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Cleerity

Cleerity: clonazepam, alprazolam, aripiprazole & mirtazapine

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Cleerity

Hello:  

 

I am here after a person on another forum (BenzoBuddies) alerted me to the existence of this one when I queried if anyone there had experience with tapering/eliminating Aripiprazole (Abilify).

 

I am currently working on titrating down from the Clonazepam I have been taking.  I have hopes of eliminating all the medications listed in my signature, in time.

 

Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine.  I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam.  So, I do not see that as a real hurdle.

 

There is an erroneous date listed in my signature.  It should be 2012.  If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it.  It was kind of a mystery just to create it.  

 

I hope to find some useful information and encouragement here.

 

I did a big drop of the Clonazepam (50%) on September 19, as instructed by my doctor.  Withdrawal symptoms were uncomfortable, but not terrible.  Days 1-3 met me with needing a bit more time falling asleep.  Days 15-21 met me with some irritability, headache (most days), one night of insomnia, a few days of mild depression and some free-floating anxiety.  Day 22 and onward, the aforementioned symptoms were gone and I was feeling better than what was my normal self.  I am glad for this.  After reading a lot of information (Professor Ashton's manual & on the BenzoBuddies forum), I decided to continue with reducing the Clonazepam at a rate of 25% every 14 days.  Yes, I know it is more than recommended (5-10%), but I believe I am capable of proceeding at this rate and take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed.  My dose tonight will be ~.4700.

 

When I began taking the medications (in 2001), I was diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder (without psychotic symptoms).  I did spend some time in a psychiatric hospital (~3.5 weeks), during which time several different medications were tried/thrown at me.  I don't remember all of them (prozac & paxil, are two that were tried...).  I did not take any but the Clonazepam longer than a few days/weeks.  Oh, except lamictal.  I took that for about 6 months (in 2001).  Almost forgot about that one.

 

A couple other antidepressants were tried just before I began taking the Mirtazapine in 2010:  Effexor, Celexa and Trazadone.  They all made me feel loopy, so I rejected them.  Sleep is what I needed and the Mirtazapine helped to deliver that.  The Abilify was a depression add-on which did seem to give me an overall improved affect/mood.

 

Since 2001, I have remained steadfastly committed to and deeply engaged in an in-depth therapeutic relationship (with a couple practitioners).  As a result, I have achieved a complete psychological, emotional and spiritual make-over.  Over the course of the past couple years, I have questioned if I really have a need to continue taking the medications, for I simply am not the same person I was 17 years, 10 years, 5 years or even 1 year ago.  It is my deep hope and desire that I will eliminate the medications.  It will be very nice to see who I am today, without the medications.

 

That's my history, in a nutshell.

 

Cleerity

 

 

 

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ChessieCat

Hi Cleerity and welcome to SA,

 

21 minutes ago, Cleerity said:

There is an erroneous date listed in my signature.  It should be 2012.  If someone could guide me in editing it, I would sure appreciate it.  It was kind of a mystery just to create it.  

 

Thank you for creating your drug signature.  This link will take you straight to it.  Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

Please put all your current drugs in the Drug Interactions Checker and copy and paste the results or the link to them in your Intro topic.

 

 

22 minutes ago, Cleerity said:

take comfort in the fact that I can always adjust my dosing, if needed.

 

From:  About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

This applies to tapering too quickly too:

 

On 10/9/2012 at 10:17 AM, Altostrata said:

Don't suddenly go off medication assuming that reinstatement is a safety net. This is one of the reasons we advocate gradual tapering to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Once the nervous system is destabilized by withdrawal, all bets are off Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall.

 

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?
 

This topic has links to tips for tapering various drugs and getting the dose you need:  Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Please see:

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?
If you're not having an adverse reaction from the other medications, taper the most activating drug first. This is usually an antidepressant or stimulant (ADHD drug).

 

This is your own Introductions topic where you can ask questions about your own situation and can journal your progress.

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Shep
10 hours ago, Cleerity said:

Once I have eliminated the Clonazepam, I would next like to work on the aripiprazole, then the Mirtazapine.  I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam.  So, I do not see that as a real hurdle.

 

Hi, Cleerity. Welcome to SA.

 

As ChessieCat wrote, your clonazepam reductions are far too rapid and updosing or reinstating is not always effective. I would encourage you to hold and then to proceed at a slower rate. I'm glad you're doing well so far, but the goal is to stay as functional as possible all the way through your tapers. If this rapid taper goes bad, it could set you up for problems very early on in your withdrawal journey by destabilizing your nervous system. Again, this may not be fixable with an updose or reinstatement. 

 

When you state, "I have only very occasionally used the alprazolam", what does that mean? Please add the dates that you use alprazolam in your signature. If you are using them to aid in a rapid clonazepam taper, this is a very risky way to taper and you may be masking the symptoms of a too rapid taper. 

 

Some more information about psychiatric drug withdrawal:

 

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

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

What is withdrawal syndrome?

 

As you continue to provide more information about your taper, we will be better able to guide you off these drugs as safely as possible. 

 

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Cleerity

Thank you, Chessie and Shep!

 

I was able to edit my signature. 

 

Here is the link to my drug interaction checker results:  https://www.drugs.com/interactions-check.php?drug_list=1640-0,703-0,233-0,1573-0,233-109

 

I did not include supplements (Calcium, Vitamins B, C, D, Fish Oil, etc.).  Should I have?  No problem for me to re-do and post the updated link.

 

Thank you for all the links.  

 

Having perused them, I am now thinking the safest route would be for me to:

 

1.  Hold (slight updose, maybe, from my current ~.4700 mg) at .5 mg clonazepam?

 

     Going back to the 1 mg seems pointless now that I feel to be successfully reduced to ~.5 mg.

 

2.  Work first on the Abilify or Remeron.

 

Can anyone recommend which of these latter two I should taper off first?  I am thinking the Abilify, for while given to me as a depression add-on, it is an anti-psychotic.

 

Just to be clear, a question, on tapering by a 10% dose reduction:  Do you recommend titrating down to a 10% drop over the course of a month?  Or, by simply dropping 10% of the dose and holding there for 1 month before making another drop of 10%?

