Jump to content
Rrsfc

Rrsfc: a lot of drugs later some stabilization

Recommended Posts

Rrsfc

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
added line breaks

Share this post


Link to post
Gridley

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.

 

 http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

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
added line breaks

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

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

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Update - I've been recuperating since reinstating olanzapine 2,5mg, it's been almost 3 months. I feel normal, I sleep well, I'm thinking to try to taper again. In these 3 months I read all the info in the links advised and got some more information. In another group there was someone who switched to seroquel/quetiapine and then tapered the seroquel. In your experience would you advise trying this or would you taper the olanzapine directly by 10% or even 5%? Getting the quetiapine is not a problem, I'm sure I'd get a perscription but would this lead to an easier taper or just confuse the central nervous system? The argument is that quetiapine targets less receptors in the brain still having a sedating effect that masks the central nervous system inbalance caused by the redution in targeted receptors. I would really like your input on this, I will also talk with my doctor and ask his opinion before deciding what to do next. I would really want to get off this drug quickly but that's not possible, I'll have to go slow and have lots of patience. Thank you again for the info and support!

Share this post


Link to post
lxjuice
18 hours ago, Rrsfc said:

Update - I've been recuperating since reinstating olanzapine 2,5mg, it's been almost 3 months. I feel normal, I sleep well, I'm thinking to try to taper again. In these 3 months I read all the info in the links advised and got some more information. In another group there was someone who switched to seroquel/quetiapine and then tapered the seroquel. In your experience would you advise trying this or would you taper the olanzapine directly by 10% or even 5%? Getting the quetiapine is not a problem, I'm sure I'd get a perscription but would this lead to an easier taper or just confuse the central nervous system? The argument is that quetiapine targets less receptors in the brain still having a sedating effect that masks the central nervous system inbalance caused by the redution in targeted receptors. I would really like your input on this, I will also talk with my doctor and ask his opinion before deciding what to do next. I would really want to get off this drug quickly but that's not possible, I'll have to go slow and have lots of patience. Thank you again for the info and support!

Unless it's a very simple situation you're talking about, I would be careful linking pharmacology to withdrawal effects. Both olanzapine and quetiapine have very messy broad reaching mechanisms of action, with significant overlap but even then the strength of their actions where they overlap is different. You will not be able to account for all of their effects both on receptors and general brain homeostasis. A small amount of extra H1 antagonism isn't going to cover a possibly destabilizing switch. Quetiapine is probably harder to come off of as it has a significantly shorter half life. In my opinion there is absolutely no case to make - don't switch to quetiapine to get off olanzapine. Olanzapine is available in an orodispersible tablet which should mix (or at least suspend) readily in water so you can make your own solution more easily than with a tablet, if your doctor can't/won't script you a liquid.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

It's now passed almost 7 months since reinstatement of 2,5mg olanzapine. The timing hasn't been right, but now I think it's time. I'm starting a new taper today, I decided to go on the caution side and make olanzapine 10% drops each month, and not to take any quetiapine. There is no liquid available, I'll make my own as advised. The last taper was way too fast, this time I hope to come off for good although slowly. I'm in a good place mentally and I think I'm ready for it. I was a bit scared and pessimist following my last attempt to taper, I had to forget what happened and go back to my usual optimistic self before trying again. I feel normal, everything is ok, let's do this! This time I dissolved the pill in 10ml water and measured with a syringe roughly 9ml (2,25mg). Let's see how it goes this time. I hope not to even notice I'm tapering, since the drop is so low. Hope all goes well. There are people who have a lot of difficulties getting off, hopefully it will turn out ok. I've in the past gone from 2,5mg to 0mg directly without any symptoms, this is the first time I'm having withdrawal. I've taken the pill for too long, the other times I took it for less than 6 months, this time it's been almost 4 years, 2 years just because I couldn't get off. It's a long time, never again. If I knew it would be so hard to stop I would never had taken it for such a long time... Living and learning always... I'll continue to record my journey here. Thanks for tge support I got.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

I've been having increasing withdrawal symptoms, today is day 5 and I'm thinking I should go up 5% (went down 10%). I'm afraid the increasing insomnia clouds my judgement and worse unbearable symptoms appear again. Should I wait a week and see how it goes or should I go up today? If I wait I'll give the brain opportunity to stabilize but what if the symptoms get worse and worse? What do you advise? I've been reading the posts but I'm still in doubt. I'm looking for the safer option not the fastest one. Thanks for your support!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

How did you measure the olanzapine? What was the amount of the dosage decrease?

