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Risperdrawlin

Do you *Need* the drug you're tapering off of?

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Risperdrawlin

Hi Everyone,

 

The intent of this post is not to say "Oh you're trying to come off that drug that you're actually supposed to be on and need, you should stay on it, you're a bad person for trying to come off it..." etc. I'm curious if the drug you are trying to come off of is one you actually need or supposedly need or if it is one you don't need (maybe you were misdiagnosed, you no longer have the condition, you have developed coping skills, etc). What you decide to do with your body and your life is your choice. I'm just curious. Would you be diagnosed with the disorder that the drug you're currently taking is supposed to help treat?

 

For instance, I currently take Risperdal, Lamictal, and Zoloft. I definitely don't qualify to take Risperdal. I was misdiagnosed bipolar with psychotic features when I had some problems and entered a mental hospital. I am not bipolar--I have never had a manic episode-- and I never have had a hallucination. I was put on Lithium in the hospital and I came off it about 8 months later. 6 months after that I went on Lamictal when I was having mental health problems. I think that coming off the Lamictal might be difficult, but I'm not supposed to need it since I'm not bipolar. As far as Zoloft, I have felt depressed, but I'm not sure that I would qualify for either Major Depressive Disorder or Dysthymic Disorder (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64063/).

 

Please share as much, and only as much, as you are comfortable sharing. Moderators, please let me know if this post is inappropriate or belongs in a different forum.

 

Thanks!

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ang

Hello

 

I got depressed at 15, got over it myself in about 6 months, no drugs  

 

(All the below is very clear in hindsight, but not at the time, of course).

 

15 years later.............  got sent to an overzealous sister, who I hardly knew..... as I was depressed........... she liked smoking, drinking, and worst of all liked  psychiatrists  (felt she had something wrong with her, she kept telling them till she found one who listened, apparently)........  she  convinced me I was depressed, just like her, it was genetic   ...  bullsh*t,,,,

 

Then was on double dose of Dothiepin  (first ever drug for me)...... About 8 weeks later I had fits, mania, psychosis.  Was told this medication does not cause this, was  underlying bipolar (bullsh*t).  

Later...............

 

I was put on horrific drugs, due to mania (the mania was caused by a damn valium tablet).  ""Valium doesn't cause this"", I was told, bullsh*t, it happened again, later, now allergic to valium is all over my medical records.... Valium can cause it, lucky me, one of those apparently rare side effects.

 

then came SSRIs,   after being off drugs for years, because an ignorant  gp give me Zyprexa, cause I was an exhausted mother.................sent me nuts, yet again..... (he probably read my previous records??), lucky me.  "Zyprexa  doesnt cause this" cause the leaflet says it doesnt, bullsh*t.

 

so answer to your question?  I ended up on so many drugs, why?  I never even had severe depression to start with.

They are addictive, worse than a heroin addiction (I am told)......... but the doctors say they are safe, and non addictive, and all the bullsh*t the drug companies feed them.  Yes, my starter pack tablets were usually freebies to the doctors, from the drug companies... first on zoloft, first on effexor (lucky me)...........

 

They are not safe, are extremely addictive (ie try and give em up, and see how you feel 8 months later)..............and extremely damaging to every part of the body..................... so eventually instead of one drug, like me, you end up on about 5.................. and then you still eventually crash, cause they dont work forever.

 

You end up on drugs that are used off label.............. with my doctor simply saying ""oh if they work, they work" not very scientific.  That is called "the art of psychiatry"..........

 

So, I get a gp asking what drugs I been on, and according to my drug histories, I am psychotic, schizophrenic, bipolar, clinically depressed, have epilepsy, high blood pressure, and no, I never ever, had any of these, prior to age 35, and those damn poisons called antidepressants.  And so many others, claustrophobic, agorophobic.  Psychiatrists love inventing new words for drug side effects.  Thats why DSM V is so damn big, now we have viagra, so people on these horrific drugs can have sex.   Why not just not prescribe the drugs to start with?  

Money, money money, its a legal drug pushers world.

