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☼ Whatever: Quit Six Meds Cold Turkey and Lived to Tell About It


Whatever

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I have never told anyone about this chapter of my life. Only my Mother knows some of what happened to me because she witnessed some of it. This is my story of how psychiatry stole years of my life, ruined my relationship with my family and how I got my life back.

 

I was in talk therapy for four years. During this time my Mother (pro-polypharmacy at the time) said every chance she got: "you are too intelligent for therapy, depression runs in our family and it is a brain chemistry disorder, you need to see a pyschiatrist, trust me your Grandfather and Uncle are doctors." I rolled my eyes each time she said this. But, one day when I was feeling depressed I listened to her and went to see her psychiatrist. When I entered the pyschiatrist's office I was a slender 120 pounds, I had just received a promotion at work, I was in a dance troupe and I had just been accepted to graduate school. I was diagnosed with  PTSD and given a prescription for Prozac and Depakote.

 

I left my therapist, who was against medication, ironically she was a former RN and put my trust in this psychiatrist for five years. Five years later I was 180 pounds, was fired from three high paying jobs, dropped out of my dance troupe and grad school. I  had moved out of my beautiful big city loft and was living in a small town with my Mother collecting unemployment. I had declared bankruptcy and owed the IRS a huge amount of money.  This was because I was on a cocktail of six drugs. Also, I  would occassionally binge on copious amounts of opiates because the medications made me so anxious that opiates were the only thing that would calm me down. Those five years are a blur.

 

The things I do remember are horrifying. I lost all sense of judgement. I did things I would never have done before or after the medications. Dangerous things, unethical things, criminal things, strange things. No one knew because I was single and lived alone. - I binged drank and picked up strangers and had one night stands.  - I shoplifted, I actually walked out of a bookstore carrying eight books but wasn't caught. - I had several affairs with married men. This included my Graduate school professor who was fat, bald, old and ugly. - I would not go into work for a week and not call in; or I would lie and say I was in the hospital and forge a doctors note to go back to work. -

 

On numerous occasions I crashed my car into parked cars causing major damage to strangers cars and left the scene. - An atheist all my life who was never baptized I decided to become a Roman Catholic. - A political independent all my life I decided to become active in the Republican Party.  - I started smoking again and chain smoked. - I carried an Elmo doll with me wherever I went.

 

My doctor was irresponsible. SSRI's made me hypomanic and worsened my depression. None of them worked so he would change SSRI's without tapering me off the previous one and would add another drug to address the side effects. This was a stupid theraputic approach because it never isolated the true problem. Of course this is typical of psychiatry. I have tried just about every psych med that was on the market in the late 1990's: SSRI's, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics and more. Yet, I grew more and more anxious and depressed. 

 

In hindsight I ask myself: Didn't he notice this? Didn't he notice that I gained 60 pounds and went from an overachiever to an unemployed fat zombie?  Two people tried to intervene,  a close friend and my Brother. They went to see my psychiatrist and told him they were concerned about me and that I wasn't myself. He did nothing except ask me if I thought I had a problem, which I didn't think I did at the time. This doctor was so bad, and I saw red flags but did nothing. I remember during one session I was talking about a painful event and out of nowhere he asked me if I had seen the lastest Austin Powers movie.  Another example is that the medications gave me chronic headaches, he gave me huge amounts of opiates no questions asked, same with benzos and sleeping pills.  The worst thing he ever did was this: I had a bad reaction to a new drug he gave me called Risperdal. I called him and he told me to go to the ER. The ER wrongly concluded that I had attempted suicide, they called my psychiatrist and he agreed with them (even though I had spoken to him earlier stating it was a bad reaction) I thought this was bullsh*t so I started to get dressed. A social worker saw this and told me if I tried to leave they would put me in restraints and call the police. They sent me to the psych ward, where all my clothes and belongings where taken and I sat shivering in a hospital gown, hospital socks and no bra. I had no money to use the pay phone to call anyone. I was released the next day by the psychiatrist on duty who said nothing was wrong with me.

 

My psychiatrist was located in a big city, but he treated my Mother long distance - she lived 350 miles away. I moved in with my Mother shortly after 9/11 which I had absolutley no reaction to. When I moved I assumed he would also treat me long distance. But when I called him, he told me he was dropping me as a patient because I was a drug addict. I went to a GP who was fine with prescribing the multiple meds I was on. But there was a turning point. The medications made me so anxious and depressed that I would take anything that would knock me out so I didn't have to feel. Including full bottles of Ambien or Nyquil at a time. I am surprised I am still alive.

 

My Mother witnessed all of this. However, she was also on a med cocktail at the time. One day I was with my Mother and was parking in a lot. I had just taking a huge dose of Zyprexa and two Ativan. Instead of braking, I put my foot on the gas and proceeded to drive into a building. Ironically, it was the office of the medical insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield. My Mother took the car keys from me. It was horrible not being able to drive in a small town with no public transportation. She then insisted I go into outpatient drug rehab. What she didn't understand and what I was starting to understand was that it was the prescription meds that were doing this to me. But, my family deemed me a drug addict and I felt very alone. 

 

I wad assesed by a social worker at the drug rehab center who told me I was not a drug addict and did not need help. I was 100% honest with her. She suggested that I was depressed and angry and should have my medications reassesed by a doctor. This is when I decided to go cold turkey from the medications. I was physically sick for six months. The only good thing was that the pounds melted off and I went back to my original weight of 120. But, I stopped menstruating for two years. And for several years my thought process and judgement was still a bit skewed. But, I was no longer a danger to myself.

