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Taperers? anyone?


Rhiannon

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It sounds like a lot of the folks here are in w/d or protracted w/d and no longer tapering.

 

Is there anyone else who, like me, is still currently tapering?

 

I'm tapering four different meds so of course I don't expect to meet anyone else doing that.

 

One of them is Celexa. I'm tapering it very slowly, tapering them all very slowly because my CNS is very sensitive to cuts and changes and I need to be able to stay functional to work because I have no financial resources other than what I can earn from working.

 

Anyway, if there's anyone else still tapering, I'd love to connect.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Yes, we have taperers! This forum is new so they might not be aware of it yet.

 

They'll join you soon.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Hi Rhi... yes, I'm tapering, very slowly, as I've read you are. As you can see, my last drop was on March 11. I'm a little anxious about dropping b/c I've been feeling good the last few weeks, but I will pretty soon. I'm planning on looking into the liquid Celexa, or perhaps having it compounded. I think from this point on, it's the best way to go.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Hi Rhi... yes, I'm tapering, very slowly, as I've read you are. As you can see, my last drop was on March 11. I'm a little anxious about dropping b/c I've been feeling good the last few weeks, but I will pretty soon. I'm planning on looking into the liquid Celexa, or perhaps having it compounded. I think from this point on, it's the best way to go.

 

Hi Summer! I love your kitty avatar.

 

I actually dissolve my Celexa tablet and make a liquid suspension of it--well, actually, it's soluble in ethanol and I use a mixture of ethanol and water so it may actually be in solution.

 

I'm down to 5.25 mg now with that. (I dissolve a 10 mg tablet in 20 mL.)

 

I'm thinking of getting the liquid, but it's a $15 copay, and while I can afford that, right now I don't see the point. But I think maybe when I get under 3 mg or so (knock on wood) I may give it a try because it may be more consistent and precise than my home-made version. No hurry at the rate I'm going! it'll be 2012 before I'm down to 3 mg I suspect.

 

Anyway I'm very happy with liquid. I like it much better than trying to dry cut.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Rhi-

 

I'm doing multiple tapers (2).

I replied in my intro post I was tapering down from my Seroquel.

I have gone from 200mgs to 50 mgs as I said.

Last night I started a taper on my Depakote: from 500 mgs to 250mgs.

I've been on the 50 mgs Seroquel for a few months.

A naturopathic doctor I talk to told me to go for two more weeks on the 50 mgs Seroquel before I cut down to 25mgs.

I'm nervous about the Seroquel cut as I know my severe insomnia will return. I just need a way to get natural sleep again.

 

How many mgs are you coming down from off of the Celexa? 10?

What are the three others that you are coming off of?

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stan -- I moved your very helpful images of the oral syringes to the new Tapering Techniques topic. Thanks for posting them!

 

Rhi -- your making a solution of Celexa is very interesting. Could you post details in the Tapering Techniques topic?

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Rhi-

 

I'm doing multiple tapers (2).

I replied in my intro post I was tapering down from my Seroquel.

I have gone from 200mgs to 50 mgs as I said.

Last night I started a taper on my Depakote: from 500 mgs to 250mgs.

I've been on the 50 mgs Seroquel for a few months.

A naturopathic doctor I talk to told me to go for two more weeks on the 50 mgs Seroquel before I cut down to 25mgs.

I'm nervous about the Seroquel cut as I know my severe insomnia will return. I just need a way to get natural sleep again.

 

How many mgs are you coming down from off of the Celexa? 10?

What are the three others that you are coming off of?

 

Brandon, that sounds like an extreme cut on the Depakote, 50%. Please be careful. I agree with your doc that you should hold longer on the Seroquel. I can't say I feel good about 50% cuts. They aren't often successful.

 

Many people find that as they get lower on their tapers they need to make smaller cuts and hold longer. I think it's best to err on the side of conservative because you don't want to see what will happen if you push it too hard. All IMO, but I've heard hundreds of peoples' stories and have advised and coached a lot of folks. (When you read Anatomy you'll be hearing a few other folks' stories too...)

 

If my daughter were in your shoes I would suggest she hold the Seroquel, adjust the Depakote taper to a 50 mg cut for a new dose of 450 mg, hold that for three weeks; then if feeling okay cut the Seroquel by 10 mg; and take it from there depending on her body's response.

 

I'm very slowly tapering off Celexa, Lamictal, Neurontin and Xanax. I started in February of 2010 at 10 mg Celexa, 200 mg Lamictal, 300 mg Neurontin and 0.7 mg Xanax. As of today I am at 5.25 mg Celexa, 140 mg Lamictal, 78 mg Neurontin, and 0.4 mg Xanax.

 

I also take 2 mg of Valium a day, left over from an attempted "crossover" from Xanax; I'll probably wait and taper the Valium after I'm off the Xanax.

 

Be careful with multiple drug tapers; I don't think they're inherently dangerous, but you can't go as fast with two as you can with just one, and you have to be very, very aware and tuned in to your symptoms and willing to stop the minute they ramp up, because the drugs interact with each other.

 

I don't have time right now to go into it all, but sooner or later I'll explain why I think very slow tapers may be the best way to go as far as enabling neurological recovery while tapering. I don't really have a choice since I have to keep my withdrawal symptoms manageable enough that they don't interfere with my ability to work, and my job does require being alert and on top of things and can be stressful and even grueling at times.

 

I think I'll be off both the Celexa and Neurontin by the end of 2012. But trying not to get too attached to calendar type goals. My hope is for a smooth taper, however slow that has to be, with a quick and easy adjustment once fully off the meds and no protracted w/d period.

 

We shall see. Hopefully at least some of y'all will still be around to cheer me across the finish line.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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We shall see. Hopefully at least some of y'all will still be around to cheer me across the finish line.

 

Rhi, even if I'm 100% recovered, I love everyone here so much I expect I'll be here not only cheering but that we'll all be holding a victory bash here on SA for you - a victory bash that will make the Royal Wedding starting soon seem like a church picnic by comparison!!!! :)

 

And we'll be throwing a similar celebration for Brandon, just wait and see!!!

I was "TryingToGetWell" (aka TTGW) on paxilprogress. I also was one of the original members here on Surviving Antidepressants

 

I had horrific and protracted withdrawal from paxil, but now am back to enjoying life with enthusiasm to the max, some residual physical symptoms continued but largely improve. The horror, severe derealization, anhedonia, akathisia, and so much more, are long over.

 

My signature is a temporary scribble from year 2013. I'll rewrite it when I can.

 

If you want to read it, click on http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/209-brandy-anyone/?p=110343

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Hi Rhi,

Yes im a super slow taperer too, welcome to this site,

good luck with your 4x taper, hope all goes very smoothly for

you buddy.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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For Brandon and Rhi --

 

Brandon, how long have you been on the Seroquel?

 

Rhi, if someone has not been on it very long, what do you think about a faster taper, to minimize exposure?

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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For Brandon and Rhi --

 

Brandon, how long have you been on the Seroquel?

 

Rhi, if someone has not been on it very long, what do you think about a faster taper, to minimize exposure?

 

That's a good question and I wish I had a brilliant and insightful answer. Unfortunately, the neurological remodeling process instigated by these meds is, as far as I can tell, pretty much unstudied, so there is just no information or data to go on. With antidepressants and benzos I can sort of guesstimate based on common trends and experience but with Seroquel I don't even have that.

 

That being the case, I think it would depend on what's at stake--does the person need to remain functional for a job or family, for example, and how high is their tolerance for discomfort. Then I'd suggest choosing an initial cut accordingly, taking an initial hold that's long enough to see what the response is going to be (at least a month) and going from there.

 

But in this case--this is someone with a long-term, complicated history on psych meds beginning at a young age. Seroquel is only one in a long line of brain-remodeling drugs. I would lean towards thinking that the risk of more exposure is less in this case, since a successful taper is going to have to be slow regardless, because the changes that need to happen for the brain and CNS to stabilize and normalize are going to be extensive. This is the kind of situation where fast tapers and big cuts--I just can't feel good about it.

 

Of course the young age is an advantage. But I think the history is the most striking and predominant factor here.

 

AND this is all based on opinions that may change as I get more experience and learn more. Unfortunately there's just no data and precious little anecdotal information for me to go on.

 

Okay, that's my long-winded and completely off the top of my head first draft unedited answer. I may change my mind later but that's my first impression. Gotta go to bed now!

 

:-)

 

I love this forum, by the way...

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Good answer. Thanks. :)

 

What's your experience on this -- Are the antipsychotics and mood stabilizers generally easier to get off of than the antidepressants and benzos?

 

If so, can you speculate as to why?

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Good answer. Thanks. :)

 

What's your experience on this -- Are the antipsychotics and mood stabilizers generally easier to get off of than the antidepressants and benzos?

 

If so, can you speculate as to why?

 

I don't have enough experience with antipsychotics and mood stabilizers to say. In my case Lamictal is probably the hardest of my meds to taper and I think it's considered a mood stabilizer although those terms ("mood stabilizer," "antipsychotic," "antidepressant") are pretty meaningless--invented by marketers, not by scientists.

 

Nobody really knows how ANY of them work for sure; that is, there's some information about one or two things that they do, but there are other things they do that haven't been studied, and there are downstream effects that haven't been studied.

 

(Turns out, for example, that Celexa has an even more profound effect on glutamate than it does on serotonin. OOPS! Glutamate is our body's primary neurotransmitter.)

 

These drugs were designed initially back when they thought our brains were like machines. If you changed one little chemical reaction nothing else changed.

 

The use and design of these drugs is still based on the pre-neuroplasticity paradigm. Absurd as that is, it's the case.

 

But because a) the brain is plastic and constantly changing and adapts, b)it's way more complex than we give it credit for (the usual human hubris, especially traditional Western white male culture hubris, about "human" superiority to "nature")(completely overlooking that humans are MADE by nature, and nature has a five billion year head start on human science when it comes to figuring out what works)--

 

anyone who can think, has to come to the logical conclusion that once you start screwing around with neurotransmitters, all bets are off. It's way too complex to predict. We can't even predict the weather (also a complex system but no more so than our brains). And these drugs are a much bigger, more destructive and more drastic monkey wrench than global warming.

 

Basically they don't have a clue about any of them. Basically even in this forum we are assuming that these meds are better understood than they actually are, and that there is actually some good science underlying their claims about them, which there isn't.

 

So in answer to your original question--I don't have enough experience. My impression is that antipsychotics and "mood stabilizers" are just as nasty as SSRIs and benzos. I get that impression mostly from Gianna, who probably has the most anecdotal experience with the most people on the most drugs of anyone I know, although hopefully I'll learn a little more in a couple of weeks at the Rethinking Psychiatry conference in Portland; I think Will Hall will be there and maybe I'll get a chance to have a conversation with him about this.

 

But I don't think anyone really can say, and given what I've learned about brain chemistry, I tend to be extremely conservative about changes in meds particularly if there is any history of switches, ct's or other chaotic destabilizing events in the past. That's why I was so shocked at alex.i's doctor saying hold for a year or two to stabilize--that's the first time I've heard a doctor giving that advice, which I think is correct.

 

Brains DO change and grow, they DO strive for stabilization and homeostasis, but the processes by which they do that are NOT fast, and they have no actual inbuilt mechanisms to fix what these drugs do to them, so the processes are not only slow they are also haphazard and improvised and involve a lot of over-shooting and correction and adjustment--all of which are also slow slow slow.

 

(When we think of "healing" we are thinking of very efficient processes designed by five billion years of evolution. Our brains have access to no such processes because evolution has never encountered anything like what these drugs do to them. This subject is a book in itself and it is impossible to overstate its importance. Again, when we think of "healing" we carry a whole boatload of assumptions based on a lifetime's experience with healing processes--efficient processes designed over billions of years of exposure to various sorts of damage. Our brains do NOT have efficient processes designed to deal with what these drugs do to them because this is an entirely new sort of damage.)

 

Frankly I've written so much about this on the benzo forum and on paxilprogress and my blog and Gianna's blog and everywhere else, and I'm just sick of it because nobody listens anyway. Everybody wants good news and quick fixes and simple explanations.

 

I'm thinking maybe on this forum that will be different but who knows.

 

BRAINS ARE INCREDIBLY COMPLEX. That's the part people have the most trouble grasping. Doctors are taught oversimplified cartoonish neurology. (I've seen the textbooks, I'm not kidding.) All of us are taught ridiculously oversimplified views of the brain, worse than merely "cartoonish". And the way it's talked about they make it sound like the science is really solid and deep--which it is NOT. Brains are still mostly unexplored and poorly understood. Our science on them is still pretty primitive.

 

I understand why people have trouble grasping it because most of us haven't given much thought to complex chemical and physical systems. Plus if you don't know much about chemistry and cell biology and biochemistry it must be really hard to visualize or contemplate.

 

I do have a pretty extensive cross-science background, especially in biology, and definitely enough chemistry. Plus chaos theory just happens to be an interest of mine so I have a little insight into it. And I have the kind of mind that, this is the sort of thing I just enjoy learning and thinking about, so I've been learning and thinking about it for most of my life. (My IQ is 135, not to brag because I don't think it's anything more special than having naturally curly hair or being six feet tall, I can't help it that our culture is neurotic about the subject--but just to give you guys some context of where I'm coming from.)

 

Some actual neuroscientists seem to have a clue as well. But psychiatry and neuroscience are not talking to each other these days; there's a big wall between them made of dollar bills.

 

Okay, gotta go. Sorry if this is TMI. I'm very frustrated about trying to get this information across and every day I resolve to quit trying. But obviously so far my resolutions aren't working. I just feel like I'm one little person trying to move a mountain by myself and I get really discouraged.

 

Anyway--I guess I kind of over-answered your question.

 

Also--if someone could show me how to save a link to this post--that would be great--I've written basically this same thing over and over probably twenty times and it would be nice to be able to just refer back to it and not have to rewrite it each time, it's very time-consuming.

 

Gotta run!

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Terrific explanation Rhi! Your theory about not having an evolutionary mechanism to heal from this unnatural damage caused by unnatoral toxins coorured to me before but I did not put it on paper yet. It confirms my thoughts about it! And I try to accept also that convicing people of this is often like beating a dead horse...

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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Terrific explanation Rhi! Your theory about not having an evolutionary mechanism to heal from this unnatural damage caused by unnatoral toxins coorured to me before but I did not put it on paper yet. It confirms my thoughts about it! And I try to accept also that convicing people of this is often like beating a dead horse...

 

Ditto.

 

Also, particularly liked your point about how the design of these drugs is still based on the pre-neuroplasticity paradigm.

 

Rhi, there *are* people listening. Maybe try to focus on them more sometimes, to give yourself a break from the struggle?

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

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Thanks, you guys!

 

I do feel like you're listening. I appreciate you giving me a place to "speak" out about these things that I feel so strongly about and have put so much time and energy into thinking about.

 

You're such a thoughtful and intelligent group of people; I really feel a sense of genuine support and fellowship here. It means such a lot to me. You have no idea.

 

And some days I'm more discouraged than others, I don't always feel that way.

 

I'm feeling kind of crappy right now because I did another cut, plus I'm very slowly titrating in more Valium to the mix (so I can get off the Xanax and Neurontin sooner and quit having to dose every three hours). And I'm super sensitive to Valium and it makes me feel like crap for a while until I develop tolerance to the side effects.

 

PLUS I'm moving, which is stressful even if it was a happy move, and this isn't really a happy move. I have mixed feelings about this move. I'm moving to a town I don't really want to live in, but it's where I work, and with gasoline prices going so high I can no longer afford the 17-mile commute to work. I'm sad about leaving the beautiful place I've been living in, which is down the river a little way, very beautiful tiny town with people I like a lot.

 

And stress really exacerbates withdrawal symptoms, as you all have already discovered no doubt.

 

Sigh...

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey, just an update, nothing cosmic, but I'm finally in my new place and liking it better than I had thought. I was just renting a couple of rooms in someone else's house before, and now really enjoying having my own place.

 

Plus I'm five minutes from work instead of twenty-five.

 

Having some withdrawal yuckies but hey, I'm down to 5 mg of Celexa, so whatever!

 

Still don't have Internet at home however, hence my spottiness in posting.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Hey Rhi-

 

Nice to see ya here.

 

I'd say I don't know how much I don't know, just that it's a lot. I also don't know how much science doesn't know, just that it's a lot. I have done some homework. The facts that I am aware of plus my intuitive understanding of everything (people, doctors, status, money, science, big pharma, govt, markets) encourages my beliefs which happen to align with much of what you've written. That, basically, the human brain is very complex and not nearly fully understood yet. However it is clear that the incentives encourage presenting the problems and 'solutions' in a simplistic way. The current simplistic approach promotes an "easy fix" to people who are genuinely suffering and looking for, if possible... a easy fix. The sad bit is that the agents of the fix -- psych meds -- are not fully understood of course and likely to ripple in unanticipated ways that the simplistic model doesn't predict (or even consider). Results can be unpredictable then. For some, ME, they've been devastating.

 

I'm going to be a bit dramatic here, but there's a separate point worth making...

 

In some ways it's the perfect crime. I think there's maybe a book with that title that argues this thesis. You take 'mentally ill' people. Give them medicines that insurance or medicaid/medicare must cover. The people get sicker on meds. They try to get off. They then get much sicker in w/d. Nobody in authority listens with an open mind, after all this person is 'mentally ill' and lacks insight... It's back on meds, sometimes against the person's will, sometimes with his blessing as he can't endure a minute more of w/d. Everybody in the chain makes money. Our 'mentally ill' person, if average, will die 25 years younger than an average non-diagnosed person while enduring a life of side effects. Everyone involved, but our patient of course, drives home in a luxury car cursing the damn shame of mental illness while feeling great about themselves for being part of the solution!

 

I'm probably being a tad dramatic. But just a tad.

 

Nobody really knows how ANY of them work for sure; that is, there's some information about one or two things that they do, but there are other things they do that haven't been studied, and there are downstream effects that haven't been studied.

 

Something my doctors admit but implicitly. They'll tell me nobody knows, but they'll only say it between the lines. Luckily I took 'between the lines' in college.

 

(When we think of "healing" we are thinking of very efficient processes designed by five billion years of evolution. Our brains have access to no such processes because evolution has never encountered anything like what these drugs do to them. This subject is a book in itself and it is impossible to overstate its importance. Again, when we think of "healing" we carry a whole boatload of assumptions based on a lifetime's experience with healing processes--efficient processes designed over billions of years of exposure to various sorts of damage. Our brains do NOT have efficient processes designed to deal with what these drugs do to them because this is an entirely new sort of damage.)

 

This is part of the problem(s) with psychiatric treatment today. While this is totally reasonable to me, a shrink would recoil from the implications. Docs think they are treating and helping. They rarely (if everrr?) think in terms of damage.

 

Frankly I've written so much about this on the benzo forum and on paxilprogress and my blog and Gianna's blog and everywhere else, and I'm just sick of it because nobody listens anyway. Everybody wants good news and quick fixes and simple explanations.

 

I know of pp, the benzo forums, and bipolarblast (which was closed to visitors last i checked)... but I'd be interested to see your blog. How bout a link?

 

Also--if someone could show me how to save a link to this post--that would be great--I've written basically this same thing over and over probably twenty times and it would be nice to be able to just refer back to it and not have to rewrite it each time, it's very time-consuming.

 

survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/231-taperers-anyone/page__view__findpost__p__2564

 

add an http:// and you're all set...

 

Alex.i

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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Altostrata

....I'm thinking maybe on this forum that will be different but who knows.

If I have anything to do with it, it will be.

Also--if someone could show me how to save a link to this post--that would be great--I've written basically this same thing over and over probably twenty times and it would be nice to be able to just refer back to it and not have to rewrite it each time, it's very time-consuming.

....

 

To get the permalink for any post, click on the number of the post in the upper-right corner and copy the link.

 

As Alex indicated, the permalink to your post is

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/231-taperers-anyone/page__view__findpost__p__2564

....In some ways it's the perfect crime.....

 

I've often thought this myself -- particularly since the perpetrators can also make diagnoses enabling them to cover up mistakes.

 

The nearly invariable misdiagnosis of withdrawal syndrome for relapse is probably responsible for the majority of those continuing on medications despite apparent "remission."

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Rhi,

 

Thankyou for your explanation, it was very enlightening, and so well written, well done, especially in wd too,

but you know, its a frightening thought, that we have unknowingly allowed ourselves to be medicated with these

powerful mind bending drugs, and no one has any idea, how they work, or what damage they create, or what

the long term effects are going to be for us .... the drug companys unpaid guinea pigs.

 

The mere thought is enough to send me into a panic i swear,

i can almost feel the ole " what ifs" resurfacing again.

Just wish it was more cut and dried that what it is, its

the living with the "uncertainties " that create the fear.

Im sure there must be others here with the same concerns, i cant possibly be the other one.

So long as we all make it to the other side alive, with maybe 80% - 85% recovery would make me happy.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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Altostrata

You're going to make it, angie. Don't scare yourself. In some ways, you'll be a much stronger person -- look at all you've been through, and the energy with which you've searched for answers.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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Sur,

 

How kind, you know howin wd we all get the fear and the what ifs scenario,

and yes i have searched and sometimes what i have found scares me to death.

 

But thankyou for the reassurance, it means a lot, especially onm days like today.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

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....In some ways it's the perfect crime.....

 

I've often thought this myself -- particularly since the perpetrators can also make diagnoses enabling them to cover up mistakes.

 

The nearly invariable misdiagnosis of withdrawal syndrome for relapse is probably responsible for the majority of those continuing on medications despite apparent "remission."

 

Yea, a nuanced understanding acquired through personal experience and extensive research provokes the realization that certain types of 'deranged arrangements' can and do exist. The definition of such being a relationship formed under the auspices of ameliorating a patient's symptoms but maintained regardless of health benefit (and in spite of negative health consequences) primarily for the financial enrichment of the parties in the superior position. That's not to say though that the medical provider intends harm. More likely he/she doesn't possess awareness of the nature of the 'arrangement' they're participating in. As doctors are largely ignorant of the full spectrum of iatrogenic consequences, misdiagnosis is inevitable, and the arrangement can continue indefinitely.

 

Naturally, i'd never voice the above version of psycho-reality to an untrusted medical authority. It's 'paranoid ideation'!

 

Alex.i

 

ps - Not to get all conspiracy theory on your very respectable board ... :-)

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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And don't forget the degree of self-interest involved, to avoid culpability for medical harm and to continue in habitual (and profitable) prescribing patterns.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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And don't forget the degree of self-interest involved, to avoid culpability for medical harm and to continue in habitual (and profitable) prescribing patterns.

 

Indeed on both counts... what a shame.

 

Alex.i

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
strawberry17

Hi, another taperer here, tapering excrutiatingly slowly off liquid prozac, it's taken since Feb 08 to get from 5mls to my current dose of 1.60mls.

*** Please note this is not medical advice,discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner***





http://prozacwithdrawal.blogspot.com/
Original drug was sertraline/Zoloft, switched to Prozac in 2007.
Tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since Feb 2008, got down to 0.85ml 23/09/2012, reinstated back to 1ml(4mg) 07/11/2012, didn't appear to work, upped to 1.05ml 17/11/2012, back down to 1ml 12/12/2012 didn't work, up to 1.30ml 16/3/2013 didn't work, bumped up to 2ml (8mg) 4/4/2013 didn't work, in July 2013 I reinstated Sertraline (Zoloft) 50mg, feeling better now. 

A few months down the line I switched to 5ml liquid Prozac and tapered down to a compromise dose of 3ml liquid Prozac and have stayed there ever since, no withdrawals and no emotional blunting/loss of libido.

 

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Hi, another taperer here, tapering excrutiatingly slowly off liquid prozac, it's taken since Feb 08 to get from 5mls to my current dose of 1.60mls.

 

You have such determination. I admire you! I have no doubt you'll soon be off Prozac, and successfully!

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hey folks I'm still waiting for my Internet to be hooked up (sigh...)(they say it will be this week...)

 

This is a fabulous thread and conversation and you are all so intelligent. I love this board. I'm not going to try to respond to everything because I'm coming down with a virus and I'm at a wifi coffee house and I need to go home and go to bed I think.

 

But I'll be back.

 

(Alex you cracked me up with taking "between the lines" in college...)

 

Also, I'm sure you guys have already been talking about this, but just in case, make sure to check out the two-part series in the New York Review of Books on psychiatry, psych meds, and the DSM. SO awesome that it's in such a respected and mainstream publication. I'm thrilled!

 

Cough, cough...okay, going to go home and stop seeding the public environment with my viruses...

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

 

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

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Altostrata

Yay! Rhi is a-postin' again.

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

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

All postings © copyrighted.

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