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Armorall

Armorall: CT from bupropion and risperidone

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Armorall

I don't know how to put the medication history as a tag, so I guess I'll just put it at the end. 


Hi everyone!

 

So, I started on 3/21/19 with the Bupropion and Risperidone after being hospitalized for suicidal ideation. I had been resigned for some time because of difficult changes that had been going on in my life socially for the past year, and I was responding angrily and with frustration (internally) until I was pushed to the limit. 

 

After hospitalization, I’ve had some transformative thinking around how I interact with people socially, which has led me to an ease with the situation that I hadn’t known before I was hospitalized. I still struggled with social interaction but I am much better and not feeling overwhelmed by my situation as I once was. 

 

Although the initial usage of Bupropion and Risperidone I had trouble sleeping the first week, everything seemed fine after that. I had some flare ups of anger, but I was working through it and seeing my psychologist twice a week. 

 

In May, my psychiatrist saw that Risperidone was elevating my hormone levels, and he wanted me off of it.

 

 I started taking Abilify as a substitute in July. Towards the end of July, the panic-like symptoms I would get from just sitting still was too much for me. I went off of it. He then put me on Latuda. I was on for two days and still had similar effects and I couldn’t sleep. I came off of it, all the while having a lot of withdrawal symptoms- profuse sweating, getting hot, panic. I still couldn’t sleep. I started supplementing with benadryl (at the suggestion of the nurse for withdrawal) then later melatonin.

 

After talking to my psychologist, she suggested that I may have insomnia from the actual Bupropion. Because Risperidone makes some people groggy, what she thought was that the Risperidone masked the activating effect of Bupropion. After I stopped taking the Risperidone, the Bupropion was keeping me awake. She had several clients that had to switch to something else because of the Bupropion keeping them awake. 

 

So, I quit cold turkey on the Bupropion, and similarly all the other drugs. I guess my psychiatrist didn’t think I needed to taper from the Risperidone because I had only been on it for 3 months. 

 

I thought all was well, but I now have these rushes of anxiety that come over me for around 10-20 minutes at a time. It started after I dropped the Latuda, I believe I was having them even before the Bupropion was dropped but hadn’t noticed a pattern of getting them until the Bupropion was dropped. I get a few (5 or 6) rushes a day. When the rush is over, I'm still usually uneasy for a bit of time after that. I also have some light depression in the mornings, but that has dropped off. 

The possibility of the anxiety rushes usually stop after 6-7pm at night now (this is a newer development). I go to bed around 10-11pm, so now I can this period the “golden hours” where I feel completely myself and don’t feel like the onset of either a depression tinge or an anxiety rush will happen. 

 

So, it’s been technically a little over a month since I CT’d Bupropion and two months since I CT’d the Risperidone. I took both medications from 3/21-7/1 and only Bupropion (and Abilify) from 7/1-8/10. So total I was on medication for about 4 months. 

 

What do you think? Will the anxiety rushes fall away? When I am outside of them, I definitely think I can handle this, but when I am getting washes of them, I feel hopeless like it is not going to end. It is unlike anything I ever experienced before taking medication. I would get anxious from various scenarios in the past, but not this random, involuntary rush that occurs for no reason. I look to the writings on here about neuroplasticity (I am 44 years old) and how healing happens every day with building new neural pathways not that I’m off of everything, but I am scared that I am doing this for nothing. Also, I did everything CT, so how does that impact my withdrawal?

 

Thanks for reading,

 

Armorall
 

3/21/19 started Bupropion XL 150 mg

3/21/19 started Risperidone 2mg

7/7/19 start Abilify half dose 5 mg. discontinue Risperidone

7/9/19 full dose Abilify 10 mg

7/29/19 discontinued Abilify due to panicky side effects

8/2/19 Began Latuda 20 mg

8/5/19 discontinued Latuda due to similar side effects 

8/10/19 discontinued Bupropion after realizing it was causing the insomnia

From 8/10/19 no drugs whatsoever

Withdrawal symptoms coming in and more acute in September

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added space, unbolded

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Sassenach

Hello  Armorall   and welcome to SA.

 

This site is run entirely by volunteer Administrators and Moderators, all have been through or going through withdrawal.

There are no commercial interests or influences  involved .

 

I am sorry you are having such a rough time but you are now in the right place.

 

How are you feeling now?

What symptoms are currently experiencing?

What you are feeling are withdrawal symptoms from so many drug changes in a short period of time.

The fact that you also C/Ted 4 meds during this time makes matters worse.

The links below will help you understand what is happening.

 

about-reinstating-and-stabilizing-to-reduce-withdrawal-symptoms/

the-windows-and-waves-pattern-of-stabilization/

the-rule-of-3kis-keep-it-simple-keep-it-slow-keep-it-stable/

why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

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

dr-joseph-glenmullens-withdrawal-symptom-checklist/

 

The only known way to mitigate W/D ( withdrawal ) symptoms is reinstatement of a small dose of the drug.

Reinstatement is most likely to work effectively with one month of the last date the drug was taken.

It is absolutely essential that reinstatement is NOT instigated at high dose, so please do not attempt this without asking us to advise on this.

