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InvisibleUnless... - protracted psychotropic withdrawal (intro)


InvisibleUnless

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InvisibleUnless

greetings, i am new and have not previously joined a community pertaining to psychotropic medication withdrawal.  i posted a few times, years back, on crazymeds/crazyboards asking about severe non-withdrawal side effects i was experiencing, but to no productive end.

 

in summary, i spent a span of 7 years taking various combinations of 17 different psychotropic medications from most of the common classes (SSRIs, SNRIs, an NDRI, tetracyclic antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, anxiolytics, benzodiazepines, psychotropic sedatives, an anticonvulsant, etc), usually 3-5 at a time (or more!). i had a wide variety of overlapping psychiatric diagnoses that amounted to a free pass for clinicians to throw literally anything theyve got at me.  eventually, i quit everything, tapering off under the watchful eye of a psychiatrist for many months.  but...now its almost 3 years later, after my last pill, and withdrawal has been raging the entire time.

 

---

 

in greater depth:

 

i had initially quit the medications the side effects became unmanageable, instead of just horrific, and i decided to quit it all for good before i completely lost myself.  i was virtually immobilized and brainfried from the regimen, and had lost most of my abilities in life, like reading comprehension, much aural comprehension of speech, energetic locomotion, almost all short and long term memory, etc, and had quit everything in life that previous made me happy, like artistic pursuits, romantic relationships, and sustainable employment and academic avenues.

 

all the doctors said that meds were the only thing they advised, and warned me strongly about going clean.  and, after i quit and was experiencing withdrawal, the only advice i ever got from any mental health expert, besides my latest counselor, was to go BACK on meds.  it took me a year or two to even recognize the symptoms as potentially being withdrawal symptoms---no one had ever talked to me about the potential for a long term withdrawal, and evidence in the literature was essentially non-extant.

 

 

i started building a case from the ground up, considering all options and marking down symptoms i experienced.  i compiled a 20 or so page document exploring many angles of my stay in the healthcare system and my present situation, and presented it to the last few doctors and counselors in the line of 8-10 or so that ive seen since going off meds.  i got a 'formal' diagnosis of protracted psychotropic withdrawal that the GP refused to put in writing, after examination and preliminary testing.  it doesnt change anything, ultimately, but its the beginning of some degree of medical recognition.

 

i have been on disability for several years now, basically quit all of life in 2009, but, ironically, i did not work enough to qualify for disability---they didnt like my jobs, as opposed to the periods of time i worked.  so i have an SSI pittance and cant afford to even feed myself while paying rent and bills, but dont have any means of significant material or financial assistance besides living with relatives at a greatly reduced cost of rent, and sometimes rides to appointments.

 

the symptoms of withdrawal, distinct from side effects i experienced while still on the meds, number between 60 and 100 separate issues...everything from seizures to kidney stones to psychosis to tardive dyskinesia type stuff. its been suggested that i see a rheumatologist about perhaps having fibromyalgia in addition to the slew of normal withdrawal symptoms, and i have been following through with that suggestion.  im largely incapacitated and have no one to even understand the nature of my situation, or have faith in my own experiences, so ive finally joined a board after months of avoiding a broader social dialogue on the matter.

 

so, hello fellow stricken digital people.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi InvisibleUnless,

 

You've come a long way on your own. You are obviously a person of substance to be able to identify he harms of such a medication regime, make determinations to come off, identify withdrawal issues and make medical practitioners take notice of you. That doesn't take away from the fact that you have been through a lot of suffering and hardship

 

We can offer you support, encouragement and some suggestions on how to manage symptoms. We can also offer you empathy and a place to speak your truth and be both believed and understood

 

As always, I'm glad you are here but sorry it is under such circumstances.

 

Dalsaan

Please note - I am not a medical practitioner and I do not give medical advice. I offer an opinion based on my own experiences, reading and discussion with others.On Effexor for 2 months at the start of 2005. Had extreme insomnia as an adverse reaction. Changed to mirtazapine. Have been trying to get off since mid 2008 with numerous failures including CTs and slow (but not slow enough tapers)Have slow tapered at 10 per cent or less for years. I have liquid mirtazapine made at a compounding chemist.

Was on 1.6 ml as at 19 March 2014.

Dropped to 1.5 ml 7 June 2014. Dropped to 1.4 in about September.

Dropped to 1.3 on 20 December 2014. Dropped to 1.2 in mid Jan 2015.

