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cloud: looking for a life beyond this

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cloud

Hi, I'm cloud. I have been on a lot of different psych meds on and off, but in my signature I have given the overview of the two ones that I have been on the longest ( Abilify 30mg and Luvox 100mg) Also I forgot to add the dosages to my signature, so I will do that. And sorry for the lack of clarity when it comes to dates in my signature, I don't really keep track of time and dates.

Growing up as an adolescent I had psych meds administered to me against my will and since then I have been on them except for the times that I have gone off CT from trying to resist it while living with an non supportive family of going off them by any means. I am in my 20's now.

 

Here are my current symptoms that I'm struggling with while on psychiatric meds. I don't know if they are completely due to the medications I take, but here they are:

- sexual dysfunction

- lack of interest in anything (I have no hobbies)

- crazy and worry inducing dreams

- inability to focus

- constant, buzzing anxiety

- anger and irritability

- oversleeping (14 hours a day)

 

I am considering that these meds I am taking may be interfering with my ability to work and function. I am also considering that they may have sapped the life out of me. Before taking these drugs I was passionate about art, loved to dress up in gaudy clothes, and knew how to focus. Now, it seems like anything and everything I try to do is not within my reach especially due to my constantly whirring anxiety and inability to focus. I am constantly in a battle with these and I never win.

 

It sucks to talk about these things, but it has to be done. I am going to talk to my doctor tomorrow about starting the taper process. Is there anything I should know? Do you know which one I should try to tackle first?

 

Also for record purposes I will repeat it: I am on Abilify (aripriprazole) 30mg and Luvox (fluvoxamine) 100mg and may start the taper process.

 

I read up on the stickies for this forum and I will read up again on how to taper the best way.

 

Thanks,

-cloud

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ChessieCat

Hi cloud and welcome to SA,

 

Thank you for completing your drug signature.  However, we do need information about all drugs.  Please amend it to show the following information.

 

Keep it simple.  NO diagnoses or symptoms please - thank you.

  • details for last 2 years - dates, ALL drugs, doses
  • summary for older than 2 years - just years and drug/s

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 

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

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

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ChessieCat

SA recommends tapering by no more than 10% of the current dose followed by a hold of about 4 weeks to allow the brain to adapt to not getting as much of the drug.  Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

When the drug is taken away too quickly we can get withdrawal symptoms:  Dr Joseph Glenmullen's Withdrawal Symptoms

 

This topic has links to tips for tapering different drugs:  Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Please enter all the drugs you currently take in the  Drug Interactions Checker and copy and paste the result in a post here in your topic.

 

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).

 

Tapering Calculator - Online

 

Not many doctors know about tapering and withdrawal which is why this site exists.  You might find it helpful to write a script and rehearse what you are going to say.  Be calm, gentle but assertive.  You are the customer, it is your body.  Use words like I'd like to try this, or I'd prefer to do it this way.  If a suggestion is made that you don't want to follow, say I'd like to think about it before making a decision.

 

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


What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

Before you begin tapering what you need to know

 

I will provide more information in the next 2 posts.

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ChessieCat

Here's some additional information which might help you to understand what is happening:

 

Recovery isn't linear it happens in a Windows and Waves Pattern

 

Withdrawal Normal Description


When we take a psychiatric drug, we are adding chemical/s to the brain.  The brain then has to change to adapt to getting the chemical/s.  It might have to change something to do with A and then once that change has been made it affects B so another change has to be made and so on down the line.  It is a chain reaction, a domino effect.

 

The same thing happens when we take the drug away.  That's why it's possible to experience such a vast array of withdrawal symptoms, and they can change, and be of different intensity.