 

Sassenach

 

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Armorall

Hi Sassenach, 

Thank you for your reply. To answer questions-

How are you feeling now?  I'm feeling ok. God bless whoever posted to the site (I think several people) about using magnesium (specifically Natural Calm) as a supplement. I tried it yesterday and it's done wonders. The anxiety pangs I get are pretty muted, minus one I had around lunch time and one I had yesterday before bed (I think I was seeing how long I could go without another dosage). I just happened to have the Natural Calm powder already on my shelf and decided to give it a go.  Otherwise, I have interrupted sleep but can mostly lightly sleep. I've been exercising and haven't had any severe depression pangs for the past few days. I can feel the anxiety pangs underneath the calm I get from the powder, but, like I said, it is more muted and definitely makes things more tolerable.  I take a teaspoon full of powder (162 mg) with water every 6 hours.


So, in response to what you said about mitigating withdrawal effects, are you saying that you can only mitigate them by doing reinstatement *within* (you wrote with) one month of the last time the drug was taken? If that is true, then I guess I'm am screwed, right? Because I've already been off Bupropion for one month and ten days, and I've been off Risperidone for two months. off Abilify for one month and twenty days.  My next appointment with the psychiatrist is October 2nd, too, which gives a lot of waiting time, I'll have been off of Bupropion for almost two months then. I'm in a system that isn't very responsive (if I call about symptoms I can only talk to the nurse) and my psychiatrist is clearly not about tapering, he pulled me right off risperidone and into Abilify with no taper even though I had been on it for three months.

If that's not what you are saying and you think I can still reinstate, I don't even know which drugs I should as for and at what dosage. I came off Bupropion because I couldn't sleep on it once the Risperdone was gone. But maybe if  I had a small dosage that wouldn't happen. Should I reinstate Bupropion and Risperidone (even though he pulled me off of it for heightened hormonal activity)? At what dosages should I start at? Will my psychiatrist even be able to get me small dosages? 

I think I still have the bottle of Bupropion but not the other things. 

 

On the other end, if it's too late to reinstate, I feel like (it's only been a day and a half, so who knows, but I pray that I don't have any reactions and can just keep taking the magnesium citrate), I can keep going like this and be somewhat ok, with the magnesium somewhat muting the anxiety pangs I am getting. I definitely feel more empowered to do things. But, how long do you think these anxiety pangs will last for if I keep going like this cold turkey with no reinstatement? I of course worry that it is permanent, even though they feel so alien to me and not a part of who I was before drugs at all. 

Thank you for your help and insight, I really appreciate it,

Armorall

 

 

 

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Sassenach

Hi A it is very early in the UK I am doing this on my phone which is not great.

You are not I repeat not screwed.

 

I will respond fully at about 6 p.m. UK time.

If I get time during the day I will send you some links which will help explain what is happening.

Catch you later.

Sassanach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sassenach

Already sent you the links please ensure you read them before I get back to you

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Sassenach

Hi Armorall

 

I hope you have read the info I sent you.

 

17 hours ago, Armorall said:

are you saying that you can only mitigate them by doing reinstatement *within* (you wrote with) one month of the last time the drug was taken?

It does not mean that reinstatement after one month will not work but that we have found it is more likely to work in that timeframe.

I reinstated after three months and it worked.

You have only been off Buproprion for just over a month which should be ok.

The time off the other meds is irrelevant from a reinstatement point of view.

It is however relevant to W/D symptoms, as drug changes and cold turrkey off drugs are the triggers for W/D symptoms.

18 hours ago, Armorall said:

Bupropion and Risperidone (even though he pulled me off of it for heightened hormonal activity)?

 

Can you confirm that it was the Risperidone that was responsible for hormonal changes?

 

18 hours ago, Armorall said:

I came off Bupropion because I couldn't sleep on it once the Risperdone was gone

This would be the drug to reinstate and hopefully the Magnesium would help the insomnia.

 

18 hours ago, Armorall said:

But, how long do you think these anxiety pangs will last for if I keep going like this cold turkey with no reinstatement? I of course worry that it is permanent, even though they feel so alien to me and not a part of who I was before drugs at all.

Unfortunately we cannot answer that, but is a slow process and cannot be hurried.

Your CNS ( central nervous system ) is in disarray because of the changes made by the drugs and it take time for the brain to return to homeostasis.

What we do know is the brain has a remarkable ability to repair itself.

The first couple of weeks off drugs is often a honeymoon period where the brain is confused and waiting to react to the abscence of the drug.

We feel good and wonder what all the fuss was about.

After that the symptoms start slowly.

You are definitely entering W/D and only you can decide whether to reinstate or not.

I suggest you take a little time and look around the site, it is a wealth of info.

I would encourage you to read other members threads and engage with them if you wish.

While reinstatement is better sooner than later you should not rush your decision.

 

It is important to realise that doctors and psychs no nothing of W/D, many still believe that it does not exist.

If you to allow your psych to prescribe yet another med this will only exacerbate the situation.

Altostata founded this site in 2011 following her own withdrawal.

She is now recognised as an expert in the field.

The problem is there have been few clinical trials of W/D, so we use the anecdotal evidence gathered over the years to provide guidance.

 

I will repeat the warning above.

Please do NOT attempt reinstatement without consulting us.

There are many parameters to consider in setting a dose.

We are here to help.

Please advise us on your decision when you are ready.

 

Sassenach

 

 

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Armorall

I only know that Risperidone was confirmed by my psychiatrist to be the heightened levels for hormonal activity because I think the side effects match that (makes people lactate, may jump their hormones, etc etc). So he took me off. We never did bloodwork after that, so if it was Bupropion, I wouldn't know. 

