marks -80mg, or 520mg down from 600mg/day. And the day I found this forum. Feeling constant sadness most days, with some energy and a few happy moments here and there. Sleep has been erratic, it affects me badly to be so tired all the time. I’ve got appointments next week: - Julia Ross Nutritional Consultant for Amino acid therapy - New GP To get referral to Psychiatrist Three other meds to come off after this. The order I’m hoping to follow is: 1. Pregabalin 2. Lamotrigine 3. Fluoxetine 4. Moclobemide I’d love to be blessed with a quick and easy tapering journey but I know it’s not always possible. But I’ll do my best to have the best possible outcome. Thank you for sharing in the good and the challenging times xxx
  14. Hello all, I am a 60 y/o woman and after beeing on psych meds since my twenties I decided to get off of them as I have been stable for over a year, and also as a person who is always concerned with the health of my mind/body/spirit, and soul, I had too many concerns about the harm these psychotropic meds could be doing to me. I am currently off all of my medications since 30 days. I was taking Lexapro, Gabapentin, Mirtazapine, Lamitrogine, and occasionally Xanax. Getting off the Lexapro was so positive for me. I started to have more emotions of all kinds, which made me feel more alive and whole. The negative aspects of getting off all of my meds started to kick in once I got off of everything else, with the worst of it beginning, and still going strong, when I got off the Lamitrogene. My current symptoms, in order of horribleness, are insomnia, wailing for 15mins straight, no appetite, exhaustion, rages, panic, and a myriad of sensorial sensitivities to smells, sounds, touch, and sights. If I see a bug in the house it makes me burst into tears. At times I want to rip my skin off or jump out of it, and other times I feel completely dead inside. Basically, it's Hell, and if I thought there was no end to this I wouldn't be able to take it. I am really lucky to have a loving partner, and to live in beautiful North Carolina where I can take a walk in nature alone. I am working with a psychiatrist who is wholistically oriented, and thinks I may have issues with hormone levels, and/or my endocrine system. I also am part of a medical practice that has a yoga teacher who I feel hopeful will be teaching me some restorative excercises. I studied food and healing, and know the importance that it plays my own mental stability. I haven't had sugar, gluten, caffeine, dairy, or refined foods in a month, which I am 100%certain has kept me from being hospitalized! I also stopped using industrialized "heart healthy" oils like canola and sesame, and use only virgin olive oil, ghee, and coconut oils.I briefly tried a Paleo diet because of the leaky gut theory of depression, but felt horrendous, so now I reintroduced around 1 serving daily of a non glutinous grain such as amaranth, quinoa, or millet, and feel better. I want to incorporate daily walks and yoga into my routine, which is a struggle for me as I often veg out for hours watching Netflix, etc. I don't judge myself for it, but I just don't think it helps one bit, and in fact think it makes me feel worse. It's like something that promises to help me to feel better, but actually has the opposite effect. So that's all for now. Thank for letting me join your group.
  15. Hi guys, I’m new but I have been reading a lot and this seems to be really good info. Especially the stuff I read from Altostrata. My story: i took escitalopram for 4.5 month, the last month being an accelerated taper bc lexapro never worked in the least for me and looking back now I believe it gave me akathisia when I increased to 20mg. Anyway, about 3 weeks after I hit 0mg, after the physical stuff subsided, I got hammered with emotional turmoil and I’m pretty sure the akathisia came back 5 fold. I couldn’t sit still, horrible anxiety followed by depressive fits that seemed to cycle and sadness/hopelessness. It almost seemed like I was bipolar and thus I ended up on lamictal a month ago. I can sit still now but Im still emotionally wrecked. Mainly I just can’t quit hyperfocusing on how bad I want to feel normal and be off this stuff. I started questioning everything and researching on my own. I now believe it was just lexapro withdrawal I was dealing with and now I’m on lamictal at 50mg. I did 25 mg for 2 weeks and have since been on 50mg for around 31 days total. What do you guys recommend for me in terms of a taper. I don’t want to compound the ssri withdrawal with another medicine. note: I also take 50mg of trazodone to sleep bc it’s been the only way I could get any sleep for this entire process. Thanks in advance, J
  16. Hi guys, So here I am after being off antids for about 6 months, having tapered too quickly and suffering the consequences. I was latterly taking Citalopram 30mg, Lamotrigine 150mg and Venlafaxine 75mg. Summer 2015 I was officially diagnosed with major depression, which had obviously been there for a long, long time but had at that time got particularly bad. This was due to psychological issues, alcohol and drug abuse but wouldn't shift despite years of work fixing these. Now I know the long term citalopram use was probably making the depression worse. Around that time I saw 4 different psychologists and got 4 different opinions on how to recover/which meds to take. This of course was a ridiculous situation so I took matters into my own hands, taking what I thought was the 'best' advice and integrating it with my own research and experience . Following the 'advice' of one of the psychiatrists I added 75mg of Venlafaxine to the Citalopram and Lamotrgine. At the same time I'd heard about l-methylfolate so gradually ramped up to 15mg daily with b-6 and b-12. I know starting 2 things at once is not advisable but I was desperate and could hardly function. Within a couple of weeks something kicked the worst of the depression into touch which was a massive relief. After a couple of months on the 3 med cocktail the side effects were really starting to get to me so it was time to get off this stuff. Yes, I know, I did it all too quickly which is why I am where I am now....I should have listened more closely to the advice here :-) Hoping for a little advice and encouragement about my nervous system which in the last 3 months or so has got worse even though I stopped all meds 6 months ago. The lamotrigine taper had me shouting angrily at my wife a number of times - the intensity of the rage was incredible but passed quite quickly. She was very brave to be able to get through that! Citalopram taper was surprisingly easy. The final stages of the Venlafaxine withdrawl was tricky. I was down to 1 bead and if I didn't take it within a few hours I'd get head zaps, restless legs etc. At some point I had to stop so I did and put with these symptoms for a week or so. After all this I was however very fatigued which has improved to an acceptable level over the last 3 months. The fatigue was probably also due to recovering from the major depression. Right now I have anxiety issues, very easily stressed/snappy, can't sleep more than 5 hours a night and impossible to catch up with sleep during daytime as on the verge of dropping off I wake with intense terror/fear. Often trouble breathing properly, tight stomach and I am very sensitive to noise, light and touch. I also have panic attacks when the stress is high in my life. These have been occurring for a long time though and haven't really changed with changes in meds. Having done years of therapy and some bodywork I know that these are physical symptoms and I have quite a healthy psychological make up. I also do a lot of things to look after my physical and mental health which I won't go into here. On the plus side, I don't have the general low mood caused by taking Citalopram for years, blurred vision, muscle tightness, sexual problems, cognition and memory problems, sense of not being fully present + other well known side effects from these meds. I am having thoughts about re-introducing a very small amount of Citalopram or Venlafaxine - not sure which one of these is causing the nervous system issues - probably both. I'm aware that the likelihood of this helping after 6 months is low, but I'm willing to try to alleviate symptoms. Advice on this is very welcome! As my name suggests, I do finally feel alive after 16 years on these meds - something about taking them was just not 'right'. Even though I'm suffering right now I'd rather be here. I hope this gives some encouragement to others and also serves as a warning about what happens when you taper too quickly! Thanks to mods and users alike for this wonderful resource. Cheers
  17. I am new to this site I took Paxil for 13 years and Lamotrigine for 3 years. At 31 months out I am still having bad symptoms like tinnitus, brain fog, agoraphobia and a few others. Unfortunately I cold turkey because at the time I had no knowledge of tapering from anyone. Is this a normal pattern? Sure would like feedback. Thanks
  18. Hi all, Been benefiting tremendously from all your posts, advice, support, strategies and resources since 2015 through my withdrawal. Really in awe of this whole site, the collective brain power, care and dedication of underground (and on the ground) warriors. Thank you. I now know I didn't make it easy on myself with the taper. Not having enough support, knowledge, patience. It pretty much turned my whole world upside down and inside out and provoked a deep spiritual transformation. It will sound familiar that after almost 15 straight years on psych drugs, at 35 (now 39) I started a complete deconstruction of the life I built not just to survive withdrawal but to understand the house of cards that my life had been built on, without having had access to my emotions and without having dealt with my emotional pain during my crucial 20s and early 30s. So my story is the familiar white-knuckling the symptoms, braving the strange new world of emotions and making the necessary changes to life to be healthier and more authentic. Which brings me to today, three years after stopping all drugs. Despite all these gains, I still can't consider my story a success (yet). One big reason is the continued emotional instability, which linked to what I think is iatrogenic hormonal disruption, and possibly chronic unresolving depression. The big problem is continued suicidal ideation, which is present but manageable outside my menstrual cycle (given my history, I understand it has had its place in my coping resources, and I'm addressing that), but then becomes a nearly insurmountable problem for about 2 weeks straight leading up to it (I hate to give the DSM any legitimacy by using the term "PMDD" but I suppose that best describes it.) During this time, it physically feels like my brain is inflamed, my brain is insistently and convincingly suicidal, I lose all motivation, clarity of mind, am profoundly fatigued, chronically tearful, fearful, worried and stuck in my bed for days at a time. Then, like a switch flips as soon as I get my period my brain is much clearer, for two weeks. I don't remember anything like this before the drugs, although I suppose there's a chance this is why I was diagnosed 'bipolar' as a teen. Chicken and egg... I feel pretty desperate about the situation because it feels like despite all the work I've done to heal the wounds of psychiatry on my life, I can't get my life on track. Falling into a pit and out of life for 2 weeks every month makes it impossible for me to set goals, make steps forward in life, hold down a job...which then is a cycle that sets me up for more despair and distress (you get the picture). I know that the grief and tears I have held back for so many years need time to come out, but this has become a real quality of life issue since I can't see any resolution to it. At times I'm pretty hard on myself, thinking about what I'm doing wrong or not able to see in order to help myself out of this situation. It's taken me this long to single out the hormones because while I was dealing with other life issues- repressed emotions from the withdrawal, job loss, identity loss, trauma, homelessness- it was impossible to separate the hormonal cycles from emotional flashbacks and other cptsd symptoms. I know that hormones need time to repair (mine were completely out of whack as soon as I reduced the Lamitrogine. I remember being covered in painful back acne for the first year of my withdrawal and my periods were irregular, inconsistent and painful) but I've really reached a point where I simply don't know how to help myself through this anymore. I'm currently only taking magnesium and vitamin D as supplements. Other than that I'm managing my symptoms with pretty basic self-care- a varied, vegan diet, lots of mindfulness, relaxation, therapy, friends and staying social and active as much as I can, when I can, but as you can imagine, find myself in a pretty disconnected, unstable and isolated situation and feeling like this is not even a 'good enough' quality of life. Any naturopaths, GPs, gynes or others that I've gone to are still recommending SSRIs, birth control pills or very controversial surgeries (hysterectomy) to deal with this. When I told one specialist about the continued depression and dangerous ideation, she crinkled her nose sympathetically and said, 'So sorry, wish I could do something', suggested I see an herbalist and ended the session. She was the final doctor I went to about this. I have a pure stubborn streak in me to which I credit a lot of my survival, but not being able to problem solve this one is causing me nearly to panic, and at the least to be in shock that despite all my efforts I can't see a future beyond living like this, and each episode seeing suicide as a more and more rational decision. I want so much to consider my story a withdrawal success and am so angry that I seem to have come up against this wall. If anyone has ANY insight, perspective, information, hope to offer, I'd deeply appreciate it.
  19. Hi all - so so I tried to withdraw from 2.5 paxil while increasing my zoloft from 25 to 50. What a disaster! The 50 zoloft made me manic so I went back down to 25 but went off the 2.5 paxil in two weeks. Pure chaos ensued with crazy agitation and insomnia and practically convulsions! then I went down to 12.5 zoloft and after 5 days the crying began. Reinstated to 25 and feeling the reinstatement effects. Just wanted to connect with others!
  20. I'm desperate to get off lamotrigine. I started it a bit more than a year ago, tapered up to 100 mg over the course of a couple months, along with trialing escitalopram, quetiapine, and settling on sertraline (now 25 - 37.5 mg/day, with the higher dose during PMS time). It was fine at first, I went from not being able to make myself any food more complicated than opening a bag and getting extreme exhaustion from trying to hang my clothes to dry to being able to cook and clean more or less normally. But then I started getting migraines and restless leg syndrome more often than normal. Both are things I've had before, and they are definitely influenced by my menstrual cycle, but I've been getting them more and more frequently in the past months. Now it's gotten to the point where it's hard to get a night of sleep, because I wake up like clockwork at about 4:50 - 5 am with my legs just not able to find a comfortable position. Only it's not just my legs. It's my entire spine, and my stomach even. Previously I'd only gotten it in my legs, and just the couple days before my period (unless I was dehydrated or had been drinking or... the point is, it was predictable and I knew my triggers). I also had about a week of peripheral neuropathy, my hands and feet constantly felt like they were asleep. About a month and a half ago, when I went to my psychiatrist to renew my prescriptions, I brought it up. She told me to just stop taking the sertraline and see if that helped. It did NOT. I did a half assed taper (a few days of 1/2 the dose), then was basically cold turkey on sertraline for two weeks. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, but my restless-everything didn't improve one bit. And it was hard to not get in fights with my partner. So my next appointment, she told me to try taking half of my lamotrigine dose and see if that helps. I did a bit more of a taper than she suggested (dropped to 75 mg for around a week before dropping to 50 mg), and now I'm doing something like 25-50 mg. My pharmacy only has 100 mg pills so they're pretty hard to split accuately. So now I'm about two weeks into the taper and feeling awful. Since yesterday I've fully been feeling like I have the flu. Body aches, that back of the neck head and shoulder pain, congestion.... Fully exhausted. Also having a real hard time relating to other people, to the point of having a hard time getting basic shopping conversations done. (Doesn't help that I'm in a country that's not my native language.) I know I didn't taper right, but I don't know if I should go back up in dose or what. Not sleeping is driving me crazy!! Before I started doing the taper, I was skipping doses occasionally to try to get at least one night here there without waking up before sunrise and needing to move. I didn't notice any bad effects, so I thought tapering would be fine. I was probably going to say something else but I got distracted and really just want to go lie down. Basically, right now I feel like I'm at a crossroads. Try to wait out this awfulness and stay at my current low dose (about 1/3 a pill), or go back up since I didn't taper right anyway. The thing is, I am seeing a difference in the morning leg twitchies. With this lower dose, the feeling is less strong. It's still there, but a couple nights ago I was able to go back to sleep anyway. It seems like if I really try I can sleep through it at this dose. If I go back up, and I don't even know what dosage I'd go back up to, I know I won't be able to sleep without some kind of sleeping pills. I have xanax and eszopiclone. I hate sleeping on xanax, I don't think it's sleep as much as it is some chemically induced unconsciousness, and don't want to develop a dependence on the eszopiclone. Yesterday I was reading that it increases the chance of infections, and I already feel like I catch every little thing that's going around. Feeling real damned if I do, damned if I don't right now. I don't think my psychiatrist would be any help, considering she thought it'd be totally fine in the first place to just stop the sertraline, and then later thought halving the lamotrigine dose would be ok. I just *know* lamotrigine is doing something to screw with all my mineral levels, but I don't know what exactly!! On a hunch I started taking calcium when I started getting the peripheral neuropathy and it literally disappeared same night. (Coincidence?) But it doesn't seem to do anything for the restless-everything. (I read recently that the name for "restless legs syndrome" in one of the Scandinavian countries translates to "feeling of being crawled on by ants" and I feel like that captures the feeling so much better than "restless".) I've also tried magnesium and iron. Iron maybe helps but my colon gets real mad.
