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  1. Hi everyone,✋I’ve been on a number of different meds in the past due to chronic pain: opiates, benzos, antipsychotics etc. I don’t remember all the names, but I was cold turkeyed at times with severe reactions. The reason I’m on the forum now is that I’ve been tapering off seroquel for many years, it’s the only medication I’m on. I’ve gone from 300mg to 7.5mg and am doing water titration now. I just have a quick question. If I accidentally doubled up on my dose one day does that make the withdrawals worse? I couldn’t remember if I took my dose of 7.5mg because of brain fog a week ago. I couldn’t sleep n thought maybe I didn’t take it as it usually makes me go to sleep, so I took another dose 1am 🌔 as I was so scared of what missing a dose might do. I thought the withdrawals from the last dose were starting the settle, but they’ve ramped up again. I know this happens anyway in withdrawal but I was just wondering if the double dose might have have affected this too? Thank u in advance for your input😊
  2. Hi all, found this forum via google searches many a night on how to cope with withdrawals! Like many others on here and I am sure everywhere in the world, I started on on anti-depressant and it just spiraled into larger and larger doses then multiple meds and meds on top of that for side affects. So a general summary was that I went to the Dr around 14 years ago for depression. I was put on Cymbalta 30mg straight off the bat. The side affects were unpleasant but I don't recall specifics of what they were, just that I did NOT like how they made me feel and I stopped them cold turkey. Withdrawals for several months of course, though fairly mild with major brainzaps being the one I most remember. Somewhere along the way I then went onto Mirtazapine. 15, 30 and then up to 45mg over a short period of time, maybe a year or so ramping up? Basically a result of going to the Dr, saying that I wasn't feeling the best on these meds, so they just increased them. I stayed on 45mg for probably 5 years or thereabouts. During that time my personality changed a lot (on retrospection I see how much). I became anxious, paranoid, ALWAYS tired, I started having panic attacks, grumpy, short temper making me snap at people for little, and isolated myself a lot. This went on for years. Each time the Dr would just tell me 'its not a magic pill' and leave it at that. Along the way my marriage fell apart and I moved to a new city. To 'cope' with the enormous increase in anxiety and stress, Dr gave me Olanzapine.... I took maybe 3 doses ever, as that stuff turned me into a zombie. I found a new doctor who I discussed how I felt on Mirtazapine and was switched over to Effexor XR. Ramped up from 37.5 to 150mg in the space of a few months. Generally felt 'good' but then noticed side affects that were persistent, sexual side affects galore, my BP sky rocketed, and hey look my anxiety was still very much around and panic attacks were a semi frequent occurrence. Dr's response was to switch to Paxil - which resulted in a heightened state of anxiety and rolling panic for days until I stopped them completely. Went back onto Effexor, despite the side affects and stabilized. Mirtazipine was then added to the Effexor for 'californian rocket fuel' - still anxious, still having panic attacks.. My BP was now concerning my Dr so was given a Blood Pressure pill, which then became two sets of BP meds, then three. My Blood Pressure still stayed high. Propranolol was added on top to reduce the heart rate and stress on my heart in general. This year was the hardest, I was referred to a psychiatrist, who every 6 weeks would get me to start a different drug. So I went from Effexor to Pristiq 50, then 100mg, Pristiq + Mirt, then onto Pristiq plus Seroquel at night (which made my anger turn into rage), then over to Luvox and some Respiradone and Valium to 'help' with the panic. Luvox basically kept me in a state of permanent nausea for 5 or 6 weeks - the dose was also increased to 100mg. So I spent around 4 months going through a cycle of drug withdrawal and startup over and over. I couldn't cope with being nauseous and feeling awful ALL the time anymore. At which point I had my next appointment with my Psychiatrist who just told me to 'just take half a dose for a few days and then stop them'. I asked that just ceasing any and all anti-depressants after FOURTEEN YEARS on them sounds very dangerous, she just shrugged. So I cancelled any future appointments with that practice, and after much research decided to cross taper from Luvox over to 15mg Mirtazapine and taper down from there. I chose Mirtazapine for several reasons - one was it stopped that permanent nausea everyday from the Luvox immediately, two it was a med my brain and body knew well and would tolerate almost immediately (which it did) and three i knew precisely what I would feel and how it would change me. After around 4 weeks of brainzaps and mild gastro issues as my body cleaned the last of the mix of drugs out of my body, I started to work my way down on Mirtazapine. Have currently gone from 15 > 7.5 > 3.75 with 6 or so weeks between drops. I will stay here until I stabalise again. So far the steps down have been very mild and tolerable (brain zaps for a day or two then fine), so my body is tolerating the 50% drops ok. 10% is recommended here, but so far for me personally its been ok dropping at 50% each time and stabilizing. The only noticeable (and expected) WD would be insomnia. My sleep quality has really tanked. Though interestingly enough despite low doses of Mirt meant to INCREASE your sleepyness, it has had little affect at all. So thats where I am currently at. I'm taking supplements like Vit C, Fish Oil and Vit B in the mornings and the small dose of Mirt at night. From here, I may need to look at a compounding chemist to begin tapering more slowly on the lower dosages, as cutting a tablet into 8th's is getting very difficult, even with a pill cutter. So the methods of diluting in liquids or a compound chemist will be the plan for the taper slow down (if needed) from here and my goal of being drug free hopefully within the year the final target.