 

Yes, you might go up a bit, it could be 5% decreases will be more tolerable for you. Please let us know how you're doing.

 

To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature You may need to use a computer to do this.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Hello Altostrata, thank you for getting back at me. I was initially on 2,5mg (5 days ago for the last 3 years) and I measured 2,25mg (10% decrease) roughly using dissolvable tablets in water and measuring with a syringe, I don't have a precision scale. The day went by alright, I'm managing, but I'm afraid I'll get worse like last time. I'm recording my symptoms and taking care of myself, let's see how this turns out... If I feel I really must I'll get a scale, but for now I'm trying this out. The dosage will not be as accurate but maybe for this it works. I just want to do things right this time, no matter how long it takes the most important is to keep the symptoms to a minimum, with my mental health history I can't get too much imbalance, it may lead to a crisis. Last time (50% drop) I reinstated and in a few days all was gone, but I might not have that luck this time. Thank you again, I'll go up 5% today and report briefly.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

You should be able to taper by mixing a consistent dosage tablet with a consistent amount of water, no scale needed.

 

Please put the necessary information in your signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Thanks, how can I update my signature, I couldn't figure out how, sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

I've updated my signature successfully, hope it's readable. So many drugs so little space. Everything is fine at the moment but I will surely need more guidance in the future. Thanks again, I'll post the developments.😪 Can't erase the emoji, I was aiming for :)

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

It's been 15 days since I started tapering. The first week I slept worse and had headaches, some were really awfull but it got better by the 2nd week, in which I noticed more irritability, mild anxiety and depression although I slept really well. It's a victory, the last 2 times I tried to taper by day 15 I had already reinstated because I couldn't handle the symptoms. So this time I'm successfully tapering and since I'm sleeping well and the symptoms are manageable I feel I'm ready for another drop, yesterday dropped another 5% from the original dose. To make things easier I'm dropping by the 0,5ml marks on the syringe, which equals roughly these 5%. Doing the 10% of the lastest dosage would be more difficult to measure on a liquid taper, no need to complicate things, this is working for me. I feel I can handle this, if I don't I'll do longer holds or updose. I want to go as slow as I need to but not unnecessary slow, because it will only mean more suffering. If I had no symptoms I would consider a slower taper, having symptoms I just want to get safely down but as fast as I can. I'm starting to think about what I'll do if I have a psychotic crisis and I need something to stabilize me. I'll have to take something, even for a brief period, then taper again. Should I go for olanzapine or other med? My brain reacts really well to olanzapine, with abilify I had akatisia and it's not sedating so I'll probably won't sleep without more meds, which in my case is vital, since lack of sleep is one of my most important symptoms. I tried to switch to other antipsychotics but I always had withdrawal insomnia so I always had to come back to olanzapine. I could be able to tolerate them after tapering olanzapine but I just don't know. What's your opinion on this? Is it better to continue using this med because I tolerate it well or look for another which is easier to come off from and not as strong, or is there an alternative to meds? If meds which one? Will my brain be sensible to this drug and need a smaller dosage? I need to plan for the future and have the meds at home to take if I need to, otherwise I could end in an ER and be put on those horrible high dose cocktails again. I was told I needed them for life, so if I get commited again I don't know what they'll give me, but it will be really strong. I will discuss everything with my doctor but I highly value your opinion, he put me on olanzapine long term and it was a horrible mistake, I should have tapered once I was stable enough. I want to find a better solution to deal with my crisis, they can happen again, I hope I am prepared by then. Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

If you are worried about returning psychosis symptoms, you may wish to go down to a minimal amount of olanzapine and keep taking that.

 

What were the circumstances when you had your first "psychosis" symptoms? Were you not getting enough sleep? Some people have "psychosis" symptoms simply from that.

 

How much olanzapine are you taking now? How many miilligrams of olanzapine in 0.5mL of your liquid?