  21. Hello all, I was put on Lamictal and had severe neck and back pain, and constant palpitations. The veins in my forehead were bulging. I actually thought I was having a heart attack or something, but the ER visit proved otherwise. I went against my gut and listened to my Dr. to stay on this medication. Three weeks into it I starting having panic attacks--well, actually, just a feeling of intense impending doom. I couldn't feel good about anything. Everything scared me and worried me, and I couldn't sit still or relax. Me and my Dr. thought it was from Effexor withdrawal, and would pass. So I kept taking the Lamictal, though only 12.5 mg because I was so sensitive to it. It was weird though: I would get that feeling for a few hours at apparently random times of the day, then it would seem to randomly go away and I'd feel okay. Sometimes it would last most of the day; other times it seemed to be for days. Sometimes it would happen every day, or every three days. It seemed to go in waves, or cycles that lasted 3-5 days. Anyone experience this?! I haven't read much about this or heard any good answers for any doctors. PLEASE tell me if you've had this. The waves seemed to diminish after 2 months, and I had a week or so of feeling pretty decent. Then I got into a serious car accident that caused me to be near-panic almost all the time. Two months go by and it seemed to improve, but by that point I realized it was not the Effexor (regardless of my Dr.'s opinion), and started going down on Lamictal. Long story short, it's been three months of doing down. I went from 12.5 to 8, and that was pretty rough with the typical skin-crawling, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and of course the awful panicky feeling. I tried to settle there and see if the panicky feeling would go away once the withdrawals stopped. It was better two months later, but still present. So I decided to get all the way off of it and went down to 7, then started using liquid suspension going down 2.5 mg. every three days. That went well until I got down to 4 mg., which is when the panicky sensations (from withdrawal) came back super intense. So I took a break for two weeks, then proceeded to go down 1 mg. every three days. That lasted for two weeks. Now I'm down to 3.2, going down .1 every 4-5 days. I'm hoping to get off of this awful drug before March, which is when my pregnant wife is due. The pharmacist I have been working with has been helpful. He's a compound pharmacist, and really knowledgeable. He's put me on CBD, which has helped. He says he's helped dozens of people get off of Lamictal, and he claims CBC has helped all of them. So I'm doing it. Anyone else tried this? There is some stuff on the internet about CBD with psychiatric medication withdrawal. I've only been doing it for two or three week, but it seems to be helping; though it's hard to know how much because things are so unpredictable for me with this withdrawal (symptoms change in type and degree on a daily and weekly basis). Has anyone experienced different withdrawals as they got lower? I have do go down 3.2 mg to .5, at which point the pharmacist said I should start doing the every-other-day type of titration. Guess we'll see.
  22. Hi I took last dose of seroquel on 12/31/19 and now have insomnia. I've titrated down from 20 mg to 5mg of Trintellix and 15 mg to 5mg of lorazepam. That's the last of the drugs. I have residual tinnitus from going off Effexor too fast 20 years ago. Now I have 4-alarm ringing in left ear from Lamotrigine withdrawal. I know there's no cure for the tinnitus - so am going to ENT specialist next week for hearing tests and to look into use of new hearing aid to mask noise. I had cut the 5mg lorazepam in half - but was only getting about 2-3 hours of sleep, so I'm back up to the 5mg. I'm 72 and have been on various cocktails of drugs for over 30 years. Original diagnosis was depression then bi-polar and now the current psychiatrist says I'm not bi-polar but have ADHD. He has no knowledge of tapering. I really need suggestions on next steps. I want off these drugs. Thanks,
  23. Hello all. I'm 2 months off benzos after 7 years daily use (prescription) and after a hell of a 2.5 year taper. I've been on sertraline since 2006 starting at 100mg, however, during the benzo taper I got myself down to 37.5mg. The lamotrigine was added at the end of the benzo taper to help me finally jump off, to prevent seizures, ease my mind, whatever, etc. I was at 75mg at the beginning of the year and started tapering this month and am now down to 50mg. I could go into more detail about everything, but basically I'm extremely sensitive to these medicines and I need some advice and support on the best way to get off of the sertraline and lamotrigine, when to start, what method to use, etc. I'm very familiar with all the different kinds of tapering from just having got off benzos and trying nearly every method in an attempt to find anything that would work out better. Please let me know your thoughts on tapering these final 2 medicines and which to go for first. Thanks guys!
  24. Hi All, I'm feeling so fortunate to have stumbled upon this site. I've read several books, research papers, and blogs over the past two months. I haven't had a chance to do a signature or proper intro yet, but will get to that as soon as I can. I'm tapering prozac and lamictal and down to 20 mg and 150 mg, respectively, and so far so good. There are weird symptoms that I wonder if others have experienced and will get to that later. Right now I'm wondering if anyone has found something to ease the alcohol cravings? While the prozac was at 40 mg beginning of August, and it's down by half, I feel like such a lush still. While it is a relief to know it's probably due to the bleeping prozac, I don't want to keep drinking a 6 pack of 9% beer on weekend nights...sometimes during the week too. Thank you in advance for any info you can provide.
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