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chibears95: I’ve had my mind ruined by chemicals


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I’m Luke from Illinois. I’m 24. Both my parents have their own issues. My dad is the son of an alcoholic mother and a WWII vet father. My mother messed around with drugs and alcohol in college, went to treatment programs, and changed schools and degrees numerous times. She also gave birth to a half-brother I have whom I didn’t know existed until I was 13. Both of them have very harsh/stern/critical/narcissistic personalities. They never got along. They divorced back in ‘17, but growing up was not easy for me. I started getting major defensiveness and separation anxiety when I was about 4-5. As to why? I don’t know. A trauma psychologist has told me it is probable something either happened to me or something wasn’t being met. 

So, my mom, being a registered nurse, and having gone through stuff of her own, thought she knew everything about mental health. She made an assumption that I had a “neuropsychiatric disorder” and a “chemical imbalance”. I think she basically was trying to get me diagnosed with autism like she’d seen on the internet, which I didn’t have by a mile. She takes me to psychologist #1. He says nothing is wrong with me and they need to change their parenting. Then psychologist #2. He says the same thing. During all this, I was made by them to stand in a corner and stare at the wall in the night when I couldn’t sleep. Sometimes they would lock me in my bedroom by unscrewing the door knob, turning it around, and locking me in. I would bang on my door to try and get out. One time I even climbed out my window. I get brought to a psychiatrist eventually. He has no diagnosis for me, but gives me Zoloft 50mg “off-label”. I was 5 years old. After a month, my mom was still not happy with how I was so she brought me back. He gave me Risperdal 0.5mg twice a day. And then my would tell people “she had a new kid”. And these medications corrected the “chemical imbalance. 

At age 9 I started getting tics. Like clearing my throat a lot. Or flipping my hair. Research articles have shown that Risperdal can lead to these involuntary actions in young kids. So I assume that was it. Anyways, my mom hopped right on it and brought me right back to the psychiatrist. He gave me Haldol. So at age 9 I was on Zoloft, Risperdal, and Haldol. Any problem that would present itself in my life my mom would drag me to the psychiatrist. 

That is unfortunately only the beginning. I’ve my life I’ve been drugged constantly while being told to get off the medications by others and by the psychiatrist themselves, but being forced and psychologically abused by my own parents to stay on them. The withdrawals have been hell. The stress has been hell. I don’t know what real reality feels like because chemicals have always altered it for me. The only times in my life I’ve been off psych meds were birth to age 5, and age 14-16 where I was majorly depressed because of my rough household. My grades at school tanked, I got into a physical fight with my dad, and I purposely got myself suspended from school just to stay home and sleep. So I ended up back on them after that.

Here’s a brief summary since age 16 of what the medications have looked like at each age:


16: Lexapro, Zoloft, Risperdal, Trazodone 

17-18: Cymbalta, Risperdal, Trazodone

19: (Was diagnosed with Serotonin Syndrome one night. Doubt I actually had that.) Risperdal, Ativan, Atenolol, Propranolol, Metoprolol, Seroquel, Lamictal, Buspar, Klonopin, Neurontin 

20-21: Cymbalta, Risperdal, Ativan

22: Cymbalta, Risperdal, Lunesta, Klonopin, Zoloft, Depakote, Valium, Seroquel, Luvox, Anafranil

23: Cymbalta, Klonopin, Anafranil, Metoprolol 

24: Cymbalta, Depakote, Xanax


I currently just take Cymbalta 20mg. 

All of these except Anafranil and Xanax have been pushed by my mom. She treated me like a guinea pig. Making unilateral decisions, medicating me, and trying to “find the answer”. I was able to get her out of my life with a no-contact order. She is still adamant there is some diagnosis that all these doctors are missing. I believe she has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She had me do countless testings, treatments, techniques, all for who the hell knows what? She’s crazy. She has a Cluster B personality. Maybe deep down she means well but the abuse has been astronomical. I can’t take it. Plus my dad has just let it happen. My life has been ruined. I’m exhausted constantly. I’m often sick. I have problems with low blood pressure and postural tachycardia. My cortisol levels are low. I constantly have a positive ANA on blood work. It’s been hell. Absolute hell. I don’t feel human. I just feel like a husk. If I try to go off this cymbalta I immediately want to break property and kill people who’ve done this to me. And kill myself as well. I tried again to get off it earlier this year. Broke a bunch of my own things and overdosed on medication intentionally. Was in ICU and then a psych ward 2 hours away from where I live, where once again nothing actually got solved. 

The only diagnosis I’ve ever received is GAD and MDD. This was at age 19 after a lot of this had transpired. No wonder. It’s sucked bad. I don’t even know what to do. I find trying to distract myself and eat healthy is the best way to cope. But mostly I feel like a corpse. On the verge of dying constantly. Or on the verge of going insane. Plus all the craziness going on in this country right now. And my dad watches political TV constantly. Ugh. This is just awful. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to chibears95: I’ve had my mind ruined by chemicals
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Welcome to SA, chibears95.  I am very sorry you have been treated so badly and drugged so heavily.  What you wrote is so clear and very helpful.  It's a testament to your resiliency that you've been able to reduce your drugs to just one.  We have a number of members here who were drugged as children and adolescents, recovered and went on to live normal happy lives.  So there is hope, in fact, a lot.  


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly. In your case, all you'd have to do is pick up the summary of the drugs in your post and put it in the following link and click on "save.".  If you remembers dosages , please include those.  If you don't have that information, that's fine.


Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature.


One consequence of being drugged at a young age is that often the child, because of being drugged and numbed out, doesn't have the opportunity to learn coping skills to deal with life.  Take a look at the techniques in the following link and see if any might be helpful to you.  Distractions are an excellent way to cope, and eating a healthy diet is also very helpful.  We also recommend gentle exercise, such as a 30-minute walk in nature.


Non-drug techniques to cope


You very well could be suffering from withdrawal from some of the many drugs were on, especially if you cold-turkeyed or tapered very fast.  Here is some information to give you a better understanding of withdrawal from psychiatric drugs and the healing process.


What is withdrawal syndrome.


Daily Checklist of Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms (PDF) 


Brain Remodelling 


Video:  Healing From Antidepressants - Patterns of Recovery


When we take psychiatric medications, the CNS (central nervous system) responds by making changes over the months and years we take the drug(s). When the medication is discontinued, the CNS has to undo all the changes it made. Rebuilding the neurotransmitter production and reactivating the receptor and transporter cells takes time -- during that rebuilding process symptoms occur.  


As you may know, we're a site for helping members taper off psychiatric drugs.  If at some point you want to go off the Cymbalta, here is some information to help.  We recommend tapering no faster than 10% of your current dose every four weeks.  This link explains why.


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?


This link is specifically about tapering Cymbalta.


Tips for tapering off duloxetine (Cymbalta)


You may already know that the "chemical imbalance" theory, which was concocted out of whole cloth by the drug companies to sell drugs, has been thoroughly debunked.


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


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. 


Magnesium, nature's calcium channel blocker 


Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) 


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.






Gridley Introduction


Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.


Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium  

End 2021  year 1 of taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of taper at 2.75mg 

Current dose as of Feb. 25, 2023 2mg

Taper is 89% complete.


Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  


Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg

I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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