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hayduke

hayduke: coming off olanzapine / Zyprexa

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hayduke

Hi all,

 

I had a toxic break in mid 1990s.  Was self medicating due to unresolved childhood trauma.  I wasn’t coping with how difficult my life had become.  I wasn’t making wise choices - but not all of us in our early 20s do…

 

Parents called crisis team and I was told by psychiatrist I had a chemical imbalance and would require endless drugging.  I replied I know my life is out of whack - I’d read R.D Laing at uni and asked if there was somewhere I could go to get help sorting everything out properly without the chemicals.  “No.”

 

My parents believed the genetics/chemical imbalance myth.

 

I tried stelazine and mellaril but the akathisia was instant and felt awful.  I stabilised without them for some time.

 

I had a couple more toxic breaks and in 2003 my parents arranged a forced admission with the same psychiatrist.  I was shot in the arse with god knows what.  I had bad akathisia and they gave me cogentin.  I was supposed to have skin ointment nightly as well but half the time the orderlies just couldn’t be bothered with that even when I told them it was part of the regimen.  Not reassuring.  After two weeks I was out of there and my father demanded I take the prescription if I was to stay with him.  

 

At no stage was a physical done.  I would’ve been malnourished to say the least - couldn’t afford decent food.

 

I moved away with friends, took 10mg olanzapine daily and became obese - ugh.  It was a pretty relaxing time though, which helped.  I was able to return to work.

Later on I came back and my mother helped me get diet and exercise happening to lose some weight.  Thank heavens I didn’t have an office job then or it wouldn’t have been possible.  I lost 30 kgs.  Keeping it off is hard though with the olanzapine.

 

I tried risperidone for a couple of years to lose weight but it was of marginal help and was more uncomfortable to take.

 

I asked the psychiatrist since I’ve been stable for many years can we look at getting off.  “No.”  Do you ever work with addressing the root causes with therapy?  “No, we don’t believe it affects this.”

 

I discovered yoga which has been enormously beneficial and I’d recommend to anyone.  I wish I’d listened to my aunt and done this when I was first having issues before my break.

 

Exercise is another must.

 

A few years ago I had an abusive neighbour move in next door who beat his de facto and he wasn’t friendly to me either.  Somehow my psychiatrist thought this would be a good time to try me on aripiprazole.  At first it was liberating as I had much more energy but that rapidly turned into overstimulation and anxiety.  I switched back.  I moved away from the violent neighbour.

 

The two nice things I’ll say about the psychiatrist are a) he didn’t stack me on multiple drugs and b) he was ok with me setting my own dose…to a point…

 

I was easily able to get down from 10mg olanzapine to 7.5, then 6 2/3, then 5 with a pill cutter within a year.  So my script was now for 5mg.

 

After some time I tried 3 1/3mg and it was obviously a no-go zone.  I just hung out on 5mg for a bit longer.

 

I found a clinical psychologist who helped me with the usual family patterns, boundaries, spoke to trauma, helped with relationships etc.  This has been very beneficial and I drink much less after that.

 

A friend observed “I think you could get off your meds”.  I was skeptical but started researching.

 

This was an eye-opener:  https://www1.bps.org.uk/system/files/user-files/Division of Clinical Psychology/public/CAT-1657.pdf

 

It was validating my initial understanding that this was all about how I wasn’t coping with trauma, rather than innately ‘broken’.  This was the first document I gave to my mother who was initially terrified but is now supportive of me coming off.

 

I discovered Peter Breggin, reading “Your Drug May Be Your Problem” in horror.  But it was empowering as well.  His book “Guilt, Shame and Anxiety” helped reduce my anxiety substantially.  He has a newer book “Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal”, which I also recommend.  There is Peter Lehmann’s “Coming off Psychiatric Drugs” too, which is valuable but a harrowing read!

 

I told close friends and some family what I was doing.  Having a safety net is the way to go.

 

Over five months I was able to taper down from 5mg to 2.5mg by agitating a crushed tablet in a known volume of filtered water, then removing a gradually increasing portion with a large syringe (no needle!).  I came down listening to my body 0.1 or 0.2mg at a time then holding for a few weeks.  It was a bit of a bumpy ride but have been able to hold down my job and relationships ok.  Not that it’s pleasant or easy, but it is navigable.  Thanks Rhiannon for sharing your experience on making suspensions of the compound in water.