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chicken

The drug I'm tapering now I don't think I need. It was just a bridge from another one gone horribly wrong.

 

I had severe anxiety episodes all my life, long before I ever took a drug. Some episodes were debiliatating. When I started an SSRI years ago the episodes did stop.
So I think it did help, however I stopped the drug. Had close to four years with no episodes, then it came back because of a severe life crises.

 

I do think I have a problem with anxiety with or without a drug. It runs in my family and my grandfather used alcohol moderately to control it. He never let the alcohol control him. He took just enought to take the edge off so he could work. As he got older the anxiety "burnt out" and he had no more problems with it. It was pretty severe in his younger years though.

 

When I go off my current drug,  I will have to learn to control it some other way. I do believe I have found a way and it is through magnesium. I'm going to stay on mag every day and see if the anxiety ever comes back.

 

My doc says that the dose of pamelor that I'm own now is too low to ever control anxiety or depression so I truly believe the magnesium is carrying me now.

Only time will tell. I will keep folks posted of how it all goes.

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Prestorb

I asked my GP for Lexapro (10 mg) in 2005 because I thought it might improve my relationship with my husband at the time, so I wasn't depressed or experiencing anxiety. I tended to be a bit controlling and "on edge" then, but those were just the downsides of my personality. The marriage still failed in less than a year, but when I tried to quit the Lexapro 4+ years later, I almost had a nervous breakdown about 8 weeks in. I developed severe depression and anxiety, couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, I was a mess. I had never experienced anything like that in my life.

 

I was a single mom at the time, with a 6 year old son, so I had to get it together. Fortunately, I was able to qualify for FMLA from my job so I took about 12 weeks off, and worked with a psychiatrist and therapist to find a new AD that I could tolerate and that allowed me to function. I could no longer tolerate Lexapro, it made me nauseous and killed my appetite and I was already thin. I ended up on Pexeva (basically a reformulation of Paxil), and that seemed to stabilize me for the time being.

 

Since then, I have had 3 more depressive episodes associated with various life stressors. I never had this before taking ADs, not that I didn't have normal ups and downs, but not major depressive episodes. So for me, I never "needed" the ADs and it was pure ignorance on my part to ever take them. I have paid dearly for that lapse in judgement, but I don't generally feel bitter or anger about it. I am too busy trying to deal with the consequences, and praying to eventually be off and feeling normal again. I am thankful for this site, it is helping me get through this.

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Rhiannon

I highly question whether anyone needs psychiatric drugs. Human distress is not a disease, and even if it was, the drugs don't actually fix anything, they just perturb the brain's chemistry in a way that sometimes gives a temporary change in behavior and how people feel at first.  But they get almost as good a response with placebo, so there's more going on than just the drugs. And over time, long term, people end up worse off on the drugs than without them.

 

I think the first thing should be (like it used to be) effective therapy and looking at life factors (stressors, support) and lifestyle factors (diet, exercise) and also a thorough hormone workup. I think most of the time psychological "problems" are the manifestation of early trauma combined with our very demanding and not-very-human-organism-friendly society and the expectations thereof for how people are supposed to live (working hard all their lives until they are too old to, living in cities full of polluted air and water, not a lot of time for play or creativity except for the very wealthy few, etc.)

 

Given the complexity of all that I can see why we're encouraged to take the "pop a pill and be fixed" approach, and actually if the pills really did fix things that might be okay, but like I said, there's a lot of demographic evidence that long term outcomes with psychiatric meds are worse than without them. Robert Whitaker does a pretty good analysis of that in his book Anatomy of an Epidemic, which I think is required reading for anyone who has ever taken or is considering taking any psychiatric medication.

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Rhiannon

Also I would not say this thread is inappropriate but it might belong in a different section of the forum. I don't have time right now to figure out where and move it, have to go to work. We have had threads on this subject before so maybe it could be hooked to an existing one.

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UnfoldingSky

Thumbs up to what Rhi said.  We need a like button. :)

 

No one needs these drugs because no one has a chemical imbalance.  Well, except possibly ones the drugs created and obviously people stuck on the drugs sometimes need them because they can't stop them easily.

 

Also it took a lot of deceptive practices to get them on the market, if that hadn't happened it's quite likely no one would even have ever been put on them.  So they've basically created the idea that people "need" them when had they been properly assessed based on the actual results of drug trials it's so likely no one ever would have gotten them to start with.  And all while safer effective solutions for a myriad of problems already exist which are often overlooked and a myriad of alternative explanations or causes are not addressed either. 

 

In my case the "depression" I had I found out over time had a number of different causes.  Everything ranging from misdiagnosed health problems to situational issues that don't remotely fit the idea it is a disease.  ADs never did help me, at best they were "neutral" (I am not so sure that is true now as they likely were causing some kind of subtle damage I couldn't appreciate at the time) and at worst they nearly cost me my life.  And the last time I was put on them I didn't even fit the arbitrary criteria of "depression" besides this as I'd found other effective ways to deal with the issues I had going on then. 

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WiggleIt

Hi Everyone,

 

The intent of this post is not to say "Oh you're trying to come off that drug that you're actually supposed to be on and need, you should stay on it, you're a bad person for trying to come off it..." etc. I'm curious if the drug you are trying to come off of is one you actually need or supposedly need or if it is one you don't need (maybe you were misdiagnosed, you no longer have the condition, you have developed coping skills, etc). What you decide to do with your body and your life is your choice. I'm just curious. Would you be diagnosed with the disorder that the drug you're currently taking is supposed to help treat?

 

For instance, I currently take Risperdal, Lamictal, and Zoloft. I definitely don't qualify to take Risperdal. I was misdiagnosed bipolar with psychotic features when I had some problems and entered a mental hospital. I am not bipolar--I have never had a manic episode-- and I never have had a hallucination. I was put on Lithium in the hospital and I came off it about 8 months later. 6 months after that I went on Lamictal when I was having mental health problems. I think that coming off the Lamictal might be difficult, but I'm not supposed to need it since I'm not bipolar. As far as Zoloft, I have felt depressed, but I'm not sure that I would qualify for either Major Depressive Disorder or Dysthymic Disorder (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64063/).

 

Please share as much, and only as much, as you are comfortable sharing. Moderators, please let me know if this post is inappropriate or belongs in a different forum.

 

Thanks!

 

I do not need the meds I was given, nor did I ever.  I had a physical injury for which no one ever sent me to physical therapy, so when my pain did not get better, I was bullied onto medication by doctors who told me that I would "never have any quality of life" without medication.  I was very naive and trusted the medical system, so I eventually let them bully me onto meds.

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WiggleIt

Also, I agree with Rhi and Sky.  Nobody needs psych meds, but in developed, first-world countries, we are indoctrinated to treat EVERYTHING with a pill.  Part of my family is from another country and I have been told that mental health patients there actually fare better overall because they are not worsened with chemicals.  My family has told me that in their country, even the extreme mental health patients with psychosis do better with their natural psychosis, as opposed to the chemically induced psychosis that doctors and pharmaceutical companies are allowed to propagate in America.

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Risperdrawlin

UnfoldingSky, I disagree and take issue with you saying "No one has a chemical imbalance." Simply put, you don't know what the chemistry is inside anyone else's brain, and it is certainly possible that someone could have a chemical imbalance compared to the levels of neurotransmitters that are present on average for a well-functioning person. WiggleIt, I am not entirely surprised that in other countries people with what we call mental illness who live without the medications that people here might use might fare better. Prestorb, Rhi, UnfoldingSky, and WiggleIt, thanks for sharing. WiggleIt, I'm so sorry to see what you're going through. Best wishes.

