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carefulprayerful: switch to drug with longer half-life before tapering?

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carefulprayerful

I got a flurry of symptoms this week:

 

brain fog, 2

ears ringing, briefly, 1

dizzy, 1

seeing stars, briefly, 1

stronger headache, sometimes sharp, often dull, numb or prickly, 3

abdominal discomfort, 1

chest pain, briefly 1

muscle spasms, mouth, eyes, arm, neck, briefly 1

nausea, 3

tiredness, 2

tension, 2

achiness, 2

weakness in legs, 1

sensitivity to heat, 3 (albeit it is very hot here)

loss of appetite, 1

sensitivity to everything, even gulping water too fast, 1

slight burning feeling in my chest, much of the time, I think it is always there but is usually so slight and I am so accustomed to it, 2

intolerance for exercise, which leads to a wave of dizziness, nausea, feeling wiped out, feeling overheated then cold, 3 (up until this week I was doing vigorous exercise almost daily, and I got this occasionally, now I have decided only walking, stretching, cleaning the apartment)

fungal rash returned, which I had earlier in my taper and which a doctor attributed to a suppressed immune system

faint recollection of the feeling of the ground falling out from under me when I tried to fast taper, 1

 

Scale is 1-10 with 1-3 being mild, not interfering with functioning.

 

Except for the last one, I experience these symptoms from time to time, but this all seemed to be a lot in one week.

 

Since Thursday night I have been holding the dose at 0.370 mg.  I have been feeling better each day since Thursday.  Friday was the first day with no intense workout session.

 

I reduced my protein at the suggestion of a renal dietician a week ago, but I think she didn't know what she was talking about.  My kidney doctor said to eat 60-80 g protein per day.  I had been eating 80-90 g when the tapering was going well.  I tried 45 g/day at the suggestion of the dietician, and then all these symptoms popped up.  (I already know that kidney patients are supposed to limit protein, but I think this was too little.  I also didn't tell the renal dietician about WD, but I doubt she would have knowledge of it.)

 

I also am eating much less pro-biotic lacto-fermented sauerkraut, which has seemed to be helping me so much with WD, because it is high in sodium.  I discovered I was eating too much sodium (which is a concern for someone with a kidney condition).

 

Since October I have been gradually increasing my taper rate from 5% to 9%/month, so that could be it, too.

 

Now I am holding the dose and keeping the protein at 60-70 g/day, avoiding intense exercise and emotional stress as much as possible.

 

Is there anything I can read about protein and WD?  

 

I want to kick myself, but I think I just have to wait it out. 

 

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carefulprayerful

I have also started eating a lot of tofu and tempeh in the past few weeks.

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brassmonkey

Before worrying too much about your protein intake I would look into how your body reacts to the soy products.  A quick google showed that a lot of the symptoms you  just mentioned can be attributed to the use of soy products. Especially when mixed with protein and pro-biotic products.  Not to mention interactions with medications that are similar to the ones we are involved with.  For a person who is sensitized by ADWD the use of soy products would be highly suspect, particularly if they just started using them.

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carefulprayerful

Thank you for the quick response.  I just realized my brain has cleared up so much, and I haven't had soy since Thursday.  Enjoy the rest of your evening!

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carefulprayerful

Had severe withdrawal symptoms this week, which have by and large passed.

 

I felt a lot better after eliminating the soy, but at the same time I also eliminated the probiotic sauerkraut because it seemed like I could not tolerate it as I could before and wasn't benefiting from it.  I knew deep down that I should not increase my taper rate once I was no longer getting the benefit of the probiotics, but I did it anyway up to 9-10%/month.  I also stopped keeping as detailed records of my daily symptoms, and I lost track of them. 

 

It started last week and got to the worst point on Monday.  I had racing thoughts, rapidly cycling mood, insomnia, hyperactivity, nausea, brain strain (kind of a pulling feeling), thoughts of reference, and old demons coming to mind.  I got through the work week, but it would be unsustainable to continue like that.  I didn't manage to meditate in the mornings because I was too tired to get out of bed.  I could not sleep much even with exercise and essential oils, which worked before (2-6 hours sleep/night this week).  Still feeling raw and agitated, have moderate throbbing headache, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.  It is hard to name all the symptoms, but I think those are the big ones. 

 

I became unable to control my vocal tone, sometimes sounding flirty, and I was unable to keep an even mood.  Sometimes I acted without reflection because I was thinking so fast.  This week was painful because I was hoping this would not happen at work.  It was worst at work.  I felt better with the comforts of home.  I also felt I could not communicate with my colleagues, and I was afraid to interact with them, so I kind of ignored them.  I prayed each time I went to the bathroom in the handicap stall, and that seemed to help a lot.  A lot.  I think my colleagues kept an eye out for me.

 

I was not really aware of what was going on while it was happening.  Because there was psychological pain linked to past trauma, I thought this was just that, but by the end of the week I realized it was too fast tapering and decided to do a long hold for a month.  Currently at 0.330 mg Risperidone.  I decided to hold and wait until the lingering symptoms pass. 

 

It could have been worse.  This was my second worst experience of WD.  I had three prior episodes of severe withdrawal before I discovered SA in January 2018 (and from that point on my experiences are described here).

 

This is a summary of what I experienced prior to SA:

 

c. 1999-Summer 2000 Zoloft dose unknown (CT)

I felt wonky the day after.  Began high school and I was depressed and anxious.  Nervous breakdown in early 2001, which could have been exacerbated by WD, not sure

2001-Spring 2004 Geodon dose unknown (FT)

Nothing. Nada.  Easy to do.

c. 2002-2005 Ambien dose unknown (CT)

Nada.  

2001-2006 Celexa dose unknown (CT)

By far the worst.  Three weeks after my dad died suddenly (I was 19 and a first year in college), I decided to stop taking Celexa because of perceived stigma.  After one day, my mood was so low that I decided to take two pills to make up for the previous day.  That night I woke up in the middle of the night with a strong impulse to jump out the window.  There was something almost irresistible pulling me toward the window.  My blood did not feel as thought it had run cold--my whole heart felt like it had run cold.  I thought, "Is it time?" and I really did not want it to be.  Then in my mind I saw the image of me standing at the window, glancing behind me and extending a hand to my roommate and saying, "Wanna come?"  Then the thought of inviting someone to kill themselves made something like my soul surge forth in my chest and I closed my eyes and just kept repeating over and over again, "Just don't move.  Just don't move.  Just don't move" until I fell asleep.  The next day I went to class feeling absolutely horrid, almost unforsaken.  I have a hard time finding appropriate words, but that will have to do.  The cold feeling did not leave me for the rest of the day.  I called my old psychologist from high school and told her I felt like a wounded pup wimpering at God's feet, and she said, "Is there anyone you can talk to there?" and I think I said, "I guess."  I didn't go talk to anyone.  That day I took the bottle of Celexa and threw it in the garbage and decided, "I am never taking this again!"  However, part of me thought, "I took it wrong."  I asked my boyfriend recently what the worst day of his life was, and he said when his mother suddenly died.  My father's sudden death was certainly a shock to me and my mood dropped, but there is no comparison.  No human being should have to live even one day like that, but I know many of us have.  I was okay for a while after that, but a few months later I sunk into a deep depression.  I had suicidal ideation on a movie real in my mind constantly, all day long, for over a year.  Other than depression, the only symptoms I experienced were mild: taking naps, mild anxiety, tension, and a headache.  Life at that time was cold, hard, and heavy.  Of course, the sudden death of a parent gave me plenty of fodder for depressing thoughts, so I thought at the time it was mourning.  I felt like my father dying was like the rug being pulled out from under me and hitting my head on the floor, and then I would get back up and something would remind me that he had died and the same thing would happen with the rug being pulled out from under me.  Eventually, I just stayed on the floor, and could not get up.  At the time, I thought this was all mourning, but now I think I had severe WD.  This was by far the worst year-year and a half of my life.  It fully passed 2 years after CT off Celexa.  This beat the original depression by a landslide.  Again no comparison.  I called my old psychologist from high school once and told her, "I used to think about suicide once in a while, but now it's all the time."  Then I decided not to see her again about it and not to talk about it anymore.  I knew that at my college, students who complained of suicidal thoughts were often sent home and not allowed to return to school because the school would look bad if students were killing themselves on campus.  

