Jump to content

melinae: At what point does one know that withdrawal is mandatory?


melinae

Recommended Posts

Hi.

 

Thank you for this crucial forum. 

 

I've attached my history in the signature. I hope the small font is readable... 

 

I'm here because Zoloft is the only anti-depressant that ever truly worked for me. In the past, it worked much better. After a few years of withdrawing from it (and never really letting the withdrawal run its cycle), tapering up and down really quickly, experimenting taking other anti-depressants and tapering quickly, I've been back on Zoloft since 2013. 

 

Since last year something has been nipping at my consciousness - a desire to completely withdraw from all anti-depressants, forever. I'm not quite sure why. My intuition and spiritual awareness has grown very strong, so I think that there is a higher reason for this. 

 

I am afraid, however. As is my therapist. She hates when I talk of quitting meds. :( She tries to analyze my hate for anti-depressants as some sort of death wish.

 

Why am I afraid - even though since first taking Zoloft a few years back, I've had major healing and breakthroughs in years of therapy (survivor of incest), I still feel so depressed that I can barely function. Doesn't that mean that without any meds, I'd be in even worse shape? Or are the chemicals and poison contributing to this depression? How do I know for sure that I won't regret tapering and withdrawing (I have a feeling this will take a couple of years). When can one be sure that they are simply meant to stay on an anti-depressant forever?

 

Thank you........ :)

Currently on: Zoloft, 137.5mg and Lamotrigine, 25mg for complex PTSD. Trazodone, 100mg for sleep issues.

 

Past history (hazy memory of): 

1. Paxil / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: don't remember (2000-2001)

2. Wellbutrin / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: very short (2005ish, 1 month only)

3. Zoloft / Dosage: 25 or 50mg / Tapering: decreasing abruptly, then going back on it; decreasing and increasing rapidly again, then tapering finally, over the course of a few months. The withdrawal was never completed and I found myself much more depressed. (2007-2009)

4. Xanax / Dosage: smallest (0.5mg?) / Tapering: stopped taking it one day (2010-2012ish)

5. Cymbalta / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2011ish)

6. Celexa / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2012ish)

7. Lexapro / Dosage: 5mg-10mg / Tapering: 1-2 weeks (2012ish)

8. Zoloft / Dosage: 25mg, increasing to 50mg, 100mg, 125mg, and 137.5mg. / Tapering : No. (2013-current)

Link to comment

Also, is there a chat room to complement these forums?

Currently on: Zoloft, 137.5mg and Lamotrigine, 25mg for complex PTSD. Trazodone, 100mg for sleep issues.

 

Past history (hazy memory of): 

1. Paxil / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: don't remember (2000-2001)

2. Wellbutrin / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: very short (2005ish, 1 month only)

3. Zoloft / Dosage: 25 or 50mg / Tapering: decreasing abruptly, then going back on it; decreasing and increasing rapidly again, then tapering finally, over the course of a few months. The withdrawal was never completed and I found myself much more depressed. (2007-2009)

4. Xanax / Dosage: smallest (0.5mg?) / Tapering: stopped taking it one day (2010-2012ish)

5. Cymbalta / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2011ish)

6. Celexa / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2012ish)

7. Lexapro / Dosage: 5mg-10mg / Tapering: 1-2 weeks (2012ish)

8. Zoloft / Dosage: 25mg, increasing to 50mg, 100mg, 125mg, and 137.5mg. / Tapering : No. (2013-current)

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Melinae,

 

I'm very glad to be able to welcome you to this forum which I've myself found very useful.

 

I'm also glad because, unlike many of us, you don't come here in dire need but to prepare for something indeed very important. (By this I don't mean that any reason for coming to the forum is bad. It's just that it would've saved me a lot of suffering had I been like you).

 

In response to your second post, I have to say that we don't have a chat room but still in my experience I got support quickly whenever I needed it.

 

Your other questions are really tough (that's why I think it took some time for somebody to get back to you ;)

 

They are tough and complex but I don't want to let you "hang" so will offer my opinions. As you might now, we are not medical professionals here but simply people who have gone through very similar experiences with psychiatric medication and our motifs are to try and help other people in similar situations not to suffer as much or as long or wiztout understanding the suffering based on our own experiences (and reading).

 

Unlike your doctor (whose opinion is rather typical of what psychiatrists have been trained to think) I think that your wish and readiness to come off psych medication is much more of a life wish (than a death wish - if there is such a thing.) The way I see you is that you have mastered some other techniques of coping with the extremely distressing experience you went through at one point in your life and feel that you don't need this "crutch" of medication any more. 

