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madetobepsycho - tapering off help needed


Madetobepsycho

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If I were to work with a doctor on tapering off or present to a review panel how I would go about tapering off drugs so that they would take me seriously and allow me to how would I do so considering I'm on:

 

1.lithium carbonate 900mg oral HS

2.clonazePAM 1 mg oral QAM

3.clonazePAM 2mg oral BID

4.paliperidone 50mg IM Q28D

 

Thanks in advance, please help me.

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If I were to work with a doctor or present to review panel how I would go about tapering off drugs so that they would take me seriously and allow me to do so, how should I do it? I'm on:

1.lithium carbonate 900mg oral HS

2.clonazePAM 1mg oral BID

3.clonazePAM 2mg oral QHS

4. paliperidone 50mg IM Q28D

 

 

Thanks in advance, I need help.  I don't want to be on meds.  Side effects are so bad.

 

I have had really bad experiences in the past with sideeffects and I don't want it to happen again.

I wish I could introduce myself more but right now I'm in the psych ward preparing for my review panel and need all the help I can get without spending too much time on the shared computer.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

hello madetobepsycho and welcome to SA.

 

I will try to be brief since you obviously can allow little time on line. First of all, I firmly believe nobody was made to be psycho (whatever it means;) and in addition we all have great ability and potential to unmake things and make them ourselves.

 

I'm writing from my phone now so I can't really post the links with the information we usually share with people. It seems your circumstances wouldn't allow you to read them. I'm really sorry you are in such disempowered situation and wonder why you are in hospital, whether it does anything good to you, can you leave and whether your circumstances at home would be supportive enough for you.

 

The second thing I wanted to say is that we we very seldom see psychiatrist who understand much about tapering from psychotropic medication and about discontinuation syndrome which occurs if this is not done properly. I wish I was wrong,but I very much doubt your board would listen. People who have withdrawn successfully by takingch charge of their own processes came up with the rule of reducing 10% of your current dose every 30 days,one drug at a time.

 

I understand this is probably not something you wanted to hear. I think you were hoping for a lot faster process. Apart from our own experiences there is quite some scientific research to support this and we have gathered it here.

 

If I were you, I'd first leave the environment in which I can't be in charge of my treatment and ultimately life nor can I educate myself on the alternative approach.

 

Sorry for not being shorter although I tried;)

 

I'm glad you have found us and others will soon offer their opinions. If you can find the time, your drug history,including your past medication would help us to give more advice.

 

Best,

bubble

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome madetobepsycho, thank you for posting.  I was also wondering about your user name, do you mean that you have been made 'psycho' by drugs and treatment?

 

I'm assuming that you are being kept in hospital against your will and that's why you are asking for help with your review.  Perhaps you could give us a little more information about your situation so that we know how to help.

 

Its sounds like you have very little control over your situation at the moment.  What side effects are you having?  Does your doctor know about your side effects?  Have you asked to have your dose of paliperidone reduced?

 

We have a thread about tapering lithium here:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2976-tips-for-tapering-lithium/?hl=lithium

 

Without knowing more about you and your situation, my advice is to do the best you can to cooperate and 'behave' as normally as possible, which can be very difficult when you are being badly effected by side effects from drugs.  I'm sorry you are going through this.  I hope you can get some computer time and tell us more.

 

Petu.

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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Sorry for being brief.  My doctor is particularly headstrong and does not want to get me off either lithium or paliperidone.  But you never know because something might be able to be discussed in terms of the paliperidone - though my doc is particularly mean about his defense of meds.  My history:
I have never ever been violent, in fact my past consists of mostly delusions that were spurred by a psychosis caused by sugar.  These delusions led me to have a sort of a hallucination I guess that led to a spiritual belief.  In terms of the sugar, I was eating about 1kg/in a few days if not in a day itself.  I was depressed because my aunt was verbally abusive of me as she was living with us and I went anorexic and sugar's nutrition label said it had zero fat so I ate it and just that for a long time.  I have therefore had an initial psychosis caused by sugar that snowballed into a cycle of in and out of psych ward in my youth since being 16.  I thought I had a husband and children as my delusions - that this husband was a spiky black haired guy that was nice etc and needed me to find him.   Of course, whenever I talk to the docs about sugar they don't take me seriously.  Anyhow, that's a bit of it.  Oh ya, the spiritual belief involved in the hallucination was that there was this guy that I would marry and I had to find him.  In mexico and other places they have vision quests, why the heck does my history have to be fraught with so much pain from meds.  Long story there too.