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UnfoldingSky

UnfoldingSky, I disagree and take issue with you saying "No one has a chemical imbalance." Simply put, you don't know what the chemistry is inside anyone else's brain, and it is certainly possible that someone could have a chemical imbalance compared to the levels of neurotransmitters that are present on average for a well-functioning person. WiggleIt, I am not entirely surprised that in other countries people with what we call mental illness who live without the medications that people here might use might fare better. Prestorb, Rhi, UnfoldingSky, and WiggleIt, thanks for sharing. WiggleIt, I'm so sorry to see what you're going through. Best wishes.

 

Actually, the chemical imbalance theory was refuted.  I'm too tired to dig up the relevant info but there's stuff about it somewhere on the MIA site.  And likely here too.  There was a really good article that went into the history of where that theory came from too which I wish I had saved...

 

But over the years psychiatry has made up all kinds of theories that turned out to be bogus and unfortunately for us, this is one of them.  Although in actuality the line about chemical imbalances originated more with drug companies than it did psychiatry.

 

Also it may be completely irrelevant what an "average" brain looks like.  People can have differences, they need not be pathological. 

 

Not to metion that there will always be some sort of biological process attached to a feeling but that doesn't make the feeling a disease or the biology a pathological one.

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UnfoldingSky

But I will agree, I can't look into anyone's brain.. :)

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UnfoldingSky

 

Well I owe you one now since you did the work for me, thanks for posting this!  I love Bruce Levine's writing. :)

 

And I'm sorry you didn't know, it's so upsetting how many people have been told this.    And your situation sounds pretty terrible, that you didn't even meet their criteria for some of the labels you mention and still wound up on drugs for them anyway is so upsetting too.

 

Not to go way off topic but were you able or have you tried to undo the diagnoses you got that you don't agree with?  I hope they were removed. 

 

I was given the "bipolar" label back in the day after I suffered an adverse reaction to Celexa.  Later on they did catch that it was a reaction, and that was what caused the hypomania and I think it's been removed from my records but I'm too traumatized by what happened to check.  After I got off the drug it didn't recur and that was a long time ago now. 

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UnfoldingSky

Also I apologize if I came across as insensitive or abrasive earlier on.  I don't want to minimize whatever you went through which you feel is a valid issue.

 

I'm just really upset over psychiatry misleading people like this especially after having been put through horrible withdrawal (I was removed abruptly from a drug which caused huge problems) only to find out there were alternative explanations for the episodes of depression I had had which would make the drug treatment unnecessary.  And then to learn in some cases well after the fact that there were much safer treatments was also very upsetting.  I dearly hope that you were given better information than I was with regards to different solutions.  Even twenty years on I keep finding solutions for depression I had not even heard of and usually they are safer than drugs.  It is devastating to think how different my life might had I had this sort of knowledge earlier. 

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Rhiannon

 

 

No one needs these drugs because no one has a chemical imbalance.  Well, except possibly ones the drugs created and obviously people stuck on the drugs sometimes need them because they can't stop them easily.

 

 

This is thoroughly explained with appropriate citations in the book Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker. It's exactly as Unfolding says: it appears that there are no chemical imbalances until people take the drugs, which do cause a chemical imbalance, it's what they're designed to do.

 

I highly recommend this book. In fact, I think it should be required reading for anyone taking or considering taking any psychiatric drug, as well as all prescribers of them.

 

Even the psychiatric "establishment" is now pretty openly admitting that the chemical imbalance hypothesis has no actual evidence supporting it. And it's not like the drug companies didn't try really hard to find it! But after all the money and studies, nobody's been able to prove or even consistently support it.

 

If you read carefully you will see that they don't say depression is caused by chemical imbalance, you will see that they say "we think it may be" et cetera.

 

Unfortunately it doesn't matter because with all the TV commercials, people believe it hook, line and sinker.

 

 

The whole "chemical imbalance" thing was invented to sell drugs.

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Rhiannon

I'm moving this thread to Events, controversies, actions. It could also go in Off Topic. If someone thinks that's a better place for it, feel free to move it there (mods). I just don't think it belongs in Tapering, which is specifically for topics on how to taper.

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UnfoldingSky

  It is devastating to think how different my life might had I had this sort of knowledge earlier. 

 

I meant to say, how different my life might have been.  :wacko:

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UnfoldingSky

Also just to be clear, for people who are new to the information about the imbalance theory having been discredited, as far as I am aware this doesn't change the tapering rules for drugs, so even if you take this to heart and feel because of it that you don't need them the general tapering rules still apply. 

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Rhiannon

No, the chemical imbalance theory is the idea that "mental illness" is caused by a defective brain, in a brain that has never been exposed to these drugs. That's what has been discredited. Once you take the drugs for more than a few weeks, you DO have a chemical imbalance, caused by the drugs, and your brain has changed itself to adapt to it, which is why you have to taper them.

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UnfoldingSky

No, the chemical imbalance theory is the idea that "mental illness" is caused by a defective brain, in a brain that has never been exposed to these drugs. That's what has been discredited. Once you take the drugs for more than a few weeks, you DO have a chemical imbalance, caused by the drugs, and your brain has changed itself to adapt to it, which is why you have to taper them.

 

Thanks for clarifying that Rhi, I guess I didn't make that clear.  The theory I referred to that was discredited is the "mental illness" one.

 

I know there's an imbalance once people take the drugs.

 

I just didn't want anyone reading the bit about the "mental illness" imbalance theory being discredited and then thinking that that automatically means it's okay to stop drugs however they see fit since technically there was no "need" of them to start with.  It doesn't change anything about tapering.

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FreedomfromMeds

I found this article in a magazine they give away at most health food stores. 

What Works Better Than Antidepressants?

You’ve been programmed to believe that serotonin deficiency causes depression. If SSRI antidepressants actually cured people, we would not see escalating rates of suicide, agitation, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD.

The secret sadness that people carry is not always apparent to the rest of the world. For example, I went to lunch with a new friend who has a picture perfect life by most standards. She confided to me that she has tried to kill herself three times and suffers with chronic depression. More than two decades have passed and not one psychiatrist or physician has ever suggested magnesium to this lovely lady. Not one! Unbelievable, considering the studies that suggest magnesium plays some role in depression, even with suicidal tendencies. The type of magnesium matters though. 

Studies suggest that cardiac problems may occur in the fetus when mothers take SSRI drugs during the first trimester, yet one in four women trying to get pregnant are taking an antidepressant.

Antidepressants target several neurotransmitters, usually epinephrine, dopamine or serotonin. But there are about 100 different brain chemicals involved in making you feel “happy,” so targeting just those three is silly. Yes wonder there were nearly 37,000 suicides in 2009, and about a million attempts, according to the CDC. It’s ideal to get information and/or track your progress if you have severe depression. Here’s how:

Interleukin 10 or IL-10. A blood test will measure this cytokine. Reduced IL-10 is seen with depression, feelings of helplessness, insomnia and migraines. Life your IL-10 with resveratrol, vitamin D and exercise.

C Reactive protein. You’re more likely to be depressed when it’s elevated. Vitamin E and C, probiotics and CoQ10 can lower this.

TNF alpha. This cytokine (measured in the blood) is high in depression, narcolepsy, bowel disease and psoriasis. Reduce TNF (tumor necrosis factor) with probiotics, magnesium, lipoid acid, cur cumin, baswellia and essential fatty acids.

Thyroid hormone. Evaluate your Free T3. If it’s low, it’s a slam dunk for depression, fatigue and wight gain. I suggest you get this between 3.5 and 4.3 using thyroid medicine or supplements. Read my book, Thyroid Healthy.

Neopterin and biopterin. It’s a urine test and these two compounds are by-products of chemical reactions involving tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) which is required to make epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. This ratio is important if you have depression, Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s or autism.

Healing depression takes time, and requires relaxation. Breathing deeply reduces cortisol, a stress hormone which makes you tired, overweight and sad! Balancing estrogen levels, raising progesterone, thyroid or testosterone can help. Deficiencies of magnesium, vitamin C, B12 or folate are often involved. Methylation difficulties, definitely involved! Your gut is key, yet so overlooked. Probiotics improve your micro biome and positively influence your ability to deal with stress and make neurotransmitters.

The cause of depression differs for everyone. Please don’t give up on life. Just so you have this handy, 800-273-8255 which dials right into the National Suicide prevention Lifeline center. You are loved and needed by someone. I love you! I study every day to help you. And finally, don’t let anyone dismiss nutrients, that is honestly your best mood food.

Author: Suzy Cohen, RPh has been a licensed pharmacist for 22 years and is a functional medicine practitioner. Dubbed as ‘America’s most trusted pharmacist,’ she devotes most of her time to teaching others about the benefits of natural vitamins, herbs and minerals.

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Risperdrawlin

*UnfoldingSky you're good! No hard feelings!

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westcoast

I was out in it to control my by a cancer hospital when I was freaking out because they did not believe the chemo I was on when I got there (for geographic reasons I had to find a new place and went to the FAMOUS in SoCal. Instead of looking at medical research that said my chemo had been found to be markedly better in Stage 4 cases, they simply told me it was unheard of and not safe! Told me I had adjustment disorder, on Effexor. Why they did not give me a few Ativan, or why I did not go elsewhere is a mystery. I could have gotten hooked but do not think so. I had had some from the time of diagnosis which was a journey into the depths of hell I cannot put into words. Any why would any doc write Effexor for anyone, ever, for that matter.

 

Rhi makes the excellent point when she says perhaps no one has ever needed these, ever. Though costly my dream would be resort-like facilities with humane care suited to every kind of troubles. People in violent or self-injuring psychosis are a challenge, but it is NOT impossible to create a safe environment, I do not think, for them, too. I do not have an answer for that depression and anxiety? No drugs, please. Tender loving care for as long as needed. They used to call it the rest cure.

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sky68

Starting AD has been the utmost stupid decision I've made in my life, ever.

 

How was I to know what I was getting into when my GP suggested taking them when I was suffering from a relatively mild GAD? I should have known better...

 

It is my truly belief that the AD meds have contributed to more problems after that. Your brain gets used to these substances and after even a short while, there is almost no point of return. If I weren't on the meds I wouldn't have encountered all the problems that followed.

No more AD's or other brain altering drugs for me, ever again.

I do not believe (anymore) that a lack of serotonin has caused my previous problems. I will walk away from any doctor of psychologist who tells me so.

 

So, as an answer to the topic question, my reply is a big NO.

 

But that's just my experience and conviction.

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Karenna

I was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease quite a few years after taking Celexa.

 

This disease, which I had for a long time without knowing it, is why I appeared to 'need' an antidepressant. A small ACTH producing adenoma on my pituitary gland caused my adrenal glands to produce an astronomical amount of Cortisol.

Cortisol is the "fight or flight' stress hormone. My pituitary gland also stopped working adequately.....causing many symptoms.

Cushing's is a very complex endocrine illness that is very difficult to quite comprehend without doing a lot of research.

 

The Cortisol and 'imbalance' of my whole endocrine system really knocked my body for a loop. Depression and anxiety were just two of many complications I suffered. I became very, very ill before finally being diagnosed. I mean....I went through hell for a long time.

 

So, in regards to whether or not I 'needed' the Celexa........hmmmmmmm.....what I really needed was to be diagnosed much, much earlier then I was. Cushing's is a very rare disease.....but, I was a walking text book case before a doctor finally suspected it.

 

Once diagnosed....the tumor was removed successfully by a neurosurgeon. I slowly recovered but kept taking the Celexa as every time I tried to stop.....the withdrawal was way too difficult. I thought it was because I was just too depressed to live without it and that I 'needed' it.

 

I have a much better understanding of the withdrawal process now and am working through it.

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Iamfine

Over 12 years ago I needed Prozac. I believe that. But I only needed it for a short time and should have come off after a few months.minstead I fell into the psychiatry trap and ended up pegged out on 6 psych meds. I finally came to my senses and started tapering and going off meds and today I am down to low doses of three meds, soon to be just two. But when I first started I needed help.

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