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John Grohol (psych central writes about psych drug withdrawal)


GiaK
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John Grohol wrote this in response to an email exchange he and I had in which I encouraged him to cover the very serious issues with psychiatric drug withdrawal...well, the conversation has been started but it's clear he has no idea about the severity of the problem...for example he make comments like,

 

"In some extreme cases, a specialist who focuses on helping people discontinue psychiatric drugs might prove helpful."

as if such specialists existed...and as if difficult withdrawals were truly a rarity. They're not...they're simply not generally recognized by the prescribers.

 

there are other problems with the article too.

 

let's thank him for getting the conversation started...and leave some comments about the reality on the ground.

 

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/13/withdrawal-from-psychiatric-meds-can-be-painful-lengthy/

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Done! And I saw at least one other person from this forum there, possibly two (and I'm sure.. counting). Thanks for the heads up.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Thanks for getting John Grohol to write this, Gia.

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

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thanks for doing this.

Various SSRIs/SNRIs 7- 1/2 years

Went Cold Turkey from Celexa 2011, Stayed Off

Psych Drug Free and Loving Life (over 6 years and counting)

 

How I Stay Well: Diet, exercise, meditation, supplements, etc

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Hey, thanks for the appreciation!

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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Hey, thanks for the appreciation!

Alto, right in the slot. You nailed it.

 

Skyler

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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My response to the comment thread on drug withdrawal at Psych Central...still not too late to add your comments...

 

http://psychcentral.com/blog/discuss/41753/#comment-741335

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Mine is awaiting moderation but here is a copy of what I just wrote:

 

Dr. Grohol, I too thank you for writing a blog entry on psych med withdrawal as in my opinion, it is a vastly ignored issue.

 

As an FYI, I took nearly 4 years to taper off of 4 psych meds which was done with the help of the slow tapering advice from internet withdrawal boards. In my opinion, if I had depended on the advice of my psychiatrist, it would have been done way too quickly and there is no doubt in my mind I would have failed. I would have ended up having to go back on the drugs to cover withdrawal issues that I am sure would have been falsely blamed as a relapse.

 

You go on to say, “In some extreme cases, a specialist who focuses on helping people discontinue psychiatric drugs might prove helpful.” Dr. Grohol, I know you mean well with this advice but the chances of that happening are as great a the NRA and Mark Kelley/Gabrielle Giffords agreeing on gun control issues.

 

These people simply do not generally exist with the exception of the folks who appear on the Surviving Antidepressants board tapering list. And if you think you have found someone, they will seem like they know what they are doing until suggesting that you take another horrific med to cover the withdrawal effects of the first one, thus perpetuating the viscous cycle of being in what I call psych med “h-ll”,

 

You then say, “I wouldn’t let the problems with withdrawing from some of these medications prevent me from taking the drug in the first place.”

 

Personally, as one who did not have an easy time with withdrawal, even with a slow tapering schedule, in my opinion, that is the first thing you should think about and I wish to god I had. Knowing how ineffective antidepressants are long term and realizing I had plenty of non drug options would have made me realize the risks outweighed the benefits. In my opinion, unless a med will provide super benefits regarding your quality of life and in my opinion, most psych meds fail that criteria big time, I would ran as fast as I could from a doctor who wanted to prescribe them.

 

The days of treating mental health problems with just meds without offering other options and yes that includes issues like schizophrenia need to end. Peoples lives depend on it.

 

CS

 

PS - I wish my editing skills were better. Due to my sleep issues, I keep forgetting to back and review what I have written before submitting it.

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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I forgot to mention that the posts from Alto, GiaK, and Skyler were excellent. Hope I am not missing anyone.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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you did a great job too CS...totally...don't worry about the typos or whatever

 

I'm glad to see that we're getting a nice collection there...

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Looks like John Grohol is on our side -- maybe people will get the message.

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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you did a great job too CS...totally...don't worry about the typos or whatever

 

I'm glad to see that we're getting a nice collection there...

 

Thanks GiaK,

 

Yes, the collection is very nice and hopefully gets the relevant folks thinking in a new way about withdrawal. Can't say I am optimistic but then again, look at how far John Grohol has moved in our direction even though it isn't as far as we want.

 

I guess it is just hard to be patient when I feel so many people's lives are being destroyed.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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I just responded to Leprechaun (Who cannot spell his own screen name). S/he is a psychiatrist who got mad at Grohol...I was pretty snotty, but it annoys me that s/he self-described as conscientious and superior for mentioning possible side effects of psychiatric drugs. That is so minimal compared to what folks need to know. So, I blasted him/her for not describing more of the practice...I almost never get riled up anymore, because I just don't have the energy. But the self-righteous tone really got under my skin.

 

Lots of typos because I was afraid if I re-read it I would start editing and never post it.

 

Hugs to everyone who remembers me.

 

Here's the post - it's in moderation now. Let's see if it gets posted as it is more - acidic that other comments.

 

Lep, how well do you “know” our patients? How long are your appointments and med checks? How often do you see them?

 

What advice do you give folks for tapering? (For example, by what percentage of dose should they taper? How long between drops?) How do you handle folks who experience poopout? DO you prescribe a slow taper for them or do you do quick switches from one antidepressant to another? Do you prescribe anti-psychotics to people on anti-depressants to help boost the effects of the ADS?

How many of your patients, whom you know well, are on multiple psych meds? How many of them are are more psych drugs now than they were five years ago?

 

Until you mention concrete examples of how you treat the people who are taking the drugs (aside from mentioning side effects), you don’t sound so different from the psychiatrist who mistook Paxil poopout for breakthrough symptoms of anxiety, then prescribed antipsychotics to combat the uncontrollable crying jags and irritability. Fast forward five years after quick switch to celexa, repeat, rinse…

 

You need to describe what you do for folks on the drugs for a while, before putting yourself up for canonization for mentioning side effects.

Edited by Baxter
pasted comment on psych central

 

1989 - 1992 Parnate* 

1992-1998 Paxil - pooped out*, oxazapam, inderal

1998 - 2005 Celexa - pooped out* klonopin, oxazapam, inderal

*don't remember doses

2005 -2007   Cymbalta 60 mg oxazapam, inderal, klonopin

Started taper in 2007:

CT klonopin, oxazapam, inderal (beta blocker) - 2007

Cymbalta 60mg to 30mg 2007 -2010

July 2010 - March 2018 on hiatus due to worsening w/d symptoms, which abated and finally disappeared. Then I stalled for about 5 years because I didn't want to deal with W/D.

March 2018 - May 2018 switch from 30mg Cymbalta to 20mg Celexa 

19 mg Celexa October 7, 2018

18 mg Celexa November 5, 2018

17 mg Celexa  December 2, 2019

16 mg Celexa January 6, 2018 

15 mg Celexa March 7, 2019

14 mg Celexa April 24, 2019

13 mg Celexa June 28, 2019

12.8 mg Celexa November 10, 2019

12.4 Celexa August 31, 2020

12.2 Celexa December 28, 2020

12 mg Celexa March 2021

 

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good for you Baxter...your post isn't visible yet so I've not seen it yet, but I find MDs who take issue with criticisms while stating how wonderful they are to almost always be full of ****. If they understood and recognized all the crap that goes and really didn't participate in it they would not get defensive...they'd agree and talk about how they work in spite of it or whatever...

 

RED FLAG when they act like Leprechaun

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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Oh Baxter, you're not forgotten. Welcome back and good for you for confronting Dr. Holier than Thou.

 

Yeah, he/she angered me greatly also but I had no energy to respond to this idiot. I am so glad you did and can hardly wait to see your response.

 

CS

 

 

 

I just responded to Leprechaun (Who cannot spell his own screen name). S/he is a psychiatrist who got mad at Grohol...I was pretty snotty, but it annoys me that s/he self-described as conscientious and superior for mentioning possible side effects of psychiatric drugs. That is so minimal compared to what folks need to know. So, I blasted him/her for not describing more of the practice...I almost never get riled up anymore, because I just don't have the energy. But the self-righteous tone really got under my skin.

 

Lots of typos because I was afraid if I re-read it I would start editing and never post it.

 

Hugs to everyone who remembers me.

 

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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  • 11 months later...

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/13/withdrawal-from-psychiatric-meds-can-be-painful-lengthy/

 

“Withdrawal reactions to selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors appear to be similar to those for benzodiazepines,” says researchers Nielsen et al. (2012).

On Venlafaxine XR 75mg > 20 years, because a general MD decided to try these new "calming pills" taken from his sample closet because my pulse was a little high since I get nervous going to the doctor.

 

June 2010 - Cold turkey

September 2010 - Sudden onset of EXTREME anxiety, constant terror and fear that got marginally better at night.  I had no idea what or why this was; had no idea it was the quitting of Effexor.  (I was never in my life even remotely like this)

December 2010 - reinstated 75mgs Effexor XR, felt no better months later

January 2011 - Began 5% taper every month

2012 - Anxiety began improving by had many windows and waves

January 2014 - Fell back into sudden onset of same anxiety, fear as in 2010; realized I was tapering too quickly.  I was not allowing withdrawal effects to dissipate before another taper.  Began 2% taper every 6 to 8 months

2016 - Fear, anxiety began to wane

2017, 18 & 19 - Constant Fear & anxiety stopped, just occasional minor bouts that lasted 3 days or so

December 2020 - Now at ~40mgs Effexor XR, 2.5mgs Crestor (Cutting 5mg pill in half due to sudden palpitations or PVCs)

 
 
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25 days my a******!!!

4 years aprox. on 150mgs.Effexor for situational major depression.No AD before.
Tapered 150-0mgs in 3 months.

Tapered Quetiapine,Xanax in the last 18 months.NO med of any kind anymore.
First 3 months off acute w/d
Protracted w/d ever since.
Symptoms:Anxiety,anhedonia,insomnia,tinnitus,PSSD

04/13/2014 Awful Relapse.Recovered fairly fast.

3 years and 4 months off.

waves and windows.Very much recovered.

November 2015,health issue.Setback.
 

 

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Hi Alex,

 

Where did you see the part about 25 days?

 

Thanks!

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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that's not a new article...it was edited recently but it's a couple years old...he links to my benzo page in it...so I remember it as I continue to get traffic from it regularly. 

Everything Matters: Beyond Meds 

https://beyondmeds.com/

withdrawn from a cocktail of 6 psychiatric drugs that included every class of psych drug.
 

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I did find this article pretty informative since I'd never read it before.

 

The idea that the FDA should also conduct withdrawl/discontinuation studies on drugs in addition to studies on safety and efficacy struck me as "pretty good." That might seem to be an odd reaction on my part, but I'm not particularly imaginative so it does seem now like a natural follow-up to the use of any drug.

 

However, with new drugs coming on the market at an exponential rate, and particularly psych meds it seems, the FDA appears to be overwhelmed in keeping up with all these new ones. Last year, my husband needed to take a blood thinner for a short while and our choices were either coumadin or Pradaxa (not psych meds). I opted for the Pradaxa because it was being used short term and required no monitoring like coumadin does, but the doctor and the pharmacist both told me that longer term studies on it for safety and efficacy had not been conducted and they both had mixed feelings about it. And the co-pay for it was $100.

 

I think there's not only too much pressure on the FDA to approve all the meds quickly as the pharmaceutical industry seems to have a "stranglehold" on the FDA ( it's my opinion), and the media campaign conducted by Big Pharma is amazing. Every other commercial on tv is for some medication with psych meds leading the way.

 

The article mentions pressure on the FDA to conduct those discontinuation studies. It makes me wonder who's putting on the pressure anyway? And I also think that said pressure isn't working very well, and thus those studies probably won't be happening anytime soon as far as the FDA is concerned.

 

Marie

On Xanax 10 years for anxiety, 2 mgs, night only. Attempted my own taper w/o understanding the dependency issues.

 

Researched and then understood the need for longer half life med. Doctor crossed me from X to klonopin 4 times in 6 months. Last time on X, she up dosed me to 3 mgs X.

 

On last cross attempt, ended up in ER with profound w/d sx from X. Got new doctor. Final cross to K, structured, slow was completed 6/5/12-12/5/12.

 

Attempting liquid micro taper from K. Difficulty with micro cuts; significant w/d sx requiring several weeks of holding after each cut. Also concerned if it's possible to use pill/liquid combo for dosing.

 

Hope I Meet Other Benzo Taperers Here! I have tried ADs in past. Could not tolerate them, gave up trying, none for over 12 years.

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John, please use Search before opening new topics in Media. Thank you.

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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http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/13/withdrawal-from-psychiatric-meds-can-be-painful-lengthy/

 

“Withdrawal reactions to selective serotonin re‐uptake inhibitors appear to be similar to those for benzodiazepines,” says researchers Nielsen et al. (2012).

I have had symptoms not commonly considered part of ssri withdrawal there use to be a long list it was at the effexor withdrawal topix site I can recall a couple of things like having to black out the window of my room as I could not tolerate light and or sounds... it was actually painful to hear things.  I would keep the window up in a heat wave in an unairconditioned car because I could not stand the sound of the tires on pavement... all sorts of things bothered me.  

 

It was a crazymaking time where living in my body became the most inhospitable place.  If I am thankful for anything it is that bit has passed. My eyes are still sensitive to light at times I just have to stay in the house but nothing like it was in early withdrawal when I could not stand to have a small light in my room as it would cause pain in my eyes.

 

There were many things about benzo withdrawal that seemed right on for me I was while I can't use the word happy a bit satisfied to see that the same symptoms had been recognized as snri withdrawal symptoms.  I did spend some time wondering why I did not see more people with those symptoms I had a grab bag of both benzo and antidepressant symptoms... and since I did not have benzo withdrawal was not aware of the benzo symptoms till it became news a few months ago.. sorry I have searched for the article I posted on topix and it is no where to be found now... the topix site is dead. 

 

John if your having symptoms like benzo withdrawal it is most likely just a bit different at this stage then other peoples withdrawal it is still effexor withdrawal not everybody has all the symptoms the same

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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