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PwrThrashinDeth: Anhedonia following drug induced psychosis / antipsychotic treatment


PwrThrashinDeth

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My journey into the mental health umbrella so to speak started last November. I smoked a quarter of some weed that there was definitely something funny about, it sent me into a drug induced psychosis. I was an avid pot smoker at the time, earlier that year (around February) I started smoking weed very regularly, and by Summertime it was routine for me to smoke a quarter of weed in a week. It never caused me any problems, and I certainly never had anything even remotely resembling psychotic symptoms, up until I got this bag.

 

I smoked the quarter of this weed over the course of a week, and starting having some weird thoughts/paranoia when I was high. I didn't think much of it, just thought it was super dank or something. A couple days after I smoked all of it the thoughts developed into a full blown psychosis. This included delusional thoughts, paranoia, auditory halucinations, derealization, scary stuff. This lasted about a week until my dad took me to the hospital.

 

I was involuntarily admitted to inpatient for a week. A couple days into my stay there they put me on 6mg Risperdal, which calmed my delusions down. Little did I know what this drug really was or of the side effects. Something about that dose was way too high for me, I almost passed out while I was in the hospital, so they lowered the dose to 4mg. After getting out of the hospital, my thoughts went from slight remaining delusions, to "oh good, the delusions are gone, I'm feeling better", to "uh oh, I can't feel or enjoy anything anymore". What replaced my delusional thinking was a flat mood, apathy, and anhedonia.

 

After these symptoms continued for awhile, I complained to my new psychiatrist who wasn't particularly caring or receptive to my complaints, but lowered the dose to 3mg after I'd been on it for about a month. He told me I would have to be on it for 6 months, until May. After another 2 or 3 weeks, I was able to meet with the Nurse Practitioner at my outpatient mental health center, who was very nice to me and helped taper me off it. I got off it mid January, after a total of 2 months. None of my psychotic symptoms returned, so I believe they could've and should've taken me off it even sooner than they did.

 

After getting off the Risperdal, some of the side effects like akathesia and constant tiredness went away pretty quickly, but the anhedonia and emotional blunting have stuck around. I'm in the prime of my life right now so I'd really like to get past these symptoms so I can get back to my life and doing what I love.

 

So far I've tried smoking weed again, but my brain chemistry is so screwed up right now that I can't even really get high. I also gave Wellbutrin a one month trial at 150mg, but it didn't touch the anhedonia and caused insomnia so I discontinued. As soon as I got off it I started noticing glimpses of emotions, so that proved to me once and for all that psych meds really aren't the answer to my problems. My old psychiatrist wanted to instead put me on an SSRI or another antipsychotic, to which I said no and hell no. I was able to switch to a new psychiatrist who's much more intelligent and understanding and actually told me that he sees no reason to put me on any psychiatric medications right now and that he'd rather see if I heal naturally (a psychiatrist talking sense, who would've thought!).

 

What I'm doing now is therapy, walking a couple miles every day, taking fish oil, and abstaining from all drugs both psychiatric and recreational. But what's really been helping me is acupuncture. I've had 4 sessions so far and after each one I have a deep feeling of relaxation that lasts a couple hours, and later that night or the next day I notice a slight improvement in my symptoms. The acupuncturist told me that I'll probably take 10 to 12 sessions, so hopefully he can get me to a point where I at least feel decent.

 

I'm in a much better place mentally than I was back in January or February, not that I ever really had sadness or low mood but at least now the future is looking brighter and I feel like I'm on the road to recovery. I still have a ways to go but I feel like I'll get there.

Suffered acute drug induced psychosis early Nov 2013

Risperdal: 4mg mid Nov - Mid Dec, 3mg Mid Dec - Late Dec, 2mg Late Dec - Early Jan, 1mg Early Jan - Mid Jan

Wellbutrin: 150mg 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Trazodone: 100mg as needed 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Current symptoms: anhedonia, emotional blunting

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  • Administrator

Welcome to our community PTD. 

 

You appear to be very lucky to have found a pdoc who is willing to see if you can heal naturally from here.  It appears to me that you are doing all the right things.  Gentle exercise, fish oil, abstaining from all drugs and acupuncture are all excellent ways to take care of yourself and allow your system to heal.