 

I am interested in reinstating. I had a few malaise-laced surges of anxiety this morning already despite the magnesium and would like to see if there's a better way. I read the links. I still have the bottle of 150 mg of Buproprion XL, not sure how much as I'm not at home. Maybe 15 pills? I see him in 12 days, so it shouldn't be problematic. I'm uncomfortable about the sleep part, but wondering if I reinstate at a smaller dose, if I won't have those problems. I had used melatonin then too. I used to be scared about taking melatonin supplements because I worried that I'd stop making melatonin if I kept taking the synthetic kind. 

 

So, how do I reinstate? Do I tell my psychiatrist that that is what I am doing? 

 

Thank you for your help,

Armorall

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Sassenach

 Hi A

 

I will consult with other mods evaluate best dose.

Please check the meds you currently have.

Are they Bupropion XL 150 mg

Are they tablets, capsules containing powder, capsules containing beads?

Are they definitely extended release?

 

Sassenach

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Armorall

Yes, it says Bupropion HCL XL 150 MG Tablet. 

 

I have 24 of them. 

 

Thank you Sassenach!

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Armorall

Jeez, that's a lot. I'm trying to digest the information and work out what the plan would be. As I read the post, I also saw how people worked with their pharmacist to get smaller dosages, switch to SR etc etc. I don't know that this would work for me as I have a psychiatrist that I'm guessing doesn't believe in withdrawal and I can only get to through monthly appointments (in which I have to take off work), otherwise I get the nurse to call me back with limited information and no prescribing power. 

 

So, this is saying that I should take 135 mg of Bupropion a day cut into two doses? When I read the thread about reinstating, it said to only start with a very small amount. Do I start with a 10% dosage or something much smaller? 

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Sassenach

Hi Armorial.

 

It is a lot of info.

I am waiting for other mods to get back to me.

Cutting the XL tabs turns them into immediate release which  can have effects of its own.

It is probably going to be better to get immediate release tabs to ensure accurate doses.

6 minutes ago, Armorall said:

I don't know that this would work for me as I have a psychiatrist that I'm guessing doesn't believe in withdrawal and I can only get to through monthly appointments (in which I have to take off work), otherwise I get the nurse to call me back with limited information and no prescribing power. 

Is there any reason why you cannot get your doctor to prescribe?

You will definitely start at a low dose but until we we know the alternatives we are working with, we cannot advise a dose.

Unfortunately as it is the weekend everything slows down and there are less mods online.

We will get you started asap but we have to be very sure the final advice is correct.

The last thing we want to do is exacerbate symptoms.

How are you feeling today?

 

Sassenach

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Armorall

 I am wondering if my doctor will prescribe if I tell him why I need to switch from XL to SR. I don''t think he believes in withdrawal or tapering (in my case) because of the "short" time I was on everything. Do I tell him I want to switch to SR so that I can begin tapering the meds?  I was under the impression that folks kinda did it under the radar, but maybe not when I see how many people work with their pharmacist for compounded doses. 

 

I am feeling good today (er, right now), but it's because my husband took over taking care of my son and I basically have been napping all day. Thursday I thought maybe I could just get through the withdrawal with this new magnesium support. Yesterday I had a pretty rough patch (I am a special education teacher) and felt the anxiety and malaise all day despite having taken the magnesium. I know my nervous system is taxed and I can tell how sensitive it is when I workout or drink coffee. 

Thanks for your help. Awaiting the dosage recommendations, and in the meantime, seeing how good/bad I feel in the coming days with the resources that I have. 

 

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Shep

 

On 9/16/2019 at 7:39 PM, Armorall said:

After talking to my psychologist, she suggested that I may have insomnia from the actual Bupropion. Because Risperidone makes some people groggy, what she thought was that the Risperidone masked the activating effect of Bupropion. After I stopped taking the Risperidone, the Bupropion was keeping me awake.

 

This is very common - many people find buproprion to be energizing. And it looks like your doctor was expecting it to be because he placed you on an antipsychotic at the same time as prescribing buproprion. 

 

However, the fact that you went on an antipsychotic at the same time as the antidepressant may have masked not just insomnia, but an adverse reaction. Many people are diagnosed with something called "bipolar disorder" after going on an antidepressant. What they are really dealing with is an adverse reaction to the antidepressant. 

 

On 9/16/2019 at 7:39 PM, Armorall said:

So, I quit cold turkey on the Bupropion, and similarly all the other drugs.  I guess my psychiatrist didn’t think I needed to taper from the Risperidone because I had only been on it for 3 months. 

 

Were you on anything else besides risperidone and bupropion? If so, please list the names and doses of all drugs you were on at that time you stopped. 

 

2 hours ago, Armorall said:

I am feeling good today (er, right now), but it's because my husband took over taking care of my son and I basically have been napping all day. Thursday I thought maybe I could just get through the withdrawal with this new magnesium support. Yesterday I had a pretty rough patch (I am a special education teacher) and felt the anxiety and malaise all day despite having taken the magnesium. I know my nervous system is taxed and I can tell how sensitive it is when I workout or drink coffee. 

 

How many hours are you sleeping at night? What do you mean by "pretty rough patch"? How intense are the anxiety and malaise symptoms on a scale of one to ten?

 

On 9/16/2019 at 7:39 PM, Armorall said:

So, I started on 3/21/19 with the Bupropion and Risperidone after being hospitalized for suicidal ideation.

 

Do you feel you've recovered from this initial episode of distress? 

 

The reason I'm asking so many questions is because it's possible you might have had an adverse reaction to the antidepressant, had the adverse reaction masked with an antipsychotic, and then over the months, the depression worked its way out. 