 

Nobody can tell us if without meds we would feel even worse (for many years I chose to believe that). But then I read about research that these things can actually be causing the exact things which they purport to treat. I didn't keep notes of my readings to direct you to that research but I'm sure we have it somewhere around on the forum. But actually I didn't need to read much, because when I would read patient information leaflet for my medication I was very surprised (not to use some other word) to see that side effects would often involve things such as difficulty sleeping, anxiety, irritability, even suicidal ideation, etc. Isn't that strange?

 

We here believe that  people don't have to stay on meds for life (and other more experienced members will later on for sure provide more examples from their work with people on the forum on which we base this belief). In her defence and also a reason I stuck with her, my psychiatrist also doesn't believe people have to stay on meds for life! She is the one who told me that a drug was just a crutch and encouraged me to stop taking them when my life circumstances were more stable.  It's just that she had no idea that the fact that I would stop taking them actually caused worse depression and anxiety than was the one that initially caused me to try my luck with medication.

 

Unfortunately there are no guarantees therefore it is impossible to know for sure but I can tell you with great certainty that I don't regret tapering. Tapering, that is reducing medication at a much, much slower rate and amount than very few doctors deem possible, actually prevents withdrawal (or appearance of initial symptoms usually in a more vehement way than before). Doctors usually say that your "illness has returned" while in fact our brain reacted to removal of the substance that became a part of each structure by creating symptoms which in general indicate that it is in distress.

 

Yes, it can take a couple of years or it doesn't have to. But we are here comparing a few years more on meds with forever on meds. 

 

Sorry, I got a bit inspired ;) I hope at least some of your questions have been answered.

 

I would advise reading about the rationale behind the 10 % tapering here as a good start of the well thought out process that you have already started.

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

 

Later one there will be a more specific topic on your particular drug. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

 

I also won't be able to refrain from posting my favourite piece which explains how this meds work a bit later on when you have absorbed some of the information here.

 

Thank you for the signature! It helps a lot ;)

 

once again, a very warm welcome! you will find a lot of friendly support here in your great and important plan and journey. Important to add: we will support you regardless of what you decide although Altostrata started this forum to help people get off meds in a safe way. Also we only give opinions and advice based on our experience but it is you who has to make all the decisions (and take responsibility for them). I'm sure you know that but had to add it just in case.

 

(and I like your avatar a lot ;)

 

best,

 

bubble

Current: 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
  • Moderator Emeritus

To Bubble's excellent suggestions I would add right away, get a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and ask your therapist to read it. And read it yourself.

 

I think it will help you understand why you want to get off these meds, and it may help your therapist understand that her beliefs about the value of psychiatric meds have probably been created primarily by inaccurate information. (Doctors and therapists get their information about these drug$ from the companies who make them and the people those companies hire to teach about them.)

 

I too am a survivor of child abuse (rape and torture) and I spent many years in therapy while taking psych meds. What I'm finding, for me, is that with my extremely slow taper, as I come down on the drugs I get back layers of emotion that were numbed out before, but they're quite manageable. In fact, the emotions seem to be more manageable than they were when I was on the drugs. I feel things more intensely, but I move through them faster and then they are resolved, rather than being sort of stuck and heavy and repetitive and compulsive like they were before. I personally suspect that ADs actually interfere with the psychological healing process over the long term. They can help numb out the worst of it during crisis periods, but they seem to block the full processing and healing journey that needs to unfold fully.

 

I too had a therapist who thought the drugs were what I needed and said I would probably be on them for life. I've moved to a different part of the country and I don't see her any more, so I haven't talked to her about it, but I'm certainly convinced now (after years of tapering and getting to much lower dosages) that the drugs give me little if any actual benefit now, compared to what they take away. I may end up needing to stay on a very low dose of some stuff, but I find that I've had so much improvement, gotten so much of my original personality and joy and connectedness to other people back, just by reducing my dose to a very small one, that I could live with that.

 

You might approach it as "I'm just going to taper down and see how small a dose will work for me." There's nothing wrong with that.  If you'll look at the charts in the paper listed here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/

 

you will see that there is considerable drug effect even at very low doses. I suspect that these meds are generally prescribed at much higher doses than necessary, and I know there are a number of physicians who agree with me.

 

So that might be a way to approach it: just start with tapering down (very slowly! please read all the topics pinned in the Tapering section and all the links in those topics, and take your time to absorb all the information and really educate yourself). Just think of it as getting down to the lowest dose that is helpful. These drugs have all kinds of side effects and always some degree of toxicity. It makes perfect sense to minimize your risks if you can. Maybe your therapist can go along with that, if nothing else.

 

Welcome. Good luck to you!

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

 

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

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, Melanae.

