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violet: My Introduction


violet

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Hello to all!

 

I have been in psychiatric treatment and on many different drugs for 25 years. I am currently taking Prozac, Wellbutrin XL and Remeron, as well as Klonopin. With such a long history, it would be difficult to share all that I have experienced from psychiatric "treatment", so I will spare you the details. Let me just say, that I am alive by the grace of God, and I have suffered much. I am recently in treatment with a clinical psychologist who shares my faith (I am Catholic) and is having me read the book, The Mindful Way Through Depression, and doing "mindfullness" meditation exercises. He is very optomistic that this method of treatment will be successful if I am dedicated to doing it, and for the first time in many years I have hope that I will experience relief from depression and anxiety. I have also read Dr. Peter Breggin's book, Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal:A Guide for Prescribers, Therapists, Patients, and Their Families, and am determined to attempt withdrawal from these drugs. When my "mindfullness" treatment is complete, my Psychologist believes that I will no longer need the drugs, so I am highly motivated to follow the treatment plan. I'm curious to know if there are others on this Forum who are familiar with "mindfullness" therapy.

 

I realize that withdrawal may be difficult, but I am experiencing a tremendous weight gain and bizarre nightmares and other physical conditions which my Psychologist believes can be attributed to the drugs. I'm hopeful that I will receive support on this Forum from others who are withdrawing or have been successful in doing so, and I hope to be an inspiration and support to others as I make this journey. God bless you all.

 

Violet

Medication History:

Current drugs: Prozac 80mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Remeron 30 mg, Klonopin 1mg

Prozac and Wellbutrin XL since since 2002, Remeron 2012, Klonopin since 2000

 

Past drugs: Abilify, Adderal, Trilifon (1980's), Zyprexa

no longer take anti-psychotic since 2010, tardive dyskenesia has disappeared!

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Hello Violet,

 

and welcome to the forum!

 

It sounds like you are very well-informed and you will find lots of friendly advice and support here.

 

Mindfulness meditation is an excellent tool and one I use myself.

 

Would I be right in assuming you haven't begun to taper off any of your medications?

 

In any case here is some information about tapering if you haven't already read it:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/300-important-topics-in-the-tapering-forum-and-faq/

 

When you get a chance, please add your medication histroy to your signature:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I wish you the best of luck with your taper.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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Thanks for your welcome! You are correct, I have yet to begin tapering. I'm currently prescribed medications by a nurse-practitioner, so I don't have a psychiatrist. However, my psychologist wants me to find one in order to withdraw. Not an easy task, to say the least. Thanks for the links on tapering. I will add my medication history, but I'm not sure how. Where do I go to do so?

 

Violet

 

P.S. Whoops! I see the link you provided...

Medication History:

Current drugs: Prozac 80mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Remeron 30 mg, Klonopin 1mg

Prozac and Wellbutrin XL since since 2002, Remeron 2012, Klonopin since 2000

 

Past drugs: Abilify, Adderal, Trilifon (1980's), Zyprexa

no longer take anti-psychotic since 2010, tardive dyskenesia has disappeared!

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Hi violet,

 

Welcome! It looks like you've done some research! Prozac is available in liquid form, you are probably already aware of this.

 

I'm tapering Remeron by mixing with water to make my own liquid but some prefer to have it mixed by a compounding pharmacy.

 

We have a members only benzo forum but I'd save that for later, if I were you.

 

Here are some links that may be helpful:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2693-how-to-make-a-liquid-from-tablets-or-capsules/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/877-tips-for-tapering-off-wellbutrin-sr-xr-xl-buproprion/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2028-tips-for-tapering-off-remeron-mirtazapine/

 

Thank you for adding your drug history. It would be even more helpful it you would add your dosages to it.

 

I'm very glad you've found us!

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  • Administrator

Welcome, violet.

 

Here is our list of doctors who understand tapering http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

If you find another, please let me know -- I'm always looking to add to this list.

 

Please be aware some will claim to understand tapering but don't really. They will taper too fast or skip doses to taper.

 

I'm sorry Dr. Breggin's book doesn't have more information in it about tapering.

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 Violet,

 

Welcome! Sounds like you are doing a great job!

 

I have a very nice, experienced psychiatrist. He has been virtually no help except mostly writing the scripts that I request from him.

 

I think your biggest decision is deciding the order of your taper. I wish I had done the Wellbutrin first, but I am probably unique.

 

I really hope things go well with you.

1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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[Hello Tezza and Altostrata! Thank you both for your response. Tezza, Actually I did not know that Prozac is available as a liquid. I printed copies of information on all three drugs from the links you provided. I do have a question....I am taking the generic forms of all three drugs. Does that make a difference in the tapering instructions?

 

Altostrata, I looked at the list of doctors, but I am in Ohio near Cincinnati, and there is no one in Ohio. I'm not surprised. However, my Psychologist is in NYC, Manhattan. I see him via Skype web cam weekly. There is one female psychiatrist in NYC on the list. Perhaps I can work something out with her. But would you advise tapering with a psychiatrist via web cam? (Given that she would do it.) Are many people tapering on their own? In viewing the information on tapering, it is intimidating, and my psychologist insists that I have a psychiatrist. I don't think he is aware of how complicated the tapering process is and how difficult it is to find a psychiatrist who understands the process. I would welcome your suggestions...