 

Depressions prior to the antidepressant era tended to work themselves out, even without any type of treatment. It's only after doctors started prescribing antidepressants that we've seen antidepressants chronify these depressive episodes due to the drugs mucking up the serotonergic system (Robert Whitaker wrote a great book on this called Anatomy of an Epidemic, which comes highly recommended here). 

 

If you're dealing with an adverse reaction, you may not want to reinstate. Or if you do (in order to mitigate withdrawal), you'll want to do so at an extremely low dose. 

 

Reinstating a drug that may be involved in an adverse reaction should be approached with caution. Please post your thoughts on this.

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Armorall

 

Quote

Were you on anything else besides risperidone and bupropion? If so, please list the names and doses of all drugs you were on at that time you stopped. 

yes, it is in my history timeline in my signature. I was on risperidone 2mg and bupropion XL 150mg  from 3-21 until 7/1

then, I dropped the risperidone at my doctor's advice at took Abilify 10mg along with bupropion from 7/1 until 7/28.

then, I dropped Abilify and went on Latuda (still alongside bupropion) from 8/1-8/3 then dropped Latuda

From 8/3 until 8/10 all I was on was Bupropion, then I stopped. 

 

Quote

How many hours are you sleeping at night? What do you mean by "pretty rough patch"? How intense are the anxiety and malaise symptoms on a scale of one to ten?

 

I sleep for 7-8 hours a night now. My sleep was restored (although I don't think i sleep as deeply, and I wake up a few times at night, but nothing big) after being off Bupropion.  On a scale of one to ten, I'd say the anxiety and malaise are around a 7. I can still work at work, just waiting for them to pass. Now that I've read through your questions, I'm wondering if I should wait at least a full week to see how I'm doing with just the magnesium (I started halfway through Wednesday, used it Thursday and thought maybe this was going to be it). I was just ambushed by that Friday malaise/anxiety after having a good Thursday, but there is a chance that I didn't take enough magnesium (possibly accidentally mixed a half teaspoon instead of a full one). I take it every 6 hours, 160 mg, might try every 5 instead. 

 

Quote

Do you feel you've recovered from this initial episode of distress? 

 

Yes, I turned around after hospitalization and really am wanting to just fight for a good life, not end it. My psychologist keeps pushing that my withdrawals are a new anxiety brought on by my brain chemicals changing from the suicide event, but I never bought that. It is so clearly withdrawal to me, the anxiety is so involuntary and not attached to anything (I would get anxiety rushes even as I slept peacefully). 

 

Quote

If you're dealing with an adverse reaction, you may not want to reinstate. Or if you do (in order to mitigate withdrawal), you'll want to do so at an extremely low dose. 

Reinstating a drug that may be involved in an adverse reaction should be approached with caution. Please post your thoughts on this.

 

Ok Shep. I appreciate your feedback on so much of this- the depression part, etc etc. It's hard when my psychologist and others come from a different perspective that doesn't really buy into people changing without drugs, or that don't believe in withdrawal as a long process. She says that I should have had the symptoms right after I quit, so it must be a new anxiety, whereas I hear on here that there is a honeymoon period, then the withdrawal hits (which is exactly what happened to me).

I do worry about reinstating and it not working, or maybe since I've been off the drugs for a month and only have one (albeit distressing and disruptive) symptom to deal with, maybe I should just go a week or so with the magnesium support and see if I can deal. I also worry that reinstating and keeping me on the drug will start back up my insomnia, and that maybe further down the road as I try to taper, my withdrawal might be worse. I have a demanding workload and a toddler son, so the attention needed to do the tapering also worries me. 

but...if my symptoms get worse or I really start to not be able to deal with daily life, I may regret not trying to reinstate, and I know the further away I get, the less effective it might be. It's still a tough call. 

I will say I will give it a week, but appreciate anyone else's thoughts on the matter on which road to take. 

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Shep

 

8 hours ago, Armorall said:

I sleep for 7-8 hours a night now. My sleep was restored (although I don't think i sleep as deeply, and I wake up a few times at night, but nothing big) after being off Bupropion. 

 

This is excellent. I'm sure the restorative type of sleep will return for you and it definitely speaks to the fact you were having either a major side effect that led to insomnia or it was an adverse reaction toned down by the antipsychotic. 

 

8 hours ago, Armorall said:

I can still work at work, just waiting for them to pass. Now that I've read through your questions, I'm wondering if I should wait at least a full week to see how I'm doing with just the magnesium (I started halfway through Wednesday, used it Thursday and thought maybe this was going to be it). I was just ambushed by that Friday malaise/anxiety after having a good Thursday, but there is a chance that I didn't take enough magnesium (possibly accidentally mixed a half teaspoon instead of a full one). I take it every 6 hours, 160 mg, might try every 5 instead. 

 

Waiting a week sounds very reasonable. In addition to the magnesium, you may want to try some breathing techniques to get you through these rushes of anxiety. Here are some examples:

 

The Breathing Space by Jon Kabat Zinn video (4 minutes)

 

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise by GoZen video (3.5 minutes)

 

Yoga can be good for this, too. 

 

Legs Up The Wall - Foundations of Yoga video (7 minutes)

 

More yoga, this is from the Beyond Meds site which is written by someone who came off a large cocktail of drugs and has tons of information on her site:

 

Beyond Meds - yoga archives

 

And SA has a wonderful selection of non-drug coping ideas that you can bring into your daily routine: 

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

As a special education teacher, you may want to think of your symptoms as teachers. They will guide you and let you know when you need to practice these techniques. If you can do the breathing exercises regularly, you may welcome these rushes of anxiety as opportunities to enhance your practice, allowing neuroplasticity to kick in as this type of breathing becomes a habit anytime you are stressed.

 

You may also benefit from finding mindfulness videos on YouTube and learning to distance your thoughts from these rushes of fear and anxiety. As my favorite YouTube guru Mooji says, "Your thoughts are just visitors and you are NOT a hotel. Don't invite them in!" In other words, just because the physical sensations of anxiety rush in on you, don't attach any thoughts to them. Just do a breathing exercise, thank the anxiety and fear for giving you the opportunity to practice (gratitude is great for neuroplasticity), and go on with your day. 

 

If you can do this, you'll come out of this experience with a bit of the Buddha in you, so to speak. 

 

8 hours ago, Armorall said:

Yes, I turned around after hospitalization and really am wanting to just fight for a good life, not end it. My psychologist keeps pushing that my withdrawals are a new anxiety brought on by my brain chemicals changing from the suicide event, but I never bought that. It is so clearly withdrawal to me, the anxiety is so involuntary and not attached to anything (I would get anxiety rushes even as I slept peacefully). 

 

You did an amazing job of researching this and coming to SA, having only been on these drugs for a few months. It's definitely long enough to become dependent, however, most of us don't connect our symptoms to our drugs for a much longer time, especially when we're surrounded by so-called "experts" gaslighting us with the chemical imbalance theory (which has been debunked). 

 

Those anxiety rushes that happen when you sleep are cortisol rushes. Please see:

 

Waking with panic or anxiety - managing the morning cortisol spike

 

These articles might be helpful for you to read:

 

Again, chemical imbalance is a myth. Stop the lies, please.

 

Now Antidepressant-Induced Chronic Depression Has a Name: Tardive Dysphoria

 

History We Can’t Overlook Anymore: Details Before the Anti-Depressant Era

 

You may want to print out some information to take to your psychologist, if you think that will be helpful and if this person is open to learning. However, you may want to switch therapists or find alternative healing paths, such as taking a trauma-informed yoga class, meditation class, working with a nutrition expert, and / or doing music or art therapy. There are many paths to healing from whatever brought you to feeling so desperate. 

 

8 hours ago, Armorall said:

Ok Shep. I appreciate your feedback on so much of this- the depression part, etc etc. It's hard when my psychologist and others come from a different perspective that doesn't really buy into people changing without drugs, or that don't believe in withdrawal as a long process. She says that I should have had the symptoms right after I quit, so it must be a new anxiety, whereas I hear on here that there is a honeymoon period, then the withdrawal hits (which is exactly what happened to me).

 

The concept that you "should have had the symptoms right after I quit" is coming from addiction medicine for drugs like opiates, benzodiazepines (tranquilizers), and street drugs. While dependency is also at play with these kinds of drugs (and many of these types of drugs also need to be tapered), these are drugs that can have an immediate pleasure effect. But the research for antidepressants shows a much different pattern. Please see:

 

Do withdrawal symptoms always show up right away? Delayed onset

 

This is a letter from Dr. Terry Lynch regarding the history of certain drugs being considered "addictive" versus causing "dependency" and how the decisions on how to define and treat has been made in the past: 

 

Petition: Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal

 

 

9 hours ago, Armorall said:

I do worry about reinstating and it not working, or maybe since I've been off the drugs for a month and only have one (albeit distressing and disruptive) symptom to deal with, maybe I should just go a week or so with the magnesium support and see if I can deal. I also worry that reinstating and keeping me on the drug will start back up my insomnia, and that maybe further down the road as I try to taper, my withdrawal might be worse. I have a demanding workload and a toddler son, so the attention needed to do the tapering also worries me. 

but...if my symptoms get worse or I really start to not be able to deal with daily life, I may regret not trying to reinstate, and I know the further away I get, the less effective it might be. It's still a tough call. 

I will say I will give it a week, but appreciate anyone else's thoughts on the matter on which road to take. 

 

Yes, it is a tough call. You may want to go ahead and research how to take a smaller dose using a scale or liquid titration so you'll be prepared should you decide to reinstate. Here is some information on this:

 

Tips for tapering off Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL (buproprion)

 

Using a digital scale to measure doses

Making a liquid from a tablet or capsules

 

About reinstating and stabilizing to reduce withdrawal symptoms

 

One thing I will mention is if you reinstate, you can do so at an extremely low dose and slowly work your way up. That way if there is an uptick in symptoms such as insomnia, you'll catch it early and can either come off the drug or reduce it. 

 

Over the coming week, please touch base and let us know how you're doing with the magnesium and the non-drug coping skills such as breathing exercises, yoga, etc. Please also be mindful of the effects of caffeine and sugar on increasing symptoms such as anxiety. You may want to eat a diet that's used for people who have low blood sugar, as withdrawal can cause drops in blood sugar, causing symptoms such as anxiety that mimic withdrawal. You can google the "low blood sugar diet", but it basically consists of eating small meals and snacks throughout the day that are high in protein and low in sugar and low in high-glycemic carbs. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also important as dehydration can also cause symptoms that mimic withdrawal. 

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Sassenach

Hi Armorall

 

That was deifinitely worth waiting for.

Providing the symptoms remain bearable I think you are making the right decision.

I have posted links below on self care which could help during this period and your transition to drug free.

