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Janek: My horrendous story


janek

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Hello everybody,

 

I joined a 1.5 years ago being in a full-blown withdrawal. I started to unveil my story back then but didn't complete (I wish it could be completed!). I am definitely in a much worse shape now after having suffered continuously for 2.5 years. At the beginning I at least had some hope that it would end soon but now seems like I've exhausted all options possible and am turning to you for advice as a last resort.

 

I stopped Cymbalta (took it for 6.5 years) not abruptly but I wasn't tapering in the right way (skipping the days) b/c I had no clue then. Plunged into severe and violent withdrawal (figured out after navigating the Internet). Nothing I tried had given me any relief. Unfortunately, didn't even consider reinstating this dreadful substanse at the moment. Had all the withdrawal symptoms possible physical and mental (that are much worse b/c they last indefinitelly and there was no antidote to alleviate them). Was hospitalized 3 times last year. 1-st - for severe resistant insomnia (short stay), second - much longer when the doctors were forcing me to go back to Cymbalta but I was adamant and didn't give in. Instead, I was discharged with a bunch of meds - Remeron, Buspar (these 2 I suggested myself instead of Cymbalta), Klonopin (I realized it's a benzo but couldn't withstand their push), Risperdal. That whole regiment didn't make me any better.

 

Doctors at the hospital didn't want to listen to my arguments about "withdrawal syndrome" - they denied this phenomenon. Of course, I was diagnosed with depression (didn't feel like it's my main problem back then - it did become and remains to be a huge problem later on). Suffering continued and was getting worse and worse. Then I decided to go for ECT (despite the terrible consequences that should ensue). I had 31 session - to no avail. It'd turned me to a vegetative state - no memory, no cognition, no will power. That was the moment that psychiatrist could put me on anything he wanted - and  he put me on Cymbalta. It didn't work at all and when I started coming to sense again I raised a question about prudency of taking it. On top of that he added Seroquel. I fired a psychiatrist and went to another one - with a similar outcome. I've in constant search for a specialist I could trust (the situation is very difficult - most of them are full, others don't accept my insurance), I was open to seeing one paying out of pocket - even on that term it proved almost impossible.

 

Where am I now? In a deep-deep depression (so sharp and horrible that makes me suicidal). I am weaning off Cymbalta and Remeron. I take 7.5 mg both. A few months ago I regained sleep. But now - lost it again. As at the beginning - no matter what I take for sleep, doesn't work. Sometimes Lunesta helps a little but it makes my depression so much worse the next day. If I don't sleep at all - I am in a hell. Anyway, I am in a hell almost all the time. Probably, on top of horrible depression I am in withdrawal again (from Cymbalta and Remeron). Do you know if the drug doesn't seem to be working at all - it still gives withdrawal effect? Any advice is appreciable and welcome. If you have questions I'll be glad to answer them.

Edited by Jemima
To make paragraph breaks

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, janek.  It's difficult to offer any suggestions without knowing more, so when you have time, please add your drug history to your signature like so: How To Add Your Drug History To Your Signature .

 

Yes, it's possible for a drug to no longer be working but to give a person withdrawal symptoms just the same.  It's not uncommon and it's called "poop-out".

 

Would you please tell us more about your current tapers off of Cymbalta and Remeron?  Are you tapering both at once? (Not a good idea!)  For the moment, I suggest you "hold" on whatever you're doing--that is, don't make any more changes--until we can get a handle on it and try to work out a more comfortable way to taper, yes?

 

Welcome to the forum janek, and hang on--help is on the way.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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Jemina, thank you so much for your reply and support. I corrected my drug history a little bit, can't be more specific since don't remember much after a course of ECT. (I just discovered here on forum that I was taking Prozac at the beginning of withdrawal for 4 weeks - I had no memory of that whatsoever). I know that it's not a good idea to be getting rid of 2 powerful drugs at the same time. I just was desperate (b/c time was ticking and I stayed on Cymbalta for 5ms and Remeron for 9ms already and scared of acquiring more "addiction" for a longer use); my last psychiatrist didn't mind to go off of both simultaneously - I guess he just was careless. I started tapering in December last year: was reducing cymbalta by 1/4 of the 20mg capsule (2 weeks with each reduction) and by 7.5mg Remeron (initial dosage was 45mg). I know that's too fast but I don't want to go back now. What do you think?

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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I just wanted to add something re: "poop-out". It's not exactly what's happened to me. The drug never worked (when I started taking it for the second time), that's why I was asking: could it still produce withdrawal symptoms if it seemed to have had no effect on me? Please help. My depression is so dreadful, I can't bear any more, no sleep and bone-numbing depression.

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Janey, I am so sorry you are in this awful position. Frankly I am not surprised you are

so poorly after all the treatment you have received at the hands of psychiatrists  :angry:

 

You were already in withdrawal and the threw heaps more medications at you, they should 

be struck off!!  

Your situation is  too complicated for me I'm afraid but I suspect you now have withdrawal from the 

other drugs too.  Alto or Rhi will be along to help later. The good news is that this will pass,

as sure as night follows day things will get better. I don't know when but they will.

 

Could you put a link here to your first topics when you first joined? We will link them together and it

will give us a clearer picture of things. I am so glad that you are here with us, you don't have to go

through this alone. 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Administrator

Welcome, janek.

 

When you were weaning off Cymbalta and Remeron, there was a point where you regained sleep. What did you do then? Did you continue to reduce both?

 

We recommend against changing 2 drugs at once because when you do that and you get bad effects, you don't know what caused them.

 

In addition, this causes more strain on your already stressed nervous system.

 

If I were you, I would hold on changing either drug for now until you can sort out your symptom pattern.

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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My dear friend,

You sound so warm, supporting and knowledgeable, I just regret that haven't made a leap earlier (it's b/c of ECT that sucked everything human out of me). My old and the only post a while ago (the one you are asking about) was just a short intro that covered the initial period of withdrawal. I haven't regained my computer skills after ECT and have difficulty navigating your web site. The only positive thing about EC,T that happened after totally sleepless period lasted 1.5 years, that I started to sleep after the 6-th or 7-th treatment. It was before I reintroduced Cymbalta again but after I was started on Remeron (which didn't help a bit with insomnia). I had been able to sleep till very recently (3 weeks ago). And again nothing seems to work, except may be Lunesta. But the tough dilemma is: when I don't take Lunesta - I spend a totally sleepless night and as a result - deadly depression the next day, if I take this hypnotic pill I might be able to get some sleep but the drug gives me the same exacerbation of depression which is already absolutely extreme. My current psychiatrist prescribed Prozac. I don't think it's a good idea. But I am desperate. Any advice?

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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May be I should increase  Cymbalta and Remeron to somewhat intermittent dose (not to the maximum but higher that I am currently taking) to make withdrawal easier. I am absolutely at loss whether it's a deepening depression or withdrawal on top of that. But the intensity of depression is really intolerable.

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Administrator

My guess is one of your drug changes broke your sleep. Which one, I have no idea.

 

If I were you, I'd stop jumping around from drug to drug and dosage to dosage. The nervous system requires stability. Every time you make a change, you add to instability.

 

You will not be able to find a magic pill that will instantly fix 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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Alto, I just want to cite you - I am not sure how identical it is but the general point is: "We don't believe in trying to tough it out if withdrawal symptoms are very severe". If I get you right you are suggesting not to add or change anything in terms of new drug or dosage. And also I'd like to ask people here: given what I said - is it withdrawal (the second round) and depression or worsening of depression? I don't have physical symptoms this time, persistent insomnia and intolerable depression.

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Jane... it's withdrawal. I think you should should read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. It's a great book, and an excellent read as well. Whitaker gives the inside scoop and takes on the idea that folks should continue on ADs when depression shows up after a more or less abrupt termination. http://www.amazon.com/Anatomy-Epidemic-Bullets-Psychiatric-Astonishing/dp/0307452425/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395354489&sr=8-1&keywords=anatomy+of+an+epidemic

 

Alto is a treasure isn't she?