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  • Administrator

Welcome, madetobepsycho.

 

If you are having bad side effects from the drugs, that is a reason to reduce them.

 

Here is Dr. Sandra Steingard's approach to minimizing psychiatric drugs: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-psychiatrist-thinks-some-patients-are-better-off-without-antipsychotic-drugs/2013/12/06/547f5680-48aa-11e3-a196-3544a03c2351_story.html

 

Here is Dr. Steingard's contact information https://www.itriagehealth.com/doctor/dr-sandra-steingard-md-341762 You might ask your doctors to confer with her.

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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Thankyou so much for Dr.Sandra Steingard's article.  It is almost enough to be my lifesaver - it is presented so well.  Thanks.  Would love to keep chatting though with everyone here because this feels like a community.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Chat away.!!! You will get support here...

 

RU :)

Fall 1995 xanax, zoloft. switched to Serzone

1996- spring 2003serzone/ xanax/ lightbox.

b]Fall 2003- Fall 2004? Lexapro 10 mg. Light box /4 mg. xanax.[/b]

2004 - Fall of 2009 10 mg Lex, 150 mg Wellbutrin XL % 4 mg xanax

November 2009- Sept. 2011 10 mg lex., 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax [/b

Sept.2012- July 2012 20 mg Lex 300 Well. XL, 4 mg Xanax

My mantra " go slow & with the flow "

3/2/13.. Began equal dosing 5 Xs /day xanax, while simultaneously incorporating a 2.5 % drop ( from 3.5 mg/day to 3.4 mg/day)

4/6/13 dropped from 300 mg. Wellbutrin XL to 150 mg. Difficult but DONE! Down to 3.3 mg xanax/ day / 6/10/13 3 mg xanax/day; 7/15/2013 2.88mg xanax/day.

10/ 1/2013...... 2.5 mg xanax… ( switched to tablets again) WOO HOO!!!!!! Holding here… cont. with Lexapro.

1/ 2/2014.. tapered to 18mg ( by weight) of a 26 mg ( by weight) pill of 20 mg tab. lexapro. goal is 13mg (by weight OR 10 mg by ingredient content) and STOPPED. Feeling very down with unbalanced, unpredictable WD symptoms.

1/2/2014- ??? Taking a brain-healing break from tapering anything after actively tapering something for 1.5 years. So… daily doses as of 2/2/2014: 18 mg by weight Lex, 150 mg Well. XL, 2.5 mg xanax, down from 26 mg by weight Lex., 300 mg well. XL, 4 mg xanax in August, 2012. I'll take it. :) 5/8/14 started equivalent dose liquid./ tabs. 5/13/14 1.5 % cut.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I haven't read the Steingard thing yet but I agree that the best approach would be to discuss side effects and a "harm reduction" approach to meds.  I tell docs I want to be on the lowest effective dose of the fewest meds possible. So far they seem to be okay with that concept, although I'm not dealing with an institution.

 

If you say "I want off all my meds!" they probably won't listen, but if you explain rationally and calmly that what you want is to find out the smallest dose that will work for you, of the smallest number of drugs you can take that will keep you stable, in order to minimize side effects and future health risks--that's an approach that I think you can probably get support for. And once you have some support, you can begin to do a slow, rational taper, and demonstrate that you aren't going to go crazy. And then you can build on that credibility and experience and take it from there.

 

Have you seen Will Hall's Harm Reduction Guide? Google "Harm Reduction Guide Will Hall". It's downloadable for free. I wouldn't take it to your docs because he's just a bit too alternative, but it's actually a very well-reasoned discussion.