 

On the Alprazolam (which is already in my signature):  Though prescribed for .25 mg up to 2x/day (PRN), I have "never" taken it on a regular basis.  I would say that a good estimation is that I have used it at a rate of .25 mg, 3-5 times in a month, though there have also been periods where I did not touch it for a 2 or 3 months at a time and also some months where I might have taken 5-7 doses.  Not sure how to include that in my signature, but will find a way.  As of late, I took a dose only twice in the past month.  One of those doses was during the peak (2-3 week) withdrawal period from the clonazepam reduction (1 mg to .5 mg).

 

The thread on which medication to taper first was very helpful.  But it leaves me with a question on the mirtazapine, for while it is an anti-depressant, it does also have a sedating quality.  Is it a brake or is it an accelerator?

 

And, oh, because I "seem" to not have a dependence on the alprazolam, should I just not take it?  

 

Thank you!

 

Cleerity

 

 

 

 

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Cleerity

One more question:  I have already read that Abilify is not soluble in water.  Is it soluble in something like Vodka?  If not, how might I achieve 10% reductions on the Abilify?

 

Thank you,

 

Cleerity

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Shep
3 hours ago, Cleerity said:

1.  Hold (slight updose, maybe, from my current ~.4700 mg) at .5 mg clonazepam?

 

If you're doing well, you might want to simply hold as opposed to an updose. 

 

But if you are struggling, than going from .4700 mg to .5 mg is a 6% updose, which is reasonable, especially since your last reduction was recent. 

 

3 hours ago, Cleerity said:

And, oh, because I "seem" to not have a dependence on the alprazolam, should I just not take it?  

 

Exactly. Even periodic use of benzos can lead to dependency. The best way to have a low-symptom taper is to go slowly without masking your symptoms with other drugs (especially other drugs that can also cause dependency).

 

3 hours ago, Cleerity said:

2.  Work first on the Abilify or Remeron.

 

Can anyone recommend which of these latter two I should taper off first?

 

That depends. You are on a cocktail full of "brakes" so you may want to choose with drug to come off first based on side effects. Do you find Remeron more sedating than Abilify? Or can you tell?

 

4 hours ago, Cleerity said:

The thread on which medication to taper first was very helpful.  But it leaves me with a question on the mirtazapine, for while it is an anti-depressant, it does also have a sedating quality.  Is it a brake or is it an accelerator?

 

 

When you are ready to taper the mirtazapine, you may want to only decrease it until you are down to around 7.5 mg and come off the other drugs first. The reason I'm recommending this is because mirtazapine becomes more sedating on lower doses. Please see:

 

Tips for tapering off mirtazapine (Remeron)

 

Please note Alto's comment regarding mirtazapine being more sedating at lower doses: 

 

  On 4/10/2012 at 8:07 PM, Altostrata said:

Mirtazapine has a high affinity for histamine receptors and is therefore sedating at low doses. This is countered to some extent by its enhancement of noradrenergic neurotransmission at higher doses, making mirtazapine less sedative as its dosage is increased.

 

Whether you'll want to come off the Abilify or the Remeron first will depend on the level of sedation. It's best to stay on the one that is most sedating the longest.

 

That being said, the side effect profile of antipsychotics is high, so some people prefer to come off the antipsychotic first for that reason. 

 

 

4 hours ago, Cleerity said:

Just to be clear, a question, on tapering by a 10% dose reduction:  Do you recommend titrating down to a 10% drop over the course of a month?  Or, by simply dropping 10% of the dose and holding there for 1 month before making another drop of 10%?

 

 

There are many ways to reduce. The Brassmonkey Slide is a step-down method where you take a small reduction each week. If you wish to do 10% reductions, you would reduce 2.5% each week for 4 weeks and then hold. For more, please see:

 

The Brassmonkey Slide Method of Micro-tapering

 

And then there's the micro-taper: 

 

Micro-taper instead of 10% or 5% decreases

 

Regardless of the method you choose, please note that the percentage you reduce is calculated on the last dosage (not the original prescription). 

 

2 hours ago, Cleerity said:

One more question:  I have already read that Abilify is not soluble in water.  Is it soluble in something like Vodka?  If not, how might I achieve 10% reductions on the Abilify?

 

Please see:

 

Tips for tapering off Abilify (aripiprazole)

 

Abilify comes in a liquid, so you may want to ask you doctor to prescribe it that way.

 

The "tips for tapering" thread explores other ways of tapering and if the liquid isn't available, using pharmaceutical liquids to make the taper. I would go in that direction as opposed to using Vodka (I'm assuming that's coming off a benzo withdrawal board, as that's a popular method of dissolving certain benzos). 

 

Using a compounding pharmacy is another option. 

 

4 hours ago, Cleerity said:

I did not include supplements (Calcium, Vitamins B, C, D, Fish Oil, etc.).  Should I have?  No problem for me to re-do and post the updated link.

 

No, it's not necessary to redo your link. However, please add the supplements to your signature. 

 

Here is some information to read about supplements. Some people find B and D vitamins to be stimulating, so you may want to read the threads on those in particular. 

 

Important topics about tests, supplements, treatments, diet

 

Supplements - what helps, what doesn't?

 

Hypersensitive to B vitamin or B vitamin complex?

 

The importance of MTHFR, methylation, & B vitamins: Eat leafy green veggies!

 

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol or calcitriol)

 

A request - please add metformin to your signature. Please also add the date you started and the dose you are taking. I noticed it was in your drug interaction checker link, but not listed in your thread. It's best to have all prescriptions and supplements listed. 

 

 Questions - were you taking metformin before you started taking Abilify? Please note that Abilify can increase your blood sugar, so you may want to target that drug to come off first. Also, did you gain weight after starting on Remeron? Remeron is linked to weight gain and can also cause problems with high blood sugar. From what I've read, the antipsychotics like Abilify have a worse profile for this than the antidepressants, but I wanted to bring this to your attention for both of these drugs. 

 

It's possible that your overall health is going to radically improve once you are off the psych drugs and if so, you may be able to come off the metformin if coming off psych drugs resolves your blood sugar issues. 

 

I'm glad you found this site and are making these changes to your life. 

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Cleerity

Hi Shep, and "Thank You!"

 

16 hours ago, Shep said:

If you're doing well, you might want to simply hold as opposed to an updose. 

 

Everything is going fine at the .4700 mg of Clonazepam, so I will hold here...and will not use the alprazolam.

 

16 hours ago, Shep said:

Do you find Remeron more sedating than Abilify? Or can you tell?

 

Yes, I can tell.  The Remeron is more sedating.  It was in fact prescribed to help me sleep.  The Abilify is actually somewhat activating for me, hence I take it in the morning.  

 

Quote

When you are ready to taper the mirtazapine, you may want to only decrease it until you are down to around 7.5 mg and come off the other drugs first. The reason I'm recommending this is because mirtazapine becomes more sedating on lower doses

 

Thank you for the additional information/link on the Mirtazapine.  Reducing to 7.5 and then working on the other meds makes good sense.  

 

16 hours ago, Shep said:

Regardless of the method you choose, please note that the percentage you reduce is calculated on the last dosage (not the original prescription). 

 

Yes, I understand this.   Thank you.  

 

16 hours ago, Shep said:

Abilify comes in a liquid, so you may want to ask you doctor to prescribe it that way.

 

I will see my psychiatrist on Wednesday and will ask for this.  

 

Question:  IF she should not want to prescribe it, is it possible for me to use the Ora Plus suspension vehicle to slowly reduce the Abilify?

 

And, yes, the vodka tidbit did come from the Benzo forum.

 

I have added the Metformin and Supplements to my signature.

 

Response to your questions:  Yes, I gained weight with the Remeron (Mirtazapine), ~20-25 pounds.  And I did start the Abilify before the Metformin.

 

So, here is my plan:

 

1.  Eliminate the Alprazolam.

2.  Hold @ .4700 mg Clonazepam.

3.  Begin reducing Abilify (by 10% steps), soon.

4.  When Abilify is eliminated, reduce Remeron (by 10% steps) down to 7.5 mg.

5.  When I have Remeron at 7.5 mg, begin reducing Clonazepam (by 10% steps)

6.  Finally, work on eliminating the remaining 7.5 mg of Remeron (using 10% steps)

 

Does it look solid?

 

16 hours ago, Shep said:

It's possible that your overall health is going to radically improve once you are off the psych drugs and if so, you may be able to come off the metformin if coming off psych drugs resolves your blood sugar issues. 

 

I'm glad you found this site and are making these changes to your life. 

 

Thank you, Shep!  It is indeed my deep hope and wish to find freedom from these medications after all these years!  It will be great if I can find that I will also be able to eliminate the Metformin!

 

Sincerely,

 

Cleer

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ChessieCat
8 hours ago, Cleerity said:

Question:  IF she should not want to prescribe it, is it possible for me to use the Ora Plus suspension vehicle to slowly reduce the Abilify?

 

These topics discuss ways to talk to the medical professionals.  We need to be gentle but assertive to get what we need.  Rehearsing what you want to say can help.

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

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Cleerity

Thank you, Chessie!

 

I have read the information at the links you sent.

 

I have had the same psychiatrist managing my medications since I was medically retired from the Army 17 years ago...with the PTSD (which stemmed both from my military service and an abusive childhood) and Major Depressive Disorder diagnoses.  She has a lot of respect for me, as she has watched me walk through terrible, terrible times in what was once a horrific journey. On one of my most recent visits with her, she actually encouraged me to return to school to obtain a Masters in Counseling degree.  She supports my desire to come off the medications.  I just am not sure she will see the need to titrate down as slowly as I would like to.  She is the one that told me to halve my clonazepam dose.  Hence, I am not sure she will agree to the liquid Abilify.  That said, I do still hold a heap of respect for her, too.  She could have thrown a number of different diagnoses (and other meds) at me through the years, but never tried to.  She and my two therapists (not two at the same time, but one at a time, both friends and peers of my psychiatrist) abided with me through my journey, letting my own self/Self guide the way through the insanity of the hells and highways I had to travel.  They were much more like companions.  I am grateful to have had them.  Unlike many here (from what I read), I was blessed to have truly great therapists/analysts.  When I began healing, I was intuitively guided to those of the Jungian ilk (based on the work of Carl Jung) and cannot bless enough that decision.   I already felt stigmatized by my history and the two diagnostic labels I carry, more would have added insult to the deep injury I already suffered.  Jungians believe that all healing lay within the individual.  But, I digress...  I shall ask for the liquid preparation, telling of my desire to come off the Abilify as slowly and painlessly as possible, letting her know that I am concerned to remain stable amidst withdrawing from the medication.  I hope that she will oblige me!

 

Thanks again,

 

Cleer 

 

 

 

 

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Shep
10 hours ago, Cleerity said:

So, here is my plan:

 

1.  Eliminate the Alprazolam.

2.  Hold @ .4700 mg Clonazepam.

3.  Begin reducing Abilify (by 10% steps), soon.

4.  When Abilify is eliminated, reduce Remeron (by 10% steps) down to 7.5 mg.

5.  When I have Remeron at 7.5 mg, begin reducing Clonazepam (by 10% steps)

6.  Finally, work on eliminating the remaining 7.5 mg of Remeron (using 10% steps)

 

Does it look solid?

 

Excellent.

 

And if reducing by 10% is too much, you can always reduce 5% or even less. 

 

Sometimes withdrawing from psych drugs can cause traumatic memories to resurface. With PTSD, please go as slowly as you need to go. 

 

 

47 minutes ago, Cleerity said:

 When I began healing, I was intuitively guided to those of the Jungian ilk (based on the work of Carl Jung) and cannot bless enough that decision.   I already felt stigmatized by my history and the two diagnostic labels I carry, more would have added insult to the deep injury I already suffered.  Jungians believe that all healing lay within the individual. 

 

You may be interested in the Beyond Meds website. The site is authored by someone with a long-time history of these drugs and her writings are quite interesting in the area of healing from trauma. She also is interested in Jung. She opened her site up to Jason E. Smith, who wrote this article: 

 

Carl Jung’s Words of Advice for the Depressed

 

Tons of great articles on that website. Might be good for when you need to distract from symptoms. 

 

I think of coming off psych drugs as a hero's journey, complete with returning home with a treasure - the treasure of health, of peace of mind, of serenity of soul. 

 

We have a non-drug coping skills section which you may find helpful:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Please let us know how you do as you continue to hold the clonazepam over the coming days. 

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Cleerity

Hi Shep,

 

I will see how well I fare with the 10% reductions.

 

3 hours ago, Shep said:

Sometimes withdrawing from psych drugs can cause traumatic memories to resurface. With PTSD, please go as slowly as you need to go. 

 

True words and wise advice!  Quite honestly, though, when I was in the deepest throes of my journey, it was as if I had opened Pandora's box and all my demons were screaming for attention, despite the medication.  ...I will be careful.

 

3 hours ago, Shep said:

You may be interested in the Beyond Meds website. The site is authored by someone with a long-time history of these drugs and her writings are quite interesting in the area of healing from trauma. She also is interested in Jung. She opened her site up to Jason E. Smith, who wrote this article: 

 

I have taken only a quick look at the website thus far, but it does look like something that is up my alley, so to speak.  Thank you for mentioning it!

 

3 hours ago, Shep said:

Carl Jung’s Words of Advice for the Depressed

 

I am very, very familiar with Jung's letter to the depressed.

 

3 hours ago, Shep said:

I think of coming off psych drugs as a hero's journey, complete with returning home with a treasure - the treasure of health, of peace of mind, of serenity of soul. 

 

I have been reading your journey here on the forum.  I agree with you!  Part of the treasure also lay in what we bring back to gift to the world.  I see you doing this here.  May your light continue to burn, brighter and brighter!

 

Thank you also for the link for coping with emotions without resorting to drugs.  I see that I am gathering a wealth of resources to turn to right here in my thread.

 

I must say that I think this is an excellent site!   There is SO much helpful information here and many caring souls.

 

I shall post updates on my progress (and any distress :-) as I move along.

 

Cleer

 

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Cleerity

Okay... I think I should stop reading for the night!  I have been googling Abilify withdrawal and finding many accounts of folks not having a good experience coming off the medication.  Granted, there are probably some who had an easier go of it, but the successful ones usually do not flood the net with their good news/recovery.  And most of the stories I read were of those who tapered much too quickly or went cold turkey.  Anyhow, my reading has caused some healthy concern but also a few extra heartbeats!  Anxiety.  If my psychiatrist will not provide me with a prescription for the liquid Abilify, I “WILL” formulate my own.  

 

Peace,

 

Cleer

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Cleerity

I signed up for the newsletter and notifications for blog/article updates from the Beyond Meds website that Shep referred to above.  That should make for distracting as well as edifying time ahead in my journey.

 

Embarking on the journey to eliminate my meds, I thought "I can do this!"  And I am sure I can.  My uninformed mind, however,  was viewing it (not unlike the doctors who prescribe medications) as something that is "easy" to do.  Since reading more (here and elsewhere) about people withdrawing from Abilify (and other meds), I am definitely feeling some anxiety about making the move.  I am not excited about the possibility of psychosis and other symptoms that may manifest when reducing this medication.  

 

When I began taking the Abilify, I WAS dealing with some obsessive paranoia ... and it "seemed" to help with that ... but the source of that paranoia/anxious fear is not in my life any longer.  I feel I have "worked through" it.  So, I am hoping I do not have a rebound of that state.  Or, other things that crop up in withdrawal, even though they were not there in the first place.

 

Time will tell.

 

I feel I am doing well in holding at .4700 with the Clonazepam.  I have to attribute the mild anxiety I am feeling to my rumination over the potential withdrawal symptoms I may experience as I begin reducing the Abilify.

 

It is absolutely imperative that I move slowly, as I am essentially alone in life and must work to support myself.  In light of this, I am truly happy to have found this website, for I was about to rush headlong (too quickly) into this journey, unprepared.

 

Side note:  My avatar image is a reference to where I wish to be and how I wish to approach this part of my journey.  For me, the image, is evocative of balance and the clarity (hence, my user name, cleerity) and focus of mind needed to achieve that balance.  That circular light which greets my dancer is symbolic of wholeness for me, as well as the light of the Self.  

 

Cleer

 

 

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ChessieCat

It's understandable to feel apprehensive about starting a taper.  Especially if you have had a bad experience with trying to get off a drug before.  Putting it in perspective and realising that you have the information you need to do it in a safe way can help.

 

Unfortunately there will most likely be times during a taper that you feel worse than at other times.  It's important to learn and to use Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Audio:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)
 

 

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Cleerity

Thank you for the links, Shep!   I have never had a bad experience withdrawing from meds.  I am normally pretty good at changing the channel, as Brass Monkey's article talked about.  This time, however, all the reading of the poor experiences of others getting off Abilify did get me worked up.  Sheesh!  I have successfully hit the reset button and today is a new day!  

 

Just editing this post.  I guess I am not totally awake.  "Chessie!"  Thank you for the links and response!  

 

Cleer

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RubyJ

Hi, I saw your post on RedRobin's thread and thought I'd drop by since I'm currently (slowly) tapering off Abilify myself.

 

On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 3:23 PM, Cleerity said:

I shall ask for the liquid preparation, telling of my desire to come off the Abilify as slowly and painlessly as possible, letting her know that I am concerned to remain stable amidst withdrawing from the medication.  I hope that she will oblige me!

 

When I asked my primary care doctor about prescribing the liquid Abilify she was very accomodating.  Even though she thought that half a pill every other day was a good idea (eek) and she had suggested only two weeks between fairly large tapers (half a pill and then nothing) she was not resistant to a different approach than what she had initially advised.  She seemed relieved that I had thought of something and that I seemed to have a plan and so was very supportive.  I think since most doctors (even psych doctors it seems) have such little experience or knowledge about psych drug withdrawal they respond well to suggestions that get them off the hook, as it were.  As long as you seem confident and explain that you've done research, if she's a reasonable doctor I think you should be successful! Good luck!

 

(Keep in mind that the name brand 'Abilify' liquid is no longer available.  There are several generics that are, however -- so if she has trouble finding it in her database when making the prescription or something, make sure to mention that.)

 

I needed an adjustment period when I went from pill to liquid.  I'll paste the advice I was given from my thread here:

 

On ‎3‎/‎4‎/‎2018 at 1:19 PM, Gridley said:

When you switch from tablets to liquid, you should do a gradual crossover to allow your system to adjust.  Please read the first paragraph of MammaP's post (second post in thread):

 

Qqii: Is liquid less potent than pills even though its same substance ...

 

I'm sure something similar is also suggested if you make your own solution.

 

My experience tapering Abilify was partially difficult because I first tried cold turkey and then was tapering too fast.  Although I usually have some symptoms each time I start a new step down, as long as I don't take too big of a jump they are usually not that difficult to deal with and are gone within a week or so.  If you start out slow you will hopefully have a much easier experience than the stories you've found online.  I always tell myself to treat myself gently and to alert others when I start a step down so that I'm ready for any symptoms.  (I alert others so that they are less alarmed if I burst into tears with no seeming provocation.)  Reminding myself that the symptoms are coming helps a lot when they start because it's easier to remind myself that they will pass soon.  For me, it usually takes 5-7 days for any symptoms to appear, but it seems to vary somewhat from person to person, unsurprisingly.

 

Reading accounts online is bound to make you nervous, but you've already found a source of support and information in this forum, so you're better off than most of the people who wrote those.  It's also normal to feel apprehensive about starting anything that has an unknown outcome.  Try not to dwell too much on what you might experience since you won't really know until you start (easier to say than do, I realize!). 

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Cleerity

Hello RubyJ!  

 

Thank you for stopping in and reaching out.  I truly appreciate it!  It's good the meet another here working on the same medication.  I just read your thread and you have made a huge decrease from your original dose of 5 mg!  That's awesome!

 

3 hours ago, RubyJ said:

Even though she thought that half a pill every other day was a good idea (eek)

 

My psychiatrist was not much different in telling me to halve my Clonazepam dose!  

 

3 hours ago, RubyJ said:

...respond well to suggestions that get them off the hook, as it were(Keep in mind that the name brand 'Abilify' liquid is no longer available.  ...  There are several generics that are, however -- so if she has trouble finding it in her database when making the prescription or something, make sure to mention that.)

 

Yes, it is always helpful when one not just tells of a problem (concern for withdrawal) but also presents a solution to that problem (request for liquid preparation to assist titration).  It frees the other from the responsibility of having to own (solve) the problem themselves (which, in reality [in the case of psychiatric medications] it surely is a problem our doctors helped to create!).

 

At 80+ years old, my psychiatrist is rather old fashioned and still writes paper scripts.  So, she is probably not going to be looking in a "database" to find the liquid preparation.  If I can get her to the point of considering it, however, she might have one of the gals in the office verify the information (that I provide) on the liquid prep.  I think the liquid preparation will be the most practical way to manage my taper, so I am hopeful she will oblige me.  Thank you for the wish for fortune in this regard!

 

Thanks also for the post on crossing over!  Makes good sense.

 

The stories I found online, I am sure, were from folks who either went cold turkey or stepped down too fast.  I admit, had I not happened upon this website first, I also would have (like you) tried to step down too fast, too.  You are right, the valuable advice and support (already) given to me here will make my go of it much smoother.  For this, I am grateful!  I have already hit the reset button and am in good place now (looking at my own experience), ready to begin my slow and steady taper.

 

Thanks again for your expression of kindness and camaraderie in reaching out to me.  You truly brightened my day!   I wish you success in your continued endeavor to eliminate this drug.  

 

Warmest wishes,

Cleer

 

 

 

 

 

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Cleerity

I feel to be doing well holding at the ~.4700 mg of Clonazepam.  Because I will soon be working on reducing the Abilify, I am thinking of updosing to .5 mg of Clonazepam.  Not because I feel like I need it, but more from a practical standpoint.  It will be easier to just take a .5 mg tab than to be mixing/measuring two drugs at the same time.  Any thoughts from others on this?  Is the drop to .4700 significant enough of a "win" that I should maintain that dose?

 

Something I was aware of yesterday is that I am more alert, have a clearer mind.  I feel like I am appreciating getting a little bit of "me" back from all these brakes I am/have been on. 

 

Best,

 

Cleer

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Shep

Going from .5 mg to .47 mg is a 6% decrease, so it's not too dramatic of an updose. I do understand what you're saying about the practical aspects of this because there's more chance for mistakes the more steps you have to take, especially since you'll likely be holding the clonazepam steady at this one dose for quite awhile. Going back up by that 6% would likely add another month or so to your benzo taper when you get to it, if that helps in gaging if it's worth it. 

 

According to your signature, you reduced to .47 on October 20, which was only 4 days ago. This is so recent that it would be safe to increase back up to where you were 4 days ago to .5 mg. 

 

13 minutes ago, Cleerity said:

Something I was aware of yesterday is that I am more alert, have a clearer mind.  I feel like I am appreciating getting a little bit of "me" back from all these brakes I am/have been on. 

 

This is excellent news, Cleerity. I hope this continues. 

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Cleerity

Hi Shep!  

 

Yup.  That is what I am going to do.  Small up-dose to .5mg Clonazepam (for practicality's sake) and work on tapering the Abilify.  

 

...

 

My psychiatrist did NOT write the prescription for the liquid Abilify!  She does support me desire to reduce it, however, when I told her of the symptoms people are reporting in withdrawal, she suggested (in so many words) that the problem originate with them.  Ignorant.  She told me (like she did with the clonazepam) to just halve my Abilify dose!  :blink:  Ain't happening!  

 

I will have to either figure out a way to make my own liquid preparation or just do the direct taper.

 

Cleerity

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Cleerity

Might anyone be able to help me determine how to make a liquid preparation using the Ora Plus suspension vehicle to taper down from 2 mg of Abilify?

 

The information/instruction sheet for this product that is available online (https://www.perrigo.com/files/rx/pdfs/pds173-Ora-Plus Sell Sheet.pdf) is about as clear as mud as to how many tablets I should add to the suspension liquid!  

 

Thank you,

 

Cleerity

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ChessieCat

It might be better to make smaller quantities using part of the bottle of Ora Plus instead of one large quantity.

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Cleerity

Thank you for your response, Chessie.  I got it figured out last night.  I was making it harder than it really was, thinking the Ora Plus needed some kind of special computation, but liquid is liquid.  I am not intending to mix the whole bottle at one time.  I will make small batches as I go.  

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ChessieCat

You're welcome.  

 

1 hour ago, Cleerity said:

 I was making it harder than it really was

 

I think we've all done that at some time or other.

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Cleerity

 

On 10/24/2018 at 5:18 AM, Shep said:
On 10/24/2018 at 4:58 AM, Cleerity said:

Something I was aware of yesterday is that I am more alert, have a clearer mind.  I feel like I am appreciating getting a little bit of "me" back from all these brakes I am/have been on. 

