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MedFree Madness - Amanda


Amanda

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Hello all :)

 

I've rotated between a large majority of modern psych drugs since 2005, when I was dxed with Bipolar (which morphed between type one, two, and NOS over the next several years) at age 17.

 

Seriously, name a drug and I've probably taken it more than once. They ran out of options so soon that they started recycling the ****. I haven't taken any of the "old school" anti psychotics, and only a few of the older antidepressants including one MAOI (the Ensam Skin Patch).

 

But pretty much everything else. In varying combinations. Oftentimes upwards of 5-7 meds at a time.

 

In hindsight, it's easy to see that the majority of my big problems came *after* the drugs. I never experienced the kind of anxiety, chronic and desperate suicidality, deep depression, or other awful mood states that I cannot describe before I started taking these drugs. I also was never inpatient before drugs but I quickly became a frequent flyer to those places.

 

Over the course of my drugging I gained at least 100lbs and 6 pant sizes. Went from a straight A student to almost flunking out of high school. Dreams of college were smashed. Ended up on SSDI right after high school. Constantly in and out of the psych unit. Was chronically suicidal for months and years at a time. Cut and burned myself compulsively.

 

In 2010 they decided it wasn't Bipolar but instead Borderline Personality Disorder. At this point I decided I didn't want to be on so many frickin pills any more. I probably ended up tapering rather quickly. Between Oct 2010 and June 2011 I d/ced Topomax, risperidal, gabapentin (taken for the akathesia from the risperidal), lithium, synthorid (not a psychoactive, but taken because of hypothyroid from the lithium), welbutran XL and clonodine.

 

Those had all been taken for various amounts of time up to that point. It was not my first, or even second, trial with any of them except the clonodine (which was added around dec 2010 when my anxiety increased after d/cing topomax.)

 

I don't really remember the dosages for all of them. Got up to 450mg of the Welbutran XL. .2mg x2day for Clonodine. Risperdal was 2mg at night and 1mg in the morning with 1mg PRN at one point. Lithium was probably around 900mg a day, though my blood level was below therapeutic the entire time. My shrink commented on how strange it was when she was originally trying to ramp it up. My negative side effects increased, but no matter how high she raised the dose my level would not budge. I don't remember what the range is supposed to be, I believe it was a point or two below "therapeutic." We ended up at the 900mg mark because I could "tolerate" it. I'm not sure why she insisted on keeping me on it if the blood level wasn't therapeutic though....

 

I don't feel like my withdrawal has been awful... though historically I've always seemed to be rather "tolerant" to the drugs. The depression has come and gone, but the desperate suicidality and assorted desires for self-destruction just aren't there any more. It also has a tendency to clear up within a day or two... before I only had black gloom to look forward to for months or years on end.

More or less psych drug free since mid June, 2011.

Have tried almost any psych drug you can think of multiple times since 2005 dx of Bipolar.

2010 dx of BPD (instead of bipolar) made me rethink wanting to be on so many meds.

Oct-Nov 2010- d/ced Topomax (don't remember dose) over about a month. Cognitive improved. Anxiety worsened.

Dec 2010- psych added Clonidine for anxiety and messed with dose for a few months(.1 - .2 x2 daily)

Between Jan 2011 and June 2011 - tapered and d/ced risperdal, gabapentin, lithium, synthroid, Welbutrin and finally Clonodine.

During this time also read "Your Drug May Be Your Problem" and became interested in MFI, Icarus and Mad Pride Movement.

Medfree Madness - It's a beautiful thing :D

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  • Administrator

Amanda, welcome to our community. Yes, it could be your drugs were your problem. It sounds like you were truly excessively polydrugged.

 

(You might read Robert Whitaker's book Anatomy of an Epidemic. He describes similar progress from medicated teen to SSDI as a cause of increased Social Security disability for "mental illness.")

 

So you've been off all drugs since June 2011? Did you have any other withdrawal symptoms?

 

Yes, waves of melancholia and anxiety are typical of withdrawal syndrome, also a very gradual tendency for symptoms to fade in frequency and intensity -- and change into other symptoms.

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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I keep intending to read Anatomy of an Epidemic... one day...

 

I was miserably sick this weekend. Light headed, exhausted, nauseous. I assumed a virus or something but I imagine that could be wd too. Monday I felt a *little* better but by Tuesday my throat was very sore and is today as well.

 

Other than the akathesia that I posted about elsewhere, the one that's pretty distressing for me is that I'm having some major cognitive/concentration/memory type problems. Those were side effects I had on the drugs... then as I started to taper off (especially the topomax and the lithium I think) I felt like my brain was coming back online and it was wonderful.

 

But... I guess I stopped the welbutran in June so by the end of July the fuzzy-brain/can't think/can't hold a conversation/can't concentrate/can't remember *anything* etc. was even worse than before.

 

I'm not sure what to make of that

More or less psych drug free since mid June, 2011.

Have tried almost any psych drug you can think of multiple times since 2005 dx of Bipolar.

2010 dx of BPD (instead of bipolar) made me rethink wanting to be on so many meds.

Oct-Nov 2010- d/ced Topomax (don't remember dose) over about a month. Cognitive improved. Anxiety worsened.

Dec 2010- psych added Clonidine for anxiety and messed with dose for a few months(.1 - .2 x2 daily)

Between Jan 2011 and June 2011 - tapered and d/ced risperdal, gabapentin, lithium, synthroid, Welbutrin and finally Clonodine.

During this time also read "Your Drug May Be Your Problem" and became interested in MFI, Icarus and Mad Pride Movement.

Medfree Madness - It's a beautiful thing :D

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  • Administrator

It sounds like you've been progressively tapering off several drugs at once, so there's no telling if the fuzzy brain is withdrawal from any one of them.

 

But, fuzzy brain is very common, and it does get better. Your nervous system has to rewire to repair itself.

 

You seem very self-aware and eloquent, you're doing okay! Glad to see you here.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to SA, Amanda.

 

1989 - 1992 Parnate* 

1992-1998 Paxil - pooped out*, oxazapam, inderal

1998 - 2005 Celexa - pooped out* klonopin, oxazapam, inderal

*don't remember doses

2005 -2007   Cymbalta 60 mg oxazapam, inderal, klonopin

Started taper in 2007:

CT klonopin, oxazapam, inderal (beta blocker) - 2007

Cymbalta 60mg to 30mg 2007 -2010

July 2010 - March 2018 on hiatus due to worsening w/d symptoms, which abated and finally disappeared. Then I stalled for about 5 years because I didn't want to deal with W/D.

March 2018 - May 2018 switch from 30mg Cymbalta to 20mg Celexa 

19 mg Celexa October 7, 2018

18 mg Celexa November 5, 2018

17 mg Celexa  December 2, 2019

16 mg Celexa January 6, 2018 

15 mg Celexa March 7, 2019

14 mg Celexa April 24, 2019

13 mg Celexa June 28, 2019

12.8 mg Celexa November 10, 2019

12.4 Celexa August 31, 2020

12.2 Celexa December 28, 2020

 

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Welcome Amanda,

 

That's a heckuva journey that you've been on. I can relate to a lot of it. It seems like I've been on everything as well, though I am suprised at how frequently I meet people who have longer Rx lists than my own.

 

I certainly relate to the weight changes. When I was 18 or 19, I went from 145 to over 230lbs in well under a year. Then back down. Then back over 230. Currently I am down to 165 or so but it is not a happy 165 -- I've had digestion problems in w.d.

 

Again welcome and I'm happy to hear that some of the darkness seems to have receded.

 

Alex.i

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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