Jump to content
Altostrata

How to talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal? What to expect?

Recommended Posts

Altostrata

Mod note:  similar topics merged.  What to expect from your doctor and how to talk to your doctor about tapering and WD

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

You can mention to your doctor about the following DSM-5 diagnosis code.  See this link for further information:

 

On 9/8/2018 at 4:17 PM, Altostrata said:

 

Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome DSM-5 995.29 (T43.205A)
Initial encounter 995.29 (T43.205A)
Subsequent encounter 995.29 (T43.205D)
Sequelae 995.29 (T43.205S)
 

Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome is a set of symptoms that can occur after an abrupt cessation (or marked reduction in dose) of an antidepressant medication that was taken continuously for at least 1 month. Symptoms generally begin within 2-4 days and typically include specific sensory, somatic, and cognitive-emotional manifestations. Frequently reported sensory and somatic symptoms include flashes of lights, "electric shock" sensations, nausea, and hyperresponsivity to noises or lights. Nonspecific anxiety and feelings of dread may also be reported. Symptoms are alleviated by restarting the same medication or starting a different medication that has a similar mechanism of action - for example, discontinuation symptoms after withdrawal from a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor may be alleviated by starting a tricyclic antidepressant. To qualify as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, the symptoms should not have been present before the antidepressant dosage was reduced and are not better explained by another mental disorder (e.g., manic or hypomanic episode, substance intoxication, substance withdrawal, somatic symptom disorder).

 

 

 

Doctors are unaware of how bad withdrawal syndromes can be. Doctors who understand psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes are few and far between, even among psychiatrists.

Myths about withdrawal symptoms you might hear from your doctor

  • "You'll get over it."
    Doctors tend to believe that all withdrawal symptoms are trivial and transitory and will tell you to just wait and they'll go away. This is not true.

    Withdrawal symptoms of any type show your nervous system is in distress. If they go on for any length of time, they cause neurological dysregulation -- neurological damage that can last many months. There's no way to fix this, your nervous system will need to repair itself over time.

    If you are suffering from significant withdrawal symptoms, the standard of care included in all psychiatric drug package inserts is to reinstate a partial dose of the medication and taper more slowly.

    If you are in the midst of tapering and you get withdrawal symptoms that last more than a couple of days, you're reducing too fast. (NEVER alternate doses to taper.) Increase your dosage a bit, wait until symptoms pass, and then reduce in smaller amounts at a slower rate. Some people can reduce by only a fraction of a milligram per month.

    You have significant withdrawal symptoms that need attention if any of these apply:
    • You immediately suffer severe symptoms while reducing or after quitting.
    • Your symptoms increase over a week or two.
    • Your symptoms don't decrease over a couple of weeks.
    • You find your symptoms interfere with your daily functioning.
    • You experience brain zaps, insomnia, depersonalization, mania, hypomania, or unusually dire thoughts.
  • "What you're experiencing is relapse."
    Many doctors do not know about withdrawal symptoms at all, call whatever you're experiencing "relapse," tell you it's evidence you will need to be on an antidepressant permanently, and prescribe some other antidepressant that's struck their fancy. Those antidepressants will themselves incur dependency.

    A second antidepressant may not resolve your withdrawal symptoms. You can have withdrawal symptoms from one drug while you're taking another.

    If after quitting, you get symptoms you've never felt before ("I don't feel like me") or they're more intense than anything you've felt before ("I can't seem to get out of this fog"), it's likely you have withdrawal symptoms.

    Not all withdrawal symptoms happen immediately after you discontinue the drug. They can become evident weeks later. It can take the nervous system some time to lose normal regulatory function.
  • "You have bipolar disorder."
    Possibly under influence of the drug companies to deny the difficulty of withdrawal, some psychiatrists have applied a convoluted, misguided logic to explain antidepressant withdrawal syndrome, calling it an "unmasking" of bipolar disorder.

