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Template Letter Of Evidence To Doctors/Psychiatrists - feel free to use!


TreeElf
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Sadly, I've found that doctors won't read past two sentences of any letter or documentation provided to them.  Why?   Time is money.   They have no interest.   They don't care.  It annoys them.

  

Hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg, Multi vit., Calcium, D3,  Magnesium, Fish Oil, Melatonin,  Ambien 3.3 mg 1 or 2X/mo.  Benadryl-seldom, .......2002 - eliminated alcohol

2002- Paxil - 20 mg (3 WD attempts: 2005, 2008, 2010)

2011 - 30 mg 

2018 - 40 mg- Sept to Nov} {Dec - 37.5}

Jan 2, 2019 - 35 mg

Jan 11 -  33.75 mg

Jan 28 - 32.5 mg

Feb 4 -  33.75 mg 

Mar 4 - 32 mg

Mar 30 - 30 mg

 

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  • 1 year later...

1999-2003: not really remember. Tried Wellbutrin for a week, being mostly on Paxil

2004-2009: zoloft 200mg

2009-2010: zoloft fast withdrawal (-25mg per week), added celexa a few months, minimum dose)

2010: zoloft 200mg + zyprexa

2011: zoloft 200mg + seroquel XR 400mg, zyprexa removed

2014 (April): zoloft 0mg tapered -25mg per 2 weeks. Still having seroquel XR 400mg

2014 (July): restarted zoloft 25mg for unbearable symptoms. Still having seroquel XR 400mg

2018 (May): zoloft 0mg tapered -25mg per 2 weeks. Still having seroquel XR 400mg

2020 (May to August): seroquel XR -100, -100, -50, -50, -50 = 0mg on August 4th, reinstated to 50mg XR after 4 days

2020 Sept 21: seroquel 25mg

2020 Oct 12: seroquel 12.5mg

2020 Nov 2: seroquel 6.25mg, 21: seroquel 5mg, 22: seroquel 4mg, 24: seroquel 3mg, 28: seroquel 2mg. Dec 4 : 1mg, 5: 0.5mg, Dec 19: 2mg, 2021 Jan 16: 1.5mg, Jan 22: 1mg, Jan 23: 0.5mg, Jan 29: 0.25mg, Feb 06: 0.125mg, Feb 07: 0.06mg, Fev 11: 0.125mg, Fev 18: 0.1875mg, Mar 13: 0.09mg + clonazepam 0.25mg, Mar 19: seroquel 0mg, clonazepam 0.25mg, Apr 23: clonazepam 0.5mg, Oct 21: clonazepam 0.75mg

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Thanks for providing the new links BlueWisp.  It's greatly appreciated.  I will update them in the relevant post.

 

 

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

Woohoo!!!  Finally off Pristiq    Post 0 updates start here

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

My full tapering program     My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)    My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.  Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you.

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  • 1 year later...

This is not strictly a letter of evidence; it is also not not a letter of evidence. I post it here in case it prove useful to anyone else, for any purpose. 

 

What I share below is the content of an email written and sent to my former therapist. It is something I wanted to do ever since learning about withdrawal syndrome and PAWS. For a long time it felt like a daunting task, and somehow it still feels that way. I wanted the text to be perfect: clear, complete, effective, undeniable, cataclysmic, catalytic. I have accepted that I cannot articulate the issue ideally. That attachment to perfection reveals a profound hunger for change to occur and this collective, global problem to be fixed. If only I had the magic word to unlock the ultimate paradigm shift and heal the world! Of course this is a fantasy. Any individual communication, including this one, is a drop in the ocean and can only ever be so, regardless of the singular successes or failures of its formulation. Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, I have no control over its reception. But for me in healing process it was a big deal to express myself, however imperfectly, and speak out about my experience to a relevant third party. That is worthy in and of itself. Every droplet in the ocean contains the ocean. The rest is a matter of magnitude, volume, amplitude, time, oscillations -- ripples. 

 

*

 

Hi ____ ,
How are you? I hope this finds you well. 
 