 

And when you're ready to begin to actually start tapering something, please come back here before you cut ANY doses and learn about the kind of safe, slow taper that we recommend. Because if you taper too hard/fast the withdrawal symptoms are the same as symptoms of "mental illness" and your docs will put the kibosh on the whole tapering plan.

 

Welcome to the forum! 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

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

 

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

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I am appreciating all the help I am getting.  I mostly feel like saying here that I feel so disempowered in the psych system.  One is talked "to" not talked "with" and since the review panel hearing was planned, my doc started being a bit more nice to me (as in me being able to get a word in without getting shut down repeatedly).  My doc is not a devilish guy out to get me obviously but he is not the nicest person in terms of having compassion for the horrible side effects I want to get totally off from.  I really appreciate all the strategies you guys are giving me.  I have been in need of help for a long time and all I wanted was local and organic food at first to build up strength but of course meds were my only option while I was dependent on my parents because of money and shelter.  I have been adapting my strategies slowly and at home, although I still don't have a job, I have been budgeting and eating very healthily and when I was luckily allowed to be off meds by another doc for a while I did super well, like super well - in university and everything - and I have built up my health.  I don't want it to come crashing down and I hate it almost when I'm fighting so hard to be well in the psych ward when visitors say to me : "oh, you look good, like pretty and stuff..."  Because I work hard to be presentable looking and am taking showers when I feel the grease from the lithium starting to build etc and I just don't want all my hard work to be then something to commend the psychiatrists on or get credit for getting me to really bump it up a notch.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi MadeTBP , I hope you are able to convince the doctors that you are capable and looking after yourself.

 

You say that a doctor allowed you to come off your meds once? Can you tell us a bit about that? I'm asking because 

doctors allow people to get off too quickly, then the person has a 'relapse' and is put back on more meds when in fact it is

withdrawal that they had been suffering from and not a return of illness!   

 

You are doing great at looking after yourself, carry on doing that and they will see that you are responsible and capable.  :)

**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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Here's my approach:  Keep playing the game and being a model patient even if people do give your docs or your meds the credit for it. Once you're in the psychiatric system, the way things are set up right now, control of your life is taken out of your hands. So do whatever it takes. Be a model patient. Tell them what you know they want to hear from you. Play the game well.

 

Eventually you'll get a bit more freedom, but be careful with it, keep showing people what they need to see, someone who is in control and acting and thinking as "normal" as possible.

 

Eventually once your life is under your own control you will have the flexibility to be more eccentric if you like, and to have attitude about psychiatry, or even (heaven forbid) get involved in activism and stuff. But right now it's time to be very well behaved.

 

And it sounds like you're doing great with that! Hang in there.

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

 

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

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  • Administrator

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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Appreciated seriously guys.  Ummm, ok.  So. basically for my cooking work-op experience I was at this remote yoga ashram place and I "wasn't able to find a clinic to get me my injection" so I went without it for a month and did well.  Came back home and negotiated with a nicer doctor and he finally gave me a chance to be off meds as I had already "initiated" it.  Well..it went very well for 10 months.  I have heard that they expected me to relapse much sooner but anyways as to the model patient thing - It's really pissing me off but I'm trying to do what I need to do for myself even though it's a catch 22 at the review panel and they might be like: "oh but you look fine and articulate, you are not suffering enough.  Whereas if I hadn't built up all this mental strength through also coping with withdrawal before and known what to do to a certain extent and been doped to the gills and unpresentable, they'd be like: no wonder they think you should be in here.  One patient is getting antsy about using the comp so I must leave.

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Could I have a little help with just a concise way of tapering off my meds (like a simple list of reductions?) in a rush...

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  • Administrator

If I were you, I'd think of reducing paliperidone first, with perhaps a 5% reduction per month. If all goes well, 10% per month.

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

To reiterate, I think you'll get the best support if you tell them you want to find the lowest effective dose of the fewest drugs, in order to reduce side effects and long term health risks. NOT that you want to come off your meds. 

 

In other words you want to minimize your med use at the lowest effective amount of meds, for health reasons.

 

I think they will be more open to that than "get off my 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

 

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

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  • Moderator Emeritus

As far as how to taper, we recommend one med at a time, no more than 10% of your current dose per month.

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

 

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

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