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Are We There Yet? How Long is Withdrawal Going to Take?

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ChessieCat

It was only created May 22, 2018, so you found it before its one year anniversary.  😊

 

Since its inception we do provide the link to newer members.

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gladtobehere1984
On 5/21/2018 at 10:04 PM, brassmonkey said:

Every one of these Dose Change Events requires time to take effect and more time to stabilize.

Hi Brassmonkey,

 

First of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this invaluable resource. It will be my reading companion throughout my 7.5 year (or so) taper.

 

I have a question about the Dose Change Event. From what I understand you crushed your pills and then weighed and divided the powder to find your dose and then took it. I might do the same. (As I'll probably switch to the Brassmonkey slide method soon) So when you put that powder in water(or yoghurt or whatever) to consume it, would that also constitute a dose change event and thus require a hold period? (I take Zyprexa-olanzapine which doesn't dissolve in water) Or would it be the same as simply cutting the pills (which I'm doing now) and doesn't require a hold?

 

Thank you 

 

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brassmonkey

 Changing from taking big chunks of pill to using crushed pills  could be viewed as a dose change event. Changing the delivery system not so much. I always put mine in empty gel caps, easy to store and to take. Putting the pieces into water or yoghurt could lead to not getting all of the dose, which could be a problem. Making the change to the Brassmonkey Slide Method can be kinda viewed as a reduction in dose even though it isn't. It has a built in hold period and is designed to be gentle so no extra hold is usually needed.

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gladtobehere1984
2 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

 Changing from taking big chunks of pill to using crushed pills  could be viewed as a dose change event. 

2

Thank you. When you make a hold for this, should it be 6 weeks as well? (My default hold period is 8 weeks to be extra safe)

 

2 hours ago, brassmonkey said:

I always put mine in empty gel caps, easy to store and to take.

Ah ha... Good idea. Thanks for this as well.

 

One last question, as of now since I'm still at high doses (9.375mg ) , it seems like I'll only have to crush a little bit of the pill and not the whole thing. In that case (the case being most of the pill(s) will be big chunks), do you still think a hold is necessary?

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mdwstrx
On 5/21/2018 at 2:12 PM, brassmonkey said:

In reality it can hit any time between seven and twelve months, but ten months is the most common. 

 

Dr. Shipko relayed  the following to me:

  • "Tapering slowly is preferred because it is a lot more comfortable.  However, it does not guarantee that tardive akathisia will not occur.  I have not seen any akathisia in my practice that did not get better when reinstatement is prompt. Recently a patient on 12 years of Lexapro tapered over about a year and a half without ever having any symptoms.  Six months later she abruptly developed akathisia.  However, it responded well to reinstatement."

Might this patient's akathisia actually have been the 7-10 month wave you speak about in  section 12? In her case, waiting for 2-5 weeks to see if it was a wave might have cost her the opportunity to promptly reinstate - resulting in the untreatable tardive akathisia Dr. Shipko warns about in his writings?  Or, it could have been her chance to weather the wave and come clean on the other side. 

 

How does one know what to do without risking severe disability? 

  

 

 

 

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Terry
On 1/18/2019 at 2:35 PM, MaggieSmalls said:

sweaty and the feeling of burned skin

I had the very same reaction to paxil.  When I told my doctor about having burning skin he said "I've never heard of anything like that".    That was the last time I went to him!

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brassmonkey

I'm still on holiday and will not have reliable Internet for the next several months. So I am unable to dig into these topics as deeply as is required. When I get a chance I will write something up. 

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MRothbard

Late to the party but thank you brassmonkey. This info is both hopeful and scary. Hopeful because I know what I'm experiencing is pretty common, scary because it's going to take a long time to get over this. 11 years ago I hadn't he slightest clue how serious the decision was to get on these drugs. My psych doc was clueless as well, or didn't care.

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TriD

I read the essay and its very pessimistic, actually made me feel very depressed and anxious and worried. So im not entirely happy with the way you portray it, that everything will take years and years. Also seems very biased and worst case scenario, you didnt point out the many cases where people can quickly recover without any major complications. I think this relates onlyto people who have been on the drugs for years and years.... and your part about people who have been only it a few months is probably biased... 

 

I've been on escilatopram 20m for 3months and mirtazapine 4mg 2months. I tapered escilatopram over 4 weeks to zero, and was on only mirt 4mg to sleep 1 month after i finished with escitalopram.

I went into withdrawal after i stopped mirtazapine 4mg cold turkey as i thought it was a low dose.

 

withdrawal hit about 1 week later, and got worse and worse over the next 3 weeks, still pretty bad today.. but having said that, each week I see improvements. depression lifts around noon and stays away till next morning, the brain zaps have gone now when they were very frequent last few weeks, brain fog is lessening, depersonalisation is still here but less... my appetite yesterday started to return slightly.. sleep is gradually getting better and i dont get too many vivid dreams or nightmares. My main issue is still the depression, foggyness and depersonalisation which was very bad first few weeks.

 

but having said that, things were getting better each week, im probably half way there.... so from what I can tell its improving a little every day, and that is by faster taper and cold turkey... if it keeps going like this, I should be ok in 4 weeks. but the experience is close to hell though .. getting positive results gives me hope. I would consider going back to a small dose if I get fatigued by the weeks of this ordeal.

 

 

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MatrixCode

will my withdrawals take years? I was on cymbalta for 6.5 years. I quit by fast taper. :( now I feel awful.

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Femme47
Just now, Femme47 said:

so we need to accept the situation and enjoy the little things as we can.

Wise advise though I am really having difficulties to fathom that my symptoms can be due to the withdrawal, although it helps to think about them in this way.

However, when I try to put this idea to my boyfriend he becomes very sceptic saying that I took less than minimum the therapeutic dose and it took me over a year and a half to stop it. That is his reasoning, which I must admit does make sense..

So before the acceptance, I need to convince myself and then my entourage that my "mysterious illness " is a withdrawal from the Lexapro..

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getofflex

Thank you for all of this information and encouragement.  I'm so deeply blessed to have found this website.  Jennifer

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Tweet
On 7/7/2018 at 11:01 AM, HeyYo210 said:

I really needed to read this today.  Especially the part about 10 months.  I'm at right about 10 months now and couldn't figure out why I'm feeling worse all of a sudden.

 

Thanks Brassmonkey.

Me, too! I have been suddenly backpedaling back into hellatious symptoms that had resolved--severe depression and anxiety, etc., then I read your post. Thank you!

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India
On 5/21/2018 at 8:07 PM, brassmonkey said:

By time, we are looking at a minimum of eighteen months, but more than likely two to three years for a full recovery

Would this also apply to  a CT or too fast withdrawal?

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brassmonkey

There are too many variables to really make an accurate call on a fast taper or ct without further information. Suffice it to say all the CTS I've known were still having problems after five years. 

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Leo1983

It it fair to say there is alot of variables and that quote is going to cause alot of worry to people?

 

The people you know.... are they long term users? Older? Have more stress? Alcohol? Other drugs? Health?.

 

I mean i will use undiagnosed 1 as an example of a short term user. He healed CT in 2 years. All gone!

 

Now i will use Happy to heal as an example 40 years on meds. Fast taper jumped off at 2.5mgs and then tapered again. 2 years alot better. Now doing really well. 

 

Then theres the people you know. 

 

Everyone is very different would you agree?

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Leo1983

Just to add. Both the people i used as reference, were actually on multiple medications.

 

Undiagnosed 1 was on about 6 diff meds.

 

Happy to heal was on every med going i understand. 

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Leo1983

 

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Leo1983

Also to add. 

 

Michael Priebe. Huge name in the withdrawal world. Author of books etc.

 

12 years on Paxil - 4 week taper. 

 

12 years on Xanax - 12 month taper.

 

Turned the corner at 24 months from both drugs.

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Dejavu

Thank you @Leo1983. I read Brass Monkey's post last night and have been triggered ever since. Full of anxiety and could not sleep. I CT'd zoloft and reinstated after 30 days off last November. I'm still trying to stabilize, and this scared the cr$% out of me.

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Femme47

Some very valuable arguments you have raised @Leo1983.

In addition, the fact that bracemonkey have only met/communicated with people who fast tapered and 5 years later were still experiencing the withdrawal related problems doesn't mean that people who fast tapered were doing well 5 years later do not exist.

 

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Leo1983

Pleased it helped!

 

Healing will arrive when its ready. Help it along by all means, but its on ITs terms.

 

Tc

 

Lee. 

 

 

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Tweet

Yes, thank you Leo! I was feeling I had turned the corner. 7 days feeling completely normal for the first time since late September. First huge anxiety.

Now Depression is back.

So wanting some hope. 

My heart fell into my stomach when I read it would still be with me after 5 years!

(But it is still much better than six months ago.  Just have to keep remembering.)

 

 

 

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Leo1983

Pleased it helped Tweet.

 

Keep the faith. Keep positive. Stay away from horror stories. 

 

Lee.

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Leo1983

@Femme47

 

My apologies for missing your post.

 

Regardless its evident it was a triggering post. That was my only point. 

 

Also people heal at different rates. 

 

Hope your well.

 

Lee.

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Femme47

Thankyou for your reply @Leo1983.

I agree it was an unessary as you say triggering and not so much helpful post. At certain times one needs to have a message of hope and encouragement rather than a disheartening subjective personal experience being portrayed as the  "hard evidence ".

I am doing well all things considered, on the 5th month after what some may consider a quick taper  of 1.5 years.

Take care 😊 

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Leo1983

I think my 1 week taper beats that lol. 

 

Your guna be fine. 

 

Take care 

 

Lee.

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Femme47

1 week?!!

Yeah, you've bitten me all right! -:))

 

Thank you for your encouragement..

 

F47

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Leo1983

Yeh 20mgs of Lexapro. 

 

Never again! 😥

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brassmonkey

It appears that people haven't read the first several paragraphs of the first post of the essay.  It states right there that the essay will be upsetting and triggering to a lot of people. It contains a hard message for people to hear.

 

It is the distillation of the experience of many thousands of people collected over many many years. Personal experiences have been added to try to bring the generalizing down to a more understandable level. 

 

The majority of the site is devoted to trying to make people feel good and have hope.  This essay was designed to inform people of the hard truth about ADWD as the staff has learned through painful experience. It is meant to provide information that is hard to take in as gentle a manner as possible. 

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Leo1983

My point again and only point.

 

Not everyone who cold turkeys still has symptoms 5 years off. 

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So if A person was just on one med, prozac, at a pretty low dose, does that cut down the withdrawal time? 

 

 

 

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icerose87

I was on and off a low dose of Prozac for 10 years. I quit cold turkey when I got pregnant. I never had withdrawal symptoms. (I don’t recommend going off drugs cold turkey - I’m just sharing my experience.) After giving birth to my son, I went on a low dose of Zoloft and quit cold turkey after a few months. No withdrawal symptoms again. I never tapered because I didn’t know you had to. (Please don’t do what I did.)  I have survivors guilt knowing how lucky I am. I have been off all psychotropic drugs for 5 years and after watching my sister go through withdrawal, I am never touching these drugs again. I just posted this to show that not everyone who cold turkeys has symptoms 5 years out. I never even had a withdrawal. We’re all different bodies with different experiences. The best thing to get you through withdrawal is clinging to that hope that you’ll get better. When my sister does that, her waves are not as intense. Good luck everyone. Your day of healing will come.

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Leo1983

My point keeps making more and more sense.

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Leo1983

Thanks for your post

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Femme47
7 hours ago, Leo1983 said:

Not everyone who cold turkeys still has symptoms 5 years off. 

It's a very valid point. 

 

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