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Cold turkey or rapid taper success stories?

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greyed

There are tons.

Too bad it's still nothing here from a member who isn't speaking for someone they know in life.

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coldturkmama

I'm 3.5 yrs out from a cold turkey. I was on Paxil 20 mg for 14 or 15 yrs and then upped to 40 mg for 8 months when I stopped.

I had stopped and started the medication before, but always returned to it thinking it was me- not withdrawal.

Slowly but surely- the brain heals.

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sollicitudo

 

There are tons.

 

Too bad it's still nothing here from a member who isn't speaking for someone they know in life.

Why would someone who quit ADs without any problems come here?

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Lorin

I'm 3.5 yrs out from a cold turkey. I was on Paxil 20 mg for 14 or 15 yrs and then upped to 40 mg for 8 months when I stopped.

I had stopped and started the medication before, but always returned to it thinking it was me- not withdrawal.

Slowly but surely- the brain heals.

how you know its you and not your wd?

thanx

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coldturkmama

Withdrawal caused brain zaps, I never had those before. Stomach cramps, intense anxiety like I'd never had before, intrusive thoughts, the need to be up moving, cold chills, shaking, flu like symptoms and shin pain, and more- I knew it was not me.

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PeppermintWind

It just seems if Prozac is causing agitation or hypomania (as in my case), slow tapering does not make sense. I have heard that Prozac is self tapering, but there are too many stories of people who suffer withdrawals when they go cold turkey. I plan to do the 10% method, anyway, as I have another medicine to help if I get too agitated.....

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Gridley

Hi, Peppermintwind, and welcome to SurvivingAntidepressants.  I'm glad you found your way here.

 

We ask all of our members to fill out a signature so that all of your information can be read at a glance without having to go to this original post each time.  Your signature will appear at the bottom of each of your posts.  This helps moderators understand your situation.

Account Settings – Create or Edit a signature

 

 •    Please leave out symptoms and diagnoses.
 •    A list is easier to understand than one or multiple paragraphs. 
 •    Any drugs prior to 24 months ago can just be listed with start and stop years.
 •    Please use actual dates or approximate dates (mid-June, Late October) rather than relative time frames (last week, 3 months ago)
 •    Spell out months, e.g. "October" or "Oct."; 9/1/2016 can be interpreted as Jan. 9, 2016 or Sept. 1, 2016.

     
To get you started, and familiarized with the protocols followed by SA, I am linking a couple of topics so that you have a better understanding of what is recommended here and the steps that you can take to minimize your withdrawal.  

 

What is Withdrawal Syndrome?

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

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Gridley

Peppermintwind, I have moved your first post to SA's Introductions and Updates forum.

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kesh

I have CTd or fast tapered SSRIs and TCAs many times with no problems.

 

I am here in SA because for the first time I have a big problem on an SSRI. I guess my luck ran out.

 

 

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Hellbutrin
On 1/7/2017 at 11:48 AM, AliG said:

A Girl - It's so hard to say.  Everyone is different but I have found that on average it seems to be around the three - five  year mark for C/T . Maybe you will be the exception . I hope so. You can keep Cold turkeying and recover but it takes time and patience. Perhaps more than you ever thought that you had.

3-5 years? Is this dependent on dosage and time you took the medication or does it seem to take much longer because of the C/T?

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swordiebrom

is the healing period different? what should you eat to heal etc?

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Hellbutrin
18 hours ago, swordiebrom said:

is the healing period different? what should you eat to heal etc?

I would love to see information on this to

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Hellbutrin
On 5/6/2017 at 12:32 PM, AliG said:

3 years at the end of this month. So many symptoms have gone  - dizziness, cortisol awakenings, palpitations,insomia but some remain - neuro-emotions, anhedonia, and occasional depression and anxiety.

 

I seemed to go in monthly waves for a while but I noticed a huge improvement at the 2- year mark. Since then I have regressed to a degree but I think that is due to life stressors. 

 

I was on the AD's for many years.

Have you seen any improvement in your anhedonia?

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AliG

HB. I'm sorry, I only just saw this. I never noticed the January post (above) at the time.