    Withdrawal symptoms are not bipolar disorder of any variety, not bipolar II, bipolar III, or bipolar R2D2. See Disease Mongering in a Top Psychiatry Journal by Dr. David M. Allen:
     
    Quote

    23.2 percent of their subjects who had experienced episodes of elevated or irritable mood triggered by antidepressants were also defined as bipolar. This is almost comical. Irritibility is a common side effect of drugs like prozac and has absolutely nothing to do with bipolar disorder....


    and his article Bipolar or Borderline? A rampant case of diagnonsense

    Agitation, akathisia, insomnia, mania, hypomania etc. that you've never had before are well-known withdrawal symptoms that your doctor may attribute to bipolar disorder. This is incorrect. They are adverse effects of medication.

    Withdrawal symptoms come in waves, usually several times a day but possibly lasting several days. A misinformed doctor might call this "bipolar cycling."

    If your doctor diagnoses your withdrawal symptoms as bipolar disorder (or another severe psychiatric disorder), most likely the prescription with be for an atypical antipsychotic (Zyprexa, Abilify, Seroquel). These drugs do not resolve withdrawal syndrome, have serious side effects, and over time cause a degradation in general health (stroke, cardiac problems, diabetes).
  • "A benzo will cure your symptoms."
    Some doctors will prescribe a benzodiazepine for withdrawal symptoms. This poses its own problems as, used frequently, benzos incur dependencies of their own and also need careful tapering.

    Benzos are technically addictive. Often Klonopin (clonazepam) is the prescribed benzo, and is very, very difficult to quit should you become dependent on it.

    Another medical myth is that some benzos are less addictive than others. This is not true. Addiction cannot be predicted on an individual basis. You can become addicted very quickly to any benzo. It's the luck of the draw.

    A benzo may indeed help with some withdrawal symptoms, but only while you're taking the benzo. Since withdrawal symptoms tend to resolve over time (sometimes many months), the benzo is a baby sitter for your nervous system while it does the job of recovery.

    And then you'll have to taper off the benzo, which may take quite a while itself, and may cause similar withdrawal symptoms.
  • "There are supplements to fix withdrawal symptoms."
    No supplement can compensate for a too-fast taper.

    It's always best to control the taper rather than assume you can fix withdrawal symptoms with a supplement or other treatment. Psychiatric medications are much stronger than any supplement, and the neurological damage of withdrawal is something you want definitely want to avoid.

    While fish oil, magnesium, and some other supplements might improve general health and reduce the intensity of symptoms for some people, only time can cure withdrawal symptoms.

What should I ask from my doctor?
Tapering off the original medication is preferable to adding any new drug that may cause dependency.

Go to a doctor with whom you can communicate. Any MD can write a prescription for a psychiatric drug. As calmly as possible, explain you've gone off your medication too fast and you have withdrawal symptoms.

If at all possible, do one of the following:

  • Get a prescription for the liquid form of the medication (if it is available) so you can reinstate at a partial dose, stabilize for a few weeks, and taper more slowly.
  • If the liquid form of the medication is not available, get a prescription for a liquid made by a compounding pharmacy. This may be more expensive, check with a compounding pharmacy first to see if the liquid can be made up and how much it will cost.

    (Extended-release medications such as Effexor XR, Cymbalta, and Pristiq cannot be made into liquids.)
  • Get a prescription for a low dose of the medication, preferably in tablets. You can cut up most tablets.

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays
topics merged, topic title altered

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nikki

Unless you are a patient who has a physician who truly understand WD, don't have expectations.

 

Just keeping looking for a doctor who 'gets it". Some of them do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

And if you find a doctor who "gets it," please let us know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

 

Useful Excerpts from a previous thread

 

Alto

 

When speaking to a doctor, do not yell, scream, beg, cry, whimper, or weep. It confuses them and they start thinking of psychiatric drugs to give you. 

 

Speak clearly, firmly, and insistently -- but politely. Make a specific "request" that is actually a direction.

 

On 6/14/2018 at 12:53 PM, Altostrata said:

Like other people, some doctors, are resistant to learning new things. If your doctor or psychiatrist absolutely refuses to assist you in tapering, and you cannot get prescriptions from anyone else but this doctor, you might stop talking about tapering during your visits and report you're doing fine on the dose you're taking. See Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ for information about how to taper specific drugs.

 

Rhi 
There are a few tricks that I've found that sometimes help when dealing with doctors.

 

One is, instead of saying "I want off my meds" say "I want to see how I do at a lower dose." Because all doctors know that the lowest effective dose is what you want to shoot for. So "let's find out my lowest effective dose" doesn't set off their alarms as much as "I want to stop taking the drug."

 

Also, they believe these drugs actually are beneficial, and you can use that. Maybe your doc will continue to give you prescriptions and not rush you so much if you say, “Hm, I want to see how I do staying on this dose for a while. I sure don't want that doggone depression to come back, so I want to just hold here for a while and make sure it doesn't come back because golly gee willikers, maybe this drug is good for me.” (At the lowest possible effective dose.)

 

You know, basically, just kind of speak their language so you can get them to give you what you need to do the taper at a speed that works for you. Having that pressure of "I have to get off before I run out" usually leads to trouble, and/or disaster, for people. Much better to have the freedom to taper at the pace your body is telling you is right for you.

 

 

Alto

 

Take the official instructions from the drug package insert to your doctor.

Jump to this post on the Patient Package Insert here

^ How to find the information.

Also drug package information can now be found online .  Guidelines and instructions  to getting the Patient Package Insert(PPI) information, online are here. 

FDA Learn About Your Medicines.

Scroll about 1/2 way down the article for instructions, and then go to Drugs@ FDA to get the PPI .  The FDA article will link you there too!

Or just google your med and Patient Package Information.

 


 

This site is so full of information and clinical studies. I read quite a few in the journals section, but none really acknowledge withdrawal syndrome and the fact that it can last past the 2 weeks commonly believed by most psychiatrists.  Including mine, who recently told me that withdrawal lasts 7-16 days and after that it's considered a recurrence.

 

How do I educate my psychiatrist without her being offended or dismissing this information.  What would be the most helpful studies, write ups from this site or elsewhere to print out and give to her?

 

I'm overwhelmed by all this information and all this reading.  It would be helpful if there was a topic that compiled the most recent studies or links that would be the most effective in getting her over to my side?

 

It's hard enough to deal with reality while going through withdrawal and/or severe depression, than to also have to fight your own doctor and their pharmaceutical brainwashed beliefs.

 

I just don't have the energy to keep searching and reading over and over, wondering if an article is credible enough for my psych to consider it.

 

Is there proof of withdrawal syndrome? And what is the best literature on that?

 

The same with taperin.  Psychiatrists idea of tapering is pretty ridiculous.  Out of all the topics an studies on this site, what would be the most helpful one to give to my doc?

Thanks!

 

Edited by manymoretodays
duplicate info removed, new links added, spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Hi sweetie, this is harder than you thought, isn't it. I have been watching you try to follow my suggestion and you've run with it admirably. Sites like SA are amassing a large body of 'anectodal' evidence in favor of tapering AD's to reduce the amount of disruption on sensitive nervous systems. The studies posted by Alto and others give weight to what is suggested here.

 

Look what I found when I took the title of your post, changed it a bit, and typed it into a search engine:

 

https://startpage.com/do/search?language=english&cat=web&query=How+do+you+introduce+your+psychiatrist+to+the+concept+of+antidepressant+withdrawal+syndrome

 

Just a quick look at the summaries below the links shows me that there are many links on credible sites, and SA comes up in the top 10.

 

Until you are able to show your doc your MD license, you will have trouble 'convincing' him of the 'rightness' of your position. The people on these boards are pushing ahead in spite of their Dr's reluctance and many are coming out the other side successfully.

 

For now, I think many of us are in this fight alone. It may be many years before the studies are formed, tested, then published in peer-reviewed journals before the tide of medicating 'psychological' discomforts turns the other way.

 

Keep up the good work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Barbarannamated

This might help lend credibility by showing the respect given by researchers to this site:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4021-alarming-report-on-persistent-side-effects-of-antidepressant-drugs/?fromsearch=1

 

There is also an article comparing SSRI and benzodiazepine withdrawal. Many doctors agree that benzos are problematic and this article draws parallels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alexjuice

I have found only tepid interest in the topic from a number of psychiatrists. I have my theories for this but I think the luke warm reaction is largely due to simple human motivations which effect doctors. Doctors make a nice living "doing good" and are rather invested in maintaining this self-perception. I don't think most psychiatrists are willing to retool their practices as would be ethically necessary if they acknowledged problems with their Rx interventions so they therefore are reflexively uninterested in considering protracted withdrawal.

 

The positive is that since your doctor will no nothing about withdrawal except what you teach them, then you are actually very much in charge of your treatment, something I found very rewarding to consider.

 

So if your doctor isn't interested in learning about withdrawal simply inform him or her of your desire to reduce your medication by a small amount and let them follow along on your journey... Maybe she'll learn something too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
areyouthere

After several tries, trying to convince someone else of something that they refuse to believe is a waste of time in my opinion. Look how long it took to get the "church" to accept the fact that the planets revolved around the sun & not the sun around the planets? Especially when you are trying to change the minds of people who almost consider themselves "Gods" .... well you might just as well piss in the wind.

 

RU

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

After several tries, trying to convince someone else of something that they refuse to believe is a waste of time in my opinion. Look how long it took to get the "church" to accept the fact that the planets revolved around the sun & not the sun around the planets? Especially when you are trying to change the minds of people who almost consider themselves "Gods" .... well you might just as well piss in the wind.

 

RU

 

I have the same feeling...and yet I've always been one of those people who just tries and tries and tries to convince someone of MY truth, THE truth...with plenty of evidence behind it...BUT they just revert back to their thinking. I've been trying to do this with my own mother for over a decade.  She just doesn't get it.  Doesn't WANT to get it.  Maybe just like Alex suggested above, that to admit the truth to themselves would be to admit their own failure.  She just wants to believe that she gave birth to a perfectly healthy child - not one who's prone to depression!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

The 'why' and 'why not' sidetracks you from your primary goal which is to get better. Your results may or may not ever be a convincing enough example for them. And all you want to do is have a better life from here on in, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Also, I feel that villifying the psychs, pharma, the Media, etc. is a waste of my precious energy right now. I'll have to leave that to others such as Alto. And is too seductively a distraction from the real work I need to to on myself to keep from needing help from meds. Ascribing to them all nefarious motives just won't help me recover and have a better future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

Also, I feel that villifying the psychs, pharma, the Media, etc. is a waste of my precious energy right now. I'll have to leave that to others such as Alto. And is too seductively a distraction from the real work I need to to on myself to keep from needing help from meds. Ascribing to them all nefarious motives just won't help me recover and have a better future.

What can I say, you're right... But I've always had a bit of an activist/missionary streak in me.  I know i should just leave it alone, but I'm obsessed with wanting my psychiatrist to "see the truth".  Why do I need so badly for her to do that? I'm obsessed with collecting evidence that just might convince her to believe what we all know already.  And i'm doing this at the expense of neglecting my other responsibilities and chores.

 

Every time I hear something preposterous from a psychiatrist, I go on a clinical study "Quest" to prove them wrong!  Their ignorant statements make me so mad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
cymbaltawithdrawal5600

 

Why do I need so badly for her to do that?

 

Getting an answer to the 'why' just leaves you with the answer. It won't change anything. This is the single most important thing I have ever learned in my life. Think about it. You will eventually have to stop answering the 'why' questions and get down to the business of recovery. There are far more productive distractions than questing for validation.

 

And just how is following your 'obsession' helping your recovery? Like I said, seduction....... For me recovery is 'self-centered' not 'other-centered'.

 

I always have to look at where my energy is going. What you are describing is not a part of my recovery and maybe never will be. Yours? Who knows. Recovery takes work and honest self-assessment. Plus the day to day grind of just doing it. Take my supplements, drink my water, get my exercise, control ruminative thoughts, get proper sleep, the list goes on. There is not enough time for me to be mindful of all this and carry on a work schedule AND fight to convince psychs. So I won't try to fight the nebulous 'them'. I am my own worst adversary. I am a fussy master and require a firm hand because I will defeat myself every step of the way if I'm not careful.

