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Hi all,

 

I have been lurking around this forum for some time now :) 

 

I am presently attempting my 5th withdrawal from psychiatric drugs in 3.5 years. 

 

In March of 2012 I was taken by my friend/housemate (who coincidentally is a doctor who was doing a placement in a psych ward at the time), to the emergency room as I was presenting with symptoms of mania.  I had been up for days drinking, barely sleeping or eating.  Not surprisingly, I was pacing and chain smoking. 

 

By 2012, I had been drinking alcoholically for 5 years getting progressively worse, to the point that in 2013 I would binge drink for a month on and one off, drinking up to 3 bottles of wine throughout the day.  I had already attended AA meetings at the time and my family, close friends, and I, were well aware that I had a drinking problem.

 

However, my friend, who meant well, must have been very concerned and wanted to help me in the best way she knew how, by taking me to see her colleagues where I was tentatively diagnosed as Bipolar II, mixed state, rapid cycling, and put onto 10mg of Zyprexa.  

 

After this first hospitalisation, my drinking got worse and worse and I was hospitalised 12 more times (about once a month) that year. 

In May 2012, I entered my first open ward psych hospital and stayed for two weeks (still working as an actor and a theatre critic during the two weeks as I was able to leave the facility).  I became more involved with AA but was too unstable to really engage with the program.  I was drunk more than I was sober and by then, I was on Lithium as well, with a solid diagnosis of bipolar and alcohol dependence.  I was put on Naltrexone to help me stop drinking too.  

 

In December of that year I emerged from a drinking binge on Christmas day and had to go to hospital to detox on Valium.  After 2 days, I snuck out, got drunk and was luckily found by my family across the street in blackout, taken back to emergency, where I fell into a coma and had to be resuscitated. 

 

I was put into a locked ward for 5 days to detox and to protect me from my drinking that was about to kill me.  Heavily sedated on Valium.  Within 2 weeks I was in rehab. 

 

I spent 3 months in rehab sober from alcohol.  I was taken of Zyprexa which gave me an odd obsession and fear of my own death and my family’s death, as well as made me slow to recall words and 10 kilos heavier.  When the doc told me I would put on weight, I scoffed.  I have always been weedy and struggled to put weight on.  I wasn't laughing 2 months later when I couldn't button up any of my trousers anymore. 

 

Before I was taken off Zyprexa I was put on 5mg of Lexapro to deal with the morbid thoughts caused by Zyprexa.

Great idea, thanks for that random state psychiatrist who kept missing my appointments as she was so busy.

 

So, I was on 450mg slow release Lithium and eventually moved up to 10mg Lexapro, this became my "regular” dose.  I am lucky, this is a relatively low amount of meds for someone as "sick" as me to have been put on.  Nonetheless, a killer to get off.

 

In May of 2013, 1 month out of rehab, I relapsed on alcohol, and had my last hurrah.  5 days of hell.  Suicide attempt, rented hotel room, drinking into oblivion, became a missing person, arrested for assaulting a police office (charges dropped as they felt sorry for me thankfully), strapped to a stretcher 2 nights in a row, lying to my father's face etc.  All the good stuff.  Obviously my meds routine was not on the ball at this point, or at all during these benders.  I was on and off. 

 

After this binge, I had attended my 2nd outpatient psych ward for 2 weeks.  I got a sponsor at AA, started doing 90 meetings in 90 days, doing the steps.  I got 3 months of sobriety up, slipped on August 11, 2013 and had 5 glasses of wine.  These were my last 5.  I have been sober from alcohol since August 12, 2013.

 

Now, I'm just going to stop right here and tell you a bit about myself.  My description paints me as very erratic, which I was in those last few years, however, that was not always the case. 

 

I was a happy child, always top of my class.  I had a problem with authority in high school but I managed it in my final year and I managed to graduate well and get into the university course of my choice. 

 

I had achieved a BA Hons degree in English literature and then an MA in Journalism by 2011, with a whole lotta binging and partying in between.

 

I travelled the world, starting in Tokyo in 2002, Canada and London in the mid-2000s, all across south-east Asia and Europe.  In 2006, I volunteered in Nepal, went back in 2007 and established an NGO.  I held down jobs, relationships etc. 

 

But amidst it all there were ups and downs, “tragic” break-ups, an inability to relate well with family, friends and partners, regular alcohol and recreational drug use and abuse from age 14 to 30.  It's just that is got harder to keep up the charade of being normal by 2011.  I just gave into the drink and drank.

 

Thing is, I had very rarely taken prescription drugs until 2012.  My family are militantly into natural therapies, yoga, meditation, and I'd always felt similarly and been very suspicious of docs and prescription meds. 

 

By 2012 I was defeated by alcohol and I felt I didn't have much choice. 

 

3 years since I was first put on them and I often feel I have very little choice in my decision to come off them.  It is my 5th attempt, each ending badly regardless of tapering or not.  The only thing that is different this time is that 2 weeks ago I was told by my new psychiatrist in London (I moved here from Australia in May of this year) that after months of us talking and getting to know each other, she thinks that my initial diagnosis was wrong, that I was exhibiting signs of bipolar because of excessive alcohol use, and that she will taper me off my psychiatric meds to be sure once and for all that I am not bipolar.  I think I have known for some time. 

 

While I was able to accept that I am an alcoholic (this is a genetic thing), I could never fully accept the bipolar.  Not because I am in denial or any of that tripe that people like to put on us - I have been through the 12 steps, and I have tried to be as damn well honest with myself as possible, and, I was still left with this lingering doubt, hence why I have continued to try and live without the meds. 

 

I am over 2 years sober from alcohol now.  I am stable in so many ways that I wasn’t in the past.  I have a loving and supportive partner (my highschool sweetheart), attend regular AA meetings, have a GP, and attend regular therapy, plus I have the help of a supportive psychiatrist.  I am healthy.  I eat a balanced diet, do moderate exercise each day.  I am attentive to my sleep patterns.  It is my time to get off this stuff.

 

It has made me slow in the head and unable to continue my job as a journalist.  I worked as a legal journalist here is London but had to resign because of a lack of concentration, sleepiness etc.  All side effects I NEVER had before I was on psych meds. 

 

The most I have been able to do for work over the last few years is freelance journalism and part-time nannying and tutoring.  Today I had to resign from my casual nannying role as at day 3 off the withdrawal, anxiety and agoraphobia has set in and I’m becoming too manic to responsibly care for children. 

 

There is no point dragging this poor family through my sh*tty withdrawal.  It is irresponsible and the kids deserve better.

 

I will not let this get me down.  I still have my online work and my meetings and that is about all I imagine I will be taking on over the next month or so, but I am not disillusioned into thinking this will only take 1 month.  I know now. 

 

And, I know that this is NOT a return of my bipolar "symptoms", particularly since I never had symptoms like this before I was medicated.  This is discontinuation, this is withdrawal, and it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life.

 

It has already marred years of my life and I will not allow it to drag on any further.

 

Lol, ok, just convincing myself there.

 

Thanks for reading, if you even made it this far.  Rant over.

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Hello Macy and welcome to S/a.

Can you please fill in your signature.

A mod will be on shortly to help you.

 

You have come a long way and should give yourself a pat for discontinuing alcohol.

Feel free to browse the site while waiting for the mods to answer you.

If you would like to read threads of others who are withdrawing from the same drugs you are, just enter the drug name in the search bar and that will lead to to others threads who are going through what you are. It helps.

Also look at windows and waves.

Happy you found the site,

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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Phew got to the end .Welcome 'macy'.Someone will be along to assist you soon.

I wish you well in the meantime.

Sertraline 100mg amytrip 60mg diazepam 4mg (and when needed) since late 90's.Reduced all meds over 6 wks (too short) last doses 13 wks ago.Still having withdrawals.I would have done it differently

5th august 2015 reinstated 5mg amytripiline.increased to 10mg amtrip 9th sept 2015.

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Thanks for getting back so quick guys :)

 

I did fill the signature in but it was waiting for approval I believe.  Hmmm, not sure.  Should I do it again?  How do I attach it to my introductory post?  Cheers!

 

PS.  Thanks for reading all the way through Nomoreheadmeds.  I do have a tendency to go on ;)

 

Right, I figured out the signature.  Ta.

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Good job Macy!!

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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Thanks tgirl! :D

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Macy.

 

Please give more detail about the last round of Lexapro and lithium. How did you go off them? When was your last dose of each?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Update.  I've been reading around the site and I've decided to go back up to 5mg Lexapro as I think I came off too quickly.  I am impatient and I desperately want to get off but I am reading that the withdrawal will be drawn out longer and potentially cause serious damage if I taper off too quickly.  At this point, I came of the lithium cold turkey but tapered off quite quickly from Lexapro.  My doc thought 5mg for one week, then 2.5 for one week then 0 would be fine (from 10mg), I'm starting to think that even on all the supplements that it might be best if I taper down on liquid Lexapro slowly from 5mg.  Any advice would be great :)

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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  • Administrator

Hi, Macy. I posted just as you did.

 

I think reinstatement on Lexapro is probably a good idea. Please take it regularly, at the same time each day. It will take some months before your nervous system settles down enough for you to start tapering again. See

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Lexapro (escitalopram)

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks Alto.  That's the plan then.  I see my doctor later in the week and I will discuss with her what we've discussed.  I think we had been going too quickly and I honestly  don't think she realises the extent of the withdrawal issue.  I'll be back on here with updates over the next few days.  Thanks for the prompt response and the links. 

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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  • Administrator

Please do not be surprised if this is all news to your doctor. Very few understand how to taper people off these drugs.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks Alto.  I was only off for 3 days.  Should I really wait a couple of months before I begin tapering again? Sorry to ask again but it seems like a long time :)

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Welcome Macy. I think that you are amazing withdrawing from alcohol and keeping that sobriety up. I really wish you well with your withdrawal from meds too. I am sure that you can do it. 

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Thanks princessstarburst!

 

I hope so.  I recently moved from Australia to London and have struggled as I can't hold down a job and rarely want to socialise or leave the house other than to get groceries. 

 

This is a far cry from life back home where I had strong family support, AA meetings and a great sponsor, a GP, psychiatrist and psychologist plus close and supportive friendships.  Here, I only have my partner and he works 9-6 Mon-Fri. 

 

Sometimes it feels like only ups and downs after failing one attempt at withdrawal (since I've been here).

 

In 5 months I've started 2 jobs (one as a journo and one as a nanny) and had to leave them because of anxiety, chonic pain and complete lack of motivation.

 

I am ashamed with my boyfriend.  We were together 17 years ago in high school and I was vibrant, young, pretty and popular.  How changed I must appear to him.  Constantly struggling and doubting that I will ever be able to work and support myself or us at all, not to mention raise a child.

 

I was reading this on another post today and it really struck home with me -

 

Addax, on 15 May 2014 - 9:01 PM, said:snapback.png

 Delusions of urgency? The thoughts are so real and when I didn't understand what I was experiencing was withdrawal I didn't question them. In my mind, I had every reason to be anxious and have anxious thoughts... But now that I'm clued in that my thinking can be faulty when I'm feeling anxious, and that it's the withdrawal, not me, I feel less...well...crazy, if that makes sense.

 

Before I was put on psych meds I could not stop drinking, I could not hold a job and I couldn't stay in a relationship.  I fought with my family constantly from age 14 until 30 when I was medicated and got sober from alcohol, then I stopped fighting with family, got sober and held a job.

 

My family don't want me to come off meds as in their eyes I got better, and in a way, I agree with this.  I could hold down a relatively simple job like nannying or waitressing, but, struggled with anything cognitively challenging despite three university degrees and a proven strong mind. 

 

Also, I was numb on meds, I still am....I feel I'm only living day in day out according to rules that society and my family deem as "normal".  Any sense of creativity or dynamic thought is dampened. 

 

On meds, I don't care about my life or future, i just feel I need to meet certain standards so they will leave me alone, and so I meet very basic human needs such as shelter, food and having some money to survive.  I used to have goals and aspirations.  I believed I could achieve them because I cared about life, had motivation and determination, even if I was often unstable, jumping from job to job, relationship to relationship, country to country.

 

Is it better to be stable and on meds or unstable off meds?  Will I ever be able to hold down a job, support myself or at least contribute without being on disability?  I'm only 33, in good physical health and reasonably intelligent.  I hope so.  I feel pretty defeated right now.

 

xxx

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Hi Macy,

I think most people in this forum would prefer to be stable on meds if the meds would be safe, reliable and without any of the side-effects you can read about a lot in this forum and that you also mentioned yourself, like the numbness that many persons are experiencing.

As this is not the case, most decide to at least try it without them and while withdrawing might mean an often very unstable time, this period can be used to acquire the necessary skills and mindset to live completely devoid of any psychotropic medicine.

Of course it is very difficult and in many cases you have to start again from scratch but by reading your posts I believe that if a person can achieve this and possess the strength to do so, it is you.

I mean you have experienced already a lot in your life but as far as I can see this doesn't relate to pure negative things. You travelled quite a lot, you succeded academically and you worked several jobs. You even moved from one continent to another.

So I think you already possess a lot of the skills to slowly come of the drugs and to answer your question whether you can support yourself in a positive way.

Besides you have your boyfriend and this forum to help if needed.

Just a thought: Maybe write a book about your experiences. If you worked as a journalist this should be easier for you than for others. I think at least the people here would love to read another side of the withdrawal world and not only academic and medical materials.

I wish you all the best!

PB

- Paroxetine since more than 10years

- 20mg for the first five year, then 10mg since

- Several attempts to withdraw cold turkey following doctor's advise

- Last attempt in spring 2015 to reduce 10 -> 5 -> 2.5 -> 0mg within 2 months -> Extreme wd problems

- Reinstated with 10mg then down to 5mg again

 

04/01 5mg (tingling and muscle problems)

07/20 5mg (less problems)

08/20 4.95mg (muscle tightness, no more tingling sensations)

12/28 3.27mg (muscle tightness, numb feeling in feet and hands, light tingling sensations

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  • Mentor

papa Bear, well said  !!!!!!!!!!!!!    Everything you said, so, so well, thankyou!  

and this quote macy

 

On meds, I don't care about my life or future, i just feel I need to meet certain standards so they will leave me alone, and so I meet very basic human needs such as shelter, food and having some money to survive.  I used to have goals and aspirations.  I believed I could achieve them because I cared about life, had motivation and determination, even if I was often unstable, jumping from job to job, relationship to relationship, country to country.

 

Is it better to be stable and on meds or unstable off meds?  Will I ever be able to hold down a job, support myself or at least contribute without being on disability?  I'm only 33, in good physical health and reasonably intelligent.  I hope so.  I feel pretty defeated right now.

 

Well said too Macy!  I think your first paragraph, already answers the second?   Do you want to be "stable" on meds, like first paragraph, or find the real you?  So many people are medicated these days, to fit some absurd judgement of normal, ............  a great article, was are we dumbing down our kids.......................by medicating, we really are losing our most precious, bright, inventive people........... that is you! 

 

Everyone on this site feels defeated, but damn, we know we will get there, determination beats feeling defeated................ 

 

Good physical health, 33, and ready to find yourself,   well done for where you are now!       Medications for me, however, made me crave alcohol...   (effexor).  So anyone who gives up alcohol, on these meds, to me and how I felt, well,   I say  WELL DONE!

 

Yes do keep a diary,  I hope to write a book, when I get well...... .................. if you are a journalist, wow!   Keep in touch............ yes if you could write about your experiences....... wonderful!

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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Oh wow. 

 

Papa Bear and Ang, that is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you.

 

Being a bit isolated over here, I forgot the power of community, networking and sharing.  AA and you guys are a more effective medicine than anything I've ever found in a bottle or a box!

 

I am determined and not defeated, and I am fortunate for the support and blessings I already have in my life.  With shared support, we can get through this.

 

I am working freelance right now (getting there, on and off) but this has all inspired me to produce a feature about my experiences with psychiatric drugs.  It is criminal that the seriousness of the drugs and severity of the withdrawals is not common knowledge.  

 

Thanks again guys, I'll be in and out of the post with updates :) 

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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If anyone is awake out there, I could use a word.  I am extremely emotional tonight after a horrible argument with my boyfriend.  I can't sleep and I just about attacked him about everything and essentially told him I was leaving for Australia as I am so miserable here.  He can't be bothered with me anymore and just sits on his phone while I complain and tells me he is tired and needs to sleep.  But, I can't sleep and I have no one to talk to all day when I am at home. 

 

I am feeling suicidal, I just started seriously contemplating it.  I'm not even scared, I'm just tired of my miserable life.  I can't be in a relationship because all my baggage from childhood comes up and I self destruct and sabotage.  I am giving up on life. 

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Macy,

 

Calm down, you will be ok.

 

If you are feeling suicidal please seek help. You have to do what's best for Macy.

Do they have a suicide line where you are?

Is there a hospital near?

Can you call your parents?

 

Hope you calm down.

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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Macy, hang in there, you are stronger than you realise. You can do this. You have already been through so much and have survived. I honestly believe that we grow through these experiences and they make us stronger. I wish that we didn't have to go through them but we all do. I love the quote by Winston Churchill, 'If you are going through hell........keep going'. 

Do you have any hobbies? Perhaps there is a local group that you can join where people who share a similar interest meet up. Everybody needs a sense of community but it doesn't come looking for us, we have to go out and find it. It's not easy at first, it takes time to really get to know people, but there is such power in friendship and support. 

Do you have a faith? I'm not pushing anything on you but I found it a great source of comfort to me.

If you feel lost at any time of the day, please come here and read other peoples stories or share your own. I find it a great source of strength and help. Take care my lovely xxx

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Hey tgirl.

 

I am calming down a bit.  Getting worse then better.  I moved into another room as I can't sleep and he needs to and I feel horrible for keeping him up and starting a fight.  I can't call my parents.  They will worry too much and my dad is sick so I don't want to worry him.  They think I'm still working.  I haven't told them how bad it is getting for me.  I don't really  have anyone to call.  I'm just going to sit up on the computer and keep myself occupied until I am so tired I can sleep.  Thanks for replying.  I feel so lousy about myself.  I'm being so selfish and my boyfriend says I'm giving mixed messages, getting angry then saying I need him to show me love.  I can't stop it though.  It's just this horrible circle of despair I get myself on. 

 

Thanks again :)

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Thanks princess.  You are so right.  I need to get out and meet people but I've had this social anxiety and complete lack of motivation to go out and explore this huge new city.  I am freaked out by it and don't have much money so I just stay home and read and work-out.  But, I am such a social person, and I am lonely.  I need to force myself to do it but I am really struggling to find the motivation.  I lost a lot of my hobbies when I drank, when I got sober I just did AA and hung out with my family especially my little nephews, and my friends.  I don't have any of them here and I feel so lost and alone and useless because I don't do anything interesting.  I have no interests beyond getting off meds.  I've gone downhill a lot since I came here and so worried I can't pull myself out of it.  I feel I am regressing and I'm a bit desperate for change or help.  My bf loves me but he doesn't really understand and he can't do anything to help so just gives up and shuts off.

 

I am impossible to deal with when I am like this.   A real pain in the ass ;)

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Your boyfriend is just behaving like most men do in this situation. They really do find it hard to understand the emotions that go with SSRI and the withdrawal. My husband was like an ostrich, just buried his head in the sand and said nothing. I don't know what was worse, when he said nothing or when he spoke and tried to help. Both were just as bad I think. Have you reinstated the lexapro? If so then give that a time to work. I dropped from 5mg down to 2.5mg very abruptly and went through ten days of hell. Once I reinstated the effects were pretty quick. I am now stable again and in no frame of mind to start again just yet. Keep your chin up, things will get better. You are a strong woman, you are free from alcohol for two years! you deserve a big pat on the back for that. I am only 10 days free and it is hard! I am inspired by your story. xxx

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Lol, that actually helps to hear that your husband was the same princess.  I beat myself up thinking I am the worst partner in the world which is just rubbish.  I'm just really really emotional at the moment and he just doesn't know how to handle it.  He's so practical and wants to solve all my problems and if he can't he shuts off as he feel he has no purpose when really I just want to b**** and moan and have a good vent.  I know that's not healthy but I don't have many other outlets at the moment! :)  yup, I have reinstated back to 5mg and gone back on the lithium for now.  I think I need to listen to my pdoc about that too and see if I can taper down slowly off of both.  There is no rushing this.  I'm slowly slowly learning this.  Seriously, 4 days ago I was so stable on my meds I was convinced I was strong enough to do this and today I know it is not like that.  This is a contradictory thing and not at all like stopping drinking, which was incredibly hard but could be done reasonably quickly. 

 

AA really helped me stop drinking.  I was trying for 2 years in the rooms before I finally stopped though.  I got a sponsor and that made all the difference.  I got really involved with the fellowship, did a meeting a day for 3 months.  I couldn't stop before that.  Good luck.  You can do it too.  Finding a faith in a higher power helped me immensely but when I  am in withdrawal i find it impossible to connect and also, I've let meetings slip over here so I am running rough in that department.  Keep telling myself I must get to more meetings but I don't know anyone or feel comfortable there yet and I am freaking out about leaving the house! 

 

We will get there x

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Thanks Princess :) 

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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  • Moderator

Sounds to me like you could really use a meeting:

 

http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/?PageID=2

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Spot on Brass Monkey.  I'm getting to one today and I'm going to start doing 90 in 90.  90 meetings in 90 days.  It worked for me in early sobriety and I need black and white rules at the moment and no compromises or I will make an excuse and not go.  Cheers!

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Good on you for deciding to join an AA meeting. That is a great step at getting out and about and doing something positive for yourself. 

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  • Moderator

Hope the meeting went well Macy.

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thanks guys.  The meeting was good. I got to another one yesterday and going again today.  I have been busy trying to stay busy and have had a great weekend.  Thanks :))

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Just an update.

 

I've stabilised pretty well on 5mg lexapro in tablet form after going off 10mg too quickly.  Going to stay on this for about 2 months and then start the slow taper with liquid lexapro.

 

I am waiting to hear back from my doctor who will be assisting me with the taper.  I hope they will give me the script for the liquid.  I am pretty sure that they will.  I will insist on coming off slowly as life is getting back on track and I don't want to risk coming unstuck again.  I need some stable time in my new country to make friends and get work sorted out and to work on my relationship and I seem to be doing ok on 5mg.  I am not as tired, even mildly experiencing mixed manic symptons, but nothing unbearable.  I feel much more motivated.  Still getting a lot of body pain particularly in my neck, back and shoulders. 

 

Oh well, thought I'd let you all know that I am doing fine :)

After diagnosis of bipolar II, rapid cycling and alcohol dependence, made in March 2012.
March 2012 - 10mg Zyprexa and Naltrexone.
May 2012 - 450mg slow release lithium - bad reaction to Zyprexa - obsessive morbid thoughts of death and dying.
February 2013 - removed from Zyprexa, put on 5mg Lexapro.
April 2013 - increased to 10mg Lexapro.
November 2013 - attempt to cold turkey off lithium - results in mania and paranoia - within 2 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
February 2014 - forced to go cold turkey of both Lexapro and lithium because of liver failure from paracetamol overdose - agitation, irritation etc - within 3 weeks back on regular dose, symptons subside immediately.
January 2015 - tapered off both meds - within 3 months severe mania, insomnia, agitation, irritation, hyper sexuality - coerced into going back onto meds, symptons subside immediately - hospitalised.
June 2015 - slow taper off both lexapro and lithium - severe mixed states, worse depression than ever, agorophobic, panic attacks - back on medication within 1 month, symptons subside immediately.
Present - tapered off Lexapro and lithium - using 5 htp, st Johns Wort, Magnesium, Zinc, good doses of a variety of multivitamins.
Day 3 - mild anxiety and agoraphobia returning.

September 29, 2015 - reinstated 5mg Lexapro October 1 - reinstated 400mg slow release lithium.

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Sounds very positive Macy. Stay on 5mg as long as you need. I have found that staying on the decreased dosage for as long as possible has helped my withdrawal a lot. I just got a prescription for 20mg liquid lexapro today. I will pick it up tomorrow and hopefully a 1ml syringe to go with it. I found that going to the chemist first and talking with them helped prepare me for talking to the doctor. He was very good and worked out every dosage I need to take to get me down to 0. 

Remember that a stranger is only a stranger till you say "Hello".......then the friendship can begin :-)

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  • Moderator

Hey Macy - another lithium girl!  There are two of us in here:  MeiMeiQuest and myself.  I'm nearly done.


 


My story is similar to yours, except that my drug-of-choice wasn't alcohol, it was anything for a "buzz," and there were lots of those available in the 70's and 80's.  And I didn't accomplish nearly as much as you (so a sense of "more time wasted." I am now 53)


 


Additionally, this may be a factor for you - I've found some Australians who move to the UK and find it stuffy, difficult to blend in, difficult to make new friends and connections.  An example of this is one friend who is called "Sam," downunder, but who the Brits would ONLY call "Samantha."  That's an example - and the village she was in was very closed, very insular, and difficult to interface with.  So that may be another challenge you are up against.  Even London might have its insular traits, though less so than a village.


 


I see you've found a local AA meeting. That could be a comforting, familiar place for you to go and create a new social circle.


 


You wrote:


It's just this horrible circle of despair I get myself on. 


 


Pasted from <http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10194-hi-all-im-macy-and-i-am-getting-off-these-psychotropic-drugs-if-it-kills-me/#entry183679>


 


This sounds like neuro-emotions.  See: 


Neuro-emotion


 


It's not you, it's the withdrawal.  When you hear these thoughts (often obsessive and repetitive), just imagine them as clouds, drifting around.  You can't make them come, you can't make them go - just let them be clouds/thoughts/emotions.  But step back from them, so that you are not caught in the loop.


 


Another visualization is to imagine them as train cars clicking by, a thought, another thought, a feeling, a thought.  The train just keeps clicking by - but you are not the train cars, you are not the thoughts.  The are just passing through.


 


And for your husband, I'm going to teach you an acronym:  FINE.  This is not a CBT or DBT or therapy acronym, but it is a communication one!


 


You know, how people ask you, "how are you?"  and the standard socially acceptable answer is, "FINE"


 


Those of use who have been through the mill invented an acronym for communicating with others like us:


F - arked up


I - nsecure


N - eurotic and


E - motional.


 


I'm FINE today, thanks.  It sometimes saves you from "going into it."  And it's completely honest!  Teach it to hubby, you might be able to laugh at your despair a bit.


 


Lastly,  I see that you have updosed your lithium.  I think that is wise, if you have not had any toxicity from it.


 


400 mg should be well below toxicity levels.  Additionally, it will cushion the effects of the lexapro taper.  At least, that's what we lithium girls claim. 


 


Welcome to SA!  I will enjoy hearing your story going forward!


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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what a gorgeous post JanCarol :) I'm also fine!

 

Hi Macy, I've come back to the site after a while away, since I dropped from 10mg to 5mg of paxil and am struggling hugely. It just feels like such a safe place here, like a soft pillow when the rest of the world feels spiky and hard.

 

I don't know you at all, but already I think you are gorgeous and I'm giving you the biggest cheer for doing such a great job to redefine yourself away from alc. I'm often wrong, but it seems to me that you are a completely mentally normal woman and you were put on psych drugs due to the alc nothing else, so I have great hopes for your future free of them! Unfortunately it's the 'getting free' bit that's hard - but you've done hard before, so you've got this!!

 

Interestingly I continually forget that I have to take this withdrawal at an extremely leisurely pace - I learn so slowly, even silly reasons like the doctor saying 'reduce 1mg  per month' and thinking I should follow his advice, when I already know this is a disaster for me, then the price of the script ($250 for 5mths) as though the money was more important than my mental health?! Silliness! Thanks for reminding me that this isn't a race, and in the same way that you had to slow life right down to do your 90 days and focus on the important things, I'm greatly encouraged by your story.

 

I'm raving on sorry :( But I'm concerned for you being isolated in London, are you doing ok? It would be a HUGE ask for any of us to up sticks and move to such a fast paced city, presently I just want to run away from Auckland NZ and hide in Gisborne on the east coast - in all it's isolated loveliness xxx

 

Drug history

  • 20mg paxil in 2001 - 4 months use  
  • 20mg paxil in 2003 - 2 months use 
  • 20mg paxil in 2008 - 8 years continuous

Withdrawal history:

  • March 2014 - disastrous alternate day taper
  • Jan 2015 - 15mg to 10mg. Disaster
  • Sept 2015 -  10mg to 5mg. Disaster. Reinstated to 6mg. Relief
  • Oct 2015 - started slow 10% taper 
  • Oct 2016 - at 4mg- stop taking paxil (not recommended)

 

I'm not a medical professional. Seek advice from a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Oh but Molly - it IS a race, and the slowest one wins!   :D  and the PRIZE - is GETTING YOUR LIFE BACK!   :D  even better!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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