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

non-drug-techniques-to-cope-with-emotional-symptoms/

the-dr-claire-weekes-method-of-recovering-from-a-sensitized-nervous-system/

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/SelfHelpCourse.pdf

brassmonkey-talking-about-myself/?do=findComment&comment=244038

How are you feeling today?

 

 

Sassenach

 

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Sassenach

Apologies, Shep just beat me to it:rolleyes:

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Altostrata

Welcome, Armorall.

 

On 9/16/2019 at 12:39 AM, Armorall said:

So, it’s been technically a little over a month since I CT’d Bupropion and two months since I CT’d the Risperidone. I took both medications from 3/21-7/1 and only Bupropion (and Abilify) from 7/1-8/10. So total I was on medication for about 4 months. 

 

What do you think? Will the anxiety rushes fall away? When I am outside of them, I definitely think I can handle this, but when I am getting washes of them, I feel hopeless like it is not going to end. It is unlike anything I ever experienced before taking medication. I would get anxious from various scenarios in the past, but not this random, involuntary rush that occurs for no reason....

 

I read this as fairly typical withdrawal symptoms from going off the drugs, not necessarily bupropion. I would be hesitant to reinstate buproprion.

 

How has your symptom pattern changed since you went of bupropion?

 

Merely thinking of suicide is extremely common and not a psychiatric disorder, especially since it sounds like you worked through your difficulty in a very smart way. I would not take it for granted that you need any kind of psychiatric drug. It sounds to me like your prescribers over-reacted.

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Armorall

Thank you for all the links and information, Sassenach and Shep! I am on Jenny Craig, so I have a somewhat low sodium, low glycemic diet luckily.  I feel there's a lot to respond to, but am overwhelmed now by all the information and trying to sort through it. At a loss as to what to respond to now!

I am feeling rested today, but Monday will be the real test to see what symptoms I have. Today and yesterday all I've been doing is taking the magnesium and sleeping all day, so it's not a good test to see where I'm at since all I'm doing is blotting out reality with incessant sleep minus lunch and exercise.  Yesterday, we went out to Oktoberfest in the evening, and I didn't have an anxiety rush until the end, in which I immediately took the water bottle full of magnesium since it was close to 6 hours and it flattened it out. 

Quote

How has your symptom pattern changed since you went of bupropion?

Well, the first week of being off bupropion, I noticed I was grumpy in the morning, and I could tell I wasn't getting all the dopamine hits that i was used to. I remember starting to move into a feeling of sadness over the coming days, like I needed to feel comforted by something, but I was also PMSing at the time and didn't realize it, which, my PMS has been pretty bad post-partum. So, not sure which it was coming from then. After my cycle was over, I think I was just dealing with the anxiety piece. 

I was already having the anxiety rushes then, but the anxiety rushes became more frequent once we moved into September. It was causing me distress when it was only hitting me once at night or during the day, now I have several of them through the day.  

So, let me check in tomorrow night to give you a more accurate version of where I might be at. Between schooling children and angry parents calling me tomorrow, I'm wondering how much the magnesium support will hold up. I hope a lot, like it did Thursday (and not Friday). And I will look into the breathing techniques and also having greeting and gratitude when the anxiety comes in. My therapist coached me on the latter as well. 

Thank you to Altostrata as well. Interesting that reinstatement may not be a good option! 

 

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Sassenach

Hi Armorall

 

I really hope the day was not too stressful.

Because of the job you have it sound as if coping techniques will be a great help.

Apologies if we have bombarded you with info.

Take your time checking it out.

W/D is all about patience and taking everything day by day.

You do not need to absorb it all today.

The important thing to remember is you will get well slowly, and all this will seem like a bad dream.

 

Sassenach

 

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Armorall

Thank you Sassenach! I appreciate the encouragement and reminder that things will get better. I will check in more after giving it some time. 

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Altostrata
Armorall

I can't believe this has happened. Altostrata I was going to reply that my sleep was pretty good, but thanks for the links. I had started sleeping through the night from 8/12 until now. This weekend, I basically slept night and day minus getting up to play with my son, eat, excercise and do some school work. 

But...here I am at 5am and I've tossed and turned all night. I took the usual magnesium 162 mg before bed around 12am. I couldn't sleep and took 3 mg of melatonin at 1am (I haven't used it since August). Now I've tossed and turned. Has insomnia returned?
i will definitely have to reinstate if that is the case. If it's just a one-time (albeit strange) thing tonight, that's one thing. But, if it's a new development, I don't think I can handle that. Would it be bupropion to reinstate? I'm scared. I hope tonight is just a fluke. 

 

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Shep
22 minutes ago, Armorall said:

I couldn't sleep and took 3 mg of melatonin at 1am (I haven't used it since August).

 

Please see the thread that Alto linked about melatonin. 3 mg is a very high dose, so you may want to start out with 0.25 - 0.5 mg. Higher doses tend to cause paradoxical reactions, meaning your brain wakes up instead of calming down.

 

24 minutes ago, Armorall said:

I was going to reply that my sleep was pretty good, but thanks for the links. I had started sleeping through the night from 8/12 until now. This weekend, I basically slept night and day minus getting up to play with my son, eat, excercise and do some school work. 

But...here I am at 5am and I've tossed and turned all night. I took the usual magnesium 162 mg before bed around 12am.

 

Do take a look at the "tips to sleep" Alto linked. You may want to go to bed by 10 PM instead of midnight. Even though you've been sleeping well going to bed this late, because withdrawal comes with a "waves and windows" pattern, you're likely to experience waves that can include insomnia. Having good sleep hygiene as a routine will definitely help.