  3. 2013 - 50mg Zoloft 2016 - increase to 150mg Zoloft 2016 - Lamictal in addition to Zoloft 2018 - Serequel in addition to Zoloft 2019 - 5mg Abilify in addition to Zoloft 2022 - tapered off Zoloft decrease of 25mg per week over 6 weeks and then tapered off Abilify 5mg over 2 weeks. It has been 4 weeks since my last dose of Zoloft and 2 weeks since last dose of Abilify. I had no withdrawal symptoms until 4 days ago. For the last 4 days, I have had severe anxiety that is constant and will not go away. The anxiety has contributed to difficulty sleeping as well. I tapered under the supervision and guidance of my doctor. Is this anxiety a withdrawal symptom? Is this a relapse? Should I reinstate? Reinstate at a low dose? 25mg or 50mg reinstate? Is there any hope for not reinstating? I don't know what to do...I'm so scared...I had no idea coming off the meds was going to be this hard. Please help!
  4. Hi, this will take a while to write down as i’m suffering to remembering things clearly. When I was 16(2013) I got diagnosed with ADD, social anxiety and a learning disability. I was put on Atomoxetin and Sertraline where I refused to take them most of the time as I just didn’t want to be different from the other kids. Didn’t experience any side effects at all and I quit taking the pills CT a year after without any WD. In mid 2018 I was put on citalopram 20mg and seroquel(25mg but told me I could take up to max 75mg a day and switch between doses if I felt like I needed it) for sleep, after I developed an ED and a depression due to a past abusive relationship. had severe side effects at first, but wanted to feel better desperatly so I held out. In 2019 my anxiety got worse and my doctor increased my dose to 40mg of citalopram and lastly to 60mg. In start 2021 I began feeling almost sicker, having severe headaches, extreme irritability, stomach aches, bloating and numbness. decided I didn’t want to live like this, I educated myself on the medications I was taking and I was shocked to say the least. I contacted my doctor and we started started tapering down from 60mg citalopram in 2021 in May to 30mg, with no problems but experienced extreme withdrawal when i tapered down too fast from 30 to 12mg after a month. on a steady dose of 15mg of citalopram from July up to now. Been Tapering down on quetiapine from august 16th 2021 to (75mg, 50mg, 25mg, 12mg and been on 6mg for my last dose in April 2022. I wanna keep updating my progress here since i’ve had horrible withdrawals from the quetiapine tapering for the past 4 months, with very little windows.
  5. Mod note: link to: Happy2Heal: Hope I'm doing this right (Introduction and update topic) I was just an 18yr old, a very confused, naive young woman, er no- more of a child, really- when I was given (by force) my first psych drug, stelazine, a major tranquilizer. that was the beginning of a long series- spanning almost 40 yrs!- of psych drugs and hospitalizations. All along the way, I was plastered with one diagnosis after another, or several heaped on at once. My physical health went downhill and I ended up a virtual shut-in, living my life all in my head, friendless, socially isolated to the extreme, my only contact with drs and therapists, leaving my house to go food shopping maybe twice a month. This wasn't living, and I knew it. But I didn't know how to change things. I didn't know what was wrong. I spent over two thirds of my life believing I was mentally ill and *needed* to be on those drugs. but at some point, it occurred to me that the drugs might actually be the problem, or at least, part of the problem. I knew I had to get off them. and I did. The process and the pain of that is reported on my thread, I don't care to go back over it, at least not now. I learned a lot along the way, but for now, I don't want to think about where I've been, I only want to think about where I am now, and the life I have before me. Here I am, now, one year off all drugs, of all kinds. I rarely even take a ibuprofen for a headache. I want to write my success story, but I'm not 100% ready yet However I do have to say that what I feel most of all, is a great deal of pride in having survived. I suffered all forms of abuse as a child, emotional, sexual, physical, verbal, went on to be a survivor of rape, of domestic abuse. I was abused within the mental health system. I've spent virtually all of my adult life in poverty, raising my daughter as a single mom on disability due to "mental illness". But today, I feel as if I've done more than just survive; I am thriving. I have friends. I have a very active social life. I volunteer and I feel like the work I do is making a difference, having an impact. while technically I am still 'poor' by income, I don't go without anything I need, with the possible exception of good dental care I have a good life. Is my withdrawal journey over? I'm not sure.While I took my last dose of lexapro over a year ago, I feel like I am still having some symptoms that must be related to the nearly 4 DECADES on psych meds. BUT you need to know, these symptoms are extremely mild. and after that long on so many different drugs, it stands to reason that there will be minor little tweaks that my brain will need to make, for some time to come. I'd like to say that all that has faded into the background of my life, but to be honest: I am more vigilant about them now, than at any time during active withdrawal- because I don't want to fall into a trap of thinking that any problems I may have mean that all those doctors were right, I'm permanently disabled by a mental illness and there's no hope for me. I am pretty sure that the only thing I suffer from is PTSD, and I don't see that as a mental illness so much as a natural reaction to extremely stressful, traumatic life events. so Today I feel Victorious. I've overcome a lot and need to soak in that feeling of doing a good job I don't often give myself credit for my achievements or feel like it's ok to feel good about them but today, I give myself permission to bask in this feeling. it feels like the right and honest thing to do. I guess I just have to be different, I don't want to call this a success story because that sounds to me like the end, when in fact it is not. It's not really a beginning, either, because the beginning of my new life dates back to when I first realized that the drugs were the problem. to me, this just feels like a victory over adversity- something to celebrate! so please, celebrate with me, and know that you are going to heal as well, those of you still going thru WD/recovery. it's worth it, believe me so very worth it!
  6. Hi, I am in crisis right now and desparate for help. I tapered off effexor 1 year ago and have had no psychiatric meds since. The past year has been rough with prolonged withdrawal and bouts of anxiety along with way, but for the past 3 months I have been doing very well (working a stressful job and handling it well, traveling, etc). For the past week, seemingly out of the blue, I am having severe, debilitating anxiety and insomnia. I also have odd physical senstations that I haven't experienced in quite this way before (odd nagging nausea-not the anxiety kind, but the flu kind; extreme muscle pain; periodic cramping of my hands and feet; a buzzing or tingling sensation in my arms and legs; weakness. I saw my doctor, who ran blood tests- everything is normal. I saw her before the anxiety started- at first, I just had the flu-like symptoms, then the anxiety hit. I don't know what to do....I am going to have to resign from my job (a well-established, successful career of 9 years). I aleady took a leave for 1 month 6 months ago when I was having a bout of bad withdrawal. I feel desperate for relief, and am so desperate that I would even go on meds again (although I swore they were the worst thing I ever did to myself and that I would never touch them again). Is there any chance this is still a delayed withdrawal? Please if anyone can offer me advice, I really need help right now. Thank-you.
  7. Hi,i was injected with zuclopenthixol and took quetiapine My doctor tapered the quetiapine from higher dosages down to 50 mg witch i took for 1 month and got off,then i was hit with psychosis for the first time I think i had neurotransmitters supersensitivity Im curently on 200 mg Im planning to to a very slow taper off to 50 mg quetiapine by removing 2 mg each month and when i reach 25 mg remove 1 mg per month (aprox 3 years or even more of tapering I need help Do receptors adjust back to pre medication state during a very slow taper like this? I did not had psychosis pre medication,it was induced by antipsychotics
  8. 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.
  9. Hi everyone, I am writing because i am suffering so much with withdraw effects. Nowadays i have been taking 0,2mg of clonazepam and feelling the follow symptoms: Insomnia Spasms Restlessness Restlessness leg syndrome Tachycardia Heavy breathing Involuntary movements Strong Fatigue Akathisia Hair loss Memory issues Panic attack Strong Anxiety Besides that, i can not sleep at anytime of the day or night because when i fall sleep i wake up scared and experience shortness of breath. I've been in 3 different neurologist and them told me that i have Restlessness leg syndrome and prescribe 300mg of Gabapentin. I am not sure if i believe them about have restlessness leg syndrome or i am feeling WD of quetiapine and clonazepam. I really appreciate your opinion if its better take gabapentin or finish clonazepam withdraw hoping these symptoms will get better? and which is the best way i should tapering clonazepam? I would like to know if exists examples of healing theses symptoms without medication ? i am really afraid to have to pass throw this horrible WD and will have to take medicine anyway. thank you so much
  10. Hi - This is my first post. Here's my story - sorry it's so long! My daughter was put on Zoloft at age 10 for OCD. I believe now that her OCD was triggered by an infection (ala PANDAS) but have no proof of this. She did okay on Zoloft and it did help her OCD. However, over time it seemed to have an "activating" affect on her. For example, she started exhibiting ADHD symptoms that she never had before and had a terrible time sleeping. However, she was mostly okay. When puberty and COVID hit at the same time, she started showing signs of instability - cutting, suicidal ideation, terrible impulsive behaviors. I never thought the Zoloft could be behind it and the psychiatrists we saw never mentioned it. They just kept raising her Zoloft dose until eventually she was at the max dose. In retrospect, every time they raised her dose she would get crazier and crazier. She wasn't sleeping at all at one point and was leaving the house in the middle of the night to wander the streets (unbeknownst to us). A psychiatrist eventually added Intuniv which helped her sleep and made her more manageable but didn't really solve her underlying issues. About a year after this kind of crazy behavior started, she was hospitalized for SI and then spent the next seven months in and out of hospitals and RTCs. Psychiatrists kept adding more drugs and raising her dosages - until she was on high doses of Seroquel, Zoloft, Intuniv and Naltrexone. Her outpatient psychiatrist was wanting to raise her Zoloft dose to 250mg (above the max dose) which thankfully he never got a chance to do. During the last hospitalization, she was cheeking meds so they started crushing up her Zoloft and giving it to her in yogurt. She refused to take it that way because it made her mouth burn, so she essentially went off of Zoloft cold turkey. (Note that no one at the hospital told me this or even seemed to think this was a problem). After a week and a half of cold turkeying off of Zoloft, she was discharged - pumped full of anti-pyschotics they had given her as part of daily meds plus as multiple injections per day to keep her calm. Our beautiful girl was a zombie - she couldn't walk, she was incredibly irritable and barely functioning. BUT, she seemed better somehow - like less crazy/impulsive. We let her continue to not take Zoloft and let her cold turkey off of Seroquel and Naltrexone. Her outpatient psychiatrist seemed uncaring and said that once 48 hours passes, the Zoloft will be out of her system and she couldn't possibly be having withdrawal symptoms and didn't see an issue with cold turkeying off of anti-psychotics. Once the Zoloft was more out of her system, she couldn't stay awake so we started tapering her Intuniv which she's now completely off of. (her psychiatrist told us to just stop the Intuniv cold turkey which I fought against because if she missed even a dose she'd have horrible headaches. He grudgingly wrote an RX for her to taper). She's now been off of Zoloft for 8 weeks and all other meds for about 6 weeks. She is mostly relatively happy - going to school, hanging with friends, etc. She's been home 7 weeks which is longer by far than any time she's been home since the whole hospitalization hamster wheel started. She's still not 100% - she can get extremely angry and irritable very quickly, has a very hard time getting up in the morning and still has some weird impulses and I think has occasional SI. She doesn't have much interest in doing anything other than watching TV - although she'll go swimming or do things with friends if that's an option. (She's lost most of her friends at this point due to weird behavior and just being in institutions for so long). I know this story is pretty crazy - I honestly can't believe everything we've been through. I don't trust the psychiatric industry at all at this point and my biggest fear is that she'll be hospitalized again and be forced on meds again. I don't trust her psychiatrist to tell us the truth about what withdrawals are really like and how long we can expect it to last. Unfortunately, she seems to think everything that happened to her was totally okay and she doesn't buy into the idea that the meds were harming her. I guess I don't know for sure if the meds harmed her but I can fairly confidently say that I don't think they helped her at all (after the initial help for the OCD three years ago). What I'm seeking here is just info from anyone who has experienced something similar. Also, just want a place to vent. Question: do you think it's normal for her to still be very irritable 7 weeks later or maybe the irritability is not withdrawal related? Does anyone have experience with this type of withdrawals and how long did it last for you? Thanks.