 

I hung out at 2.5mg for six months or so.  This is the smallest tablet size they sell.  

 

My family and friends have been commenting on how much more ‘with it’ I am, able to join them in more nuanced conversations again.  This is extremely welcome and I realised how much I’ve been missing despite having a lot of good people and things in my life already.

 

I took my mother for moral support and went to see the prescribing psychiatrist (same one all the way through).  I started explaining that I was prediabetic, had high cholesterol, was having (apparently undiagnosable) joint problems and rheumatism, getting allergic rashes (I saw the other day the NPS web site advises people with this reaction not to take this drug!), getting hot flushes and unable to stand heat (pretty hellish in Aussie summers), and more.  He didn’t want to hear about my plan - his reaction:  “Keep taking it.”  I said as if that wasn’t enough, what about TD?  He said “Oh, it’s not that bad.”

 

I was glad mum was there as a witness to this appalling advice.

 

I asked him for a script for 2.5mg but he said “It’s too low.  I can’t support this.  I will not see you any more.”  Good riddance!  I got the script from my sympathetic GP.  

 

Many of these horrid symptoms have reduced or abated with the lower dose.  Some remain.  Fatigue is a bear.  The stragglers are just a waiting game I suppose.

 

My clinical psychologist has been supportive the whole time and confirmed my essential stability during the reductions.  Her reaction to that was “well, if he says 2.5 isn’t enough, yet you’re stable, it’s a good sign that you can probably do without it altogether”.

 

I’m now working with a clinical psychologist on the trauma I perceive as the root of all the major issues.

 

If I’ve learnt one thing, it’s that you have to take charge of your own healing.  No one else can do it for you.  Shop around and find supportive crew who will back you up - they’re out there.  Breggin observes that signalling helplessness is what lands you in hot water in this rather unhealthy society.

 

I’m continuing my taper, coming down around 2mg olanzapine at the moment.  Thanks to this site I’ve found the importance of the compound taper and have made a spreadsheet to manage it.  I'm doing a microtaper - it's going reasonably at 10%/mo for now.  It's not comfortable and some days at work are hard.  But I know it's worth it.

 

Looking at the receptor occupancy curves for olanzapine I found via this site I can see I’d already be over half way through the dopamine adjustments.   That would explain why I’ve got more animated for a bit after each cut.  This initially concerned mum but she’s now learnt about withdrawal symptoms.  The 5-HT2 curve lies ahead, for the most part.

 

So this could take another year or two - I’ve been poisoned with this garbage for a long time.  Better though to ride it gently down and not hammer my body too much, or destabilise my life, for the best chance of a good outcome.  Despite every day wanting to be rid of it ASAP.  Epsom salt baths and yoga are helping me a lot.

 

Thanks for creating this forum, Altostrata.  Before the net, I probably would’ve just concluded 3 1/3mg wasn’t enough rather than learning about the taper, and been stuck.

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Altostrata

Welcome, hayduke.

 

You're very welcome. Your "toxic breaks" were overuse of alcohol?

 

Good to hear your taper is going well. What has your taper schedule been? When were you taking 2.5mg, and how did you get to 2.0mg?

 

You may have seen Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa)

 

Yes, the "chemical imbalance" theory keeping people on psychiatric drugs for life is a bunch of hooey.

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hayduke

Cheers Altostrata.  I've figured out how to display my sig which I've added my drug history to, after going back through my notes.  I'm doing a daily calculated microtaper and looking for the sweet spot between 10% and 5% cuts over 28 days.  I expect I'll just keep tuning this rate as I go to keep the symptoms manageable and/or comfortable.

 

I have been through that link, thank you.

 

Leading to and during each break I was using different street drugs as well as alcohol.  Variously I was abusing cannabis, sometimes speed, ecstacy and LSD now and again.  Even heroin (for the first and last time) followed by an inadvertently heroic dose of LSD a week or two before the first break.  In a way my first break was a poorly expressed cry for help - the heroin relieved so much pain and discomfort, but I didn't want to become a habitual user!  Ironically the olanzapine is probably harder to come off than opiates, and carries a crappy diagnosis, but at least without the particular stress on the body of IV use.