 

are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take

 

These explain it really well:

 

Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery

 

On 8/31/2011 at 5:28 AM, Rhiannon said:

When we stop taking the drug, we have a brain that has designed itself so that it works in the presence of the drug; now it can't work properly without the drug because it's designed itself so that the drug is part of its chemistry and structure. It's like a plant that has grown on a trellis; you can't just yank out the trellis and expect the plant to be okay. When the drug is removed, the remodeling process has to take place in reverse. SO--it's not a matter of just getting the drug out of your system and moving on. If it were that simple, none of us would be here. It's a matter of, as I describe it, having to grow a new brain. I believe this growing-a-new-brain happens throughout the taper process if the taper is slow enough. (If it's too fast, then there's not a lot of time for actually rebalancing things, and basically the brain is just pedaling fast trying to keep us alive.) It also continues to happen, probably for longer than the symptoms actually last, throughout the time of recovery after we are completely off the drug, which is why recovery takes so long.

 

AND

 

On 12/4/2015 at 2:41 AM, apace41 said:

Basically- you have a building where the MAJOR steel structures are trying to be rebuilt at different times - ALL while people are coming and going in the building and attempting to work.

It would be like if the World Trade Center Towers hadn't completely fallen - but had crumbled inside in different places.. Imagine if you were trying to rebuild the tower - WHILE people were coming and going and trying to work in the building!  You'd have to set up a temporary elevator - but when you needed to fix part of that area, you'd have to tear down that elevator and set up a temporary elevator somewhere else. And so on. You'd have to build, work around, then tear down, then build again, then work around, then build... ALL while people are coming and going, ALL while the furniture is being replaced, ALL while the walls are getting repainted... ALL while life is going on INSIDE the building. No doubt it would be chaotic. That is EXACTLY what is happening with windows and waves.  The windows are where the body has "got it right" for a day or so - but then the building shifts and the brain works on something else - and it's chaos again while another temporary pathway is set up to reroute function until repairs are made.  

 

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ChessieCat

During any taper, there will be times of discomfort.  We strongly encourage members to learn and use non drug coping techniques to help get through tough times.

 

Understanding what is happening helps us to not get caught up with the second fear, or fear of the fear.  This happens when we experience sensations in our body and because we don't understand them we are scared of them and then start to panic.

 

This document has a diagram of the body explaining what happens in the body when we become anxious:

 

https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

 

 

Audio FEMALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Audio MALE VOICE:  First Aid for Panic (4 minutes)

 

Non-drug techniques to cope

 

dealing-with-emotional-spirals

 

Dr Claire Weekes suffered from anxiety and learned and taught ways of coping.  There are videos available on YouTube.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Audio:  How to Recover from Anxiety - Dr Claire Weekes

 

 
Resources:  Centre for Clinical Interventions (PDF modules that you can work through, eg:  Depression, Distress Intolerance, Health Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Panic Attacks, Perfectionism, Procrastination, Social Anxiety, Worrying)
 
On 4/28/2017 at 4:03 AM, brassmonkey said:

 

AAF: Acknowledge, Accept, Float.  It's what you have to do when nothing else works, and can be a very powerful tool in coping with anxiety.  The neuroemotional anxiety many of us feel during WD is directly caused by the drugs and their chemical reactions in the brain.  Making it so there is nothing we can do about them.  They won't respond to other drugs, relaxation techniques and the like.  They do, however, react very well to being ignored.  That's the concept behind AAF.  Acknowledge, get to know the feeling involved, explore them.  Accept, These feelings are a part of you and they aren't going anywhere fast. Float, let the feeling float off as you get on with your life as best as you can.  It's a well documented fact that the more you feed in to anxiety the worse it gets.  What starts as generalized neuroemotinal anxiety can be easily blown into a full fledged panic attack just by thinking about it.

 

I often liken it to an unwanted house guest.  At first you talk to them, have conversations, communicate with them.  After a while you figure out that they aren't leaving and there is nothing you can do to get rid of them.  So you go on about your day, working around them until they get bored and leave.

 

It can take some practice, but AAF really does work.  I hope you give it a try.

 

 

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Carmie

Hi Cloud, 

 

I wanted to welcome you to SA too. I’m sorry you were given meds against your will as an adolescent. The symptoms you describe can certainly be caused by the medications.

 

Have you had a chance to read any of the links that ChessieCat gave you? Have a look at the link on which drug to taper first, and please never taper by more than 10% a month. I can only taper by 4% to 5% myself. 

 

Wishing you all the best in your tapering 💚

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