 

For those of us who didn't have bad side effects from antidepressants, I think there isn't any specific point where tapering off is mandatory. It's more a matter of what you feel is right for yourself. There are people, however, who have near-instantaneous bad reactions to any sort of SSRI and go through withdrawal just as if they'd taken the drugs for years, and there are some (approximately 30% that's known of, but I'm betting the real number is much higher) people whose antidepressant "poops out", meaning that it ceases to work and the person goes into withdrawal even though they're taking the drug as prescribed. In these cases there's no question that the drug has to be tapered as quickly as possible.

 

As Rhi said, these drugs are often over-prescribed, and I suspect that's because they take several weeks to work. Upping the dose doesn't make any sense--50 mg. are going to take just as long to work as 5 mg.--but that's what's done.  Often people find that their initial dosage cut has little to no effect.  It's when the person gets about halfway down in dosage that great care must be taken, including updosing when necessary, to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

 

I suspect your current symptoms are the result of tapers that were way too fast, and yes, you could be feeliing the effects two or more years later.  It's taken me over two years to recover from 15 months of antidepressants and tapering off for three and a half months, a "taper" that was much too fast.

 

Personally, I think the person who *needs* to stay on antidepressants for life is a rare bird indeed, although I'm keeping an open mind about people who've been on drug cocktails for decades. The whole "chemical imbalance" theory is hocum and has been renounced by the American Psychiatric Association, although that isn't widely known.  Depression and anxiety are not caused by an antidepressant deficiency and shouldn't be compared to diabetes, thyroid malfunction, or any other physical cause.  In fact, the SSRI antidepressants don't even do what they're supposed to do, which is increase the amount of serotonin that's available to the brain.  They do the opposite, and that's a big part of what can make withdrawal so miserable.  It takes a while for the brain to rebuild itself the way God intended.

 

Enough ranting.  I'm glad you found us.

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.

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

Here's very informative article on why not to take antidepressants, contributed by one of our members:

 

Lives Left In Ruin By Antidepressant Drugs

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.

 

Link to comment

Thank you so so so SO much for responding. 

 

I need to read your replies one or two times more, and then I will reply at length. 

 

Right now I have some wine in me (not drunk, just tipsy) to take the edge of an overwhelming day. 

 

My therapist is not a psychiatrist. She's a social worker. Tonight we discussed (once again) my medication situation. She is of strong opinion that my PTSD will become much less manageable if I were to not take any meds. She thinks 50mg of Zoloft is not a therapeutic dose and that I need to go higher. I'm miserable, barely functioning, going to work is hard, going out is hard. I wonder if she has a point. I don't know what to do anymore. She does NOT think I need to be on them for the rest of my life. Just to help me function better. I've no freaking idea what to do!

 

Will reply more soon

Currently on: Zoloft, 137.5mg and Lamotrigine, 25mg for complex PTSD. Trazodone, 100mg for sleep issues.

 

Past history (hazy memory of): 

1. Paxil / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: don't remember (2000-2001)

2. Wellbutrin / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: very short (2005ish, 1 month only)

3. Zoloft / Dosage: 25 or 50mg / Tapering: decreasing abruptly, then going back on it; decreasing and increasing rapidly again, then tapering finally, over the course of a few months. The withdrawal was never completed and I found myself much more depressed. (2007-2009)

4. Xanax / Dosage: smallest (0.5mg?) / Tapering: stopped taking it one day (2010-2012ish)

5. Cymbalta / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2011ish)

6. Celexa / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2012ish)

7. Lexapro / Dosage: 5mg-10mg / Tapering: 1-2 weeks (2012ish)

8. Zoloft / Dosage: 25mg, increasing to 50mg, 100mg, 125mg, and 137.5mg. / Tapering : No. (2013-current)

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Welcome, Melinae.

 

Your history shows you've been on an awful lot of drugs, usually at relatively low dosages. Were you sensitive to all of them?

 

When did your current low mood start?

 

Given that even psychopharmacologists don't know what's the right dosage for each individual, I doubt your therapist knows what's "therapeutic."

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.

Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

*topic moved from symptoms forum

 

Apparently, John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (I love that book), has some useful stuff on his website. My boyfriend sent me what follows below. I do not yet know what to think of it. Has anyone had experience with his protocol, or could vouch for its effectiveness?

 

 

Thank you for reaching out. I passed your email on to John Gray. 

I have pasted John’s general protocol for ending depression and his suggestions for getting off antidepressants below. His program has helped many others get out of depression and end their use of antidepressants.


We hope this helps you. Please keep us posted on the progress.

