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Omorfi

Bipolar, mood swings, mania, hypomania, depression

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Omorfi

I have been here before. I had my first manic episode after a steroid psychosis while withdrawing from Zoloft. After going off meds I had one again about a year later. I was medicated but always following an episode comes a great depression, a great worry about life and a disappearance of personality. Has anyone experienced this? I was manic and had to be medicated. I have a energy healer that works with me and says for now I must be on them. Its the path. I am totally unstable. But I would love some support from others that have gone through this pattern. 

I feel so alone. 


Currently on .75mg of Risperdol

450 mg of Trileptal

600 mg of Lithium 

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compsports

Omorfi,

 

It sounds like you developed mania as the result of being on steroids right?   And perhaps it was exacerbated by going off of Zoloft perhaps too fast?

 

When you say you are unstable, what do you mean?

 

It seems to me that if you developed mania as a drug side effect, that you could taper off of them as long as you it very slowly and when your body is stable.  You're not condemned to stay on them long term.


Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Omorfi

Yes, I feel that my mania's have been due to steroids, alcohol, and drug withdrawals. But, the depression after them is so hard. I just don't feel like myself yet I am not strong enough to go through withdrawals. It is such a hard place to be in. I guess I can see it as deep rest. But, its hard not to feel like yourself. 


Currently on .75mg of Risperdol

450 mg of Trileptal

600 mg of Lithium 

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Altostrata

When you have a bout of mania, you get medicated again, isn't that right?

 

This sounds like more adverse effects from the drugs you're on.


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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Omorfi

yes. but what am I supposed to do when I am on them? I can't go off right away? 


Currently on .75mg of Risperdol

450 mg of Trileptal

600 mg of Lithium 

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Altostrata

You need a doctor who is going to pay attention to the adverse effects you experience.


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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newbipo

Hi all, How are you doing?

 

It's being a while since I last post in here... need some help / advice from you all...

 

History:

 

In January I attempt to stop citalopram. Everything was going well until I crashed in desperation after some stressful situation.

 

I was taking citalopram from 4 years. Before that I was on:

 

Anafranil: 1 year (came of due lack of emotion - no problem)

 

Paroxetine: 1 years (came of due lack of emotion, lack of libido - no problem)

 

Fluoxetine: 2 years (same reason - no problem to stop)

 

My last one was citalopram... I took for 1 year than I stopped cause I got pregnant, 3 month out I lost the baby went back - had NO problem during this process.

 

I allways come off antidepressant because of the flat feeling and have to go back, 1 or 2 years later due Panic attacks, anxiety and mild depression (circumstantial).

 

Last time I was ok on citalopram. But wanted to stop because I was trying to get pregnant. The process was ok until I went on the internet and stated to read thing about this drugs... I went bananas...

 

I tried to reinstate and was feeling worse. My mood was swinging like crazy + a lot of anxiety. I went from depression in one day to normal in the other. Because of that I went to see a psychiatrist.  He first ask me to go back on the citalopram, but after seeing my situation told me I was now bipolar for long term exposure to antidepressant and that I should never take it again. He diagnosed me with rapid cycling + mixed state.

 

At the beginning I thought it was not the case… that I was only having a LOT of panic attacks + depression. But, at some point he manage to convince me. My family disagreed and I had some problem with this psychiatrist so I went to see a different one.

I saw other in the meantime and none of them diagnosed me as bipolar. This last one is helping me to stabilize without medication (can you believe that?) He calls me back when I’m in distress, he is kind. He thinks I’m having a high blow panic attacks, not mixed/bipolar disorder. The bad part is… the brain wash that was done, doesn’t leave me. I’m now thinking that I really am bipolar.

 

I decided to post here what I’ve been feeling to see if someone relates to my situation. I don’t remember being hypo/manic wile on Antidepressants. People always said I was intense but always due to circumstances… never out of the blue… I thought I was normal… but this is turning back on me… I started to see this as bipolar symptoms…

 

Here is what I’m dealing:

  • My moods are going up and down. I will wake up very anxious and depressed and as the day wears off I’ll feel better.
  • Last Saturday I had a breakdown. I was extremely anxious and thinking that I could not do it anymore, I was sure I was about to commit a suicide. I took Xanax and talked to my Dr. I was calmed after that. He said I was having an extreme panic attack. Not bipolar.
  • I feel my mood and my reaction in waves… like in a minute I’ll be feeling positive (I can do this, it will get better) and the other I would be negative (Who am I kidding? This will never end). My only stable moment was at night where I reached: Feeling normal and stable.

Questions:

  • Do you feel the mood going into waves (minutes apart)?
  • Have you ever had a panic attack where instead of being afraid of dying you wanted to commit a suicide (mind confused, dizziness, feeling like you are going crazy)?
  • How many of you were diagnosed as bipolar because of Antidepressant? Could you describe the situation and how you are dealing with it now?
  • Does anyone relate to this while stopping antidepressant?
  • In your opinion, what is happening to me
  • Should I throw my dream of med free in the garbage?

PS: I never had problem while ON antidepressant, only when I tried to stop… I have no problem with illicit drugs, I don’t drink alcohol  (not even coffee)

Please, I need some real people experience… hope you can help me ♥ 


After a long life (15 years) on and off antidepressants because of Anxiety and Panic attacks I decided to come off citalopram in November 2013...

01/14 - Citalopram 20mg - 0mg --> had severe symptoms and was diagnosed as Bipolar with rapide cycling and mixed state

02/14 - Seroquel 50 mg, Atenolol 25 mg 2xd, xanax 0.25 3xd

03/14 - Seroquel 300 mg, Atenolol 25 mg 2xd, xanax 0.25 2xd

04/14 - 05/14 Seroquel 400 mg, Atenolol 25mg 2xd, xanax 0.25 2xd

06/14 - 07/14 Seroquel 300 mg, Atenolol 25mg 2xd, Xanax 0.25 (reduced to 0.125)

07/14 - 08/14 Seroquel 250 mg (start to have anxiety and panic attacks again)

12/14 - Seroquel XR 300mg 200mg 50mg, Atenolol 50, Xanax 0.25 PRN

02/15 - 0 Of everything... 

