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

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Altostrata

How to tell if a doctor is knowledgeable about tapering and withdrawal symptoms

 

It's very common for doctors to say they know about getting people off psychiatric drugs when they know nothing about it. In general, they do not know what they do not know about withdrawal.

 

Quite a few claim to never see withdrawal symptoms. If this is so, either they're tapering geniuses or they don't pay much attention to their patients.

 

If their answers seem shaky to any of the below questions, I would be wary of their advice about going off a drug.

 

 

Here are the questions I would ask a doctor to find out if he or she knows how to taper people off psychiatric drugs:

 

1) How long does it take someone to go off [insert drug name here]?

 

Appropriate answer: It varies, it can take months.

Inappropriate answer: A week or two. OR It's easy to stop, just quit taking the drug.

 

2) What would you do if I got withdrawal symptoms?

 

Appropriate answer: Stop tapering, possibly increase the dose slightly.

Inappropriate answer: Withdrawal symptoms are a myth. OR Withdrawal symptoms are always mild and temporary, nothing to worry about. OR Withdrawal symptoms are very rare. OR Prescribe a benzodiazepine (sedative).

 

3) How would you taper me off [insert drug name here]?

 

Appropriate answer: Cut up tablets. OR Open the capsule and count out beads. OR Prescribe the liquid formulation. OR Write a prescription for a compounded formulation, liquid or capsules. (NOTE: Few doctors are aware you can make a liquid yourself by adding water to most psychiatric drugs.)

Inappropriate answer: Just stop. OR Skip doses. OR Prescribe the lower dosages of the drug. (NOTE Some drugs come in a range of dosages, but usually the decrease from one dosage to another is quite dramatic.)

 

4) For antidepressants, have you switched the patient to Prozac to go off? How would you do that?

 

Appropriate answer: Yes, I've done that. I overlap the Prozac for 4 days or so, then drop the first drug. After that, I prescribe the liquid form of Prozac to taper when the patient feels ready.

Inappropriate answer: I've heard of it, but I've never done it. OR Take Prozac instead of your next antidepressant dose. (NOTE This is called a cold switch, with no overlap of the drugs. It will take about 4 days for the Prozac to reach steady-state in your system. In the meantime, you may experience cold-turkey withdrawal symptoms.)

 

 

As for this site: We're very clear that we are a peer support group. None of us are doctors, and we do not give medical advice.

 

Here is the rationale for slow tapering: Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

If this doesn't make sense to you, or conflicts with advice given to you by a doctor, you are welcome to follow the doctor's advice if you think it's better.

 

People come to this site because they find the advice given them by doctors doesn't work and they cannot find a doctor who seems to understand their problems coming off psychiatric drugs and know how to taper.

 

There are a few such doctors out there. If you find one, we would welcome the addition of the doctor's contact information here http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v

Edited by Altostrata
updated

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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JanCarol

Alto needs to write a book.  Yes?  There is so much knowledge and information here, and while some of it refers to other sites or doctors, what is contained here is so complete, thorough, thoughtful, intelligent.  Learned at the schools of hard knocks.  Thank you Alto, our Peer Specialist!


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Altostrata

Words of wisdom from Rhi:

 

 

....I did just want to jump in with some thoughts about "doctor management." There are a few tricks that I've found that sometimes help when dealing with them.

 

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.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Rhiannon

"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)." They also might prescribe you a "mood stabilizer," usually Lamictal, maybe lithium.


Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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JanCarol

It has gotten so that it is stress provoking confronting any western (allopathic) medicine producers.  I hate being lectured about irresponsibility and noncompliance.  In addition to the stigma of "diagnosed bipolar" I also struggle with the "all my problems are caused by my obesity."  Between these two, it is difficult to be heard.

 

I have found some new practitioners who don't blink when I say, "no statins," (he's young). It helps that my consulting psychologist who writes glowing reports to my pdoc of my growth and aliveness since starting my taper - along with the fact that this is obviously ***not*** an impulse (I am in my second year of s-l-o-w psych drug tapering), my psychiatrist is letting me do what I want.

 

We still disagree on the role of neuroleptics and drugs in general and the problems they cause, and she does not agree that my illness could very well be iatrogenic stirred with some trauma.  However, she is supporting my taper, just based on results she is seeing.

 

So you can train them to be partners, as GiaK says, instead of dictators.  If a practitioner has traumatized you, walk way, find another.  However, if you have a relationship with them, and can use that experience as a foundation for expansion - even if you just teach them that one person can do it - it's a step towards them being able to help another.

 

I don't think that all practitioners can be "trained."  But it's always worth a try.  Even if it DOESN'T work, it may at least plant the seed in the doctor's mind, that the world view taught by the pharmacology MD training is not the only view.  

 

My own world view was adjusted by some things said to me in the 90's by a German and a Brazilian and an Argentinian.  When 911 happened - their words, the seeds of a new worldview, came to the fore and I learned a lot more.  Their words in the 1990's, changed me in 2001.   You never know when a seed will come to fruit; maybe you will never see it - but there is always a possibility that change, learning, and growing will take place.


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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Laura1981

Hi all, 

 

I need some advice on how to deal with doctors. 

 

I would just walk away from them if I could. Doctors are really of absolutely no help to me. But unfortunately I don't have a choice because of sick certs for work. 

 

Of course doctors don't believe that what I'm experiencing is withdrawal. How do you guys approach this?

 

Do you keep trying to convince them? 

Do you just describe your issues and hope to get the sick certs you need? 

How do you interact with them? I'm worried if I defend myself too firmly, they'll take it as a sign of either being crazy or being well enough to go back to work. 

How do you respond when they try to push further drugs on you? So far I declined politely, explaining that I was harmed enough by medication. 