 

 

 

Protocol for going off antidepressants

When going off of antidepressants it is best to reduce gradually over a two-to- six month period with the supervision of your health care provider. If they indicate that you should not reduce your antidepressant use, I would recommend finding another health provider.

One of the best ways to approach your doctor is to ask for their supervision, not permission. Let your doctor know that you are being more responsible about your diet and nutrition and you have been exercising. Then ask your doctor to supervise your reduction and end of  antidepressant use over the next few months.  

You will begin to feel better using this protocol. For best results follow this before going off your antidepressants and during the process of going off your antidepressants. Antidepressants are very toxic and it is important to cleanse the body as you decrease their use. After beginning the Mars Venus protocol that I have recommended to many friends and clients, you will begin to feel better within days. After feeling better for a month, begin to gradually reduce the use of antidepressants. At the minimum, use the suggestion below for 
at least 
one month before you begin to reduce the antidepressants you are taking.

After one month of using this protocol, reduce the dosage of your antidepressants by one-third for the first month. If you feel stable at the end of the first month, the next month
 
reduce by the next third. If you continue to feel better and stable then reduce by one-half for one month and then finally completely stop taking the antidepressants. Each person is unique and this formula needs to be adapted according to your needs. 

You can visit 
 and watch informational videos on each of these supplements in 

There is no hurry. You may wish to slow down and stretch out this procedure. If you have been using antidepressants or sleeping pills for five or more years it may even take six months. If you have been using antidepressants or sleeping pills for only six months then the gradual reduction may occur in one to two months.

I strongly recommend that you continue to use the suggested Mars Venus Wellness Solution program for at least six months after completely going off the use of antidepressants. Then use as needed for your continued well-being. It is best to minimize eating processed foods with corn syrup, fructose, table salt and msg. Sea salt is fine. Women need to be careful to not eat high amounts of protein. A moderate amount with every meal is suggested. Avoid all diet drinks as they also may reduce serotonin levels.

Follow this protocol for one month prior to starting to reduce your antidepressants and while you are reducing them.

1. Start the day with one serving of 
Super Cleanse
 and 
(2)
 
Super Minerals, (1) Lithium Orotate, (1) 5-HTP, (1) 2-AEP Membrane Complex, (1) Vectomega (Omega-3)

 

2. After a few minutes and ideally, ten minutes of easy exercise, drink one serving of the 
John Gray's Mars Venus Super Foods Shake.

Add 2 scoops of shake mix, 1 banana and 4 ice cubes to 8 oz. of water.  

Then you can also add any of the following ingredients for variety:  

- 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter

a small handful of Nuts (walnuts, almonds, brazil, or pine nuts/ raw and unsalted)

- 1 teaspoon of MCT Oil or Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

- 1 tablespoon of Pure Cacao (organic chocolate nibs)

- 1-2 teaspoons of Maca Powder

- 1 tablespoon of Chia Gel: to make the Chia Gel, combine 1/3 cup of Chia Seeds with 2 cups of water in a small, sealable jar.  Shake for 15 seconds and rest 1 minute.  Shake another 15 seconds and refrigerate until it sets up like gelatin, about 10 minutes.

Mix all ingredients together in a blender. ENJOY! 

***If 2 scoops of Shake does not completely satisfy your hunger for 4-5 hours, then use 3 scoops each time.


3. Before Lunch

(2) Super Minerals, (1) Lithium Orotate, (1) 2AEP Membrane Complex, (1) 5HTP, (1) Vectomega (Omega-3)

4. Before Dinner

(2) Super Minerals, (1) Lithium Orotate, (1) 2AEP Membrane Complex, (1) 5HTP, (1) Vectomega (Omega-3).

You can also mix a John Gray’s MarsVenus Super Food Shake for desert (optional)

Walking 30 minutes
 or more a day will ensure your success during this life-changing period. This should be easy and effortless walking which does not put you out of breath. Another great exercise is my Isoflex bounce-and-shake movements. You can watch them at YouTube here: 

These small changes can make a world of difference. Please keep me posted on your progress through Facebook, Twitter or 
.

You deserve a lifetime of love and happiness,

John Gray

Edited by Petunia
added note

Currently on: Zoloft, 137.5mg and Lamotrigine, 25mg for complex PTSD. Trazodone, 100mg for sleep issues.

 

Past history (hazy memory of): 

1. Paxil / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: don't remember (2000-2001)

2. Wellbutrin / Dosage: don't remember / Tapering: very short (2005ish, 1 month only)

3. Zoloft / Dosage: 25 or 50mg / Tapering: decreasing abruptly, then going back on it; decreasing and increasing rapidly again, then tapering finally, over the course of a few months. The withdrawal was never completed and I found myself much more depressed. (2007-2009)

4. Xanax / Dosage: smallest (0.5mg?) / Tapering: stopped taking it one day (2010-2012ish)

5. Cymbalta / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2011ish)

6. Celexa / Dosage: small dose / Tapering: 2-4 weeks (2012ish)

7. Lexapro / Dosage: 5mg-10mg / Tapering: 1-2 weeks (2012ish)

8. Zoloft / Dosage: 25mg, increasing to 50mg, 100mg, 125mg, and 137.5mg. / Tapering : No. (2013-current)

Link to comment
  • Member

Apparently John Gray, an author with a Ph. D (in what exactly?) has developed an antidepressant withdrawal program which very conveniently uses the same supplements he features on his website.

 

I see that you joined this board in 2014 and your introductoiry topic seems to be here:

 

melinae: At what point does one know that withdrawal is mandatory?

 

Bubble and Rhi (mods) and Jemima and Alto (Administrators) all responded in your topic and then nothing was added by you since then.

 

Are you considering reducing or going off your meds using his program (costing some outlay of cash and possibly causing you to feel very badly with withdrawal syndrome for a very long time) or with the help of this website with its free and knowledgeable peer support which will encourage you to reduce your drug burden in a safe manner using your body's responses as a guide and following a conservative 10% or less reduction of your last dose no oftener than once every 30 days and most surely help you avoid withdrawal syndrome?

 

Please let us know how we can help. Alto has recently added considerable information to the topics in the Symptoms forum (where you posted this thread) about why these types of supplement programs are never recommended and why.

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

Link to comment

I'm pretty certain what Alto will think of this protocol...but just by reading the first sentence, I'd say anyone thinking you could safely go off AD in 2-6 months is a long way off base. Further, the initial dose reduction is by 1/3??? I think you'd find any number of people on here who can attest to what can happen from such a rapid taper.

 

In terms of the supplements, they contain multiple ingredients. Anyone with a sensitized nervous system could very easily react and not have any idea what was the culprit.

 

Have you read the thread on 5 HTP? 5-HTP should not be taken concurrently with anti- depressants except under the supervision of a physician, because 5-HTP increases the activity of these drugs. Mixing SSRI medications and 5-HTP may result in a rare but extremely serious condition called serotonin syndrome. The thread is here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-l-tryptophan/

 

Forgive my cynicism, but to me, this looks like a celebrity looking for another way to make money. I'm highly suspicious of someone whose only recommendations are "buy a whole bunch of my supplements."

 

Those of us who have been on this road for awhile realize there are no quick, neat and tidy fixes for AD withdrawal. A lot of us could attest to having many bottles of unusable supplements. The 2 times that I tried something recommended at a health food store, I wound up being ill for quite awhile. That was the last time I took anything that someone else suggested. Initially, many people are unable to take very little, if anything, in terms of supplementation. 

 

I could go on..but if you read things on this site, you will see a multitude of problems with Gray's approach. The experts in AD withdrawal are the people who have gone through it, or are going through it...not someone who wrote a book on relationships.

Remeron for depression. Started at 7.5 mg. in 2005. Gradual increases over 8 years, up to 45 mg. in 2012.Began tapering in June 2013. Went from 45 to 30 mg in the first 3-4 months. Held for a couple of months.Started tapering by 3.75 mg every month or 2, with some longer holding periods. Eventually went down to 3.75 mg. about April 2014. Stopped taking Remeron August 2014. Developed issues with histamine a week after stopping--symptoms reduced through diet and a few supplements. Currently having issues with a few foods. Most of the histamine intolerance has resolved or is at least, in remission.

Current Medications:

Current Supplements: Cannabis (CBD and THC), Vitamin C, D, Quercetin, CoQ10, Tart Cherry, Probiotic, Phytoplankton oil, magnesium, Methyl B. What has helped me most: spending time in nature, qi gong, exercise, healthy diet, meditation, IV vitamins, homeopathy, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, music, and cuddling my cats..

My introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/8459-mirtazapine-withdrawal-freespirit/#entry144282

Please note: I am not a therapist or medical practitioner. Any suggestions offered come solely from my personal experience in recovering from childhood trauma, therapy, and AD use. Please seek appropriate care for yourself.

 

“After a cruel childhood, one must reinvent oneself. Then re-imagine the world.”
Mary Oliver
 

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus

two - six months reduction schedule is too fast and his proprietary supplements are not recommended.

 

fish oil, yes, but lithium orotate and 5HTP could be risky - 

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

Link to comment
  • Administrator

Even a dumb taper accompanied by nonsensical blah-blah is better than no taper at all.

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.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy