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Byepolar - Quitting Wellbutrin - Managing BPII Med-Free


Byepolar

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Hey everyone! New here. I've been on some antidepressant or another for the past 9 or so years, switching between them as the usefulness "wore off" and I'm just so very tired of it all. I've been getting wellbutrin from my pdoc for about 6 years, and I'm pretty much fed up with the constant anxiety and numbed emotions. I have been off wellbutrin completely for about 3 days now.

 

I started seeing a psychiatrist a year or so ago and have been diagnosed as bipolar ii. I refuse to take antipsychotics, since my family is predisposed to diabetes and heart disease. SSRI's make me EXTREMELY manic, and SNRI's give me horrible brain zaps. I told the psychiatrist that I questioned the severity of her diagnosis. Psych didn't care for that stance at all, so I left.

 

I'm going from 100mg SR 2/day to none. The major problem I'm encountering is aggression. Everything makes me SO UPSET. I've never in my life been set off by such small things, not even before I was being medicated. It's a low dose, so my concerns are being dismissed by loved ones as "the bipolar coming back in full force", but it's not. I know what a hypomanic episode feels like. This isn't it. I just feel so mad, and so exhausted. Like the only way I can be considered normal by my loved ones is to be on something. It really, really upsets me and even typing this is making me angry all over again. The drowsiness is a major issue because I have narcolepsy and I'm worried that the medication I take for that will lose efficacy, all because of that stupid wellbutrin. 

 

My partner wants me to see a new psychiatrist, and is unhappy that I'm stopping the wellbutrin. It feels like I'm stuck between choosing whether I or my loved ones will suffer, and there's no middle ground in sight. I've heard wonderful things about SAMe, has anybody here tried it? What's it like? I'm usually not about the whole supplement thing, but I feel so much more comfortable taking that than a mood stabilizer.

 

I don't want to hurt my loved ones, but I don't want to ruin my brain with psych meds... it's the only one I've got. I'm really looking forward to interacting with this community and hopefully building a support system that can help pull me out of whatever this angry withdrawal funk is. Thank you.

 

 

---History---

Oh boy, here we go...

2012ish- Started Lexapro 20mg and Xanax 0.5mg daily. Increased to 40mg/1mg. Tapered off Lexapro and tried Zoloft 50mg, immediately stopped taking it. Switched to Effexor 75mg + Xanax 1mg

2013- Switched to Effexor XR and increased dosage to 225mg/day. Tapered off Xanax by switching to Valium 10mg(?). New doctor thought I was bipolar, switched to Topamax 50mg and Neurontin 300mg

2014-2016- Switched to an actual psychiatrist after Topamax left me feeling like I was perpetually stoned (In a bad way). Was treated like an addict in recovery and cycled through... Seroquel 50mg, Celexa 40mg, Abilify 15mg, Viibryd 40mg, Trazodone 100mg, Prozac 40mg, Lithium 600mg

None of these medications lasted for more than 1-2 months, aside from the trazodone which I took for about 4 months until I once stood up too quickly and fainted, splitting open my head. I ended up on just trazodone and Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day for most of 2015 and 2016.

2016-2018- After completely ruining my social, mental, and physical health, I decided to try a new doctor. Little did I know that this doctor was a pill mill.  Switched to Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day, Ritalin 20mg 1-2x/day, Klonopin 2mg 2x/day Stayed on this for a year, then switched to Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day Adderall IR 20mg 2-3x/day, Klonopin 2mg 2x/day, Ambien IR 5mg/day, Gabapentin 800mg 3x/day

2018-2019- Moved to a new city, no doctor would take me seriously, stating that I was a "drug seeker" even with my legitimate pill bottles. Ended up withdrawing from everything at once, and wound up in the hospital delirious.  I was required to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed me Wellbutrin XL 300mg, Atarax 20mg 2-3x/day, Restoril 15mg. After missing one dose of Restoril, I began hearing voices, and after arguing with my psychiatrist and calling her reckless, she refused to see me again. 

2019-2020- Partner said I needed medication, so I went to a new pdoc and was prescribed Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day.

Late 2020-2021- Had a sleep study after falling asleep at the wheel (This has happened for most of my life, even before meds, but never in a moving vehicle...) Thankfully I just ran into a ditch, but was found to have narcolepsy and prescribed 200mg Modafinil daily.

---Currently taking--- Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day  Modafinil 200mg 1x/day

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  • Administrator

Hi, Byepolar.

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

On 1/22/2021 at 11:07 AM, Byepolar said:

I started seeing a psychiatrist a year or so ago and have been diagnosed as bipolar ii. I refuse to take antipsychotics, since my family is predisposed to diabetes and heart disease. SSRI's make me EXTREMELY manic, and SNRI's give me horrible brain zaps. I told the psychiatrist that I questioned the severity of her diagnosis. Psych didn't care for that stance at all, so I left.

 

 

Did you ever have a manic episode prior to taking an SSRI? If not, then it sounds like an adverse reaction to a drug, not a "bipolar" issue, whatever that might be. 

 

Please note we don't buy into psychiatric labels here. People are suffering from many things - poor nutrition, poverty, domestic abuse, child abuse, lack of exercise, unemployment, et. Any and all of this can create a problem in living. But it's not a "mental illness," since the mind is an abstraction and cannot be diseased or disordered. 

 

The good news is once you're able to slowly taper off these drugs, you can heal from the withdrawal symptoms and you'll be much better equipped to handle whatever traumas or other issues you're faced with. 

 

Please see:

 

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

 

 

On 1/22/2021 at 11:07 AM, Byepolar said:

I'm going from 100mg SR 2/day to none. The major problem I'm encountering is aggression. Everything makes me SO UPSET. I've never in my life been set off by such small things, not even before I was being medicated. It's a low dose, so my concerns are being dismissed by loved ones as "the bipolar coming back in full force", but it's not.

 

This sounds like neuro-emotions from a too-fast taper off these drugs. Please see:

 

Toxic Antidepressants - Neuro-Emotions

 

Neuro emotions

 

For information on tapering Wellbutrin, please see:

 

Tips for tapering off buproprion (Wellbutrin, SR, XR, XL)

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

On 1/22/2021 at 11:07 AM, Byepolar said:

The drowsiness is a major issue because I have narcolepsy and I'm worried that the medication I take for that will lose efficacy, all because of that stupid wellbutrin. 

 

When did you develop narcolepsy and what drug are you taking for it? 

 

Please add ALL drugs (including this narcolepsy drug) to your signature and also add the months and years you were taking them. Also add the months and years to all the drugs you currently have listed in your signature. Here is more on how to set up a signature:

 

Please summarize your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Once we have a timeline for when you were on and came off these drugs, we can give you more targeted withdrawal advice. 

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Hi @Byepolar

Welcome! I can definitely relate to feelings of increased aggression and anger. Though in my case, I felt like the SSRIs I was on previously made me overly submissive, and when I finally stopped, I finally "woke up" to certain injustices in my life. However, my levels of anger do vary, and when I feel particularly angry, one thing that I have found helpful is remembering a time when my brain was reframing things differently and I felt less angry about the particular situation. This works for me because I am usually angry about particular aspects/events in my life, and the same 3 or 4 replay in my brain constantly, so usually there are at least a few memories of remembering when the same situation that for whatever reason is now intensely triggering anger previously triggered a quieter anger mixed with acceptance. Basically, trying to reframe the situation in the moment usually does not work for me, but recalling times when I had previously reframed the situation does. 

 

I would also second what Shep said that apparent manic episodes can be adverse reactions to SSRIs, particularly if you have no previous family history of bipolar. Definitely stay away from antipsychotics, those literally shrink your brain. 


Wishing you best of luck in your recovery! ❤️

2005 - Zoloft, 200 mg for childhood anxiety (starting at age 11)

Summer 2015 - Switched to Prozac, 40 mg  

June 2019 - Tapered to 10 mg Prozac, no adverse effects. Held for 1 year. 

June 2020 - Discontinued Prozac. Horrible withdrawal. Did not realize it was withdrawal at first. 

Nov 2020 - Reinstated Prozac 2.5 mg. Still experiencing withdrawal symptoms. 

May 2021 - Prozac 2.0 mg. Still experiencing symptoms - some symptoms have improved, but situational factors have worsened.

August 12 2021 - Prozac 2.25 mg. Partial reinstatement as symptoms had worsened

June 17 2022 - Prozac 2.0 mg. 

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Thank you for the warm welcome. It's such a refreshing feeling to know that others feel similarly about these drugs. 

 

@Shep You hit the nail on the head with your remark on these anger spells being a direct reaction from antidepressants. They started roughly at the same time as I began taking Lexapro, and were "managed" (See: suppressed) by benzodiazepines until I was labeled as someone who has been incorrectly diagnosed with unipolar depression. I never made the link between these AD's and my perceived episodes. I'd never considered myself particularly moody until I started taking them. 

 

I will be sure to avoid psychiatric labels from this point forward, thank you for the heads up.

 

I take modafinil for my narcolepsy, which is something I've struggled with for most of my life. I haven't noticed any mood changes since starting it, but there could be a latent element there as well. It's definitely something I'll bring up with my sleep specialist!

 

@Toast Thank you for the kind words, and I can absolutely relate to the 3 or 4 thoughts that are a constant source of agitation. I hate the fact that I go from 0 to 100 so quickly, but it's also so much better to feel like I'm standing up for myself instead of continuing the cycle of "take x pill, increase it to max dose, switch to y pill when it stops working, repeat."

 

I am optimistic that there is an end to this in sight. Thankfully I started some healthy habits before stopping the wellbutrin, in the hopes that going into this with a good diet/exercise regimen in place will finally prove to myself that I don't need these medications anymore, and that I can regulate my emotions by myself. Thank you both so much for your responses; I feel as though I've actually been heard.

---History---

Oh boy, here we go...

2012ish- Started Lexapro 20mg and Xanax 0.5mg daily. Increased to 40mg/1mg. Tapered off Lexapro and tried Zoloft 50mg, immediately stopped taking it. Switched to Effexor 75mg + Xanax 1mg

2013- Switched to Effexor XR and increased dosage to 225mg/day. Tapered off Xanax by switching to Valium 10mg(?). New doctor thought I was bipolar, switched to Topamax 50mg and Neurontin 300mg

2014-2016- Switched to an actual psychiatrist after Topamax left me feeling like I was perpetually stoned (In a bad way). Was treated like an addict in recovery and cycled through... Seroquel 50mg, Celexa 40mg, Abilify 15mg, Viibryd 40mg, Trazodone 100mg, Prozac 40mg, Lithium 600mg

None of these medications lasted for more than 1-2 months, aside from the trazodone which I took for about 4 months until I once stood up too quickly and fainted, splitting open my head. I ended up on just trazodone and Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day for most of 2015 and 2016.

2016-2018- After completely ruining my social, mental, and physical health, I decided to try a new doctor. Little did I know that this doctor was a pill mill.  Switched to Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day, Ritalin 20mg 1-2x/day, Klonopin 2mg 2x/day Stayed on this for a year, then switched to Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day Adderall IR 20mg 2-3x/day, Klonopin 2mg 2x/day, Ambien IR 5mg/day, Gabapentin 800mg 3x/day

2018-2019- Moved to a new city, no doctor would take me seriously, stating that I was a "drug seeker" even with my legitimate pill bottles. Ended up withdrawing from everything at once, and wound up in the hospital delirious.  I was required to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed me Wellbutrin XL 300mg, Atarax 20mg 2-3x/day, Restoril 15mg. After missing one dose of Restoril, I began hearing voices, and after arguing with my psychiatrist and calling her reckless, she refused to see me again. 

2019-2020- Partner said I needed medication, so I went to a new pdoc and was prescribed Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day.

Late 2020-2021- Had a sleep study after falling asleep at the wheel (This has happened for most of my life, even before meds, but never in a moving vehicle...) Thankfully I just ran into a ditch, but was found to have narcolepsy and prescribed 200mg Modafinil daily.

---Currently taking--- Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day  Modafinil 200mg 1x/day

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  • Administrator

Thanks for your post. I'm glad to see you already making the "the drug may be my problem" connection. That will make it much easier going forward.

 

Please go ahead and update your signature as requested in my last post (the link to your signature is also in that post). Once we have a timeline for when you were on and off these drugs, we can help you set up a taper. Please also include the date (month and year) you started taking modafinil and the dose. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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Thank you, I've updated my signature. I didn't realize just how many psych meds I've been on through the years, yeesh.... 

 

Anyway, I am trying to shift my perspective on this without alerting my loved ones. It's difficult to do this while also surrounded by people who have been warned that my attempting to get off these meds is a "warning sign of a hypomanic episode." 

 

Thanks again..

---History---

Oh boy, here we go...

2012ish- Started Lexapro 20mg and Xanax 0.5mg daily. Increased to 40mg/1mg. Tapered off Lexapro and tried Zoloft 50mg, immediately stopped taking it. Switched to Effexor 75mg + Xanax 1mg

2013- Switched to Effexor XR and increased dosage to 225mg/day. Tapered off Xanax by switching to Valium 10mg(?). New doctor thought I was bipolar, switched to Topamax 50mg and Neurontin 300mg

2014-2016- Switched to an actual psychiatrist after Topamax left me feeling like I was perpetually stoned (In a bad way). Was treated like an addict in recovery and cycled through... Seroquel 50mg, Celexa 40mg, Abilify 15mg, Viibryd 40mg, Trazodone 100mg, Prozac 40mg, Lithium 600mg

None of these medications lasted for more than 1-2 months, aside from the trazodone which I took for about 4 months until I once stood up too quickly and fainted, splitting open my head. I ended up on just trazodone and Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day for most of 2015 and 2016.

2016-2018- After completely ruining my social, mental, and physical health, I decided to try a new doctor. Little did I know that this doctor was a pill mill.  Switched to Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day, Ritalin 20mg 1-2x/day, Klonopin 2mg 2x/day Stayed on this for a year, then switched to Wellbutrin SR 150mg 2x/day Adderall IR 20mg 2-3x/day, Klonopin 2mg 2x/day, Ambien IR 5mg/day, Gabapentin 800mg 3x/day

2018-2019- Moved to a new city, no doctor would take me seriously, stating that I was a "drug seeker" even with my legitimate pill bottles. Ended up withdrawing from everything at once, and wound up in the hospital delirious.  I was required to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed me Wellbutrin XL 300mg, Atarax 20mg 2-3x/day, Restoril 15mg. After missing one dose of Restoril, I began hearing voices, and after arguing with my psychiatrist and calling her reckless, she refused to see me again. 

2019-2020- Partner said I needed medication, so I went to a new pdoc and was prescribed Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day.

Late 2020-2021- Had a sleep study after falling asleep at the wheel (This has happened for most of my life, even before meds, but never in a moving vehicle...) Thankfully I just ran into a ditch, but was found to have narcolepsy and prescribed 200mg Modafinil daily.

---Currently taking--- Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day  Modafinil 200mg 1x/day

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  • Administrator
Quote

 

2019-  Wellbutrin XL 300mg, Atarax 20mg 2-3x/day, Restoril 15mg. A

2019-2020-  Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day.

Late 2020-2021-  200mg Modafinil daily.

---Currently taking--- Wellbutrin SR 100mg 2x/day  Modafinil 200mg 1x/day

 

 

Thanks for updating your signature, Byepolar. I've taken the drugs from your most recent time on them and quoted it here. 

 

I would take the sleep study with a grain of salt. Psychiatric drugs profoundly affect sleep and cause all sorts of problems, so this may be another one of those "the drugs may be your problem" issue and you'll be able to also taper off the modafinil. 

 

Please start a drug and symptoms journal. Also include the number of hours you sleep at night and any supplements you are taking.

 

Over the next few days, we'll go through it and see what your game plan should be going forward. 

 

On 9/27/2016 at 2:49 PM, Altostrata said:

In the course of discussion in your Introductions forum topic, you may be asked to keep notes on paper of your daily symptom pattern, including when you take your drugs, their dosages, and any symptoms. We ask this because there may be something we can do to reduce the symptoms.

 

What we need to see for every single day over several days is what symptoms you get before and after you take your drugs. If you're not taking any drugs and have withdrawal symptoms, we still need to see your symptom pattern throughout the day:

 

The time of day, dosage, and severity of symptoms are essential information. Include

 

- Time and dosage for all drugs taken throughout the day, psychiatric and non-psychiatric.

- Following each dose, note any symptoms. If you are having a reaction to the drug, it may take hours for a symptom to show up -- that's why we ask you to keep notes all day long.

- If you're not taking any drugs, your symptoms throughout the day.

- Your sleep pattern. Since so many drugs disturb sleep, if you find you're waking in the middle of the night, it could be from a drug you took earlier in the evening. If you're not taking any drugs, there may be ways you can improve your sleep.

And so forth. A diary, in chronological order, looking something like this:
 

Example:


DATE:

 

6 a.m. Woke with anxiety
8 a.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
10 a.m. Stomach is upset
10:30 a.m. Ate breakfast
11:35 a.m. Got a headache, lasted one hour
12:35 p.m. Ate lunch
4 p.m. Feel a bit better
5 p.m. Took 2.5mg Lexapro
6 p.m. Ate dinner
9:20 p.m. Headache
10:00 p.m. Took 50mg Seroquel
10:20 p.m. Feeling dizzy
10:30 p.m. Fell asleep
2:30 a.m. Woke, took 3mg Ambien (NOT "took 1/2 tablet Ambien")
2:45 a.m. Fell asleep
4:30 a.m. Woke but got back to sleep

 

 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


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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