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Rrsfc A lot of drugs later some stabilization

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I had the first manic and psychotic break at 2006, I was 28, mother of a small child. I was admitted to the ER and given a high dose of olanzapine and mood stabilizer, sleeping pills. I don't even remember those first few days, I was locked in a psych ward without any visit from a psychiatrist for 3 weeks.


Then I begged to go home (still psychotic but they didn't know) and they let me go home, where I continued the treatment, although I was feeling really unwell, desperate even. With time I got better, then went to a private psychiatrist that put me on quietapine and a mood stabilizer. I took the meds 2 years, struggling to lead a normal life. My brain wasn't functioning well, I felt incapacitated. I managed to find a job but I wasn't happy there to put it mildly and even though I was taking the meds I ended up manic and psychotic again, I divorced my husband, the police went to get me at work to take me to the hospital...


This time they didn't commit me and I ended up taking arpiprazol, sleeping pills, and maybe a mood stabilizer. I lost the job, went into depression, but I found the doctor that still is my doctor today. He took me off aripriprazol when he could and I started taking lamotrigine. I never sought a job again because I felt humilliated by the whole situation, I eventually got together with my husband because our separation was all due to my mental health problems at the time.


I stayed home with a lot of trauma and low self-esteem for 5 years but with no symptoms. My husband gor me a part time job in his company and that's what I do now. But in 2015 my doctor went to another hospital and I got a new one. I didn't dislike her, I had a crisis that year and after depression. I was put on olanzapine and sleeping pills, and when the olanzapine was over the sleeping pills remained so my brain got addicted to them.


She gave me an antidepressant that got me manic and I was miserable, I decided to take matters in my own hands. I quit the antidepressants and the sleeping pills, changed my diet, started exercising (I was fat from the drugs) and lost 15kg while trying to control my mania with olanzapine but I didn't take enough and had another crisis, this was 2017.


I was committed and took a huge dose of olanzapine and all the other meds again, the doctor told me that medication was for life and I nodded.


As soon as I got out of the hospital sought out my actual psychiatrist that followed me in 2009. I said I wanted the least ammount of meds possible. I started making a  very detailed diary of meds and symptoms and slowly got off of everything but olanzapine. He thought I should take preventively 5mg everyday but that dose makes me less human, so I went down to 2.5mg and he was very pleased with how I functioned although I was in a bad depression.


In last May the depression finally lifted and I started exercising more and lost 10kg that meanwhile I had got from olanzapine. This winter I'm reducing even more olanzapine, my plan is to wean it off and try another antipsychotic in the spring doesn't mess with my sleep. I'm sleeping badly and having anxiety but I don't want this med anymore, or at least not take it everyday.


It's a long story, I started trusting the doctors and doing everything they said but today I'm way more critical. Everyone is surprised when I say the little I take. My seasonality is also something peculiar, I don't get manic or psychotic in autumn of winter so I'm weaning off now. I'll get there eventually, wish me luck.

Edited by Altostrata
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Welcome to SA, Rrsfc.  Congratulations on getting down to a low dose of the Olanzapine.


We are a site dedicated to helping people taper off psychiatric drugs.  If I understand you correctly, you are now taking 2.5mg Olanzapine and wish to wean off it.  We recommend tapering by no more than 10% of current dose every four weeks.




This link is specifically about tapering Olanzapine.


Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa)


Here are some non-drug techniques for dealing with anxiety.


These links offer tips of getting better sleep.


Tips to help sleep - so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia
Trick and tips to fall asleep faster
This link contains helpful information, including insomnia and also non-drug coping skills.  


We don't recommend a lot of supplements on SA, as many members report being sensitive to them due to our over-reactive nervous systems, but two supplements that we do recommend are magnesium and omega 3 (fish oil). Many people find these to be calming to the nervous system. 




Please research all supplements first and only add in one at a time and at a low dose in case you do experience problems.
This is your Introduction topic, where you can ask questions and connect with other members.  We're glad you found your way here. 





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Gridley, thank for all that info. When I found this site I was already tapering, I didn't explain that in the first post because I thought I would edit later. I went from 2,5mg to 2,5mg alternated with 1,25mg and after 15 days only 1,25mg. I started sleeping no more than 7h a night and last week I started experiencing anxiety, tremors, sweats, headaches, throbbing head, some transient mild psychosis.