  11. i swore i would never take an snri again after what i went through on effexor, but he suggested i try cymbalta for the chronic pain and told me that generally there are less side effects/zaps than with effexor, so i said i would give it a try. my psychologist and his super decided that i have bipolar 2 not mdd, but the pdoc waved this away and didn’t even consider mood stabilizers. when my pdoc raised my dose of cymbalta after i expressed a wish to discontinue, and wrote in my record that i display “abnormal illness behaviors” (which just means i disagree with him?), i have decided to get off the ADs once and for all.
  12. Hi, I'm new to this site. As far as my background, in 2018, after 25 years of taking Paxil and feeling good and stable, I decided to reduce my dose of 40 mg. down to 20 mg. over the course of three months (May-Aug) as I wanted to get rid of sexual side effects. After some back and forth with the dose, I reduced my dose to 20 mg in August and began to experience bad SSRI withdrawal and particularly intense anxiety. It got so bad I eventually ended going back up to my baseline dose of 40 mg of Paxil but it no longer was working to control my anxiety, etc. In addition, I began to experience a new cyclical mood disorder, whereby I could feel fine for several weeks or a month or more and then I would have an episode where for 7-10 days I would wake up with intense suicidal depression that would generally start lifting a few hours after waking. I have been working with a cadre of psychiatrists and other healthcare providers to get stable again, my anxiety is under control but so far nothing has worked to address this mood disorder which has been diagnosed as an atypical presentation of cyclothymia and which has been life-altering. In addition to reinstating the 40 mgs of Paxil, I am now on Seroquel (300 mg), Lamotrigine (75 mg) and recently started Lithium Carbonate (300 mg). My questions: is it possible that my attempts to go off Paxil (including some back and forth with increasing and then lowering dose) after so many years could have instigated this new mood disorder I'm dealing with?
  13. Link to Benzo Forum Thread - Shep's Journey Link to French translation (courtesy of Erell): Se libérer de la psychiatrie - Shep : « Quitter la caverne de Platon » Leaving Plato’s Cave In Plato’s famous “Allegory of the Cave,” a group of human beings are chained since birth in a dark cave where a fire casts shadows of the world upon the walls. The shadows are all the prisoners know to be true. But one day, a prisoner breaks free and wanders out into the world. Her eyes are blinded by the sudden blast of sunlight and she is unsure of her reality and at times, longs to be back inside the familiar darkness. But as her eyes adjust, she is in awe of this new reality — people, nature, her own reflection! When she returns to the cave, the other prisoners laugh at her story in disbelief. . . . And so I left psychiatry — a dark cave of drug dependency, incarceration, deception, violence, mystification, and social control. The empty shadows on the walls that message this non-reality based belief system of mythical “mind diseases” fade out and a beautiful new reality unfolds before me. After 30 years, success from such an experience is a process, not a singular event. There may still be some unexpected waves, but that will allow the experience of re-emerging from periods of darkness with even more skill and resilience. For me, this part of the journey is very similar to the final phase of the grieving process. As Francis Weller reminds us in the book The Wild Edge of Sorrow, grief is sacred work. It’s an important teacher and should be honored, not feared. When symptoms are viewed as teachers and guides and you walk with them with curiosity and not fear, leaving Plato’s Cave turns into a journey of adventure and skill building. My signature symptom was - and is - DP/DR (depersonalization / derealization) and the lessons taught are in mindfulness and becoming The Observer. (I wrote about The Observer in several places in my benzo thread). I still have some lingering DP/DR, but this is a symptom I carry out of the cave with me, as I'm still learning from it and no longer view it as a problem but as a valued guide. Never give up — your new world awaits you. For many of us, it’s a brutal trip. So travel lightly and listen carefully to what your teachers and guides are telling you. As painful and confusing as it is, these symptoms are here for a reason. At five years off all drugs (from 30 years use), I can now: Run 30 - 60 minutes, four days a week, along with doing yoga and strength training. Runner’s high is beautiful! Bike 30 miles a week - urban cycling is now my main transportation to and from work because of subway and bus delays due to COVID-19 Work 40 - 45 hours a week (was unemployed for around 9 months due to severe akathisia and DP/DR) See the world with 20/20 vision (with glasses) - since last August (before that, my focus was in and out and I wasn’t able to get an accurate eyeglass prescription) Read books with a high level of concentration during windows. I get lost in activities now and experience a sense of “flow” when reading, working, exercising, and playing music for hours at a time Feel music deeply to the point of being moved to tears at times Experience powerful levels of spirituality and connection with the universe Sleep a restful 6 - 7.5 hours a night most nights (Netflix is a treat when insomnia hits now because I know the insomnia wave will pass and I like the excuse to