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HarleyQuinn: cutting off depakine


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So, in 2013 I had a psychosis. Never had anything like this before, but even though I had hallucinations I went to ER by myself and told the doctors I had a problem. They put me on 15mg abilify. Few months later I was ok. I was living in Canada and I hated it. I wanted to come back home to Bulgaria but doctors were convincing me I will only take my problems there. So they kept me on abilify, even though things were getting worse - I started smoking, drinking and gained 60 pounds. Antidepressants didn't help. I was absolutely functional - going to school, working, paying my rent. Simply unhappy because I wanted to go home. Nevertheless psychiatrists were seeing me for 10 minutes and giving me prescriptions for 6 more months - just like that. Tried to diagnose me with something but I never fit in. Finally I moved back to Bulgaria last year and ever since I feel much better. Psychiatrists here are also nuts and I decided to stop seeing mine since she yelled at me. She put me on depakine after cutting off abilify. I am cutting off depakine now by myself, gradually. I am taking care of myself - eating well, exercising, no alcohol, less cigarettes. The only thing that bothers me is...my vision is weird. I remember when I started abilify in 2013 I lost my vision for a week. I read this happens when you start medication - is it possible to happen when you reduce it?



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  • Moderator Emeritus

HarleyQuinn -- Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants (SA)
I'm glad that your move back to Bulgaria has turned out well for you. You are wise to slowly decrease your dosage of depakine to minimize the risk of withdrawal symptoms.
What is withdrawal syndrome.

How much are you decreasing dosage and how frequently do you do that? We suggest reducing by no more than 10% per month. The 10% is calculated from the current dose at the time so the actual number of mg you decrease changes each time. Please read
Why taper by 10% of my dosage?.

To get non-standard doses required by a 10% taper, people either weigh the medication or make a liquid from it:
Using a digital scale to measure doses.
Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules .

A request:
We ask members to put their medication and withdrawal history in a signature that appears below every post. This allows us to get an overview of your situation at a glance rather than having to read or re-read your entire thread.


Would you summarize your history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly?

  • Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
  • Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
  • Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.
  • Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
  • A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs.
  • You can find instructions in this topic: Please put your withdrawal history in signature
  • If you are using a phone or mobile device, you need to switch to the "full" or desktop version of the site.
    Instructions for phones are in Post 9 and Post 10

This is YOUR introduction topic -- the place for you to ask questions, record symptoms, share your progress, and connect with other members of the SA community.


I hope you'll find the information in the SA forums helpful for your situation. I'm sorry that you are in the position that you need the information, but am glad that you found us.

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 Emeritus

Hi Harleyquinn, welcome to SA.  I am so glad that you are feeling happier now that you are home. The psychiatrist has taken you off an anti psychotic and replaced it  with an anti epileptic which is a completely different drug. Often withdrawal is the same as the initial side effects so yes, the visual disturbance could be withdrawal.  

Can you tell us a bit more about the anti depressant the doctor gave you? Did you take any and if you did, when and how long for? Did they prescribe any other drugs? Psychiatrists love to prescribe multiple drugs! 


I see Scallywag has posted while I am typing and has posted the important links for you . 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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