When I realised by reading your resources that I was weaning too fast and that it was dangerous I got up again, first to 1,75mg and then to 2,5mg. Luckily all symptoms gradually receeded and I got 10 hours sleep last night.


I will be recovering 1 month and then I will start going down again, this time as you recommend, really slow. I didn't tell my doctor about the symptoms because I was afraid he would think I needed more meds. I'm glad I worked it out by myself.


Exercise really helped me a lot through this difficult week as well as chamomile tea. I will read all the info before I try again, but I'm optimist, I'm confident I will be able to wean it and with some luck I won't be needing antipsychotics anytime soon, because since I started exercising 5 months ago I got better and better, I walk 60m 5x a week and jog 30m 3x, resistance training 3x too. I feel better now than I felt in years.


About the next attempt to taper I'm planning dissolving half 5mg dissolvable tablet in saliva, then adding water untill reaching 10ml. Then with a 10ml syringe measuring the dosage I want to take discarding the rest. Do you think this will work or there's a better approach for olanzapine?


My doctor doesn't have a clue, I'm really glad I found this site. If there's any resources on dealing with mania without drugs I'll be glad to read it too, because my symptoms are first mania, the psychosis only comes when I'm already manic and sleeping badly. I've been reading recently about new research on the brain and concepts like affective realism or body budget and that helped me a lot to understand why I have this crisis. It all started with very high anxiety levels, I wish I could have known what I know today. If there's someone reading this also with a mental inbalance the best advice I can give is start exercising  as soon as possible and research on the benefits of exercise in the brain, you'll be mind blown by it. In a month I'll post the new developments.

Edited by Altostrata
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Welcome, Rr.


Please let your nervous system settle down for more than a month, maybe several months, before you attempt to taper again. As you're aware, you do not want to tip into any symptom pattern that might send you to the hospital.


1 hour ago, Rrsfc said:

About the next attempt to taper I'm planning dissolving half 5mg dissolvable tablet in saliva, then adding water untill reaching 10ml.


I would not dissolve a tablet in saliva, that sounds very unsanitary. Read this Tips for tapering off olanzapine (Zyprexa) (thank you, @Gridley) You may be able to get prescription olanzapine liquid.


I think some of your symptoms historically might have been from drug reactions or withdrawal. However, some people are very sensitive to not getting enough sleep, this can make them display symptoms that might be interpreted as psychosis. It sounds like you are taking care of yourself, you must make sure you are getting enough sleep, especially when the seasons change.


You may also benefit from learning


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


Easing your way into meditation for a stressed-out nervous system


Music for self-care: calms hyperalertness, anxiety, aids relaxation and sleep


Ways to cope with daily anxiety


Dealing With Emotional Spirals

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Altostrata thank you for your reply. I'll see how I feel in a month and decide then, because I never had any problems going off meds before, and I took a lot of them. I went from 5mg to 2,5mg olanzapine directly with no other symptoms than vivid dreams. I want to start in the winter because spring is tougher for me. About the saliva, I thought that if the tablets are made to be dissolved in saliva in the tongue there's no harm in doing it in a glass. I've tested just water and water and saliva and it seems to dissolve a little bit better. I'm sorry you find this unsanitary, I didn't mean to gross anyone out, it's just something that came to mind to try, didn't see harm in posting this idea :). I've read almost the whole thread about olanzapine and this will be my first attempt, if it doesn't work I'll try the scale or talking to the pharmacist to get a better liquid than water. Consider I'm using the dissolvable tablets, not the hard ones. I will look into your resources, thanks again. I feel really alone doing this, I don't have much support, I tend to get manic and psychotic on the spring and summer so I don't know how if I will be able to be completely drug free. I'm trying to find a least addictive yet effective drug that I can taper more rapidly, so if I have mania I take that and taper after spring has passed. If you have any knowledge or resources on that I'd be very gratefull. I tried to swtich directly from olanzapine to ziprasidone and aripriprazol and I had terrible insomnia but now I think it was because of the absence of the olanzapine, not the new meds themselves. I read here that olanzapine targets 15 receptors, I would like to learn more, where on the net can I find that info? Thanks again for replying, you're really helping people with your resources. I will post the developments, maybe with my posts I can help someone else eventually like you've already helped me!

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