Jump to content
amro1991

☼ amro1991: Hello Community (Anti psychotic withdrawal)

Recommended Posts

amro1991

Hello Everybody from the community,

I would like to share my story where I was diagnosed with drug induced delusions. I was put on anti psychotics Zyprexa and Invega for 8 months starting January until September. I have quit cold turkey about 2 months ago after suffering from emotional blunting, social withdrawal anhedonia and lost my ability to communicate and socialize. Since then I have not really suffered much withdrawal effects except anxiety which has significantly decreased. However, I still suffer from anhedonia and emotional blunting and cannot enjoy things that I used to in the past. I cannot enjoy music, alcohol, and simply conversations with friends. I used to be very outgoing and enjoyed meeting new people but now I simply do not have the motivation to do so. Will this ever go away? Is two months off anti psychotics enough to judge or must I wait for some more time?

 

Thanks to all

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Hi amro1991,

Welcome to the forum, thank you for posting an introduction.  I'm sorry you are still having some symptoms after stopping your drugs 2 months ago.  Its great that the anxiety has decreased, this is progress.

 

If you don't mind sharing, what were the drugs which caused the delusions?

 

Its never a good idea to quit psyche meds cold turkey, unless you have only been on them for a couple of weeks or less, they need to be tapered to give your nervous system time to adjust to the changes which have been made by being on the drugs. Over time, these drugs change your nervous system. Their effects on your nervous system change as well.  These changes are temporary, but the CNS does take quite a while to right itself after the drugs are out of the body. Its not unusual for people to still be having some withdrawal symptoms at 2 months after going cold turkey.

 

Its difficult to know if the anhedonia and emotional blunting are residual effects of the drugs or withdrawal, because you had them while taking the medication, but they will go away.

 

You were not on this medication for long, so I'm sure you will recover in time, I have the impression that you are quite young, so this is also in your favor for faster recovery.

 

Here is the link to our symptoms and self care section, you may find some useful non-drug ideas to help manage symptoms as you recover.  Especially read the topics pinned at the top.

 

Many people find  fish oil and magnesium helpful, see King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker

 

Here is our anhedonia, apathy demotivation topic:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2873-anhedonia-apathy-demotivation/

 

Please feel free to write whenever you want, you will find a lot of friendly help and support here.

 

Petu.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Thanks a lot Petu for the help!

I have been able to quit cold turkey and survived the first month of withdrawals with no problem. I don't really want to go back on them and taper because I think 2 months is progress and that going back will get me back to square one. I had smoked marijuana and had some effects from that but after some time I did not have any delusions. However, my family still forced me on the medication and only after 8 months was I able to stop after visiting a psychologist who said I did not need any meds. I'm glad to hear that there is hope for recovery because it seems like a condition that has no end. I guess that is part of anhedonia where you are not really able to imagine better circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

Welcome, amro.

 

Your nervous system has been upset from the drugs and probably cold turkey as well. Give it a chance to recover for a good long time before trying alcohol. Alcohol is a drug, too, and can cause further upset.

 

Many people here find eating healthful diets and avoiding sugar, caffeine, and packaged foods is helpful. Please see our Symptoms and Self-Care forum http://tinyurl.com/3hq949z

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Thanks Altostrata,

I am trying my best to be patient and I rarely drink since I cannot really enjoy it anyways. I take some supplements like Lion's mane and spirulina. How long do you think is the average recovery time from anhedonia. Did you go through the same problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

 I don't really want to go back on them and taper because I think 2 months is progress and that going back will get me back to square one.

 

If you feel you are making progress, then I agree, reinstatement is probably not a good idea.  It sounds like the anhedonia was/is caused by the drugs you were on, rather than it being a withdrawal symptom, because it started while you were taking the drugs.

 

Its impossible to predict how long the anhedonia will last, or to even give an average because everyone is an individual, has different circumstances and has taken different medications for different lengths of time.  There are just too many variables.  But what we do know is that in time, everyone gets better.

 

It will take as long as it will take and in the mean time you can support the recovery process with healthy lifestyle choices.  Many people find fish oil helpful for brain health and recovery see King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil)

 

Have you found the lion's mane and spirulina helpful?

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

I think lion's mane is pretty helpful but I can't really judge if it is the one causing the improvement or time. Spirulina isn't really that helpful. Yes I am very positive that the anhedonia was caused by the meds because I never had it, infact I used to be very vibrant and take pleasure from the smallest things. I understand that it is a matter of luck as to whether the recovery will be quick or not.

 

Thanks a lot Petu for the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

I did have emotional anesthesia and depersonalization. It took about a year and a half before I felt changes. They were very gradual.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Akathisia is getting better and about 80% gone. I am starting to feel tiny bits of emotion sometimes where I can laugh and cry but I cannot feel the depth of the emotion and pleasure derived from it. I don't know what this means or if that means I am recovering or not. My ability to communicate has also improved where I can find words to say when talking to someone. However, the wit that I enjoyed before being on meds is still lacking. I would appreciate if someone can tell me if this means I am recovering from anhedonia or not.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Also I would like to wish all the members a happy new year!

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

 I am starting to feel tiny bits of emotion sometimes where I can laugh and cry but I cannot feel the depth of the emotion and pleasure derived from it. I don't know what this means or if that means I am recovering or not. ...... I would appreciate if someone can tell me if this means I am recovering from anhedonia or not.

 

This sounds like recovery to me.  Your full range of emotions will come back gradually.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Thanks Petu I hope so that my range of emotions will be back to the pre meds condition. I will keep updating if I notice any improvements. I hope you are also recovering as you would like to.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

There are some days that I feel very bad and that I will never recover back to my old self. Then this wave passes and I get a few days where I feel like I'm starting to feel better. When I do an activity that previously made me feel pleasure I feel very sad because I cannot enjoy it like I used to. I am wondering if I will ever stabilize to a point where I will not have these waves of bad and good days. Yesterday I went to a concert and felt very sad because I could not enjoy and kept thinking throughout the concert about my anhedonia. I wish I knew if I would recover or not and feel that if I knew such a thing maybe I would be a little more patient. However, I know that is impossible because nobody really knows for sure whether they will recover completely or not.

Share this post


Link to post
dalsaan

The fact that you are having periods where your symptoms lift shows recovery is happening. I don't have a timeframe for you but I am confident it will lift

 

If you go back to Schizors thread (which you have commented on previously) you will see things have changed for him, despite the fact he was convinced they wouldn't http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6664-schizor-can-the-brain-recover-from-antipsychotics/page-4

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Thanks I hope that I will be able to share a succes story one day.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

I seem to have discomfort all the time and I don't know if this is because of anhedonia or this is part of withdrawal. I have been off all meds since about 5 months but the progress is very slow and I am still very anhedonic. It is very unbearable since I am unable to find pleasure in anything that I do. The discomfort is in my chest where I feel like something is always pressuring my chest. I don't know what to call it or if there is a scientific name to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Is this feeling in your chest like a physical pain, or more of an emotional sensation?  How long have you been feeling this symptom? Is it there all the time, or does it come and go?

 

Five months out from a CT is still early days and its not surprising that you would still be having some symptoms.  Read back through what you have written in your thread, you are getting better, not as fast as you would like, I'm sure, but you will get there.

 

Maybe read through the anhedonia topic again, and add to the discussion if you like:

 

http://survivinganti...y-demotivation/

 

You are certainly not alone in feeling this way, many of us here are trying to get through each day, not getting any pleasure out of anything, but the good news is that the ability to feel pleasure again will return eventually.  I know that doesn't make it any easier now, but at least we know that its not going to last for ever and sometimes it feels that way.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

The feeling comes and goes and usually happens once a day where I get a feeling of very deep sadness that my life is like this and feel this in my chest. It is more of an emotional pain. You are right that sometimes it feels that I am destined to live in this way all my life. I hope that it is just a feeling that is part of withdrawal and that one day I will be able to enjoy the things that I used to in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Altostrata

That sounds like what I called a "black hole." I used to get them, often with sudden weeping.

 

It is a withdrawal symptom, and it will pass. Please observe it as a curious symptom apart from who you really are. You are not your symptoms.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

My negative waves have been decreasing recently and I am starting for feel a little better than I was in the past 5 months. However, I still feel anhedonic and do not have much motivation to do go out and do stuff. I don't know if it is possible that I will regain all my emotions back but I'm hoping that I will do one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

Feelings of anhedonia and lack of motivation can be some of the last symptoms to go away.  But your waves have been decreasing, so that's a good sign, I'm sure you will get your normal feelings back eventually.  I know how difficult it can be, waiting to feel normal again, it seems to take for ever.  But you will get there.

 

Thank you for updating and letting us know how you are.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

I am considering purchasing a supplement known as 5-HTP. I am wondering if it is effective in tackling anhedonia and symptoms of withdrawal. Will it be helpful or is it going to disturb my healing process?

Share this post


Link to post
compsports

I am considering purchasing a supplement known as 5-HTP. I am wondering if it is effective in tackling anhedonia and symptoms of withdrawal. Will it be helpful or is it going to disturb my healing process?

Personally, I would be very leery of trying it.   But if you decide to, take half the starting dose and titrate very slowly.

 

Best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
mammaP

There is a topic on 5HTP  in symptoms and self care. I would read the whole topic before deciding, the first posts are information from the internet and after that people's experiences with it in withdrawal. Withdrawal changes the way people are affected by supplements and what may help someone who has never taken drugs can make someone ill in withdrawal. Look at the experiences and if you try it do as CS suggested and start low. Keep us updated wont you? 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-tryptophan/

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Thanks MammaP and CS for the advice.
 
I have actually read parts of the discussion on it and I think it might be a better idea if I waited for a while before experimenting with any supplements. I just feel like my improvement is very subtle and slow that I am unable to appreciate it so I was looking for a catalyst that would maybe stimulate my receptors and allow me to have feelings of pleasure. It has been almost 6 months since I quit the meds and a lot of the physical symptoms have faded away. The only problem is that I cannot feel any positive emotion or pleasure from any activity. I am at a point in my life where I am supposed to be looking for a job and pursuing a career. But due to the lack of motivation I am experiencing, it is almost impossible for me to actively look for a job. If I could know a deadline to when this anhedonia will go away I would be much more patient, but knowing that it is uncertain whether it will ever fade away increases my worries.

Share this post


Link to post
Petunia

It has been almost 6 months since I quit the meds and a lot of the physical symptoms have faded away.

 

This is really good news amro, you are recovering nicely and seem to be following what I've come to notice is a common pattern of withdrawal, especially in younger people.

 

The only problem is that I cannot feel any positive emotion or pleasure from any activity. I am at a point in my life where I am supposed to be looking for a job and pursuing a career. But due to the lack of motivation I am experiencing, it is almost impossible for me to actively look for a job. If I could know a deadline to when this anhedonia will go away I would be much more patient, but knowing that it is uncertain whether it will ever fade away increases my worries.

 

As I wrote before, anhedonia is often one of the last symptoms to go completely, I know how difficult it is because I still have it, I still have other symptoms too, but when they fade away temporarily, I'm still left with the anhedonia and I know, it can be almost impossible to find the motivation to do anything.  I make myself do the things I need to do anyway, for the simple fact that I need to do them to keep my life running the way I want it to run.

 

Our ability to feel pleasure and happiness will come back, in the mean time, we need to keep our lives running on their tracks as smoothly as we can.  I suspect you will be feeling better before me, because you are younger and seem to be healing at a faster rate.  You also weren't on drugs for very long.

 

I am supposed to be looking for a job and pursuing a career.

 

.... and you can still do these things, if this is what you choose to do, even if you don't yet feel any pleasure or motivation, it sounds like you are recovered enough to be able to do what you need to do.  There is that saying about fake it until you make it.  Perhaps you could just decide that this is what you are going to do, because this is what you want for your life, and then let your good emotions catch up when they are ready.  What were you goals before you started on drugs?  If they haven't changed, then keep following them, doing what you need to do, one step at a time.

 

Then one day, when you are fully recovered, with your health returned, you will be grateful and proud of yourself for doing what you needed to do to keep your life on its path.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Thank you Petunia for the encouragement!

 

You seem to be speaking from experience of yourself and others that you have met over the years. This gives me hope because rather than giving me theoretical information about recovery you are telling me from what you have seen. I am definitely improving from where I was 5 or 6 months ago when I had just quit taking antipsychotics. It does seem that anhedonia is the the last symptom to go away because a lot of my other symptoms and side effects of medication have significantly decreased. It seems like when one suffers from a very terrible window after that the sun shines again. It is like the brain is fighting within itself and when I feel very bad I come out of that window with a general improvement.

 

I hope I will be able to share a success story and in the meantime I will pray that me and everybody in a similar situation can recover completely :)

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

Just a quick update on how I'm doing nowadays. It has been almost 7 months since I quit cold turkey.

 

Firstly the positive side in my recovery is the following:

 

1) Constipation has lessened I still have a little constipation but I am generally able to visit the toilet more often than I used to while on meds.

2) Akathisia has also decreased and is not all the time like it used to be. It usually comes in waves for a few days then dissapears for some time.

3) Mental clarity has improved and I am able to focus a little more than I used to. Also able to think better than I was while on meds.

4) I have a little bit more emotion than I used to being on meds which I believe is positive. Usually sad events trigger more emotion in me than happy events but that may be an indicator of improvement.

 

On the negative side:

1) The waves last for more than a few hours and can last up to a week. These negative waves make me feel like there is no hope in recovery and make me feel very depressed about my situation and have hate for those who were involved in putting me in it.

2) I am still unable to feel deep emotion from events that happen and still cannot feel much pleasure doing things.

3) Motivation is still weak and I hope it will improve so I can get on with my life and ambitions.

4) My wit is not the same as it used to be. I am unable to come up with quick responses a lot of time but the sedation has vanished so I am no longer very quiet and unresponsive like I was on meds.

 

On a side note, I took some fish oil for about a week and it did not really do much to help me so I discontinued it because I'm not sure if it made me agitated or if it was just a negative wave that I was in. I am also thinking about purchasing some Piracetam which is a nootropic drug that is supposed to stimulate brain activity.

 

I hope this information can be helpful for those in a similar situation and I wonder if this means that I am on my way to full recovery.

Share this post


Link to post
Jim24

Noopept seems like a better choice Noopept is a cycloprolylglycine-derived nootropic peptide that is related to the Racetam class of compounds. Researchers have described it as exhibiting a potency 1000x greater than that of Piracetam. It enhances cholinergic neurotransmission, heightens synaptic plasticity and is a more powerful anti-oxidant than Piracetam or Vitamin E. Additional reported effects include:

  • Improves memory function in impaired individuals. 
  • Increases NGF and BDNF levels. 
  • Significant neuroprotective and anti-oxidant effects. 
  • Reduces anxiety, fatigue and irritability while improving mood, sleep and wakefulness. 
  • Reduces depression and eliminates learned helplessness. 

Share this post


Link to post
Jim24

hey how you doing?

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

I have been improving but definitely not at the rate that I would appreciate my improvements. I get brain zaps many times along with the fog in my mind which makes me not able to see improvements. Also when I am in a wave and have akathisia I feel very bad like I never improved. My vocabulary is better but still not where it used to be and my anhedonia is very slowly improving. I am hoping that in the coming months things will get brighter.

Share this post


Link to post
Jim24

I also have the brain fog and cant have conversations like I did before and my anhedonia never improved I miss the way music sounded and how fun activities were my personality is also amiss.

Share this post


Link to post
lapd

I also have the brain fog and cant have conversations like I did before and my anhedonia never improved I miss the way music sounded and how fun activities were my personality is also amiss.

Music is the worst, if you enjoyed it you remember a very positive feeling, sort of joy when you listened to favourite tracks. When it's gone it's like all music became empty, just noise, there are no more pleasant feelings when you listen to it.

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

 

I also have the brain fog and cant have conversations like I did before and my anhedonia never improved I miss the way music sounded and how fun activities were my personality is also amiss.

Music is the worst, if you enjoyed it you remember a very positive feeling, sort of joy when you listened to favourite tracks. When it's gone it's like all music became empty, just noise, there are no more pleasant feelings when you listen to it.

 

I know what you mean Lapd. I have the same problem. I cannot feel the euphoria that I did before being on meds. I am praying that I can recover that because it is really making me sad that I cannot enjoy the things I used to love. Maybe it's a good sign that I actually feel bad about it. At least I'm not indifferent. I also still have constipation since being on meds which has not decreased much. I hope that will end too. I have read about dopamine agonists, and in particular piribedil and I have been trying to obtain a prescription for it. It apparently is used off label for treatment of anhedonia. I hope that is true and will work.

Share this post


Link to post
Jim24

 

 

I also have the brain fog and cant have conversations like I did before and my anhedonia never improved I miss the way music sounded and how fun activities were my personality is also amiss.

Music is the worst, if you enjoyed it you remember a very positive feeling, sort of joy when you listened to favourite tracks. When it's gone it's like all music became empty, just noise, there are no more pleasant feelings when you listen to it.

 

I know what you mean Lapd. I have the same problem. I cannot feel the euphoria that I did before being on meds. I am praying that I can recover that because it is really making me sad that I cannot enjoy the things I used to love. Maybe it's a good sign that I actually feel bad about it. At least I'm not indifferent. I also still have constipation since being on meds which has not decreased much. I hope that will end too. I have read about dopamine agonists, and in particular piribedil and I have been trying to obtain a prescription for it. It apparently is used off label for treatment of anhedonia. I hope that is true and will work.

 

If you can get  piribedil let me know how it goes but I dont know how I can explain to the doc why I need a med for Parkinson's disease.    

Share this post


Link to post
amro1991

I would just like to add that I am now in a place where I am no longer suffering every minute and second of the day. I still have a way to go to consider myself completely recovered, but the constant negative thoughts and beliefs have decreased dramatically since I went of meds. I am now almost 9 months out and I believe that I can finally feel some emotion. It is not where I was before but it seems like there has been a lot of improvement of the past 3 or 4 months compared with when I first quit the med.

 

It seems like a very long process for the brain to recover to its pre-med condition and it requires a lot of patience to deal with such a situation. I feel like my thought process is still slow and I cannot come up with a lot of words and wit while having conversations and I really miss that part of me. I wish it will come back.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy