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Bokart: withdrawing from Olanzapine

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Bokart

Thank you for the warning!

 

Bokart

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Bokart

An update is in order.

 

So, my christmas vacation is ending soon, and these things have changed:

Switched to more accurate pipette (5 ml), and dumped the inaccurate dropper and the beaker. Now I measure 5 ml in the pipette and reduce what I need from it (1 ml being 1 mg of olanzapine).

Started coffee again (my excuse was christmas holiday), only 1 cup a day though. Plan to quit when I'm back to school. Cacao is more delicious anyways.

I accidentally took 3,8 mg of olanzapine in 24th and 25th, didn't notice changes in symptoms.

... and my sleep has shifted to falling asleep at 2-3 AM and going out of bed in 0-2 PM. I just love sleeping late, and my bedtime then magically shifted to later and later as I was not feeling sleepy at all when I was supposed to go to sleep.
 

How I'm feeling:
I laugh A LOT  nowadays, just like I used to. I love laughing and making jokes (my family pleased in this... most of the time, cats liking this [playing with the cats is fun]... most of the time)

Sexual pleasure seems to have been dropped slightly, maybe it was unnaturally high for a while due to dopamine antagonism lifting. I don't mind this.

Withdrawal symptoms minimal, which is expected. Seems to be that stress is what makes my symptoms to appear. No stress in vacation.

Started to be more involved in important matters (like politics and spiritual development), slowly but surely. Especially spiritual matters I will be slow to decide on. Playing it safe 'til I learn more (also what is trustable information/experience must be carefully contemplated, this applies to political/economical information too).

Seems my imagination is back, for better or worse. Some horrible images have been there already, That would be normal though. But now I know not to believe in every image that's in my head. They may hold a message, but they don't necessarily represent valid _real world_ concern that I have to act on _instantly_. A way of doom, that would be.

 

Weight control has been bad, but at least I haven't gained weight in these holidays. I have to switch to more healthy diet for many reasons, for example maybe I want to start looking for a relationship. Maybe, I don't know, but these kilos have to go. I used to be so lean, and didn't crave for sugars almost at all.

 

The future:

I might start a faster taper if this month goes well. I was thinking of 10% taper every 3 weeks, slowing down if symptoms begin to be more pronounced. I have so far liked this taper, almost feels like I haven't had any withdrawal symptoms at all, except for few exceptions. Let's hope it stays this way. Opinions appreciated of course.

Happy new beginning year to everyone!

Bokart

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Bokart

Just to share a milestone of mine.

 

Two days ago I watched a movie, and there was an emotional scene. What happened: I cried. Just a little. I CRIED. I know it was really short, but I was actually emotionally affected by a movie scene.

 

...

 

I feel more and more of 'me' returning. A joyful, playful, emotional me.

 

I actually have some affection towards my cats. That was unheard of in the summer and since I started this medication. I feel emotional attachment, slightly, but I still feel it.

 

Other thing: In these last two months I have really struggled with almost OCD-like gambling. This isn't new to me, I have really struggled to not to part with my money to gambling activities since I was legally permitted to play (since I've been 18). It really gets me kind of "high" when I play. I'm not rational, I just enjoy the thrill.

 

But anyways, that compulsion to play just lifted few days ago. I don't know what happened. It was just gone, like the intrusive thoughts. (It was a good time for it to go too... I won some money).

 

... but I don't trust myself enough not to play, since this has been so long time problem for me, so I probably have to give my extra money to my mother. If someone has some advice on how to control gambling, I'm all ears (or eyes here in the forum, lol). In Finland we have slot machines in every shop. The machines accept coins, banknotes and cards (debit only). I have restricted this by disabling my cards so they can't be used to play games, and made myself practically impossible to draw out money from cash machines. I never keep physical money with me to avoid them being spent on gambling.

 

But there's internet sites. I rarely play in them, but when my compulsion is very high, I will probably use them. Is the only way to stop myself from doing this to keep myself from reaching any extra money? So far it seems the only option.

 

All the best to you all,

Bokart

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KarenB

Great updates Bokart, so good to hear about the returning of some emotions and your enjoyment of life. 

 

I haven't read your whole thread, have you seen Dr Gabor Mate's book about addiction, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts?  His research is primarily with drug addicts, but he goes further in his book to discuss the underlying causes of all addiction - including shopping, gambling, smoking, drinking, working etc.  It's very thorough, and includes discussion on how to start healing the thing (perhaps a trauma) which is causing the addiction (rather than just treating the addiction as an isolated thing).  

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Bokart

Interesting, thank you for the recommendation, KarenB.  My gambling problems have continued. Only good thing is that I am winning, but then again that usually only adds fuel to the fire (and indeed has). Gave some of my money to my mother already.

 

No news in my tapering, it's been very stable, no new symptoms, no change, except a decrease in sexual pleasure, so nothing of great concern.

 

I did try melatonin last week, 0,5 mg, and this time it really did put me to sleep faster. It normally takes up to 1 hr for me to fall asleep, after I took melatonin it happened in 20-30 minutes. I tried it again twice and didn't have as great effects anymore, so I'll refrain from using it often, maybe max once a week.

Note: melatonin didn't help me at all last year, I wonder if olanzapine blocked it's effect back then?

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Bokart

Something to think about...

 

It seems my emotions are slowly coming back, the good as well as the bad. Yesterday evening I had trouble falling asleep because my thoughts were in spiritual matters and I am very cautious and defensive whenever I think about them. This almost seemed to slip into paranoid side yesterday night, had trouble falling asleep... Might have to just not think of them, I'm not ready (though I had some insight and interesting ideas, but I still have very much to think about until I come to any kind of conclusion). I had also some emotions yesterday. Also my impulsivity has returned to some degree... that's one negative thing, but I've always had it...

 

So I was thinking of doing a slightly faster taper, and maybe advice would be nice. Which one of these is better:

 

10% drop, drop once every 3 weeks, or

12,5% drop, drop once every month

 

Both of these methods basically mean I will be tapering 25% faster than before. I was thinking of using the first method, but what do you think?

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scallywag

You've had several months where you've reduced 10% every 4 weeks. What did you notice about your symptoms after decreases?

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Bokart

Well... I don't know what has changed as much as I have discovered what has been there all along. I mean lower stress tolerance and greater fear response, they have definitely been there all along and might have been the reason I had to updose (which by the way didn't rid me of my fear and stress, or even help my insomnia) when I started studying a new occupation in 2015. Other than those, all changes have been positive: increasing return of emotion (it's coming back every month), great -if not complete- return of sexual pleasure (which I think has found an equilibrium right now, it has fluctuated sice December), intrusive thoughts gone, sleep has been stabilized (but still disproportionately affected by stress and fear), and greater sociability. Also, as of this week, I seem to have an easier time getting out of bed.

 

Oh, one thing has returned (for better or worse): imagination. But it's not the psychotic imagination, just a regular one. Still can cause fear which greatly affects my sleep. What's different is that I just don't jump to conclusions anymore. I don't want to. Still last night I seemed to do it, but the time before falling asleep has always been the time my imagination flies, for better or worse. I try to control it. I really have to keep an eye on it.

 

Yeah, I think that's all. All in all I feel that what I think, do and what happens to me in my life have a greater effect on my stability than the withdrawal reaction olanzapine causes, if there even is a withdrawal reaction. Even the lower stress tolerance and excarbarated fear response have been present the whole time I've been on this med.

 

I think that's all. Just to add a post scriptum: I still want to follow a cautious approach, so 12,5% reduction speed instead of 10% isn't a great deal faster, but in the long run it can still mean I'll be off this med 6 months earlier, if my original taper would have taken 2 years still. And if the speed is too fast, I can always do a longer hold and go back to 10% reduction. I just want to see if I can go slightly faster.

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scallywag

Let me rephrase the question: Did you notice an increase or change in symptoms at any point after previous  decreases?

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Bokart

Well, almost all my symptoms can be tracked to events in my life. I experienced slight insomnia after I started studying a new occupation in 10th of August, which happened to coincide with dose decreases in 1st of August and 15th of August. But I definitely had anxiety and insomnia when I decreased my dose from 7,5 mg to 5,6 mg, but that was in 2015.

 

If we look at my symptoms when I started the 10% taper, I see no symptoms after a decrease, except what I mentioned before, and August was special: it had two decreases and a start of studying in a new school. It's hard to tell if my symptoms were due to the faster decrease of my dosage or due to major change in my life. At least sauna helped me to sleep very much in that time, does it tell anything?

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scallywag

If you've notice no increase in symptoms during the time between decreases, then you're probably ok to switch to decreasing by 10% every 3 weeks.

 

I was doing 3-week holds last fall; after 3-4 cycles of that I accelerated to decreases every 2 weeks as is suggested as a possible adjustment in the topic, Why taper by 10% of my dosage?. It may have been too fast for me. So I'm holding now for another 2 weeks at least; when I start tapering again, I'll stick to 3 weeks.

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Bokart

Thank you, good to know people use that method with success.

 

All the best,

Bokart

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Bokart

So, at 22nd I dropped to 2,65 mg.

Plus I have began experimenting with how good the liquid olanzapine preserves in the fridge. I'm experimenting with 6-day old olanzapine suspension. Will post results here (and I know I shouldn't make two changes at the same time... ) The reason for my experiment is that I might have a school trip to France and I am planning to take all my medicine with me in a form of ready-made suspensions so a ) I don't have to mix them there which leads to b ) I don't have to explain my situation to anyone if I share a room with anyone.

 

Efffects I have had this month:

 

I seem to get irritated easily... things annoy me. Well, I'm a calm person so it doesn't really affect my social life and anyways every person has these feelings, they have now just returned.

I have had a small crush this month... yeah, so those emotions have returned somewhat.

yesterday was the first day in a long time I felt that "I have to go out of bed" in the morning.... as early as 8:30 am! This was normal thing for me before meds. If I had working/studying week and had to get out of bed early every weekday, I was unable to sleep late in saturday (except if I really stayed up late in friday).

 

And... I have resolved my spiritual crisis! Which I think is a huge thing for me. I now have a foundation upon which I can build my beliefs, experiences and actions. Now I should just improve upon that foundation, but I'm still taking everything slow and cautious. Which has been essential for me. The funny thing is that I didn't actually adopt any spiritual beliefs to resolve my crisis but layed out a foundation upon which to reflect all my experiences, be they either spiritual, emotional, social or physical.

 

Oh, and I have "resolved" my gambling problem by sending every spare cent of cash to my mother. Well now I live hand to mouth. Of course this doesn't fix my underlying problem, but I'm not sure I can process it until I am completely off the meds and recovered.

 

I wish you success in life and if you struggle with tapering I wish you strength and glimmers of light which are signs  ofwhat is ahead when you are fully recovered! :)
Bokart

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scallywag

You may have difficulty crossing borders, even within the EU, with medication altered from its original form of a tablet or a capsule. Please do your research -- I'd hate for you to get stopped and/or be without olanzapine.

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Bokart

Yeah. Thank you scallywag for the reminder. Actually my nurse told me the same, and instructed me to get some proof there is olanzapine and nothing else in those bottles. Maybe I should take pictures/make a video of the all the stages I make the suspension?

 

I don't know yet how to acquire good enough evidence, but it might be irrelevant anyways as I just learned the trip to France is in summer 2018 -very close to a time I am completely dropping off the olanzapine (if all goes according to the plan, that is).

 

--

 

There has been some recent interesting developments... In the last few days I have become increasingly annoyed with everything that just provokes me the slightest, and at the same time I have nearly completely lost my sexual side. No sexual pleasure, nor interest. Hoping this will pass too. It feels like I'm back to 7,5 mg olanzapine sexuality-wise. But being this easily annoyed is something new. It's like low grade anger... This resembles one day soon after I started olanzapine the first time in 2015. There was one day I was constantly angry. It was maybe the fourth or fifth day on olanzapine. However it was gone the next day. Maybe the quickened tapering schelude is affecting me? These symptoms are easily manageable though, and I guess if they won't leave, I just have to put up with them. I'm sure they'll leave given time.

 

All the best,

Bokart

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scallywag

It's best to take the capsules or tablets in the pharmacy container and to make your custom doses once you're at your destination.  I don't know how olanzapine is dispensed -- do you get loose tablets in a bottle or do they come in a sealed foil package?

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Bokart

@scallywag, they come in sealed foils. I probably have to alter my plan, I'll take the tablets with me and make a suspension there.

 

I still continue my 6-day-old olanzapine test, but I had to quit it for a while because I forgot my suspension bottles to my place when my vacation started... The test will continue when I have 6-day-old suspension again which is in saturday.

 

---

 

In other news, I have not had the extreme irritation and sexual dysfunction again. It got worse and worse, and then the day after I posted my last reply it was gone!

 

Also, 2,38 mg today! I'm under 2,5 mg now :) So far no serious problems.

 

One test I have in mind is that I might try regular olanzapine 2,5 mg tablets and see if there's a withdrawal reaction. If there is, then I know I'm taking more olanzapine than what my calculations imply. It might have multiple reasons if it really is true, one being that the odt tablet suspension has better bioavailability than a regular tablet -maybe it even absorbs trough my mouth...

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Bokart

I have some bad developments :(

 

Today I had some kind of "relapse" of gambling addiction. I just couldn't stop playing, and I lost a significant sum of money. It's too bad I have a student loan and I can loan money from my bank's website with just a click of a button. I never thought I could do that, but my state was just so bad...

 

This is a first time for me this has happened -playing with loaned money.

 

The problem is complicated. First, I don't really care that much about money, and it is therefore easier to part with my money. However I dislike loaning money, but I already took a student loan so I could get a computer for my studies. I can loan some hundred euros once per 2 months. I have not used that opportunity (until now), I don't want "loan from my future", so to speak.

 

But when I gamble, I somehow use aforementioned things as justifications: "I don't care about money anyways", but maybe even the greater reason is: "I have won significant sums of money before, I can win now too".

 

But before all of that starts, I have to justify putting my first euro in the machine (or in the casino website). "I just play with a little bit of money, and stop when I've won enough or lost  the money".

 

Doesn't work... in for a penny, in for a pound. I always continue. But I usually don't overdo it, I mean I usually play until I have barely enough money for next student benefit. I hate to ask money from my mother or anyone.

 

Gambling addiction is eerily similar to masturbation in my mind... I mean it's easy to give in when you are able and have the time for it. With gambling, 'able' means you have some extra money. That is enough of a seduction for me.

 

I have to develop respect for money.

 

I already placed restrictions on the casino website I play.

 

I must develop daily routines that take my mind away from temptations. I already started jogging. But that doesn't fill my time enough, so I have to think other things.

 

And never touch another slot machine again, and I have to tell my sister to stop giving me playing money.

 

I have also give some deeper inspection of my reasoning to play, it's probably interconnected with lots of things. I have done healing from childhood traumas before, and forgiveness and inner listening are great parts of the process of inner discovery.

 

Bokart

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Bokart

Okay, so it's my 6th day with 2,14 mg. No problems so far, except that it seems to be harder to get out of bed (again?) I wonder why that is. I haven't paid much attention to my sleeping because it's been so well, but maybe there's a cycle. Two weeks ago it was much easier to get out of bed. Last few nights have not. Last night was also different that I only woke up once, and that was in 7 am, not 4 am like the usual. It's a good sign.

 

About the gambling thing, my nurse recommended me that I go to sessions with recovering gamblers. Like a group therapy. I haven't signed in yet, but I think I have to. I haven't gambled since my last post (except once, and I quit straight away), but that doesn't mean I don't have a "relapse" again. Yet I have a feeling that if I want to buy something, I save money for it... and restrain fromgambling. But If I don't need to buy anything, that restraint is gone... (I'm saving money to buy a backup hard drive for our family's Windows machines, and that seems to keep me from gambling, however I don't think it's the only reason).

 

Also, I know KarenB recommended me a book. I really should read it, but I think group therapy might be better because it's like a weekly appointment and I HAVE to go there. It's so hard for me to do anything productive in my free time, but I will always go to appointments etc.

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I have also made one small change: I'm now using the solution from a 5 mg tablet to make 2 doses of 2,14 mg olanzapine. Result: I save money. Only difference is that now I'm taking 5-day-old olanzapine and 6-day-old olanzapine in alternating days. Haven't noticed anything yet due to that change.

 

All the best to you all,

Bokart

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WilliamWallace

you should be using glycerin in your solution as APs are fat soluble. I would dilute with distilled water to like 50 50.

 

you seem to be doing great. keep it up. 

 

typically, the dose you are on is where people have difficulty. the low numbers with olanzapine can be devastating. if you are having a hard time, i would hold for several months. whatever olanzapine damages takes longer to repair than just about any other medication. so after making a cut it might be good to wait several months bc there is a big difference when you get really low with this stuff. be careful, i have chronic nerve pain among other things now but i had a really hard time the whole way through. ymmv.

 

good luck. 

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Bokart

Thank you about the glycerin advice WilliamWallace, I might try it out! Not that Ora-plus + odt olanzapine isn't cheap enough, especially when one pill translates to two daily doses (and it will translate to 3 doses someday!) Are there any change in shelf-life of the solution? I'm currently taking 6-day-old olanzapine-ORA-plus solution.

There's certainly been change in me, especially in these last two months. I have more thoughts. I have imagination. Also, the imaginative "what if" thoughts are back, I think those thoughts went into override when I went into psychosis. However what's different now is that I recognize them and the pattern in them, and I don't react to them emotionally. But they are still there... borderline paranoid whiffs of thoughts. But it is just imagination, the thoughts are like leafs in the wind. I can live with it, and imagination is nice to have anyways!

In good news, my jogging hobby seemed to have sticked + I have adapted some other work-outs too. I have more motivation all around.  Haven't lost any weight yet though.

All the best,
Bokart

PS: the last few nights after my last post have been not so good with many awakenings in the night, but my sleep went better after those few days so my sleep quality really does seem to change (depending on how many days there are to the latest drop perhaps?)

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Plshelp

Hello, I'm just seeing how your tapering is going and what increment you're at.

 

What dose did you start decreasing from again? Any info would be helpful.

 

Plus, are you experiencing emotions normally again? Are you less fearful?

 

Thanks kindly.

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Bokart

Hello, I'm just seeing how your tapering is going and what increment you're at.

 

What dose did you start decreasing from again? Any info would be helpful.

 

Plus, are you experiencing emotions normally again? Are you less fearful?

 

Thanks kindly.

 

I started at 10 mg, decreasing to 7,5 mg, and then starting 10% taper.

 

Yes, I'm experiencing emotions more than I experienced them at 7,5 mg, or 5 mg. But this was a very slow process for me. I couldn't progress in taper in my first year on the med, maybe because of too fast taper, maybe because I wasn't ready to lower the dose yet.

 

The thing with psychosis is that -at least for me- it was a self-reinforcing loop. You have to get out of that loop. Without meds, you might go into that loop if your mindset hasn't changed much from before and the decrease in dosage was too high.

 

I learned to let go. I stopped worrying about my sleep a year ago, and haven't had major sleeping problems ever since. Yes I can't sleep if I have a fear-state going on, so I limit my exposure to anything that might trigger my fear. Lately I haven't even worried about that anymore, but I can't tell if the over-the-top fear-response is gone yet.

 

There are days it takes me more time to fall asleep, but I don't worry about it. It's enough when you make the circumstances for sleeping optimal, meaning exercise in the day, no food before bed (and no computer before bed but I'm lacking in that department). I slept well without optimal circumstances too, but now I pay more attention to it. Of course you have to worry if there's days you don't get any sleep, but if you got some hours every night it often is enough (depends on a person). Of course sleep deprivation brings another problems like overtly strong emotional response, lower stress stress tolerance etc. that might get you "in the loop" again so you have to be careful, and limit your exposure to stress, fear etc.

 

About emotions, I think they're still numbed somewhat, but I find the current amount still enjoyable. Maybe that's because I've had almost 2 years with little to no emotions. Sexual pleasure is still surprisingly swinging up and down, but it's a small concern.

 

Like many members have wrote here: slow and steady wins the race. Even updosing is an option if things get too rough with the taper.

 

Hope this helped and all the best,

Bokart

 

PS: I'm trying to shed my weight too. The hunger for sugar seems to have subsided for the most part, but still there's not much progress there yet. I try to go jogging 2 times a week. The goal after that is to go every day, but that's still not achievable.

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Bokart

So soon it has been 15 weeks since I started my 3-week taper, and it has gone quite nicely. My sleep has pretty much normalized. I go to sleep (almost) same time every night and wake up exactly the same time every day. Waking up is tiresome, but nowhere near the horror it used to be.

 

I'm thinking of doing a slightly faster taper, maybe a 19-day taper instead of 21 days. It's approximately 10% increase in taper speed so it's a very conservative change.

 

My hope is to be completely med free when I go to France in 2018 summer and tapering 10% faster already shaves off ~5 weeks from a year of tapering.

 

Also, feelings have got better too. I haven't tested them yet though (I'm not into emotional movies) but I still feel more have returned since April.

 

All the best,

Bokart

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Bokart

Long time no post, so it's time for one.

 

Taper has been going very well. I'm now at 1,56mg. Actually, I think I sleep better than never before when taking this med. And I can get out of bed whenever I want! Emotions are normal, though there's still room for improvement.... And my temperament seems to be back, I've noticed. I guess that because it's been gone so long, it's really noticeable. Especially bursts of irritation/anger. My environment is not good as it provokes these kind of reactions. Everyone has these bursts of anger, like they don't know how to discuss things calmly. But I usually don't join into that cycle.

 

I have been following a 19-day taper, but I might change to 17-day taper, because all has been going so well :) It's a 11%  increase in speed. Every little counts.

 

I hope all is going well for each one of you.

 

Bokart

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Madeleine

Nice to read your positive update. :-)

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scallywag

Bokart -- thanks for posting your update. It is good to read that you're doing well. 

 

Several members here have had problems with accelerated tapers of medications like olanzapine, "anti-psychotic" drugs. One person reported that she notice effects from the decreases didn't show up until 3+ weeks after the decrease. If you are the same, you are putting your recovery at risk.  Decreasing every 19 days may not be enough time to allow symptoms to arise. 

 

When was the last time you held at the same dose for 4 weeks or more? 

What do you think about trying a 4-5 week hold while monitoring your symptoms before trying a 17-day decrease cycle?

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Bokart

Thanks for advice, scallywag. I have noticed my symptoms appear in a few days after a drop (4-5 days), peak in 9 days after a drop, and subside in a few days after that. But the last few months I haven't had any symptoms at all! Only improvements :)

 

That's why I'm quite confident I can taper faster, but I'm sure to slow down if I start having symptoms. I don't have a deadline for this, but neither do I want to be on this med unnecessarily long.

 

I have also gotten better with reading my mind: feelings, reactions and attitudes. Though I can't say I'm a master at this, I can say I'm more sensitive to notice if there's something wrong. This is where I put my trust when I'm accelerating my taper, and this trust has been well-placed so far. Everyone is an individual when it comes to meds and withdrawing from them after all!

 

All the best and best of success in each of your's taper,

Bokart

 

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apathetic

I'm incredibly glad that you're feeling better!
Olanzapine caused me withdrawal too, but only if I found this site earlier and not quit cold turkey... I would shine again by now if I tapered slowly.

 

Hope you'll be completely recovered soon, it's inspiring to read this kind of content.

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Bokart

Yes apathetic, the advice in this forum is very good. I'm glad you found this place :) When you start seeing patterns in your tapering (the time you become stabilized after a drop, how your "emotional landscape" is and how it changes after each change in dosage) and be more confident in your taper, you can taper faster, but it's always better to play it safe. For example I already feel like I'm living my full life at the moment, I'm happy right now :)

 

I do have to watch out for paranoid thoughts. I mean I'm actually amazed I have these stupid ideas... But I don't identify with them very much, because they do not feel like the thoughts I have. They feel like some kind of protuberances in my body: they are there and part of my makeup, but they do not feel a natural part of my being. And just like protuberances, they go away, though much faster: like leaves in the wind that continue their way.

 

Also, yesterday I dropped another 10%. It was 1 day too early due to human error, but I don't think it matters that much. I will accelerate my taper 10%. After that, I won't go any faster, but rather make larger cuts, but that's later in the future.

 

I'm so confident in accelerating my taper because every weekend I can sleep (and have slept) 12 hours in a row. There are no signs pointing at trouble, but there are signs pointing at full recovery very much. But still, this medicine is an antihistamine at these doses (and it acts on certain serotonin receptors too), so I'm hesitant making any big cuts, and like I said, I'm not in a hurry.