 

During this period because I could never sleep I started to read voraciosly. One of the books I read was by Dr. Peter Breggin. This book put me to tears, then made me angry. But that dear wonderful man validated that I was not a bad person, he validated my experience. It was in fact that the "drugs were my problem". I read everything he wrote.

 

The year was 2002 and the anti-psychiatry movement was small. Once I got through the six months of withdrawals (the pounds melted off and I got back to 120 pounds again) I took two seasonal Christmas jobs, I worked 70 hours a week for minimum wage. The town I lived in was small with no economic opportunity. I started to make plans to move far away and back to a big city. When the jobs ended I was able to go back on unemployment, my plan was to sell all my belongings, save my money and move.  Ironically at this time my Mother told me I had several months to get out of her house because I was a monster. Even though I had cleaned up my act. She ended up kicking me out sooner than I expected.

 

I went to a homeless shelter where the man who ran it offered me $1000 to sleep with him. I went straight to a church to ask for help. They sent me to a woman. She said they could put me in a hotel until I had enough money to move (which was only six weeks) if I would report the situation to the cops. She said they knew this place was a problem but no one would go to the cops. Although I didn't have to do it, I offered to work their soup kitchen everyday. For six weeks I walked one hour each way to work the soup kitchen, I lived on as little money as possible.

 

The day came and drug free and back to 120 I got on a train a moved to a brand new city and started a new life. The meds left me with a bad work record, bad credit, IRS debt but I was able to clean this all up. I got married to a wonderful man, a Police Officer who told me antidepressants play a big role in crime.   It also  left me with anger and shame which I kept as a dark secret until today, it has been ten years and I want to let go of the memories and let the world know what can happen to people.

Edited by Petunia
added paragraph breaks

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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  • Administrator

Whatever, welcome to our community.

 

That is a tragic and amazing story. I am so glad you have recovered from that terrible ordeal.

 

The initial prescription of Prozac and Depakote -- a very bizarre combination. Clearly your psychiatrist had no clue. Many of us have had similar experiences and gone on for years, not thinking to question our doctors. You're not alone.

 

As much as you can recall, what was your recovery pattern? You said you couldn't sleep, how long did that last and how did it resolve? Did you do anything to move the healing process along? What worked for you?

 

Does your mother understand now what happened to you?

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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Hello Altostrata you have a wonderful forum, with smart and interesting members. I have been lurking for sometime.

 

In answer to your questions. RECOVERY SYMPTOMS When I went cold turkey the withdrawal symptoms were erratic, but lasted approximately six months. This is what I can remember: - I couldn't sleep at all for about a month, slowly I was able to sleep 2 hours, then 4 hours and then at the end of six months I was sleeping normally. - I was severely anxious for the entire six months. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. - Sometimes I was hypomanic: I would talk non-stop at a fast rate. - Sometimes I was severally depressed. - I went through cycles where I would throw up several times a day. One time it was so bad I went to the ER. - I went through cycles where I had flu-like symptoms.

 

MOVING THE PROCESS ALONG I tried a few things to move the process along. For the most part I just toughed it out. I didn't know what was happening to me until I read Dr. Breggin's book which was after I had quit cold turkey. - I tried the supplement Kava Kava which is supposed to be calming, it did nothing. - I exercised. I had a membership to a gym in which I had a key and could go anytime I wanted. On some nights when I couldn't sleep I would go to the gym at 3:00 AM and pound the treadmill for hours. Because I was so anxious and hypomanic I could go for hours.

 

The two key things I did were to develop things to focus on, this was keeping myself mentally stimulated and setting goals. Having something to focus on took the focus off of me. Even though it was difficult at times to focus, forcing myself to really helped exercise my brain. I got a library card and would walk several miles to check out books (again exercise). I spent a lot of time on the Internet.

 

Another tool I used to focus and it is one I do not endorse was that I chain smoked and drank herbal tea. Nicotine does help people focus, it also gave me something to do and something to look forward to. The smoking probably exacerbated the withdrawal symptoms.

 

MY MOTHER My Mother finally understands that my behavior was due to the medications. She admits that our psychiatrist was a hack. She told me he retired some years ago, and she suspects it was to avoid malpractice suits. She is now of the opinion that psychiatry is bunk. Our relationship has healed, so much so that I helped her move from her small town to a few miles away from me and my husband, in particular to get proper medical care. My Mother needs proper medical care because of the long term effects of psychiatric medications. She was on Lithium, Depakote and several antidepressants for approximately 15 years. She tapered off everything around 2006. Because of these medications she developed two medical conditions: 1) Type II diabetes and 2) Downbeat Nystagmus - a condition where one's eyes move uncontrollably up and down leaving the person with poor vision and balance. I have taken her to several of the top neurologists in the NYC, they have all said the same thing - downbeat nystagmus was caused by the Lithium and Depakote.

Edited by Petunia
added paragraph breaks

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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That is excellent information about how your healing progressed. I am sure you find find many people have questions about that.

 

Did you have waves of anxiety or were you "crawling out of your skin" all the time?

 

So sad to hear your mother was also mis-medicated and is paying such a high price. Same doctor?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I was anxious all the time, but had waves of crawling out of my skin. I also forget to mention that I got headaches at times. These headaches were so painful, it felt like I had drank two bottles of cheap peach shnapps the night before, you know the horrible hangover with a piercing headache that one gets from drinking sugary cheap booze.

 

Yes, my Mother and I shared the same doctor as did my neurotic Aunt. He was a horrible gossip as well. I refused to gossip with him. But, my Mother said he would say sarcastic, negative things about my Aunt to her. I assume he said things about me to my Mother, but she would never tell me, which is fine as I don't want to know.

 

I would have sued him for malpractice, but the statute of limitations had run out before I was clear headed enough to realize I could have sued.