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newbipo

Please... someone?

:unsure:


After a long life (15 years) on and off antidepressants because of Anxiety and Panic attacks I decided to come off citalopram in November 2013...

01/14 - Citalopram 20mg - 0mg --> had severe symptoms and was diagnosed as Bipolar with rapide cycling and mixed state

02/14 - Seroquel 50 mg, Atenolol 25 mg 2xd, xanax 0.25 3xd

03/14 - Seroquel 300 mg, Atenolol 25 mg 2xd, xanax 0.25 2xd

04/14 - 05/14 Seroquel 400 mg, Atenolol 25mg 2xd, xanax 0.25 2xd

06/14 - 07/14 Seroquel 300 mg, Atenolol 25mg 2xd, Xanax 0.25 (reduced to 0.125)

07/14 - 08/14 Seroquel 250 mg (start to have anxiety and panic attacks again)

12/14 - Seroquel XR 300mg 200mg 50mg, Atenolol 50, Xanax 0.25 PRN

02/15 - 0 Of everything... 

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Rhiannon

I was diagnosed as bipolar because of antidepressant use and withdrawal. That happens to a lot of people. 

 

What you describe, going on and off meds without a lot of trouble then suddenly it just doesn't work any more, is very common. Alto says our nervous systems are not made of rubber. I say, we only get so much "slack" and sooner or later we use it all up and run out. 

 

Everything you describe sounds very much like withdrawal symptoms and the kind of symptoms people get after going on and off meds a lot, the general destabilization that happens over the long term on psychiatric meds. You can read Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker (translated into many languages) for more information about that.

 

If you want to embrace your "diagnosis" of bipolar, that's up to you, but it sounds from what you've written like you're actually aware that your symptoms have been caused by meds. And certainly what you describe is very much like what hundreds of other people have described here.

 

You're very fortunate to have a psychiatrist who wants to help you stabilize without 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 

 

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

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Meimeiquest

Me too, sort of the same, sort of not. You're lucky to have found a doctor like that, be good to him :). You are fighting a very winnable war!


1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Addax

 

Questions:

  • [*]Do you feel the mood going into waves (minutes apart)?

[*]Have you ever had a panic attack where instead of being afraid of dying you wanted to commit a suicide (mind confused, dizziness, feeling like you are going crazy)?

[*]How many of you were diagnosed as bipolar because of Antidepressant? Could you describe the situation and how you are dealing with it now?

[*]Does anyone relate to this while stopping antidepressant?

[*]In your opinion, what is happening to me

[*]Should I throw my dream of med free in the garbage?

 

I'll try and answer your questions based on my experience. Let me preface my response While also responding to your last question: I recently came through a particularly horrendous experience of withdrawal and during it and a few weeks while I was pulling out I was convinced I could never be med free. That I wouldn't be able to. But I learned about my experience and the probable reason behind what happened, and I don't think that any longer. I know it will be a long slow battle, but I refuse to throw my med free dream away.

 

I've had my share of panic attacks. I never thought I was going to die. I thought I was losing my mind. Going crazy if you will. If it was accompanied by Akathisia I wanted to die.

 

I don't believe I was ever diagnosed with bipolar, but I believe a lot of people going through withdrawal are misdiagnosed with bipolar, and may even feel like they are bipolar. You are not alone in that. Hell, I'm pretty sure bipolar is over diagnosed in general.

 

Your question about relating. Are you asking if people on this site can relate or if we have found people in our lives who can relate? Personally, I've not found people outside of this site who would be able to relate. It's likely there are a large number of people on this site who can relate to what you're experiencing.

 

In my opinion the experience you are describing are consistent with withdrawal, but I'm not a doctor or even an expert.

 

I'm sorry you're experiencing such awfulness. Read through this site more. I think you'll find some hope here.


1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg to treat an eating disorder. Several unsuccessful attempts to discontinue.Fall 2012: Failed attempt to discontinue then -> 40mg Prozac and added 150mg Wellbutrin.Late summer 2013:Began slower Prozac taper.Spring 2014:Got to 10mg Prozac, 75mg of Wellbutrin -April 2014: 9mg Prozac & 37.5mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 9mg Prozac & 25 mg Wellbutrin 2x/day->9mg Prozac 1x/day & ~8mg Wellbutrin 2x/day -> 8.1mg Prozac, 0 WellbutrinSept '14: 8.1mg Prozac -> crashed hardOct '14: 10mg ProzacNov '14: 20mg -> 30mgDec '14: 30mg, Feb 10: 27mg. Mar 7: 25mg Mar 21, 2015: 20mg. May 21, 2016: 20mg and holding strong.

 

My experience: http://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

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Peachdream

Side effects or wd seem to often end up with a diagnosis of bipolar but unless you were bipolar before starting your first AD you are suffering the effects of the drugs IMO.  It sounds like your moods are swinging between low and average rather than mania and depression.  The only panic attacks I have had where I seriously thought I might commit suicide were when I was suffering a bad reaction to a med change.  I actually still feel quite traumatised from those particular panic attacks.  The panic attacks from my original anxiety were more related to being trapped or feeling like I would be sick or embarrass myself.  That really opened my eyes to what was a drug effect versus what was the original panic disorder and prompted me to find sites like this and how to taper properly.  If you take your taper nice and slowly you will minimise the wd and let your brain find its way gradually back to 'normal'.  Good luck!


On and off Paroxetine 20mg 2003-2014 for panic disorder with agoraphobia.  Came off three times via the 'Prozac bridge' but only managed to be off for 3,5 and 9 months before panic attacks started and I rushed back to the doctor asking for more paxil.  After the last relapse the doctor decided to give me prozac instead and the start up activating effects nearly killed me.  Went to my first psychiatrist at that point who instantly put me on 40 mg paxil.  I couldn't tolerate it that high, became a raging alcoholic within days and manic, so dropped back to 20mg.  That's when I finally I finally felt I had hit rock bottom and started desperately searching for information on these drugs.  Discovered the real truth and found out about the 10% taper and CBT etc.  Tapered without too many problems over 13 months until hitting a bad patch at  3.1mg.  Jumped off 3.1g on 27th April 2014.  Got instant relief from coming off and was off for 8 months doing ok battling the panic attacks with CBT.  Ups and downs particularly insomnia, down to 1-2 hours sleep a night for 6 months.  17/1/15 had a breakdown, panic attacks lasting all day and night, no sleep for three days straight.  Referred to the mental health crisis team for intervention.

20/1/14 started 10mg clomipramine and 1 mg lorazapam at night.

 

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Altostrata

If you feel you can recommend that doctor for tapering, please add his contact information here http://tinyurl.com/7cp8l8v or send me a pm with it.


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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Petunia

Similar topics merged.

 

I started taking Zoloft for general anxiety.  I remember when I first took it, I had increased energy and motivation, it did reduce my psychological anxiety, but at the same time, I was full of physical energy.  I remember it being a weird sensation like as if part of my brain was numb, but I was hyped up and trying to do a million things at the same time.  Over the course of the next few weeks this effect subsided and I descended into a state I now understand to be chemically induced depression, it was worse than any grief or sadness I'd ever experienced before, but at the time it didn't occur to me that it was related to the drugs.  If I had told a doctor about these changing effects at the time, I could see how I could have easily been given a bipolar dx.


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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ADropInTheOcean

Hey I was wondering if anyine had manic episodes after stopping ssris. I am so down crying all day and then i get euphoric for like 5 minutes maximum and i cant stop talking. The euphoria goes high and turns into crying...and a despair beyond imagination.Never had anything like this in my life. And the rage...wow...i cant even call it rage i will smash someone even if he sais "how are you?"Im not gonna take ssris again since i never benefited too much from them and seems the only choice is an antipsychotic...and that doesnt sound good


On various meds since 2004(Luvox, Paxil-5 years, Zoloft, Trazodone, etc) for anxiety.
CT Luvox 20th September 2013, started Klonopin 1mg (now on 0.25mg). Hellish depression, burning head, crying spells,extreme emotional rollercoaster, severe fibro-neuropathy like pains-never had any of this prior to meds. 31 months off and its worse and worse no life AT ALL.

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Bellisimo

yee i have had looots of manics periods. In the early w/d i would go crazy, within an hour i could change my mood four times from being furious, sad, euphoric and neutral..

I have never had any bipolar diagnos in my whole life, when i went to the docs in early w/d they said youy sound like bipolar .. now its gone.

I cried for 3 months in a row, and was very sucicidal.. then it suddenly disapeared and hasnt come back.

 

The rage i have felt alot too. No one could talk to me for a long time, i wanted to hit them all and i smashed many mirrors .. i know many people who got extreme anger from quitting ssri


2007 - 2013: was on citalopram (tried to quit a few times, never worked, always went back on. max dose 40mg)

2012-2013: was tapering my citalopram all down to 2,5 mg then quit.
2013/aug: Took  my last pill 

W/D hit me bad after a few weeks off my medicine.

2014/August: 12 months off (much improved)

2015/April: 20months off. ( much improved, still some symtoms comes in waves, but not so intense.)

2015/june: 22months off. FELT different than before, all shakings suddenly stopped, feel much better. a fantastic feeling!

2016/Feb : 2 years and 6 months off, END of my suffering. I feel perfectly fine and back to normal. 
2018/Oct: Iam still feeling great. It is hard to believe my own story when I read back, what I went through!

 

 

 

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Bellisimo

I can read you are 15 months off, and you have burning head? Im 19 months off and have also some burning sensations left (it come and goes) The fibro like pain i have aswell, it was 50% worse a few months back, i start to wonder if we who quit ssri can develope fibro hmm ..


2007 - 2013: was on citalopram (tried to quit a few times, never worked, always went back on. max dose 40mg)

2012-2013: was tapering my citalopram all down to 2,5 mg then quit.
2013/aug: Took  my last pill 

W/D hit me bad after a few weeks off my medicine.

2014/August: 12 months off (much improved)

2015/April: 20months off. ( much improved, still some symtoms comes in waves, but not so intense.)

2015/june: 22months off. FELT different than before, all shakings suddenly stopped, feel much better. a fantastic feeling!

2016/Feb : 2 years and 6 months off, END of my suffering. I feel perfectly fine and back to normal. 
2018/Oct: Iam still feeling great. It is hard to believe my own story when I read back, what I went through!

 

 

 

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ADropInTheOcean

Im 18 months off now, I need to update that in the signature, just the time off because all the symptoms are still present and actually worsened. Yes I have alot of burning, neuropathy like burning and brain burning...and alot of flu like symptoms.

The pain is excruciating, to the point I start cring. sometimes I doubt it is wd related because it is so severe but I never had any pain in my life until i stopped those meds, started with pins and needles in my ankles after like 1 month off and turned into this beast. Every months brought new areas of pain...this month the ribcage. Now everything hurts from head to toe. Im 18 months off and seems the wd it hasnt even reached its peak. Actually its not wd...that ends in a few weeks...its the messed up chemistry thats left.

I doubt it is fibro, maybe fibro like. Just mimics it. Same with neuropathy...it feels exactly the same but if you do some testing the results will be okay. IF it is due to wd then it shouldn't be permanent by any means. Tried alot of supplements for the pain but none worked. Probably when the brain will be more in balance the pain will diminish too.