 

It's easy to spot signs of trouble also, when you've just been in that dark place. It is in my recent memory. That psychosis wasn't too far back too, and only thing I can do now is to learn from my experiences. That's the value of negative experiences.

 

All the best to all of you, and good luck to your taper,

Bokart

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herewego

Bokart,

That is great that your taper is going so well. When you do get symptoms that peak about 9 days after a drop - what are your symptoms? Also is one of your symptoms trouble sleeping enough (taking too long to fall asleep or waking too early) after a drop? That is my main symptom by which I gage everything. I am currently only finding I can drop about once a month, but I don't mind as long as things go well for the most part. Great to see someone having success taping off olanzapine!

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Bokart
On 26.6.2017 at 1:27 AM, herewego said:

Bokart,

That is great that your taper is going so well. When you do get symptoms that peak about 9 days after a drop - what are your symptoms?

When I had withdrawal symptoms (I don't have them anymore), I had these after a drop:

  • Started waking up earlier
  • Started waking up in the middle of the night (maybe two awakenings per night, sometimes less, rarely more)

 

Quote

Also is one of your symptoms trouble sleeping enough (taking too long to fall asleep or waking too early) after a drop? That is my main symptom by which I gage everything. I am currently only finding I can drop about once a month, but I don't mind as long as things go well for the most part. Great to see someone having success taping off olanzapine!

 

Yes, I have these, but the symptoms seem to be constant and not fluctuating for me, so I do not consider them to be a withdrawal symptoms. It usually takes about 30 - 90 minutes for me to fall asleep and after that I sleep well. In the early morning I might wake up once, but I can sleep to even 12 am (if I have sleep debt), but I usually wake up in 9 - 11 am in the weekends when I don't have to go to work.

 

I also used to have low stress tolerance and heightened fear-response, but these have significantly dissipated as of late.

 

Now the only thing that is different compared to the time before meds is that it takes me more to fall asleep, but that is easy to handle if the rest of the night goes well (and it does for me at the moment). Well... maybe some feelings are not fully back yet... but I used to have times of seemingly unprovoked anxiety before meds, and I hope that doesn't return...

 

Also, I'm updating my signature.

 

EDIT: By the way, I had this crazy idea (which I probably won't try): You know how grapefruit prevents liver metabolizing most medicines into non-reactive forms and leaving them from body? Well, imagine this: take a single dose of medicine, then take 2 grapefruits a day (even 1 might be enough), in the morning and evening. Result: the medicine levels in your body stays constant IF you do no take any more daily doses of you med. Result #2: you don't have to pay for expensive meds anymore!

 

Surely there are other things to consider with this idea, like "how to taper a med with grapefruits", "how about medicines which needs liver enzymes to be transformed into active form", "is my medicine only metabolized by liver enzymes that grapefruit inhibits" and such, but otherwise, it is an intriguing idea...

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Bokart

Ok, a quick update.

 

I'm becoming a little concerned of the time it takes me to fall asleep. Lately it has frequently taken 1,5+ hours. Two weeks ago there at least were nights I sometimes fell asleep much faster.

 

So, I'm going to monitor my sleep more closely. Especially the weekends. So far the weekends have been very good. If I still manage to get 10+ hours of sleep each night in the weekend, it lessens my worry quite a bit.

 

But anyways I'm thinking of slowing my pace down. Maybe upping my tapering interval back to 3 weeks, and take a longer hold- maybe 17 days + 3 weeks- if my next weekend is bad. If it's good, I'm still monitoring the situation more closely, and I'd probably still slow down my tapering speed.

 

There's also something I noticed when trying to fall asleep. Last night when I was starting to actively think this as a problem, it caused a reaction. I was hotter, my heart was pounding... Yeah, this was similar to pre-psychosis & psychosis times when I was trying to sleep and was unable to.

 

There is a fine line between monitoring and worrying about a situation. My long time to fall asleep loses importance dramatically if I don't worry about it, but I can't ignore the developments either (because it can develop to be a big problem), but if I think this as a problem, I should not think this as a life-threatening problem. And it isn't one because I control my tapering schedule. I think it was just the momentum of a surprise that caused the reaction last night. I did fall asleep after some time, with completely other things in my mind. I also woke up before 4 o'clock and fell asleep quickly after, so at least I sleep well after falling asleep :)

Hope your taper is going well,

Bokart

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Bokart

I want to post this positive note:

 

So yesterday I was having this somewhat of a negative baseline as my emotional state. It felt like pre-anxiety. But this feeling feels to me like a source of energy too, it feels like you have to do something. And I went jogging.