 

I respect that among those, cannabis, LSD and MDMA can have therapeutic uses, ideally with professional supervision, but each time I got into trouble I was just being pretty much the "mindless drug hoover" to try and dull the pain.

 

It's been 16 years now since I had any problem with street drugs.

 

On a different note I spent a lot of yesterday trying to find 5-HT2 receptor curves for olanzapine (to go with the D2 ones I found) but eventually found that no one has done enough work to produce an equation or graph.  It's rather 'all or nothing', reaching max occupancy at very low doses...I suppose I'll be able to tell when I reach that part of the withdrawal.  This is likely to be a key part of deciding when to 'jump off'...when I get there 🙂

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Altostrata

Don't worry about finding the curves , they're only a metaphor for a dosage-related effect.

 

It sounds like you've got your taper in hand, please let us know how you're doing.

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Gracee

Cheers hayduke,

I read your introduction with tears in my eyes.   What a power of example you are.  

Huge congratulations on your sobriety and best wishes on your recovery.

G.

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hayduke

Thanks Gracee!

 

I wouldn't say sober, but socially it's hard to avoid the pub or a glass or wine at dinner in Australia, and that was never my aim.  I'm comfortable enough with the level of moderation I've reached, and am conscious of looking after my health.  The more I address the root causes, the more that all comes naturally.  Giving up cigarettes back in '03 sure helped.

 

All the best with freeing yourself from the chemicals.

 

Cheers

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hayduke

Accidentally double posted, so I'll just drop a note in here that despite the rough times I'm amazed at how many good friends have stuck around, and make it all worthwhile.  ❤️

Edited by hayduke
double posted

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hayduke

Thought I'd post an update.

 

I've continued with the slow microtaper.  Last week was stressful at work, then I had some uncomfortable akathisia at a few points over the weekend - ugh.  Started to feel a bit spacy, on and off, and more fatigue than usual so decided it's a good time to hold a for a while here at 2.084mg since last three days.  Feeling much better today and slept for 10hrs - yay!


Starting EMDR to address trauma later in the week which will happen a few times over the following fortnight.  It's uncomfortable but also good to be getting to the roots of the problem.  Planning to continue the hold while this is happening as I'm sure there'll be enough going on as it is, then a few days off work to rest.

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India
On 3/22/2019 at 12:26 AM, hayduke said:

had a couple more toxic breaks and in 2003 my parents arranged a forced admission with the same psychiatrist.  I was shot in the arse with god knows what.  I had bad akathisia and they gave me cogentin.  I was supposed to have skin ointment nightly as well but half the time the orderlies just couldn’t be bothered with that even when I told them it was part of the regimen.  Not reassuring.  After two weeks I was out of there and my father demanded I take the prescription if I was to stay with him

This is a terrible psychic injury. To have parents enable/facilitate your abuse. Psychiatry,to me, has regressed since Laing and Szasz. So sorry you had to go through this. Like so many others. It’s truly a tragedy of our time.

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India
On 3/25/2019 at 12:50 AM, hayduke said:

Leading to and during each break I was using different street drugs as well as alcohol.  Variously I was abusing cannabis, sometimes speed, ecstacy and LSD now and again.  Even heroin (for the first and last time) followed by an inadvertently heroic dose of LSD a week or two before the first break.  In a way my first break was a poorly expressed cry for help - the heroin relieved so much pain and discomfort, but I didn't want to become a habitual user!  Ironically the olanzapine is probably harder to come off than opiates, and carries a crappy diagnosis, but at least without the particular stress on the body of IV use

Really glad to read your mother came through for you. Having spent time in 12 step programs , I can conclude there is always a trauma behind the need to self - medicate. I don’t attend anymore but like you , the more I work on my trauma the less I relied on chemical escape.

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India
On 3/25/2019 at 12:50 AM, hayduke said:

Ironically the olanzapine is probably harder to come off than opiates, a

That’s what Kelly Brogan M.D. says and my dear friend who went to rehab 10 years ago. She can’t get off her Ssri’s. Now she is on cymbalta and trazedone. She has children so cannot afford to go through WD.