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Well, my first crisis was 15 years ago, I started working after having my son and quickly I was feeling a lot of anxiety that led to sleep disturbances, visual psychosis, not undersranding what was going on, deep depression, euphoria, insomnia untill I became completeley psychotic and irrational. That was my first crisis, I was hospitalized. The other 3 crisis were a lot quicker to develop and always involved some insomnia but not that much that fully explains my auditory hallucinations. I think for me it's anxiety that triggers a reaction that leads to some alternate state that leads to sleeplessness and psychosis, but there's also something to do with the seasons because this always starts in springtime. My psychosis gets really deep I start believing in irrational things, I can become a danger to myself and to others. Now I'm on 2,25mg of olanzapine, I will try to get off but if I can't I can like you said I can stay on a minimal dose but if I get psychotic only doses of at least 5mg will have any effect unless I'm more sensible now, I was on 15 and 20mg more than once. So it doesn't really matter if I'm completely off or not, the most important thing is to act as soon as I feel the sleeplessness or euphoria kicking in. I started exercising and eating a whole food plant based and I feel I'm much better at handling stress, when I feel anxiety or stress I also deep breath, listen to music, walk. I really put in place self-care rituals but the psychosis can return, there's no guarantee it won't even with my self-care. I don't think the taper will lead to that, at least not untill the very end, I'm just worried about tapering and 2 years from now having another crisis and not knowing what to do, go with olanzapine or try another antipsychotic, trying non-drug approaches... What is your opinion? I've tried handling a crisis with minimal ammounts of olanzapine (2,5mg) and my self-care strategies (although I wasn't exercising at the time) and I ended up in the hospital. It just isn't manageable, my head creates a whole new world with new rules and I eventually start believing it is true and lose all contact with the real world. Thanks for your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

There are some people who are very sensitive to lack of sleep, it brings on psychosis-like symptoms.

 

It's your decision about what you want to do. If you taper olanzapine slowly and observe your symptoms, you'll know when you're at a level they start to creep in. You don't need to taper past that point if you don't want to.

 

You do not have to reduce any more than you already have. You may want to stay at this level for a good long while. Your decision.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Thanks for your input. I want to try reducing as much as I can, I may not be able to come off completely, but I'll try and see, won't be at peace with myself if I don't at least try given the long term effects of antipsychotics. I'm thinking on keeping a small reserve of olanzapine in case I feel the need to stop another crisis from getting unmanageable because I tolerate it well and it makes me sleep, I know it'll be effective in a short time. I will ask my doctor about using CBD oil as an antipsychotic too. If you have any resources about psychosis  you want to share I'll be gratefull. Thank you again for taking the time to comment on my posts!

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Just updating my status. Today is day 36 of my slow taper, I'm currently at 2,125mg olanzapine. I had rough patches over this month, withdrawal is like a box of chocolates, you don't know which you're gonna get 😂😂. For me it was headaches, depression, high mood, irritability, anxiety, restless legs, and finally insomnia 2 nights in a row. It was all manageable untill the insomnia. It was 2 days after my 3rd drop, I updosed by 50% of the drop one day then got back to the dose and now I'm holding for 3 weeks to a month (usually only hold for 15 days). It's like a taper vacation 😂😂 to help me stabilize, when I get insomnia I know it's going too fast. I'm really in a good mood because I could get down and control the insomnia at the same time, I feel in control, at first I was afraid. Insomnia is the most crippling symptom because it quickly affects my reasoning, I become more impulsive and I tend to make worse decisions, and being the only person supervising my taper it can get dangerous. I'm really confident this time I will taper this drug in a year time, but let's see how this turns out... I can't thank you enough for the guidance I've got from this site, you're an island of knowledge in a sea of ignorance regarding withdrawal. I'm not a bit regretfull of tapering, I've been feeling more and more human, I was numbed by this drug, even 2,5mg is too numbing. Antipsychotics are really powerfull drugs, I hope I never have to go on them again. What's been helping me the most at the moment is exercise and diet, diary of symptoms and dosages, sharing my struggles in withdrawal groups, chamomile tea, deep abdominal breathing and soothing music, flexible tapering schedule. I went to my therapist to get some feedback on how well she perceived me to be since she hasn't seen me in some months and she found me better, with more affective resonance. So, summing it up everything seems to be going smoothly, after my little vacation I'll continue the taper.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Hello, Rrsfc, what is your taper schedule? It's not going to be worth it to you to go too fast.

 

Please don't count on being able to updose to adjust your taper, too many changes upsets the nervous system and makes tapering harder and harder.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
12 hours ago, Rrsfc said:

after my little vacation I'll continue the taper.

 

Try to make sure that you take your drugs on your regular schedule.  If your baggage will be separate from you make sure that you have your drugs available in hand luggage.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

@AltostrataI'm coming down 5% of the original dosage each drop, every 15 days depending on symptoms. It's going fine, I tolerate these drops well, don't worry. When I say I updosed it was 50% of the drop I made, I dropped 5% so I updosed 1 day 2,5% to ease the transition to the smaller dosage, I tolerate this better than just holding on a lower dose. I've been sleeping fine without any symptoms after the insomnia, but I'm holding an extra week just to be sure. It's been going better than I expected, I found a good tapering schedule that works for me, at least for now. I'm the first to step on the tapering break when it's going too fast, I know the dangers envolved. @ChessieCat I'm not going on actual vacations, just tapering "vacations".

 

Thanks both for caring!

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
25 minutes ago, Rrsfc said:

I'm not going on actual vacations, just tapering "vacations".

 

Okay, LOL.  The advice is still applicable though, sticking to schedule and having drugs available! ☺️

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Today is day 61 of my liquid taper from 2,5mg olanzapine, I'm currently at 2,125mg, day 32 after my 3rd drop. I am really stabilized on this dose and just waiting to finish some work before making my 4th drop (5% from the initial dose). I have been dropping every 15 days but I'll change to monthly drops so I can work more days, the headaches I get the first week after dropping really wear me down, I need longer holds to remain functional. This means I'll be tapering 16 months, but it's better to go slow and steady. Everything seems to be going well, I usually have no symptoms after the first 7 days and the ones I have are mild. I'm happy with my tapering so far, I have been going through a stressfull period lately and I've been coping really well, no insomnia at all (I had insomnia 2 days after my last drop and I decided to do a longer hold because of it, insomnia is really a severe withdrawal symptom for me, it should be avoided at all costs). I would like to know more about kindling, can anyone please leave me some links? Thanks, I'll keep updating my progress along the way, so far so good.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat

Here is the link to SA's topic:   post-withdrawal-nervous-system-hypersensitivity-hyper-reactivity-or-kindling

 

This is Alto's explanation of kindling:

  

On 7/26/2012 at 11:38 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Kindling is another name for hypersensitive reactions to neurologically active substances.

 

Yes, people who have withdrawn from antidepressants experience this. We have many, many discussions about post-withdrawal hyper-reactivity.

 

This is another reason to care for the nervous system with a slow taper.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Rrsfc said:

the headaches I get the first week after dropping really wear me down

 

This indicates your decreases are too large. You may want to decrease by 2.5%, calculated on the last dosage (amount of decrease keeps getting smaller). Depending on your reaction, you may be able to do this every 2-3 weeks.

Edited by Altostrata
updated

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Thank you both for getting back at me, I will read the post you linked and instead of dropping 5% from the initial dosage every month I'll try dropping 2,5% every 15 days to see if I get less headaches (I choose to opt for a % from the initial dose just because it is easier to measure). I was already happy with my taper, guess I'm used to suffering by now 😂 but if I can have less symptoms while tapering I'm all for it. I don't want to extend my tapering time any longer, already looking at 16 months at least 🙄, so I'll try this and see if it works. Thank you again for your time and knowledge @ChessieCat and @Altostrata, it must be hard helping so many people in need. What you do for us is fabulous, if it weren't for this site I don't know if I was doing this well, so thank you one last time. May your lives be filled with happiness!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Thanks for catching my error. I would try the 2.5% decrease for a month first, see how you do with that. It can take several weeks for withdrawal symptoms to appear.

 

I wouldn't worry about the finish line. As you minimize the dosage, you should feel better. Take as long as you need, it isn't a race.

 

You're welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

About not wanting to taper for longer than 16 months this is due more to the psychological aspects of tapering than the taper itself. I got on some facebook groups trying to share my journey with alike people, and not isolate myself so much like I did in the past but I was unaware before of all the people suffering and dying because of psychiatric drugs, and now that I've entered this world and came in closer contact with this reality I want to unsee it all and finish as quickly as I can. I try to help people I encounter along the way see things more clearly and make better decisions but it just stresses me out, so many horrible cases. I imagine what you all must feel, dealing with this every day, that's why I really value your work as I said before. I tried to remove myself from the groups but I just can't turn my face at all that suffering, I must always read and leave a comment, a link, some support, at least while I'm tapering, after that I'll see what I will do. I was completely unaware this is such a huge problem in our society, this is my small way of contributing. I can't look the other way, even if it negatively affects me 😥. I made the 2,5% drop yesterday and all is well, some minor symptoms that got better after I did my jogging, I'm confident everything will be ok. I already feel very different even coming down just 0,4mg, I'm really happy with my progress 😀.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
9 hours ago, Rrsfc said:

About not wanting to taper for longer than 16 months this is due more to the psychological aspects of tapering than the taper itself.

 

When I first found SA I was hoping to be off Pristiq by my 60th birthday.  I will be 63 at the end of this year.  I will be nearly 64 when I am finally off.  However, after my initial major withdrawal which brought me to SA, I have been tapering carefully and have only experienced minor withdrawal symptoms and have remained functional throughout.

 

It's better to go at the rate that will help to keep withdrawal symptoms at a minimum than to risk going too quickly.  As I reduced my dose I started to feel more like my pre-drug self.  At least three years ago my feelings started to return and I started feeling more enthusiastic about things.

 

We have members here who have tried to go too fast and it has ended up taking them longer to get off the drug than if they had gone at a nice steady pace.  Some of them have ended up destabilising themselves and haven't been able to get back to their pre-destabilised state.  Some members have ended up on additional drugs so they then have to taper off them too.

 

I'm down to 0.75mg Pristiq, originally on 100mg.  And I've still got about 1 year to go before I'm off.  What I keep telling myself is that it is not me that needs the drug, it's my brain needing it.  It has nothing to do with how strong or determined I am as a person but that I need to sneak the drug away from my brain gradually.

 

Your brain is what dictates the rate that you taper.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Yes, I agree with you and I try to pass it forward, I learned my lesson when fast tapering, but people are not ready to accept that and I see them suffer horribly and make even worse decisions at every turn and that really upsets me, I have to find a way to deal with it. I've seen people suicide over this, other nearly suicide and suffer with doctors making things even worse, it's been really hard. Regarding my taper I dropped 2,5% and I had so mild symptoms I don't even notice I'm tapering, I believe this is the best dose for me. Thank you again for your time and good luck with your taper.

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

I disconnected myself from the group where those awfull failed tapering stories were upsetting me and now I will have more peace of mind. I already feel the positive effects of the taper in myself, it's worth it, and 16 months is doable. I didn't suffer at all during this last drop, just a really small headache, like I would get if I skipped a meal, this is a good sign. I can go on with my life as usual and not be so focused on the taper as I was, almost forget it's happening. I even am contemplating new personal goals, I was convinced I had to put everything on hold untill the end of my taper, thanks one more time for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
ChessieCat
3 hours ago, Rrsfc said:

I disconnected myself from the group where those awfull failed tapering stories were upsetting me and now I will have more peace of mind.

 

I'm pleased that you recognised that you needed to do this.  It is nice to try to help other people, but if it upsets you and makes your own situation worse, then it is not good for you.  When new SA moderators start we tell them that they need to look after themselves first.  And when SA moderators are experiencing a worsening of their own situation, whether related to withdrawal or what is happening in their lives, they take time off from moderating.

Share this post


Link to post
hayduke

Hi @Rrsfc

 

Good to hear the 2.5% cuts are working for you.  I wound up settling on 2.5% cuts myself, using Brass Monkey's slide taper as a guide.  A nice thing about it is the two week hold after each set of four cuts.  I'm in the middle of a hold right now and it's pleasant to take a short break to catch up and feel more comfortable for a bit.

 

It seems that psychosis is often the result of unresolved trauma, and I found working with a clinical psychologist very helpful when difficult things started coming up during wds.  I was at around 2.1mg and holding when we did that work, and it was effective.  I'm  confident I can complete the rest of my taper without worrying about any more dissociation or other such trouble now.

 

Self care is key

 

Cheers,

Hayduke

Share this post


Link to post
Rrsfc

Thank you @ChessieCat and @hayduke for your comments, I also feel I made the righr choice leaving the group. In my case I just recently figured out what brought my psychosis. I was very anxious my whole life, so I already had a stress vulnerability. I had a period of chronic stress followed by depression because of a job and when I got another job and I had again a lot of stress the psychosis started. I believe it's stress related, my brain can't handle it. I found science based evidence this can happen https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article/34/6/1095/1940155 .

 

Now I follow a whole food diet, exercise and practice relaxation techniques and I feel more confident it won't return, I feel so much better from my anxiety since starting exercise. I also see a therapist sometimes,  but the most important work was done by myself, through reading, listening to books, journalling. I was lost so many years in the psychiatric system, I'm grateful for being able to find my way out, even though I regret not doing it sooner, but the doctors seemed to have all the answers and I was taught to trust them. It was when I started to distrust their treatments that I began to look for other options to get better and to try to understand why I had these symptoms. It was such a severe case, I was afraid of myself, now I feel we're all different and "normal" is broader than doctors acknowledge. So many people spend their lifes in the psychiatric loop needlessly, I feel blessed I escaped. I  checked out the tapering schedule you linked @hayduke, thank you. 2,5% drop every 2 weeks to a month depending on symptoms with longer holds if necessary seems really easy and right for me. Good luck with your tapers and thank you again for leaving me a comment, sometimes I feel alone and it helps!

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy