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mindquest: Intro


mindquest

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Hello,

 

I am currently trying to taper off of Abilify that was prescribed to me a few years back for schizophrenia. The diagnosis was made when I was hospitalized because the doctor couldn't be bothered to actually talk to me. My current psychiatrist seems to think that the diagnosis was wrong, and is cooperative with the tapering. Other psychiatrists I talked to recently seem to think that I am too functional for a schizophrenic. There are other people who think the same. I have a technical job, which I am doing well in, and I have other things I am good at as well. My mom, however, is very concerned about the tapering. The reason is that our native language is Russian, and Russian sources of information are quite outdated. Her English is not fluent enough for her to read the "Anatomy of an Epidemic" by Robert Whitaker or other similar things that tell of the dangers of taking psychiatric drugs. She is also not informed that withdrawal can cause symptoms that are similar to those of a "disorder" itself, and when I am behaving in a way that is not quite like the usual, she starts to panic and to verbally flood me with the horrors of how "my brain is being destroyed due to a chemical imbalance" and how I will "end up in the hospital," even though my performance in daily tasks is otherwise not affected. She is doing this beause she is genuinely concerned about me, but unfortunately that concern is not doing any good in this case.

 

Without going too far into detail, I will say that this, coupled with the fact that I live with my parents, makes it very difficult for me to taper. I do not want my mom to suffer due to her intense concern for me, but I also don't want to have to keep damaging my brain for the rest of my life just because of the erroneous initial diagnosis, and because of how these drugs work. I tried to explain to my mom that there is more than just the mainstream psychiatry, and that drugs do a lot of harm in the long run, but she claims that I am "driven by the disease to believe that I do not need medication," and that I am "happy to grab whatever materials support my ideas despite the low reliability of the sources I choose."

 

I am sure there are at least some people here who can provide useful advice about what to do in this situtation.

 

On a side note, I am not completely clear about the 10% tapering technique. How am I supposed to prepare all those weird dosages? At this moment, I am on 10 mg of Abilify, and doing much better than I have been on 15 mg about five weeks ago. 90% of 10 mg is 9 mg. Then it will be 8.1 mg. If I have 10 mg pills, how am I supposed to get a dosage of 9 or 8.1 mg from that?

 

Thanks in advance.

2/5/2014 - Abilify increased to 15 mg

3/1/2014 - Abilify decreased to 12.5 mg

3/21/2014 - Abilify decreased to 10 mg

5/10/2014 - Abilify decreased to 7.5 mg

7/16/2014 - Abilify increased to 10 mg

8/15/2014 - Abilify decreased back to 7.5 mg

8/26/2014 - Abilify decreased to 5 mg

1/5/2015 - Abilify decreased to 2.5 mg

3/19/2015 - Abilify decreased to 0, and thus the year long process of tapering off of Abilify was complete.

5/2015 - Completed Reiki 1 attunement. Second "psychotic break" and subsequent hospitalization. Placed on 15 mg of Aripiprazole, and was told I'll have to be on it for the rest of my life.

12/1/2015 - Switched to Aripirazole (generic of Abilify) 15 mg

Intro post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6100-mindquest-intro/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mindquest, welcome to SA.  I'm sorry that you find yourself in this situation. 

It must be very difficult for you when your mother wants you to take the drugs for fear of

a relapse.  She is believing what the psychiatrists are telling her and trusting them.  She 

fears for you and is concerned for your well-being but doesn't realise that  the medication

makes people ill! 

 

If I were you I would taper quietly, let her see that you are taking them and getting your

prescriptions filled.  Hopefully you will not have any adverse effects if you take it slowly and

eventually your mother will see that you are getting better, not worse.  I had quite a time with

my family too and they were very angry that I was tapering. They can see now that it is the

best thing I have done. 

 

Abilify is best tapered at 10% of the current dose per month as you know. 

It is available as a liquid which would make tapering much easier.  

 

Here is the topic for tapering abilify,you will find lots of information in there.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1896-tips-for-tapering-off-abilify-aripiprazole/?hl=abilify

 

Thank you for including your history in your signature.

Edited by mammaP
Correcting error

**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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She is believing what the previous psychiatrists used to say, and also what she reads online. She says that it is impossible to distinguish between the reliable sources and the unreliable ones, and that therefore it's safer to stick to the mainstream ideas. I think that the fact that the majority of recent anti-psychiatric information is in English, and that's the main obstacle. I can't wait for Robert's book to be translated so that I can pass it to my mom.

 

Did you post the story of how you tapered and what you had to go through on these forums, and how did your family come to see that it was the way to go? I would love to read more about that.

 

Thanks for pointing out about the liquid form of the medication. During my next appointment, I will request a prescription for the liquid. I will also talk to my psychiatrist about the 10% tapering method and see what comes out of it.

 

I reduced the dose to 10 mg on 3/21/2014, but that was shortly after the initial increase to 15 mg. My psychiatrist wanted me to decrease to 10 mg in 5 mg step, but I did not do so immediately due to the tension at home, and I thought it would be safer to go in 2.5 mg steps rather than drop 5 mg at once. I did not notice any withdrawal effects, but will stay on the 10 mg for a month before I make any further reductions.

2/5/2014 - Abilify increased to 15 mg

3/1/2014 - Abilify decreased to 12.5 mg

3/21/2014 - Abilify decreased to 10 mg

5/10/2014 - Abilify decreased to 7.5 mg

7/16/2014 - Abilify increased to 10 mg

8/15/2014 - Abilify decreased back to 7.5 mg

8/26/2014 - Abilify decreased to 5 mg

1/5/2015 - Abilify decreased to 2.5 mg

3/19/2015 - Abilify decreased to 0, and thus the year long process of tapering off of Abilify was complete.

5/2015 - Completed Reiki 1 attunement. Second "psychotic break" and subsequent hospitalization. Placed on 15 mg of Aripiprazole, and was told I'll have to be on it for the rest of my life.

12/1/2015 - Switched to Aripirazole (generic of Abilify) 15 mg

Intro post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6100-mindquest-intro/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

You can see my history in my intro thread Mindquest. It might be on the first page

but if not it will be on page 2.   My family were very annoyed with me and expected me

to crash and go into a depression. It is understandable really, they believe what the

doctors have been saying for years. I believed them too so know why they were 

upset. Unfortunately I tapered too fast, and didn't join start posting here until I had stopped

and started with withdrawal symptoms. I reinstated but it took a while to stabilise properly.

When I got upset once they tried to get me to go  to the hospital, one daughter even

threatened to call the police and have me  detained!

 

I got through it though, without going to the hospital and having more drugs thrown at me

which is what had happened for years!  Eventually they could see that I was getting better

as I tapered. I had been very ill and almost housebound, many days I couldn't do anything

at all and became reclusive. Gradually the side effects started to ease up and I can't wait

until I am totally free of them.  

 

Your psychiatrist may not agree to a slow taper, but it's always best to run it by them. He

might not want you to taper at all and believe you need them. Many here are proving their

doctors wrong on that one! 

**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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  • 1 year later...

Hello everyone,

 

I previously posted an introduction, but it was a long time ago, and a lot has changed since I posted it.

 

I am a male in my 20's who is on 15 mg of Aripiprazole for treatment of "schizophrenia." I live on my own, have a job, and take care of all my personal affairs. I previously tried to go off of the medication, and succeeded, but recently had an experience that was classified as my second psychotic break after I went to a Reiki attunement. The attunement brought up a lot of my emotional / psychological issues, and made me very agitated, so I ended up getting into an accident and being hospitalized again. I was behaving in a way that made them classify me as being schizophrenic, while I was simply shocked and disoriented from the accident. In any case, the psychiatrist they referred me to put me on 15 mg of Aripiprazole, and says that I will have to be on it for the rest of my life. I can't accept that. I'm looking for a way to get off the medication safely without relapsing or getting into additional accidents. My family is not supportive, as they have blind belief into the validity of traditional psychiatry.

 

There is Dr. Gurevich in Glen Head, NY (www.holisticmd.org), who claims to help with withdrawals while helping stabilize the patient using alternative methods. However, he is very expensive, doesn't take insurance, and has little or no reviews, so I'm hesitant to use him for my withdrawal.

 

Can anyone recommend any other alternative psychiatrists on Long Island or in Queens who would be friendly to tapering, and perhaps use alternative methods to minimize risk?

2/5/2014 - Abilify increased to 15 mg

3/1/2014 - Abilify decreased to 12.5 mg

3/21/2014 - Abilify decreased to 10 mg

5/10/2014 - Abilify decreased to 7.5 mg

7/16/2014 - Abilify increased to 10 mg

8/15/2014 - Abilify decreased back to 7.5 mg

8/26/2014 - Abilify decreased to 5 mg

1/5/2015 - Abilify decreased to 2.5 mg

3/19/2015 - Abilify decreased to 0, and thus the year long process of tapering off of Abilify was complete.

5/2015 - Completed Reiki 1 attunement. Second "psychotic break" and subsequent hospitalization. Placed on 15 mg of Aripiprazole, and was told I'll have to be on it for the rest of my life.