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hayduke

Hi India,

 

I think my parents were doing the best thing they knew at the time.  Unfortunately it happened to be the "normal" dark ages kind of thing.

 

I was chuffed to see a recent film last week with David Tennant as R.D Laing called "Mad to be Normal".

 

It is a real pity his insights haven't been adopted by the establishment at large yet.  Though in those times psychosurgery and ECT would have been a lot more common than medication.  It's a gruelling path off the drugs, but I think better than those other two options.  I've read Peter Breggin campaigned extensively to end most psychosurgery in the U.S in the 70s which has to count as significant progress.

 

The BPS pamphlet I linked above is pretty essential for anyone in this position, as it clearly shows trauma as the key issue in these sorts of problems and lays out ways to heal from it.  It's so senseless and cruel to drug endlessly and label people "chronic" when what they really need is support to work through the issues at the base.

 

I wonder if your friend could start on a very slow fine taper without disrupting her life too much.

 

Cheers

 

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hayduke

Quick update:  Continuing my hold on the drug.  Sort of a wobbly emotional week at work but not to the point of being a problem.  Felt several reminders that the hold has been well due.

 

Akathisia is coming and going and is quite uncomfortable.  Sometimes it goes pretty quickly.  Other times I've begrudgingly reached for half a benzo or half a codeine tablet for a bit of relief.  I'm hoping the hold will settle the dopamine circus before long.

 

I had my first EMDR session yesterday.  Staring the beast in the face.  I'm rather amazed at how effective it is to navigate the problem spaces and work on letting go.  It's widely held that trauma is stored in the body, and am I ever feeling it!  Actually feel physically quite sore today.  I think this is a good sign.  Finding a therapist you're comfortable with is essential I think.  More to come, and it feels great to be tackling it head on.  Looking forward to yoga then an epsom salt bath later today.

 

Got a blood test to make sure I wasn't overdoing vitamins and supplements.  A bit low on B12 apparently so boosting that.  And high LDL from the blasted drug.  I also wanted to know that it was safe to take manganese and niacin as I really, really, really want to skip tardive dyskinesia if I can.  I've read papers indicating those supplements are effective for keeping TD at bay.  I must note that I acknowledge S.A's non-recommendation of those and would not advise anyone to just take manganese especially - you'd have to do your own research.

 

Omega 3 has probably long been deficient for me as I don't eat seafood.  The oil capsules give me fishy reflux which is its own peculiar level of hell.  Reading up on veggie alternatives for Omega 3 I've found a shot each of chia, linseed (a.k.a flax) and hemp seeds into yoghurt seems to go down well for me.  Maybe with some fruit chopped in as well.

 

Also decided to cut down on coffee so have started a slow taper off that as well - I've given up a couple of times before so know not to try cold turkey with that 🙂

 

Cheers

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hayduke

Quick update:

 

13 days into the hold so far and feeling a lot better for it.  Now using a pipette instead of a syringe.  Seem to feel the effect of the olanzapine a tad more since then.  The amount of the drug should be the same, I wonder if it's related to the higher concentration/smaller volume I'm making now.  Not a big enough difference to worry about but noting all the same.

 

Continuing with the EMDR.  I'll post more about that later on.

 

Seems it's either the "mega B" vitamin supplement or a magnesium tablet that's been inducing akathisia the most.  Taking B3, B6 and sublingual B12 separately instead of the "mega B" for now, so far so good. 

 

Tried magnesium chloride baths instead of epsom salt baths the last couple of nights as per a suggestion in a thread on here.  Seems a bit nicer and comfier.

 

Continuing a gentle descent on the coffee. 

 

Getting good feedback at work which is reassuring, day to day it can be quite daunting.

 

Will consider next step of taper next week some time.

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hayduke

Had four EMDR sessions now.  Very impressed with how well this technique has worked.  I was apprehensive but we were eventually able to get to the root trauma.  That turned out to lay beyond what I thought was the case when I went in, and the relief of uncovering it is incredible.  It's a huge upheaval and I have a lot of crying and anger and grieving happening.  My psychologist is helping me manage this too, particularly in the fourth session and on.  Knowing now exactly what has caused so many problems through most of my life is liberating, a turning point in my healing.  Getting a handle on something I always knew was wrong but couldn't reach before.