On various meds since 2004(Luvox, Paxil-5 years, Zoloft, Trazodone, etc) for anxiety.
CT Luvox 20th September 2013, started Klonopin 1mg (now on 0.25mg). Hellish depression, burning head, crying spells,extreme emotional rollercoaster, severe fibro-neuropathy like pains-never had any of this prior to meds. 31 months off and its worse and worse no life AT ALL.

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LoveandLight

Just wondering if this can be accompanied by ephiphanies, spiritual insights about reality?

 

The last few days in a window I've had all this and then wonder if it is actually hypomania? Then I get scared that maybe none of it's true and this bleak hole is more true than that.


2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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Petunia

Maybe this article will help. Mania or Spiritual Awakening?

 

Edited to add:

 

...and this from Beyond Meds

 

Mania as Spiritual Emergency: psychotic process being one of the psyche demanding to be paid attention to therefore and healed Edited by Petunia
added link

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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Happypuppy

Hi guys

 

I reduced my dose of Zoloft about five weeks ago from 100 - 50mg.  I had no physical symptoms, just a week or so of tearfulness (I also get PMS and it was that time of the month).  However, over the past four weeks I have felt a little ... up.  I sleep well at night, feel lazy in the morning as usual, don't experience racing thoughts or anything of that nature.  But I am definitely louder, more talkative, than when I was on 100-200mg of Zoloft, and am a bit more impulsive, and my parents asked me if I was taking (illegal, I guess) drugs and said that I was "as high as a kite".

 

I calmed down as soon as they said this to me, as it struck a chord and made me feel really nervous.  The reason for this is that bipolar runs in my family on my mother's side and when I was not on antidepressants I had certain ups and downs consistent with bipolar, and particularly related to the seasons.   I was terrified by the thought that I might be losing it.   

 

In the first two weeks I had issues - big issues - around short term memory.  I lost car keys, wallet, left things behind in pubic places, I honestly felt like I was demented.  This seems to have resolved, but I this new thing is making me feel anxious and uncertain.

 

I saw a GP for a referral to a supportive clinical psych who is addressing some old issues around eating and self-esteem.  However, when I tried to get a referral to a psychiatrist to help me with a slow taper, she refused and said that I should keep taking my current dose for another six months.  Maybe she's right, but I felt unhappy that she wouldn't let me see a psychiatrist.

 

I was reluctant to tell her about all my symptoms, because I am well aware that your medical history can be used by life/income protection insurers to determine whether you are too big a risk (I work in the industry).  Also, when I said that I was on antidepressants for 13-odd years she said "so, you have been depressed for 13 years".  No, I hadn't been.  I had just stayed on them because I was afraid of withdrawal.  This was a foreign concept to the doctor, it seems, and it did not give me faith in her advice.

 

We are having a particularly warm, bright stretch of weather in my part of the world and I am wondering if that is contributing - also, I have finished my degree and I am excited about that, and not so bogged down with work as I normally am.  My parents' words scared me because I have also been given a warning at work for excessive talking.  Am I going mad?


- Sertraline 100mg from 2002 - 2007

- Tried Effexor XR in 2004, side effects were worse, went back to Zoloft.

- quit cold turkey a number of times due to side effects

- Generic Prozac from 2007 - 2011

- Pristiq in 2011 for two months, like Effexor XR I could not tolerate the medication

- Quit cold turkey, again experienced devastating rebound depression

- Back on Sertraline 50mg and then 100mg from late 2011 - current.

- Have scheduled a taper which will take a minimum of 2 years.

5/11/15 - dropped from 100mg to 50mg.  Memory issues, which subsided.  Feeling overly 'up', scared me. Cut back on coffee, seemed to get better.  

- 22/12/15 dropped to 45mg.

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Happypuppy

I should add that I actually do feel like I am "on drugs" or medicated on the lower dose.  It is not a nice feeling.  Does anyone relate?? :(


- Sertraline 100mg from 2002 - 2007

- Tried Effexor XR in 2004, side effects were worse, went back to Zoloft.

- quit cold turkey a number of times due to side effects

- Generic Prozac from 2007 - 2011

- Pristiq in 2011 for two months, like Effexor XR I could not tolerate the medication

- Quit cold turkey, again experienced devastating rebound depression

- Back on Sertraline 50mg and then 100mg from late 2011 - current.

- Have scheduled a taper which will take a minimum of 2 years.

5/11/15 - dropped from 100mg to 50mg.  Memory issues, which subsided.  Feeling overly 'up', scared me. Cut back on coffee, seemed to get better.  

- 22/12/15 dropped to 45mg.

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Altostrata

Hi, Happypuppy.

 

Withdrawal can cause mania or its little sister, hypomania. Hypomania is an unusual feeling of being "up" that may cause you to be more energetic, talkative, adventurous, etc.

 

Developing either withdrawal symptom has nothing to do with bipolar disorder.

 

It also sounds like you could be in a very good mood and excited about moving to the next chapter in your young life.

 

If you wish to "unpatient" yourself and leave psychiatric drugs behind, be careful not to cast every feeling or event in psychiatric terms.

 

You might want to use the terms from the Feeling Wheel instead http://lifehacker.com/find-the-perfect-word-for-your-feelings-with-this-vocab-1653013241(Thank yous to JanCarol).


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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ladybug

So how do you tell the difference between hypomania and just feeling good? Because I worry that every window I have is actually hypomania.

 

Energetic? Compared to my usual fatigue, yes!

Talkative? I definitely become chatty and cheerful. Sometimes it's like I want to say everything that pops into my mind.

Adventurous? I have the energy and drive to do things out of my comfort zone, like blind dating.