12/1/2015 - Switched to Aripirazole (generic of Abilify) 15 mg

Intro post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6100-mindquest-intro/

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mindquest,

 

Welcome back to SA.  Your original topic is here mindquest-intro/#entry83413  The mods will merge this topic to your original.  So you can find your original topic, click follow this topic (top right) and you will be notified when someone replies.

 

From what I have read on SA not many members of the medical profession are knowledgeable about slow 10% tapering.  I haven't read your previous post/s.  You only need a GP doctor to prescribe the medication and you can manage your taper yourself.  This site is for providing information and support during your taper.  You may want to see a therapist who you feel comfortable with to deal with any issues you may have (I don't mean withdrawal symptoms).  Some SA members don't even mention to their p/docs that they are tapering.

 

Why taper 10%

 

Here is the link for tips-for-tapering-off-abilify-aripiprazole/

 

Really glad you've returned.

 

Edit:  I've just gone over to your original topic.  Pleased to see you now live on your own.  It will make it much easier for you. :)

 

CC

Please DO NOT TAG me - thank you

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions. 

  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:    (6 year taper)      0mg Pristiq      on 13th November 2021

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering from Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2021   LAST DOSE 0.0025mg

Post 0 updates start here    My tapering program     My Intro (goes to tapering graph)

 VIDEO:   Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome and its Management

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome back Mindquest, I merged your two intro topics.

 

I'm sorry you have been put back on medication. I'm wondering if you would fill in a few more details of the last part of your Abilify taper and how you stopped taking it. I'm thinking that you may have tapered too fast or stopped too soon.

 

Were you off it for 2 months before your accident and hospitalization? How long have you now been back on Aripiprazole, which is actually the generic version of Abilify. How are you feeling now?

 

Chessie has given you the link for tapering Abilify and here is our list of recommended doctors, you may find one close to you: 

Recommended doctors, therapists, or clinics

 

But you may find this site helpful:  Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal

 

Will Hall writes : 'There are many misunderstandings based on the idea of finding a “good” psychiatrist. While a supportive and understanding medical professional can be vital to any medication process, truly supportive doctors are few and far between, and there is no need to wait on a medication reduction process just because you don’t have the ideal doctor to tell you what to do...'

 

Edited to add:  I don't know the details of what led to you being hospitalized and medicated, but I was reminded of something one of our mods, JanCarol wrote on someone else's thread about 'getting caught', link here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10677-destroyed-destroyed-by-olanzapine-new-user/?p=194847

Edited by Petunia
added link to another post

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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Hi ChessieCat and Petunia:

 

Thank you for the welcome, the links, and merging my topics. :)

 

It's interesting about "not getting caught." I have to learn how to do that. Getting caught is exactly what happened to me.

 

Yes, that is correct, I was off two months after tapering and before hospitalization. I believe that what actually led to this was my Reiki attunement, which can cause altered states of consciousness. I should have simply stayed home.

 

I added more details about the tapering process. Looking back at it, it was definitely too fast and with too many changes up and down. I foolishly informed my narcissistic mother about my tapering process, so she kept telling me to increase the medication, and so I got pressurized into doing so (even though I lived on my own). I will not do so this time, and I will keep the tapering process private. I do know a psychiatrist who is friendly towards tapering (but it a bit far from me), and I also just found a psychologist / psychoanalyst who is near me, and whose philosophy and position it is to decrease the need for medication and/or eliminate it whenever possible. I will be going to him next week. Wish me luck.

 

Let me get this straight: if I taper by 10% from 15 mg, it will take a bit over 3 years to taper to 0. Is that right?

2/5/2014 - Abilify increased to 15 mg

3/1/2014 - Abilify decreased to 12.5 mg

3/21/2014 - Abilify decreased to 10 mg

5/10/2014 - Abilify decreased to 7.5 mg

7/16/2014 - Abilify increased to 10 mg

8/15/2014 - Abilify decreased back to 7.5 mg

8/26/2014 - Abilify decreased to 5 mg

1/5/2015 - Abilify decreased to 2.5 mg

3/19/2015 - Abilify decreased to 0, and thus the year long process of tapering off of Abilify was complete.

5/2015 - Completed Reiki 1 attunement. Second "psychotic break" and subsequent hospitalization. Placed on 15 mg of Aripiprazole, and was told I'll have to be on it for the rest of my life.

12/1/2015 - Switched to Aripirazole (generic of Abilify) 15 mg

Intro post: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6100-mindquest-intro/

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