 

I'm worried to screw up the relationship with my GP if I keep trying to educate him about withdrawal. But I also want him to really understand the severity of the situation I'm in, so that he doesn't send me back to work half sick. 

 

I'd love to hear what has and hasn't worked for you. 

 

Cheers, 

 

Laura

 

 

 

 


Feb 2015 Took venlafaxine for 5 days only... experienced withdrawal that made me completely non-functional

Mar 2015 took under 1mg of Sertraline for 10 days in an attempt to combat Venlafaxine withdrawal. Got adverse reactions. 

After stopping Sertraline, withdrawal got much worse. New, horrific symptoms. 

June 2015 Still non-functional but slowly getting better. Still brain zaps, migraines, sweating, heart racing, depression, crying spells

September 2015: 24/7 brain zaps, twitches in the face, no concentration, bad memory, language skills deteriorating. 

 

Profile feed: http://goo.gl/3g2GRn

 

Sign this petition for a blackbox warning on Prozac in Ireland:

https://www.change.org/p/leo-varadakar-hpra-the-lack-of-a-blackbox-warning-on-prozac-in-ireland-and-its-use-by-the-hse-in-under-18-s?recruiter=63289046&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page&utm_term=des-lg-no_src-no_msg

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chicken

 I don't try to convice them.

 

In my case I told my doc that I wanted to get down to the lowest dose possible. My doc agrees that one should be on the lowest effective dose and least amount of drugs as possible.

I told him that I was converting mine to liquid and using a syringe.

He said that if I was doing that I should have the liquid so he prescribed the liquid, though I haven't fille the script yet.

 

I think that trying to convince them that you would like to be on the lowest dose possible helps them to work with you on tapering.

Not sure how to handle the work situation. I used a another doc that understood withdrawal and tapering to get my time off from work until I got better.

My current doc doesn't do open ended FMLA requests but I found a doc that did.

 

Opps. I see you're in Ireland so the FMLA thing doesn't apply.


Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

March 2017 DRUG FREE

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InvisibleUnless

after being ignored and brushed aside by psychiatrists, GPs, counselors, and everyone else, i made a packet composed solely of solid information that i could use for any future appointments with professionals.  ive already given one to three new doctors of mine.  it had a few sections:

 

-the symptoms i have been experiencing since withdrawal (bulletpoint, brief, and not fully comprehensive, but rather specific and also categorized)

-my medication history (the psych meds, and anything concurrent)

-my diagnosis and treatment history (all conditions, and listing all the professional help i have ever sought for the psych med situation---so counselors, emergency room staff, GPs, etc)

-a miniature, diplomatic, reference-citing discussion about the potential for psych meds to be causing my issues, and noting the interesting coincidence that i never had any of these problems before and only had them once quitting the psych meds, and that every single one is a commonly accepted and documented side effect of the psych meds

 

it had a table of contents in front, and a cover page for each section with summaries of content in a few words/phrases.  it was highly organized, targeted, broad enough to account for all the preliminary questions or quibbles that could arise, and did not specifically tell them i should/shouldnt be diagnosed any one thing (withdrawal or anything else).  at like 20-25 pages, it was not a quick or easy read, but it was helpful because i could point to answers to their intake questions in writing, and explain in detail the connections between the various data.  i imagine yours would be quite a bit shorter (2-3 pages max), which is good for your ability to present.

 

my goal was not to say "treat me like you have diagnosed me as being in withdrawal", but rather a challenge: this scientific theory (originated by medical researchers, not myself) seems to explain my situation, but you are the doctor and i am asking your opinion.  pitch me something better if you have it, and we can see how well it fits and if there are any tests that can prove you right.

 

 

 

prescribing medications without definitive tests is not a valid and ethical diagnostic tool.  filtering symptoms into the lowest common denominators and completely ignoring the pronounced usage of brain-altering medications is not a valid diagnostic method for people experiencing issues directly encompassing the brain.  i dont know what kind of range you have, in terms of what doctors you are allowed to see, and how you can make appointments, but if you are capable of seeing a different physician if the one you are seeing right now is both unhelpful and uncooperative, i would recommend interviewing these schmucks until someone is willing to be on your side---with regards to working towards your health---instead of the medical institutions or big pharmas.  even if you have to have your healthcare insurance provider redraw your coverage boundaries (like reassigning your primary GP or place of care, etc), i would recommend it if it will enable you to get the proper certification and respect as a patient and individual.

 

you dont have to be standoffish (and i dont imagine you put yourself to be, of course), but you can let them know during the appointment that if they cannot give you a good theory, you will find someone who can.  you can couch that ultimatum in whatever soft terms they will consider---either come up with a better theory, or prove me wrong.

 

i dont know about the requirements there, but if it would help your image to get aid in writing your list of issues or journal references (so you dont look "too well"), that might be a good idea.  keep it simple, keep it substantiated, and draw on the corroborative support of whoever you have there with you, if you are blessed with such aid.

 

 

 

my method has gotten me federal disability status, a diagnosis of protracted psychotropic withdrawal from a GP that had never heard of such a thing before, a referral to a rheumatologist (who will send me to a neurologist, in turn, if a sleep doc doesnt pan out---and probably wont), and i just had a doctor complete my in-home support forms that will hopefully help me get a rides to purchase groceries and necessities while i am too sick to drive.  i dont assume this method can work for you, but i really hope it does, and i empathize with your situation.  buy my book for only 10 easy payments of $9.99!  :P


from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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Altostrata

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. Chicken has it figured out.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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InvisibleUnless

What were your doctor's theory on the subject?  Did they offer you any insight into why you might be experiencing these symptoms?  That is, did they provide you with a  specific MECHANISM for why you're having these issues related to medications?