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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JaneK welcome.....I am so sorry the doctors put you thru all of this.  It sounds like several things are going on and they are all looped together.

 

I feel for you in regards to the depression.  It must be a daily struggle.  The depression came from the meds, the ECT and then more meds.  In essence maybe you were not seriously depressed but the meds made you more so.  This happened to me.

 

You are tapering two AD's which did not provide sleep or relief from the depression.  Cymbalta and remeron are heavy hitters in the tapering arena.  So that would bring on depression and insomnia as well.

 

Can anyone in your area....friends, relatives recommend a doctor they use and trust.

 

"And also I'd like to ask people here: given what I said - is it withdrawal (the second round) and depression or worsening of depression? I don't have physical symptoms this time, persistent insomnia and intolerable depression."

 

"I" think you have WD depression.  It is depression even if it came from the pills and it is hurting you.  Insomnia is a cause for depression.  It seems to be a cycle.

 

I can't recommend a medication if that is what you are thinking of doing.  I just don't know.  And I have recently made a problem for myself with adding a medication which I why I am wondering if you can find an intelligent doctor who understands WD as the others did not believe it.

 

I am so sorry you are having to endure this.....

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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I appreciate your input on my suffering so much. Skyler, before I'll get this book, could you lay out the essence of the main and troubling for all of us idea (I realize that it's not black and white solution but the author is probably leaning towards one of the sides) - is it worth to try different AD when you are in a terrible hole of depression and withdrawal from yet another AD or not? Nikki, you are absolutely right about the fact that the first episode of depression that prompted me to start AD originally was nothing to compare to what I am having now. I am trying to explain that to the doctors - they don't even remotely get it. I call it "depression vs depression". One is where you are sad, may be overreacting and crying but functional, another is hell. The only thing I'd like to stress - insomnia returned just 3 weeks ago (I enjoyed "natural" sleep for about 6ms after a very long period of severe and resistant to everything insomnia), and I have been tapering those drugs for ~3ms. Nikki, it seems I did find an intelligent doctor (after having searched for a one for over 2 years) and he makes an exception for me since his practice is full, but he'll be able to see me no sooner than in a month (it's a way too long haul for me) and here is an excerpt from his e-mail:

 
        " Thanks for letting me know a bit more about your history with medications and depression.  I have seen that, in certain people, stopping medications after long-term use (5+ years) results in severe worsening of mood disorders, even when they are properly titrated off.  There is a hypothesis out there called tardive dysphoria that may partly account for this  phenomenon.  
 
 
        One woman in my practice currently had been weaned off her Effexor by another psychiatrist, after taking it for nearly 20 years.  She developed a severe worsening of her mood disorder.  She did not respond to other anti-depressant, mood stabilizer or novel anti-psychotic medication trials.  She ultimately had to get ECT, which helped  her out of a catatonic state.  But, she is still not well, despite taking Clozapine, Remeron and Abilify.  She had never required these types of medication in the past.  She had been mostly in remission from her depression with just Effexor and Trazodone.
           Anyway, I bring up this matter, because you may have a similar picture going on.  Exposure to Cymbalta (an SNRI medication, like Effexor) for that period of time probably made your brain "dependent" on this medication.  Some people are able to successfully wean off these medications and do well with other medication trials if they relapse.  Others, unfortunately, seem to have  severe deterioration of their condition that behaves as a treatment-resistant condition.  What's frightening is that restarting the original medication that helped does not seem to work for a number of these individuals.  Often, they are not even able to tolerate the medication again (worsening anxiety/agitation with re-exposure).
          In my practice, I'm very reluctant to wean people off certain anti-depressants, in particular, if they have been on them long-term: Effexor, Cymbalta, Paxil . These are also associated with the most pronounced discontinuation symptoms, but discontinuation symptoms rarely last more than 6 months, especially if the dose is titrated very gradually.
          Right now, it sounds like you are going through discontinuation syndrome as well as severe depression.  That combination can be terrible.
          Are you in any kind of supportive psychotherapy, Jane?  Hang in there."

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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And I had been on benzo for 8-9 ms (long enough), finished about 4ms ago, could it still be a part of my withdrawal?

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It sounds to me like this doctor is inclined to taper people too fast, which may explain his lack of success with people who've been on their drugs for a long time. Withdrawal symptoms typically last for years, not six months, if a person goes cold turkey or tapers too fast.  This doctor also refers to "relapses", which I suspect are withdrawal symptoms from getting off medication too fast instead.  I'd be very, very cautious with this doctor.

 

And yes, you may be experiencing withdrawal from benzos.  How did you get off the benzo and if you tapered, how long was the taper?

 

For now, take Alto's advice and just continue taking the doses of Cymbalta and Remeron that you've been taking. Making more changes at this point will just destabilize your nervous system further.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here is a link to a great article by a Marcia Angell from whom I first heard about Robert Whitaker. He taught me a good half of what I know.. Alto and those on the forum, the other half. He work is gradually becoming more known and recognized. It's more of a bit sized chunk to start off with.

 

Part 1 http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/

 

Part 2 http://recoverynetworktoronto.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/the-epidemic-of-mental-illness-why-part-2/

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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If I wasn't so deadly depressed I'd get euphoric about finding this doctor. Jemina, your unbiased estimate makes me doubt my initial reaction. I haven't been spoiled so far with doctors' (psychiatrists) attention. So the very fact that he replies to my e-mail (though I haven't seen him yet) makes me think of him highly (I'll need to pay out of pocket $300 per hour - he doesn't accept any insurance). Also, he is open-minded (very few doctors as you know recognized the phenomenon of withdrawal). The period of getting off of benzo is blurry in my mind b/c I was having ECT at the time. I believe I did go slowly, may be not slowly enough, and it took me about 2.5-3 ms. From my husband who witnessed that I know it was very tumultuous but from the beginning of withdrawal from Cymbalta (2.5 years ago) I haven't had even fair time, always trying to analyze what the triggers of different symptoms were and always failed.

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I share Jemima's concerns about this doctor. Although he sounds better than most, in that he does recognize the problem of withdrawal and the need to taper, what he considers a slow taper is what I would consider fast.  I doubt he has any real experience with the kind of true slow tapers we have helped people with (successfully) on this forum. Like I say, he sounds better than a lot of doctors, and if you really want to work with a doctor, he's probably better than most. But from the quote above it doesn't sound like he really understands what it takes to get off these meds safely, nor does he (it sounds like) have much experience with successful really slow tapers of the sort we advise here.

 

On the other hand, I'm not sure we can help you here. To be completely frank, I'm not optimistic that my skill set for helping people damaged by psych meds is adequate for a case as complicated as yours. 

 

Ordinarily in simpler cases I can help people figure out how to stabilize, but your situation is really complicated. Not only your chaotic history and ECT all since 2012, but also what sounds like active withdrawal from at least five different drugs that you've come off or dropped drastically fast in the recent past (Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin, Cymbalta, and Remeron).  You're basically in acute withdrawal from all five of those at once.

 

If it was just one or two I might be able to suggest a reinstatement, but with that many I frankly don't know what to suggest. I can definitely understand why you're in such misery, though!

 

Perhaps Alto can suggest a physician somewhere in the US who might be able to take your case. I think there might be someone in the San Francisco area or in California.

 

And maybe she or someone else here feels more optimistic than I do about being able to help you. Alto knows more than I do about reinstatement, for sure, although I'm learning. I just wouldn't know where to start.

 

If it were me, I would probably partially reinstate the Cymbalta and Remeron back to about 1/2 to 3/4 of the full dose that you were on originally, and then just leave them alone and take them at the same dose the same time every day and not touch them otherwise AT ALL. (With the intention of a slow, safe taper eventually, after you stabilize and heal a bit.)

 

After four months, reinstatement of Klonopin or the other drugs is iffy, especially for someone who's already in such biochemical chaos as you are right now. I would probably not mess with those and just hold on.

 

I know that sounds like I'm contradicting myself and giving advice that I said I didn't know how to give, but the fact is, if you do what I just suggested, you are still going to suffer intensely for at least a year, probably with very little improvement from how you are feeling right now, and probably going to continue to have some pretty serious problems for a few years after that, and I can't actually say with any confidence how long it would be until you were feeling more or less back to yourself, although it seems like most people get there after three to five years. (Three to five years of not using any drugs or supplements that mess with neurotransmitters.)

 

I could be wrong, but that's what I'd expect. And that's why I say I can't help you. Because it sounds like what you want is something that's going to lift your suffering way faster than that. 

 

And I have nothing to offer you that can do that.

 

I'm so sorry.

 

Hopefully someone else will be able to sort this out better than me.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

And I had been on benzo for 8-9 ms (long enough), finished about 4ms ago, could it still be a part of my withdrawal?

 

Yes, definitely, especially given how biochemically unstable you were before you even began the benzo. Four months is not long in benzo withdrawal.

 

It was way too soon to consider reducing, let alone quitting, any other meds.

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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JaneK I am reading a book by Dr. Carlson PHd, and he points out that you can take 5 people put them all in the same situation and come up with 5 different views.  Separate realities.  You know, we are where we come from.......

 

When reading this doctor's reply "I" though wow he understands and how nice of him to reply.  "I" got  sense of compassion.

 

The only thing (and you can talk to him about this) is that it can take alot more than (6) months to get off AD's.

 

Alot of people on these sites give their doctors the name of the site and the 10% reduction suggestions.

 

At the end of the day it's what you want to do.  You may want to satisfy yourself in seeing him and talking.  It is expensive and less and less psychiatrists are taking insurance these days.  You can just talk.

 

You have instincts and the support and knowledge her to help you to decide if you are in the wrong or right place.

 

Believe me there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about a second opinion.  Try not to have any expectations and if you go ~ go in to talk and listen.

 

Wishing you all the best.......

 

Hugs

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Janek,

 

I'm also very moved by what psychiatry did to you (especially ECT which I think should be banned as a 'treatment' ;(

 

I wanted to highlight what Rhi said. It sounds very tough but it is very realistic.

 

I would also say it is optimistic: nobody can promise you recovery but our brains were found to have remarkeable capacity to recover (contrary to what was previosuly thought). The key word in recovery is stability, and holding and waiting for the connections in the brain to reconnect themselves in the old ways before the drugs became part of the system.

 

I would say Rhi's reply is optimistic in that it is saying there is a great chance of recovery BUT not as fast as we would like it: it's not a matter of months but a matter of years. It also doesn't mean that you will be suffering equally and dreadfully in all those years. Gradually but only very gradually the symptoms will abate. (We only see how much we have recovered not from day to day or even from week to week but only if we compare ourselves now and a few months back).

 

The period of suffering doesn't have to be living hell. It can be time to learn about coping strategies and there are a lot of little things one can do to ease the suffering. There are people on this forum whose painful journeys take years (I also see myself as somebody who will spend a long time here).  

 

The bottom line: it might take a lot longer than you expected but you will get there. Slow is the way to go. Slow turtle wins the race.

 

and enduring, enduring, enduring without resorting to drugs and changing their doses in response to symptoms. You will find out that symptoms come and go irrespective of drugs. (especially since you experienced them making your suffering worse).

 

(with so many changes of all sorts, all bets are off but what Rhi and Alto suggest are your best bets IMHO).

 

you can do it!

 

best, bubble

 

 

If it were me, I would probably partially reinstate the Cymbalta and Remeron back to about 1/2 to 3/4 of the full dose that you were on originally, and then just leave them alone and take them at the same dose the same time every day and not touch them otherwise AT ALL. (With the intention of a slow, safe taper eventually, after you stabilize and heal a bit.)

 

After four months, reinstatement of Klonopin or the other drugs is iffy, especially for someone who's already in such biochemical chaos as you are right now. I would probably not mess with those and just hold on.

 

I know that sounds like I'm contradicting myself and giving advice that I said I didn't know how to give, but the fact is, if you do what I just suggested, you are still going to suffer intensely for at least a year, probably with very little improvement from how you are feeling right now, and probably going to continue to have some pretty serious problems for a few years after that, and I can't actually say with any confidence how long it would be until you were feeling more or less back to yourself, although it seems like most people get there after three to five years. (Three to five years of not using any drugs or supplements that mess with neurotransmitters.)

 

I could be wrong, but that's what I'd expect. And that's why I say I can't help you. Because it sounds like what you want is something that's going to lift your suffering way faster than that. 

 

 

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Administrator

Jane, we had extensive correspondence in 2012 into 2013, plus your participation on npanth's blog.

 

In all of that discussion, we explained many times your issues had to do with a widespread and subtle neurological dysregulation from going on and off psychiatric drugs repeatedly.

 

You cannot instantly fix an upset nervous system with a pill, a combination of pills, or a jolt of electricity. Your assumptions about treatment are based on fallacies derived from biological psychiatry.

 

Here are a set of topics that describe what's going on in your nervous system http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/603-what-is-antidepressant-withdrawal-syndrome/

 

As for El-Mallakh's "tardive dysphoria" theory, while it has merit in that it suggests long-term undesirable iatrogenic effects from psychiatric drug treatment, it is also based on a body of research that is hopelessly contaminated by the misdiagnosis of withdrawal syndrome, see

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/343-el-mallakh-2011-tardive-dysphoria-the-role-of-long-term-antidepressant-use-in-inducing-chronic-depression/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1724-el-mallakh-2012-studies-of-long-term-use-of-antidepressants-how-should-the-data-from-them-be-interpreted/

 

I also told you in a personal message that I did not think that doctor, while semi-aware of an iatrogenic problem (kudos to him), knew how to treat your iatrogenic symptoms.

 

Please review the following I posted earlier in your topic:

 

Welcome, janek.

 

When you were weaning off Cymbalta and Remeron, there was a point where you regained sleep. What did you do then? Did you continue to reduce both?

 

We recommend against changing 2 drugs at once because when you do that and you get bad effects, you don't know what caused them.

 

In addition, this causes more strain on your already stressed nervous system.

 

If I were you, I would hold on changing either drug for now until you can sort out your symptom pattern.

 

 

My guess is one of your drug changes broke your sleep. Which one, I have no idea.

 

If I were you, I'd stop jumping around from drug to drug and dosage to dosage. The nervous system requires stability. Every time you make a change, you add to instability.

 

You will not be able to find a magic pill that will instantly fix you.

And so forth. Since we've already spent so much time discussing your situation, I will be very brief in my further contributions to this topic. My time is limited and there are a lot of people here who have questions.

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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Thank you all. I know I am asking for impossible but I am acutely suicidal and I'd like more concrete advice - please. The dilemma is whether to start taking Prozac as my current psych recommends or partially reinstate Cymbalta and Remeron as Rhi suggested, or try to keep status quo and stay where I am now. Alto, I need your input and welcome others as well - please!

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Administrator

See above.

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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I also forgot to mention that I am taking Neurontin not on a regular basis but  for sleep (now I need to take 3 at once - 900mg) and sometimes at day time when it becomes absolutely unbearable. It makes me drowsy but my depression gets less acute for a couple of hours, then I am back to "reality" again. I am more leaning towards Rhi's advice - to reinstate Cymbalta and Remeron partially.

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Administrator

Do what you think is best, Jane. If you don't mind, I'll bow out with my suggestions.

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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Has anybody tried or heard about ketamine spray or infusion, LDN (low-dose naltrexone) not as a cure but to relieve symptoms?

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

Link to comment

I also have another question in regards to psychiatrists. Since almost none of them recognize WD, how do you communicate with your psychiatrist who apparently can't be your ally and guide in the long process of overcoming withdrawal. The ones that I saw in the past always suggest to take more and more medications or raise the dose, so I couldn't strike a dialogue with them and had to search yet another one. Or do you not go to any psychiatrist at all and just make it on your own?

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I also have another question in regards to psychiatrists. Since almost none of them recognize WD, how do you communicate with your psychiatrist who apparently can't be your ally and guide in the long process of overcoming withdrawal. The ones that I saw in the past always suggest to take more and more medications or raise the dose, so I couldn't strike a dialogue with them and had to search yet another one. Or do you not go to any psychiatrist at all and just make it on your own?

 

this is a good question. I stopped listening to my psychiatrist on time ago and regret I didn't do so much earlier. She was actually much less harmful than most of the others and that's why I stuck with her but she still caused me the worst suffering of my life with her instruction to just stop taking ADs. When I came to her with horrible symptoms she would just nod sadly at the return of my illness (she did try to find outside stressors that caused that 'relapse' but couldn't and then she would do the only thing she knew: prescribe a new 'better' drug "we just got lucky to get from the US").

 

this is what Alto wrote to some other member. A great explanation of how to deal with psychiatrists. In addition, your GP can prescribe you the medication so your task is to find somebody who will listen to you and let you be in charge. As I say for all their degrees and everything this is our life, our brain and ultimately our suffering.

 

ALTO: (some of the things want to applicable to you, but learn :)

 

You're seeing your new psychiatrist tomorrow, correct? Here's what I would do:

 

1) TODAY: Go to your pharmacist and find out whether you can get loxapine as a liquid. Check on prices for this and liquid oxcarbazepine and whether your insurance covers them. Get the NDC numbers from the pharmacist.

 

Also find your nearest compounding pharmacy http://survivinganti...-and-elsewhere/

 

2) At your psychiatrist appointment: First, find out his recommendation for minimizing your drugs. This will indicate to you if he is reasonable, informed, and willing to work with you.

 

3) Then, present what you've learned here. Discuss it with him, if possible. If discussion is not possible, go on to step 4. (Also make plans to find another psychiatrist or doctor you can work with.)

 

4) No matter what his attitude is, your goal is to come out of the meeting with prescriptions you can use to taper. Make your request calmly, politely, firmly, and repeatedly, as though you were training a large dog.

 

Loxapine: Get your loxapine prescription filled in 5mg capsules OR a prescription for the liquid OR a prescription for a liquid from a compounding pharmacy.

 

If he doesn't know how to write a prescription for a compounded liquid, it goes something like this:

 

Compounded liquid, xxx milligrams loxapine in xxx milliliters for a concentration of 1 milligram:1 millilters. Take 4mg in a.m. and 6mg in p.m. 

 

Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

Link to comment

JaneK there is a paper by Dr. Healy on WD which you can print out and there is a book by Dr. Joseph GlenMullin a psychiatrist at Harvard that every doctor in American knows.  He is very famous and he specializes in helping people thru WD.

 

It's funny,  this morning I was thinking if i ever go for another opinion I would mention these doctors and their work.

 

My internist has not prescribed paxil since the WD stories started to appear.

 

All psychiatrist's it seems need to be educated.

 

My mother's doctor saw first hand - his son go thru paxil WD.....he was horrified and when it happens to them they open their eyes.

Intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1902-nikki-hi-my-rundown-with-ads/

 

Paxil 1997-2004

Crossed over to Lexapro Paxil not available

at Pharmacies GSK halted deliveries

Lexapro 40mgs

Lexapro taper (2years)

Imipramine

Imipramine and Celexa

Now Nefazadone/Imipramine 50mgs. each

45mgs. Serzone  50mgs. Imipramine

Link to comment

Thank you. Then I have a follow-up (re: psychiatrists) question and observation from my own very frustrating experience dealing with them. I've probably had some interaction with at least dozen of them (including ones at the hospitals). Of course, I wouldn't just put all in one basket, but there wasn't principal difference - they dismiss a notion of withdrawal and consider only depression as a diagnoses. Hence, they come up with AD  - just each of them has his favorite. I have been damaged so much by their "expert" recommendations. You all know what I am talking about.Some are very authoritative and categorical (no dialogue possible), to the degree that when I say: "I am not any better on this regimen", they say: "No, you are better!". I had one who was willing to prescribe what I asked him to (with certain limitations) but he wasn't mentally involved at all. I could go on and on. They trained the same way and don't like complications. But the question is: if they deny withdrawal, it doesn't probably make sense to continue but I doubt that GP would agree to write a prescription for something he has no idea about. Loxapine? I'll try to discuss it. I repeat my question about naltrexone (low dose) or ketamine spray. Anybody familiar with that? anybody tried Gabapentin to weather WD symptoms? Also, I'd like to ask the folks who are from Europe. There is a drug Stablon (tianeptin), AD in circulation only in Europe. I read favorable reports on it and it's not noted to give WD effects afterwards.

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

anybody tried Gabapentin to weather WD symptoms? Also, I'd like to ask the folks who are from Europe. There is a drug Stablon (tianeptin), AD in circulation only in Europe. I read favorable reports on it and it's not noted to give WD effects afterwards.

Jane, the mission of this site is to help folks get off psychotropics. There are many sites on the net that answer the types of questions you are posing, but this forum is here to help those who realize these medications are a never ending trap.

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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I also have another question in regards to psychiatrists. Since almost none of them recognize WD, how do you communicate with your psychiatrist who apparently can't be your ally and guide in the long process of overcoming withdrawal. The ones that I saw in the past always suggest to take more and more medications or raise the dose, so I couldn't strike a dialogue with them and had to search yet another one. Or do you not go to any psychiatrist at all and just make it on your own?

Hi janek,

 

When I started my taper, I pretty much told my psychiatrist how I wanted to do it.   He didn't like it very much:) but fortunately, he did exactly what I wanted.  I was quite lucky because if he hadn't been cooperative like when I needed prescription med for the compound pharmacy, it would have been hard.

 

Additionally, I knew not to depend on him for support of withdrawal issues and simply acted like everything was fine during my visits even when I felt like h-ll.  I refused to give him any ammunition that made him think I needed to be back on meds.

 

Alto is exactly right about training the psychiatrist like he is a large dog.

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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Skyler, I absolutely agree with you and I have the same intentions. The reason I am asking those questions is to find something intermediary and temporary to lessen the cruelness of WD a little bit b/c it/s absolutely unbearable. Many people on this site do cross-over with an ultimate goal to get rid off them all eventually.

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Skyler, I absolutely agree with you and I have the same intentions. The reason I am asking those questions is to find something intermediary and temporary to lessen the cruelness of WD a little bit b/c it/s absolutely unbearable. Many people on this site do cross-over with an ultimate goal to get rid off them all eventually.

A few people cross over to Prozac, but that's iffy. But gabapentin is not one of the medications used for this purpose... I'm on Lyrica, which is a cousin, I've reduced the dose by half, and it may well take me another year to taper down to my target (maybe more). You seem to think you can medicate WD from one drug by taking another, and most times it does not work that way.

 

BTW.. you need to put gabapentin in your sig line. There are several people here who are tapering off this psychotropic.

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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Thank you, Skyler. Could you tell me the difference between Gabapentin  and Lyrica in terms of advantages and disadvantages. Looks that both have a potential for WD and need tapering?  It's been less that a week that I am taking it on a regular basis (trying to figure out if it helps with severe symptoms and for sleep in higher doses). So if you could be more specific about why gabapentin is not used for this purpose. May be GABA-producing supplements then which I've been taking for awhile and unsuccessfully?

2005-2011 - Cymbalta (40 mg)
2011, summer - started tapering skipping days, symptoms began in August-September
March 2012 - stopped cymbalta, symptoms got unbearable right away
April - May 2012 - started on Prozac(10-20mg) to ease the symptoms, stopped in 4 weeks
The rest of the year continued to suffer tremendously, spiraling down, acquiring more and more symptoms.

Tried different anternative modalities: acupuncture, supplements, hyperbaric oxygenation, even medical marijuana

2013 - 3 hospitalizations (January, April and July), had gone through a partial hospitalization program, undergone ECT (31 sessions)

April 2013 - started a combination of drugs - Remeron (30mg), Klonopin, Buspar, Risperdal (don't remember dosages)

August 2013 - returned to Cymbalta (60mg)

October - December 2013 - tapered down Risperdal, Buspar, Klonopin

January - present - trying to get off of Cymbalta and Remeron - unsuccessfully (now down to 7.5mg of each)

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