I was off drugs entirely for six years.  These included some of the best years of my life, laughter, poetry, friendship, study abroad (best year of my life), travel, and a recovery from food addiction, too. 

Then I went back on psych drugs in 2011 for another round, and I will write about that another time.

 

 

 

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Glosmom

So sorry you had such a symptom filled week, CarefulP!  Glad most have passed.   Holding a bit till more of the symptoms settle is probably a good idea.  I know Glo still cycles through withdrawal symptoms (many that you mentioned) and she is about 6 months from jumping to zero.  It probably has a lot to do with the pace of her tapering. We can't go back now though, so we just keep taking it one day at a time. Once she got down to the lower numbers, new symptoms hit her as well.   Risperidone is an awful beast. Take care of yourself and be sure to do those things that bring you comfort. Thinking of you and hoping all calms down soon. Glosmom

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carefulprayerful

Glosmom, 

 

Thank you for your hope and encouragement and for shining a light at the end of the tunnel.  Risperidone is a beast, that is for sure.  I took your suggestion to do things that bring me comfort, seeing family, watching a funny movie, going to the park, yoga online, etc.  I'm in a better place and hope the work week goes well.  I hope Glo has continued healing today, too!

 

CarefulP

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carefulprayerful

Just thought I would update this to give a complete picture of events.  It took a few days for me to recognize, but I also had some (pleasant, not upsetting) delusions and at least one auditory hallucination this past week.  I decided to up-dose from 0.33 to 0.34 just in case that might prevent another wave like I had last week.  I don't want to go back to work tomorrow (I worked from home/took sick time Monday and Tuesday), but I said I'd be in the office tomorrow.  I'm allowing myself to change my mind in the morning.  Things are continuing to calm down (the only symptom of note today was a headache), but I am scared.  I just want to feel like I am more on solid footing.

 

I have short term disability paperwork in my desk drawer here at home that I could ask my doctor to fill out so I get a couple weeks to recover.  Does anyone have advice on how to judge if this is necessary based on one's symptoms?  My judgement was so poor in the state I was in last week that I actually showed up to work like that, sometimes muttering things to myself, sometimes in tears, my mood flickering back and forth (the rest is described above).  

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carefulprayerful

Also, I am wondering if it was too much to updose from 0.33 to 0.34.  I slept 8.5 hours solid last night, the night I updosed.  I just don't want another wave like last week.  

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SunnyTrail
On 10/15/2018 at 1:50 AM, carefulprayerful said:

Thank you for the encouragement!  Knowing that we are all in this together gives me so much hope

 

I'm not sure if switching from pill to liquid resulted in an increase or decrease of the drug, so I am going to continue a slow microtaper.  I am trying to get to know my body ☺️

 

(I am actually diluting the Risperidone in water for a total volume of 60 mL, using both a graduated cylinder and an oral syringe.)

 

💜 carefulprayerful

 

 

Hello Careful,

 

first of all thank you very much for all your insight and experience which is very helpful to me as I am currently on 1mg of risperidone and try to taper down further (started with 4mg in June 2018). I am very grateful for your post because it made me realize how careful I need to be and probably need to take smaller steps when tapering down than the monthly advised 0,25mg by my psychiatrist. Therefore I also want to change from pill form to liquid solution to make the next staps more controllable. You said that you gradually transitioned from pill form to liquid. How did you do this exactly?

 

Another question that I have is that you wrote in a previous post from September 21, 2018: " I asked my doctor, who said yes, but the manufacturer’s oral solution only comes in 1.00 mgai per 1 mL.  The compounding pharmacist said it might not be possible to dilute it further in water." However, regarding your post from October 5, 2018 you said that you are diluting the risperidone further in water for a total volume of 60ML. Do I understand correctly that you work with the standard1.00 mgai in 1.00 mL solution by the manufacturer and you just take one ml of the solution and dillute it into 60mL of water and then extract your personal amount with an oral syringe  (in the sense that it is possible to further dollute in in water)? Or did your compounding pharmacist prepare a solution with a special mgai/ml ratio for you?

 

Thank you so much in advance for your insight, which as you can imagine is extremely helpful.

 

Best wishes,

Sunny

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Glosmom

Hi Careful, I am happy to hear that you are doing a little better.   I don't know if you are able to just wait it out and see how things go before you make any changes in dose or apply for short term disability?  You waited 3 months between your April and July decrease but only one month between your July and August decrease. Maybe you just need to hold longer?   It may be possible you could do decreases every 2 months instead of three but since you struggled so much after one month....you now know you need a bit longer to stabilize.   It gets really tough at these lower doses. So since you work, maybe just take it a little slower?  Again....happy things are settling for you. You can do this! Take care of yourself. Glosmom

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carefulprayerful
16 hours ago, SunnyTrail said:

You said that you gradually transitioned from pill form to liquid. How did you do this exactly?

I was on three 0.25 mg pills.  This is what I did:

for 4 days: 0.25 mL liquid, two 0.25 mg pills

for 4 days: 0.50 mL liquid, one 0.25 mg pill

for 4 days: 0.75 mL liquid

Then I started microtapering.

The advice I read on here said to go a little slower actually, but that worked for me. 

SUGGESTION: Don't just shoot the liquid straight out of the oral syringe onto your tongue.  I tried this.  It is too intense.  It gave me a jolt.  Put it in a cup and pour in some water.

16 hours ago, SunnyTrail said:

Another question that I have is that you wrote in a previous post from September 21, 2018: " I asked my doctor, who said yes, but the manufacturer’s oral solution only comes in 1.00 mgai per 1 mL.  The compounding pharmacist said it might not be possible to dilute it further in water." However, regarding your post from October 5, 2018 you said that you are diluting the risperidone further in water for a total volume of 60ML. Do I understand correctly that you work with the standard1.00 mgai in 1.00 mL solution by the manufacturer and you just take one ml of the solution and dillute it into 60mL of water and then extract your personal amount with an oral syringe  (in the sense that it is possible to further dollute in in water)? Or did your compounding pharmacist prepare a solution with a special mgai/ml ratio for you?