watch movies in my favorites list) About me: 52-year-old female, currently working full time, no family, studio apartment, still navigating my way back into more social situations, complicated by the city’s partial shut-down due to COVID-19. Entry into psychiatric drugs: forced “treatment” in private and state psychiatric prisons off and on from the age of 17 until 21 for so-called “psychosis.” Gaslighted into long-term drug compliance with the lie that neuroleptics are a neuro-protective agent against brain damage caused by so-called “psychosis.” Never told about dopamine supersensitivity or tardive dysphoria. Drug and label history: 30 years of neuroleptics, benzodiazepines, z-drugs, so-called “anti”-depressants, and amphetamines. Labeled with “manic depression” and “PTSD” from years of physical and sexual abuse as a child. The “chemical imbalance” myth dominated the narrative because psychiatry replicates the patriarchal and paternalistic abuses of the nuclear family (and the larger political structure) within a medicalized context. This is not an accident. This is how the system is designed. Date of last drug taken: May 22, 2015 Reason for exiting the cave: After having spent more than 25 years working low-level jobs and bouncing from here to there, I descended into cognitive decline with voices and visuals, disassociation, akathisia, and suicidal thoughts. A psychiatrist suggested another change in drugs but — too fast, too soon, leading to a nervous system crash. After being threatened with forced “treatment” in the state psychiatric prison again in early 2014, I found Robert Whitaker’s book Anatomy of an Epidemic in a random Google search on my phone. The realization I had been poisoned was enough for me to control my behavior and save myself from further “treatment.” The psychiatric system disables and kills people. That’s not an abstract concept when you’re at the receiving end of forced “treatment.” Method of coming off psychiatric drugs: cold turkey and rapid taper off a cocktail of Seroquel, Viibryd, Klonopin, Sonata, Dexedrine, and Halcion (NOTE: I do NOT recommend this method of withdrawal - I didn’t find the withdrawal forums until I was almost completely off all drugs. Stay safe and taper if at all possible). Favorite non-drug coping skills: Shep’s Toolkit. For me, the non-drug coping skills were not optional. I still refer to this list and have tons more bookmarked in folders on my laptop. Mooji and Alan Watts are still my go-to sources for calming. The un-patienting process: During recovery, I began reading a lot of anti-psychiatry literature. Dr. Phil Hickey’s article sums it up well - In Defense of Anti-Psychiatry. Anti-psychiatry gave me the language to understand and name the world around me. Dr. Thomas Szasz is a major influence in my understanding of this world. He understood the power structure of psychiatry better than anyone I've read so far. Dr. Bruce Cohen's Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness helped me understand psychiatry's political structure. Psychiatry is about power and politics, not medicine. Psychiatry is not broken. The system was designed this way. Psychiatry is not a legitimate field of medicine and cannot be reformed. It needs to be abolished. To not message this would be to condone a form of structural violence that not only has disabled and killed millions of people, it also maintains and even furthers the systemic social and economic injustices these individuals represent. I hope one day, those still trapped in Plato’s Cave will be released and the cave will be sealed shut.
  14. Hi there. I am female, 41 years old, married with an almost 18 year old. I was diagnosed in 2018 with anxiety, depression and BP2. After my diagnosis I started to see a Therapist and Psychiatrist regularly. I realized I have dealt with these mental health issues my whole life and figured medication would be my saving grace. I was wrong. They made me a zombie and I was constantly sleeping. I had a suicide attempt in late 2017 and that is what started my experience with medication. I was in-patient for 9 days and came home with an abundance of new medication (please see signature for meds). I thought this would be the right step in the right direction for me. I had another close call with suicide in late 2019 and was subsequently hospitalized for that as well. Fluctuating between depression, BP2, hypo mania and anxiety was exhausting. Husband and I decided we wanted to try for another baby so my OBGYN suggested certain drugs be out of my system, hence coming off of them. I had been wanting to stop my meds anyways because I was tired of feeling numb. Psychiatrist took me off of my Depakote cold Turkey on May 19, 2022 and I decided on June 22, 2022 to come off the rest except my Buspar. June 22, 2022 was the day my IUD came out so it was the best time to end my meds as well, against my Psychiatrists wishes. So far the withdrawals have been probably run-of-the-mill (i.e. insomnia, nightmares, headaches, irritability, sweating, dizziness, body aches). I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to rest as much as possible when I’m feeling awful (like right now, while I’m typing this).
  15. I was on Paxil from 1996 to 2013 when I foolishly thought I was doing well after my father's death the year before. I asked my then psychiatrist about changing to a newer med, one that wouldn't cause weight gain. He recommended Wellbutrin, so I titrated off Paxil for 4 to 6 weeks. This was the beginning of my ride on the anti-depressant merry-go-round from hell....