 

To try and answer both questions - firstly, I don't really know if it is a matter of dosage, time on drugs, cold - turkey or perhaps and most likely, all of them combined. All I can really say is that this has been my experience. Even generalizing about length of time can be tricky as we all have our own individual timelines. It varies widely and greatly. From what I have seen and experienced though, this C/T process does take some considerable time. Having said that, tapering also involves time and a certain amount of patience. These qualities become highly valued skills during this process, whether you cold -turkey-ed or tapered. It's still character - building.  :rolleyes:

 

For me, I had many C/T'S over a long period of time whilst on and off the drugs over 20 something, odd years. This is largely what I put my length of recovery time down to, for me individually. My CNS was ... highly challenged, even before my final cold - turkey ( before SA). It was obvious to me then, that this wouldn't be fixed overnight. I knew that was going to have to put in some hard work, both with non- drug techniques and also acceptance.

 

Your second question is much easier to answer, as lately, I have really gone ahead in " leaps and bounds" in the anhedonia department. It's not perfect yet ~ and I can still struggle at certain times, particularly during waves, but the difference is really like "night and day". It is major improvement and so much has now disappeared. It was a symptom that I have really struggled with and has been one of the last to start to recede but as with all the other symptoms, it is virtually non- existent, now.

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neurotransmission

You guys can do a fast taper off with supplements and other drug augmentations. and continue with johns wort when drug is out of your system.

i dont know why u guys are not using anything and complaining about witrawall messing with all those nightmares.

 

you can add creatine, ibuprofen, celecoxibe, zinc, magnesium, NAC, fish oil,  all of them at the same time for maximum effect.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19496103

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23419244

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796297/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4624319/

 

btw go  to gym run at treadmill at very high speeds breath deep and slow down for 3-5 minutes repeat this for 45-60 minutes 3-4 times a week. this will reset your brain.  and do some 5x5 training.

Dont forget : sedentary people have sedentary brains

http://slideplayer.com/slide/9343941/

https://www.google.com.tr/search?ei=fAuCWp_nO8q3sQGW8o7QAg&q=sedentary+brain&oq=sedentary+brain&gs_l=psy-ab.3...47739.47739.0.47874.1.1.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.0.0....0.3hMuh7T2Iwg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pennylane34

I cold turkeyed.  It's dangerous and I wouldn't recommend it.  But I recovered and I'm sure you will as well.

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rupa
On 1/4/2017 at 2:19 AM, anongrl5590 said:

Hello everyone!

 

I have CT'd from Prozac use since September 2017 (you can see my history in my signature). It's my 3rd month of withdrawals (but 4 months off Prozac completely) and I'm struggling to find hope that there's success in cold turkeying. I know it's not the best thing to do, but I'm honestly afraid to reinstate.

 

I've had waves and windows interchange so far, and I'm hoping the existence of the windows means I'm recovering. But I'm unsure. Can I keep cold turkeying and recover? Are there successes out there from CT?

How are you now?

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anongrl5590
On 3/11/2018 at 1:00 AM, rupa said:

How are you now?

 

Hi there -

Well I am about 18 months out since my CT. I still have about half of the symptoms I started out with but they are progressively getting better although VERY slowly. A lot of my physical symptoms have improved but I still have some that still hit me pretty hard every now and then. Mainly my mental symptoms are the ones that are driving me nuts. I don't really get much of a break from the mental symptoms. I am just chugging along everyday trying to survive as usual. But again, I have noticed improvements. I am definitely not where I was few months ago. I hope things keep progressing in the right direction. 

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Downbutnotout
On 2/12/2018 at 5:36 AM, AliG said:

HB. I'm sorry, I only just saw this. I never noticed the January post (above) at the time.

 

To try and answer both questions - firstly, I don't really know if it is a matter of dosage, time on drugs, cold - turkey or perhaps and most likely, all of them combined. All I can really say is that this has been my experience. Even generalizing about length of time can be tricky as we all have our own individual timelines. It varies widely and greatly. From what I have seen and experienced though, this C/T process does take some considerable time. Having said that, tapering also involves time and a certain amount of patience. These qualities become highly valued skills during this process, whether you cold -turkey-ed or tapered. It's still character - building.  :rolleyes:

 

For me, I had many C/T'S over a long period of time whilst on and off the drugs over 20 something, odd years. This is largely what I put my length of recovery time down to, for me individually. My CNS was ... highly challenged, even before my final cold - turkey ( before SA). It was obvious to me then, that this wouldn't be fixed overnight. I knew that was going to have to put in some hard work, both with non- drug techniques and also acceptance.

 

Your second question is much easier to answer, as lately, I have really gone ahead in " leaps and bounds" in the anhedonia department. It's not perfect yet ~ and I can still struggle at certain times, particularly during waves, but the difference is really like "night and day". It is major improvement and so much has now disappeared. It was a symptom that I have really struggled with and has been one of the last to start to recede but as with all the other symptoms, it is virtually non- existent, now.

Good for you. 

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rupa
On 3/13/2018 at 10:50 AM, anongrl5590 said:

 

Hi there -

Well I am about 18 months out since my CT. I still have about half of the symptoms I started out with but they are progressively getting better although VERY slowly. A lot of my physical symptoms have improved but I still have some that still hit me pretty hard every now and then. Mainly my mental symptoms are the ones that are driving me nuts. I don't really get much of a break from the mental symptoms. I am just chugging along everyday trying to survive as usual. But again, I have noticed improvements. I am definitely not where I was few months ago. I hope things keep progressing in the right direction. 

Very nice to hear that you noticed some improvement.

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Liamb123456
On 16/2/2018 at 6:19 PM, Pennylane34 said:

I cold turkeyed.  It's dangerous and I wouldn't recommend it.  But I recovered and I'm sure you will as well.

How long until you recoverd

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Gerg

Listen as best you can 

Do what is possible 

Listen to your body as a friend 

Take everything in, do what everyone asks that is good for you.

Learn, dont stand still, walk straight, go forward, love yourself, be kind.

Smell the roses.

Just remember, "DON'T DON'T" be gullable to any and all ideas then you "can" win.

Stay on top.

I did.

From the one who calls himself after 20+48 yrs of many, many a tablet.

The "Nolongerbipolar  one"

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daybydaystepbystep

I went off olanzapine (zyprexa) and abilify cold turkey as well.  It was very difficult for 3 months but I recovered and do not miss the psychiatric drugs at all.

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Altostrata
On 2/12/2018 at 2:04 PM, neurotransmission said:

You guys can do a fast taper off with supplements and other drug augmentations. and continue with johns wort when drug is out of your system.

i dont know why u guys are not using anything and complaining about witrawall messing with all those nightmares.

 

you can add creatine, ibuprofen, celecoxibe, zinc, magnesium, NAC, fish oil,  all of them at the same time for maximum effect.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19496103

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23419244

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3796297/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4624319/

 

btw go  to gym run at treadmill at very high speeds breath deep and slow down for 3-5 minutes repeat this for 45-60 minutes 3-4 times a week. this will reset your brain.  and do some 5x5 training.

Dont forget : sedentary people have sedentary brains

http://slideplayer.com/slide/9343941/

https://www.google.com.tr/search?ei=fAuCWp_nO8q3sQGW8o7QAg&q=sedentary+brain&oq=sedentary+brain&gs_l=psy-ab.3...47739.47739.0.47874.1.1.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..1.0.0....0.3hMuh7T2Iwg.

 

8

 

Do not under any circumstances assume any of these crutches will compensate for cold turkey or substitute for gradual tapering. We have seen NONE of them work reliably.

 

Recovery from cold turkey is unpredictable. There is no way to predict severity or length of recovery from the amount of time you've been on the drug or dosage amount.

 

Cold-turkey is a very high-risk way to go off psychiatric drugs. The risk is severe and prolonged withdrawal syndrome. Do not assume it will be easy for you because it was easy for a friend or someone you read about on the Web.

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neurotransmission

They are not  crutch, drug itself is crutch. i tried them, they are working on me, a lot of guys experiencing they work, there is some evidence they work. Im not advocating cold - turkey. But even on cold turkey you can benefit from these augmentations. im not saying they will %100 work, but you should try.  if you response,  im just saying you gonna experience far more faster and more succesfull, less painfull taper off with this aproach. i think its very pointless to wait for months to just go half the dosage, decrease dosage by very tiny tiny amounts. I think this should be done at the last stage of taper off. Not the beginning. These drugs effiency is not linear after a dosage as you know. So tapering off for months to compensate lack of %5 effiency is pointless.  Some guys even   immediatly go half the current dosage with these augmentations without any withrawal syndroms and then continue with slower steps with minimum withrawal issues. its pointless to not use your facilities and mess with syirnge,solutions for months years.  

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Hellbutrin
On 2/16/2018 at 12:19 PM, Pennylane34 said:

I cold turkeyed.  It's dangerous and I wouldn't recommend it.  But I recovered and I'm sure you will as well.

Pennylane, how long did it take for you to recover from your C/T?

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Pennylane34
On 5/7/2018 at 12:53 PM, Hellbutrin said:

Pennylane, how long did it take for you to recover from your C/T?

 

If you click on my user name and go to my original post I laid out my entire story there.  It's not a story of recovery from a CT- it was an overall story of recovery from w/d.  I can't pinpoint the CT and say that that's the reason it was as bad as it was.  Coming off meds and tapering might have been equally as sh*tty for me.  No one is to really know...

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Pennylane34
On 4/4/2018 at 1:05 PM, Liamb123456 said:

How long until you recoverd

 

Click my user name for the full story.

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bhasski

@Pennylane34

 

What has helped you get back your cognitive abilities, sense of pleasure and calm ... what  proved to be of help for memory etc.. ?

 

I am going to read your thread again as I had done may be several times but forget.

 

After a 1.5 years I am now out of my city at my sister's home, but  still zombie, restless here ... the reason that I don't go any where... this crappy, sh*tty feeling makes me helpless.

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Gerg

To bhasski

For me what you posted is a very important ?. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an intriguing concept that has merit. I did this in 1989 and continue to use it up till today. You use the word correctly but I sence u don't use the technique in your day to day.

I will give you a small rundown of what I have known to work, if you want to discus any at length then feel free to ask.

1. A doctor that actually is interested in your plight.

Not because he has the answeres but because you need a medical friend.

2. A social outlet eg. Club, religious.

One thing, though they need to be supportive of you for remember your illness does not define who you are.

Critical friends are worse than no friends. Do without this type of friend if they are bad for you. But if you find supportive friends you will receive much comfort as you fight your demons.

I know these (people) are hard to find but you will did them worthwhile in your quest for peace

3. Don't give Up, be resolved to be kind to yourself by being proactive. The journey of a 1,000 miles or starts with the first step.

Already you can see how I am a happy ex bipolar. The only thing in this post I feel sad about is the knowledge that you are where I was 40 years ago, so don't kid yourself into thinking it will be easy but don't convince yourself that you can't care for yourself, this will help you be calm. Your negative feelings are a result of your illness they are not you even the zombie in you is not you.

We can talk about cognitive behavioral actions and thoughts if you want to continue this post. Look it up online, "Cognitive Thinking". it is not a magic bullet but it will help you eventually get your thoughts in order.

Gerg

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Spideygsm

Diagnosis: Severe Bipolar 1, Severe Depression, Severe Anxiety Disorder. (tried Big S 3 times, Self Harm (cutting, burning, smash indexes with hammer)), Bought 2 cars in 2 days, 4 Rolex watches in 3 days Blah Blah. 80 ECT's. I think the Doctor's have me properly diagnosed but improperly medicated. I spilled the beans

 

I've been dropped from one med and changed to another so many times I can't list. However, no problems doing so.

 

2003: CT Klonipin and Xanax at same time. I was put on 10mg Klonipin, 3 weeks later had withdrawals within hours of taking dose. Doctor's added Xanax to take during the day. I started withdrawals continuously. My body built up a tolerance within a month where the Benzo's couldn't be controlled. Ended up in psych hospital. Doctor's CT's me off Benzos. I was in and out of the psych ward for 60 days. One day I woke up and symptoms were gone. I was only on the Benzo's about a month so maybe that's why I didn't have any lasting effects after withdrawal.

 

Dec 10-present: Rapid taper (Directed and supervised by my Doctor) from 30mg Zyprexa due to serious health side effects caused by Zyprexa. Basically 6 extremely intense months and still feeling the effects today. I am off Zyprexa but it was HARD and not completely over symptoms.

 

Comment: I experienced intense withdrawal symptoms coming off Zyprexa. Some symptoms were just intensified symptoms I've always had and new symptoms I've never had before. However, now I'm off Zyprexa the new symptoms I experienced during withdrawal come and go but not severe. The symptoms I had before starting Zyprexa  (insomnia, anxiety) are back to where I was at before Zyprexa (not the intensified level during withdrawal). The Zyprexa cured nothing, did not relieve anxiety or make me sleep. It helped control mania and psychosis during mania. That's it. Now I'm off Zyprexa I'm not a walking Zombie living in a drug induced fog and I feel better in that I can feel more control of my brain. Hard to describe. However, I still have mental health issues that I'm working on controlling ALONG WITH MY DOCTOR without drugs. Not all Doctors are just ignorant drug prescribers. 

 

I think all of it depends on what dose you're taking, how long you took it, as well as your tolerance to enduring discomfort and willpower.

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lxjuice

I found that trazodone could be tapered rapidly from 50 to 15-20mg before a slow taper was needed. So not a total rapid taper success story but it definitely sped things up for me. Can't say whether it would work well for anyone else. I was on 50mg/night for about 1 year. Total tolerance kicked in about 2 weeks - should have come off then but coming off it was relatively painless either way. I jumped off at 0.5mg or something like that.