 

We lead best by example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

Here's something that might be helpful:
 
http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0801/p449.html
 
DIFFERENTIATION FROM RELAPSE
The symptoms of antidepressant discontinuation syndrome that are associated with most antidepressants share features of major depression, including dysphoria, appetite changes, sleep problems, cognitive problems, and fatigue. By focusing on symptoms that distinguish antidepressant discontinuation syndrome from depressive illness relapse (e.g., dizziness, “electric shock” sensations, “rushing” sensations in the head, headache, and nausea) and observing for rapid (i.e., within a few days) reversal of symptoms after restarting the antidepressant or complete resolution of symptoms in one to two weeks (highly uncharacteristic of a depressive relapse), a definitive diagnosis is fairly easy to make.19,27 Depressive relapses or recurrences typically occur after at least two to three weeks or longer after cessation of medication and are most often marked by gradual worsening of depression, insomnia, and psychomotor symptoms.28

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Barbarannamated

I also feel the desire to protect others from going down this horrible road... learn from my mistakes, so to speak. I haven't attempted to convince doctors about withdrawal although I have been able to show a few how poor the "science" behind these drugs is. When they think about the brevity of the FDA studies (several weeks) for treatment that is often prescribed for life, it makes them think.

 

There are many parallels between steroids and SSRIs also. That tends to get attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
strawberry17

I recently made a conscious decision to never discuss my withdrawal/taper with a doctor in my practise again unless I absolutely have to, it seems like a complete waste of time, I've shared a book and my blog with them and it feels like banging my head on a brick wall and is too upsetting. I make my own decisions and do my own research, I think they don't want to know, it's just too much trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Barbarannamated

Lilu,

 

I empathise with your feelings and don't think they are at all unusual. To want acknowledgement, an apology, vindication... very natural but also very unlikely as this would be admitting that they did something wrong and possibly set them up for legal action.

 

I did quite a bit of CBT over the years and found it to be ineffective because it didn't address the roots of my problems. I've only recently recognized some very serious issues and losses in my life that have created bad patterns and perpetuated further problems. Skyler has posted great info on psychodynamic / depth therapy vs. CBT:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2042-cbt-vs-psychodynamic-pros-and-cons/?fromsearch=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

4 days.  That's how long it took for me to come back to "normal" and for most of the withdrawal symptoms to disappear.   4 days.  

 

How can educated experienced psychiatrists insist that my symptoms are a result of my "depression returning"?  

 

It makes me so angry!  I want to throw every bit of evidence into my psychiatrist's face and "make her see the truth"!!!

 

I am obsessed with it.  But at the same time, I'm afraid of ruining my relationship with her.  Afraid that she will react the way all the others did.  Afraid that I'll wind up just feeling hurt and demeaned, without having been heard.

 

She did give me permission to email her.  Should I do it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rhiannon

Lilu, I'd recommend that at some point you read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, to get a sense of the how the profession of psychiatry got to where it is today, and what kinds of pressures and miseducation psychiatrists are experiencing, pushing them to believe the claims of pharmaceutical companies over the reported experiences of their patients.

 

There are a lot of studies referred to in the book as well that you can probably follow up. But mostly I think it will give you a context for what you're experiencing with your own psych that may help you in your journey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jemima
On 6/16/2013 at 12:46 PM, kaza31 said:

hi there lulu, I know how you feel when it comes to doctors listening.. It use to really annoy me that because I have a history of having had depression five years ago, any time I went to a doctor with a sickness complaint it always would revert back to my depression being the problem.. in my first withdrawal from Effexor, when I managed to get to zero I felt really ill six weeks later and my doc put me straight back on the 150mg tablet, she obviously had no clue about withdrawal (as apparently it would have been better and safer to be put back on a low dosage)

 

luckily  this time around I have changed doctors, my doctor is same age as me 31 and is very helpful.. He seemed to understand withdrawal, said "if it takes me a year or even two years to get off it, that's ok, do it slowly with as little symptoms as you can".. Luckily last time around I kept a very thorough diary of all my symptoms, dosage reduces etc and was able to show him how bad it was.. I have a diary for this time around too and even though I have only withdrew down to 120mg from 150mg over four months period, he has been able to see how the symptoms still occur on even a small reduction at a time.. he even said its important for me to keep coming back for regularly check ups, because withdrawal can affect your body in lots of ways and he will keep an eye on it to make sure its withdrawal symptoms and nothing else im going through.. I swear I felt like hugging him lol because he was so understanding... I could be totally wrong, but maybe the younger doctors are becoming more aware of anti depressant withdrawal  through their medical training who knows, I just felt listened to for the first time in a long time..

 

another thing he did say is " when I told him about the tiredness, and how I wanted to go to the gym, socialising, shopping etc but some days I just felt so tired I didn't have the energy even tho I really want to. straightaway most doctors would say this is your depression coming back.. but he said" the fact that your even thinking of the gym and really wanted to go to the gym etc you can see the benefits of it but you just felt  physically exhausted through the withdrawal symptoms lack of sleep etc,, tells me its not your depression, because most people who are getting depression again couldn't care less if they never did anything they have no desire to, they want to do very little, they rarely even want to leave the house and very little gets them motivated to do anything"

 

Hopefully through this withdrawal I will be luck enough that the doctor stays the same and continues to listen to me.. I will continue to keep my recovery in my diary of proof of withdrawal symptoms as evidence of how hard it really is..

 

I wish you all luck in your recovery

god bless x

 

If your doctor is willing, please add him to our list of doctors who understand antidepressant withdrawal:

 

recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

I'm very impressed with what you've said about this man.  He's head and shoulders above the mainstream medical crowd!

Edited by manymoretodays
updated link

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
compsports

I realized pretty that I couldn't introduce the concept of withdrawal symptom to my psychiatrist.  Fortunately, he was willing to cooperate with my tapering plan even I know he thought it was a bunch of BS.  But I really didn't care as my only goal was to get off of the meds and out from his care.

 

CS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TaperQueen

I am unable to educate my shrink as well.  The problem is that they're not neurologists, and they believe everything big pharma tells them.  I cannot convince my doc that withdrawal exists nor will she educate herself.  Their blatant ignore is staggering and deadly for their patients.  Neurologists would never even prescribe these death pills.  Eugenics at its best.  I'm doing an excrutiatingly slow taper and then plan to RUN!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

It can be very, very difficult to change a doctor's mind. It can be easier to find a new doctor with better listening skills, if not more knowledge about withdrawal.

 

But....even though a doctor might put up a wall of denial to you, you can bet the next time someone has a similar complaint, the doctor will remember what you said. So don't be shy about letting your doctor know what you think -- in a firm, calm voice. (Any emotion will be construed as mental imbalance.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
strawberry17

Doctors are probably afraid of opening themselves up to litigation as well so denial is the best policy, I think that's why mine never makes a fuss about prescribing the liquid Prozac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

Try a respectful "you may be interested in this" approach.

 

I am too passionate and enraged about this topic, for the non-chalant  "you may be interested in this" approach. But after thinking about this for a month, I finally did it.  I wrote my doctor a letter, and presented her with lots of information, both anecdotal and clinical.  We'll see what her reaction will be. I see her on Wed. I included the article on Psychology Today which references your story and this website. It's a great article and you should PIN it somewhere, since most of us have no idea about how you got to know so much and what your case history is.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/side-effects/201107/antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

I tend to think of it like I'd been onboard a sinking ocean liner that the crew adamently insists is not sinking. Included in the crew are the custodians od the life vests. At first I tried to persuade the custodians that the boat was sinking because I wanted everyone to know what I know so they wouldn't thinkk I was nuts and also so they could save themselves but I could not convince them.

 

Later on, having acquired a more natural sense of my own value, I returned to the custodians and asked them for a lifevest because I told them I thought I'd feel safer with a life vest. Since I had stopped trying to prove them wrong they were not invested in winning the argument and they gave me a lifevest and sent me on my way. I'd also realized I didn't need anyone's permission to save my life.

 

And while I am upset at the circumstance that made me dependent on the custodians, I am grateful enough to have gotten my lifevest and gotten off of the ship before I drowned to death.

 

The end.

 

That is an excellent analogy Alex.  I guess I am not at that point yet.  Or maybe I just have a different personality.  I've spent 30 years of my life trying to get my mother to really understand me...only to recently realize that she is not an understanding person.  And unless she can personally relate to something, she just cannot understand it.  But I still keep on trying... Maybe I will eventually stop.  Unfortunately, with all my knowledge and experience, I still have no credibility - not with  my  mother, and certainly not with the doctors.  How can we convince doctors of what we know is true, when their own peers, who speak out against the mainstream, the ones that have the MD or PhD or both behind their names, cannot convince them either?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

Thanks, Lilu. Feel free to start a topic in the Media forum.Can you list here the items you sent to your doctor? Others might find that helpful.

 

First I wrote my doctor a letter with evidence from my own experience. Having kept a diary since I was 15, I went back to the time when I was severely depressed, and yet had not started medication.  I was shocked to find that my tone and state of mind, was very different than in my diaries post drugs.  Rereading that diary showed me that even during a major depression I was able to cope, function, and live life, far better than when on antidepressants or post antidepressants.   There is no question that these drugs have affected my ability to cope and function! ( I think I'll start a separate topic on this, as reading my past was quite revealing.)

 

Then I included excerpts from Chapter 9 of Dr. Breggin's book "Your drug may be your problem", as well as excerpts from Robert Whitaker's article about antidepressants causing chronic depression.  And then excerpts from the article on Psych Today, about your case with all the links in it.

Since most doctors won't give you their email address, I would have to alter the document so that it can be printed, with references at the end.  I'll work on it.  

 

The thing is that when I saw my doctor  yesterday, she hadn't had a chance to read my email and all the documents attached to it.  And I'm not sure if she ever will or if she will take it seriously. But she is definitely different from all the other psychiatrist that I have encountered.  Very laid back. No ego. No feeling of superiority.  She readily agreed to prescribe liquid lexapro and said that it would have been her suggestion as well.  She also suggested that I try taking fish oil, that she takes it herself and finds it that it makes her feel happier.   She is not super educated about withdrawal syndrome, but at least she was in agreement that a slow taper is the best way to go since I've been taking these drugs for so long.

 

It would be really great if she takes the info that I presented her with, and decides to learn more.  She is an associate professor at UMDNJ - how great would it be if she can start teaching the truth about antidepressant withdrawal syndrome to her students?  

Alto, this makes me wonder - have you ever been invited to any speaking engagements?  What if you requested to speak to Psych students at UCSF, do you think they would be interested?

 

I will keep you all posted on my further dialog about withdrawal with my doc.  I also plan on presenting this information to my primary care doctor who, while being very nice and caring, was the one who started me on antidepressants, and kept convincing me to stay on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

When I'm up to speaking, those are avenues I'd like to try. I'm in discussions with faculty at UCSF now.

 

Everyone should take a shot at educating psychiatrists in the ways you have, Lilu. Good job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mammaP

Well, I went to see my gp and he was NOT HAPPY! Was quite annoyed that I am tapering slowly 

and said that isn't the way that is recommended. I reminded him that I tried that way and was in hell with

withdrawal. I didn't say I was down to 5 beads, just that I was under 37.5 and couldn't calculate exactly in

mgs. He said he was reluctant to prescribe the liquid because, he said at that dose it is not needed. 

I kept my cool and said no, he was right I don't need it for the depression

, and that it stopped working for me years ago but I want off it because of the side effects.

Said I had no life and couldn't feel anything, just dead inside with no motivation or energy.  

 . I told him that I had shocking withdrawal his way  but that this way it was steady and gentle.. 

 

He showed that he wasn't listening and didn't get it because he said that I'm having problems because

it's too slow and I should just stop it, there wouldn't be any problems after the first week. The point I was making was that I felt BETTER after each tiny drop, not worse with withdrawal. ( Bangs head on wall)  I kept to myself the last few weeks of hell because without the extremely stressful situation I'd been in I would probably have been fine.

 

Then I explained that although people do manage to stop without problems, I am so 

sensitive that it just didn't work for me. I then told him I'd spoken to the pharmacist who had recommended the

liquid and slow titration. After several minutes of reasoning I GOT MY SCRIPT! 

RESULT !  1ml 4x daily is what's prescribed, which is way too much but I will work out what I should be taking

when I can get my head clear enough. I don't think I've convinced him really, just fought my corner but it's a start. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
compsports

Well at least you got your script even though you will have convert it to the right dose. But as I am reading your post, I am going WTF?  I want to say to your doctor, "WTF don't you understand?"  I mean, you're telling him that you are suffering and he is denying your reality.

 

Sadly, I had a similar experience with my psychiatrist when I told him I wanted a compound prescription for Wellbutrin XL since I didn't see an easy way to taper the convention way. His response was that no one does it that way.

 

But unlike your doctor, his attitude was even though he thought what I was doing was the stupidest thing on earth, his attitude was that as long as it wasn't dangerous, he would do whatever I wanted.  I actually think near the end of my visits, he grudgingly accepted that tapering slowly might be a viable alternative.

 

By the way, unlike the pharmacist you dealt with, the guy who made the Wellbutrin prescription also thought I wasn tapering too slowly. So I asked him if there was anything dangerous about what I was doing.  He hemmed and hawed and said no but still stuck to his position.

 

I just think these guys get so arrogant that if a patient challenges the conventional way of doing something, even though they obviously get worse doing it that way, they perceive it as a threat. All rational thought goes out the window.

 

CS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mammaP

He was visibly very annoyed that I refused to stop right now, and I am so so glad that I didn't

speak to him when I was suffering and suicidal, he would have been worse than useless and

would have made things much much worse. I'm glad the folk here helped me through and helped

me see it would not be a wise move at the time. He has been very understanding in the past 

and I hoped he might be on my side because he was agreeable to my coming off the AD's and

didn't try and get me to stay on them.  I don't know how long my 100ml bottle will last but am hoping

it might see me through to the end because I don't fancy going back for more! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mammaP

Another thing that really annoyed me was that I said how sensitive I am to drugs after 40 years of psychiatric medications,

and that I also have to watch what I eat because of additives, and that I can't even have more that 1 cup of coffee a day

without being affected by the caffeine. He stifled a laugh and shook his head like I was a paranoid hypochondriac.   :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MaryKA

RESULT !  1ml 4x daily is what's prescribed, which is way too much but I will work out what I should be taking

when I can get my head clear enough. I don't think I've convinced him really, just fought my corner but it's a start. 

 

BINGO!!!!! Well done MammaP! If it's too concentrated, at least it will keep you going a longer time!! Could say it gives you plenty of time for your head to get clear before you go back to your GP for some more!!! I'm in Scotland like you, so this is heartening. I've already broached with my GP the idea of a slower taper with liquid -- rather than crushing/splitting tablets that I posited was so much less reliable than a solution/suspension -- and my GP has cautiously said  that it can be considered. I'm not ready for it quite yet. So YEAH, WELL DONE YOU!!! AND ENJOY!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

My pdoc never responded, addressed, or commented on the email I sent her about Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome.  She probably never even read it.  She seems to see it as "your tapering thing"...as if I'm the only one she's encountered...ugh...the story of my life - ignorant people who think that "i'm the only one" who is like this or like that.

 

Anyway, I probably wont bring it up...I need her too much at this point.  At least, she readily agreed about the liquid taper.  Unfortunately, I need to put that off for now.  I desperately need to find work right now.  I'm completely broke. Just can't risk withdrawal right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lilu

I agree with the pragmatic approach.  It doesn't matter if the psych doc "get's it".  You just need him to institute a slow taper for you.  

 

He'll go on making several hundred thousand dollars a year while harming the community (in addition to some good, that we shouldn't forget, they do also).  Unfortunately, this is just the way it is.  Some battles are larger than we are.

 

Drops of water, over time will erode even the hardest rocks.  We are the drops of water, as long as we all continue the fight, and get the truth out there, eventually we will make "a dent" and psychiatry as we know it, will erode.

 

We might be little ants in the land of giants. No one pays attention to one ant, but thousands of ants all marching together, will always get noticed.  Do your part.  I plan to do mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dalsaan

People's opinions here are based on their own experiences, reading and knowledge that comes from engaging with lots of people in withdrawal. Many people here have experience with Prozac.

 

I am not medically trained. However, I am positive that I have read more research on withdrawal and seen more cases of it that any medical practitioner I have ever engaged. I share an opinion here based on that foundation. It is not medical advice and you need to make your own decisions based on that fact.

 

Re how to know about a Drs understanding of withdrawal.? I would ask them. It is well documented now that ads cause withdrawal and for some protracted wd. If a dr won't acknowledge that, no point going further in my view. In fact I don't ask anymore I tell them and if they can't handle that I won't engage with them.

 

I haven't had a risk report, others might contribute on that point

 

As a final comment, I would say that the gaps in knowledge of the medical profession combined with the power and vested interests of pharmaceutical companies means that we have to become experts of our own conditions and drive our care. That's a very challenging and scary idea but it's true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...