  16. Hi all. I've been reading lots over the past six months from this forum, so let me start by saying thank you. For anyone sharing your story, the ups and the downs, it truly is helpful and encouraging to read. My story starts in April 2020 with the initial onset of symptoms. Since then they've followed the windows and waves pattern and are best described as adrenaline rushes that last for days or weeks at a time. I regularly speak in public, and the physical symptoms that I have almost entirely mimic the feeling I get right before speaking to a large crowd. Heart palpitations Loss of appetite Very fidgety Sweating Hot flashes Tightness in my chest Sometimes a salt craving Low libido Can’t rest -- Unable to nap Mentally it’s uncomfortable… hard to focus, can’t be present for my kids, often need to use TV shows or podcasts to distract myself. I would later find words to describe the mental symptoms that were also part of it all... Feeling of unreality or detachment Unable to feel positive emotions Unable to imagine or dream about the future Fast cycling thoughts Initially my GP diagnosed me with Panic Attacks, however they seem to differ from panic attacks because they lack any sense of impending doom or danger or fear of loss of control or death. My symptoms also don’t end. They usually subside in the evening, but I’ll wake up early with them. I'm fairly confident that this corresponds with the cortisol spike that many people experience. Next was a Generalized Anxiety diagnosis (fall 2020), but again, I don’t actually have any worries or anxieties. I did a full round Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with two different therapists and both discharged me because they said what I was experiencing was physical/biological and that they had given me everything they could. To be fair, I now will sometimes have worries or anxieties about what I'm feeling, but they aren't based in any of my life circumstances other than the symptoms. My life is great and outside of this experience I'm ridiculously positive and optimistic. So I’ve always wondered if there was a way that I overproduce adrenaline or if it's related to histamine. Because it seems like the only medications that have been helpful have had sedating/anti-histamine qualities (Benadryl and Seroquel). I did receive 30 Clonazepam pills (0.5mg) in 2020 and then some Propranolol in 2021. Both were used 'as needed' and I took roughly 15 of each of them overall. Over the past two years I've tried all the things. Naturopath, supplements, therapy, massage, chiro, acupuncture, gluten/dairy free, CBD, keto, etc. I went from my family doctor to a psychiatrist (June 2021) and jumped from Escitalopram to Lurasidone to Seroquel. All changes were either immediate or phased over a few days. In November 2021 I was frustrated and decided to quit Seroquel. I figured I could always go back on and the psychiatrist was pretty open to taking me off it when I was feeling better. My symptoms were never solved by the medication, so I wondered how much the medication might be triggering the ongoing symptoms. When I had waves of symptoms in December I signed up for this site and have been the beneficiary of all y'alls wisdom since then. I think the last six months have followed a fairly commonly described pattern of waves and windows, with each window getting better. I finally decide to post today because I just entered a wave that feels stronger than the past few (seemingly I hit a wave once every two weeks now). The step back is frustrating and makes me second guess so many things, which is why I feel it helpful to anchor into this community more. I wish I had of tapered the drugs I was on. I also know that fish oil and magnesium are the two commonly suggested supplements. I've used them lots over the past couple of years, but stopped them during a wave in March. Waves usually bring a renewed investigative spirit about me to find the cause of my symptoms and I usually change whatever I can in an attempt to force a change. I think that's it for now! Feel free to fire any questions or clarifiers.
  17. Hello, I did a relatively quick taper from Lexapro using 1 mg per week water titration from 10mg with my final dose mid-November. Acute withdrawals lasted a couple weeks then subsided. Around Christmas the weeping and depression set in with a vengeance. At the same time insomnia started. I could not sleep unless I took 50mg of Seroquel. i am still battling the insomnia but ironically last night I slept 7 hours without having to take meds. Today is my 5th day of reinstatement on 5mg of Lexapro. Seroquel as stopped a week ago and replaced with Ambien, which I have not taken for 2 days. The insomnia is taking it's toll on me. My T3 thyroid is starting to go low, I am having cold temperature intolerances, hair is falling out, strange "feelings" in my hands and legs from time to time, and inability to relax or make myself comfortable. It's like I am always in a restless state. Since I have reinstated the weird feeling in my hands and legs are subsiding and are more flair up in nature. I felt relaxed when I woke up this morning and when I layed down last night. I do have the typical startup anxiety/tiredness that is all too familiar. the head fog is very bad also. How long will I know whether or not this reinstatement is going to work? Also, how long should I stay at 5 mg before I go to 10 mg and plan to hold there? I did not want to reinstate but the insomnia will put me to an early grave if I do not get it under control. Dr. Shipko's blog also scared the crap out of me. If I would have read that back at the end of last year, I would have never goin off in the first place.
