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Thoughtful Insight, Not Lack of It, Drives Some Patients to Quit Psychiatric Medications


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http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/12/thoughtful-insight-lack-drives-patients-quit-psychiatric-medications/

 

December 24, 2014

 

Rather than a “lack of insight,” it is actually a thoughtful weighing of complex risks and benefits that ultimately drives some people diagnosed with bipolar disorder to eschew psychiatric medications, according to a qualitative study in the Journal of Affective Disorders. And these people often develop sophisticated strategies in their efforts to manage without medications.

 

Three UK-based researchers conducted in-depth interviews of ten people diagnosed with bipolar disorder who were not taking psychiatric medications and were satisfied with their decisions, and then analyzed their responses using grounded theory.

 

“When asked about their reasons for stopping medication, all participants cited side effects as a major concern, describing distress resulting from problems including weight gain, tremors, loss of libido and lithium toxicity,” reported medwireNews. “Participants also frequently described side effects changing their view of themselves in ways they found undesirable.”

 

More at above link...

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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Would have been helpful to know how these people tapered off, too bad they didn't include that.   As they specifically targeted people who were satisfied with their decisions it makes me wonder if those who tried no medication and weren't satisfied with their decision didn't taper off the drugs correctly. 

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

There must be some people who stop using meds ok...

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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There must be some people who stop using meds and don't have WD, right? Does anyone know?

 

 

 

I'm sure there are, but I think it's really hard to get any kind of accurate figure.  Here's one issue ... I've heard lots of stories from people who stopped a drug either abruptly or with a quick taper, felt fine for a few weeks or months, and then crashed.  The crash is not recognized as withdrawal because it's so far out and their doctor tells them this is proof they needed the drug.  But I do think there are also people who are fine after just stopping, or at least the first few times they stop and start a drug.  It seems to catch up to everybody eventually.

Paxil 20mg 1994-2005
Tried to quit twice, finally did it on my 3rd attempt in 2005.

I went from 20mg to zero in about four months, believing at the time that it was a reasonable taper.  It wasn't.  I suffered mostly emotional symptoms: frequent episodes of "anxious depression" lasting for about 17 months before it got noticeably better.

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There must be some people who stop using meds and don't have WD

Yes there are people who come off these meds with no withdrawal. My aunt came off of 10+ years of a Klonopin, Paxil, Zoloft and seroquel cocktail with zero withdrawals. My pastor quit 10 years of paxil with only minor brain zaps. I quit 10 years of prozac semi cold turkey with minor brain zaps and some anger.

 

My aunt is now in her 60's and doing fine with no meds. She does take something for acid reflux. My pastor is still med free.

Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

March 2017 DRUG FREE

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There must be some people who stop using meds and don't have WD, right? Does anyone know?

 

 

 

I'm sure there are, but I think it's really hard to get any kind of accurate figure. 

 

I think the people who do, like my aunt, never post to boards that they came off successfully. I only new because I asked her about it. I know a handful of other folks who came off successfully. It would be nice to have a real figure though.

Prozac 1999-2009 quit semi cold turkey.

 

2012 Placed on Seroquel 25 mg, Tranxene (Clorezepate) 3.75 mg 3x a day, Remeron 30 mg for anxiety/akathesia.

 

Weaned off Seroquel and Tranxene .to Remeron 15 Mg.

In May 2014 tried quitting Remeron at its lowest dose. Had severe withdrawals.Reinstated Remeron at 30 mg by doctor. August 5 2014 entered hospital. Doctor pulled the Remeron and bridged it to Pamelor (Nortriptyline) 40mg and Zyprexa 2.5mg.After removing the Remeron all my bad symptoms went away and I am stable.

 

9/11/14 - 7.5 mg tranxene, 40mg Pamelor, Zyprexa 2.5mg

12/29/14 -  20mg Pamelor, 1/6/15,  7/31/15 3.5mg, 8/10/15 3.2 mg, 9/15/15 2.2mg, 10/15/15 1.8mg

(Feb 2016 - 1.4mg Pamelor only -  OFF OF TRANXENE AND ZYPREXA SINCE DEC 2014 BENZO FREE Since 2014. Nortrityline (Pamelor) .8mg Aug 2016

March 2017 DRUG FREE

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Don't hate me, but, I once c/t'd an SSRI I'd been on for a long time and didn't have problems doing that.  (Please anyone else reading this, don't try this, unless a doctor says you have a life-threatening reaction or you've only been advised to do this after only being on the drug a very short period. No one can predict what will happen with a cold turkey.)

 

However about a year later I started it again (I don't agree with the fact I was put back on it, long story; it wasn't for withdrawal) and then it was like taking a completely different drug, I reacted so badly to it.  Then I stopped cold turkey and it was excruciating.

 

I also got off other drugs I'd been on for shorter periods without tapering.  However one with a short half life I had to taper....Had withdrawal immediately from that one if I ran out of pills.

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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In today's New York Times I read this article which explains a new, non-labeling approach to "mental illness" and even states that medications are not necessarily the panacea for schizophrenia.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/opinion/sunday/t-m-luhrmann-redefining-mental-illness.html?ref=health

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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