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Altostrata

If you are taking a substantial dosage, often the first cut can be largish, possibly because that dosage was excessive for you. However, you may not know if a dosage is excessive, there might be no symptoms. So do this at your own risk, once you develop withdrawal symptoms, it's possible they can't be completely reversed by updosing or reinstatement. You will have to wait for them to go away.

Edited by Altostrata
added clarification

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Pennylane34
On 5/22/2018 at 3:05 AM, bhasski said:

@Pennylane34

 

What has helped you get back your cognitive abilities, sense of pleasure and calm ... what  proved to be of help for memory etc.. ?

 

I am going to read your thread again as I had done may be several times but forget.

 

After a 1.5 years I am now out of my city at my sister's home, but  still zombie, restless here ... the reason that I don't go any where... this crappy, sh*tty feeling makes me helpless.

 

Hi Bhaski!

 

I didn't really start to notice some major dents in W/D until about 2- 2.5 years out.  It was really rough for the first year and a half.  Seems to be a lot of people notice a shift (even if it's slight at about 24 months).  Homeopathy helped me with the acute stuff- fever, headaches, palpitations, OCD, insomnia, insane depression and anxiety... etc etc... I can't say enough about homeopathy.  It truly carried me through that dark time.  Get someone good and trustworthy if you choose to go that route.

 

Best,

PL

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Hellbutrin
On 6/9/2018 at 3:13 PM, Altostrata said:

If you are taking a substantial dosage, often the first cut can be largish, possibly because that dosage was excessive for you. However, you may not know if a dosage is excessive, there might be no symptoms. So do this at your own risk, once you develop withdrawal symptoms, it's possible they can't be completely reversed.

Hi Alto,

 

I've been trying to pay extra attention to what I post on the forum because you mentioned that a few of my posts could cause distress for others. But can you please explain what you mean by this? Even if it's in a message. I saw your post on Monday, and I didn't want to respond to it for risk of founding fatalistic. But I keep ruminating on it, so I was hoping you would clarify for me. 

 

 "So do this at your own risk, once you develop withdrawal symptoms, it's possible they can't be completely reversed."

 

Most of the reports that I've heard say that everyone will recover but it could take a very long time. But I don't know how I would cope with the idea that this depression could be irreversible to some degree.

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Altostrata

Seeing how it was misunderstood out of context, I've clarified that post, Hellbutrin:

 

On 6/9/2018 at 1:13 PM, Altostrata said:

If you are taking a substantial dosage, often the first cut can be largish, possibly because that dosage was excessive for you. However, you may not know if a dosage is excessive, there might be no symptoms. So do this at your own risk, once you develop withdrawal symptoms, it's possible they can't be completely reversed by updosing or reinstatement. You will have to wait for them to go away.

 

You seem to be a person of good will who is sincerely seeking insight, Hellbutrin. But your habit of mind is always to interpret things in a way that terrifies you (and others). You've done this in your post

 

33 minutes ago, Hellbutrin said:

But I don't know how I would cope with the idea that this depression could be irreversible to some degree.

 

We can tell you 4,000 times that people tend to heal, symptoms change and very gradually go away, and if you see one phrase that supports your predetermination that you're doomed, that's what stands out to you -- despite the context, which isn't about you.

 

You're a good person, you don't have to keep on hurting yourself! Please give some thought to why you do this and practice forgiving yourself. Since you have this strong tendency towards self-sabotage through doomy thinking, you'll have to develop a strong mental muscle to counter it.

 

It so happens that phrase you found was in the context of cold turkey. Recently, one of our members half-way through a successful taper decided to take a shortcut and quit cold turkey, thinking he could reinstate at a lower dose and shorten his taper. Even though he reinstated, he still hasn't recovered from the withdrawal symptoms.

 

Some people see "don't cold turkey, it can be really, really bad" 4,000 times and one phrase about the benefits of reinstating and decide to jump off a cliff fantasizing that reinstatement is a safety net. Well, that misinterpretation was an expression of his tendency to self-sabotage in a big way.

 

I don't want anyone to get the idea that big cuts in dosage are a great idea. The Internet is full of people who made this mistake and are asking why they're suffering so badly for so long. Make big cuts in dosage at your own risk, don't count on being able to reverse the resulting symptoms with reinstatement, you could be letting yourself in for a world of hurt.

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