I am writing to let you know that I'm going through protracted antidepressant withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) after coming off of escitalopram (lexapro) in 2018. It's a debilitating, chronic iatrogenic illness that is not yet officially acknowledged by the pharmaceutical industry nor the medical/psychiatric community. It took me many years of suffering and desperate research on my own to finally get to the bottom of what on earth was going on with me. It has been baffling, terrifying, and a complete nightmare. When I last wrote to you in February 2021, I did not yet know that I was suffering from PAWS. A few months later I stumbled upon the online peer support site, https://www.survivingantidepressants.org, and realized I was not alone in what I was going through. 
 
I wonder whether you are aware of withdrawal syndrome, protracted withdrawal syndrome, post-acute withdrawal syndrome, etc. This iatrogenic condition can occur upon tapering/cessation of antidepressants, and can also occur in cases of tapering/cessation of other psychiatric medications. I tapered off of antidepressants under the supervision of a psychiatrist, and have since learned that the taper was conducted wrong, which caused me harm. I do not doubt that the psychiatrist had the best intentions; they were, however, like the majority of the medical community, woefully, tragically ignorant as to how to properly taper off of psychopharmacological medication so as to minimize risk. It's not possible to avoid with any certainty an outcome of developing withdrawal syndrome (the only sure thing is abstinence -- never taking psychiatric drugs in the first place), but there are steps that can be taken to reduce harm. Needless to say, none of those steps were taken by my doctors at any time.  
 
In the interest of public service, I am sending a link to a recent Nation article about this, as well as attaching a scientific paper (please see below). If you would like to know more, I'd be happy to connect about my story, share what I've learned, and send links to further resources. (This email is, despite its length, the short version.) 
 
It's vital that mental health care professionals, as well as and including their various prescriber colleagues, educate themselves on this issue. It's the only way they will be able to responsibly inform patients/clients of the potential serious risks associated with taking psychiatric medication, so that patients may provide informed consent. In my case, I was first medicated when I was a minor, at an in-patient psychiatric hospital; at the time, I received a chronic diagnosis and was told I'd have to remain on medication for the rest of my life. I cannot adequately express my grief around this turn of events, and how it started me down a more than 25-year long path of psychiatric patienthood (incl. up to a dozen different diagnoses over the years) and being poly-drugged (with a total of dozens of different medications altogether, incl. every class of drug) -- my entire adult life to date. Unacceptably, my story is far from unique. As I write this I am overcome with sorrow over the lost years, mine and those of millions of others across the world. I rue the day I had my first psychiatric encounter and took my first dose of psychoactive medication. Now that I am no longer drugged, I am just beginning to reckon with the profound existential ramifications and tragic loss this whole experience entails. 
 
I cannot stress enough how devastatingly serious this iatrogenic illness can be. I'm currently in my fifth year of illness and am functionally disabled, basically bedridden and housebound. It's been years since I've been able to hold gainful employment, and since withdrawal syndrome is not recognized by the authorities, I do not qualify for disability. On a daily basis I suffer a wide variety of physical and mental symptoms, ranging from the profoundly uncomfortable to unimaginably horrific. The experience of recovering from psychiatric medications is exponentially worse than any condition I have ever, ever had to contend with leading to my being put on these drugs in the first place -- and I trust you know that's saying something.  
 
I hope you know that I hold you in the highest regard. I am so grateful for the time we worked together and how much you helped me through those years. I know you to be a caring, compassionate, consummate professional. This is why I'm reaching out to you today to share with you about my experience and, most importantly, to sound the alarm. You are not (as far as I know) a prescriber, but I am guessing you still work with a population who is either already taking these drugs or vulnerable to being medicated in the future. Whether or not to take psychopharmacological medication is not a trivial choice, and it is all too often treated lightly, with a cavalier attitude, as if these were standard-issue vitamin pills. The truth is that ingesting psychiatric drugs can have far-reaching, unpredictable, complex consequences that are beyond the scope of any known proactive restorative treatment, cure or reversal once things go awfully wrong. These drugs affect the entirety of one's whole body systems, from their broadest to subtlest functioning. Once withdrawal syndrome sets in, there's nothing to be done beyond possibly, to a limited extent, implementing some rudimentary symptom management; primarily, though, it's a matter of waiting for the brain and nervous system to heal themselves, which can take anywhere from years to upwards of a decade. It's brutal. 
 
Thank you for listening, and please spread the word. 
All my best to you,
____
 
*
 
Note: the scientific paper I refer to attaching is available here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33489088/

 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 9pm 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin, approx. 10:30pm

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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