  18. Hello I always wanted to return to the site and thank all that helped me in the dark hours and also the forum owner and originator for the tireless work that has helped so many people Heres my thread when I first asked for help http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6865-andy-hello-tapering-from-zyprexa/ I wont go into how I finally quit the drug because it wasnt the normal 10% approach although I tried 5 times and failed miserably.I found a good understanding doctor who helped me reduce and more than anything listened to me without prejudice.This helped enormously,I finally jumped off at 1.25mg and to be honest it wasnt to bad,by far the worst reduction was going just under 2.5mg,I had severe migraines ,nausea,heart palpitations,sickness,depression,mania,mood swings and relentless insomnia.The insomnia was by far the worst symptom as it made me anxious and very irritable ,all this while trying to be a good father and holding down a very stressful and demanding job.Of all the drugs I was put on Zyprexa was the hardest to quit,it was hell and back but it can be done I have recently started my Taekwondo training again that I practiced for over 15 years but couldnt while I was on this terrible drug,I now feel calmer and sleep well.I put on over 3 stone while on zyprexa even though I ate a well balanced diet,I felt lethargic and had no interest in life,that has all changed and the weight is coming off steadily. Excercise has been the most helpful tonic for me and even when I had had zero sleep I went to my class and worked out.It slowly but steadily improved my sleep and made me feel confident again that I could get over all of this,when you start to see improvements you start to see light at the end of the tunnel Things are heading in the right direction and my outlook on life is positive once again.I feel good Once again thankyou for all your help and for people just starting the journey dont ever give in it can be done,god bless you all Andy
  19. Hi I'll start by telling that I never wanted to take psychiatric drugs. But when I was hospitalized for "major depression and dissociation" they put me on this tragic road. After that life was never really life for me again. I am currently taking quetiapine 50 mg at night, because my NS is so damaged I almost don't sleep naturally. This apparently lets me sleep from 3 to 6 hours most nights. I don´t know how I would withdraw from this as not sleeping is the one torture I (and anyone) cannot withstand. The reason I'm writing now here, is I'm currently going to a psychiatrist (who works with Open Dialogue), he says I would be benefited by taking more drugs and does not acknowledge the adverse effects as being worrisome ("the people who get damaged are the ones on high doses for a long time"). My situation is so bad that he says they would reduce suffering and somehow allow me to do things to get well. But I can´t believe this, and I'm frightened and know that I'm probably stepping into conditions I nor my NS can take. 7/6/21 he gave me escitalopram 10 mg (to go up to 20) and aripiprazol 5 mg (to go up to 10) "switch the quetiapine for the aripiprazol". The first night I took this I vomited twice and did not sleep at all. I thought it was a mistake to just stop the quetiapine, told him and he said ok, it seems to help you sleep, we'll reduce it gradually (which is likely a month or less, as he's adviced before) Next day took the escitalopram earlier to divide the hit on the stomach and soon as I took the rest, vomited again. He was unalarmed of course, said the system has to get used to it and told to take aripiprazol in the morning, and later the others. Yesterday hours after the morning, on the street felt the same sensation as I was gonna vomit, but tried to avoid it and walked. I felt burning heat in the chest and stomach and then waves of freezing cold in my head too. It passed. I didn't take the rest and don´t want to. I don´t know what to do and how to tell him this is wrong and likely going to harm. I feel the more side effects I have to endure and then the effects I'll just turn into a complying thing "dealing" with all this, until I can´t take anymore, once again, but this time with a hardly functioning NS and already destroyed life experience. I'd appreciate if you can give me an honest opinion about the danger of taking these drugs. And maybe a suggestion of something well articulated I can give him to read to maybe start seriously considering the inhuman experiences these substances put us through, not only in high doses. Thank you for reading, it ended up quite long. I hope you are finding some wellbeing and meaning, take care.
  20. I was put on quetiapine three weeks ago, starting on 25mg for one night then up to 50mg for one night then 200mg ( I think that was the progression) for 12 nights. I felt very strange, night sweats, insatiable appetite, muscle weakness, emotionally numb, but improvement in symptoms of paranoia and anxiety. But I decided after research that I do not want to continue taking this drug, it is the only psych drug I have e era taken and I want off and to treat myself as I know how to with alternative therapies and excercise. So I reduced to 100mg and have felt very bad in the mornings, for five mornings. I sleep well but I wake up very very anxious and heart racing and hot and cold and in a mess physically and mentally. But I am determined to stay at this dose and not increase it again as I fear I might never get off it. My question is can I taper faster as I have only been on this for three weeks? I feel the effects so strongly and I want to get off it as soon as I can. So I was going to hold this dose of 100mgs for a week and then drop to 50mgs. As I have only been on it under a month is that possible or am I dreaming! From reading this site I can see getting off these drugs is no easy task. I would never have taken them if I had known despite that I was in some distress.
  21. Hi Everyone, I am currently trying to taper down from 150 mg Quetiapine XR. I am down to 87.5 mg by now. The 75mg capsules I take each contain 6 pallets of 12.5 mg each, so to reduce my dose further I need to switch to capsules that contain a lot of spheroids instead of a liquid formulation. I explained this to my GP and she said that in the Netherlands (where I am currently residing as an expat) they don't have either the capsules with spheroids or a liquid formulation, which I find difficult to believe. Instead, she offered to switch me to 37.5 mg capsules which I found contain 3 pallets of 12.5 mg each just like my original medication so it is no use. I tried to do a google search to look up options but in the brochures, I do not find any information on whether the capsules contain pallets or spheroids and how many. Does anyone have an idea how I could get this information? I am planning to visit some pharmacies to ask but I find that it really helps to have some knowledge before asking the question otherwise I usually just get a 'no it is not possible' even when there might be an option available but it requires some looking into. Thank you very much in advance
  22. Took a lot of antidepressants during 2015 for anxiety. The last one was paroxetine, which induced a hypomania, according to doc (was more like an extreme irritability).After that, I started my treatment for "bipolar 2" with lots of medication failures due to extreme side effects (I'm too sensitive to this kind of drug) . The only drug my body kind of "accepted" was quetiapine xr 50 mg.In april 2021 doc made a mistake and gave me the wrong pills with a dosage of 300mg! Started having adrenaline rushes and heart issues. The pills (at least in my country) look the same! I realized only after 17 days, went back to 50 mg but developed what I recently discovered was a severe 3 months withdrawal. The doctor, to "manage" the withdrawal (although he never said was withdrawal, he said it was anxiety and panic), put me on 25mg of amisulpride, 1.25mg of olanzapine and 1mg of clonazepam (couldn't tolerate more than these). After 1 month of clonazepam, doc started a "taper" reducing 1 drop per week (in my country, clonazepam has this liquid formulation). After I completely stopped the clonazepam I entered on a terrible withdrawal, the doctor said it was normal and suggested increasing olanzapine to 2.5 mg. Took only one week and went down to 1.25mg again.Found another doc who said I'm not bipolar and probably have some anger issues and general anxiety, but manageable through therapy. He said the meds made all the bad stuff I've been feeling during the last 6 years. Proposed to taper all meds during a long time, but since I'm too bad (feeling very tired) and the last drug was olanzapine (which he told me is a terrible and dangerous drug) and is in the same class as the others, he proposed try to be a "little" fast (not so little cuts every 4 weeks) because he thought my tiredness was from that. Went from 1.25mg (1/2 a pill) to 0.9325mg (3/8th a pill) and it was good. Then went from 0.9325mg to 0.625mg (1/4th a pill) and had only some tremors during 3 hours on two days. When I went from 0.625mg to 0.3125mg(1/8th a pill) I felt very bad for two days with extreme anxiety, insomnia and nausea, then I started slowly improving. Now it's one and a half weeks past and I feel a bit tired and have some chest pressure. Doc said to wait two months to make any changes in medications. So, what's next? Since I'm at this low dosage should I taper more? At what dosage should I jump off from olanzapine? I bought a digital scale and the 1/8th a pill weighs 12mg. So I can do the 10% rule for 3 months until I hit the 9 mg of pill weight (0,2344 a dosage). After that the decrements will be 1mg, more than 10%. In this extreme case is it acceptable?
  23. Hello all, just found this site and was looking for some advice on tapering off antipsychotic's. It all started about 11 months ago when I was prescribed saphris for depression by my pdoc to augment pristiq, (I know I should have known better). All was fine until about three months in when I started slowly developing anhedonia, just a complete lack of interest in life, it messed up my endocrine system, and destroyed my short term memory. Having successfully quit seroquel cold turkey in the past I thought saphris would be a breeze.... Boy was I wrong, only managed to make it there days in before the overwhelming anxiety (which I've never had before)and insomnia drove me back onto it. After three failed attempts to taper off(lowest dose is 5mg and couldn't cut sublingual wafers any lower), my pdoc suggested switching to 10mg zyprexa for two weeks then stopping that cold turkey, well that was a mess again, had anxiety from hell and insomnia. Again we tried switching over to seroquel which failed.So now I'm back on zyprexa (with a whole new set of side effects)with the plan of tapering off at a rate of -1.25mg every two weeks, currently I'm down to 7.5mg with moderate anxiety, intermittent insomnia and an insatiable appetite. Just wondering if this is too aggressive a taper, I only have tablets available so I'm just relying on cutting them into quarters. Just want off this pharmaceutical merry go round, feel as though I've been lobotomized.
  24. Hi all, I've been affected by depression since my teens. That also brought me sleep problems which I still have to this day. I started trying to fix this in 2006 with the help of a psychiatrist which was a wrong call since my body is, till now, addicted to psychiatric medication. I've been successfully tapering this meds for about 5 years now, my main problem is tapering Quetiapine. The benzos, antidepressants, etc were easy to taper compared to this drug. I was only on 5mg and doing well when I thought that I could start to do it on a quicker pace, since it was such a small dose. It appears that was a wrong move. After being almost 2 months with no medication whatsoever, I decided to reinstate since I was having problems with sleep that were affecting my general well being. I restarted at only 2mg but after a few days still with sleeping problems decided to up it to 5mg which is the dose I'm taking now. I was a few days without sleeping problems but this week has been terrible again. There's also the problem that I have some things in life that are stressing me out which certainly doesn't help with this, though I think that's not the main problem. I think the main problem is that I should have tapered more slowly when I was at 5mg. Any tips on what I should be doing next? I guess it's probably better if I wait a good while to see if my brain stabilizes on this dose (5mg)? Or should I up the dose a bit again to see if I can sleep better? Or do you have any other tip? The sleeping problems I'm having now are really affecting me. I'm also suffering a bit with depression issues again (sleeping problems are just making it worth).
  25. I want to know how to detox from all the psychiatric drugs that I took in order to make possible for my body not to need to take them anymore and to eliminate all the side effects that the psych drugs gave me. This is all the drugs that I took from psychiatrists: when I was 16 years old I took first paxil and rivotril (clonazepam) for a year and then only epival er (valproate semisodium) for a year and Then when I got 21 I took paxil and rivotril for 6 months. I changed to a 2nd psychiatrist he gave me symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine) I was with him for 4 months, then I went with a 3rd shrink that gave me lamictal and abilify for 6 months so then I changed with a 4th doctor which was a "neurologist" who gave me strattera for ADD and told me to go with his partner who is another psychiatrist (5th doctor) who added me sertraline, topamax (topiramate), olanzapine, lamictal, and because of the tachycardia that were produce by this drugs he added inderalici for my tachycardia. So after 7 months with this doctor I went with a 6th doctor that gave me paxil, rivotril, lithium and for my ADD he gave me methylphenidate (commercial name is tradea LP which is similar to Concerta). After 6 months with this doctor I changed to a 7th doctor that gave me sertraline in a very high dose and with this I decided to stop taking that pill a was taking but in a one day span it caused me to have a psychosis that made my father send male nurses to kidnapped and locked into a clinic (like hospitalization), in which the skrink that trated me was the one that treated me when I was 16 and he injected me haldol and gave pills more haldol, biperiden, triazolam and risperdal. I LIVED HELL WITH THESE DRUGS. Then the shrink after he saw that I recover reality, I was super depressed so he gave me citalpram but it didn't work so he gave me paxil and lithium. Then I started coming off meds and now I just take one quarter of a lithium pill every day in the morning. My actual side effects that I want to eliminate are: anxiety, very strong heart palpitaions or beats/beating that cause bad breathing and chest pain, difficulty to take decisions, nausea, extreme itching in my face, head, chest and back, buzz in the ears, difficulty to focus or concentrate, bad short-term memory, and wanting to pee all the time. Thank you very much.
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