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An update from Dr. Shipko, very encouraging


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I think this is posted elsewhere on this site nevertheless it was good to read it again.

 

Maybe a mod can enlarge the font size as reading it wasnt easy.

 

'Patients who are having toxic withdrawal related symptoms almost always want to know how long it will last.  There is no good answer for this question, but the time frame is going to be in the realm of months and years and not days or weeks.  This is an important issue for the person who is highly debilitated by symptoms.  If a person is disabled and unable to function at work or to socialize, then it is probably not a great idea to wait indefinitely for it to go away.  Reinstatement of the drug, or use of a benzodiazepine – while not ideal, may be worth the risks.'

 

I dont like the idea of adding a benzo but that is just me.

 

'In the meantime, I want to emphasize that rehabilitative related treatment is useful in improving symptoms.  Recently I saw a person who had to drop out of college for the semester because they could not concentrate enough to do the computer programming needed for classes.  As a rehabilitation strategy, the person was encouraged to do some similar type of programming every day.  It was a slow start, but it looks like this person will resume school next month.  Staying in bed and resting in hope that the problem will go away may not be as good as forcing oneself to engage in exercise, socialization, proper diet, meditation, spiritual activities and work like activities.'

 

Easier said than done sometimes staying in bed and resting was all i could do.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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You can always click on the link and read on the original site. I copy and pasted the article but the formatting didn't keep.

2005-2008: Effexor; 1/2008 Tapered 3 months, then quit. 7/2008-2009 Reinstated Effexor (crying spells at start of new job.)
2009-3/2013: Switched to Pristiq 50 mg then 100 mg
3/2013: Switched to Lexapro 10mg. Cut down to 5 mg. CT for 2 weeks then reinstated for 6 weeks
8/2013-8/2014: Tapering Lexapro (Lots of withdrawal symptoms)
11/2014 -8/2015: Developed severe insomnia and uncontrollable daily crying spells
12/2014-6/2015: Tried Ambien, Klonopin,Ativan, Lunesta, Sonata, Trazadone, Seroquel, Rameron, Gabapentin - Developed Anxiety disorder, PTSD, and Psychogenic Myoclonus
7/2015-1/2016: Reinstated Lexapro 2 mg (mild improvement, but crying spells still present)

1/2016-5/2017: Lexapro 5 mg ( helped a lot, but poor stress tolerance & depressive episodes)

5/20/2017 - Raised dose to Lexapro 10 mg due to lingering depression(Total of 2 failed tapers & severe PAWS)

9/11/2018 - Present: Still on 10 mg Lexapro and mostly recovered.(Extremely sensitive to stress which triggers Myoclonus.)

Intro page: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4149-lilu-depression-worsened-by-meds/

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This is Shipko's latest installment, which came out today on MiA:

 

How to Avoid Severe SSRI Withdrawal Symptoms?

 

And once again, he is advocating the use of benzos for people to use to come off SSRIs.


 

Quote

 

Benzodiazepines almost always provide symptomatic relief. Sometimes high doses for long periods of time are needed. More often they can be used at intervals of no more than twice a week long term without becoming dependent. The only medications that reliably seem to make withdrawal symptoms tolerable so that the person no longer need consider suicide are the benzodiazepines.

 

 

 

 

But he's getting more brazen about it and asking the folks from the benzo withdrawal community to support him in this.

 

Quote

Treatment of SSRI withdrawal toxicity is difficult. I also want to shout out to the online benzodiazepine support groups, and make a request. Medicine is filled with difficult choices, and I ask that the benzo community consider withdrawal akathisia as a possible valid indication for the drugs. For severe akathisia with suicidal ideation, benzodiazepines can be lifesaving. Other medications are generally far less effective for these severe problems and run the risk of causing further damage.

 

This did not go over well to the benzo community who responded in the comments area.  

 

All you have to do is look at the benzo forum here on SA and over on the protracted section of Benzo Buddies to realize how dangerous this advice is. While I do agree that a using a rescue dose from time to time is warranted, especially for someone experiencing severe suicidal ideation, however, Shipko is advocating using them long term, as I just highlighted in red above. This is very dangerous advice and people should be warned that benzos also can cause akathisia and suicidal thoughts upon withdrawal. 

Edited by Shep
fixed typo

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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Thanks for posting Shep. 

 

I have a lot of admiration and respect for Dr Shipko.

I was offered a benzo in the early stages of withdrawal but I refused it and am so glad I did.

I know of others who used a benzo and years later they are still on it and unable to get off.

imo I don't think this is the answer. 

 

"There are people who are able to stop these drugs (even after long-term use) with minimal tapering and yet will have no discernible problems. Many people are going to have transient, mild to moderate difficulty and some are going to end up falling down the akathisia rabbit hole. That is a long, difficult drop."

 

Personally I always have tremendous difficulty especially after my own experience and seeing the experience of others from a distance in the local community believing that long term users with minimal tapering can just 'walk away' into the sunset. But that's just me. Are these people followed up one or two years later?

The fact that we are seeing unprecedented levels of prescriptions and rising for these chemicals suggests otherwise at least to me anyway. 

 

"It is bad enough to suffer from withdrawal akathisia, but the problem is compounded by well-meaning family encouraging the patient to seek more drugs and by possibly well-meaning psychiatrists who deny that such withdrawal symptoms exist. The patients often have no support from their family or their psychiatrist and are encouraged to take more drugs which often just make the problem worse."

I agree with this totally. Unless a person has a deep inner conviction of the true reason for their plight they are up against it that's for sure.

"Mostly patients seem unable to really put to words the intense suffering they experience. It is an anguish that seems to be neither anxiety nor depression. The severe and persistent set of symptoms of the SSRI withdrawal syndrome needs to be further defined and needs its own name."

Good point I agree. Any attempt to describe it using words results in the medical profession turning on us and labeling us, oblivious to the obvious -SSRI withdrawal and the horror show that it is.

 

"Reinstatement of the SSRI sometimes works, but it also might not work, or it might make things irreversibly worse"

 

"For patients on SSRIs long term who are having new problems with anxiety or depression and seek a medication treatment, it is probably a better idea to keep the old medication and add on new ones than to try to taper the first medication while adding in the new medication. "

This is an interesting statement. I don't know so much. Its just so tragic that people are in this disgusting position left so debilitated by the whole thing that decisions about this are often left to others. And this is the outcome. This I guess also is why we are seeing people turned into inescapable chemical dumpsites. Medicated train wrecks.

 

"As long as the general trend is improvement, then one can expect that over time there will be complete recovery. If a year has passed with no trend toward recovery, experimentation with other medications becomes a more reasonable strategy — however, the patient runs the risk of further deterioration."

No disrespect to Shipko who is doing his best to help others and acknowledges this harm being done to people but after reading this I still feel that the experts still seem unable to conceive of the timeframes for recovery here. After 1 year I was in a bad way. Two to three years is still early days, imo. 

 

"For people who have been on the drugs for less than five years, my basic starting point is to drop 10% every month or two until halfway, and then 5% the rest of the way. If the first 10% cut results in any meaningful symptoms, then I usually recommend reinstating until stable and then restarting half as fast. Similarly, if 5 % is too fast it is reinstated to the original dose until comfortable, and then we might try 2.5%. If there are significant withdrawal symptoms despite cuts of 2.5% every month or two, especially early on, I advise fairly quickly to reinstate to the original dose rather than to wait very long to try to accommodate."

 

I can only assume here that Shipko is referring to a arithmetic progression not a geometric one.

I wonder what he means by the original dose.

 

How many ticking SSRI time bombs are out there?

Good question ...ive sometimes wondered this myself ....imo the numbers are truly chilling!

 

 

nz11 

 

 

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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getofflex
On 12/31/2014 at 3:03 PM, Rhiannon said:

Dr. Shipko is smarter about withdrawal and more right on than the vast majority of docs, but he doesn't seem to have much experience with the kind of really long, slow taper that some of us are getting such good results with here.

 

The biggest problem with the long slow taper is that so few people are really prepared to put the kind of commitment and determination into it that it requires. 

I find this very reassuring.  I listened to a podcast by Dr Shipko on Medicating Normal (on Youtube) where he said that some of his patients got akathisia several months after jumping to zero, even after a proper slow taper, with minimal symptoms during the taper.  I found this disturbing, to say the least, especially since I myself am close to the finish line.  But perhaps Shipko's idea of a proper slow taper is different than SA's.  This tells me I'm just going to take my sweet time getting off the rest of this drug, and it doesn't matter how much longer it takes.  I hope my doctor is willing to continue to prescribe it for me.  

***Please note this is not medical advice.  Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a doctor who understands psych meds and how to withdraw from them, if you can find one.

Lexapro   Started Apr 15 '02 - 10 mg;  Apr 2 '20  0.18 mg; Jul 16  0.17 mg, Aug 23  0.16 mg, Oct 7  0.15 mg, Nov 8 - 0.14, Jan 16 '21 - 0.13, Feb 7 - 0.12, Feb 22 - 0.11, Mar 26 - 0.10, May 21 - 0.09, June 15 - 0.08 Aug 16 - 0.07, Oct 6 - 0.06 

Ibuprofen 800 mg, or Tylenol 1000 mg as needed

other meds: Levothyroxine 75 mg

Trazodone nightly, stopped in late 2019

Xanax on occasion, stopped in late 2019

magnesium in small amounts at breakfast, 3 PM 

suppl AM: fish oil, flax oil, vit C, vit E, calcium

suppl PM: magnesium 350 mg, GABA 750 mg, Estroven, melatonin 2.5 mg

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