 

This is excellent news, Cleerity. I hope this continues. 

 

Me, too, Shep!  Thank you for the wish of wellness.  But, alas, it was not entirely so yesterday.  The late afternoon found me feeling pretty edgy and anxious and I just cannot say my mind is "clear" under those circumstances.  I couldn't even figure out how to compute a simple preparation with the Ora Plus and my Abilify!   I am guess the irritability and anxiety was part of the acute withdrawal phase from the reduced Clonazepam dose.

 

It seems obvious to me that the 25% reduction rate of clonazepam I was attempting when I began posting here was just too fast.      

 

I think that because I seemed to recover well from the 50% drop I did back on September 19, I was feeling a bit too big for my britches!

 

Overall, though, I do feel more alert than when I was still taking the 1 mg at night time ... and I am glad for this.  

 

Today was better than yesterday, but I also up-dosed back to .5 mg last night.

 

The Ora Plus and amber jars will arrive Saturday and I can make my first batch to begin the Abilify reduction.  Being I am recovering from the peak withdrawal of the clonazepam reduction (despite my reinstatement), I will wait until I feel well again, but, may I ask, "How long of a period of wellness/stability should I experience before commencing to reduce the Abilify?"

 

12 hours ago, ChessieCat said:
13 hours ago, Cleerity said:

 I was making it harder than it really was

 

I think we've all done that at some time or other.

 

I am betting I will have more muddled moments that cause me to feel like a misfit as I move along in withdrawing from the medication!  

 

Thank you both for looking in on me!

 

 

 

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ChessieCat
7 hours ago, Cleerity said:

I am betting I will have more muddled moments that cause me to feel like a misfit as I move along in withdrawing from the medication!  

 

One thing that I think you will find useful is keeping written notes of your formulation/s.  Even people not tapering experience brain freeze sometimes.

 

And it's a good idea to do everything the same way using the same things so that you get a consistent dose.

 

Do you know that you shouldn't change drug form and make a reduction at the same time?  Or make any other change either.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

And keep symptom notes on paper.

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Shep
11 hours ago, Cleerity said:

It seems obvious to me that the 25% reduction rate of clonazepam I was attempting when I began posting here was just too fast.      

 

I think that because I seemed to recover well from the 50% drop I did back on September 19, I was feeling a bit too big for my britches!

 

Overall, though, I do feel more alert than when I was still taking the 1 mg at night time ... and I am glad for this.  

 

Today was better than yesterday, but I also up-dosed back to .5 mg last night.

 

Cleer, what do you think about holding for a bit longer before tackling the Abilify taper?

 

I'm concerned that you are feeling the 25% clonazepam reduction and am wondering how your previous reductions are going to affect you.

 

Over the past week since you joined the forum, you also stopped the periodic alprazolam use, so you really haven't given your nervous system time to establish a good baseline with the reduced benzo use. 

 

Since you are feeling better than yesterday (and yes, it could be because of the updose), you may want to give yourself a good month to settle into the lowered benzo dose and gage where you're at. 

 

It's best to be as stable as possible before going into an antipsychotic reduction. 

 

Please let us know your thoughts. 

 

 

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Cleerity
3 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

One thing that I think you will find useful is keeping written notes of your formulation/s.  Even people not tapering experience brain freeze sometimes.

 

I will do this!  I always keep a stock of 3x5 cards in my desk drawer for making notes.  

 

3 hours ago, ChessieCat said:

Do you know that you shouldn't change drug form and make a reduction at the same time?  Or make any other change either.  Keep it Simple, Slow and Stable

 

If I am understanding this correctly, "when" I get ready to start tapering the Abilify, I should first just make the switch from tablet to liquid, without reducing the dose?

 

But, also:  The Ora Plus information ( https://www.perrigo.com/files/rx/pdfs/pds173-Ora-Plus Sell Sheet.pdf) says that I should add approximately 10% overage for compounding losses.  I am not exactly sure what they are referring to.  A loss of the active ingredient?  Are they implying that I should actually increase my measured dose of the prepared liquid from 2 mg (pill) to 2.2 mg (liquid), when I start taking the liquid?

 

I think I also read something about about switching from tablet to liquid somewhere on the forum ... wait .... I just searched again and found it on the page, "Tips for tapering off Abilify (Aripiprazole):

 

On 3/11/2012 at 6:34 PM, Altostrata said:

Using a combination of tablets or capsules and liquid
Rather than switch directly to an all-liquid dose, you may wish to take part of your dose in liquid and part in lower-dose tablets or capsules, gradually converting to all liquid as you get to lower dosages. This can be very convenient and reduce any problems switching from one form of the drug to another.

 

The Abilify tabs are so tiny that I would not feel comfortable trying to cut the pill in half more than once... 

 

Then, there is the information from MammaP that RubyJ mentioned earlier here in my thread:

 

On 10/23/2018 at 12:29 PM, RubyJ said:

 

On 3/4/2018 at 2:19 PM, Gridley said:

When you switch from tablets to liquid, you should do a gradual crossover to allow your system to adjust.  Please read the first paragraph of MammaP's post (second post in thread):

Qqii: Is liquid less potent than pills even though its same substance ...

 

 

I read on the BenzoBuddies forum that people do experience a loss of dose potency in switching from pills/tablets to liquid because (if I remember correctly) more of the tablets/pills (because on their coatings) survive the stomach acids.  Not sure of the exact science in this, but it does seem a plausible hypothesis.

 

So, sheesh, do I increase to a dose of 2.2 mg when I start the liquid?  Or take part tab and part liquid?  Bottom line, I understand, is to just make the switch from tablet to liquid without decreasing my dose at the start.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Cleerity
1 minute ago, Shep said:

Cleer, what do you think about holding for a bit longer before tackling the Abilify taper?

 

Hi Shep.  I think this is great advice.  I will do this, especially because I have a second interview with a potential employer next week and I think I "may" get the position and I want to be at my best possible self if I do.  I think I will wait until the week of Thanksgiving before tackling the Abilify.  That will give me a solid 4 weeks where I am currently at with the clonazepam changes(s).

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ChessieCat

I'll check with the other mods about whether increasing the dose is necessary.

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Cleerity

Much appreciated , Chessie.  Thank you.

 

Cleer

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Cleerity
15 hours ago, Shep said:

 

Cleer, what do you think about holding for a bit longer before tackling the Abilify taper?

 

I'm concerned that you are feeling the 25% clonazepam reduction and am wondering how your previous reductions are going to affect you.

 

Over the past week since you joined the forum, you also stopped the periodic alprazolam use, so you really haven't given your nervous system time to establish a good baseline with the reduced benzo use. 

 

Since you are feeling better than yesterday (and yes, it could be because of the updose), you may want to give yourself a good month to settle into the lowered benzo dose and gage where you're at. 

 

It's best to be as stable as possible before going into an antipsychotic reduction. 

 

Please let us know your thoughts. 

 

 

 

Shep,

 

I wanted to come back to this post to give a more considered response. I was in a rush  to get ready for work this morning and was concerned that my quick message may have been perceived as half- hearted.  

 

I think your gentle suggestion to hold and rest longer where I am is wise.

 

I truly did begin feeling the 25% reduction rate I was “attempting” before I started to hold at the .47 of Clonazepam.

 

There has been no unmanageable anxiety today or yesterday, but the edges of my nerves do feel frayed, literally and experientially.  Work went very well today .  I even laughed until my eyes teared.  However, when my work day was done (these past 3 days), I really feel “spent” and irritable.  I just wanted  rest and peace, avoiding as much stimulation as possible. This is not my normal mode.  I have also been experiencing what feels like nerve pain in my lower extremities, quick and short-lived, darting pain. I’m not sure if this is withdrawal related.  While I am not experiencing the week-long headache like like I did when I made the 50% drop back in September, I am experiencing some intermittent shooting headache pains as well.  And I’m trying to think how to describe what I have been feeling around the crown of my head... An aura-like sensation of sensitivity, like the energy of my brain is wonky.  My digestive system also seems to be searching for new balance.  Oh, another sensation I am consistently experiencing is a fullness in my heart center, which I think is good, for I feel more connected to my feeling body.

 

It is good you reminded me that I have also resolved to not use the alprazolam.  How I was feeling two days ago, is an example of a day when I previously would have taken a dose of the alprazolam.  I have not used any and intend to completely refrain from it.

 

These are big changes and I think it’s important for me to find a new normal before I attempt another change, even if that be four or more weeks from now.

 

I admit, I felt in a rush to get off the meds!  But I have now accepted and settled into the reality of needing to move slowly and smartly, minimizing harm to myself.

 

Are antipsychotic meds more difficult to taper than other meds?  

 

Thank you!

 

Best,

 

Cleer

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Shep
11 hours ago, Cleerity said:

There has been no unmanageable anxiety today or yesterday, but the edges of my nerves do feel frayed, literally and experientially.  Work went very well today .  I even laughed until my eyes teared.  However, when my work day was done (these past 3 days), I really feel “spent” and irritable.  I just wanted  rest and peace, avoiding as much stimulation as possible. This is not my normal mode.  I have also been experiencing what feels like nerve pain in my lower extremities, quick and short-lived, darting pain. I’m not sure if this is withdrawal related.  While I am not experiencing the week-long headache like like I did when I made the 50% drop back in September, I am experiencing some intermittent shooting headache pains as well.  And I’m trying to think how to describe what I have been feeling around the crown of my head... An aura-like sensation of sensitivity, like the energy of my brain is wonky.  My digestive system also seems to be searching for new balance.  Oh, another sensation I am consistently experiencing is a fullness in my heart center, which I think is good, for I feel more connected to my feeling body

 

Thank you for expanding your answer and exploring this so thoroughly.

 

Are you able to do gentle yoga? The pain could be related to the fact that you made a rather large reduction in drugs that have a muscle relaxation effect. So coming off these drugs, especially too quickly, can increase pain. The muscle can tighten up and become rigid, leading to muscle and nerve pain. 

 

This is a blog written by a long time survivor of psychiatric drugs. You may find some of the articles and videos very helpful. Here is her archives for yoga during psychiatric drug withdrawal:

 

Beyond Meds - yoga archives

 

For articles on the GI system, you might find these helpful:

 

Beyond Meds - Diet and Nutrition archives

 

Hold for as long as you need, Cleer. Get strong first, taper second. 

 

 

11 hours ago, Cleerity said:

Are antipsychotic meds more difficult to taper than other meds?  

 

I think it's best to take a step back and place your specific situation in perspective. If you already have a destabilized nervous system due to rapid reductions of one drug or due to many changes involving polypharmacy, your experience is likely to be more difficult than say someone who was on Drug A and is coming off using a micro-taper while completely stabilized. 

 

Compare that to someone on Drug B who took three 25% monthly reductions and is now down to 25% of their original dose and is completely destabilized and needing to hold or do an updose to stabilize. They might stabilize eventually, but they may have a rocky go of it until they are completely off and into the healing phase. 

 

So I don't think it's really that one drug is harder to taper than another, but rather, how much damage has been done to the mind/body and especially, the nervous system, prior to and during the taper. 

 

You may find this thread useful:

 

One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

 

This part especially speaks to the question you asked:

 

On 5/24/2011 at 10:59 PM, Altostrata said:

Antidepressants cause downregulation of serotonin receptors. In a mechanism of brain self-defense, the receptors actually disappear, becoming more sparse so as to take in less serotonin. It is thought among withdrawal researchers that people who experience the worst withdrawal are slower than others to repopulate serotonin receptors.

Others believe those who suffer the worst are those whose brains are highly neuroplastic and adapted more thoroughly to the influence of the medication.

Relative slowness to upregulate receptors doesn't mean there's anything intrinsically wrong with our brains, it just means there's variability (of course) among nervous systems.

 

And you could, of course, replace the concept of "serotonin" and "serotonin receptors" with "GABA" and "GABA receptors" for benzodiazepines. And for the antipsychotics, they can increase the number of dopamine receptors, leading to dopamine super-sensitive. 

 

But for all of these categories of drugs, it depends on your level of neuroplasticity. And don't forget your non-drug coping skills. If you went on these drugs at a very young age, you may not have developed a lot of non-drug coping skills and just general life skills, so you may struggle more to learn as you go. Compare that to someone who went on the drugs at 40 and is coming off at 45, relying on decades of experience handling life without being numbed by drugs. 

 

So I wouldn't get drawn into the drama of the antipsychotic being more or less difficult to come off then any other drug. Your own experience will vary from others and there are many things you can do as far as acceptance (which you are brilliantly writing about) and learning to self-soothe without the need for drugs. 

 

You bring to the table a certain amount of resiliency already and then you build on it as you develop new skills to cope with withdrawal.

 

And by the end of the journey, you walk away dressed in the armor of your experiences and skills, ready to cope with whatever stress comes your way. 

 

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Altostrata

Welcome, Cleerity.

 

Good to hear the benzo reduction went well and you're feeling better on a lower dosage.

 

I'd like to get a bit more information about your drug situation as a whole. Why did you choose to reduce the clonazepam first? What was your daily symptom pattern?

 

In what ways has your symptom pattern improved since reducing clonazepam? How are you feeling now?

 

What's with the metformin?

 

What is your daily drug schedule, with times of day and dosages? Do you feel better or worse at any particular times of day?

 

We're not much for diagnoses here, either.

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RubyJ

Hi again, checking back in to see what your psych doctor said.  It's too bad she wouldn't write the script . . . the lack of documentation on withdrawal is less to do with it being rare and more to do with there being so few studies!  I've come to believe that the current system we have where the pharmaceutical companies are the main source of information on their own drugs and doctors just believe everything told to them by the companies is a big problem.  The makers of Abilify did note that in some monkey populations that there were possible withdrawal symptoms, but they didn't do a study on withdrawal in humans -- and that was it.  /end rant 

 

One thing that was suggested to me when I thought the premixed liquid wasn't available was using a compounding pharmacy.  As I understand, the upside to that route is that you get a solution that is mixed by professionals even if you don't have the script for the retail liquid -- although I'm not sure what kind of script they do require?  They may only need the script for the pills -- but the downside is that it can be quite pricey.  Prescription insurance doesn't always cover things from a compounding pharmacy.  If you have the monetary resources and a compounding pharmacy nearby it would save you the headache of doing your own calculations.  I honestly don't know enough about how it works but since you're going to wait to do the Abilify taper for several weeks, you have time to look into it if you're interested.

 

Of course, as long as you are careful with your figures and math and have everything written down, I'm sure you can do your own liquid -- many people have success with that!

 

On ‎10‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 3:59 AM, Cleerity said:

The Abilify tabs are so tiny that I would not feel comfortable trying to cut the pill in half more than once...

 

Don't I know it.  Cutting them was terrible . . . they crumble really easily and I had to throw away about half a bottle of pills at one point.  o.O  I'm sure that it's not really precise enough either . . . so I was glad when I could stop with the cutting.  The smallest I did was fourths and that was difficult enough.

 

22 hours ago, Cleerity said:

I admit, I felt in a rush to get off the meds!  But I have now accepted and settled into the reality of needing to move slowly and smartly, minimizing harm to myself.

 

Are antipsychotic meds more difficult to taper than other meds?

 

It's so hard to wait when you've realized what you need to do -- you want to just do it as soon as possible!  I feel you there. 

 

What @Shep said about the difficulty of antipsychotic meds was perfect - basically it comes down to the fact that it's different for everybody. 

 

I hope you continue to normalize and good luck at your interview next week!

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11 hours ago, Shep said:

Are you able to do gentle yoga? The pain could be related to the fact that you made a rather large reduction in drugs that have a muscle relaxation effect. So coming off these drugs, especially too quickly, can increase pain. The muscle can tighten up and become rigid, leading to muscle and nerve pain. 

 

I used to have a regular yoga practice.  So, yes, I can and will resume some gentle yoga and stretching.  That should be helpful.  I will let you know how it goes.

 

11 hours ago, Shep said:

Hold for as long as you need, Cleer. Get strong first, taper second.

 

I will hold and wait until I feel truly ready. That’s the sound and solid thing to do.  I will also pick up a small journal during tomorrow’s shopping trip, so I can start a daily log to track any symptoms.

 

Thank you for the links and quoted reference.  When I have more time, I "will" read them and may come back to comment!   

 

11 hours ago, Shep said:

And you could, of course, replace the concept of "serotonin" and "serotonin receptors" with "GABA" and "GABA receptors" for benzodiazepines. And for the antipsychotics, they can increase the number of dopamine receptors, leading to dopamine super-sensitive. 

 

I have read enough to have a fairly good understanding of what has been going on with the GABA and GABA receptors, but not yet enough on what the Abilify and Mirtazapine have been/are doing to me.  That’s some homework for me!

 

11 hours ago, Shep said:

But for all of these categories of drugs, it depends on your level of neuroplasticity. And don't forget your non-drug coping skills. If you went on these drugs at a very young age, you may not have developed a lot of non-drug coping skills and just general life skills, so you may struggle more to learn as you go. Compare that to someone who went on the drugs at 40 and is coming off at 45, relying on decades of experience handling life without being numbed by drugs. 

 

So I wouldn't get drawn into the drama of the antipsychotic being more or less difficult to come off then any other drug. Your own experience will vary from others and there are many things you can do as far as acceptance (which you are brilliantly writing about) and learning to self-soothe without the need for drugs. 

 

You bring to the table a certain amount of resiliency already and then you build on it as you develop new skills to cope with withdrawal.

 

I am 52 now, so I was 35 when I started with psychotropic meds.  That said, while I feel I did have a lot of general life skills (at 35), I was not at that time good at self-soothing – for it was not something I learned in what was a severely dysfunctional childhood environment - but I have since learned good skills and a MUCH healthier sense of self through my therapeutic involvement. I spent years “sorting the beans,” so to speak…throwing away all the negative introjects and replacing them with positive ones.  I might have been on meds, but I was "working."  That’s not to say I do not still encounter emotions and other material that needs to be processed and managed (because I surely do) but it sure is much easier now that I am emotionally more mature. I believe I am going to do well!  Withdrawal will throw me some curves, but I am positive and determined. As you have said, now, without the medications, I am going to have to learn more and grow more in the process … in learning to self-soothe on a deeper level.  I will also develop an even stronger sense of self/Self and learn much else along the way. All of this will be good!      

 

11 hours ago, Shep said:

And by the end of the journey, you walk away dressed in the armor of your experiences and skills, ready to cope with whatever stress comes your way. 

 

Thank you for the support and encouraging words, Shep!  It means a lot to me just now resolving to come off the medications.

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