 

Knowing how much that trauma and its knock-on effects have cost me personally is enraging and just horrible.  But I can work with those feelings and release them now.  I feel a bit like an archaeologist who's just dug up the fossil they were seeking.

 

Recognising what Claire Weekes calls the 'second fear' was helpful when inevitably a messy bunch of stuff came up after the breakthrough.  Going from insomnia and escalating anxiety to sleeping soundly on the same night without any drugs beyond the taper in progress was very heartening.  My psychologist confirmed the importance and value of "self-soothing" which I was reading about on here in one of Altostrata's posts.

 

The three week hold during this has been helpful by not adding variables to the turbulence.  Had a few nights where it's been hard to sleep but have managed these ok and largely without benzos.  Akathisia has settled a lot since I stopped taking the "mega B" and magnesium tablets - yay.  Getting plenty of magnesium with nightly epsom or magnesium chloride baths.  Still tapering gently off the coffee.

 

Seem to have a lot more energy in the day and fewer patches of bad fatigue since doing the EMDR work.

 

Made a 5% cut last night which I'm planning to hold for a fortnight or so. 

 

 

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bheb

That's interesting you found relief from *stopping* magnesium...since it's also often recommended for restless legs. 

 

I experience akathisia and hadn't found much relief from taking magnesium, either glycinate or malate. I might try the topical like you use. 

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hayduke

The reason I stopped taking the magnesium tablets was because I started taking magnesium baths every day, because they really are helping a lot.  I think your body can take a lot more on board that way than eating it.  I haven't got any signs of overdoing it yet so daily is good for now.

 

Asked to bet I'd say it was the 'mega B' tablet that wakes up the akathisia more so I'm not missing that.  I'm getting B3 B6 and B12 separately now.  B6 has been suggested to help akathisia - it might, a bit, I think.

 

Hope you can find ways to minimise it, it's a very unpleasant feeling - especially when it interrupts your sleep.

 

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hayduke

About due for an update...had a very welcome week off over the easter break.  Didn't get up to much, just resting / staycation sort of deal.  Eating nice food, looking after myself, catching up with friends.

 

Feels like I'm processing the abuse I received as a child pretty well, certainly still some flaring up of anger and stuff but just so glad it's conscious now.  Feeling mostly pretty settled and looking at more healing work that needs to be done but it seems mostly it's integrating the experience now rather than exploring the 'temple of doom'

 

Instead of my previous daily adjustments to micro taper I'm trying the brass monkey method which seems a bit steadier as she goes.

 

Cheers

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hayduke

Time for an update.

 

The upheaval from processing the trauma left me drained but relieved.  I had to cancel a work trip because it would've been too intense being around people for 12+ hrs/day and maintaining professional standards at that time.  But it wasn't a crucial one and hasn't been a problem to skip.  Feedback from my health professionals has been positive and supportive.

 

About two weeks ago I started to feel really rather good.  In fact I was on the lookout for problematic symptoms indicating a break.  But there were none and I've been functioning fine.  Some deep healing has taken place and now I feel more or less whole again, a deeper comfort than I have found since I was small.  I have a lot more energy again, and am finding it generally easier to talk to people I'm not close to than before.

 

Lately I've more or less switched to brass monkey's tapering method and find it's suiting me well.  To keep nudging things towards zero rather than take 10% of the previous dose I'm using 8.5% of the previous dose + 1.5% of the original dose for this round (2.5mg).  So a little over 10% but not much and one approach to dealing with the asymptote of the basic 10%/mo that I found here. 

 

I'm on a hold at the moment.  I might give that another week, but won't decide till next week.  I feel like my path off this junk is pretty clear now.

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Benzhelp

Hi Hayduke, 

 

Thanks for the update. I’m so sorry to hear of your suffering, you have been through a lot. Your story is inspiring. I am glad you are here.  

 

Glad to hear that the trauma work is healing in deep ways, that is wonderful. Hope you also take it easy, Hayduke, by doing things you enjoy, that is soothing, comforting and joyful to balance the heavy feelings that therapy can bring up sometimes.

 

It is good to take time off to recharge. Self care is so important.

 

So glad to hear that brassmonkey’s method of tapering is working for you. Listening to our bodies is so important for a safe and gentle taper. Please take good care of yourself.

