Jump to content
leavingorganon

LeavingOrganon

Recommended Posts

leavingorganon

Hello all.

 

I've been on various meds since 2005 when I was 21. I was put on Remeron because of what I now see as situational anxiety due to then-undiagnosed ADHD. I think it's time for me to leave this state and move ahead. 

 

The trigger for this desire is a recent cognitive assessment I did where I found out that things that were once easy for me intellectually are now harder, which is especially concerning for someone who's always been over-achieving and has "being smart" as an integral part of their identity. My short term memory is really bad with all of those medications, and what drove me towards doing the assessment is struggles at work that have been going on for the last three years.

 

Though the assessment was the acute trigger, there are larger themes at play that made me really struggle the last few years. My sense of self is vague and undefined. I used to be much sharper and brighter, passionate, and awake; qualities that I feel are lost under the haze of artificial neurotransmitter modulation. I'm at an impasse that simply can't be overcome by adding a new med every few months (believe me, I tried). I feel like I'm half the person I used to be at work and at life. I crave authenticity and clarity rather than an artificial sense of (over)confidence. 

 

Despite all of that, I really feel some gratitude for the journey. I did a lot in these 15 years in spite of/because of (can't tell at this stage honestly) these meds, including getting two master's degrees and meeting really wonderful people throughout. I try to avoid an attitude of being anti psych meds as they are really helpful in some life situations. I actually don't plan on going off the ADHD med I'm currently on, and I'm even open to the idea of being on an anti-depressant in the future if needs be and I can tolerate it.  

 

I recently gave stopping Remeron a try (jumped from 3.5mg dose or thereabouts, wasn't doing accurate cutting and weighing back then), and was actually doing fine (the most salient withdrawal symptom was itchiness, which is honestly fine). This went on until sometime in the second week when the usual acute withdrawal symptoms came at me (akathisia, insomnia, nausea, etc). Before that, I experienced a lovely sense of lucidity and intellectual playfulness that made me feel 20 again. I had the loveliest conversation with my best friend, without the recent robotic disinterest that these meds seem to cause me. I decided afterwards to reinstate, get off the other problematic meds I was on first (Klonopin and Latuda), regroup, then tackle the Remeron gently. 

 

For the last few months, I've been collecting stories of people who successfully overcame this mess as well as quotes from the Baylissa's book. I've also been training my faith, acceptance, and non-resistance/non-anticipation muscles. I am currently reading Hope and Help for Your Nerves, and determined to come up with a plan with my therapist to stock up on coping skills. This endeavor is, in essence, part of a greater desire to live a life that is built around my abilities (whatever those may be after I'm done with my tapering) and interests, instead of hysterically and aggressively going after situations that are overly ambitious but ultimately destructive for me. This, to me, is the reason I went on and continued to be lulled by these meds for a decade and a half. I really don't care about material ambitions at this point; I just want a pleasant and meaningful life. 

 

I've successfully got off Klonopin after a year of (low-dosage, 0.125mg every two or three nights) last month. I've also got off Latuda this week and I'm doing generally well.

 

I do realize that I'm still not completely clear off of these meds, so my plan is to resume my tapering etc. after some weeks. 

 

When I started, my goals were as follows:

 

1. Stop benzodiazepines (DONE)

 

2. Overcome polypharmacy

 

3. Stop Remeron

 

The order of 2 and 3 doesn't matter to me, though I'm currently leaning towards stopping Remeron first as I've been on it the longest and maybe staying on Brintellix while getting off of it can lessen the withdrawal symptoms. 

 

So yeah, this is my introduction post. Thank you for reading. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
mstimc

Hi Leaving, and welcome

 

I had much the same reasons for getting off Paxil.  My job (I'm retired now) was very mentally challenging; accuracy was essential.  Additionally, I was a manager and couldn't let my anxiety/OCD interfere with my responsibility to my crew.   It took me three tries and two years, but I did eventually do a successful taper  through support from  a group like this, a great therapist, and a lot of prayer.  It does take perseverance but it can be done!

Share this post


Link to post
leavingorganon
On 1/16/2020 at 11:45 PM, mstimc said:

Hi Leaving, and welcome

 

I had much the same reasons for getting off Paxil.  My job (I'm retired now) was very mentally challenging; accuracy was essential.  Additionally, I was a manager and couldn't let my anxiety/OCD interfere with my responsibility to my crew.   It took me three tries and two years, but I did eventually do a successful taper  through support from  a group like this, a great therapist, and a lot of prayer.  It does take perseverance but it can be done!

 

You give me hope.

 

You mentioned relying on prayer. I find that some spiritual framework is really important to me while I attempt this. Some connection to god/source/the universe helps in the isolation and pain (physical and mental) getting off of these meds can cause.

 

Though I promised my self to not compare my experience with other, I can't help but ask, did getting off Paxil eventually clear your cognitive issues?

Share this post


Link to post
mstimc

Hi

 

I recently discovered the “Abide” channel on YouTube that has a lot of faith-based meditations.  Great for falling asleep in a positive frame of mind.

 

Yes, stopping Paxil and therapy helped me regain my cognitive abilities, especially when it came to weighing options and making decisions.

Share this post


Link to post
Shep

 

Quote

So, currently: 7.5mg Remeron, 10mg Brintellix, 30mg Dextroamphetamine (for ADHD, don't plan to get off of that) 

 

Hi, Leavingorganon. Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

The above quote is from your signature. Please include the date you started dextroamphetamine in your signature. Was it before all of the other drugs or after? 

 

What time(s) of the day are you taking these drugs? This is important because there are two "major" drug interactions between dextroamphetamine  and vortioxetine (which is Brintellix), as well as between Remeron and vortioxetine.  Please see the drug interaction checker:

 

Drug Interaction Report

 

A book that comes highly recommended here is Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic

 

Anatomy of an Epidemic (pages 218-227 contain info specific to "ADHD").

 

Scroll down on that webpage and you'll find links to scientific research, as well as videos. While the "ADHD" drugs like dexroamphetamine show short term gains, the long-term outcomes are not good and many people find themselves polydrugged and even completely disabled, as the research and the lived experience of people coming off these drugs show. 

 

More information specific to "ADHD" from the Mad in America site, which is a website dedicated to providing research and alternative solutions to the biomedical model of psychiatry: 

 

Mad in America - ADHD info

 

You'll need to weigh the pros and cons of staying on stimulants for life. You may want to research alternatives for handling difficulties in concentrating. Considering you are now dangerously polydrugged and seeing the impact on your health, you may find alternative ways of coping to be more helpful to you. Also, as we get older, our ability to metabolize these drugs is decreased. I'm very concerned about these major drug interactions, so these are just some things to think about and resources for you to read as you decide what path you wish to take. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
leavingorganon

Hi Shep,

Thanks for the information; I appreciate the time you put into the response.

 

The major drug interactions I see in the report are related to serotonin syndrome. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are the standard interactions between basically any two serotonin-modulating drugs, right? Regardless of anything,  my goal as I mentioned in my intro post is to get off of both Remeron and Brintellix which is all I can do for the interaction warnings you so thankfully provided.

 

Regarding the ADHD meds, thank you for the heads up and the links. It is definitely something I'll research more, but my current priority is to get off the ADs as they are more problematic in my case. To answer your question, I've been on the dextramphitamine for the last month only, but I was on Concerta before that for about a year. 

 

I am trying to navigate through this to the best of my abilities, which will require that I keep a cool head and avoid any needlessly alarmist information that can only make the experience worse for me. I am here because I want to get off those meds, that's well-established. I don't need further convincing as to why I should do that. I definitely do appreciate your kind assistance however. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Shep
5 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

Regarding the ADHD meds, thank you for the heads up and the links. It is definitely something I'll research more, but my current priority is to get off the ADs as they are more problematic in my case. To answer your question, I've been on the dextramphitamine for the last month only, but I was on Concerta before that for about a year. 

 

Please update your signature with this information. 

 

5 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

I am trying to navigate through this to the best of my abilities, which will require that I keep a cool head and avoid any needlessly alarmist information that can only make the experience worse for me.

 

Understood, Leaving. But none of the information being provided is "needlessly alarmist."  If these drugs didn't come with serious problems, this site would not exist. 

 

If you need to take a break, please do so. It's important that you take care of yourself so you don't feel overwhelmed by the information being provided. I wish there was a way to sugarcoat this information and make it more palatable, but the reality is many people are harmed by these drugs. By providing you with this information, you are equipped to make the right decisions for your own health. 

 

By going slow and doing a safe taper, you'll be able to come off these drugs and heal. So even though some of this information is difficult, that doesn't mean that your withdrawal will be difficult. You're doing the research and getting information so you can so a safe, harm-reduction type of taper. 

 

 

11 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

The major drug interactions I see in the report are related to serotonin syndrome. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are the standard interactions between basically any two serotonin-modulating drugs, right?

 

Yes, this is true. What you're taking is a version of something called "California Rocket Fuel."  This is the intentional combination of two antidepressants, one sedating and one stimulating. 

 

About going off mirtazapine plus venlafaxine (Effexor) aka "California rocket fuel"

 

 

7 minutes ago, leavingorganon said:

Regarding the ADHD meds, thank you for the heads up and the links. It is definitely something I'll research more, but my current priority is to get off the ADs as they are more problematic in my case.

 

In what way?

 

1 hour ago, Shep said:

What time(s) of the day are you taking these drugs? This is important because there are two "major" drug interactions between dextroamphetamine  and vortioxetine (which is Brintellix), as well as between Remeron and vortioxetine. 

 

Please provide this information. It's possible what you're describing as "problematic" with the antidepressants are actually drug interactions, which we may be able to help you with by spacing the drugs out. Without knowing when you take them, we aren't able to advise you. This will be your first step in what you need to do prior to tapering.

 

Some more threads to read over as you feel able: 

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Tips for tapering off Remeron (mirtazapine)

 

Tips for tapering off Trintellix (vortioxetine), previously called Brintellix

 

Tips for tapering off amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall)

 

What we need:

 

  • Please update your signature with the date and doses for when you started dextramphitamine and for when you were on Concerta
  • Please let us know what time(s) of the day you are taking your drugs

Please continue to use this thread to provide updates and to ask questions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Hello, Leaving.

 

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages? How are you feeling now that you reinstated Remeron, then went off Klonopin and Latuda?

 

How do you feel after taking vortioxetine?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
leavingorganon

Shep, thank you for your understanding.

 

19 hours ago, Shep said:
  • Please update your signature with the date and doses for when you started dextramphitamine and for when you were on Concerta

 

Done. 

 

19 hours ago, Shep said:
  • Please let us know what time(s) of the day you are taking your drugs

 

I'm currently on a 2-week vacation from work, so my schedule is a bit changed. When I'm working, my usual schedule is as follows:

1. 8:30 to 9:00 am: Wake up

2. 9:00 to 9:30 am: Take the Brintellix and 15mg of the Dextroamphitamine.

3. 9:30 am to 10:00 am: Have breakfast, which can include caffeine. Switched to green tea from coffee in the last month.

4. 12:30 to 1:30 pm: Have the other 15mg of the Dextroamphitamine

5. 1:30 to 2:30 pm: Have lunch

 

And at night,

1. 10:00 to 11:00 pm: Take the Remeron and have dinner. The dinner after Remeron is because of the increase in appetite it seems to cause me

2. 12:00 to 1:00 am: Go to sleep

 

15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

Hello, Leaving.

 

What times of day do you take your drugs, and their dosages? How are you feeling now that you reinstated Remeron, then went off Klonopin and Latuda?

 

Hi Altostrata, thank you for stopping by.

 

After reinstating the Remeron and going off the Klonopin and Latuda, I guess I'm doing okay. The symptoms I experience are the occasional heightened anxiety that can last for an hour or so, as well as some really minor tremor in my index finger that doesn't last for long. I actually only had those symptoms and only had them yesterday, so I'm pretty lucky I guess. I realize that I'm still not on the clear, so my current goal is to reach a baseline of stability before proceeding with any tapering.

 

These are the symptoms related to withdrawal, but there are also the symptoms that I have been experiencing as a constant for the last few years. These are mainly a general sense of hopelessness, and mainly, some cognitive issues such as bad concentration and short term memory (or working memory? whatever it is that helps recalling information related to everyday work, word recall, etc) as well as emotional numbness. I have a few theories: 1) I've been over-medicated, 2) I was put on and taken off many drugs in the last few years without gradual tapering, and 3) the Remeron specifically has that effect on me as I can remember incidents of me noticing the change when I started it 15 years ago, as well as the recent experience of clarity that I experienced in my two-week trial without it.

 

15 hours ago, Altostrata said:

How do you feel after taking vortioxetine?

 

I honestly feel.. nothing. At least nothing noticeable. 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Why do you take vortioxetine and dextroamphetamine at the same time?

 

When you switched from Pristiq to vortioxetine, how did you feel? Why did you make this change?

 

You do realize your difficulty in sleeping without Remeron might be related to the amphetamine?

Share this post


Link to post
Shep

Leaving, thanks for updating your signature.  I'm confused about this line:

 

Quote

November 2019 - January 2019: Latuda 9mg

 

Do you mean January 2020? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
leavingorganon
On 1/20/2020 at 1:57 AM, Altostrata said:

Why do you take vortioxetine and dextroamphetamine at the same time?

 

When you switched from Pristiq to vortioxetine, how did you feel? Why did you make this change?

 

You do realize your difficulty in sleeping without Remeron might be related to the amphetamine?

 

I take the vortioxetine and dextroamphitamine at the same time because dr prescribed them to be taken in the morning. Do you think that's bad?

 

When I switched the Pristiq to vortioxetine, I honestly don't remember having any adverse effects except the initial nausea caused by the latter. The reason I switched is because I was having cognitive issues and the doctor suggested vortioxetine because it supposedly has cognitive enhancing effects.

 

For the third point, I didn't have sleep problems until late in the 2nd week without Remeron. You might be right, I don't know.

 

I've been having a couple of hard days where I've been obsessing about the cognitive difficulties I seem to be having. I feel hopeless, scared that all the meds and switching between them has caused irreversible brain damage. Will I have to quit my job? etc. etc.

 

 

 @Shep: Apologies, I've updated my signature. 

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Drug adverse reactions are not irreversible brain damage. Usually they go away when you take away the drug.

 

When you take two drugs at the same time, it increase the risk of drug-drug interactions, see Drug Interaction Report

 

Here are your potential drug interactions with Pristiq instead of vortioxetine. They are very similiar. Most likely, they are the cause of your "cognitive difficulties."

 

It seems you went off Remeron and switched to dextroamphetamine at the same time? Please update your signature with this information. Then you quit Latuda a month later?

 

Why were you taking Latuda? Did you ever question the competency of your psychiatrist?

 

What is your current sleep pattern?

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy