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QuittheCure

I began my journey to "quit the cure" of February 28, 2012. I wanted off of my antidepressants: Abilify 5mg, Cymbalta 60mg, and Lamictal 200mg. And I've been blogging about my journey to "quit the cure" since the beginning of March. Back at the end of June, I hit a great, big road block--I had the worst breakdown ever. I survived it; however, I didn't want to turn back on quitting the cure. But I definitely wasn't ready to continue my journey. So, I stopped blogging (mostly out of a lack of motivation), and I stopped tapering. My therapist and psychiatrist were both on maternity leave anyway, so it seemed like a good idea. At that point I was off of the Abilify and Cymbalta, left with 100mg of Lamictal per day.

 

But during the month of July, I really worked on my faith. I've been a Christian since I was very young, and I wanted to get back to the close relationship I had had with God so many years ago. I'm not here to preach, but I will say that when my relationship with God strengthened, I felt like a stronger person period. So, I decided to call the psychiatrist who was filling in for my doctor to schedule an appointment for a dosage change. I called several times and no one called me back. Good thing I wasn't having a breakdown again. <_<

 

 

This is the part where I say, "Don't try this at home, folks." :excl:

 

So, I got the bright idea to taper myself with everything I had left. I had a nice amount of the 100mg tabs and a nice amount of the 25mg from a previous taper. Over the course of two weeks, I tapered down to ZERO. I know that the quick taper did me no favors.

 

 

However, I am here today writing this success story because I am free of antidepressants and withdrawal symptoms! It is possible to be free, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I hit some serious lows during the last few weeks. And that breakdown in June was no joke by itself. Still, I know God spared me the worst of it all. Miraculously, I didn't have any physical symptoms these last few weeks, just the severe mood swings. THAT was enough, please trust me.

 

I get readers of my blog who write to me about withdrawal, Abilify withdrawal in particular. I hate not having an answer for how long withdrawal lasts. My very last post was about the fact that antidepressant withdrawal "takes as long as it takes." And still, it breaks my heart every time someone asks me whether or not the torment of withdrawal will ever end. Because while you're in it, it certainly seems like there is no end in sight.

 

There is an end, but it seems like superhuman strength and courage is required to get there. But you can get there.

 

Meanwhile, here's what helped me:

 

#1 – Support: Reading stories on this forum got me prepared for antidepressant withdrawal. But it also kept me inspired and gave me a place to go back to with questions. Blogging gave me an outlet for my frustration, but the support of my followers was what made the difference. (I only wish I had had the emotional strength to write this last month.) Having a sister who was literally the Sam to my Frodo was a blessing. (If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, then you know that Frodo could not have made it without his faithful friend, Sam. Frodo carried the burden of the One Ring, while Sam carried him. This is an accurate comparison of my journey--because it was also my sister's journey.) Last but not least, was the love and strength of God which held me up and kept me from giving up--really giving up--in the end.

 

#2 - Diet: I have lost over 30 pounds while Quitting the Cure, and still going strong! :D I’ve been overweight since I was a teen, and gained a ridiculous amount of weight since switching antidepressants 5 years ago. Losing 30 pounds is a big bonus in all of this. However, it was only made possible by a strict diet change. I became pescatarian and then vegan during my journey. I cut out many processed foods, and paid close attention to any food sensitivities that I had. Now, the diet change played a huge role in things. Plus, supplements helped to affect how I felt physically and emotionally this whole time. I used a multivitamin, Omega-3s, and vitamin D to help support my body while it was struggling to return to homeostasis. I also used herbal supplements and specific foods to combat withdrawal symptoms, physical and emotional. Valerian was huge with the Abilify withdrawal because I experienced serious anxiety with it. I even tried flower essence for my episode of apathy.

 

 

I’m really happy to be able to put my success story on this site. I would definitely recommend a slow taper, though! It’s not fun coming off of antidepressants, but freedom from them is possible!

 

Wishing everyone my very best,

 

Lisa B)

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Altostrata

Good to hear you're doing so well, Lisa.

 

You were fortunate to go off Abilify 5mg and Cymbalta 60mg in 4 months with manageable symptoms.

 

How did you sense you could go off Lamictal so quickly? A two-week taper is practically a cold turkey. Some people have a lot of trouble going off it.

 

Do you remember how you managed your reductions?

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QuittheCure

Good to hear you're doing so well, Lisa.

 

You were fortunate to go off Abilify 5mg and Cymbalta 60mg in 4 months with manageable symptoms.

 

How did you sense you could go off Lamictal so quickly? A two-week taper is practically a cold turkey. Some people have a lot of trouble going off it.

 

Do you remember how you managed your reductions?

 

I was going through a lot of physical changes--good ones. I had seriously changed my diet by that point (after having a terrible allergic reaction to something). But you used the right word; I sensed I could go off of the Lamictal that quickly. My mother has always taught me to know my body, so after 32 years, I've really learned to listen to it.

 

I definitely don't recommend doing it so fast, but I literally tapered from 100mg to 75, 50, 25 and then 0 at a few days each. Again, I didn't have any physical side effects, but logic says I should have. I did have an incredibly tough time emotionally--crying my eyes out daily, and though I was not suicidal, I certainly didn't want to exist. It was an absolute roller coaster as far as emotions go.

 

Honestly, I know it was by the grace of God that I made it through. I'm pretty sure He was telling me to slow down, but I was anxious and the doctor's office never called back. <_< (I'll wait to my psych comes back next month to deal with that.) Hey, I'm taking this one as a miracle! :D

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Altostrata

So you've been off Lamictal for about 3 weeks?

 

It is possible Lamictal is not as difficult as some drugs to go off of, but some people have a terrible time.

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Jemima

Speaking as a forum member rather than staff, I'm very pleased to see a post that cites Christian faith as a factor in recovery from antidepressants. It certainly was a mainstay for me throughout those awful days after I tapered off Lexapro far too fast, and I plan to eventually write a post about that.

 

Putting my Staff hat back on, the rapidity of your taper nearly makes my hair stand on end. I took three and a half months to get off of Lexapro and that wasn't nearly long enough. I hope that you will keep in touch and let us know how things are going for you over the coming months, and I hope very much that things only get better!

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Shanti

Well done! I'm very happy for you. There is nothing like suffering in this hell that makes you sincerely call out to God for grace and mercy. I did it as well. I am a firm believer that spirituality can be a big help getting us through, whatever your religion or beliefs.

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btdt

I am very withdrawn and don't go to church have not been in years actually I was baptized as an adult shortly before going on Effexor and becoming a stripper there is something about stripping that seems to keep a person out of church. 
Some things really do change a person.  Effexor and stripping both changed me but I never gave up on God and I don't think he gave up on me either if he had I would not be here still.  

I will say it again tho people think me mad... it was either God my dead Mother or a hallucination that caused me to quit taking all the drugs I was on in one day. 

 

I was in bed sick I had been ill about 2 years could not eat vomiting yet again in pain... who ever came to me said... 

"Keep taking those pills and you will lay in this bed and die"

Nov 17 2007 

As of Nov 18 2007 I have been psych drug free.  Yes cold turkey but I had already failed at tapering and tried a lot of other drugs docs said would help that didn't. 

 

You hold on if he brought you to it he will bring you thru it. 

peace 

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Wildflower0214

Yes! He is!!!!!!

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LexAnger

thanks for sharing your successful story! We need more of these to keep going! Best wishes to you. God bless.

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pinkstars28

I don't think you're mad :) I'm also pretty confident it was God, especially since you were able to stop everything. I agree, He is good and he never gives up on us. He knows just when we need a miracle and I'm so thankful that you are doing better!

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ChessieCat

Hi there,

 

The staff at SA are wondering how you are.  We'd love to hear how you are doing now.   Would you mind dropping by and giving an update?

 

Thanks.

CC

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