 

If anyone has questions about recovery, I would be delighted to share my knowledge and experience with them.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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It sounds like you had waves of akathisia.

 

Thanks very much for being so willing to help others with your experience.

 

What a disgusting doctor. Ignorant and inappropriate. He must have damaged a lot of people.

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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Hi whatever,

 

Welcome to the forum. That's an amazing story, truly inspirational but so needlessly tragic as well. I hope you hold your head high for coming out of this nightmare alive and well.

 

I've experienced a lot of what you mentioned. I was pretty much nuts on Drugs and did dumb, stupid, shameful, reckless, and dangerous things while under the care of psychiatry. Really everything you mentioned, I can relate to for the most part.

 

I'm really glad that you are here.

 

How is your cognitive function today -- mental stamina, memory, etc -- and do you ever get any echo impulsiveness or cravings that bring your old life back into your consciousness? How best do you deal with your anger? Do you still fear angry at everything that was taken from you?

 

Lastly, I recently rewatched Peter Jennings live from 9/11/01. That day was very weird. At the time I felt nothing, no emotion. To rewatch hours of the newscast on YouTube it was like seeing it for the first time. Also to think its been 10 years and I am still putting the pieces together in my own life after horrific mismanagement at every turn...

 

Summing up, really glad you are here.

 

Alex

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

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

- Zimmerman

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Alex: Hi, thank you for your warm welcome.  My cognitive functioning returned to normal and remained in tact. It is a bit hard to assess mental stamina and memory at this point because I am now in my late 40's when mental stamina and memory begin to slow down. But based on the last ten years, I firmly believe that no long term damage was done. As an example, I recently took a test on anatomy, biology and fitness in order to recieve a professionsl fitness certification. We were given one hour to answer 100 questions - I finished the test in 30 minutes and passed with a 95, I only got five wrong, one wrong in each five areas. This was healing for me.

 

Now that I am writing this I remember that I developed a minor case of Tardive Dyskinesia that lasted for two years after I stopped the pmeds. I know this because when I was dating my future husband he would ask me why at times my eyes blinked a thousand times per minute. This went eventually went away.

 

The damage that was done was mostly psychological. The experience left me feeling that I was inherently a bad person who did not deserve love or happiness and was an incompetent employee. Even though logic tells me otherwise.  The issue is that when I was heavily medicated I was extremely depressed, lonely and desperate for compassion which are not qualties that attract people. In fact many people were insensitive to me.

 

My boyfriend of many years told me he would never marry me because I got fat. I remember at work one woman said to me "you used to be thin and pretty and got whataver you wanted because of your looks, well now you know what it is like to be THE FAT GIRL". Obviously that really hurt because I realize that in my introduction I mentioned THREE times that I lost the weight.

 

When I was on meds I lacked the cognitive functioning to perform my work. I worked in the IT industry which requires attention to detail and mental sharpness. As I mentioned I was fired from three jobs. I was heavily admonished by my supervisors for being incompentent and a fraud. To this day I still fear that I will be exposed for being an incompentent fraud. Even though logic tells me otherwise. When I am unmedicated I am regarded as a top performer in every job I have held. Every once in a while I consider seeing a therapist so that I can get rid of the baggage. But I simply do not believe that a therapist could do anything for me that I couldn't do for myself. I don't like nor trust therapists, or anyone in the mental health field. IMO perhaps 2% of therapists are intelligent. So the odds of finding someone good are low.

 

Could you please clarify what you mean about "impulsivity" and "cravings".  Regarding anger, every year the anger lessens. But it will always be with me. What I tell myself is that if it  I hadn't lost everything because of psychiarty I would not have taken the risks to do the things I always wanted to do. Before the meds I was not living the life I wanted, I was living the life I thought I should want. I hated my hometown Chicago and wanted to move. I was in a bad relationship.  And I was insecure and  let people walk all over me. The anger over what happened empowered me, it made me a strong woman who defends herself and doesn't put up with BS. It taught me to seek true  love and compassion and not settle. It led me to my husband, who is my soulmate. But, sometimes when I am alone a wave runs over me - the memory of how alone and sad I felt, how my body and brain were trunced upon by pmeds like the Germans marching into France and I feel deep sadness and tear up.

 

Ultimately, the best way to deal with the anger is to help people who are going through what I went through. Even if it just to validate them. FINALLY... I totally relate to your comments regarding 9/11. I was watching TV when the news broke, but had no reaction. To make matters worse, my husband was involved in the 9/11 site, worked the morgue and knew people who died. So here I am married to someone whose life was directly touched by the events and I felt guilty for not "getting it". It finally hit me last year, when I was walking to an interview and had to walk around the WTC site that was in the process of being rebuilt. There I was face to face with it and I finally grasped what a horrible thing it was. Once again thank you for the warm welcome.

Edited by Petunia
added paragraph breaks

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Whatever-- I just want to thank you so, so much for sharing your story.

 

I have a story similar in many ways. Right now I'm at the point where I don't even want to tell the whole story. But it involves 20 years of psych meds, losing most of my competence in most areas of my life, eventually getting to the point of doing crazy and even criminal things, and such bad judgment that I threw away my life savings. Plus losing the ability to be a good parent, and having now every day to see the scars that has caused my children.

 

It's a huge and horrible and tragic story and I think it's happening over and over again all over the world.

 

Again, thank you so much for sharing. I also still struggle with a ton of shame and not feeling like I can trust myself or that I am competent. I'm not sure which is harder, remembering how bad I was and seeing how much better I am now, or realizing that I could have been so much better all that time.

 

Not to even get into what it's like to realize you lost 20 years of your life because of greed and arrogance of other people. I'll never get my youth back; I'm 56 now.

 

Anyway, thanks again so much for sharing. It's so validating and good for me to hear. It's not just me. And I need to stop blaming and kicking and shaming myself for all the things I did during those years.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Thank you Rhi for the welcome and validation. 20 years, that makes me so mad. We can't go back in time, we can only go forward.

 

You are right this is happening to many people. Often when you hear a news story of bizarre actions such as a husband murdering his family and then taking his own life - the person was on ADs.

 

Again, thank you for your words, you made me feel so much better to know I was not the only person to go through this.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Wow Whatever, that is an incredible autobiography!!!

You have an amazing strength of spirit and deserve all the peace and happiness that you have now found

Thanks for sharing your story

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Whatever I did not even read all of your posts but your story is shocking and amazing. And comparable to mine, although I was on only one drug but surely the most horrific of all... I really admire your strength and wish to move forward despite the many lost years and needless suffering. Wish you more healing in 2012!

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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My cognitive functioning returned to normal and remained in tact.

 

Yes, I'd agree. You seem impressively lucid to me. The whole of your response to your experience is impressive, actually.

 

The issue is that when I was heavily medicated I was extremely depressed, lonely and desperate for compassion which are not qualties that attract people. In fact many people were insensitive to me. My boyfriend of many years told me he would never marry me because I got fat. I remember at work one woman said to me "you used to be thin and pretty and got whataver you wanted because of your looks, well now you know what it is like to be THE FAT GIRL". Obviously that really hurt because I realize that in my introduction I mentioned THREE times that I lost the weight.

 

I understand this well. I felt very unlikable, very dysfunctional. I was told by one doctor that I'd never function normally. Because of this, I associated with some questionable people because I thought no one else would like me. My self esteem was in the gutter. And questionable is the most positive euphemism I can summon as a descriptor...

 

....

Every once in a while I consider seeing a therapist so that I can get rid of the baggage. But I simply do not believe that a therapist could do anything for me that I couldn't do for myself. I don't like nor trust therapists, or anyone in the mental health field. IMO perhaps 2% of therapists are intelligent. So the odds of finding someone good are low.

 

I'm among the world champion skeptics of therapists and their kind. But I benefit from specific therapies and I've found some professionals to meet my needs. I've found that the best private practice professionals are the worst, in fact. They are the best at creating positive reputation and a hopefulness that keeps clients coming back. I've paid a few of these, PhD's and MDs, and in retrospect of think of them more like gurus than medical professionals.

 

I think that most therapists, counselors and psychiatrists are bad at what they are supposed to do. Since they often see a client when the client is most vulnerable and emotionally desperate... unfortunate things happen. Unfortunate things are frequently positive things from the provider's financial perspective. It's a real mess out there, IMO.

 

Could you please clarify what you mean about "impulsivity" and "cravings". 

 

Yea. Well, when I was on medication I became a bizarre human. I drank complusively. Bizarre thoughts intruded into my mind. I had urges I'd not before experienced. I did stupid and reckless things. I lost everything, in short.

 

Sometimes, I get these brief moments where I am tempted to do something impulsive. It's not unlike smoking. For many years I smoked. 99% of the time I don't thinkof cigarettes. Every once in a while, from nowhere, I get a momentary urge to smoke... and then it passes. An echo of all those years doing a particular behavior.

 

When I get some craving towards dysfunction, it affects me. Makes me feel like damaged goods. Sometimes I wonder even if I really am just crazy. That the crazy me was the true me and I've been holding it in and it will re-emerge. But, 99% of the time, I do not want to engage in reckless behaviors or have unhealthy relationships... I don't even think of them. But the damage and shame is so deep, that even that 1% causes tremendous psychic agony for me.

 

Regarding anger, every year the anger lessens. But it will always be with me. What I tell myself is that if it  I hadn't lost everything because of psychiarty I would not have taken the risks to do the things I always wanted to do.

 

I like that perspective. I think you're in a stronger place than I am. I am only just uncovering my anger and I still have a lot of fear too. In the future, some decisions will have to be made. I need to have a talk with my parents and some of medical caregivers. I have lost so much. I need to find a healthy way to regain my identity and self-respect while also respecting my own principles and values.

 

I'm so glad you're here Whatever. You are very inspiring. And, honestly, since you are doing well, it is very generous and valuable of you to post here where so many fear that they can never recapture a life worth living. Thanks.

 

Alex

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

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

- Zimmerman

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Regarding impulsivity, cravings and cognitive functioning. Well, it is a complex.

 

Let me start off by saying that for the first roughly two years post-withdrawal my sense of cause and effect and logic were not 100%. Note that this is not the same as implusivity. I had moments of lucidity and moments where my understanding of emotional situations was equal to that of a 15 year old girl. For example, I would jump to irrational conclusions, I would see people as I wanted them to be and not how they actually were. But this was not the status quo.

 

Also, for roughly two years post-withdrawal I still had a tendency toward impulsivity. Although of a much milder variety. Much of my implusivity while on pmeds happened during blackouts. Yes, that is what I said, the pmeds gave me blackouts. It was in those blackouts that cars got hit and criminal actions occured and I am incredibly lucky I was never arrested. The blackouts went away when I stopped the pmeds. However, I still had occasional impulsive cravings to binge drink and to seek attention from men. I had maybe three occasions in those two years where I did some horrible things with regards to drinking and men. But for the most part when I binged drank, I was smart enough to stay home and my crazy drunken actions played out on the internet under anoymous usernames. And my attention seeking behavior, I was a tease only and had enough self-respect not to engage in one-night stands.

 

That all went away after two years off the meds.

 

I think a distinction should be made between what is a normal human desire to do something we know is "wrong" or "bad for us" and what is a craving for dysfunction. I say this because the examples that you gave me with regards to yourself are what I would consider normal desires and I think you are being incredibly hard on yourself. That reaction is to be expected with a history such as ours. We overcompensate. We feel the need to be saints to overcome our sins; and our society which is based on Judeo-Christian values (even if you are not a Judeo-Christian) looks down on sin so it is subtle but hard wired into our brains to live with guilt and shame.

 

Here are what I consider as normal human desires: Smoking, everyone who has ever been a smoker, myself included has said that on occasion out of nowhere they crave a cigarrette. Lust, all humans have occasional desires to act out sexually. Binge drinking, if you have a history of binge drinking as self-medication, it is normal to crave that under moments of emotional distress.

 

Thank you for calling me strong. But, please do not compare yourself to me. I have had ten years to pick up the pieces. It was a long a tedious process to rebuild me life. It took me many years to rebuild my work history, restore my credit, figure out who I really am.

 

But thank you for appreciating my presence here. When I read Dr. Breggin's books I pledged that one day I would do something to contribute to the anti-psychiatry movement, which as I stated before was in its infancy when I read his books. For many years I was unable to contribute anything but anger. Also, I had to a lot of work to do to rebuild my life and to forgive myself. Because of the pmeds this will be a life-long process and that is what I will probably always be angry about. However, I am in a good place and now at the point where I can be that ear or that hand that I didn't I have.

 

Thank you so much for validating my experiences. It means a lot to me.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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InNeedOfHope

Your story is inspiring. It is good of you to come here and share your experience. Can I ask a question? I do have anxiety issues multiplied so much by this withdrawal, but my biggest problem is pain and controlling that pain. I know you said you had headaches, but did you have any other pain and if you did, how did you deal with it?

Sept 2010 - Citalopram 1 day

Sept 2010 - Zopliclone for ten weeks (paranoia ended a couple of months after coming off this and sleep settled down again until the last couple of months)

Ocober 2010 - Cymbalta 30mg

November 2010 - Cymbalta 60mg

February 2011 - 60mg to 30 mg (lasted 10 days)reinstated 60mg

March 2011 - Took 2 60mg tablets on one evening in error - paralysis of face, back of head, shoulder, stabbing in right kidney, lost 30% of hearing)

March - June 2011 went down quickly 1mg a day until I got stuck at 25mg, went up to 27mg, because couldn't breath.

26th June - 26mg

3rd July - 25mg

17th July - 24mg

24th July - 23mg

7th Aug - began reducing by a bead every couple of days or so went well at first then hit a wall

24th October - now on 18.5mg. Since the kidney infection at start of September, have been in constant pain and anxiety, no let up. Given Ciprofloxacin.

8th Jan 2012 17.8mg (currently reducing 0.2mg a week)

8th Jan 2012 17.6mg last reduction was 6 days ago.

15th Jan 17.4mg

21st Jan 17.2mg

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Hi INOF!

 

I am sorry for the delayed response. I did not see this message.

 

Regarding pain, please specify the pain you are having. Depending on the type of pain, I might be able to recommend a treatment that will not conflict with your WD.

 

Please understand that I have a history of chronic headaches and neck pain, which predates my pmed therapy and continues to this day. This is due to:

 

1. Anxiety - which causes my neck muscles to tense up and then turns into a headache

2. Various neck issues, such as arthritis

 

However, the headaches that I got during WD were quite different than any headache I had ever. So I do conclude that they were related to WD. Other than that I do not remember having any other muscular or joint pain.

 

As far as treatment, I would occasionally take Fiorcet which is combination of caffeine, acetaminophin and bubalbital (which is a barbituate). Aspirin, acetaminophin and NSAIDs had absolutely no effect on me, but this is because I built a tolerance to them due my lifelong struggle with headaches.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Whatever, I just want to add, it does me good to hear you talk about rebuilding your life, that you have succeeded in doing it. I'm still in the first few years of that process, plus still withdrawing from the meds so intermittently dealing with gnarly withdrawalness, and it feels like a big journey. It's good to hear you talking from the other side of that. Makes me feel like it's possible. Thanks.

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Whatever, I fully agree with Rhi. It really gives me a lot of hope to read your story or even just think about it. Thank you sooo much for all your support here. I can understand how it could be tempting to forget the bad experiences and just move on. You are an amazing individual to spend time with us here. You will be blessed for what you are doing to help and encourage others. ;-)

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Whatever:

What an amazing story of strength and empowerment!

God uses personal tragedies in order to help others who are suffering. I truly believe that this is your calling!

You have inspired me to fight the good fight and finish the race!

Blessings,

Rosie

2009 Efexor 75mg tapered twice

November 2011 Pristiq 50 mg

January 2012 Pristiq 100 mg, became very dizzy and anxious with a lot negative thinking! Ear aches, eye pain, headaches, bruxism, night sweats.

Currently on 30 mg of compounded Pristiq

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Thank you everyone for your kind words.

 

Being here has really got me to understand the WD symptoms I went through. I plan to add an addendum to this thread that clarifies the whole process. I will also share HOW I got my life back in order, including rebuilding my work history, cleaning up my credit and paying off the IRS.

 

For now, I am just going to say that what got me through the whole physically, psychologically and emotionally painful WD was holding onto ANGER as opposed to victimhood. I was an extremely angry person for many years and I had every right to be.

 

There is a cliche that therapists use that "depression is anger turned inward". I know that neuroemotions can be hard to manage. But I implore anyone who has been victimized by the whole SYSTEM of mental health, to get in touch with your ANGER as opposed to mourning what was taken from you. What kept me going was the anger I felt for being treated as if I was a crazy person and how the whole system kept me in isolation, made me to feel I was the only person in the world who was crazy and how my voice and feelings and symptoms where totally disregarded by incompetent people who looked down on me, while claiming to help me. I didn't need drugs, I needed as Dr. Breggin said "empathy". Holding onto that anger allowed me to fight through the nightmare of WD.

 

Alto, if you read this I know that members have been talking about creating a sub forum on recovery stories. Perhaps that would be the best place to store my story. But, that is up to you.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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  • Administrator

Done! See our new forum Recovery stories.

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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Whatever:

What an amazing story of strength and empowerment!

God uses personal tragedies in order to help others who are suffering. I truly believe that this is your calling!

You have inspired me to fight the good fight and finish the race!

Blessings,

Rosie

 

Rosie couldn't have said it better, Whatever! Thank you so much for sharing.Posted Image

Age 11-Depressed~14-Use alcohol and drugs~20-Prozac~21-Zoloft~29-Paxil; Used for 2 yrs; took 5 yrs to recover memory back~39-Raw Thyroid for low T3 & take Prilosec~40-Zoloft stops working, so Lexapro; doesn't work; start counseling. Start 300mg Omega 3 Fish Oil & Vit B Complex. Feel better. Taper off Lexapro unsuccessful~41 (5/22/11)-Quit Lexapro, b/c pills at once. Breakdown at work~(6/26/11)-Start 5mg Lexapro to help WD symptoms~(6/30/11)-Feel better; Able to go back to work.~(9/6/11)- Better! Delay tapering.~(11/14/11)-Taper by skipping 4th day.~(11/20/11)-Crashed. Need another strategy.~(1/14/12)-Start 25mg Zoloft w/Lexapro. Taper to 1/4 Lexapro; success.~(2/17/12)-Stop Lexapro.~43 (2/12/13)-Am great; still on 25mg Zoloft.(9/13/14) Off all meds over a year! :)

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Barbarannamated

Whatever,

Your message speaks volumes to me. Anger was never expressed in my family. Sister and I got the silent treatment or - worse - parents talked about us (always negative) as if we weren't in the room when we were 3 feet away. I don't know what kind of tactic that is or how they started it, but it was powerfully destructive. So many memories from my childhood have jumped out at me through this and I clearly see how warped it's been. I was never one to automatically look at parenting as the root of all life problems, but a few patterns are crystal clear now. You hit on the #1 -- anger turned inward and replaced by learned helplessness/victim mentality. And the importance of holding onto anger. This relates to a point that Alice Miller made in Drama of the Gifted Child: the enactment of forgiveness can bring the therapeutic process to a halt because it blocks the unfolding of feelings and perceptions (at certain points of therapy). I think that, as a culture (and certain religions), we are taught that forgiveness is always the noble path. I also think that it's common to say and even believe that we have forgiven and bury the feelings. I should probably just speak for myself.

 

Thank you for a very important message.

B

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Barb:

 

You made some profound points.

 

I do not believe in deliberate and conscious forgiveness. I never admit that because society frowns up that; and I agree that the concept of forgiveness is rooted in religion particularly Christianity. I do not think that forgiveness is possible as a choice, but if you believe you can chose it than you will just end up burying feelings...buried feelings which will end up hurting you, since I believe that repressed emotion can lead to physical and mental illness.

 

Besides, I believe that some things can never be forgiven, such as incest.

 

I do believe that forgiveness is achievable as an evolutionary process. Time heals all wounds sort of thing. With time some things are better understood and some things no longer matter.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

Link to post

I might be going out on the limb here and into spirituality. I'm not religious at all, but from everything I've learned and experienced about forgiveness there is one thing I can attest to. When you make a choice to surrender and forgive, then you will start to have a deeper understanding of the whole situation and then you will really forgive. It's like a healing process that starts with a thought, a decision, then comes the healing from that decision. But of course, no burying feelings. In this case, it's truly just lip service and an attitude of forgiveness then what you need to heal the wounds does come.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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  • Administrator

Whatever, I agree with you about the righteous anger fueling action to make changes.

 

As I understand it, forgiveness does not necessarily mean forgetting the injury, it's getting past being hurt by it. You don't have to get close to the perpetrator to forgive.

 

I also believe that forgiveness is a personal definition. If someone wanted to know if I forgive my horrible mother -- well, the way I've resolved my feelings is none of their d*mn business.

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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thanks for sharing your story. It is quite inspiring :)

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)

 

How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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  • 2 weeks later...
QuittheCure

Hi, Whatever!

 

Your story truly tells me that, whatever may come, surviving antidepressants is possible! I'm so glad you were brave enough to come here and share your experience with others, especially people who have similar stories.

 

I just wrote a post on my blog about doctors being "smooth criminals." Since last night, I've been so angry--I call it righteous indignation--because of what doctors have put people through in using ADs. I read so many stories on this forum last night and I got so angry for everyone. I just wanted to scream to the world, "Don't trust your doctor for a second!!!" (I'm trying to figure out how to go in to see my therapist and doctor next week and in the weeks to come without wanting to throttle someone.) :angry:

 

What your psychiatrist did was criminal. The other doctors you came in contact with who didn't care enough to help you were really no better. By the Grace of God you survived! You're alive to tell about it, and it is so wonderful that you want to reach out and help others.

 

If things get too rough for me in the upcoming weeks and months, I will come back to your story to look for strength and inspiration.

 

Lisa

Drug History (approx):

 

2002-2003

Zoloft

2003-2004

Paxil

2005-2007

Lexapro

2008

Cymbalta, Ativan

2009

Cymbalta, Lamictal, Ativan

2010- (February) 2012:

Cymbalta 60mg, Lamictal 200mg, Abilify 5mg

--

Currently (March 2012):

Stopped Abilify 5mg on 02/28/2012

Holding at Cymbalta 60mg and Lamictal 200mg

--

 

Lisa

Quit the Cure

http://quitthecure.com/

 

"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." ~ Ephesians 4:23

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  • 2 weeks later...

OMG....

 

Thank you so much for puttng your link onto my post re: agitation/irritatd.

 

What you have done with your life is amazing. Your story is very powerful and I am so happy things have turned out so well.

 

Similarities: weight gain from paxil severely affected my self esteem, gave me HBP an elevated Cholesterol levels. Ex spouse told me he wanted a divorce due to weight gain.

(He negelcted to mention he is a sex addict).

 

I could not get off paxil. Too debilitating. This led to Lexapro and a horrifying WD during crossover.

 

For me....I believe I have had PTSD from WD's. I believe it exacerbated anxiety/depression.

 

Jobs: I had a nice job at a Country Club. During my WD from Lexapro work was my saving grace. I had trouble remembering things and I made mistakes. I felt bad about it, no one there criticized me.

 

I was part of a lay off in 2009, just got off Lexapro and onto Imipramine. I was hoping I would just drop dead. I was terrified, in a financial mess and was in protracted w/d.

The good news is I sold my big house two weeks after I was laid off and sold high. Paid off mortgage, Home equity line of credit and bought a smaller home around the corner - NO MORTGAGE...............Thank You God

 

After this I had a few jobs which didn't last long. I was full of anxiety, scared and made mistakes. I lived in a chronic state of fear due to the ecnomic downturn and complete lack of self esteem.

 

I decided to go into business for myself where I was on my own. Some friends told me that "God did for me what I needed to do for myself". My point is that employers sux and

I was a ball of nerves trying to perform.

 

You suffered from w/d for six months....wow, tht is a relatively short time. So glad you are well and posted so much for us. Anger vs. victimization is good thing.

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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Thanks Nikki for sharing. I should clarify something. When I said I suffered from WD for six months, I am referring to throwing up, diareahea, insommnia, paranoia, loathed myself, and couldn't get out of bed state. Plus a half dozen other physical and mental symptoms I just don't recall. It was like a six month black out. All that ended in roughly six months and I was functional enough to start working.

 

However my WD was still there it was just in another color. First off, every personality dysfunction that I had prior to being treated came back 10 fold and were worse than they were to start. Some of these thought patterns included over sensitivity, reading too much into events and people's comments or actions, trusting that people would be good friend only to have it dawn on me that they selfish (such as in the case of liking someone and the obsessing, what I was really obsessing about was my poor judgement. I suspect that a lot of people would like me to benchmark this stage of WD, tell them how ling it lasted. I don't think I could if I wanted to and I don't want to because I do not want to be a benchmark by which others measure themselves and then if their experience is different from mine they end up thinking something is wrong with them.

 

But I can describe the second phase. It was marked by fantasy yet fear and distrust (paradoxical for sure, but that it was it was) I was emotionally a teenager. At times I felt no control over my actions, yet I felt as if I had Guardian Angel protecting me and putting me in the right places at the right time. I say this because I was not making good choices on my own. Yet strangers out if nowhere appeared and helped me. This is so strange for me to say because I am an ardent Atheist. I also became obsessed with Tarot cards. This is something that was atypical of me, I am a hard care intellectual pragmatist. But I did many readings and I had a close male friend who would read for me and it was uncanny because using different decks we would pull the exact same cards, not once but many times. We both predicted me meeting my husband.

 

So that was my experience as crazy as it sounds, but going through WD was like going through puberty. Also, I was so opened spiritually. I has several people who told me I had changed their lives and that they were meant to meet me. But inside I was unstable, fliting through events with no conscious thought. Eventually those disparate pieces formed a whole person and I am who I am today.

 

Who am I? I have compassion for people in need, I trust my instincts, I see red flags immediately, or I give people time before I open up to them so that if I decide they are not trustworthy no one gets a bomb dropped on them, I know longer obsess or make laundry lists of the wrongs committed by others. This is something teengers di. Besides don't have to because I recognize them as I go. I strongly believe that pmeds made me regress into a teenager or child who saw no cause and effect of my actions. And I had a psychiatrist who backed up all my feelings as normal. I am so grateful to have escaped.

 

If I could help just one person to recognize their inner strength that I will feel successful. And you want to hear something ironic? Two years after I stopped cold turkey I was offered a high paying job through a frien in Rock (30 Rockfellar Center) and glamorous NYC building. I really needed the job. But I said no. I said no because I found out the company distributed antidepressants and campaigned hard to make people aware of ADs. This is because the owners teenage son committed suicide after he stopped taking his pills.

Edited by Petunia
Added paragraph breaks

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

Link to post

So that was my experience as crazy as it sounds, but going through WD was like going through puberty.

 

 

Hey What what!

 

My goodness, that is a perfect description of what I have been going through lately. I have FINALLY gotten off Lexapro about a month ago and the further time passes, all of MY weird little OCD things have been coming back. I pull my hair out one strand a time, HAVE to say certain words over and over, my OCD thoughts....

 

Ultimately, my counselor and doctors want to "help" by giving me other meds to help with these symptoms and apparently the antidepressants have been subduing my PMS and period symptoms. I remember having severe menstrual ("monstrual") symptoms in my teens. I figured that would be gone now that I'm over 40! They are getting worse every month.

 

I still have 25 mg of Zoloft left to wean off. I DO NOT want to add or treat any of my current symptoms with anything right now. I am going through "puberty" again and learning WHO I am also and WHAT are the REAL issues here? Once I'm off, THEN, I will look into different treatments.

 

Honestly, though, they still haven't figured out HOW to treat you correctly without the consequences, so I'm not willing to get back on any meds. I started a beginning TaiChi class......

 

And you want to hear something ironic? Two years after I stopped cold turkey I was offered a high paying job through a frien in Rock (30 Rockfellar Center) and glamorous NYC building. I really needed the job. But I said no. I said no because I found out the company distributed antidepressants and campaigned hard to make people aware of ADs. This is because the owners teenage son committed suicide after he stopped taking his pills.

 

To turn a glamorous job speaks VOLUMES when you needed a job so desperately because of what you went through. I don't know if I could be that strong if I were given the same chance, but am in awe of you for passing that test. :)

 

Thank you so much for continuing to share! :)

Age 11-Depressed~14-Use alcohol and drugs~20-Prozac~21-Zoloft~29-Paxil; Used for 2 yrs; took 5 yrs to recover memory back~39-Raw Thyroid for low T3 & take Prilosec~40-Zoloft stops working, so Lexapro; doesn't work; start counseling. Start 300mg Omega 3 Fish Oil & Vit B Complex. Feel better. Taper off Lexapro unsuccessful~41 (5/22/11)-Quit Lexapro, b/c pills at once. Breakdown at work~(6/26/11)-Start 5mg Lexapro to help WD symptoms~(6/30/11)-Feel better; Able to go back to work.~(9/6/11)- Better! Delay tapering.~(11/14/11)-Taper by skipping 4th day.~(11/20/11)-Crashed. Need another strategy.~(1/14/12)-Start 25mg Zoloft w/Lexapro. Taper to 1/4 Lexapro; success.~(2/17/12)-Stop Lexapro.~43 (2/12/13)-Am great; still on 25mg Zoloft.(9/13/14) Off all meds over a year! :)

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My periods were full of excruciating pain! And like you I was in my early 40's so I was like what is going on?

 

I will tell you what has helped me. One week before I am scheduled to get my period, I take Ibuprofen or Naproxn (Aleve) twice a day. I continue to take 3 days in.

 

Then three days before I am scheduled to get my period Itake a diuretic daily and for three days into the period. I use a natural water pill from the Vitamin Shoppe.

 

This really, really helps. One of my doctors said that NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Aleve) work best if you take them everyday. But a week and a half is enough to cover you.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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Thank you so much! I will try that next time. This is ridiculous! Every time I think I'm doing better, BAM, PMS HELL COMMENCES. :D LOL!

Age 11-Depressed~14-Use alcohol and drugs~20-Prozac~21-Zoloft~29-Paxil; Used for 2 yrs; took 5 yrs to recover memory back~39-Raw Thyroid for low T3 & take Prilosec~40-Zoloft stops working, so Lexapro; doesn't work; start counseling. Start 300mg Omega 3 Fish Oil & Vit B Complex. Feel better. Taper off Lexapro unsuccessful~41 (5/22/11)-Quit Lexapro, b/c pills at once. Breakdown at work~(6/26/11)-Start 5mg Lexapro to help WD symptoms~(6/30/11)-Feel better; Able to go back to work.~(9/6/11)- Better! Delay tapering.~(11/14/11)-Taper by skipping 4th day.~(11/20/11)-Crashed. Need another strategy.~(1/14/12)-Start 25mg Zoloft w/Lexapro. Taper to 1/4 Lexapro; success.~(2/17/12)-Stop Lexapro.~43 (2/12/13)-Am great; still on 25mg Zoloft.(9/13/14) Off all meds over a year! :)

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Yes, my Mother and I shared the same doctor as did my neurotic Aunt. He was a horrible gossip as well. I refused to gossip with him. But, my Mother said he would say sarcastic, negative things about my Aunt to her. I assume he said things about me to my Mother, but she would never tell me, which is fine as I don't want to know.

 

 

That is outrageous! He had no business talking to one patient about another!!! What a blatant breach of confidentiality!

 

Thanks for telling your story, Whatever. It is reassuring to know that we can come out of withdrawal and be whole again no matter how bad the psychiatric care. I'm happy to read that you've gotten your life back together.

 

Have you considered writing a book? Your story reminds me so much of Dying for a Cure by Rebekah Beddoe. That book was a huge comfort to me in my earlier days of withdrawal. The author was royally screwed by incompetent doctors and it was good to read that most of the problems I was having were totally drug induced. Her book helped me put the blame where it belongs.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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I'm among the world champion skeptics of therapists and their kind. But I benefit from specific therapies and I've found some professionals to meet my needs. I've found that the best private practice professionals are the worst, in fact. They are the best at creating positive reputation and a hopefulness that keeps clients coming back. I've paid a few of these, PhD's and MDs, and in retrospect of think of them more like gurus than medical professionals.

 

I think that most therapists, counselors and psychiatrists are bad at what they are supposed to do. Since they often see a client when the client is most vulnerable and emotionally desperate... unfortunate things happen. Unfortunate things are frequently positive things from the provider's financial perspective. It's a real mess out there, IMO.

 

Alex

 

I was a therapist for fourteen years and believe me, there are lots of whackos in the field who only care about their own problems. I went through training to lead encounter groups and I thought it was one of the most vicious, inhumane "therapuetic" techniques ever devised. One of our staff members cracked up during that time and at least one got divorced. It is a career field that can be entered by anyone and where the wildest ideas can be perpetrated on innocent people. There are no standards that require therapists to use only those techniques that have been proven by research to be helpful or at least, not harmful. I like to think I was one of the few good ones, but I still feel ashamed of that profession.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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