 

My mood was raising gradually while jogging, up to the point where I was feeling really happy. But I had an other goal in my time this time around: I wanted to find out if I could force my body to switch to fat-burning mode through jogging. That means jogging at least an hour, preferably longer.

 

So, after 1 hour and 5 minutes of jogging, my feeling became changed.... I actually felt more a little spent... I had this slight unwell feeling... not anxiety, but just... unwell. Well, I persisted.

 

I was back home after 1 hour and 35 minutes of jogging, feeling totally exhausted. Not even in the army did I feel this exhausted. My legs had definitely exerted effort, as I witness today. Anyways, after jogging, I ate a little (well, "little"), and then went to sauna.

 

So...as if I wasn't exhausted enough, I went to sauna. I couldn't even sit in the higher bench, I had to pick a bench closest to the floor because it was colder there and I felt sweating required more energy than my body had right then.

 

So, why is this a positive story? Well, after sauna it was time to go to sleep...

And I slept like a baby :)

 

Okay, I do know I will not do that again any time soon, as I still feel exhausted from yesterday, but boy did I like to sleep! And there hasn't been this any "pre-anxiety" feelings today either :)

 

All the best and I hope your taper is going well,

Bokart

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Bokart

So... thought I'd come here today and give an update.

 

Sleep is "normal" again, which in this situation means it usually takes more than an hour to fall asleep (I don't watch the clock when trying to get sleep, that would make it worse), but I sleep well in the night, and have slept continually 8-10 hours. So no worries.

 

What I did find out that my emotional state still plays a huge part in falling asleep. I mean, it does for everyone but it feels like slight tinge of fear can delay my sleep greatly. I have succesfully dissolved my fears. Actually, after last update, I had an unwell night, my heart jumping in my chest... I found out then that focusing on my thoughts considerably calmed me and my heart, it didn't pound anymore. However, as I focused on my heartbeat again, it started to pound again. Lesson learned: don't focus on heartbeat when trying to sleep (for me it's good advice).

 

Also, I have found that staying in bed is not wise if I have a fear-state going on. I have to get up and calm down. Do something else for a while. Then, when I feel calm, I return to bed. This helps for me.

 

I see no immediate worries right now, but I think I will slow my taper still. Maybe my time to fall asleep improves gradually.

 

I know my doctor will want me on some meds to make me fall asleep quicker, as we talked about that a year or two ago. My nurse also told my doctor might want to drop my dose faster. I do not plan to change my tapering speed based on their advice... Or take a quick-acting benzo to fall asleep... I can live with this. 1,5 hours isn't even bad.

 

Have a good day!

Bokart

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Bokart

Hello all! I have been having some experiences and thoughts I'd like to share.

 

I have been worried about sleep in my recent posts... This weekend I noticed there was more to it. It is fear.

 

I don't have trouble sleeping while feeling normal. I even had a nap this week, it was even over 2 hours long! So it really alleviated my worries. But this fear... It's not even fear that is dangerous, but where it can lead.

 

I remember from my previous not-so-good times, when my fear became self-perpetual (also called psychosis). Yes, it's possible... just start to be afraid of you being unable to stop being afraid.

 

But all fear pass if you trust yourself and direct your mind to some other subject/activity. This IS about trusting yourself, or it is with me.

 

And then emotions can't really be 'controlled', only acknowedged... and then they dissipate. Or they don't and you allow you to feel that emotion. This is the trust: allow the emotion to come, and trust it... it will vanish eventually. It is your emotion after all, so not trusting emotions feels to me that you don't trust yourself either. It is a message to be read, and it opens when you have learned the right things to understand it.

 

I have also noticed how paralyzing fear is... it is so overwhelming, I can't react normally to anything when in that state.

 

But fortunately I see the external triggers for my fear, so I can simply avoid them. I will be inspecting this when in neutral state, hopefully I learn more of myself :) Because there's internal triggers too.

 

Hoping each of you are having a good taper!

Bokart

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