 

So am I really having no windows, just going from hypomania WD to wavy WD? These hypomanic seeming windows and waves have been happening for years now. I always told myself that it wasn't actually hypomania since I was able to sleep and I've heard that with true hypomania you're so manic that you don't really sleep. Hmm.


a.k.a JMarie

Paxil since Mar.1998

2006-2007:40-20mg
2009: 20mg to 14mg 2010: 14mg to 10.5mg 2011: 10.5 to 7.6mg  2012: 7.5 to 6.8mg

2013: 6.7-6.3mg 2014: 6.2mg-5.8mg 2015: 5.7 to 5.15mg 2016: 5.1-4.6mg

1/19/17: 4.5mg 3/17/17: 4.4mg

6/15/17: 4.35mg 8/10/17: 4.3mg

1/29/18: 4.1mg 5/07/18: 4.0mg

7/31/18: 3.9mg

 

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Meimeiquest

I think in conventional medicine, the big concern is with hypomania/mania when starting ADs,more than stopping.

 

I have learned a lot about mood stability from psycheducation.org. One of the biggest concepts is maintaining a regular schedule, especially with sleep. There's a lot to disagree with there, but some good stuff. Check out Alto's thread on KIS, I think it is pinned at the top of the symptoms or tapering forum.


1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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Altostrata

Hypomania causes you to do things you wouldn't normally do, but not as extreme as mania.

 

Feeling better and more energetic is not hypomania.


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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primekittycat

I feel with my lowering Effexor dose that I have a ton more energy sometimes too. I think part of it is actually getting that energy back that you used to have, and forgot you had. Like Alto said, I also think you are just happy with your recent accomplishments. It's hard not to attribute every physical or emotional change to withdrawal (I recently got really itchy and thought it was due to withdrawal - come to find out, it was because I was newly volunteering at an animal shelter and had gotten flea bites which I was allergic to). 


Began suffering from panic attacks when my father passed away in 2005. Been on and off SSRIs (Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor XR), and therapy since then.

2009 - Started Effexor XR 75mg. Consistent therapy starting Oct 2013

Feb 2014 - Therapist and I felt I was ready to come off Effexor - went to half dose (37.5mg) for a week and then off completely by advice of psychiatrist - bad w/d for a week then gone

May 2014 - bad protracted w/d came out of nowhere.. constant dizziness, agoraphobia(never had before), intense headaches, fatigue for 3 months, all tests (brain MRI, inner ear tests, blood tests, etc.) normal. could not drive, grocery shop, or live life.

Aug 2014 - back on Effexor XR 75mg as neurologist thought these symptoms were my anxiety coming back, all w/d symptoms disappear within 2 weeks. I should have went back on at a lower dose, but I hadn't discovered this site yet.

 

Tapering Effexor XR.. let's do this! Slow & steady:

Started tapering from 75mg in July 2015. 5% cuts every 3 weeks. From July 2015 - March 2016, reduced to 37.5mg (half dose). In March 2017, down to 18.3mg (quarter dose). April 2020 -  0.38mg - on track to be med free in May 2020! almost 5 years of consistent tapering.

 

Supplements: meditation, daily exercise, clean diet, working from home (more sleep!)

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Happypuppy
Hi guys

 

Thank you so much for your replies, which are really comforting to me right now.  I'm so glad I found this  community.

 

Altostrata - you are right about using psychiatric nomenclature to describe my human experience.  Words are powerful and they can create or maintain a certain 'reality'.  I think I need to actually identify what I'm feeling, as actual emotions with reasons and not feel bad about them.  I like the feeling wheel and it is now saved on my computer :)

 

Ladybug, I have no idea - when you find out, let me know!

 

Thanks Meimeiquest :)

 

Primekittycat, thanks for your thoughts ... I think part of it is that Zoloft (like Effexor - which I have used before) numbs you to some extent.  It is supposed to be stimulating but apart from the jiggly foot thing I always got, and the way it made me crave sugar (another stimulant) and difficulty sleeping, actually it made me kind of calm and dull.  And you know what - that's what I thought I was!  I thought I was really kind of zen and not-caring about things, nothing touched me.  But .... I also felt totally lacking in passion, bored and boring.  No sex drive, no interest in life.  Like a drugged animal in a zoo.  I wanted to have a real life and real life for me involves having keen emotions.   By the way, I like your anecdote about volunteering in an animal shelter.  Bless you.  I love animals but I can't stand to see them abandoned or in pain; it upsets me too much, so I don't know if I could do the same thing.  However I think that people who are able to give their time to help people, animals and/or nature are awesome. 

 

Big hug everyone :)

 

Kerry

- Sertraline 100mg from 2002 - 2007

- Tried Effexor XR in 2004, side effects were worse, went back to Zoloft.

- quit cold turkey a number of times due to side effects

- Generic Prozac from 2007 - 2011

- Pristiq in 2011 for two months, like Effexor XR I could not tolerate the medication

- Quit cold turkey, again experienced devastating rebound depression

- Back on Sertraline 50mg and then 100mg from late 2011 - current.

- Have scheduled a taper which will take a minimum of 2 years.

5/11/15 - dropped from 100mg to 50mg.  Memory issues, which subsided.  Feeling overly 'up', scared me. Cut back on coffee, seemed to get better.  

- 22/12/15 dropped to 45mg.

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Fresh

Hi Happypuppy , it's helpful to recognize that people at work and your family commented

on you talking too much ,too loud.

I believe this is part of the fallout from your 50% reduction 6 weeks ago. New symptoms are

likely to appear over the next few weeks. That's just how it goes.

Smaller cuts in future mean your mood is likely to stay on a more even keel.


1987-1997 pertofran , prothiaden , Prozac 1997-2002 Zoloft 2002-2004 effexor 2004-2010 Lexapro 40mg

2010-2012Cymbalta 120mg

Sept. 2012 -decreased 90mg in 6months. Care taken over by Dr Lucire in March 2013 , decreased last 30mg at 2mg per week over 3 months. July 21 , 2013- last dose of Cymbalta

Protracted withdrawal syndrome kicked in badly Jan.2014 Unrelenting akathisia until May 2014. Voluntary hosp. admission. Cocktail of Seroquel, Ativan and mirtazapine and I was well enough to go home after 14 days. Stopped all hosp. meds in next few months.

July 2014 felt v.depressed - couldn't stop crying. Started pristiq 50mg. Felt improvement within days and continued to improve, so stayed on 50mg for 8 months.

Began taper 28 Feb. 2015. Pristiq 50mg down to 45mg. Had one month of w/d symptoms. Started CES therapy in March. No w/d symptoms down to 30mg.

October 2015 , taking 25mg Pristiq. Capsules compounded with slow-release additive.

March 2016 , 21mg

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Happypuppy

Hi Happypuppy , it's helpful to recognize that people at work and your family commented

on you talking too much ,too loud.

I believe this is part of the fallout from your 50% reduction 6 weeks ago. New symptoms are

likely to appear over the next few weeks. That's just how it goes.

Smaller cuts in future mean your mood is likely to stay on a more even keel.

 

Hey Fresh.  I agree with this.  Comments from family (who don't know what I'm doing in terms of reducing the dose) especially struck a chord with me.  They know me intimately and have never commented that way before ... mum actually asked if i was on drugs.  It scared me. Whatever the cause, it pays to be cautious.  I've cut again to 45mg ... I'll see how that goes.

 

Incidentally, I have cut back on coffee a lot (I was a heavy drinker of coffee - equiv 13 tsp instant per day).  I have found that has helped a lot in making me less 'whoah' in a way that other people notice.


- Sertraline 100mg from 2002 - 2007

- Tried Effexor XR in 2004, side effects were worse, went back to Zoloft.

- quit cold turkey a number of times due to side effects

- Generic Prozac from 2007 - 2011

- Pristiq in 2011 for two months, like Effexor XR I could not tolerate the medication

- Quit cold turkey, again experienced devastating rebound depression

- Back on Sertraline 50mg and then 100mg from late 2011 - current.

- Have scheduled a taper which will take a minimum of 2 years.

5/11/15 - dropped from 100mg to 50mg.  Memory issues, which subsided.  Feeling overly 'up', scared me. Cut back on coffee, seemed to get better.  

- 22/12/15 dropped to 45mg.

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Happy2Heal

thanks so much for posting

 

So how do you tell the difference between hypomania and just feeling good? Because I worry that every window I have is actually hypomania.

 

Energetic? Compared to my usual fatigue, yes!

Talkative? I definitely become chatty and cheerful. Sometimes it's like I want to say everything that pops into my mind.

Adventurous? I have the energy and drive to do things out of my comfort zone, like blind dating.

 

So am I really having no windows, just going from hypomania WD to wavy WD? These hypomanic seeming windows and waves have been happening for years now. I always told myself that it wasn't actually hypomania since I was able to sleep and I've heard that with true hypomania you're so manic that you don't really sleep. Hmm.

 

 

I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (just one of the dozen or so dxs' I've gotten over the past 40+yrs)
I  do not know Now, if that's an accurate diagnosis or not, or if it's even a valid dx for anyone (so confused about the entire psychiatric industry, I dont' trust ANYthing anymore!!)

 

First off, I too have been worried about how do I tell if I'm just finally feeling good vs the numbness, flat affect and lack of any feeling at all that I had both ON the lexapro and in spurts while coming off

OR if I'm heading up to possibly trouble.

I too have been very talkative now while WDing, but at least, so far, not loud.

so i understand your concerns! In fact I was jsut going to start a thread about this so I'm glad to see yours

 

 

whether or not I was ever truly manic, I can tell you that what got me put in the hospital was more than "just" an elevated mood and being talkative, although those are things that someone with bipolar disorder are told to watch out for, things that can lead to a more serious situation

I had boundless energy, and no need for sleep, burning calories like I was a teenager (I could eat a lot and still lost wt) I got not only loud but rude, and impatient, I could not stay still, i had tons of plans, I thought I could fly, and that I was in touch with God, that God was telling me that I had important things to do that only I could do (grandiose much? lol) Money meant nothing to me, I gave away money and I bought all sorts of crap i didnt' need. I had great plans to do all these wonderful things but could not stay focused on anything and was just all over the place. Colors got so bright they hurt, things looked so beautiful I could barely stand it, I felt like was weightless... but it was not all fun, in fact, it was only "fun" at the very start and quickly turned bad, but I could not get it to stop. I could not sleep, and I started to hallucinate. it was awful. and it was not just out of character but clearly abnormal. just totally off the wall abnormal.

 

I do not know what "true" hypomania is like.... I do know that I very quickly progressed from being energic and feeling good to being unable to sleep, having a terrible feeling that I could not stop moving, I had no patience, could not, for example, stand in line at the bank, I had to leave, it was going too slow, I felt. Everything around you seems too slow, and your speech can not keep up with your thoughts so you try to talk but the words get all jammed up and you can't get them out fast enough

 

it does coincide often with the seasons and it does get worse as the day goes on, but if you are able to sleep, you are likely not in any trouble of anything close to a so called manic episode that would land you in the loony bin.

other issues come up with mania, you are hyper sexual to a point that can be unbearable... gotta stop now cuz this is bringing up very bad memories for me

 

but whether your energy and feeling good is a wave or a window (I'm very new to this site mylself and have assumed my good times and good days are windows, not waves) but whatever they are, I figure anything at all that is good is worth celebrating

 

it's hard not to worry esp with a family history. My uncle on my father's side had bipolar disorder and self medicated with alcohol, which killed him, My grandmother on my moms side was also bipolar and a severe alcoholic, she got DTs and ended up dying from a fall when she was not even 40, I think she was drunk when she fell in the tub? this is the story I was told, I think the drs didn't realize she had a brain bleed because of her history wiht alcohol