 

I found this to be extremely helpful, more helpful than most posts.  This should be a stickied post, it's extremely important what you have just written here and everyone on this website needs to see that this is how you approach doctors.  It's important because they spend like 15 minutes with you, and also because we're often incapacitated and can't articulate exactly what we need in a short visit.

 

You may be helping more people than you realize with this piece of advice.

the official opinion was brainfry. after physical examination and a blood & urine test, he said he figures its just my brain rewiring itself after all the meds. i asked if he would go on record as it being protracted psychotropic withdrawal for forms i would have to be filling out, or the settling of informal contests, and he said yes.

 

i didnt go in there specifically trying to sell a diagnosis---i presented him with some key connections, and asked what hed want to do to investigate what he could---it was, essentially, a diagnosis of exclusion. i did ask him about methods of direct detection and had researched the potential applicability of the most common tests. we resolved that nothing would probably show a meaningful amount of change, in my condition, and that the most conclusive test (testing hair samples) would be very expensive and also pretty much never covered by insurance. he said testing positive in that would probably do nothing for my case anyway, so the matter was basically settled.

 

ultimately, there was a lot of discussion involved, like analyzing the nature of blood test results (what is the 'normal' range and how does it apply to someone in my state, for example). as for 'specific mechanism'...its all the same mechanisms cited in the literature as to why these drugs are so "valuable" and "effective". most of the doctors or counselors ive seen in the past year (in contrast to previous years) have not been dismissive of the seriousness of psych meds, and many agreed that they are not ideal under many circumstances. putting on forms that im in withdrawal, doing new patient intake or government stuff, still turns heads, but im forming, month by month, a nucleus of professionals that are willing to vouch for the disabling and clinical nature of my condition.

 

as i mentioned via PM, i recommend having an agenda written beforehand, with notes that might help you explain the particulars of your experiences in case you feel inarticulate or cant remember all the aspects you wanted to cover. as they are filling out their folder or laptop spreadsheet, im jotting on my binder paper notebook---recording interaction responses (answered questions, medical recommendations, etc) and checking items off the agenda for that appointment. if you are seeing a series of doctors for the same condition, i also advise carrying your treatment logs for each of them in a single folder that you can take to each appointment, and having a section for corroborative information (like research studies or excerpts of medical text that dont require further context to clearly apply to your situation) that can be whipped out in case of pressing need, or friendly curiosity.

 

 

 

if anyone is interested in the packet i compiled for my continual visits, i created a condensed version (with a bit of annotation to help people looking to create their own), specifically to be distributed to members of SA. i can send a zipped file to private email addresses or PM you with a link to a free hosting download. its just a structured referencebook with my immediate symptoms, relevant medication and doctor history, past diagnoses and treatments, and some quick go-to sources of information regarding the persistent and potentially disabling effects of psychotropic medications (with a handy bullet-point rephrasing before actual citations).


from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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nz11

Yep i join with the others in saying this is one 'spot on ' thread. 

I'm with  c-p-3-o!

Just learnt a new word 'diagnonsense.' Boy there is plenty of that going on.

 

There is one other statement  a doctor will make and that is if you start enquiring about the unfolding trauma of wdl and say you think this drug has severe wdl symptoms they will deny it and then will shut down the conversation by saying:

'I am referring you to a psychiatrist.'

in which case go back  to the beginning of this thread and start again...adding  new nonsense like 'you have a genetic disposition to depression'  ..these people as the link says only have a hammer (drugs) so everything they see is a nail !

 

I also believe this kind of statement is wrong, 'treatments that prove most effective combine drugs with therapy.' This is just another pharma ploy to get a person hooked...at which point therapy is irrelevant. This is a very clever devious misleading statement which is meant to confuse and entrap a vunerable person.  imho.

A most bodaciously accurate excellent thread. I also vote to make this thread a green sticky.


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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compsports

I have mentioned this before but for the benefit of the newcomers, I will restate some points.   I simply told my psychiatrist I wanted to taper and wished to do it very slowly using the 10% method.  I felt it was pointless to convince him of WD issues and when I went to my appointments, simply acted like everything was fine even if I felt like h-ll.   Even though he thought my tapering plan was the craziest thing he had every heard (not he didn't say that but it was clear that is what he thought), he totally cooperated and I think near the end of the taper, seemed to grudgingly accept what I had done.

 

Now if I had sensed I couldn't be honest about my taper and each person has to make that call, I would have simply said I wanted to reduce my medications as low as possible which most doctors don't find against.  Or in some cases, people sadly might have outright lie about taking the medications.   Might be harder tapering wise if you can't get the exact doses you need but definitely not impossible thanks to the excellent information on this site.


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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nz11

Bump, This is such a spot on and important thread. People need to know they are not the only people having their intelligence insulted.

 

Please make this a green sticky.


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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manymoretodays

Yay!  I printed it off so maybe I can read it all over and condense my thoughts on the matter.........and then use it to help others somehow.  And further heal myself.

 

I am going to have to go do the same with the linked articles.

 

I don't know yet if I am done trying to convince other professionals or not.........sometimes it feels like it might be best.  Trying to get folks to "not totally trust"(and trust is not a good word to use) their Dr.'s and be receptive to something that might help them........that seems more important.   Anyway.......seems stupid to pay someone to go in and try and enlighten them or teach them something new.  LOL.  Maybe I could go in like a drug rep does, with lunch, and just say........"oh hey, I want to talk to you about some interesting stuff???"

 

Although......there are many pros out there who are kind of undercover suffering and using these meds. too........they need to open their ears for their own benefit at least.

 

Anyway.....thankful for a bit of a window here.......

 

Interesting that the package insert has better information than what the person(s) prescribing these substances have.  And it's all written in microtype on this origami folded paper that hardly anybody ever reads.........oh, the irony..........


Started with psycho meds circa 1988 I think 27 or 28 total.

AD's, antpsychotics, antiseizure mood stabilizers. Lithium, lamictal ,benzos, and stimulants. Some med. for narcolepsy once(Provigil,) Gabapentin........probably more.  Ask me?......I probably was on it.  Haphazard W/D's by Dr. recommend or uneducated self.

10/2014- off Lexapro--had been on highest dose 10 mg. then 5 mg. for a couple of years, went from 5 mg. to 3 mg. liquid and then CT in hospital(voluntary).  I got out of the hospital on a combination of low dose adderal salts x1/day and trileptal 150mg. x2/day.

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!

 

3/21/2016---I did some unwise updosing of trileptal/oxcarbazepine with some stressful stuff......doubled the above dose x2 during this last wave but began liquifying again and on approximately 68mg. starting today.  11/12//2016 24 mg. oxcarbazepine  12/9/2016 off oxcarbazepine/trileptal!!!! :) optimistic  2016 December 9- completely off all medications!!!!!

Omega3's,EPA +DHA= 1800 mg/day. Magnesium complex, orally, diluted in a liter of H2O(that I can shake up.....it usually dissolves more completely as the water gets down to room temperature) and/or Epsom salt baths prn.   Vit. C, D3, and E.  B12, melatonin tapered to 1mg., and bioidentical hormones sublingually.  Trace mineral drops.  L-lysine.  L-methylfolate=400 mcg plus daily spinach. Totally ready for a good long window to hit soon and getting better strings of full days and partial days along the way.  Definite improvement overall since I first arrived on the SA survivor ship.  Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

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Altostrata

Words of wisdom from Rhi:
 
 

....I did just want to jump in with some thoughts about "doctor management." There are a few tricks that I've found that sometimes help when dealing with them.
 
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.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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JanCarol

So - I was reading this book on Narcissitic Personality Disorder (NPD) of which I have been a victim of, and still struggle with the trauma to my self esteem, belief system, etc.  The clever book is by Eleanor Payson, "The Wizard Of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship,"  uses the tales of the Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy's desire to please the "Great and Powerful" (and special) "Oz" until she finds the little man behind the curtain, as metaphors for dealing with narcissists.  CLEVER book.

 

Anyhow, I'm reading along about the "covert narcissist," and she uses this example:

 

"On your first appointment, he impresses you with his interest, professionalism, and expertise.  He seems sensitive to you needs yet clearly in charge of the situation.  You are compelled to be the good patient because you already feel privileged to have his special treatment and attention.  You invest significant time and effort going through the tests he has ordered, and he is now recommending treatment.

 

"The problem for you, however, is that the treatment is fairly extreme, with certain risks involved.  As you muster the courage to ask him questions, he becomes defensive and tense.  When you suggest that you want to give yourself time to consider this treatment option, he becomes cold and detached.  He brutally informs you that unless you follow his treatment, your symptoms will worsen and your prognosis is hopeless.  Furthermore, he lets you know that he will not continue as your physician unless you comply with his recommendations.  With an icy demeanour, he escorts you out the door.  The shock and disbelief you feel are only a temporary numbing of the hurt, confusion and outrage to follow.  You have probably had a close encounter with the 'covert' NPD individual."

 

OMG  anyone else know this guy/woman?  I think we've all seen this doctor at one time or another.

 

And I've read Mad In America, and Anatomy of an Epidemic - I know how psychiatry evolved from its treatments.  But this goes deeper - this is in the whole MD profession - the One-Way Relationship - of "I know what is best for you, better than you do."  How did that evolve?

 

I remember as a young girl, hearing the adults talk, "Oh, the doctors think they are Gods, they have the power of life and death in their hands."  This statement filled me with great awe.  As if every time you went to a Doctor, he could save you or kill you right then and there.  But here's the catch:  he's more likely to kill you than save you - and THINK that he's saving you.  


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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pocketnurse

Hi all.

 

I have an appointment to see my GP next week to discuss a number of issues which I believe are withdrawal related. I am on a very slow Lexapro (Cipralex) taper. So far I believe I have got off fairly lightly compared with others but the lower I get my dose (I am on 2mgs now) the more I think I am experiencing withdrawal.

My main problems are gastro related with bloating, wind and bizarre tenderness of my abdo muscles I think but I can't quite tell what actually hurts. I am also having real problems staying asleep at night. I go to sleep then wake an hour or two later and cannot go back to sleep. As I work full time I am struggling with the sleep issue in particular as I feel so tired during the day.

I am not really sure what to expect and indeed what if anything he suggests. My biggest concern is that he totally disregards my views on withdrawal and thinks I am neurotic. I have a good relationship with him and to be fair to him often responds to my suggestions and is far more open minded than most of his colleagues. What I want to avoid is him playing down or belittling the whole withdrawal symptom thing resulting in me becoming anxious that there is something else going on and coming away feeling demoralised and frustrated.

Can anyone advise me on how I can get my point across and ways where perhaps I can educate him a little more about withdrawal and how severe it really is.

 

Love to all PN x


1995-1998 various SSRIs then withdrawal

2000 Sertraline

2003 Sertraline then changed to Prozac to attempt withdrawal.

2004 failed at withdrawal so Citalopram.

2010 attempted slow withdrawal over 12 months but failed- sever episode depression 2012

2012 3 days of Mirtazepine with bad reaction so started escitalopram 20mgs

2013 started very very slow taper with a number of slight reinstatements

Currently on between 0.5 and 1mg escitalopram drops at day.

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Aria

I would take a friend with you to this appointment. Is he the doctor who originally prescribed the Lexapro? You could lay out your current symptoms were not there before you started tapering. I totally get the awful sleep issues and how it impacts your ability to function. He may offer you sleep meds thinking you're stressed but then again he may listen. My distrust of physicians is huge because of their group ignorance of w/d and wanting to say w/d is your depression returning. Good luck.


Poly drugged for 18 years with every psychiatric drug in the PDR. C/t off Seroquel, tapered trazodone, celexa, dalmane, ativan (among others) and have been drug free for years. I thank the heavens I survived.

Link to my Introduction thread: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2477-aria-my-psych-journey/

Reading my psychiatric records: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5466-drugged-crazy-reading-my-psychiatric-records/

My Success Story is listed under "Aria's Recovery".

 

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brassmonkey

Hi PN--  it's pretty clear what you don't want to get out of the appointment, but I can't really tell what you do want to get out of it.  Going in with some clear idea of what you want will help you express those needs and increase the chances that you will get what you're after.  Written  notes will help keep things on track while you're talking to him.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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pocketnurse

Hi Aria and Brassmonkey 

Thanks for your reply. To be honest I am not sure what I want out of the appointment either. I think secretly I want him to agree that my tummy issues are W/D related and not some terrible disease however I guess he is more likely to think of some other disease than W/D!!!! I would appreciate maybe something that may calm my gut down. Like everyone else I am looking for a magic cure that doesn't exist.

 

PN x


1995-1998 various SSRIs then withdrawal

2000 Sertraline

2003 Sertraline then changed to Prozac to attempt withdrawal.

2004 failed at withdrawal so Citalopram.

2010 attempted slow withdrawal over 12 months but failed- sever episode depression 2012

2012 3 days of Mirtazepine with bad reaction so started escitalopram 20mgs

2013 started very very slow taper with a number of slight reinstatements

Currently on between 0.5 and 1mg escitalopram drops at day.

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compsports

PN,

 

I agree that it is pointless to convince your doc of WD issues.  Even the most enlightened ones will usually blow it off.

 

I would focus on what he can provide that meets your needs.  If all he can do is just prescribe the prescriptions doses you need, then be thankful for that since many doctors don't cooperate in that area.

 

Best of luck.


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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nz11

Dont forget this one...............

 

"You're a person who is sensitive to drugs ...an outlier ...unique and atypical"

 

In that case why wasnt i given a 'person who is sensitive to drugs test' before you drugged me?


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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NearlyMedlessKate

So I had a cluster of symptoms that I now believe are related to withdrawal but that people were worried was cardiac. I went to the ER and was kept overnight and given all sorts of cardiac testing. Now I think my CNS was just going haywire. Anyway, I did not tell them I was currently withdrawing from Lamictal. I was worried for two reasons, I didn't want to end up getting treated on the psych unit (my major worry) and I was afraid they would send info to my doctor and she would find out. I'm nowhere near ready to deal with her reaction to the news that I'm tapering. The end result is that I did not tell them what might have been pertinent information. I don't know whether I made the right choice so any feedback is immensely appreciated (even if it starts out with don't lie to the ER.) I really don't know if I made a smart decision.

Edited by KarenB
merged similar topics

I probably came off all of these too rapidly. 
 
Lexapro -  08/15, Started at 10mg, tapered daily over three weeks
 
Gabapentin - 7/13 800 mg Quit cold turkey the first time and ended up at ER with low pulse, BP, weakness, and confusion. 8/14 Reduced by half the second time I tried to quit and went to urgent care with same symptoms. 10/15 Third quit I reduced by around 10% a week for close to 3 months. Success!
 
Latuda with Zofran - 04/16, 60 mg reduced by half for a week, then 20 mg for four days, 10 mg for four days, then 5 mg for four days
 
Currently still on:
 
Lamictal - started at 200mg (100 x2 daily); tapered 1mg per day (bad move) from April 28th, 2016 to late May 2016. Held at 175 mg from May 28th 2016. Tapered 10% to 157mg on June 21 2016. Currently on hold.
 
Supplements include: EPA/DHA, B-Complex, and Zinc
 
 

 

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mammaP

I told my doctor I wanted to taper a drug, he said there was no need and should just stop, THEN CANCELLED MY PRESCRIPTION!

Told another I wanted to taper (different drug)  and was told to take every other day for a few days, then half the dose every other day then stop. Gave me a script for 7 of the lower dose THEN CANCELLED MY PRESCRIPTION!  Rinse and repeat several times with different doctors, always end up in withdrawal and different drugs. When I discovered real tapering I told my psychiatrist and he said I would need the drugs for life and would get worse as I get older. Then labelled me 'non compliant'. Told my GP I was tapering and needed liquid for the last few mg. he said I am making things worse and should just stop but I insisted that I have the liquid, calmly but firmly and respectfully. He did give it to me but was very annoyed. I had an allergic reaction to it  and had to carry on tapering by opening capsules and counting beads but that was ok because I had enough to last me to the end. I didn't tell him I tapered any of the other drugs, just collected my scripts then stopped when I had finished tapering. 

 

I now have a new GP who is very impressed that I took control and congratulated me for tapering off effexor because it is such a hard drug to quit. She knows I stopped the others because of side effects but didn't tell her I tapered them. She is the only one who has understood my sensitivities and supported my decision to be drug free.  

 

Most doctors don't know the need for tapering, and most of us here just collect our scripts so we can get on with it. They don't understand withdrawal and are puzzled when we show up at the ER with serious symptoms but all tests are clear. They tend to throw more drugs at us when all we need is stability, to keep things stable so that our nervous system and brain can work on rebalancing naturally. 

 

They need to know if we are taking a drug, that is important, and can tell them the dose we are at but expect some rolling of eyes that we think we need such a low dose that they believe to be a placebo! 


**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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SquirrellyGirl

I don't know that they think it is a placebo - I think they think those low doses are unnecessary because "they have no effect."  Well, we definitely know they have an affect when you look at the occupancy charts!  Why taper?

 

Anyway, I agree with mammaP, that the information beyond telling them you are on the medications would only complicate matters.  They might have said your symptoms were caused by anxiety which is proof that you need to be on the drugs!  Seems like a lot of people get that here, symptoms being dismissed as anxiety.  

 

So, the main thing is that you were tested out as 'normal' and therefore nothing nasty was happening, so yes, withdrawal. Don't be feeling guilty - all's good!

 

I do think it is important that supportive people in your life know that you are tapering so that if you start behaving oddly, they can look out for you. We want everyone here to be safe. The worst case scenario is that tapering leads to deep, dark neuro depression that puts you at risk.  We don't want that happening, and the slow taper should prevent that.

 

SG


Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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NearlyMedlessKate

Thank you, MammaP and Squirrellygirl! I have not told my GP or my psychiatrist that I am tapering and do not plan to. I will let them know when I am off and they can deal with that news however they like at that point. I am glad to know I made the right decision with the ER doctors. The last thing I need is to be on a psych ward for a medication "adjustment" and that was my fear, that they would say I was relapsing and needed to be admitted to psych for stabilization. I feel much better about my lie of omission now.


I probably came off all of these too rapidly. 
 
Lexapro -  08/15, Started at 10mg, tapered daily over three weeks
 
Gabapentin - 7/13 800 mg Quit cold turkey the first time and ended up at ER with low pulse, BP, weakness, and confusion. 8/14 Reduced by half the second time I tried to quit and went to urgent care with same symptoms. 10/15 Third quit I reduced by around 10% a week for close to 3 months. Success!
 
Latuda with Zofran - 04/16, 60 mg reduced by half for a week, then 20 mg for four days, 10 mg for four days, then 5 mg for four days
 
Currently still on:
 
Lamictal - started at 200mg (100 x2 daily); tapered 1mg per day (bad move) from April 28th, 2016 to late May 2016. Held at 175 mg from May 28th 2016. Tapered 10% to 157mg on June 21 2016. Currently on hold.
 
Supplements include: EPA/DHA, B-Complex, and Zinc
 
 

 

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NearlyMedlessKate

Oh, and they *did* try to attribute the symptoms to anxiety and I had to be very clear that I have never had anxiety present in this way. Ever. At all. Not happening.

 

Interestingly though, when they asked me if I was still on all the meds I was on last time I was there and I told them, no to this one, no to that one, and the nurses and doctors were all impressed that I managed to get off so many and was only still on one. So at least they were supportive in that sense. I still didn't trust them and wasn't willing to tell them I was currently tapering. But they surprised me with how happy they all seemed that I was only on one drug now. So there's that. :)


I probably came off all of these too rapidly. 
 
Lexapro -  08/15, Started at 10mg, tapered daily over three weeks
 
Gabapentin - 7/13 800 mg Quit cold turkey the first time and ended up at ER with low pulse, BP, weakness, and confusion. 8/14 Reduced by half the second time I tried to quit and went to urgent care with same symptoms. 10/15 Third quit I reduced by around 10% a week for close to 3 months. Success!
 
Latuda with Zofran - 04/16, 60 mg reduced by half for a week, then 20 mg for four days, 10 mg for four days, then 5 mg for four days
 
Currently still on:
 
Lamictal - started at 200mg (100 x2 daily); tapered 1mg per day (bad move) from April 28th, 2016 to late May 2016. Held at 175 mg from May 28th 2016. Tapered 10% to 157mg on June 21 2016. Currently on hold.
 
Supplements include: EPA/DHA, B-Complex, and Zinc
 
 

 

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MaryDavid

Oh, and they *did* try to attribute the symptoms to anxiety and I had to be very clear that I have never had anxiety present in this way. Ever. At all. Not happening.

 

Interestingly though, when they asked me if I was still on all the meds I was on last time I was there and I told them, no to this one, no to that one, and the nurses and doctors were all impressed that I managed to get off so many and was only still on one. So at least they were supportive in that sense. I still didn't trust them and wasn't willing to tell them I was currently tapering. But they surprised me with how happy they all seemed that I was only on one drug now. So there's that. :)

Wow!  :)


In 2001 - started on Carbamezapine (can't remember dose), Fluoexitine 20mg, Clanozepam (low dose) after a nervous breakdown.

In 2004 - abruptly stopped carbamezapine after falling pregnant.  

In 2009 - changed from Fluoexitine to Citalopram 20mg.

In 2014 - tappered off clanozepam.

In Aug 2015 - cold turkey off Citalopram :o

From Aug - Dec 2015 I had mostly flu-like symptoms and trouble sleeping. From Jan - April 2016 Emotional nightmare ensued, paranoia, excessive anxiety and tormenting thoughts, basically trying to manage these emotions and thoughts which are exhausting.  Lots of intense emotions followed by tears, at times howling when Im alone.In March 2016 I tried Choline & Inisitol, Vit B Complex, Using Aromatherapy, like Lavendar, Clary Sage and others.

In April STOPPED Choline & Inositol as I beleive it was giving me shakes and making me more anxious.  It also made me feel like i'd taken a benzo tablet making me feel sedated.  Reading - The Body Keeps Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk (recommended by a member on this group).

Symptoms - extreme low self esteem and insecurity, intense emotions and tearfulness. This is so so hard.  But im going to keep pushing.  Feel bad for my 2 girls and husband.  I don't want to be seen in this way, especially by the girls. Self-help : praying, meditating, breathing exercises and physical exercises.

Ceterizine (antihistamine) - I've been taking this for many years now for itchiness in my palms and feet.  I take them as and when I need them. JULY 2016 Dr Bach homeopathic remedies and 'rescue remedy'

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desertchild

Hi everyone

 

I'm not sure whether this is the right place to post this topic?

