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(VIDEO) My 6 year anniversary off psych drugs: How I made it through the darkest times


GiaK
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Today is my anniversary off a huge psych drug cocktail I’d been on for 20 years. Below the video are additional links about the six year withdrawal process. There are also additional important comments below the video.

In the video I speak to the inner resources that kept me going. I want to add here that I also was privileged to have a safe home and 24/7 hour care when I was bedridden and unable to leave the house for anything at all. Both the home and the care were provided for me by my husband. No one else in my life, including most of my close family had a clue what we were dealing with. I have to believe if they did they would have done more. The fact is there is nothing in society to help those who love us to understand what we are going through. There is a general denial by the medical establishment that this can even happen. This is something I’ve mostly been able to forgive but I don’t necessarily feel ready to spend much time with most of my family either. My mother is an exception here…she stayed in touch with my husband throughout the whole thing and was willing to do what she could. Indeed she often helped us stay afloat financially, which was, of course, critically important to staying alive. (I couldn’t speak very well for a couple of years so communicating by phone was out)
 

So, my husband and I came through this together. There were many times I would have preferred to be alone given how heinously isolating this experience was simply by nature of the fact that no one can even begin to fathom what we are going through… This fact was painful for both me and Paul in different ways.  For more info see:  The isolation and sense of abandonment many people deal with when sick with protracted withdrawal illness.  Those of us who have experienced protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes will always be the only ones who can give each other that acknowledgment. And it’s likely we will continue to freak out pretty much everyone around us when it’s at it’s worst. Anyway, the fact is I would be dead without Paul’s care and so that needs to be made clear as well. He has a deep trust and faith in life too and I wouldn’t have made it without his unusual ability to maintain that in the face of what I went through. Most people would have had me institutionalized, where I certainly would have died. It is a miracle that my husband could hold this space for me. Seriously a miracle.  Most folks who come off these drugs don’t become as totally disabled as I did and can still leave the house etc. Not so for me and so, yes, my husband literally kept me alive and provided the space for me to literally disintegrate so that I could come back together again as well.
 

One other person was a visitor during those darkest times. A woman who has become my dear friend. Sent to me from a volunteer organization to give me reiki, she could stand being with me as a witness when no one else could. Mary Joy had spent time as a chaplain in hospice and so knew how to be with people in pain. She told me once that she hadn’t seen another human being in all her time as chaplain who had to go through such an ordeal. She was completely serious. Having myself worked in hospice I know this to be true as well. It wasn’t something I would ever have concluded on my own, but since she said it and it rings true (I’ve worked in hospice too), I share it here now.
 

This will be posted in the navigation drop-down menu section for easy access.
 

See also:

See also:

And for those of you experiencing protracted psychiatric drug withdrawal syndrome see the IT GETS BETTER series.

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Thanks GiaK.  Grace and surrender shall be my constant companions.

 

Will attempt a feeble celebration of your Anniversary.  You know how it goes.......... <_<

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Hi GiaK,

 

Thank you for the video.  Just wanted to post and wish you a double Happy Birthday!!!  You have done so well.  Congratulations!

 

Also kudos to the people who supported you through this.  Being a mother with 2 grown daughters I can imagine how hard it was for your mother to watch you going through this.  You are also very blessed (and I am sure you already know this) to have a supportive husband who has stood by you.

 

Wishing all of you the very best wishes.  CC

 MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    13 November 2021 -  0mg Pristiq      

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq   

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  I do not provide tapering advice via PM.  Please post questions in your Introduction topic.  Please do not tag me for any reason.  I am an unpaid volunteer and assist members if I am able to and when I have the time.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mid Nov 2021 changed to low carb diet due to diabetes & cholesterol.  Lost 1/16 body weight, BP has reduced a lot. 

Links to my exercises and weights.  I also do 3 x 5.5 min with HIIT on exercise bike with 20 secs/min as fast as I can cycle.

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Congratulations Giak

Thanks for the update.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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You are amazing. Whenever I think I can't make another day of this, I think of your struggle. Your courage and writing have carried me through these last 20 months, Monica.

 

Godspeed, my friend.

9/2006 Began Lexapro

1/2014 Began taper from 15mg 

Cut dose by 2.5 mg every two weeks or until stabilized 

5/25/2014 Last dose 

 

Experienced: Anxiety/depression, intrusive thoughts, dizziness, de-personalization, mood swings, stomach pains, nausea, headaches, gastro upset, anger, many spells of brain fog, chills, water retention, hypoglycemia, heart palpitations, weight gain, light headedness, muscle constriction - jaw, chest, neck, cortisol surges waking me several times at night with heart racing, blurry eyesight / visual snow, neuropathic pain, burning/numbness in hands and feet, muscle twitching, light sensitivity, sinuses, temperature disregulation, ear zaps, FEAR, hopelessness, doom and gloom, muscle spasms and tension across whole body, low energy, apathy, depression, constant post nasal drip, ear pain, jaw pain and cracking, tooth pain, burning/tingling/numbing, right rib cage pain FOREVER, lymph congestion, hypersensitivity to many foods and many supplements, bladder/ urination issues, creaky bones, sallow, yellow skin on hands/feet, emotional dysregulation, back pain, vivid dreams, mucus, peeling lips.

 

What's left: Low energy some days, muscle pain, hormone imbalance, GI stuff here and there, eye floaters, peeling, red lips.

 

 

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posting for support, and congratulations.

 

im in year 5 myself (or perhaps 4 if we are counting from all tapers completed)...i had no idea you were so 'early' on, with all the materials youve collected and writings youve done.  lots of wisdom there.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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You and Beyond Meds have been a source of hope and inspiration for me too Monica. Thank you for making this video and congratulations/happy birthday, you look wonderful by the way... beautiful and healthy :)

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Wow, Monica, you are my hero! For being so incredibly strong, surviving this most horrendous tragedy, and establishing the best information center at beyond meds to heap others!

 

Wish you Forever beauty, grace, youth and health!

Lex

Drug free Sep. 23 2017

2009 Mar.: lexapro 10mg for headache for 2 weeks.

2009-2012: on and off 1/4 to 1/3 of 10mg

2012 June--2013 Jan,: 1/4-1/3 of 10mg generic, bad jaw pain

2013 Jan-Mar: 10 mg generic. severe jaw and head pain;

2013 Mar--Aug. started tapering (liquid ever since) from 10 to 5 (one step) then gradually down to 2.25 mg by July. first ever panic attack, severe head/jaw pain

2013 Aug.: back to 2.75 mg; Nov: back to Brand Lex. 2.75mg -- 3mg,

2014 June: stopped PPI, head pressure/numbness. up-dosed 4.5mg, severe reaction mental symptoms added on

2014 Aug--2015 Aug: Micro taper down to 3.2mg, .025mg (<1%) cut holding 2-3 weeks.

2015 Aug 15th, Accidental one dose of 4.2mg. worsening brain non-functional, swollen head, body, coma like, DR

2016 Feb., started dosing 10am through 11 pm everyday 2/13--3.2mg, 3/15-- 2.9mg, 4/19-- 2.6mg, 6/26--2.2mg, 7/22 --1.9mg, 8/16--1.8mg,8/31--1.7m g, 9/13--1.6mg, 9/27--1.5mg, 10/8--1.4mg, 10/14--1.3mg, 11/1--1.2mg, 11/29--1.1mg, 12/12--1mg, 12/22--0.9mg

2017: 1/7--0.8mg, 1/15--0.7mg, 1/17--0.6mg, 1/20--0.52, 1/21--0.4mg, 1/22--0.26, 1/23--0.2, 2/13--0.13mg, 2/20--0.06mg, 3/18--0.13mg, 6/1--0.12mg, 7/6--0.1mg, 7/14--0.08mg, 8/17--0.04mg, 8/20--0.03mg, 8/28--0.02mg, 9/6--0.0205mg, 9/8--0.02mg, 9/17--0.015mg, 9/20--0.01mg, 9/21--0.0048mg, 9/22--0.0001mg,

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Thanks a lot for your site, Monica! If I did not find your site, I would never find this forum too. Your articles are very inspirational for me. I wish you health and happiness!

1992 - Antidepressants, Antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in hospital for about 1,5 month, with PTSD diagnosed. Then I abruptly stopped taking pills. W/d for few months and then no symptoms for many years.

2013 – Doctor prescribes Paxil, Amitriptyline, Risperidone due to insomnia, anxiety and weight loss. Then it starts a long story about changing diagnosis and adding/changing meds. I started to taper in December 2014. Severe withdrawal symptoms for  4 months. Then the 1st window.

April 2015 – meds free. June, July – the first big window which lasted until mid-October. Then a wave again, but this time with new strange symptoms I’ve never had before.

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