 

anyway, i think my point is that mania gets so bad you cant' really ignore it, it will not let you sleep and people around you will alert you if you've gotten this bad,

esp if they've already commented on your changed mood, you are very lucky! you have a good support system that is looking out for you

sadly a lot of ppl with bipolar disorder can't recognize that they are ill and will deny it and refuse treatment (I sure did! i thought i was FINE and the rest of the world was messed up!! lol)

 

so, yeh, try not to worry too much! ok?

hugs,


  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total)
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictalBrief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. I tried to get off it several times. WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 tapered down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again, too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". Crashed in Sept, reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, current age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content 
 

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Happypuppy

thanks so much for posting

 

So how do you tell the difference between hypomania and just feeling good? Because I worry that every window I have is actually hypomania.

 

Energetic? Compared to my usual fatigue, yes!

Talkative? I definitely become chatty and cheerful. Sometimes it's like I want to say everything that pops into my mind.

Adventurous? I have the energy and drive to do things out of my comfort zone, like blind dating.

 

So am I really having no windows, just going from hypomania WD to wavy WD? These hypomanic seeming windows and waves have been happening for years now. I always told myself that it wasn't actually hypomania since I was able to sleep and I've heard that with true hypomania you're so manic that you don't really sleep. Hmm.

 

 

...so i understand your concerns! In fact I was jsut going to start a thread about this so I'm glad to see yours

 

 

whether or not I was ever truly manic, I can tell you that what got me put in the hospital was more than "just" an elevated mood and being talkative, although those are things that someone with bipolar disorder are told to watch out for, things that can lead to a more serious situation

I had boundless energy, and no need for sleep, burning calories like I was a teenager (I could eat a lot and still lost wt) I got not only loud but rude, and impatient, I could not stay still, i had tons of plans, I thought I could fly, and that I was in touch with God, that God was telling me that I had important things to do that only I could do (grandiose much? lol) Money meant nothing to me, I gave away money and I bought all sorts of crap i didnt' need. I had great plans to do all these wonderful things but could not stay focused on anything and was just all over the place. Colors got so bright they hurt, things looked so beautiful I could barely stand it, I felt like was weightless... but it was not all fun, in fact, it was only "fun" at the very start and quickly turned bad, but I could not get it to stop. I could not sleep, and I started to hallucinate. it was awful. and it was not just out of character but clearly abnormal. just totally off the wall abnormal.

 

I do not know what "true" hypomania is like.... I do know that I very quickly progressed from being energic and feeling good to being unable to sleep, having a terrible feeling that I could not stop moving, I had no patience, could not, for example, stand in line at the bank, I had to leave, it was going too slow, I felt. Everything around you seems too slow, and your speech can not keep up with your thoughts so you try to talk but the words get all jammed up and you can't get them out fast enough

 

it does coincide often with the seasons and it does get worse as the day goes on, but if you are able to sleep, you are likely not in any trouble of anything close to a so called manic episode that would land you in the loony bin.

other issues come up with mania, you are hyper sexual to a point that can be unbearable... gotta stop now cuz this is bringing up very bad memories for me

 

......

 

anyway, i think my point is that mania gets so bad you cant' really ignore it, it will not let you sleep and people around you will alert you if you've gotten this bad,

esp if they've already commented on your changed mood, you are very lucky! you have a good support system that is looking out for you

sadly a lot of ppl with bipolar disorder can't recognize that they are ill and will deny it and refuse treatment (I sure did! i thought i was FINE and the rest of the world was messed up!! lol)

 

 

Massive hug for you too!  I am not worried so much right now because I am feeling flat.  Well, less hyper than I was before.  I'm not  going to lie, I like feeling feel on top of the world :)

 

Your  family history sounds kind of like mine.  My maternal granddad self medicated with alcohol and really became an abusive monster towards his wife and children, when he was otherwise a loving father.  My mum's brother became a pot-head, lost his medical license and was deported.  They both spent a lot of their free time wasted.  I can get pretty crazy when I drink ("life of the party" crazy) which is an excellent reason to stay sober.

 

The funny thing is, my my mum is always "up" - she flies out of bed at 6am, goes all day, has pots of energy, and conks out at 10.30pm, only to wake up without fail every night due to insomnia.  She has been like that for years.  She drinks a bit too, but it's suburban-mom type drinking, where the white wine is mixed with mineral water and she always has a glass in her hand or nearby.

 

With your situation, give yourself credit for the fact that it is tough to have a brain that likes to go up, up, UP and AWAAAAY from time to time.  I don't know what the answer is.  You might have to take your life kind of slowly and practice mindfulness so that you are in a state where you can identify the big "up" before it gets too big.  It is totally understandable that you would feel scared of happiness and surplus energy when you have a history of 'mania'.  Do you have some non-medication therapy or strategies that you can turn to at such a time?  


- Sertraline 100mg from 2002 - 2007

- Tried Effexor XR in 2004, side effects were worse, went back to Zoloft.

- quit cold turkey a number of times due to side effects

- Generic Prozac from 2007 - 2011

- Pristiq in 2011 for two months, like Effexor XR I could not tolerate the medication

- Quit cold turkey, again experienced devastating rebound depression

- Back on Sertraline 50mg and then 100mg from late 2011 - current.

- Have scheduled a taper which will take a minimum of 2 years.

5/11/15 - dropped from 100mg to 50mg.  Memory issues, which subsided.  Feeling overly 'up', scared me. Cut back on coffee, seemed to get better.  

- 22/12/15 dropped to 45mg.

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Petunia

similar topics merged


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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Help777

My moods go up and down, on and off like a light switch. My doctor says the ssri does this to people that have bipolar. Is this correct? He said getting off the effexor will reduce the cycling but that I may need to keep the lithium for some stabilization and depression help. Can I please hear your thoughts and insight? Thank you very much.


