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ParentOfChildInWithdrawal -- Helping my daughter through withdrawal


ParentOfChildInWithdrawal

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We are helping our daughter, 21, through withdrawal from Zoloft. She had a manic event that peaked approximately 2 weeks ago. She was on Zoloft, for approximately 8 months, starting at 150mg, and down to 100mg. She started taking the Zoloft irregularly, we believe precipitating the event. She was admitted into a psychiatric ward in the city where she lived, and based on the manic symptoms (racing speech, delusional theories, looping over the same topics), they began to treat her for bipolar disorder. She was in the ward for approximately 9 days, and received everything from Olanzapine, Lithium, Ativan/lorazepam, haldol, benzocaine, benadryl and klonopin... She had adverse reactions to all of them (hot/cold chills, swollen tongue, eczema, racing pulse), and she refused to take any more meds. We got her out of the psych ward, and brought her home to where we live outside of Boston. 

 

Unfortunately, since any licensed psychiatrist would immediately diagnose her as bipolar again, and put her back into inpatient, we have treat her at home, alone, and cold turkey.

 

When we brought her home, she was coming of 2mg of lorazepam and was still manic (though nowhere nearly as badly as earlier). That night she slept for 10 hours. The following day, the rapid speech was still present, but reduced. However, she could not sleep and spent the entire night talking and pacing. The next day the rapid speech slowed even more, pacing was absent, and she got a good nights sleep. 

 

This morning however, she went exhibited severe anger/rage and pacing returned. She also started experiencing hot and cold chills.

 

We are giving her vitamin supplements, including zinc, magnesium, iron and omega 3. We have been avoiding tylenol, and caffeine, though she insisted on coffee this am. 

 

We are also avoiding breads, pasta, sugars, etc. 

 

Questions. Is this pattern typical? How long does each of the cycles last? Can we expect rapid cycling to continue? Does anyone know how long this rapid cycling will continue. 

 

Are there any other supplements or techniques we should consider for managing these cycles. I have taken her for walks on the first two days (about 2 miles each). 

 

Any practical guidance will be appreciated on these topics. 

 

 

Zoloft for 9 months 200 (?) initially, down to 100

Began taking Zoloft irregularly (doubled up, and skipped doses)

Induced manic attack

9 days in psychiatric ward with brief exposure to Olanzapine 15mg (2 days), and Lorazepam 2mg on and off over 8 days.

Unknown dosages: Lithium (3 days sufficiently high to induce an allergic reaction), Klonopin (twice), haldol (twice), and lorazepam.

Currently cold turkey

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  • Administrator

Hi, Parent. Welcome to SA.

 

As scary as it is to watch what is happening to your daughter, you are doing the right thing. I had a very similar reaction to an antidepressant when I was 17. That was 30 years ago and I only recently was able to come off my meds, thanks to what I've learned in the past few years. Getting your daughter off these meds is the first thing to getting her healthy.

 

It sounds like perhaps your daughter began taking her meds haphazardly because she was already entering a manic state brought on by the drugs. That's not uncommon. This is important because it means the drug caused the mania, not the way she was taking them. Mania is a side effect of SSRIs, particularly in young people. It took a number of months for me to go into acute psychosis from my first antidepressant. This is why psychiatrists will say the drug "unmasked" an underlying bipolar disorder. But it's simply a side effect that happens over time. I no longer take antidepressants and I no longer have mania, even after 30 years of drug-induced mood swings. So your daughter is going to be fine, she'll recover and go onto to find alternate ways of handling her depression or anxiety.

 

Here are some links to get you started on learning about psychiatric drug withdrawal:

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?
 
The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

One of the most important books I've read on how these drugs create mental illness is by Robert Whitaker. He provides scientific studies that explain all of this:

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic

 

I cannot recommend that book enough. You and your daughter may want to read it, once she's well enough to understand what is happening to her. She needs to be assured that it's the drug and that she is not broken. She will recover from this.

 

Please give us more information on her current drugs. When was her last dose of Zoloft?  Is she currently only on 2mg of lorazepam? Please note that dependency on a benzodiazepine such as lorazepam can occur in only two weeks, so please let us know the length of time she was on it. Also, were the other drugs listed only given for the 9 days she was in the hospital?

 

Once we have more information, we can better help you.

 

Please kindly add a signature with all of your daughter's information. Here's how:

 

 Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Please use this thread for updating symptoms and asking plenty of questions. In time, hopefully your daughter will also feel up to posting and asking questions.

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I did my best to create the signature. We have many gaps, since we are only now getting full access to her medical records. 

 

She has not taken anything since Wednesday AM - 2mg Lorazepam. Effectively 3 days cold turkey.

 

Apart from the Zoloft, all of the other medications were only given during the 9 day window on the ward. 

 

The Lorzepam 2mg was probably the most consistent medication they gave her. First for two days from her admission, then intermittently as the various experiments failed. Over her last 3 days on the ward, she probably received 3 to 5 doses of the Lorazepam. 

 

She was experiencing a very elevated heart rate (120 to 150) one to two hours after every dosage of Lorazepam, and hot/cold flashes. This is a known extreme side effect of lorazepam, but they consistently blamed it on the Zoloft withdrawal. 

 

The manic symptoms seem worse in the AM. 

Edited by Shep
Hilighted meds and symptoms

Zoloft for 9 months 200 (?) initially, down to 100

Began taking Zoloft irregularly (doubled up, and skipped doses)

Induced manic attack

9 days in psychiatric ward with brief exposure to Olanzapine 15mg (2 days), and Lorazepam 2mg on and off over 8 days.

Unknown dosages: Lithium (3 days sufficiently high to induce an allergic reaction), Klonopin (twice), haldol (twice), and lorazepam.

Currently cold turkey

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I did not reply to your first question. 

 

We have no idea how irregular her Zoloft intake was prior to the manic episode. They took her completely off of it, then they reintroduced it briefly for a so-called taper (100mg, then 50mg, then 0). This would have been as of Tuesday the previous week. So roughly 10 or 11 days ago. 

Zoloft for 9 months 200 (?) initially, down to 100

Began taking Zoloft irregularly (doubled up, and skipped doses)

Induced manic attack

9 days in psychiatric ward with brief exposure to Olanzapine 15mg (2 days), and Lorazepam 2mg on and off over 8 days.

Unknown dosages: Lithium (3 days sufficiently high to induce an allergic reaction), Klonopin (twice), haldol (twice), and lorazepam.

Currently cold turkey

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  • Administrator

Thank you for this additional information, ParentOfchild.

 

I'm going to ask the other moderators to look over this, as well. She may do well with a very, very small dose of a Zoloft reinstatement.

 

If she only was on lorazepam for 9 days and her heart rate has come down (please verify this is true), than I would not advise going back on it. Lorazepam dependency is extremely difficult, but I'll ask the other mods for feedback on this, as well.

 

I'm going to give some links to the thread on reinstatement in case this is an option that you and your daughter which to pursue.

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

If you do decide to reinstate, these links will explain the process for tapering:

 

Tips for tapering off Zoloft (sertraline)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Here are links to information on benzodizepine withdrawal.  We have a separate forum for benzo withdrawal, which has a wealth of information:

 

Members only benzo forum

 

The Ashton Manual will give you more information on what to expect with benzo withdrawal:

 

The 2002 Ashton Manual is at http://www.benzo.org...anual/index.htm

 

The April, 7 2011 Ashton Manual Supplement is at http://www.benzo.org.uk/ashsupp11.htm

 

 

This will get you started and hopefully other mods will stop by later on.  Unfortunately, there is no timeline for how long the manic symptoms will last, but in time, these symptoms do resolve.

 

Here is a list of non-drug coping skills that may help:

 

 
If she's in acute distress, it may be too soon for any of these to work, but reassure her that she's going to be fine and that this is an adverse drug reaction. Keep her in a safe place where she can pace if she needs to and rest if she needs to.
 
If you can answer some basic questions such as - how is she sleeping? Does she have an appetite? Is she safe (i.e. not suicidal)?  These will help you and your daughter decide if reinstatement is best.

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

ParentOfChildInWithdrawal

 

I agree with Shep regarding the benzodiazepine withdrawal.  9 days at 2 mg is enough to cause her some tolerance, but the fact that she was able to get any sleep at all for those days when she has been at home is an indication that the tolerance was only slight.  If she had been in full tolerance from the lorazepam, she would not have slept 9 or 10 hours.  I would expect the withdrawal from lorazepam to decrease over the coming weeks and possibly be complete by then.  

 

Having an increased heart rate after taking lorazepam is unusual and could be seen as an adverse reaction, so staying off of lorazepam may be wise.

I do not have a medical background, any opinions are my own.

 

I took zopiclone ( z-drug) for situational insomnia. Three weeks later I was having panic attacks. I was given Benzos, A/D, anti-psychotics, "mood stabilizers" and I kept getting worse and worse. I got very sick.

 

I have been off all drugs now for over 5 years and I'm healing nicely.

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  • Moderator

Hey Parent - it definitely sounds like Zoloft withdrawal.  Shep has given you the best links for learning more how this works - the hospital tapered her way too fast.

 

Beware, too, they may try and diagnose with "bipolar," but it is impossible to diagnose bipolar in the disarray of a drug reaction!  In the event of this, they will try "new" drugs like anti-seizure or "antipsychotic" drugs to try and "calm her down."

 

Mods are reviewing your case - I have one thing I noticed:

 

 "her manic symptoms seem worse in the am" - sounds so much like withdrawal, I have to share this link with you to explain the cortisol cycle.  It sounds like the cortisol spikes which are so common in withdrawal:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/33-waking-with-panic-or-anxiety-managing-cortisol-spikes/

 

I hope we can help you.

"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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Thank you so much for the quick feedback. It is 1pm now, and she is already much calmer. She is safe, she is not suicidal, two of the past three nights she slept well, and she has a good appetite. She insists I get over the to the store right now to get her some specific foods. 

 

My wife is dead set against reinstating anything, and we both are extremely fearful of the double jeopardy we are in if we approach any medical professional. The most likely determination will be bipolar disorder, inpatient, and then mood stabilizers... After the torture she just went through, we will not put her through that again. 

 

I have to step out for a bit (shopping), but let me review the links you provided. The other thing I would very much like to find are resources in the greater Boston area that can assist us, without risk of our daughter getting forced back into the system. 

Zoloft for 9 months 200 (?) initially, down to 100

Began taking Zoloft irregularly (doubled up, and skipped doses)

Induced manic attack

9 days in psychiatric ward with brief exposure to Olanzapine 15mg (2 days), and Lorazepam 2mg on and off over 8 days.

Unknown dosages: Lithium (3 days sufficiently high to induce an allergic reaction), Klonopin (twice), haldol (twice), and lorazepam.

Currently cold turkey

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  • Administrator

Here is a list of Recommended Doctors and Massachusetts is listed:

 

Recommended doctors, therapists, or clinics

 

If you and your daughter aren't interested in using drugs (and I applaud you on this - your daughter is so very lucky to have you as her advocate), then you may want to look into finding a psychologist or a therapist who can't prescribe drugs, perhaps someone who does mindfulness based or cognitive therapy. When you deal with a psychiatrist, you're going to be dealing with someone who is trained in prescribing psychiatric drugs and nothing else. And as you've found out, your daughter is extremely sensitive to these drugs.

 

I'm glad to hear she's eating and sleeping. Those are key  during withdrawal.

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Moderator

Hey Parent:

My wife is dead set against reinstating anything, and we both are extremely fearful of the double jeopardy we are in if we approach any medical professional. The most likely determination will be bipolar disorder, inpatient, and then mood stabilizers... After the torture she just went through, we will not put her through that again

 

Please don't be adamant until you understand better how these drugs work.

 

Rhi's description of healing the brain

 

There is often a delayed reaction to withdrawal from the drugs.  She would be much safer on a tiny reinstatement, stabilizing and tapering from there.  

 

Mods are working on what would be an appropriate amount - we are looking at something so tiny that it would be under the radar for "manic symptoms," but enough to stop "withdrawal symptoms."    Shep provided you with the essential link About Reinstating and Stabilizing to Stop Withdrawal Symptoms.  

 

Please also consider this:  There is frequently a Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms

 

She might go fine for 3 weeks, 3 months, even 6 months, and then, a stressor (or even a sunny day) might bring all of it crashing down around her head.

 

Think of cold turkey withdrawal as jumping off a cliff - only you don't know how tall the cliff is, you don't know how far you are falling, or how fast.  You don't know if you will hit bottom in 3 weeks or 30.  You only know that when you hit the ground and fall into a million tiny pieces, that now it will be difficult to "get it together" again.

 

A reinstatement serves as a guy wire, a harness, a bungy cord - to protect from that giant fall.  She is within the window of opportunity to benefit from it.  With a reinstatement, you stop before you hit bottom.  You still may "bounce against the cliff" a few times - there will still be symptoms - but you will be in control of the descent down from there.  Then, when she is stabilized and well enough, she can gradually lower herself down from that last tiny amount.

 

If you look around the site, you will see people on ridiculously low amounts of these drugs - the dosages made up by the pharma companies are way too strong!  And they don't give us the decrements we need for safe tapering.

 

Which gets to doctors.  You will be hard pressed, even in the magnificent Boston area, to find doctors who are understanding of what withdrawal from these drugs can do.  Here is our thread containing the sum of our collective experience with "taper friendly doctors:"

Recommended doctors, practitioners and clinics

 

You will notice the list is small.  Maybe you will find one there.  We always try to add to it.  But more often than not, most of us work privately, around or underneath "the system."  We either convince our doctors that we are working on our problems ("I'm in therapy, I do tai chi and painting and exercise, and I am in contact with friends at least twice a week.  I still have depression, but I'm working on it") that we're in control.  

 

That we're not as sick as we really are.  In order to "sell them" the vision of what I need from them.

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

What Should I Expect From My Doctor About Withdrawal Symptoms?

 

My doctor is not on the "official list" even though she has cooperated with my taper. (even though the drugs made me very sick, and caused me to lose my thyroid and threatened my kidneys!)  She is not there because I know that when I go to see her next week, if I'm TOTALLY HONEST about everything I'm going through, she will whip out her prescription pad with a suggestion.

 

At one point, I told her:  "I'm going to do this.  I have been working with you for 10 years.  I would like to include you in the process, since you know me.  But if you cannot support this, I will find someone who will."  It was an ultimatum, and she has cooperated since.  

 

It also helps that I have a therapist who writes glowing letters about my progress to her (another professional, who is taper friendly, even though the therapist is not a prescriber).    There are a thousand ways to get what you want, in, around, and below "the system."

 

But it also requires a certain standard of behaviour from your daughter.  She cannot be thrashing in despair, she needs to be calm in session, and not get overly emotional.  It is a shame when we have to hide our emotions from professionals who are supposed to accept that we are human, but they have been trained to medicate extreme emotion - even when it is there for a perfectly good reason.

 

Likewise, she needs a safe place where she can be completely emotionally honest, whether that is with you, her friends, her church, or a professional therapist.

 

I never lie to my psychiatrist, I just don't feel the need to volunteer every little bump and bruise, or even tell her if I've been depressed or suicidal - I tell her nothing that will fit into her "boxes of diagnosis."

 

If it comes down to it, there are those of us who lie to get the drugs we need for tapering.  If we can't get the doses we need for the small decrements, we just say we're taking the whole dose, and the doctors are happy to hand them out to us.  Ironically, they are more cooperative if we are taking a "therapeutic amount" (this is a fictional number determined by drug companies) than if we want to take less.  Go figure.

 

Anyhow, my dinner is hot, I hope I've given you some food for thought.  Please let us know what you decide, and when the mods have come up with a suggested reinstatement amount, someone will post it here.

 

I'm so glad she is home and safe!

"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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Thank you for the heads up. Today has been much better than yesterday, and I very much appreciate the guidance on tapering. We may find ourselves there, but for now we are going to try and ride it out. I realize you are speaking from experience, but our fear of the potential downside of dealing with a medical professional outweighs any other consideration for now. 

 

What we are finding for now is that the supplements, particularly magnesium, seem to be taking us in the right direction. 

 

Will keep you posted

Zoloft for 9 months 200 (?) initially, down to 100

Began taking Zoloft irregularly (doubled up, and skipped doses)

Induced manic attack

9 days in psychiatric ward with brief exposure to Olanzapine 15mg (2 days), and Lorazepam 2mg on and off over 8 days.

Unknown dosages: Lithium (3 days sufficiently high to induce an allergic reaction), Klonopin (twice), haldol (twice), and lorazepam.

Currently cold turkey

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  • Administrator

The "fear of the potential downside of dealing with a medical professional outweighs any other consideration for now". 

 

Your comment, this resonates with me. You are smart to get her away from psychiatrists that have done so much harm. As long as she's safe (not suicidal), than it's just a matter of time and self care. 

 

Please do keep us updated. Sending healing vibes to you and your daughter. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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I am also wishing you that your daughter recovers as soon as possible. I find that she has great parents, I wish my parents were like that.

05/2013 Lyrica 100 mg / per day for pain + PGAD resulting from caesarian delivery11/2014 started to taper: 50 mg per day/ for one week then c/tafter one month reinstated at 50 mg /per days of 10 July 2015 drug free-

symptoms OCD

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  • Moderator

Hey Parent, I just want to remind you that if she does start to get symptoms, it may be too late to reinstate.

 

You don't have to go into the "psych system" to get zoloft.  GP's prescribe the stuff much more than psychiatrists do.

 

If you can find a trusted family doctor that you can "bully" or get to do what you want, any doc - including an emergency room doc (if need be) - can do so.

 

I'll leave it there for now, I understand your fear - but I have fears for her, too.  Please recognize that I see this nearly every day in here.  And the delayed reaction is not inevitable, but very real, and nowhere near uncommon.  A tiny reinstatement is less risky than just "toughing it out," because when it goes bad, it can go very very bad, and then be difficult to remedy.  

 

It does get better, and reinstatement doesn't shorten the time it takes to get off the drugs - but it does make it easier, more gentle, more controllable. 

 

I'm happy to be off the drugs.  I do not recommend anyone taking them lightly.  

"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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  • Administrator

Welcome, Parent.

 

Well, seems you have discovered all the pitfalls of psychiatric drug treatment. Yes, taking Zoloft inconsistently can cause dramatic symptoms, including pseudo-psychosis, agitation, rage, obsessive rumination, etc. as the nervous system is buffeted by withdrawal.

 

The nervous system is often hyper-sensitized by this and will react unpredictably to any neurologically active drug or substance.

 

What is your daughter's symptom pattern now? How did she do after quitting the benzo?

 

Can she articulate how she feels? Does she understand she's had an adverse drug reaction?

 

Please keep daily notes on paper about her symptoms, when she takes drugs or supplements, and their dosages. If she can do this, it would be best so she can participate in self-care.

 

Good to hear magnesium helps. It's best absorbed in small amounts throughout the day.

 

Very good sign she's doing better. I would put the idea of reinstatement on the shelf until we can get to a symptom baseline, and then confer with her -- it will be her choice.

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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  • Administrator

Hi, ParentofChild. How is you're daughter doing now?

 

Please give an update when you can. And when your daughter is up to it, please encourage her to post here for support and to ask questions.

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Update. The cycles are dampening and for almost 2 and half days she was very calm, ability to focus improving, and much less manic.

 

We went through a day and half of anger/depression, and before that a few days of calm, but she was still thinking very fast - though coherently. Manic without delusion. 

 

We have found a functional medicine nurse and nutritionist to work with, and she has recommendations on therapists who she works with and share our perspective. 

 

I am sure we have some more cycling in front of us. 

Zoloft for 9 months 200 (?) initially, down to 100

Began taking Zoloft irregularly (doubled up, and skipped doses)

Induced manic attack

9 days in psychiatric ward with brief exposure to Olanzapine 15mg (2 days), and Lorazepam 2mg on and off over 8 days.

Unknown dosages: Lithium (3 days sufficiently high to induce an allergic reaction), Klonopin (twice), haldol (twice), and lorazepam.

Currently cold turkey

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Parent -- thanks for posting an update on your daughter's progress. Great news!
 
You are probably going to have to educate both the FM nurse and the nutritionist about psych drug withdrawal and sensitized CNS (central nervous system).  Their recommendations are probably going to be based on their experience of people who haven't been destabilized by inconsistent SSRI dosing.
 
Please read:

3KIS: Keep it slow. Keep it simple. Keep it stable.

A post I made recently in a discussion about naturopaths

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator

Hey Parent - 

 

I was listening to Robert Whitaker's "Anatomy of an Epidemic" and he mentions a psychiatric peer support network in Boston, called the "Boston Transformation Center."  I immediately thought of your daughter.

 

I was listening to the AudioBook, and just checked the hard copy, but all it says is this:

 

She works part-time at the Transformation Center, a Boston peer-run organization that helps people with psychiatric diagnoses.

 

From there, I got this:

http://transformation-center.org/

 

I have no idea what they do or believe or teach, but it looks like they are open to being drug-free and diagnosis-free, especially since they get a mention in Whitaker's book.

 

Please, let us know if the functional medicine and nutrition is helping - we love to hear when something works!

"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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  • Mentor

Best wishes, parent,  again I totally agree with Altostrata,  get her stable, if you can.  

 

"""""Very good sign she's doing better. I would put the idea of reinstatement on the shelf until we can get to a symptom baseline, and then confer with her -- it will be her choice.""" 

 

Please take note,  cold turkey, is just WAY too difficult,  most here, who have survived this,  had no idea,  until finding this site, and like for myself, was too late to late to reinstate.  I gave my pills up over 3 months,  equivalent to cold turkey.

 

I do have experience with zoloft, years ago.  I went off and was fine, this was my first SSRI, ever.   ONLY FINE for 12 months,          12 months later, I was hospitalised with mania, psychosis, started to happen yes was withdrawal related, from the zoloft given up 12 months before!      Then the doctor gave me a valium,   Worst thing, he could have done.                 So all I am trying to say is,  hopefully all is going OK,  but dont dismiss reinstating a small amount.  These pills are the devil, but the devil we know.   Beware, if daughter gets through this OK, relatively quickly, if she does a whoopsy in 12 months, it is still WITHDRAWALS,  ride them out, dont let her take a new drug.     

 

I am presently on only 18 mg of seroquel,  a drug that is prescribed in  25mg only as a dose to increase to 100mg, 200mg, 400mg.                   ie I am on a so low dose, doctors say, that isnt theraputic, just stop.  I know better,  I am still tapering.   I also know, every mental health problem I have ever had,  psychosis, depression, bipolar, etc, etc,  are all rubbish labels,  all this was caused by psych drugs.                  But once on them, like your daughter for 9 months?  If it was her first ever SSRI,  seems she might have an easier time, I hope so.                         

 

And yes, in my experience, the mania, because of the pills, happens, and that makes one muddled, and yes, wrong dose is taken.   Been there, done that.   With zoloft however, it gets prescribed, not because it is better than the old drugs, but because when people get manic muddled, because of the drug, they can take lots, accidentally, and it rarely causes death.   Pharma dont like to admit, accidental overdoses, or even taking prescribed doses, does cause death.             All gets called ""overdose""         ......................  so misleading.  

 

Anyhow, you are wonderful parents,  your daughter is lucky, she is young, and knowledge is strength,            you know that these drugs are poisons,   and once off, even if that takes five years!   You will have you happy, daughter back.

 

God bless you all,   best wishes, and keep posting.

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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  • 2 months later...

Hi, it has now been a little over 15 weeks since my daughter went cold turkey off zoloft. We now seem to have entered a new phase, and are looking for some guidance. 

 

July and much of August were challenging. She still had manic behaviors, severe anger, poor concentration.

 

All that has cleared away. At many levels, she is getting back to her normal self. She was able to take graduate examinations, and did very well, she is reading, conversational. She has been writing, and engaging on many things. Her sleep is good, appetite ok. 

 

We found a local doctor who specializes in functional medicine, and we have focused on vitamins, nutrition, etc. 

 

Over the past weeks she has been gradually developing true anxiety, and self doubt. She does not want to go out, she says nothing interests her, and feels stupid. She is avoiding her friends and feels embarrassed.

 

Most importantly, she will have severe panic attacks, and will start crying. 

 

We can talk her through these, but they have been happening more and more frequently. 

 

From everything I have read, this is pretty typical. We saw the first, and much worse phase resolve itself over about 5 weeks. 

 

Now I am wondering how long can this phase last, does it diminish gradually, does it recur...

 

Thanks,

 

Isadore

 

 

Zoloft for 9 months 200 (?) initially, down to 100

Began taking Zoloft irregularly (doubled up, and skipped doses)

Induced manic attack

9 days in psychiatric ward with brief exposure to Olanzapine 15mg (2 days), and Lorazepam 2mg on and off over 8 days.

Unknown dosages: Lithium (3 days sufficiently high to induce an allergic reaction), Klonopin (twice), haldol (twice), and lorazepam.

Currently cold turkey

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  • Moderator Emeritus

In one of her replies above, Shep posted a link to this discussion: The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization It's probably worth a re-read.

 

I wish we could give you an answer about this phase. Unfortunately it's difficult to predict the duration of any particular wave (period of symptoms) or window (symptom-free period).

 
 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.
1997-1999 Effexor; 2002-2005 Effexor XR 37.5 mg linear taper, dropping same #beads/week with bad results

Cymbalta 60 mg 2012 - 2015; 2016: 20 mg to 7 mg exact doses and dates in this post; 2017: 6.3 mg to  0.0 mg  Aug. 12; details here


scallywag's Introduction
Online spreadsheet for dose taper calculations and nz11's THE WORKS spreadsheet

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  • Moderator

Hey Parent - 

 

What has the functional medicine doctor decided to do?  I just had a long talk with a friend-who-is-a-doctor about her own treatment, and even though she has functional medicine training and goes to a functional medicine doctor - it seems that it is still easy for the functional medicine people to have pet theories.  And when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  In her case, the pet theories are about chronic lyme and mold.  In other cases, I've heard about parasites or heavy metal toxicity and the "need to detox."  Any of these can call for extreme treatments and expensive testing.

 

In the case of your daughter (would she talk to us here, now that she is writing again?) - I worry about dangerous detoxing and excessive endocrine "support" supplements which could be overstimulating to the nervous system in withdrawal.  Please let us know what supplements she's been given, and please look here for more information on supplements:

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/606-important-topics-about-tests-supplements-treatments-diet

 

I like Scally's link about Windows and Waves - and I have to add one too:  a typical reaction to antidepressant withdrawal is Neuro-emotion.  These are real emotions which are blown out of proportion, or become sticky and ruminating.  The seed of truth in the center of the storm makes them especially difficult to overcome - until - you can realize:  it's the chemicals.  They are chemical emotions, made more extreme by withdrawal.  They are worsened by self criticism, judgement, turning in on yourself.

 

I went to look and see from your signature when her last dose of Zoloft was - it would be most helpful for us if that could be in your/her signature.  

 

It looks to me like you are approaching 5 months in withdrawal.  This is getting on the outside edge of where a reinstatement might help. It's not beyond possibility - we have had successful reinstatements at 6 months, 1 year out.  Even a tiny amount of the drug - what fits on the tine of a fork - might be enough to help her stabilize. 

 

Please, don't be alarmed if she has an "outside" long term, or tardive reaction.  Her brain will not truly be restabilised for some time to come.  Some say a year, some say 3 years, some say it depends on how long she was drugged and how many drug changes were made.  Delayed Onset of Withdrawal Symptoms

 
I tell you this not because I want to frighten you, but that if you think her "original condition" is returning, or she exhibits new or puzzling symptoms - it may still just be withdrawal!
 
I'm so glad to hear that things are better.  With time, it can get better still.

"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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