 

Violet

 

Hello Meimeiquest! Thanks for your good wishes. Yes, I am not sure about the order of my tapering. ??? So many unknowns in doing this.

Medication History:

Current drugs: Prozac 80mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Remeron 30 mg, Klonopin 1mg

Prozac and Wellbutrin XL since since 2002, Remeron 2012, Klonopin since 2000

 

Past drugs: Abilify, Adderal, Trilifon (1980's), Zyprexa

no longer take anti-psychotic since 2010, tardive dyskenesia has disappeared!

Link to comment
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[Hello Tezza and Altostrata! Thank you both for your response. Tezza, Actually I did not know that Prozac is available as a liquid. I printed copies of information on all three drugs from the links you provided. I do have a question....I am taking the generic forms of all three drugs. Does that make a difference in the tapering instructions?

 

Altostrata, I looked at the list of doctors, but I am in Ohio near Cincinnati, and there is no one in Ohio. I'm not surprised. However, my Psychologist is in NYC, Manhattan. I see him via Skype web cam weekly. There is one female psychiatrist in NYC on the list. Perhaps I can work something out with her. But would you advise tapering with a psychiatrist via web cam? (Given that she would do it.) Are many people tapering on their own? In viewing the information on tapering, it is intimidating, and my psychologist insists that I have a psychiatrist. I don't think he is aware of how complicated the tapering process is and how difficult it is to find a psychiatrist who understands the process. I would welcome your suggestions...

 

Violet

 

Hello Meimeiquest! Thanks for your good wishes. Yes, I am not sure about the order of my tapering. ??? So many unknowns in doing this.

 

Just in my own experience (which is pretty extensive though)--there are very few doctors or psychiatrists who know as much about tapering as the people on this site do. Many of us find cooperative doctors who will provide us with prescriptions, and do the tapering ourselves with advice and help from people we trust here. That's often easier than finding a psychiatrist who has half a clue.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

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

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I agree with Rhi,

 

The only thing the medical profession does is provide my scripts.

July 2001 prescribed 20mg citalopram for depression;
On and off meds from 2003-2006.
February 2006 back on 20mg citalopram and stayed on it until my last attempt at tapering in September 2011.
By far the worst withdrawal symptoms ever. Reinstated to 20mg citalopram
October 2012 - found this forum!
Nov 2012 to Feb 2013 did 10% taper, got doen to 11mg - was going great until stressful situation. Cortisol levels hit the roof, hideous insomnia forced me to updose to 20mg.
March 2016 - close to 100% back to normal!



****** I am not a medical practitioner, any advice I give comes from my own experience or reading and is only my perspective ******

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  • Administrator

As others have indicated above, you probably will have to direct your own taper. Any MD can write the prescriptions. Do you have a doctor you can work with, who will write prescriptions to help you taper?

 

You are taking "Prozac, Wellbutrin XL and Remeron, as well as Klonopin."

 

If I were you, I'd taper the Wellbutrin first. Side effects of this drug are anxiety and insomnia.

 

If you are sleeping better off Wellbutrin, you may be able to reduce the Remeron.

 

If you are not sleeping better, Prozac could also be adding to sleep problems, so that would be the next reduction, then Remeron.

 

The benzo would be last.

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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Hello Altostrata,

 

I had tried to approach this with my FP, but he wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist. To tell you the truth, I'd like to avoid psychiatrists altogether! I may approach him again, because he was supportive of withdrawal. I'll let him know about this website...perhaps I can talk him into it. I'd really like him to do it with me, because he is close.

 

I'm not sure I understand about Wellbutrin XL. Do you mean that I would experience side effects of anxiety and insomnia during my taper of the Wellbutrin XL? I know the Remeron helps with sleep, but I wasn't having sleep issues when it was prescribed. Actually I was taking .5 mg of Klonopin at bedtime before she prescribed the Remeron. The Klonopin seemed to help with nightmares and awakening with panic. But I was told I was wasting the Klonopin using it at bedtime and she prescribed the Remeron. I've not really had problems with insomnia before.

 

Thanks for your suggestions. I see in perusing the website that you have a wealth of information!

 

God Bless,

Christine

Medication History:

Current drugs: Prozac 80mg, Wellbutrin XL 150mg, Remeron 30 mg, Klonopin 1mg

Prozac and Wellbutrin XL since since 2002, Remeron 2012, Klonopin since 2000

 

Past drugs: Abilify, Adderal, Trilifon (1980's), Zyprexa

no longer take anti-psychotic since 2010, tardive dyskenesia has disappeared!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

violet,,

 

Wellbutrin can cause anxiety and insomnia while taking it that's one of the reasons Alto suggested you taper it first. Another reason is that ii is usually easier to come off of for most people.

 

Definitely, only taper one at a time, best to start with Wellbutrin and leave the benzo for later.

 

There is definitely more knowledge here than any doctor I know of.

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