May 12th 2016 took last bead of effexor. 8 month taper.  Bridge = prozac 5mg, 300mg Lithium

May 31st took last of prozac. Lithium 300 mg, estrogen patch 150, magnesium.

June 14th reinstated 1mg Prozac due to intolerable emotional distress. Cont with lithium 300mg, 150 magnesium, re added omega 3, cont estrogen patch. June 15-july 5th had marked improvement of emotional wd symptoms, likely due to the reinstatement. July 5th intense emotional symptoms returned.

July 15 decreased 50 mg of lithium to see if it improved low heart rate.

July 19th - increased prozac to 1.5mg.

July 22 marked improvement of emotional symptoms...again, likely due to increase of prozac. However sudden agitation developed so decreased back down to 1.25mg prozac. Realizing increasing dose is dangerous because of these adverse effects and also seeing that wave is inevitable regardless of reinstatement.

Continuing 250 lithium, 1.25mg prozac, estrogen.

Oct 31st - continued 250 lithium, 1 mg prozac, estrogen patch.

Jan 2018  - off of prozac (bridge) as of Dec 2017.  Starting to taper Lithium 250 mg.  Will do 10% per month. 

May 2018 - lithium 115mg.  Still having waves but they aren’t as bad.  However, I really struggle with emotional symptoms about 1 week after a cut.  Even this past micro taper of 1.5% was tough.  That was after holding for a month.

dec 2018- 80mg lithium.  Tapering 1 mg per week since last June.  Symptoms improving overall but still very sensitive to light, sound, social stimulation and I cry a lot.

March 2019 - 65 mg lithium.  Still tapering 1mg per week.  

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KarenB

I'm glad you asked about this Help.  This is a very common mistake that doctors make.  Your moods are cycling like that due to being in w/d, and because doctors don't recognise w/d they assume it must be bipolar. 

 

You won't need lithium for stabilising.  You just need time and self-care while your CNS adjusts to being in w/d.  Don't let them add in another unnecessary med. 

 

This mistake has been documented in Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker.

 

Here's our link for bipolar:  (I'll eventually merge the two threads).http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/7503-bipolar-mania-hypomania-depression-or-drug-effects/

 

Karen


2010  Fluoxetine 20mg.  2011  Escitalopram 20mg.  2013 Tapered badly and destabilised CNS.  Effexor 150mg. 

2015 Begin using info at SurvivingAntidepressants.  Cut 10% - bad w/d 2 months, held 1 month. 

Micro-tapering: four weekly 0.4% cuts, hold 4 weeks (struggling with symptoms).

8 month hold.

2017 Micro-tapering: four weekly 1% cuts, hold 4 weeks (symptoms almost non-existent).

2020 Still micro-tapering. Just over 2/3 of the way off effexor. Minimal symptoms, - and sleeping well.
Supplements: Fish oil, vitamin C, iron, oat-straw tea, nettle tea.

My story of healing:ContinuedHealing

***I am not a doctor; please do your own research and be able to take responsibility for decisions you make.*** 

           'The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists.'  Dr Gabor Mate.

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Meimeiquest

I'm someone who believes I actually do have a bit of bipolar (my doctor calls it bipolar NOS). This is partly because there is a huge history of "bipolar" symptoms in my extended family. Even if you have a biologically-based disorder that has the potential to cause symptoms, medication isn't the only way to deal with it. We just keep drilling down cause by cause. There's no doubt that you are doing the right thing to get off Effexor as it is the most activating drug you are on, and as Karen says, it is normal to have mood instability as you taper. Effexor has the reputation of being quite difficult to come off. Hudgens has a moving story of his successful journey off.

 

Do you get lithium levels drawn? You are a little person if you have a "therapeutic" level at 300 mg, that sounds more like an add-on dose.

 

As you can see from my signature, I have been tapering for years. You just need to move carefully. It really is most likely that your "cycling" came from the Effexor.

 

I have found Epsoms salts soaks (bath or foot bath) most helpful for overactivation symptoms like racing thoughts. Psycheducation.org has been really helpful to me (you can ignore the drug parts). Even as a "normal" psychiatrist he says that theoretically bipolar II can be managed without medication, and has published a paper on case studies of successful dietary management. The most recent things that we have found in my case as physical problems are coming down probably to mercury overload, caused by gut and liver issues, but everyone is different.


1st round Prozac 1989/90, clear depression symptoms. 2nd round Prozac started 1999 when admitted to dr. I was tired. Prozac pooped out, switch to Cymbalta 3/2006. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder due to mania 6/2006--then I was taken abruptly off Cymbalta and didn't know I had SSRI withdrawal. Lots of meds for my intractable "bipolar" symptoms.

Zyprexa started about 9/06, mostly 5mg. Tapered 4/12 through12/29/12

Wellbutrin. XL 300 mg started 1/07, tapered 1/18/13 through 7/8/13

Oxazepam mostly continuously since 6/06, 30mg since 12/12, tapered 1.17.14 through 8.26.15

11/06 Lithium 600mg twice daily, 2.2.14 400mg TID DIY liquid, 2.12.14 1150mg, 3.2.14 1100mg, 3.18.14 1075mg, 4/14 updose to 1100mg, 6.1.14 900 mg capsules 7.8.14 810mg, 8.17.14 725mg, 8.24.24 700mg...10.22.14 487.5mg, 3.9.15 475mg, 4.1.15 462.5mg 4.21.15 450mg 8.11.15 375mg, 11.28.15 362.5mg, back to 375mg four days later, 3.4.16 updose to 475 (too much going on to risk trouble)

9/4/13 Toprol-XL 25mg daily for sudden hypertension, tapered 11.12.13 through 5.3.14, last 10 days or so switched to atenolol

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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