 

For more on the windows and waves pattern, please see:

 

The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

 

You may want to add in a bit of fish oil and see if that calms the nervous system down a bit. 

 

 King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

 

30 minutes ago, Armorall said:

Would it be bupropion to reinstate?

 

I would be hesitant to reinstate considering your past history with this drug causing insomnia as a possible adverse reaction, at least until you exhaust all other options. 

 

What do you think about adding in a bit of fish oil and working on a better sleep schedule? 

 

 

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Armorall

Shep- thanks for your reply. I already take a fish oil. Also, I usually go to bed around 10:45pm (sometimes it takes him longer to fall asleep), my baby gets put to bed at 10pm. What I can take from this conversation though is to try to put him down a bit earlier (but I can't break him too far out of routine) and go right to bed. I didn't yesterday because I was so activated. I will skip the post-baby sleeping screen time and get in as early as I can.

Regarding the melatonin- 3mg is what I used to take when I was having sleep problems in August and it worked, but it did feel different last night- maybe on top of the magnesium, it was too much and having a more sensitive CNS now. I also wonder if I should cut back on the amount of magnesium I take before bedtime. I felt like it was more activating last night. So, I'll cut the 3mg tab into quarters and try a quarter if I need it tonight. that would give me .75 mgs. oh wait, that is too high? ok, cut the quarter into a half. 32 mgs, right? 

My husband thinks last night may have been a hiccup because I was overthinking some of the replies I was getting. I had mentioned that Alto sent the links on sleep but that I was good with that part, and maybe it made me question my own sleep. I was just generally activated/having anxiety from 4pm on, so a lot of my thinking space was also on high alert, which didn't help. I did get to fall asleep from 5-7am, so I got those two hours along with the snippets through the night. 

So we will see tonight. I've read the windows and waves pattern, also Alto's thoughts on melatonin, which were good for me to read as I worried about dependency on it. Thanks!

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Sassenach

Hi Arnorall.

 

Has your sleep improved?

How are you feeling?

 

Sassenach

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Armorall

Hi Sassenach,

yes, my sleep got better. I found out that (from reading on this forum) I have been one of the many that is too activated at night by magnesium, so I stopped taking it before bed!

So, the night after my insomnia night I did get to sleep with some wake-ups , and last night was a bit more peaceful. At everyone's advice I am also following better sleep hygiene and I think that helped start off sleep better too, so thank you everyone.  It's mostly restored to what it used to be. I started using a white noise generator at night and it helps with the calming effect. 

My days are pretty much the same as they have been for now.  One day at a time....

 

 

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Sassenach

Hi Armorall

 

Glad to see you are sleeping better, so much heeling happens during this period.

 

Keep in touch.

 

Sassenach

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Armorall

Hi friends,

My anxiety waves haven't been present today (also didn't have them Friday) but it made way for a new withdrawal symptom: depression.  I've had to discontinue the magnesium (natural calm) because I was getting diarrhea. I went out and bought the liquid version because I read on here that it sometimes doesn't have the same effect on the bowels as the pills or the powder. If anyone has any supplement tips on either the depression side or the magnesium substitute part, please let me know. 

So, I'm seeing my psychiatrist this week, any thoughts on what should I ask him? I was thinking I would just tell him what's going on with me and see what drug from my history he would recommend reinstating. Also I would see if he would help me get the non-extended release form or a liquid form if needed (ie, help me taper). I'm not convinced that I *should* reinstate, but I wanted to see what my options were further down the road if necessary.  Also to see if he himself has supplement advice or thoughts on my future withdrawal. I don't have a lot of faith in his insight, but my husband convinced me to go to just see what he says about it. 

I guess the big questions are: what drug would I even go back on if I did? Is it better to just stay cold-turkey, or is cold-turkey worse? I'm guessing no one can really answer that. I'm just always looking for new answers. 

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Shep
10 hours ago, Armorall said:

If anyone has any supplement tips on either the depression side or the magnesium substitute part, please let me know. 

 

You may want to try epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). Please see:

 

Epsom salts baths - another way to relax with magnesium

 

You may want to start out with 1/2 - 1 cup to see how you do. 

 

10 hours ago, Armorall said:

So, I'm seeing my psychiatrist this week, any thoughts on what should I ask him?

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?
 
What should I expect from my doctor about withdrawal symptoms?

 

10 hours ago, Armorall said:

I don't have a lot of faith in his insight, but my husband convinced me to go to just see what he says about it. 

 

I would spend some time re-reading your thread and also reading the green "pinned" topics at the top of the  Media and the Journals sections to see if you really want to continue on with a psychiatrist. If you're not going to reinstate, you may want to spend the time and money on a trauma-sensitive or restorative yoga class, seek out a functional or holistic doctor for information on supplements (although they likely won't know much about nervous system instability due to psych drugs, so do be cautious there, too), a meditation class, an art or music class, etc. 

 

It really sounds like you're dealing with an adverse reaction and a reinstatement may make it worse. With adverse reactions, seeking out things that are calming and restorative is best.  Psychiatry is far more about social control than healing, so they're extremely limited in insight about healing. They are about using drugs to adjust you to fit into the face-paced working world. But what we need as human beings are activities that restore us without numbing us or speeding us up, learning time-management skills that give us time to breathe, and being connected in the world. Just some thoughts to weigh against whatever advice you get from a psychiatrist, should you decide to go. 

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Armorall

Thanks Shep for your view on the matter, I appreciate your care and input. I told my psychologist (who also doesn't believe in withdrawal) that I was going to see the psychiatrist today more just to see what he would say and I was 90% sure I was wasting my time. 

From the conversation, my psychiatrist
-didn't have anything to say when I described the anxiety rushes I would get even though I qualilfied that it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before and happened to come after I stopped taking Bupropion. 
 
-did say that if I wanted to reinstate in the future, it would be the Bupropion that he would choose. He said we could try it and if it gave me insomnia then, then we would pull it and try something else. I asked him if he's ever helped people taper before and he said yes, and that he would be willing to switch to the SR version in order to help taper. There was no liquid availability for it, but there would be "ways around it". 
 
- he asserted that I should come see him in one or two months to let him know how I'm doing. I felt sad by this, because I know he's thinking I'll be back for the drugs, and for me, I have no idea how I'll actually be doing in one to two months (if things have significantly improved or not). I did tell him that I had zero interest in reinstating in one to two months, but he said to come back anyway. He said that withdrawal usually only lasts for six days or so (ha!).
 
- I felt a bit down. I know what I was in for, I get that that world of psychiatry doesn't hold withdrawal (or mine, anyway) as valid, but I guess it still was disappointing. 
 
- I walked away with a new resolve to keep going and just get better without any drugs. Going on this forum to read success stories, as well as reading my own thread where my descriptions are validated as withdrawal help me keep the faith that I just need to keep going, and eventually everything will subside and I will heal, however long it will take. 
 
So, I want to thank everyone for their past writings. It is mostly my main source of inspiration and getting through all this, as I've seen many have said before. Love and comfort to all that are reading this today. 

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Armorall
Posted (edited)

@Shep

Well, I had another night of bad sleep (Monday I had almost bad- slept and had rushes of anxiety while I was sleeping), but last night was the worst so far. I'd been following a regimen of no screen time and reading before bed and felt relaxed. The minute I got into bed and shut my eyes, it was like I was vibrating. That lower-level anxiety happened through the night and I continued to vibrate. At some point, I could hear my heart beating in my ears. I also started sweating a lot (maybe perimenopause has started?) but this still seemed very unnatural. 

What sucks about both these nights of difficult sleep, is that I had pretty good days preceding it. Several hours that I actually felt euphoric, balanced and productive with some intermittent anxiety rushes that seemed more manageable than before. Is that what windows and waves looks like? On days that are so-so, I've had decent sleep, but these two days that were pretty great, then the troubled sleep. 

 

Other things that might factor in-I've had one visit with an acupuncturist last week who has worked with others on SSRI withdrawal. My regimen is a weekly acupuncture visit plus drinking a Chinese herb blend that he custom-made for me (so I don't actually know what is in it). I had to stop taking magnesium because it was irritating my gut too much and it was hard to tolerate the herb blend alongside it. And, I was advised that the herb blend was going to be what was therapeudic for me and that I would no longer need the magnesium anyway. 

 

Yesterday was my first day without any magnesium whatsoever. So I have some questions, mostly from what I saw Altostrata write Nadia in her posts. 

I loved that Alto wrote that acupuncture could be a gentle way to guide the nervous system back to homeostatis. Do you think I should go more often?

Do you think the switch from magnesium to Chinese herbs/new treatment could account for the weird sleep? 

I saw that Alto said that the more we can hold off stressful situations, the more that we can work on our neuroplasticity and get back to homeostatis. If that's true, would it be wise to possibly take a leave of absence from work in hope that I could have faster/more efficient healing? I don't know if I could do this, but I've been thinking about it. 

 

 

 

Edited by Sassenach
marked for Shep's attention

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Armorall

Update: I just tried to nap and had the "alarm system" ( ie my body wouldnt let me fall all the way asleep). Oh boy. I usually can at least recover the day after a bad night. Lack of magnesium? When I first started taking it, I could sleep through an entire weekend without rushes! 

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Shep
22 hours ago, Armorall said:

Other things that might factor in-I've had one visit with an acupuncturist last week who has worked with others on SSRI withdrawal. My regimen is a weekly acupuncture visit plus drinking a Chinese herb blend that he custom-made for me (so I don't actually know what is in it). I had to stop taking magnesium because it was irritating my gut too much and it was hard to tolerate the herb blend alongside it. And, I was advised that the herb blend was going to be what was therapeudic for me and that I would no longer need the magnesium anyway. 

 

Are you able to get a list of ingredients that's in the Chinese herb blend from your acupuncturist who made it up for you?

 

You may want to stop it and see if your symptoms go down. Since you're sensitive to magnesium, this is a sign you may be sensitive to other things, too. 

 

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Armorall

Hi Shep- the problem with the magnesium is not so much that I am sensitive to it as a whole (I don't think). It's that the dose that works for me (160 mg every 6 hours) was giving me diarrhea. I think that if I took it in smaller amounts, I would be ok. But, the acu guy wanted me to cut it out altogether since my bowels were hyperstimulated by me taking too much then replacing with the herb mixture. I will try to not take the herb mixture today and see how I sleep tonight. I did sleep last night, but that was with acupuncutre, and it didn't stop the anxiety rips from coming through me starting at 4am or so. I think I am getting worse. 

Here is the herb list

Shu di huang- rehmannia

Dang ghi- angelica root

bai shao- peony

chuan xiang- szechuan lovage root

he huan pi- albizia bark

 

It's a powdered mixture, I drink about 7.5 grams mixed into water twice a day. 

 

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