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  1. Hi, my name is Aember and I have had severe negative reactions to SSRIs after very fee doses. I have been sick since January 2020 with a mystery degenerative neurological condition that is affecting my ability to think and feel. I am experiencing progressive dementia and confusion. Here is my story: Have had mystery neurological illness since Jan 2020, started with delirium, a flu and then a gastrointestinal flu that woke me up with a pounding heart and nocturnal defecation for months and body temp above 99 -101F. Sleep became interrupted with very vivid dreams and bizarre hypnagogic states. Started hypersalivating. Vision became altered, blurry at distance, slightly photosensitive. Extreme fatigue and bed in early evening, sleeping in and off until noon. Increased red pinpoint angiomas developing all over my body. Gradually became anhedonic in March 2020, unable to laugh or cry. Confusion and anxiety increased. Was put on Seroquel 25 mg end of March 2020, immediately had some involuntary movement so stopped after 1 dose. Switched to Trazodone 2 days later and had an extreme Akathesia episode with involuntary movement, was up for 24 hours pacing and raging internally. The next week was put on Citalopram 10mg for 2 days, immediately got dyskinesia (pill rolling, teeth grinding, twitching, teeth licking, bunny nose) with compulsive behaviour, vision became blurrier and developed horizontal double vision halos, perception of time sped up, switched to 5mg Escitalopram for 1 day, started muscle twitching, became flushed, feverish could not sleep (serotonin syndome?), next day became psychotic and babbling, compulsive, bit myself, could not walk. Hospitalized April 2020, put on respiridone 0.125 upped to 0.25 for 2 weeks. Felt weird hot icy burning in chest and esophagus upon initiating, had issues swallowing, voice got raspier, experienced increased hunger, constant fatigue and sedation, dry skin some teeth grinding and muscle tension on and off, vision worsened further (my left eye is now -1 and blurry, was perfect in December 2019), increased constipation, little change in anxiety, increased social compulsiveness (speaking without thinking). Started lactating. Quit April 29 after tapering to 0.125 mg for 3 days. Since then, I had episodes of dyskinesia and teeth grinding, bunny nosing, cramping in hands and feet, but it's gradually lessening as my body adapts to being antipsychotic free. I am still in a confused state (feel like I am about to pass out, cannot focus) with abnormal sleep emotions (cannot feel happy, cannot work) and decreased intellect (issues with spelling, time perception, planning, focus and my degenerative neurological condition persists as well as the hypersalivation and weakness. I am in bed all day.
  2. Hello friends, I am a 33-year old soul from Canada. I am biologically male and identify socially as such. English is my native language, though I have near-native fluency in French and some Spanish. A little over a year ago, I had posted a little bit about myself, including my horrific experience on Risperidone and other neuroleptics and the hellish place that I was at back then. It is with irrepressible elation, then, that I would like to tell you all what is now my wonderful story: Currently, I am nearly six months free of the scourge of Risperidone and other anti-psychotics and junk meds, I now drink alcohol less than I ever have at any point in my adult life, and I am 13 months clean of marijuana. Furthermore, by finally being able to discover and manage the devastating health condition that had crippled me for the first 33 years years of my life – namely one of the most severe cases of sleep apnea to have ever been diagnosed -- I have also overcome the cruel demons that had spent over 30 years not only sapping my cognitive strength, but also devastatingly undermining my emotional, social, spiritual, and physical well-being. I now feel better than I ever have: I feel happy, energetic, focused, and optimistic, all without the delusions and the manic or psychotic symptoms that I experienced the last time I felt this way. But the path that I took to reach this point and the anguish that I've had to endure for far too long to get here have been so relentlessly torturous that they are not something that I would even have wished on Adolf Hitler. For not only did I have to contend with severe undiagnosed sleep apnea for almost all of my life, but the changes that my CPAP therapy for the condition caused to my body and my mind led me to a severe episode of manic-psychosis, in spite of my only previous history of mental health problems having been a few months of intermittent panic attacks in 2005 that went away after my treating individual attacks with Lorazepam (ativan) for a few months. This condition, which is understandably difficult for psychiatrists and mental health professionals to understand and diagnose, occurs in some people upon getting treatment for severe sleep apnea and is known as CPAP-induced mania (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208920/). While it is more common among patients with a prior history of bipolar disorder, the study that I just linked to shows that it has been observed on occasion in individuals with no prior history of severe mental illness. The psychotic attack led to my being hospitalized and put on meds that may have initially been a necessary evil given the acute severity of my condition, but the consequences of my having taken these meds and my having to deal with their corresponding side-effects led to a severe episode of depression, the complete decimation of my energy, motivation, libido (risperidone and then latuda), and sense of pleasure or fun, a case of Cotard's Syndrome that had lasted for over a year (I thought that I was dead and in the afterlife of Hell and that this was my punishment for the all wrong I had done in my life), and constant delusions of reference that kept feeding the Cotard's Syndrome. All of this led to a second hospitalization and a misdiagnosis of Bipolar 1 with co-morbid alcohol and marijuana dependencies. It is only by quitting all meds in June that I have been able to come out the other side in these past months. That said, I am grateful for the years of torment and, even more so, for the most acute suffering that I particularly endured this past year and a half: For if I were to have been blessed with the gifts with which I have been bestowed without first having had to suffer being constrained by the chains of misery, I would be sorely lacking in the empathy, in the perspective, and in the sense of justice that make me who I am today. Without the past year and a half, I would still be far too petty, far too angry, and far too weak and easily-rattled to achieve anything close to my potential. If I may plagiarize Stan Lee, I would have this great power without also having the awesome sense of responsibility that must come with such incredible strength. With this preamble out of the way, let's move on with the bulk of my story. It is probably quite long and taxing, and I'm not sure how much value it will have for others, but it's a story that I nonetheless desperately need to tell.
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