 

I will have the opportunity to see my doctor on Monday and I called her this morning to ask her whether she would be willing to look at information I want to send her to talk about protracted withdrawal. It will come as no surprise that eyebrows are raised in the medical community when this is mentioned. I've been in an awful state of withdrawal since December and every visit ended with her wanting to put me back on different medications to ease symptoms, help with anxiety, etc. 

 

Once I found SA and realized what was happening to me, I tried to explain protracted withdrawal, but she is very tongue-in-the-cheek about it, almost humoring me. I took the Ashton Manual withdrawal schedule with when I wanted to make a cross-over from alprazolam to Valium and had the same response. The last time she saw me, she asked me how my 'regime' is going!. 

 

I think 7 months into this journey I can ask, respectfully, for her to please hear what I am trying to explain. 

 

I don't feel empowered enough with information, nor strong enough, because of withdrawal, but I can at least go and try. It could be a beginning or she might close the door on me.

 

Will you please be so kind to help me with this. Thank you so much.

 

desertchild

Edited by KarenB
merged similar topics

1991 – Tofranil; 2005 – Celexa; 2007 – Jan 2014: 300mg WellbutrinJan 2014 – Jul 2014: quetiapine fumarate 300 mg; lamotrigine 200 mg; alprazolam 1 mg; midazolam 30 mg; May 2014 quetiapine fumarate (no tapering), Abilify 20 mg, ; lamotrigine 200 mg; alprazolam 1 mg; midazolam 30 mg; Jul 2014 (new psychiatrist): Abilify (no tapering) lamotrigine 200 mg; Paxil 30 mg; olanzapine 5 mg; Ambien MR 25mg; clobazam 10 mg;  alprazolam SR 0,5 mg; Dec 2014: Paxil (no tapering), Brintellix 20 mg; Trazodone 100 mg; lamotrigine 100 mg; clobazam 10mg; Alprazolam 0,5 mg; Ambien MR 12,5 mg; Oct 2015 – 9 Dec 2015 I “tapered” everything except for alprazolam – 5 mg, Ambien  

Feb ‘16: 0,25mg alprazolam - am; 0,25 alprazolam; 5mg Ambien – pm; March ‘16: 0,125mg alprazolam(cut too big – withdrawal sx’s worsened); 0,25mg Alprazolam, 0,5mg Ambien – pm; discovered SA! mid-March ‘16: 0,0625mg Alprazolam, 1,25mg Valium - am, 0,25mg Alprazolam; 5mg Ambien - pm; mid-April ‘16: 0,0625mg Alprazolam, 1,25mg Valium - am; 0,125mg Alprazolam, 2,5mg Valium; 5mg Ambien – pm; mid-May ‘16: 1,25mg Valium - am; 0,125mg Alprazolam, 2,5mg Valium; 5mg Ambien – pm; Cross-over to Valium developed severe, worsening depression; 22 June –  started cross-taper back to alprazolam; Tried 6 hrly dozing - had very negative effect on my psyche with severe insomnia and deepening depression, feelings of suicide; 7 July '16: dropped Valium, replaced with alprazolam; returned to 5x/day dozing liquid titration alprazolam (0.0625 x 5) (Total: 0.31mg alprazolam) (8am, 1pm, 6pm, 11pm, 3:30 am), 5mg Ambien;

22/7 Stopped Ambien and replaced with alprazolam: increased alprazolam: 0.088 x 5 (Total 0.44 mg )

Magnesium; Omega 3; Magnesium bath; Magnesium spray; thyroid, bloodpressure medication; Livifem (Tibolone): estrogen-progesterone combo

 

 

 

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savinggrace

Hi desert child,

 

No, none of what you said is surprising. Most of us have to cajole our doctors into helping us taper the way we want to.

 

It does take courage. It's hard to predict whether she will listen to you at all.

 

To clarify, did she give you Valium to cross-over? If she did, at least that shows she is willing to try. If she didn't, I am not at all sure if you can persuade her into helping you do a proper taper. You may just have to take what she gives you now, and shop for a doctor who is more open to this withdrawal reality. Personally, I think doctors choose denial, because they prefer not to face the devastation they have caused people with the drugs they pass out like candy. I would go in with a plan of exactly what you hope to come out with...which drug and the strength and tell her how you plan to taper. Write it down and hand it to her. You have to muster up all the courage you can to get what you need.

 

I know how anxiety-producing these appts. are. I just had one. After 15 years my doctor just gives me what I ask for though he told me I was psychotic once and tried to give me ability. Sometimes I actually take his scripts and pretend I tried them to appear more compliant.

 

Good luck

Grace


amitriptyline from 1980-2002, along wi/ intermittent, infrequent use of benzos over 2 decades

2002-2010 Klonopin 1-2 mg., ambien 10--20, mg, remeron 4 mg. and  trileptal 300 mg

2011 Stopped ambien and crossed over to valium 17.5 mg. (updosing 2.5 mg. to cover ambien C/T )

Micro-tapered valium from 2011-2015. Hit a wall at 12.84. mg.  

Jan. 2015 Tapered 75 mg. trileptal  first year. 6 month hold.  Resumed micro--tapering trileptal 2-10% every few months

January 2020  12.74 valium, 4 mg. remeron. Resumed micro-tapering trileptal 5 mg. down to 138 mg. 1/21/20; long hold; cut trileptal to 133 mg. 

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Lilu

Why don't Psychiatrists know about Tapering & Antidepressant Withdrawal?

 

For those of us who are veterans of this site, this might seem like a silly question. However, most people out there in the world, trust their doctors and have a hard time believing that a doctor doesn't know what they're doing and can actually harm them.

 

A close friend of mine has heard my whole story and horrific experience with antidepressant withdrawal and yet chooses to do what her doctor has told her to do.  I have shared my knowledge with her countless of times.

 

I've explained to her that psychiatrists don't taper antidepressants slowly enough and that they are wrong when they advise patients to skip days as a tactic of tapering their medication.  That it's like playing ping-pong with your brain. Why do doctors advise patients to do this??? (One prominent psychiatrist told me that this is how they taper people off of heroin.)

 

But since I'm not a doctor, my words hold no weight. The countless hours of reading on this site and on the web, clinical papers and personal accounts, as well as my own experience seems to mean nothing without a medical degree.

 

I want to help people but they just don't listen to me. After 7 months on Prozac 40 mg, she quickly tapered down to 30, 20. 10, and then stopped. So of course she's experiencing withdrawal now. 

 

She, like many other people, still asks, "Why don't Psychiatrists know about proper antidepressant tapering? Why didn't my psychiatrist offer me liquid medication?"

 

I told her that psychiatrists/doctors are not taught in medical school the whole truth about antidepressants because pharmaceutical companies suppress this information by rigging clinical trials and paying off researchers. I explained that pharmaceutical companies don't acknowledge that these drugs cause withdrawal, but instead call it "discontinuation syndrome". They tell psychiatrists that this syndrome only lasts two weeks, and that if its any longer, it is a relapse.

 

I don't know if that is the right answer. What is the right answer to this question?

 


2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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Lilu
Here's a letter a woman wrote to her psychiatrists asking the same question that I ask, Why don't doctors know?


(www.madinamerica.com/2014/04/dont-know-letter-doctor/)

 

I need to ask: why?

Did you know this was possible? Did you know there was a possibility I would suffer like this if and when I tried to rid myself of this evil drug? And if so, why wasn’t I warned and if you didn’t know, why didn’t you?

Why was I prescribed this regularly for six years when the FDA recommends only four weeks? Why is a severely toxic mind-altering drug given out for burning tongue, restless leg, tinnitus and a host of other simple ailments?

Why, when this drug is only recommended for two to four weeks and there are no FDA follow-up studies on long-term side effects (at least that I am aware of), are patients being disregarded, questioned, and scoffed at when they report these symptoms as withdrawal? Shouldn’t the FDA, doctors, and drug companies be alarmed and searching for answers? People on the forums are regularly blown off by their doctors and ridiculed. My own neurologist, after hearing all my symptoms and reviewing my test results, shrugged his shoulders, gave me a quizzical look, and walked out.

Why, when I experienced insomnia and panic as the result of one stressful period in my life and had no prior history of mental health issues, was I put on three mind-altering drugs and left on them (and more) for seven years? How is this O.K.?

Why, when I asked if the electric current I was feeling was my body needing the drug, didn’t you say, “Maybe it is”? Instead you said, “No, that’s the anxiety.” I was convinced I had an incurable chronic case of severe anxiety.

Why, when I asked if I was becoming addicted to the drug did you say, “No, you don’t have an addictive personality”? Why didn’t you know about physiological dependence, or if you did, why weren’t you honest with me about the possibility?

Why, when the depression began in 2009 and I asked if the drug might be causing it, did you dismiss my question and keep playing Russian roulette with my brain, convincing me I had clinical depression and trying more and more drugs?

Why didn’t you realize that the side effects of benzos and other psych drugs can mimic what our society calls “mental illnesses” and keep patients in a zombie-like, drugged state until (hopefully) one day they say “Enough!” and fight their way out?

Why wasn’t I told about informed consent?

Why, after I (stupidly) cold-turkeyed three drugs in 2006 and told you it felt like bugs were crawling all over me, did you tell me I “sounded like a six-year old” when I now know it is a side effect called formication. Why didn’t you know that?

Why are there tens of thousands of others suffering alone, without medical support?  Why isn’t this acknowledged in the medical community?

Why are we told there is a “chemical imbalance in the brain” when there is no diagnostic test to prove this?

Why was it OK for you to keep assaulting my brain with multiple mind-altering drugs without any proper accountability and even, it seems, awareness of how disabling they are?

Why, in our modern day, educated, socially networked society is this happening?

Why haven’t you looked on the internet to find out what is really happening in the lives of innocent victims of psychiatric drugging? (And if you have, what are you doing about it?) People are losing jobs, marriages, homes and lives trying to break free from the hold of these drugs. Is ignorance bliss? I hope not.

Why does the human experience need to be labeled? Why can’t someone be sad, anxious, melancholy, agitated, pensive, shy, hyper, aggressive, rebellious, irritable or just “different” without it being a “disorder”? Without it being drugged? Is it about money? Power? Pride? Ignorance?

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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nz11

Wow that is a great letter.

That is a question we are all asking.....

I wonder if there was a reply?


Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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UnfoldingSky

  • "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.

 

 

Um, Alto, but what about the reality that they have evidence that some people who took the drugs and reacted to them really did have a propensity to be "bipolar R2D2" because of the C-3PO genes and not due to the drugs themselves?

 

While it may be that most people who take the drugs aren't "bipolar R2D2" if they have a reaction and so aren't the droids they are looking for, there are still others whom I think this diagnosis fits...


I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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brassmonkey

Unfoldingsky--  There's bound to be life in other galaxies far far away, only because of the shear number of stars.  Because of the numbers it's has to happen. But even according to the fabled PDR "make a psych diagnosis of a patient on Vraxzoan one will not, as scrambled by the drug their brain will be".  There will be that one in a million Storm Trooper who truly is disturbed but the rest are merely Clones. Having helped balance The Force in many an altered Clone I have yet to meet one who was truly disturbed, but I'm sure we could fine one at the Cantina.


20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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JanCarol

Here is the UK (and likely similar to the Australian) MIMS chart for tapering and cross tapering antidepressants.  Dated Feb 2016.

 

Read and weep:

 

http://www.mims.co.uk/antidepressants-guide-switching-withdrawing/mental-health/article/882430


"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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