Like Glosmom, I am using the oral solution from the manufacturer.  I didn't know I could get that in the beginning.

You can get a Baxa brand 1 mL oral syringe which has markings for 0.01 mL.  Those reductions may be small enough for you.

However, my nervous system is very sensitive to this drug.  I found a website that explains how to dilute the manufacturer's oral solution so that you can make a truly tiny reduction in dose daily (for example, 0.0012 mg reduction each day).  https://withdrawal.theinnercompass.org/taper

I have been on this drug several years, and my nervous system needs extremely tiny reductions.

 

I'm glad if I can be of any help!  

 

Best wishes for your taper, 

Careful

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carefulprayerful
12 hours ago, Glosmom said:

I don't know if you are able to just wait it out and see how things go before you make any changes in dose or apply for short term disability?  You waited 3 months between your April and July decrease but only one month between your July and August decrease. Maybe you just need to hold longer?   It may be possible you could do decreases every 2 months instead of three but since you struggled so much after one month....you now know you need a bit longer to stabilize.   It gets really tough at these lower doses. So since you work, maybe just take it a little slower?  Again....happy things are settling for you. You can do this! Take care of yourself. Glosmom 

Glosmom, 

I went back to work and am so grateful it went well.  My boss is a very kind person.    

I actually make super tiny daily reductions in dose (I explain this above in my reply to SunnyTrail), so the doses in my signature do not tell the whole story!

I guess I just need to do a long hold, then slow down my overall taper rate, stop trying to cram so much into the day, do things that bring me comfort, get more sleep, stop doing rigorous exercise, keep careful notes of my symptoms, etc.  This wave was also at that time of the month, and I've noticed that symptoms ramp up when I have my period.  I am also slowly reintroducing the lacto fermented probiotic sauerkraut.   We'll see if that does anything.

I probably did not need to, but I ended up up-dosing to 0.34.  Oh well.  I'm going to hold it for a month or until the symptoms more or less all subside.

I appreciate your encouragement so much.  I follow Glo's story, and I am so glad she is seeing improvement, more and more.  All my best, Careful

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SunnyTrail

Hello Careful,

 

thank you so much for your quick response which has been very, very helpful. I will check with my psychiatrist in the upcoming weeks to get a prescription of the liquid to gradually transition. The suggestion with pouring it into a cup of water was also very helpful...otherwise I would have poured it directly from the syringe into the mouth....

 

I am sorry to hear about your WD symptoms and I hope you will feel better soon. It really makes me aware how important it is not to taper too quickly. Patience really is not my thing, but I am really happy I came across this website and not to follow the initial advice of my psychiatrist to taper too quickly. I really have to work on my patience and to find the right compromise between the speed of tapering and listening to my body.

 

I am also happy that you have a kind and understanding boss, that really helps a lot. I look forward to keeping in touch and read your updates.

 

All the best,

Sunny

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carefulprayerful

Alto et al, 

 

I've realized the symptoms I had the week of Aug. 19 were in fact moderate (4-7), not severe (8-10), on Dr. Glenmullen's rubric from 1-10 if I consider their impact on my functioning, not their nature.  The symptoms significantly impacted my functioning, but somehow I got through the work week (although this would not have been sustainable and I needed relief).  I rated some of the symptoms a 7, and the week did include delusions, sleep 2-3 hours for a couple nights, racing thoughts, very quick shifts in mood, etc.  The nature of the symptoms gives me great pause.  I also had a worse stomach ache than usual, worse headache, weepiness, burning sensation, etc., thought these symptoms did not go above a 3 or 4, to recap.

 

The wave also hit 2 days before my period, which follows the PMS pattern I have seen in the past. 

 

It was stress related, but I attribute this incident in large part to the WD.

 

Nonetheless, I have begun to educate myself about trauma, dissociation, and psychosis and to take a careful inventory of my thought patterns and feelings and practice mindfulness. 

 

I just want to say here that although I had many symptoms of distress when I took myself to the mental hospital at 25, I did not have delusions like this until after I was exposed to the drugs.  I may have just had tardive psychosis and withdrawal-induced 'psychosis' over the years since.  Sometimes I wonder about the origin of all this.  I am powerless to answer that question. 

 

I just have to deal with it with slow tapering and learning about the approaches that have helped people recover from psychosis without drugs.  There are many resources, and as we know, more successful recoveries among those who do not use drugs than those who do.

 

Apparently the UN is trying to keep antipsychotics out of developing countries because of the shortened life expectancy, worse treatment outcomes, and dopamine super-sensitivity associated with them: 

https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/09/scaling-psychiatric-interventions-internationally-contract-un-goals/

 

I updosed from 0.33 to 0.34 for three days, but that was followed by increased burning sensation and a very strange dizzy feeling that something told me could not be good.  So I settled at 0.330 and held it from Aug 29-Sept 12. Sept. 13: 0.339 mg. Sept. 14: 0.338 mg.  

 

I had a wave of muscle tics in my face from Aug. 9-today.  Today they have by and large passed.  Also today I just felt like everything just clicked into place.  I feel really grounded.  Basically I just have a headache and some heavy feelings, but that depends on what I am thinking about.  Basically, I feel wonderful (although it is a weekend day, Sunday).  Symptoms have been mild (1-3) since Aug. 26.  

 

My stomach ache has gone away, and I have re-introduced the probiotic lacto-fermented sauerkraut that did me so much good before.  (When I had a wave caused by soy, the sauerkraut stopped smelling good and I stopped eating it for a stretch.)  Also when I started the low-protein diet for my kidneys, I cut out a lot of magnesium rich seeds and greens.  If I do a hold, it will give me time to reintroduce those foods as well.  (First I am seeing the nutritionist tomorrow to make sure.)

 

In good news: after beginning a low-sodium, low-animal protein, low overall protein diet recommended by my renal dietician, my kidney function went up to 56%!  (Following 6 years of lithium, when I was 31, it got as low as 36%.)  This is more than I was hoping for.   


What would you do here?  I am open to considering a hold until symptoms completely subside or whatever length of time you suggest. 

 

I felt ready to start tapering again on Friday, so I did.  

 

I feel that these are the kinds of decisions, however, than could lose me the battle. 

 

I want my taper to be smooth.  I just got engaged.  I also want to give hope to others that this is possible.  

 

What do you suggest here? 

 

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carefulprayerful
On 7/22/2018 at 6:00 PM, Altostrata said:

You've made quite a few drug changes recently. After you divide the lamotrigine dose, you may wish to hold on changes for at least a couple of months.

I very much appreciated this comment last summer. 

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carefulprayerful
4 hours ago, carefulprayerful said:

Apparently the UN is trying to keep antipsychotics out of developing countries because of the shortened life expectancy, worse treatment outcomes, and dopamine super-sensitivity associated with them: 

https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/09/scaling-psychiatric-interventions-internationally-contract-un-goals/

My comment was not accurate.  The article says: "In this chapter, Peter Lehmann, a psychiatric survivor author, editor, and publisher, lays out the severe side effects of these drugs and argues that their administration in the global south works against the mission of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 (SDG3)."

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carefulprayerful

As for the wave of symptoms Aug 19-22, roughly, much of it was related to a situation at work that brought up old trauma in conjunction with a major life event, getting engaged.  The interesting thing is that the mood shifts I experienced, at one point, were rapid but just like fluttering, not a split second peak or drop (which I experienced in WD in the past).  This time there were many things that reminded me of the way I was when I went to the hospital at 25--the cheerful, friendly mood, for example.  (I was diagnosed with bipolar with psychotic features, but I seriously at that point did not have delusions like I ended up with in WD.  I had repressed memories come up and I said I wasn't sure if they were real, had a huge panic attack, was binging on sugar, and said I had thought of killing myself.  That was enough to get me on lithium.)  There were certainly WD symptoms a few weeks ago.  However, this experience was meaningful, and I used coping skills to get through it.  It actually felt good to feel pain Aug. 22, and I was proud of myself for getting through those days.  I also could not tell if the burning feeling was a WD type burning or just feeling like I got burned in the situation.  The only confusing thing is that it literally set in and passed in time with my PMS/period pattern (2 days before my period through the first or second day of my period).  I feel as though I learned a lot about myself.  I have made an appointment with a new therapist and started reading a book called Beyond the Label, etc.  I feel back to myself, but I feel as though I learned a lot about myself and grew from it.   I don't want to underestimate the role of WD, though.

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carefulprayerful

I have taken so many lessons from my last wave....

 

Acceptance

Mindfulness

Patience

Believe it is possible

Let go of fear

Let go of anger

Let go of perfectionism

Let go of over-exertion/rushing through the day

Slow breathing

Gentle living

 

I have fewer symptoms now.  Started getting to bed on time so I am able to get a full night's sleep.  Currently at 0.322 mg.  

 

I also had an idea for how to handle the PMS wave.  I take the birth control pill, which is given on a 28-day schedule.  You're supposed to start on a Sunday.  The first three weeks you get the drug, and the last week you get a placebo.  You menstruate during the placebo week.  My PMS starts on day 23, which always falls on a Monday.  I have decided to shift the 28-day cycle.  Instead of day 1 being a Sunday, it will be a Friday.  That way my PMS will kick in on a Saturday and I will get the wave on a weekend.  It's usually a 2-day wave.  I hope this all works out!

 

Thank you to everyone on this site!  I am so grateful because I am taking courage from others' stories. 

 

Wishing everyone healing and peace,

 

CarefulP

 

 

 

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Erell

Hello CarefulP

 Merci d'être passée m'encourager, ton Français est excellent!

 

It seems you've been through a lot, your courage is such a wonderful lesson for me!

 

Thank you for sharing us your story!

 

Have a great day!

 

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carefulprayerful

Erell, ton histoire me donne du courage aussi.  Tes messages font preuve d'une bonne attitude en dépit de tout!  Ce n'est pas évident.

My sister asked me something silly today: "What do they smoke in France--weed or ouid?"  (Le cannabis n'est pas conseillé par SA!  :) )

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carefulprayerful

Just read this in Beyond the Label by Christina Bjorndal, ND, a woman who received a diagnosis of bipolar and became a naturopathic doctor: "Maybe the doctors had been wrong and I wasn't bipolar.  After all, I had never had a psychotic episode naturally.  I had always been on some form of psychotropic medication when it happened" (page 53).  I identify with this since the only times I have had paranoia or delusions were in WD from lithium or risperidone, coming to about 9 days all total.  When I have had these waves, I have not been hostile--I have even tried to be on my best behavior at a time I thought someone was watching me who might give me a job offer.  Good grief!  I have blacked out, though, and had blanks in my memory when attempting to come off lithium (2013) or both risperidone and lithium at the same time (2015).  Have other people blacked out?  I haven't read about that here.  I have to taper conservatively in light of past experience.

 

I am grateful for my fiancé who has given me so much love and support through this.  A good story: I woke up from one of those nightmares of past abuse, which other people have mentioned having on here, and I had the feeling that I wanted to be alone, though I didn't say anything to my fiancé.  The next time I woke up a short time later (I sleep lightly these days), my fiancé was no longer in the bed.  He had gone to sleep on the couch.  I asked him in the morning why he had gone there, and he said sometimes he sleeps better there.  I said that I had seen him nap on the couch but never sleep there at night in the past > 1 year we have been living together.  He said no, he had not slept there at night before.  Weird!  I always feel better when he is next to me, except for that night.    

 

I just want to express warm gratitude for this site.  It really keeps me going. 

 

Wishing everyone healing and peace, 

 

CarefulP

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Erell

Hi Carefulprayer !

Haha, yes we say weed in France, but yes with our poor English accent it is possible we say "ouid " 😉😅

I don't smoke it ! Tried when I was a Teen, and under meds ( 😯) and I had a huge panic attack..never wanted To try again ! 😄 And never wanted to try other drugs, too afraid..psychdrugs are enough! 😉

 

I think I might have experienced black out too : when I was 17, I had a summer that I now call the 'White summer'. I was under meds since a year, and at the end of the summer I wasnt able To remember anything of it. It never happened again.

 

Good thing that you have your fiancé To support you : love has such a strong power!

 

Ton français est vraiment très bon! Tu étais dans quel coin de France pendant ton Erasmus ?

 

Oui, mes journées ne sont pas faciles, mais j'essaie de garder espoir!

 

Warmest wishes!

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carefulprayerful

Hello everyone.  I just reached 0.300 mg tonight, and I think I need to hold. 

 

I have actually been feeling better than I have in a long time the past week.  I have slept 7.5-8.75 hours each night for the past seven nights.  I have also been relaxing a lot more and just acknowledging, accepting, and ignoring WD symptoms, which have been mild recently. 

 

However, tonight I had a wave of dizziness, nausea, a strange waking dream and then passing out momentarily and then coming to with vomit coming out of my mouth.  Not fun.  That was at about 8:45.  Now I am lying propped up in bed and just getting nausea and slight dizziness at this point. 

 

Last night lying in bed I also had a vivid nightmare before I actually fell asleep.  I don't know if that counts as a hallucination.  

 

I guess it is fair to say my symptom pattern has changed.  

 

Not sure if this is attributable to WD, of course.  I have been eating a plant-based diet and recently introduced kidney and black beans but no soy, which was a problem for me in the past.  I made an appointment with a naturopath recently and sent over my bloodwork so he could have a look before we meet, and he said I am having a little difficulty balancing my electrolytes.  I have reduced my thyroid medication a lot.

 

My sister is a nurse and she just told me to go to the ER since I have kidney problems and a thyroid issue.  She said it could even have been a seizure or cardiac event.

 

Just thought it would be good to post this just in case a mod has some info about WD.  I am going to the ER w/ my phone.  TY

Edited by carefulprayerful

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Glosmom

Be careful going to the ER, Careful!  Maybe you have slightly low sodium levels (glo had that) so will hope that can be rectified easily with food/IV fluids. Also hope they won't push meds on you either.   Glo had terrible nausea with her withdrawal and also had vomiting and dizziness off /on as she was low on her dose and even in withdrawals since jumping to zero.   Holding is a good idea and maybe you need more protein in your diet??  I just know Glo does better when she eats salmon, chicken and steak (protein).    Will be thinking of you and hoping you feel better soon!!  Glosmom

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Glosmom, thank you so much for the support.  It really means so much.  I did not take anything for the nausea or headache that they offered me at the hospital because I had seen a woman on YouTube who got tardive dyskinesia from nausea medication.  I also don’t want to add any more prescriptions to the mix for my body to deal with.  I am so grateful that I got good results at the ER.  They did a Cat Scan, chest x-ray, EKG, and bloodwork.  They discharged me saying that the nausea was probably the Risperidone withdrawal.  They gave me a doctors note for today and tomorrow.  I am still having nausea, fatigue, momentary chest pains, stomach ache, and headache.  I think ginger tea is helping me with the nausea.  Hoping to feel better by tomorrow but will listen to my body about going back to work.  I am holding the dose at 0.300 for 10-12 days (my fiancé really encourages me to do the holds!)

It’s a beautiful day and I went out for about an hour :) 

Best wishes to you and Glo! 

Careful 

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On 8/24/2019 at 9:34 AM, carefulprayerful said:

Other than depression, the only symptoms I experienced were mild: taking naps, mild anxiety, tension, and a headache.

I actually just want to correct this about my Celexa WD in 2006: I experienced derealization for a long time, too.  I felt as though I knew I was walking around on the ground, but at the same time I was really floating around up in the sky.  

 

I remember reading that mourning a parent takes about 2 years.  (I CT’d Celexa within a few weeks of my father’s sudden passing in 2006 when I was 19.). Indeed it took about 2 years to feel happy again.  I would also say to people that the loss hit me the worst after about 6 months (that was my own observation).  Now I know that is a WD pattern for many people—it shows up after 3 to 6 months. 

 

I am so glad I am doing a slow taper this time!!  I wouldn’t be able to CT Risperidone and function.  🙏

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Glosmom

Glad you got reassuring news at the ER, Careful.  Hold as long as you can handle.  My belief is the effects of decreases are cumulative if not enough time has transpired for the 'brain to catch up.'  So one can think they are 'okay' and ready for more decreases until the proverbial 'straw' breaks the CNS and lots of symptoms show up.  I don't regret getting Glo off of the risperidone AT ALL. But I do believe the speed in which we did it, is increasing the time it is taking her to recover since she jumped to zero.  She is getting better but the "unwinding" of the effects are still occurring.  I think of it as a hose that has to unwind completely before it reaches its fullest capabilities.......and a lot of the time during that unwinding process, the hose has kinks in it that have to be dealt with before things are 'free flowing'   :)   Okay....enough now of my  'motherly advice' although it sounds like I would approve of you fiancé ;)  Hugs, Glosmom

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On 10/11/2019 at 1:20 PM, Glosmom said:

Hold as long as you can handle. 
Thank you so much for this!  I am doing a long hold for 60 days, ending December 7.   My fiancé said "That's good.  Just to be safe."  My family all like him, too ;)

 

I think of it as a hose that has to unwind completely before it reaches its fullest capabilities.......and a lot of the time during that unwinding process, the hose has kinks in it that have to be dealt with before things are 'free flowing'   :)  

This is a very helpful analogy.  It's always good to read Glo's progress, working out the kinks as the hose unfolds.

 

Today is Day #4 of the hold.  It's going to be tough for me to stick to, but I know deep down it's the best thing right now. 

Cheers and hugs, 

Careful

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On 9/16/2019 at 8:13 AM, carefulprayerful said:

As for the wave of symptoms Aug 19-22, roughly, much of it was related to a situation at work that brought up old trauma in conjunction with a major life event, getting engaged.  The interesting thing is that the mood shifts I experienced, at one point, were rapid but just like fluttering, not a split second peak or drop (which I experienced in WD in the past).  This time there were many things that reminded me of the way I was when I went to the hospital at 25--the cheerful, friendly mood, for example.  (I was diagnosed with bipolar with psychotic features, but I seriously at that point did not have delusions like I ended up with in WD.  I had repressed memories come up and I said I wasn't sure if they were real, had a huge panic attack, was binging on sugar, and said I had thought of killing myself.  That was enough to get me on lithium.)  There were certainly WD symptoms a few weeks ago.  However, this experience was meaningful, and I used coping skills to get through it.  It actually felt good to feel pain Aug. 22, and I was proud of myself for getting through those days.  I also could not tell if the burning feeling was a WD type burning or just feeling like I got burned in the situation.  The only confusing thing is that it literally set in and passed in time with my PMS/period pattern (2 days before my period through the first or second day of my period).  I feel as though I learned a lot about myself.  I have made an appointment with a new therapist and started reading a book called Beyond the Label, etc.  I feel back to myself, but I feel as though I learned a lot about myself and grew from it.   I don't want to underestimate the role of WD, though.

Just correcting this.  The reasons I suspect the incident was WD related:

- it followed the PMS/period pattern, as mentioned 

- when I over-exercise, I get a wave of symptoms.  Since that incident, I over-exercised once and experienced the same intense emotions as that week

- When I miss a dose of Lamotrigine, I usually get a small wave of Risperidone WD symptoms.  This also happened with a return of those intense emotions. 
- That week this August included stronger headache, stomach ache considérable enough that I couldn’t stand up straight, etc. 
- Emotional stress that would ordinarily be difficult to handle seems to be much harder in WD and difficult memories seem to pop up vividly a lot. 
- There was a chemical feel to it. 
- I would like to explain what happened to me at 25.  I was young and confused.  I went to the hospital looking for a safe place in November and declined to take medication. I don’t know what the diagnosis was.  I went back in December and accepted a small dose of Prozac daily Prozac and Risperidone as needed.  I was diagnosed with PTSD.  Then I started bingeing on sugar and went back to the hospital pretty hyper.  I am calling into question the mental state I was in during that third stay as being really me because I had been on the Prozac and Risperidone as needed for 1 month which they stopped me from CT at the hospital while putting me on one drug after another, so it is possible that affected me.  They switched the diagnosis to bipolar. I really don’t think there’s any way to know clearly about this, if these diagnoses have any legitimacy to begin with.  Maybe I did have ‘mental illness’ (I did have one really bad anxiety attack and lacked coping skills, but a muse held my hand through it.  She was actually awesome.). In any case mental symptoms like those I had are not so alien to the human condition and should not be seen as so aberrant.  I don’t think we stay at our worst if we want to heal and do things to take care of ourselves and learn to cope and seek out a healthy environment for ourselves.  The hospital is not a healthy environment in my experience.  I said if I went back to my spiritual recovery program for food addiction I thought I would be okay, and the doctor laughed and said, “That’s not what you need.”). 
 

I know this site is about WD, but I also do want to be as accurate as I can be. 

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On 8/24/2019 at 9:34 AM, carefulprayerful said:

Had severe withdrawal symptoms this week, which have by and large passed.

 

I felt a lot better after eliminating the soy, but at the same time I also eliminated the probiotic sauerkraut because it seemed like I could not tolerate it as I could before and wasn't benefiting from it.  I knew deep down that I should not increase my taper rate once I was no longer getting the benefit of the probiotics, but I did it anyway up to 9-10%/month.  I also stopped keeping as detailed records of my daily symptoms, and I lost track of them. 

 

It started last week and got to the worst point on Monday.  I had racing thoughts, rapidly cycling mood, insomnia, hyperactivity, nausea, brain strain (kind of a pulling feeling), thoughts of reference, and old demons coming to mind.  I got through the work week, but it would be unsustainable to continue like that.  I didn't manage to meditate in the mornings because I was too tired to get out of bed.  I could not sleep much even with exercise and essential oils, which worked before (2-6 hours sleep/night this week).  Still feeling raw and agitated, have moderate throbbing headache, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.  It is hard to name all the symptoms, but I think those are the big ones. 

 

I became unable to control my vocal tone, sometimes sounding flirty, and I was unable to keep an even mood.  Sometimes I acted without reflection because I was thinking so fast.  This week was painful because I was hoping this would not happen at work.  It was worst at work.  I felt better with the comforts of home.  I also felt I could not communicate with my colleagues, and I was afraid to interact with them, so I kind of ignored them.  I prayed each time I went to the bathroom in the handicap stall, and that seemed to help a lot.  A lot.  I think my colleagues kept an eye out for me.

 

I was not really aware of what was going on while it was happening.  Because there was psychological pain linked to past trauma, I thought this was just that, but by the end of the week I realized it was too fast tapering and decided to do a long hold for a month.  Currently at 0.330 mg Risperidone.  I decided to hold and wait until the lingering symptoms pass. 

 

It could have been worse.  This was my second worst experience of WD.  I had three prior episodes of severe withdrawal before I discovered SA in January 2018 (and from that point on my experiences are described here).

 

This is a summary of what I experienced prior to SA:

 

c. 1999-Summer 2000 Zoloft dose unknown (CT)

I felt wonky the day after.  Began high school and I was depressed and anxious.  Nervous breakdown in early 2001, which could have been exacerbated by WD, not sure

2001-Spring 2004 Geodon dose unknown (FT)

Nothing. Nada.  Easy to do.

c. 2002-2005 Ambien dose unknown (CT)

Nada.  

2001-2006 Celexa dose unknown (CT)

By far the worst.  Three weeks after my dad died suddenly (I was 19 and a first year in college), I decided to stop taking Celexa because of perceived stigma.  After one day, my mood was so low that I decided to take two pills to make up for the previous day.  That night I woke up in the middle of the night with a strong impulse to jump out the window.  There was something almost irresistible pulling me toward the window.  My blood did not feel as thought it had run cold--my whole heart felt like it had run cold.  I thought, "Is it time?" and I really did not want it to be.  Then in my mind I saw the image of me standing at the window, glancing behind me and extending a hand to my roommate and saying, "Wanna come?"  Then the thought of inviting someone to kill themselves made something like my soul surge forth in my chest and I closed my eyes and just kept repeating over and over again, "Just don't move.  Just don't move.  Just don't move" until I fell asleep.  The next day I went to class feeling absolutely horrid, almost unforsaken.  I have a hard time finding appropriate words, but that will have to do.  The cold feeling did not leave me for the rest of the day.  I called my old psychologist from high school and told her I felt like a wounded pup wimpering at God's feet, and she said, "Is there anyone you can talk to there?" and I think I said, "I guess."  I didn't go talk to anyone.  That day I took the bottle of Celexa and threw it in the garbage and decided, "I am never taking this again!"  However, part of me thought, "I took it wrong."  I asked my boyfriend recently what the worst day of his life was, and he said when his mother suddenly died.  My father's sudden death was certainly a shock to me and my mood dropped, but there is no comparison.  No human being should have to live even one day like that, but I know many of us have.  I was okay for a while after that, but a few months later I sunk into a deep depression.  I had suicidal ideation on a movie real in my mind constantly, all day long, for over a year.  Other than depression, the only symptoms I experienced were mild: taking naps, mild anxiety, tension, and a headache.  Life at that time was cold, hard, and heavy.  Of course, the sudden death of a parent gave me plenty of fodder for depressing thoughts, so I thought at the time it was mourning.  I felt like my father dying was like the rug being pulled out from under me and hitting my head on the floor, and then I would get back up and something would remind me that he had died and the same thing would happen with the rug being pulled out from under me.  Eventually, I just stayed on the floor, and could not get up.  At the time, I thought this was all mourning, but now I think I had severe WD.  This was by far the worst year-year and a half of my life.  It fully passed 2 years after CT off Celexa.  This beat the original depression by a landslide.  Again no comparison.  I called my old psychologist from high school once and told her, "I used to think about suicide once in a while, but now it's all the time."  Then I decided not to see her again about it and not to talk about it anymore.  I knew that at my college, students who complained of suicidal thoughts were often sent home and not allowed to return to school because the school would look bad if students were killing themselves on campus.  

I was off drugs entirely for six years.  These included some of the best years of my life, laughter, poetry, friendship, study abroad (best year of my life), travel, and a recovery from food addiction, too. 

Then I went back on psych drugs in 2011 for another round, and I will write about that another time.

 

 

 

I just had to make that correction in blue because it changes the meaning.

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Update: 2019 In Review

 

On 1/1/2019 at 1:54 PM, carefulprayerful said:

Overall progress in 2018 toward coming off Lithium, Risperidone, and Lamotrigine

 

 

 

                          Lithium       Risperidone       Lamotrigine        Synthroid               Vienva

 

                                                                                                  (for thyroid)    (oral contraceptive)

 

January 2018:      900 mg           1.0 mg              250 mg           125 mcg            standard dose

 

January 2019:       0 mg             0.625 mg           175 mg             75 mcg            standard dose

 

January 2020:            0 mg                0.260 mg             175 mg              50 mcg                standard dose 

 

Current supplements:

Vit E

Nephrovite

Iron

Vit D

 

Diet:

low salt

no dairy

low protein

plant-based (not 100%)

no flour

no sugar

no gluten

clean gut but not perfectly since I eat grains and lentils

a touch of probiotic sauerkraut

cook with a little turmeric 

I eat 2 oz salmon or sardines each day.  Still have not switched over to the fish oil supplements.

 

Synthroid:  I discovered I have an autoimmune condition affecting the thyroid.  The inflammation from the psych drug WD plus whatever cumulative damage there has been to my thyroid has made me hold off on tapering the Synthroid.  My primary care doctor monitors it now and thinks the dose is fine as is.  I get the bloodwork done regularly.  Of course, I was sent to an endocrinologist to check on my thyroid only once I was taking Lithium.  I think this was precautionary, as I had no complaints and Li is known to affect the thyroid.  In fact, the endocrinologist said at the time that I could opt to take it or not.  I have been taking it for 7 years.  

 

I've slowed my tapering down to Risperidone 5%/month microtaper for now.  Risperidone is definitely the most difficult drug of my cocktail to come off.

 

Here's my year in review:

In 2018 I was happy just to be alive after surviving Li and also because I was newly in love.  In 2019 I saw my kidney function go from 36% up to 56%.  I was at once grateful by how much my kidneys had recovered and angry about this scandal.  (I am still deeply grateful that the drug that was harming my health so much was relatively easy to get off.)  Since I am easily agitated in WD, handling anger has been a learning curve, but I'm getting there.  I also got on a bucket-list kick and started trying to achieve all sorts of things, from learning Italian to getting in shape, and began living at a manic pace.  I eventually discovered that rigorous exercise is too much for me to handle in WD.  From Oct 2018 to August 2019, I kept increasing my taper rate from 5% gradually up to 10% and stopped keeping a symptom journal.  I also had trauma stuff come up out of the blue in August and went through a manic/psychotic episode, unlike anything I experienced prior to meds but I digress.  I know my brain is more apt to experience psychosis because of WD and possible tardive psychosis (whereby long-term antipsychotic use makes you more prone to psychosis).  This wave was also accompanied by more pronounced WD symptoms of a physical nature (headache, etc.) and happened during my period, when WD symptoms can be significantly worse.  I am a little disappointed.  I was hoping that armed with the 5-10% microtaper method, I would never have to experience psychosis again, as I had only experienced it during WDs prior.  Maybe I would have developed it without the drugs.  Who knows?  At this point the question is academic.  I am tackling my trauma issues.  I am also eliminating/managing stress as much as I can.  I am grateful that at least I have a solution to the drug dependence, thanks to this site, which opens to door for me to begin my own personal journey.  (Also, I just want to note that I have not been destructive in those 'psychotic' states.)  After I passed out and began puking unconscious in Oct., I finally gave in and reduced my taper rate to 5% of the Risperidone.  I also got engaged in 2019 and am so grateful my fiancé was there with me when this happened and was able to take me to the hospital.  (They did a very thorough blood work and found no cause for the incident, except that they attributed the vomiting to drug WD.)  I also transitioned to a more plant based diet in 2019, and discovered I was getting a little low (but not dangerously so) in some vitamins and minerals, so I began taking Nephro-vite (a prescription multi-vitamin safe for kidney patients) and iron.    

 

I can't help stating this, although I know it is on the negative side, but I have in effect been sterilized by Big Pharma and the APA.  I am 33 and not planning to have children while I taper and manage kidney disease.  It's all f***** up.  It's all good. 

 

I think a lot about tapering both drugs together but extremely slowly.  I have tried creating a liquid suspension with the Lamotrigine a couple times to start tapering, but this is a tough transition for me.  I get anxious.  I might try to start cutting the Lamotrigine by filing down pills. 

Then there's that thought...

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” Aristotle.  

I try to think that if the hardest thing I have to summon in my day is patience, then...I should be so lucky.

 

I will also note I had an EKG done since I have gotten mild chest pain while tapering Risperidone.  My doctor said the EKG looked great. 

 

Quote

 

In the past year, I attempted coming off psychiatric drugs following the fast-taper method.  I hit a wall, re-stabilized, and have since made progress by microtapering. 

 

 

 

Now seems like a good time for a look-back.   I hope that my story will be of benefit to someone, maybe even to medical professionals, or maybe just to me looking back on it in future years. 

 

 

 

As of a year ago, I had been on a cocktail of Lithium, Risperidone, and Lamotrigine for 5-6 years (my drug history goes back further, though).  I got off Lithium cold turkey in January 2018 and then began to reduce Risperidone and Lamotrigine until I hit a wall in the spring.  Then I took a long hold over the summer until all symptoms subsided.  Now I am tapering one drug at a time, Risperidone first.  I tapered Risperidone 5% in October, 6% in November, and 7.5% in December, using a daily microtaper method.  (See signature for further details.)

 

 

 

Success so far microtapering Risperidone October-December 2018

 

 

 

By microtapering Risperidone over the past three months, so far I have avoided the severe symptoms which I experienced in past attempts to withdraw from Risperidone: brain zaps, withdrawal-induced 'psychosis,' insomnia, a flash of anger, etc.  I originally experienced nothing like this before being prescribed medication.  Indeed, the cure has been worse than the 'disease.'

 

 

 

While microtapering Risperidone in October and November, I felt no symptoms for large portions of the day.  As of December, I now pretty much always feel something.  Symptoms are still mild, though.  Currently I would rate them as a 1-2 on a scale from 1-10. 

 

 

 

I'm using a very helpful rating scale from The Antidepressant Solution by Glenmullen p. 137.  Basically it says:

 

1-3: mild, symptoms do not affect ability to function

 

4-7: moderate, uncomfortable, affect ability to function even a small amount

 

8-10: severe, scary symptoms that prevent functioning, requiring updosing and very slow tapering

 

 

 

My symptoms while microtapering Risperidone have included anxiety, fear, restlessness, agitation, tension, headache, brain fog, zoning out, slowness finishing sentences, tiredness, sensitivity to light, glassy eyes, abdominal pain, nausea, blurred vision, ringing in my ears, thirst, chest pain, loss of appetite, achy muscles, dizziness, a burning feeling once in my right shoulder, changes in bowel movements, and facial tics.  Some last only seconds.  Some have lasted a couple days.  They are worse for 2-3 days when I get my period.  I also recently got a rash, diagnosed as a fungal infection called tinea corporis.  The doctor said a suppressed immune system may have prevented me from fighting it off. 

 

 

 

I have been functioning fully in my work and personal life since beginning to microtaper Risperidone, though I am taking more time for rest, particularly the past couple of weeks since I have been on a stay-cation.  I am concerned I may not have much stamina when I go back to work tomorrow since I have been getting a ton of rest on this stay-cation and I am still tuckered out. 

 

 

 

Tardive dyskinesia (TD)

 

 

 

As I have mentioned in previous posts, after cutting my dose of Risperidone from 1.0 mg to 0.75 mg last spring, unable to reduce it further, I held my dose at 0.75 mg over the summer, when I developed mild facial tics.  Symptoms include lip puckering, jaw clenching, a twitch in my left eyelid, lip licking, tongue wiggling, and my tongue sitting forward in my mouth, pressing against the back of my lower front teeth.  Of course, I am hoping the tics will die down when I am off Risperidone, and I pray that I don't develop tongue protrusion.  The tics distract me but mostly do not seem to attract attention from other people.    

 

 

 

It seems to me that after making a big cut of Risperidone in the spring, the tics that showed up in the summer were a little more intense than they are now.  While I was holding the dose, they almost went away entirely by the early fall, when I ended my long hold and began microtapering Risperidone.  Since microtapering they have come back but a little less strong.

 

 

 

The mild TD that was beginning for me in 2018 is no longer bothering me in the sense that it is not entirely gone, but I don't even think about it.  I am still on a low dose of Risperidone.  I was so afraid that it would get worse during the taper.  Now there's some good news for the tellin'.

 

Quote

Relationship with a prescribing doctor

 

 

 

I do not think she has formally diagnosed me with TD, but my doctor is concerned and does not want me on Risperidone.  She is supportive of me microtapering, though.  I don't express indignation at my appointments with her.  In my relationship with my doctor, I followed guidance from Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal by Peter Breggin and withdrawal.theinnercompass.org.  It seemed worth it to me to try to find a doctor with whom I could have a collaborative relationship.  Managing this relationship sometimes occupies my head space of course.  

 

 

 

Lasting long-term effects of Lithium (which I stopped taking in January 2018)

 

 

 

As a result of long-term Lithium use, my kidney function went down to 36%.  My most recent kidney function results were at or above 40%.    

 

 

 

I was also put on thyroid medication while on Lithium.  I am currently reducing my thyroid medication (Synthroid) with the help of my primary care doctor.  I have gone down from 125 mcg to 100 mcg to 75 mg.  Blood work is in the healthy range.

 

 

 

Mental well-being

 

 

 

My psychiatrist has observed no symptoms of relapse.  All things considered, I feel I am doing better than when I was on more medication: better ability to follow a train of thought, feel emotions, etc. 

 

 

Over the years I have found the following to be helpful for mental well-being: an eating disorders outpatient program; talk therapy; EMDR (trauma therapy); CBT; a 12-step group; spirituality; meditation; exercise such as yoga; nutrition; life-coaching; and self-help books, including some on the topic of positive psychology.

 

 

 

Reading

 

 

 

I have been reading the books people recommend on this site among others, including:

 

·         Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker

 

·         Mad in America by Robert Whitaker

 

·         Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal by Peter Breggin, MD

 

·         Your Drug May Be Your Problem by Peter Breggin, MD

 

·         The Antidepressant Solution by Joseph Glenmullen, MD

 

·         Pharmageddon by David Healy, MD

 

·         Models of Madness edited by John Read, PhD and Jacqui Dillon (the first edition was edited by Loren Mosher, MD, and others)

 

·         Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Claire Weekes

 

·         The Brain That Changes by Norman Doidge, MD (currently reading)

 

·         Primer in Positive Psychology by Christopher Peterson, PhD (currently reading)

 

 

Here are the new books: 

The Plant-Based Solution

How Not To Die (Dr. Greger)

Clean Gut Diet (Alejandro Junger)

Beyond the Label (Christine Bjorndal)

Authentic Happiness (Martin Seligman)

You Can Heal Your Life (Louise Hay)

Trauma & Recovery (Dr. Judith Herman)

The Body Keeps the Score 

The Stress Response (Matta)

Soteria 

Requiem for the American Dream (Chomsky)

Manufacturing Consent (Chomsky) (film)

The Lobbying Strategy Handbook

Some I am currently reading.

 

Sexual pleasure.  Slowly coming back...nothing to scream about. 

 

My memory has continued to improve. I can concentrate much better and feel more like myself.

 

Quote

 

Thank you, SA!  Have a happy, healthy new year!

 

 

I owe this website so much.  Thank you and hope you have a new year filled with love and light (and vengeance!  just kidding).

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Symptoms to add to the list, mostly mild and manageable, many for just seconds

 

  • Vomiting during syncope (hospitalization) preceded by a queasy feeling in the chest that is unlike anything I have felt before, and a vision with characters from the TV show I had been watching went through my mind right before I passed out

  • Concentration has come back to a good extent, which is wonderful.  However, I can’t yet manage how to control my concentration. Sometimes I get totally absorbed in thought (once drove through a 4-way intersection on a red light)  

  • Chest pain

  • Many sensations throughout the body that are difficult to describe 

  • Blurred vision (very mild, temporary)

  • Burning sensation in chest, shoulders (akathisia, very mild)

  • Inability to sit still (akathisia)

  • Dizziness (frequent)

  • Nausea (frequent)

  • Fatigue (frequent)

  • Stomach ache, sharp, usually on the sides (fleeting, daily)

  • Headache, dull or sharp (frequent) 

  • Back ache

  • Sensitivity to heat, light, and sound

  • Ears ringing (tinnitus), momentary, ear ache

  • Muscle twitches (tongue, lips, eyelids, legs)

  • Nervousness and shaking 

  • Thirst

  • Sensation of skin crawling on my legs, mild

  • Weakness in my legs

  • Pain in lower leg 

  • Numerous food intolerances

  • Brain feeling like it is a block

  • Feeling like I have been hit in the head

  • Sensations of stretching, pulling or prickliness in brain 

  • Brain fog

  • Brain strain (this is the best way I can describe it)

  • Head feeling numb 

  • Concentration issues 

  • Achiness and soreness in the body 

  • Joint ache

  • Insomnia (mild)

  • Intolerance for exercise (leads to headache, stomach ache, nausea, unease)

  • Seeing stars, for example when I flop on the bed

 

If I take the Risperidone only 2-3 hours late, I get that skin crawling feeling up my back and an uneasy, nervous feeling. My CNS is very sensitive to this drug. (On that note, I better go measure my dose!)

 

This list is just meant to be another testimony to the fact that these drugs cause dependence.  I am doing at a 5% microtaper right now (i.e., I make tiny cuts over the course of the month so that by the end of the month I am 5% down from where I was at the beginning of the month).  This is a very manageable pace, low symptoms and totally doable.

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Glosmom

Hi @carefulprayerful!!  So happy to read your update!!  You are down to .26 mg....congratulations!!  You are doing a wonderful job in tapering.  As I look back on Glo's taper....I know now that we should have held her longer after each drop.  I had to work with her dad on that....and that was difficult to balance our 2 opinions...so she went faster than she probably should have.  Can't do anything about that now....but I am so happy you are managing things well and taking the time needed in between drops.

 

 Glo shares many of the same symptoms you listed in your post (I copied below)  but she is doing better the farther she gets away from her jump to zero.  It has been 11 months now and even though many of her withdrawal symptoms continued after zero (due to the fast taper I am imaging) some have gone away completely while others have been reduced in severity (especially recently.)  I plan to post an update soon....once I know if the recent improvements we have seen will stick around. :)

 

Just wanted to reach out and say hello and let you know that we are thinking of you and sending healing thoughts your way.   Warmest Regards, Glosmom

 

13 hours ago, carefulprayerful said:

My symptoms while microtapering Risperidone have included anxiety, fear, restlessness, agitation, tension, headache, brain fog, zoning out, slowness finishing sentences, tiredness, sensitivity to light, glassy eyes, abdominal pain, nausea, blurred vision, ringing in my ears, thirst, chest pain, loss of appetite, achy muscles, dizziness, a burning feeling once in my right shoulder, changes in bowel movements, and facial tics.  Some last only seconds.  Some have lasted a couple days.  They are worse for 2-3 days when I get my period. 

 

13 hours ago, carefulprayerful said:

Risperidone: brain zaps, withdrawal-induced 'psychosis,' insomnia, a flash of anger

 

 

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carefulprayerful

Thank you for the encouragement, Glosmom!  (I know they call antidepressents prodespressants and antipsychotics propsychotics, so I shouldn't be so surprised by my brain's reactions.)   

 

I am so glad to hear Glo is continuing to improve--it is only a matter of time.  Thanks for checking in, and I am looking forward to reading your next update. 

 

Sending healing and peaceful thoughts to you and Glo 🌈

 

Best, CarefulP

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manymoretodays

Hi cp,

I went ahead and added the Risperidone, Lamotrigine, and Lithium to your "tags".

Let me know if you would like anything else added there.

Do you see the "tags" now at the top of your introduction pages?  And the + tags feature.  The + tags feature, when clicked on, is how you would change or add tags.

 

Hope this helps.

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

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