 

Wishing you the best on your Tapering Journey, Hayduke.

Blessings, Healing, Love and Light to you <3 <3 <3

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hayduke

Thanks Benzhelp.

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hayduke

I did a 2.5% cut the other night, despite feeling it was marginal.  I felt so crap the next day at work that I reverted to the previous level and today was much better. 

 

After feeling a ton better for a couple of weeks I had a bit of a slump over the weekend.  Nothing too serious in context (fatigue, low mood, a patch of minor anxiety at work and a bit of derealisation) but not super pleasant.  Still better overall.  There are a couple of significant stressors over this fortnight or so, so along with that and my body just generally wanting things to find equilibrium after all the therapy, I'm just going to hold for a bit longer.

 

 

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hayduke

Extending that hold still seemed like a good idea for the full week.  Makes sense that after the jubilance of the breakthrough in therapy a bit of a slump might follow.  Happily no extremes in either direction. 

 

I also wonder if I'm starting to see my serontonin receptors beginning to unblock.  I recall somebody else mentioning things got a bit challenging under 2mg...clearly going slow is the order of the day.  I wouldn't be surprised for some lowered mood to go with the lower serotonin levels over the next stretch of wd till things equalise.  I think I'm well enough placed to manage that at the moment.  Feedback around me continues to be good.

 

Nice to think that I'm on less than 1/5th of the initial prescription now.

 

Settled enough by the end of that extra week that last week I made the next 2.5% cut with no real discomfort or difficulty.  Thinking I'll make the next 2.5% cut after the weekend.

 

Trying 5g of creatine powder a day with a coenzyme Q10 capsule to help with some fatigue patches, though those have been better overall.  Seems to be a slight improvement, but we'll see over a few weeks.

 

Cheers

 

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hayduke

Update:  The day before the most recent cut I was at a party and someone kept feeding us shots of some liqueur after too many beers to really think about the sense of it.  Result was I didn't keep my meds down that night.  (Fun event though!)

 

Compared to the rare occasions I've accidentally skipped a dose in the past, I recognised the general outlook - spaciness, a sense of looking out on the void etc - but it didn't feel like nearly as far a gap as when I missed one on the higher doses.

 

I made the 0.05mg cut the next day anyway and did feel a little wobbly at times for a day or two after the missed dose, confident that it wasn't the cut that made a big difference.  Still quite functional and no real distress, was able to get through work fine and feeling close enough to whatever 'normal' means these days by mid week.  Planning another 0.05 cut tomorrow night.

 

Cheers

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hayduke

Also a quick note that the 5g creatine / enzyme CoQ10 combo seems to help ward off fatigue - I'm not conscious of feeling more energetic but just seem to be having a lot less of those patches of lying on the bed thinking "I don't have the energy to get up and do anything".

 

Also not having much trouble getting 9-10 hrs sleep if the situation allows it, winter sure helps with that.

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hayduke

Finished the current batch of 4 cuts of 0.05mg over the last four weeks on Monday.  Drained after work and glad to be holding for a few weeks now to let things even out - start to feel on the cusp of low moods, derealisation, anxiety and that sort of discomfort after the four cuts so it seems like about the right amount to be reducing. 

 

Happy to have reached roughly 2/3 of the starting amount of this round since Feb. 

 

Feeling like the creatine/CoQ10 combo helps a bit with energy levels so have been maintaining that, along with magnesium baths and my Omega-3 seeds and yoghurt mix.

 

Fortunately have not seen akathisia for a while.  Sleep has been good, love the winter time here for that.

 

Going to be moving to somewhere with much better access to nature which is exciting.  I've certainly been conscious of increased nervous system sensitivity during wds, so looking forward to a quieter and healthier environment.  The city can be quite ugly.  Of course the move itself is a stress but it feels like the right time and the right idea, will be happy to be on the other side of that.

 

Cheers

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Carmie

Hi hayduke, 

 

Glad to read that you haven’t had akathisia for a while and that you’re sleeping well. 

 

Yes, isn’t nature the best think EVER!🌳🌿🦜🌼 I’m a big fan! I hope you get to spend lots of lovely time outdoors.

 

Sending hugs🤗

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hayduke

Thanks for the super sweet wishes Carmie!

 

I feel pretty lucky I'm finally able to do this move, looking forward to being able to open my senses more often and breathe fresh air, just can't do that in town! 

 

Happy Friday :-)

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hayduke

Halfway through my hold at 1.675mg and doing ok.

 

Mostly packing for my move and looking forward to having it done.

 

Had drinks with a mate the other night and fell asleep without taking my dose,  woke at 06?? and took it then.  Minor wobbles from that but nothing too bad.

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hayduke

Was a rather stressful week but the move is done and I'm so glad to be here.  The place is nicer, it's quiet and I'm surrounded by trees and not all that far from the beach.  Can't wait to do some bushwalking too.

 

The weather is cold and windy right now so it's a great day to stay indoors and settle in a bit.  SBS has a bunch of Miyazaki films on the telly in HD too so that's easy!

 

Short term pain for a better outlook and it's so good to be on the far side of it!

 

Going to extend my hold at 1.675mg for another week while the dust settles.  Today's the first chance I've had to even start unwinding.  Tons to unpack yet but the basic needs are met for now.

 

So restful, fresh air, sleep quality gets a huge boost, healing already :-)

 

Cheers

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hayduke

Forest bathing...so amazing, all the wildlife here.

 

Will see if I feel like making the next cut early next week.  Holding this week has been fine, won't mind if I decide to do another as things settle.

 

Mercury retrograde and eclipse season for the hippies! 

 

A good time to chill for the weekend.  Chores tomorrow but hopefully not too much else.

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hayduke

Forgot to add - no bath here but I've found topical magnesium chloride is widely available and seems to work well.

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BadMedicine

Hello Hayduke. I am also tapering from olanzapine. I have got down from 10mg to 5mg. Dropped in 2.5mg doses. 7.5 to 5 was quite tough. It's encouraging to see you have got quite a lot lower without too many problems and are starting to see the benefits. You have done really well. Will be following your progress with interest. 

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hayduke

Cheers @BadMedicine  7.5 to 5 in one go is a fair drop, I went via 6 2/3.  After 5mg I got into titration and haven't looked back.  If you can use a spreadsheet, that's a very handy way to manage the cuts.  Making 50ml suspensions using a 60ml syringe (no needle!) got me down to 2.5 gradually without too much bother.  I reread Rhiannon's thread on here and got a pipette which is a little bit easier and probably more accurate since descending from 2.5. 

 

I'm finding the wisdom on this site that says the lower you get in dosage, the slower you want to go, is spot on.  It'll be another 18 months probably to get to zero. 

 

How did you get on sertraline?  I was told one of the better points of olanzapine is its mood stabilisation - how did your prescriber justify an SSRI on top of it?

 

I feel lucky that I've been able to make the move out of the high-pressure, hyper-paced, smelly rude city to a quiet spot where healing can really happen.

 

We can and will do this :-)

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Bee5
21 hours ago, BadMedicine said:

Hello Hayduke. I am also tapering from olanzapine. I have got down from 10mg to 5mg. Dropped in 2.5mg doses. 7.5 to 5 was quite tough. It's encouraging to see you have got quite a lot lower without too many problems and are starting to see the benefits. You have done really well. Will be following your progress with interest. 

 

I was on olanzapine at the end of 2015. Dropping from 7.5 mg to 5 mg was horrific, and I got akathisia. I would not recommend a drop this size to anyone. But if you feel ok, then I am happy for you.

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BadMedicine

Hi Hayduke, 

Thanks for the advice about tapering below 5mg and taking it a bit slower once down to lower dosages. I definitely noticed when I was dropping the sertraline that the lower I got the harder it got. I will look into getting a syringe to make smaller drops. 

In regard to your question about sertraline my diagnosis was depression with psychosis so the psych's generally prescribe both an anti depressant and an antipsychotic. Not that the sertraline seemed to do me any good! 

Bee5 I also found the drop from 7.5 to 5 really difficult. I didn't get akasthsia but I did have horrendous depression and wanted to cry a lot of the time. Been about 2 and a half months since I did thar drop. Things have seemed to settle down recently but I'm going to give it a bit longer before I drop again as I still get bad days every now and again. 

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