 

When you get a chance, please provide a brief summary of your medication withdrawal history in your signature so that as we follow your story we can offer meaningful suggestions.  Here is a link that explains how to do that: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Keep us posted on your progress as you continue the acupuncture.

 

Karma

2007 @ 375 mg Effexor - 11/29/2011 - 43.75 mg Effexor (regular) & .625 mg Xanax

200 mg Gabapentin 2/27/21 - 194.5 mg, 5/28/21 - 183 mg, 8/2/21 - 170 mg, 11/28/21 - 150 mg, 4/19/22 - 122 mg; 8//7/22 - 100 mg
Xanax taper: 3/11/12 - 0.9375 mg, 3/25/12 - 0.875 mg, 4/6/12 - 0.8125 mg, 4/18/12 - 0.75 mg; 1/16 0.6875 mg; at some point 0.625 mg
Effexor taper: 1/29/12 - 40.625 mg, 4/29/12 - 39.875 mg, 5/11/12 - Switched to liquid Effexor, 5/25/12 - 38 mg, 7/6/12 - 35 mg, 8/17/12 - 32 mg, 9/14/12 - 30 mg, 10/19/12 - 28 mg, 11/9/12 - 26 mg, 11/30/12 - 24 mg, 01/14/13 - 22 mg. 02/25/13 - 20.8 mg, 03/18/13 - 19.2 mg, 4/15/13 - 17.6 mg, 8/10/13 - 16.4 mg, 9/7/13 - 15.2 mg, 10/19/13 - 14 mg, 1/15/14 - 13.2 mg, 3/1/2014 - 12.6 mg, 5/4/14 - 12 mg, 8/1/14 - 11.4 mg, 8/29/14 - 10.8 mg; 10/14/14 - 10.2 mg; 12/15/14 - 10 mg, 1/11/15 - 9.5 mg, 2/8/15 - 9 mg, 3/21/15 - 8.5 mg, 5/1/15 - 8 mg, 6/9/15 - 7.5 mg, 7/8/15 - 7 mg, 8/22/15 - 6.5 mg, 10/4/15 - 6 mg; 1/1/16 - 5.6 mg; 2/6/16 - 5.2 mg; 4/9 - 4.8 mg; 7/7 4.5 mg; 10/7 4.25 mg; 11/4 4.0 mg; 11/25 3.8 mg; 4/24 3.6 mg; 5/27 3.4 mg; 7/8 3.2 mg ... 10/18 2.8 mg; 1/18 2.6 mg; 4/7 2.4 mg; 5/26 2.15mg; 8/18 1.85 mg; 10/7 1.7 mg; 12/1 1.45 mg; 3/2 1.2 mg; 5/4 0.90 mg; 6/1 0.80 mg; 6/22 0.65 mg; 08/03 0.50 mg, 08/10 0.45 mg, 10/05 0.325 mg, 11/23 0.2 mg, 12/14 0.15 mg, 12/21 0.125 mg, 02/28 0.03125 mg, 2/15 0.015625 mg, 2/29/20 0.00 mg - OFF Effexor


I am not a medical professional - this is not medical advice. My suggestions are based on personal experience, reading, observation and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers

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Welcome to our community PTD. 

 

You appear to be very lucky to have found a pdoc who is willing to see if you can heal naturally from here.  It appears to me that you are doing all the right things.  Gentle exercise, fish oil, abstaining from all drugs and acupuncture are all excellent ways to take care of yourself and allow your system to heal.

 

When you get a chance, please provide a brief summary of your medication withdrawal history in your signature so that as we follow your story we can offer meaningful suggestions.  Here is a link that explains how to do that: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

Keep us posted on your progress as you continue the acupuncture.

 

Karma

Yeah it was really refreshing when I met my new p-doc, he's really cool and my jaw about hit the floor when he said he'd rather see me heal naturally, haha. I'll add that to my sig right now. I have 2 more acupuncture appointments this week so I'll definitely be posting an update.

Suffered acute drug induced psychosis early Nov 2013

Risperdal: 4mg mid Nov - Mid Dec, 3mg Mid Dec - Late Dec, 2mg Late Dec - Early Jan, 1mg Early Jan - Mid Jan

Wellbutrin: 150mg 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Trazodone: 100mg as needed 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Current symptoms: anhedonia, emotional blunting

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sounds like you're on the right track and you've made some great decisions for yourself. Kudos for sticking to your guns about staying off the meds!

 

I'd only add, when you get the chance, you might want to read the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. I think it will help you in the future if you have to deal with people who want you to get on more psych drugs. Once we have any psych history in the records we're vulnerable--there are laws and things that make it possible to pressure or even force people to go on meds, and young people are especially vulnerable.

 

But it sounds to me like you're doing everything right. The anhedonia will resolve eventually (this seems to be a pretty common problem with young folks here.) You'll be fine.

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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Sounds like you're on the right track and you've made some great decisions for yourself. Kudos for sticking to your guns about staying off the meds!

 

I'd only add, when you get the chance, you might want to read the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. I think it will help you in the future if you have to deal with people who want you to get on more psych drugs. Once we have any psych history in the records we're vulnerable--there are laws and things that make it possible to pressure or even force people to go on meds, and young people are especially vulnerable.

 

But it sounds to me like you're doing everything right. The anhedonia will resolve eventually (this seems to be a pretty common problem with young folks here.) You'll be fine.

Oh yeah I've read Anatomy of an Epidemic, such a great book! I think it should be a mandatory read for everyone in psychiatric treatment, haha. Thanks for the encouragement!

Suffered acute drug induced psychosis early Nov 2013

Risperdal: 4mg mid Nov - Mid Dec, 3mg Mid Dec - Late Dec, 2mg Late Dec - Early Jan, 1mg Early Jan - Mid Jan

Wellbutrin: 150mg 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Trazodone: 100mg as needed 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Current symptoms: anhedonia, emotional blunting

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  • Administrator

PwrThrash, does your new doctor know anything about tapering people off drugs? How did you find him?

 

BTW, many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/
 

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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PwrThrash, does your new doctor know anything about tapering people off drugs? How did you find him?

 

BTW, many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1300-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

I'm not sure if my new p-doc knows anything about tapering because I've only met with him once and I wasn't on any drugs but the nurse practitioner at my mental health clinic definitely did. I found him because I complained to my therapist about my old p-doc and told her I wanted to switch. She likes this new guy and thought I would do well with him so she talked to him and he wanted to take on my case. She told him upfront I don't want to take any meds.

 

I've been taking fish oil for awhile, and take a vitamin with magnesium in it, maybe I should look into taking more magnesium though.

 

Also an update, 6 acupuncture sessions in now and noticing continued improvement.

Suffered acute drug induced psychosis early Nov 2013

Risperdal: 4mg mid Nov - Mid Dec, 3mg Mid Dec - Late Dec, 2mg Late Dec - Early Jan, 1mg Early Jan - Mid Jan

Wellbutrin: 150mg 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Trazodone: 100mg as needed 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Current symptoms: anhedonia, emotional blunting

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  • Administrator

That's very good, PTID.

 

If you find a doctor or nurse who truly knows how to taper people off drugs, we value recommendations here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

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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  • 4 weeks later...

Just wanted to update that I'm 10 acupuncture sessions in and noticing continued improvement. Lately the acupuncturist has been giving me some Chinese liver supplements, which have helped significantly,

Suffered acute drug induced psychosis early Nov 2013

Risperdal: 4mg mid Nov - Mid Dec, 3mg Mid Dec - Late Dec, 2mg Late Dec - Early Jan, 1mg Early Jan - Mid Jan

Wellbutrin: 150mg 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Trazodone: 100mg as needed 5/25/14 - 6/23/14

Current symptoms: anhedonia, emotional blunting

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  • Administrator

Good to hear. Please add more detail to our Acupuncture topic in Symptoms and Self-care -- people will want to know exactly how you're being treated.

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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  • 3 months later...

How are you doing now Pwr? Have you recovered from the anhedonia and emotional blunting?

Started on Zyprexa 15mg in January 2014
Switched to Invega in March 2014
Back to Zyprexa 5mg in June 2014
Quit anti psychotics cold turkey on September 1st 2014 after severe anhedonia and brain fog.

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