Dropped to 1 ml in late Feb 2015. I think my old medication had run out of puff so I tried 1ml when I got the new stuff and it seems to be going ok. Sleep has been good over the last week (as of 13/3/15).

Dropped to 1/2 ml 14/11/15 Fatigue still there as are memory and cognition problems. Sleep is patchy but liveable compared to what it has been in the past.

 

DRUG FREE - as at 1st May 2017

 

>My intro post is here - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2250-dalsaan

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Invisible ,  welcome to the site , the group none of us really want to be in.

 

We totally understand "the nature of your situation"  cause we've all been through the wringer at some point due to being prescribed antidepressants , so you're

in great company here.  

What an achievement to have been able to stop taking them completely , and survive.

If you start to explore the Symptoms and Self Care section , you'll find a lot of what you read validates  your experiences. 

 

This is your thread , and if you click FOLLOW THIS TOPIC at the top right , you'll receive an email each time someone posts.

 

Good to have you here.

 

Best wishes ,   Fresh

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, Invisible. Welcome to the forum.

 

I'm so sorry for your suffering. You are not alone, hundreds of thousands of people are going through the same or similar stories. Have you read the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker, yet? I recommend it highly.

 

One of the things that got him interested in the subject was the fact that since the widespread use of psychotropic medications began, disability due to mental illness has skyrocketed, which is not what you would expect if the drugs were actually doing something good for people.

 

I'm so sorry. Been down the same road.

 

I'm glad you're here and hope you'll find some support and solidarity here.

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 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                   1

 

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

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InvisibleUnless

We can offer you support, encouragement and some suggestions on how to manage symptoms. We can also offer you empathy and a place to speak your truth and be both believed and understood

thanks, i will, i suppose, be seeking advice on particular symptoms, because doctors have nothing, and ive tried what i could think of already, to limited effectiveness.  ive never talked to anyone else who has been through protracted withdrawal of any sort, let alone psychotropic/medically induced withdrawal, so this might be nice.

 

What an achievement to have been able to stop taking them completely , and survive.

If you start to explore the Symptoms and Self Care section , you'll find a lot of what you read validates  your experiences.

most people do not appreciate the gravity of that, so i thank you.  in fact, all the doctors and counselors ive seen have told me that theyve never seen someone go off meds after being on that many for that long, and the preliminary literature and medical reporting i read said (after ive been struggling for years now) that many people simply cannot survive, be it biologically or psychologically, and have to either reinstate medications or die.  i didnt myself fully grasp the seriousness of it all until symptoms no one warned me about continued for months and years, since there was never anyone to even mention it to me.  things like tardive dyskinesia were monitored via checklist while on antipsychotics those 7 years, but protracted withdrawal was not really a topic of discussion with any psychiatrist i ever saw.

 

it was a careful taper, and the quitting was necessary, but i was surprised at how being on the medications was not even the worse side effect of them.  its honestly been a bit impressive---its the sickest ive ever been.  worse than pneumonia, and worse than when i had strep, pinkeye, bronchitis, laryngitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disorder all at the same time and was coughing to the point of vomiting blood while being unable to even open my eyes properly and having such a high fever that i couldnt get my own meals or sleep much at all.

 

i will check more into those sections (i only browsed a handful of threads sitewide before joining), especially as, like dalsaan suggested, there may be remedial anecdotes to glean.

 

it has been somewhat surreal, being in a medical system that essentially completely fails to recognize and offer treatment options for my utterly severe condition---one caused by them, no less---while there are thriving online communities expounding upon the dangers and ills of these things.  its difficult, still, for others to swallow, since there are online communities detailing everything from UFO abductions to magickal practices, implying mutual understanding of experience doesnt create an externally validated subculture or bodily experience, even when there are medical facts supporting the ideologies in some cases such as this.

 

 

You are not alone, hundreds of thousands of people are going through the same or similar stories. Have you read the book Anatomy of an Epidemic, by Robert Whitaker, yet? I recommend it highly.

 

One of the things that got him interested in the subject was the fact that since the widespread use of psychotropic medications began, disability due to mental illness has skyrocketed, which is not what you would expect if the drugs were actually doing something good for people.

 

I'm glad you're here and hope you'll find some support and solidarity here.

 

i have not read that whitaker book yet, unfortunately, but ive seen a handful of interesting books circulating on the topic documenting the correlation between psychotropics and epidemiological anomalies/trends, industry practices and organized crime, medical practices and classist sociological objectives, etc.  i have a great difficulty reading, for the past few decades, which is kind of a pain since i loved it as a kid and was pretty indulgent.  i appreciate the recommendation, and do prefer to stay informed about all such scientific and sociological things.  luckily, at least, a lot of the connections are pretty opaque and, aside from statistical support, bulletpoint statements suffice in the meanwhile.  (i read a lot of scientific journal abstracts, for example, without as thoroughly perusing the entire article when i see the methodology doesnt require further scrutiny for me to take something from the stated conclusions.  its better than nothing for the hungry mind.)

 

 

thank you all for being so welcoming, i didnt realize this place was as active as it apparently is.  ive been away from forums for many years, and most forum culture sort of died with the hipster takeover of the internet, but this might be a welcome return.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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it has been somewhat surreal, being in a medical system that essentially completely fails to recognize and offer treatment options for my utterly severe condition---one caused by them, no less---while there are thriving online communities expounding upon the dangers and ills of these things. 

 

You said it.  Even more surreal because I'm a part of that failed medical system.  Good thing I didn't lose my youthful skepticism.  Too bad I didn't have more skepticism, but this experience of WD sure has boosted that quality.

 

Welcome.

1983-1995: On and off several tricyclic ADs
1995: Quit alcohol, started Prozac
2003: Stopped Prozac; 2004: Started Effexor XR 225
2014: Tried and failed three rapid tapers; stopped cold turkey March 11, 2014, eight days of Prozac as a bridge.
March 19, 2014: SSRI/SSNI free; four weeks acute withdrawal, then five month window of minimal symptoms.

Sept 2014-June 2015: Delayed, prolonged severe withdrawal from Effexor. Roller coaster, way up and way down.  Symptoms swing widely. Clear improvement in Mar-Apr, but still much hell. In May symptoms shifted to insomnia and depression, less HA, tinnitus and brain fog.

July-Sept 2015: After two weeks of using CES device, tremendous relief of insomnia, depression and other symptoms. Feeling much better, finally! Symptoms still come and go, good and bad days.Sneaking up on return to good health.  Alto gave me a 'Here Comes the Sun'!!!  ☼

Oct 2015-Feb 2016: Difficult several months, some good days but the bad days felt like I'm moving backwards.  Struggling after steady improvement, but hanging tough.

 

Current supplements:  Mg-Threonate; glutathione; krill oil; borage oil; phosphatidyl choline; multivite, vit B12, vit C, vit D vit E; OTC meds pseudoephedrine in the AM and benadryl at bedtime.  Clonidine 0.2 bid for high blood pressure.

Filled with hope, courage and self-appreciation.

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InvisibleUnless

thanks, and i can relate...  i had my own limited studies in psychology (not so much pharmocological psychiatry), and tended the possibility of being a psychosexual therapist for a few years, back in university.  growing up in a fundamentalist conservative home gave me appreciation for the rigors of a rationalist/empiricist approach and the so-claimed 'scientific method', and its taken me some radical and institutionally anathemized experiences to transcend the gulf logically to complement the innate 'spiritual' implications that presented themselves all along.

 

what are we doing if not learning?

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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InvisibleUnless

*moved from symptoms section

 

paradoxical psychosis - problem with the "Nash solution"

 

this got super long, so only interested or committed (no pun intended) posters are liable to enjoy proceeding.  ill sectionalize, for neatness

 

 

arbitrary section I:

 

part of my massive spectrum of withdrawal symptoms has been unremitting psychosis---a paradoxical psychosis caused by 7 years of atypical antipsychotics that were taken for depression and anxiety.

 

its reported that the nobel winning scientist john nash (featured in partially fictionalized film 'a beautiful mind', if it doesnt ring a bell) decided to forego the first generation antipsychotics and take the approach of literally out-thinking his own psychosis.  he was a scientific mind, and a genius, even, and found ways to hone in on the boundaries, contradictions, and fluctuations in his mind to create, or attempt to regulate, a coherent reality.

 

i really appreciate the notion of that approach, however...my problem is that reality, to me, is not so rigid.  i feel unable to fully shape my experiences into something safe and/or rational.  ive always been a more radical and creative type, and as a child and teenager i experienced phenomenon that would be categorized by many as 'supernatural'.  i dont really believe in 'the supernatural' as compared to something...tangible, and materially extant, and was furthermore raised in a fundamentalist religious environment where anything seemingly abnormal or supernormal could easily just be written off as a spiritual experience that requires no further explanation or investigation.

 

arbitrary section II:

 

antipsychotics, in being dopamine antagonists, reduce or prohibit brain functioning that is often linked to a lot of experiences i had growing up (for example see this write-up on the connection between some experiences of deja vu and dopamine agonist medication that has been circulating for years http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11535020).  and, indeed, i was never diagnosed with psychosis or any schiz spectrum disorder or condition, but antipsychotics greatly diminished my capacities in these 'abnormal' senses, and after tapering off them, i regained some functionality in that respect but also became genuinely, insofar as one can use the clinical term meaningfully, psychotic.

 

paranoias, fears, and abilities i have had most or all of my life have become heightened.  i hesitate, oftentimes, to even explain some of them due to the potential danger publicizing these experiences might entail (from the government or malevolent individuals interested in seeking to take advantage or whatnot).  im sorry if that sounds farfetched, but the plenty of information has been published on government psy experiments and projects---ones they had actual success with and use for, and, given the acknowledged successes of these programs, there is no reason such things would not remain ongoing in interest and implementation.

 

arbitrary section III:

 

in experiments and experience of my own, i began perceiving and developing abilities i basically had always assumed were essentially science fiction---non-biological or purely creative license.  and the biggest problem for me in that is not the surprise or difficulty of these awakenings, but rather the near-impossibility i have in separating what IS from what is NOT, given the accompanying psychosis.  psychotic experiences can sometimes be challenged through external invalidation---clear conflicts of facts being given to you.  but some things are solely internal, beyond the reach of interactive challenge, or seeking to contextualize your experiences as fundamentally irrational.

 

and my withdrawal sometimes brings me to the egolessness and intellectual transcendence people often describe from ritualistic use of substances like acid and shrooms...except, its not a transient state or feeling for me...the connections dont disappear into the woodworks after i 'come down'...everything still makes sense, even if my emotional or cognitive states change.  and, of course, you could consider that a good thing, and its not personally inhibiting for the most part...but when i have trouble seeing the 'big picture' and 'little picture' simultaneously, some of my perceptions or experiences can be quite unnerving.

 

among other anxiety disorders, i was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (which, in collaborative theorizing, ive figured may well just be an autism spectrum experience, or hypersensitivity to observable cues or even the electromagnetic fields things, especially living things, generate and manipulate).  since the withdrawal psychosis, ive been subjected to...company, at all times, to put it lightly.  intrusive/internal voices, thoughts, feelings, images, sounds, hallucinations...basically anything in reality can be internally fabricated as internal OR external experience.  thats how the brain works, and its instrumental to the success of many creative and intellectual persons...but i feel out of control sometimes.  the uncomfortableness and paranoia these abilities, in seeming sometimes impossible or too draining to consciously or constructively direct, wear on me greatly.  being awake at all is fatiguing, but i have insomnia, beyond that.

 

i cant really communicate the true depth of my suffering here, nor have i ever encountered an individual with whom i could discuss these matters with a mutual understanding.  but, it is the most difficult, complicating, and painful withdrawal side effect, and has been the hardest experience of my entire life.  theres theories floating around as to what this all may be...and it would, of course, be rather comfortable if all these voices and communications (and physical bodily control, effects on sensory input from external stimuli, induced physical pain and sensation, etc) were the result of my own brain---and ONLY my own brain.  my privacy is valuable to me, even if i still simultaneously believe in adimensionality and egolessness and all that glorious stuff.

 

arbitrary section IV:

 

a main fear is that lack of privacy...that these communications posing as other individuals, ones i know or know of, truly have an interactive component beyond the neurons of my own brain chatting about.  having experiences, before and after meds, involving apparent communications between myself and others, and myself and the universe, without direct material aid is a primary contributor to these paranoias.  these experiences are sometimes termed 'telepathic' or 'ESP', and have been observed with scientific success in some easy-to-target demographics, like twins.  it is conceivable that my brain is just partly savanted out---hyperdense neuronal clusters that allow for extraordinary processing capabilities that can run complex predictive equations to arrive at otherwise impossible-to-obtain conclusions.

 

but sometimes that definition simply does not explain the scope of my experiences, especially the ones where others receive input from me instead of me being the only one receiving input.  and when i speak of such experiences, these are not things correlating with the psychosis/voices/etc i speak of---they are single/double/triple blind experiments and experiences or things where my making statements cannot effect the outcome of my statements but CAN be independently verified as both happening and true or false.

 

summary section:

 

in conclusion, i basically have two problems: my reality can become hazy or counterproductive, and means by which i can attempt to clear it are sometimes inaccessible or contraindicated.

 

my fear for personal space has kept me reluctant to join communities more focused on some of the phenomena i have experienced and am seeking advice on, and my social differentness and uncomfortableness has led me to maintain very few friendships, none of which can grasp the scope or nature of my struggle or offer advice on it most of the time---and even ones that CAN have a constructive or grounding presence usually dont have time to be interacting with me.  so, really, simply having an experienced person to discuss it with could go a long way, but finding someone without endangering myself further is itself a peril and complication.

 

this is a strange concoction of fringe medical science, withdrawal symptoms, and social isolationism, and i wish i could prepare a more structured, comprehensive, and efficiently communicated overture on it all for you guys, but my brain is often functioning in far less than ideal ways or capacities in the throes of withdrawal, so i just tried to communicate at all.  i apologize if the length is taxing, and theres plenty more to be said on it all, but i wanted to get things started, however it would shape to look.  (this was too long to fully proofread.)  thanks a lot for your patience, if you were able to stick through it.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • Moderator Emeritus

How are you doing Invisible?

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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InvisibleUnless

not dead, and sometimes alive.

 

took out a small short term loan so i can even afford to feed myself.  common insomnia phase having me sleep 2.5 hours a day so most waking hours are spent in worse pain than 'mere' withdrawal.

 

ive been unable to work enough for the government to give me the money they say they owe me because im disabled...bullsh*t doubletalkers, eh?

 

i did watch a neat movie yesterday, though, and sitting through an entire film has been pretty rare during the withdrawal (and latter medication) days; a pleasure.

 

thanks for asking.  are you feeling any improved on your lower dose?

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Thanks for asking ,  I have had changes , see my thread for details.   This week I'm extra sleepy ... 10 hours at night and 2 daytime naps , lol.    That's the upside

of not having a partner or children.  I can indulge my body's changing needs.   Am hoping to be more "with it" soon , and am going to stick at new level of pristiq

for an additional month.

 

I just bingled "brainpan addlepation" , love it.    Way more sophisticated than "acopia".

:)

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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InvisibleUnless

ohhh, youre the koala person.  i dont catch on to peoples identities for a few weeks/months after joining a new board.  sometimes i know people for months without even being able to remember their name.  i assumed you had a thread but it wasnt within reach at the time.

 

writerly aspirations, that sounds fun, really.  going through this stuff definitely gives me creative urges, or, at least, the need to express.  there are still insufficient creative experiences (movies, albums, books) detailing the difficulty of (being under) psychiatric care.  but they are usually rather haunting and/or moving, and our culture is becoming increasingly accepting, or absorbent, of more transgressive artistic styles.  insomnia/hypersomnia is a central problem to feeling alright and being productive, so having some leeway does sound like a form of blessing.

 

i realized today i have diabetes fingers again.  i feel like im mutating...i think we need to form an eX-medication Men team, us here.  im sure there are individuals that have developed or revived supersensory abilities through all of this.

 

i had no idea what bingle was (and feel, perhaps, even more disgusted in finding out), but 'acopia' mostly just makes me think of all the cop/copro words that find their origin in the greek word for "****".  if you cook up some art, i hope you share it.  maybe if we had a thread or section for artistic output, more people would be sharing their experiences in that format.  akathisia in particular is absolutely begging for an interpretive artistic depiction, because thats not really something that communicates nearly as directly or provocatively through literal clinical or personal description.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Lol  Invisible ,"acopia" translate to "inability to cope" , not from the greek origin.   The koala person , I like that :).

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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InvisibleUnless

i had looked it up in responding because it seemed only half familiar---just a nonsense term, which you implied in your original reference.  poo just applies to any situation, i think (much like greek).

 

i read a news article a while back about massive waves of koala euthanasia because of 'overpopulation'.  it seemed very depressing and unnatural; i have a spiritual connection to marsupials (and monotremes).  i think everyone has an animal identity, like a totemic or shamanistic connection (not really the 'spirit animal' deal, and definitely not 'furries').  i also think people are amalgamated traits of different portions of animals that have come before us (and are mirrored in aspects of cousins we live with today), and visual and spiritual inspection of people can reveal clues as to some particularities of genetic lineage and thus, at times, ability or disposition...but that is another matter entirely.

 

it blows my mind to think about australia being connected physically to south america and all the endemic species that arose and interacted before we perceived the world as some disparate smattering of continents and islands.  i sometimes wonder if we are forever, either as creators of our own unique dreams, or perpetuaters of the unified dream.  modern science is like the least truthful, least creative way of conceptualizing our collective histories, as living beings...it goes beyond skepticism to willful denial, and then it takes 100 (or 1000) years of being hit over the head with books about any one topic at hand to snap people a mite back into the dream we were still sharing.

 

so, yes, psychedelic animals: that is definitely what my thread is about.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • 2 months later...
InvisibleUnless

3 month update:

 

some things feel a bit improved, but some are worse.  in terms of accomplishments of daily life (laundry, art, etc), i am probably less functional.  i havent written more than one song in multiple months now (whereas i finished and released both an LP and EP in earlier 2015), and i have cancelled 3 photoshoots and one art show in the past month or so.  i can do laundry so seldomly that i end up running out of necessities, and my food budget is 100% of my SSI income that isnt spent on rent.  well, more than 100%, probably...im sinking into debt.

 

im moving through new stages, and have gotten the urge to shower quite a bit more often, usually daily.  the toxins are assumably being excreted, but i always smell like the foods ive been eating and the drugs ive taken (and/or their respective hormonal changes).  i applied for in-home care from social security to hopefully get car rides to grocery stores and food places, and have been following up on tons of leads for free and low cost services (like dental care) that ive had no way to pay for the past many years.  ive made upwards of 50 calls in the past couple weeks, which can get sort of exhausting.  i also requested all of my prescription histories from 3 pharmacy brands i spent the bulk of my 7 years filling at, and am creating a handy spreadsheet to see if i notice withdrawal symptom correlations.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Sounds like withdrawal is taking some ambiguous turns, but I think we should trust that things are moving in a better direction generally.  And let me just say, invisible, you are one tough cookie.  You'll get through this, I have no doubt about it.  Hang in there.  

3 Years 150 mgs Effexor

2 month taper down to zero

3 terrible weeks at zero

Back up to 75 mgs

2 months at 75

6 or so months back to regular dose of 150 - was able to restabilize fine.

3 month taper back to zero

1 HORRENDOUS week at zero

2 days back up to 37.5

3 days back up to 75

One week at 150 - unable to stabilize.

Back down to 75 mgs

At 75 mgs (half original dose) and suffering withdrawal symptoms since October 2012.

 

"It is a radical cure for all pessimism to become ill, to remain ill for a good while, and then grow well for a still longer period." - Nietzsche

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InvisibleUnless

invisible cookies sound infuriating.

 

but, yes, any direction is forward.  contentment cant be about contingencies.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • 4 months later...
  • Moderator

Hey Invisible - I've seen you around the board, but never got here before (I thought I had, but apparently not)

 

So finally - you have someone to bite on your March piece about Problems with the John Nash Theory of Psychosis.

 

I'll start here, where you wrote:

its reported that the nobel winning scientist john nash (featured in partially fictionalized film 'a beautiful mind', if it doesnt ring a bell) decided to forego the first generation antipsychotics and take the approach of literally out-thinking his own psychosis.  he was a scientific mind, and a genius, even, and found ways to hone in on the boundaries, contradictions, and fluctuations in his mind to create, or attempt to regulate, a coherent reality.

 

i really appreciate the notion of that approach, however...my problem is that reality, to me, is not so rigid.  i feel unable to fully shape my experiences into something safe and/or rational.  

 

Could ambition be a key to this puzzle?  He was extremely ambitious and wanted to be a Great Mathematician.  I know that, in my own life, I've never been that ambitious to be ANYTHING.  Oh, I wanted things, had dreams and goals and even accomplished a few.  But it wasn't my motivating factor.  

 

You know the formula - mind/emotion/body/will (or, shamanically air, water, earth and fire) - his accomplishment sounds like sheer force of will.  And honestly - I don't have that much Will.  

 

Obviously, you have more than I - or you wouldn't have survived what you have!

 

You also wrote:

 i dont really believe in 'the supernatural' as compared to something...tangible, and materially extant, and was furthermore raised in a fundamentalist religious environment where anything seemingly abnormal or supernormal could easily just be written off as a spiritual experience that requires no further explanation or investigation.

 

Hmmm.  I've wrestled with this.  I, too, was raised under that fundamentalist religious environment.  For awhile, anything "out of the ordinary" was just poppycock.

 

But I've come to realize, after decades of experience, that "non-ordinary reality" or "non-consensual reality" is the limited language of our inner being, our unconscious, if you like - and it must use symbols, sounds, images, and something other than language to communicate its messages to us.

 

So the information contained in the "supernatural story" may be factual, but presented in symbolic, archetypical images, sounds, etc.  The voice that says "that person hates you" may instead be talking of your own self care.  It's not literal, but it's still information.

 

That's where I've come to, anyway.

 More to come....

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • Moderator

Thanks, Invisible, for the thought provocation!

 

You wrote:

Antipsychotics, in being dopamine antagonists, reduce or prohibit brain functioning that is often linked to a lot of experiences i had growing up (for example see this write-up on the connection between some experiences of deja vu and dopamine agonist medication that has been circulating for years  http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/11535020).

Here's a story.  A friend of mine - a scientist - had a car problem and needed to take a bus to work.  The city bus station is a place where all sorts of people hang out.  Kind of scary, at times.   She sat on a bench at the bus stop.  A "bag lady" sat on the other end of the bench.

 

My friend thought, "I wonder what I can fix for dinner?

The "bag lady" muttered, "for dinner, for dinner."

My friend thought, "That's weird, but surely a coincidence?"

The mutter came, "Incident. Surely."

My friend thought, "This can't be real!"

The lady mumbled, "be real."

And so on.  For at least 5 minutes, all of her thoughts were echoed - like a psychic echolalia - out of this other woman's mouth.


We talked about this for years, unable to explain the accuracy of this mad state. The woman was disheveled, unclean, and obviously "not in consensual reality" or - as you may have heard before, "not in her right mind."

 

But she was able to tap into something: my friend's thoughts.  We decided, after years of discussion, that the filters that "consensual reality" places on our minds are lifted - or poorly formed - in certain cases of "schizophrenia" or "psychosis."

 

Our brain takes in far more information that we know how to handle, so as we grow, we actually prune neurons, and our attention learns to focus only on those things which are "relevant" and "consensually agreed upon." This is a social process, as we stop believing in Santa Claus, for example.

 

The drugs do that pruning for you in a physically cruel way. 

 

Who knows what the total of human potential is?  I am not here to confirm or deny that these other states do or don't contain "real" information.  That information may be real, but may be garbled by the non-verbal nature of the unconscious - and collective unconscious.  It may be real, but our social, learned filters might knock them out.  It may be fantasy - but there is no way to prove whether it relates to consensual reality or not.  It is extremely subjective. 

 

The art behind this, is learning to interpret the signals.  Some people cultivate them, and end up as psychics, or channelers, shamans, or UFO contactees, or simply very intuitive healers.  Some people deny them so hard - and I suspect this may be relevant to you because of the fundamentalist upbringing - that they burst through, insisting to be seen/heard/experienced.  Others are more successful in their denial, and the inner life is never heard from again.  Or, in the case of Dr. Nash - actively ignored.

 

Will Hall, Paris Williams, Dabney Alix, Albert Villoldo, http://www.shadesofawakening.com/monthlylive/#sthash.OtYaALsP.ykoLgeud.dpbs , all speak about this kind of fuzzy boundary between "consensual reality" (what we, as humans have agreed upon as "real" and "subjective reality" (that which cannot be confirmed by social, exterior means).  There is a growing community of people whose "psychosis" was an awakening, an opening to a deeper level of themselves - and they spend the rest of their days sifting through what remains (especially after the PTSD of psychiatric "treatment.")

 

You go on:

a main fear is that lack of privacy...that these communications posing as other individuals, ones i know or know of, truly have an interactive component beyond the neurons of my own brain chatting about.  having experiences, before and after meds, involving apparent communications between myself and others, and myself and the universe, without direct material aid is a primary contributor to these paranoias.  

Ah, the "tinfoil hat" phenomenon.  I used to have a friend who put a piece of tinfoil in her hat just to be sure.  If it made her feel better (and it was discreet, only she and I knew about it), and safe from others invading her thoughts, then fine.  She no longer feels the need for that (but - she also has been drugged for 30 years now).  Just as a comparison, she was one of those who was raised to cultivate her "psychic abilities" in the Unity Church - completely different from you and I.  In her case, the non-ordinary reality overtook her as soon as the traumas of adulthood challenged her unformed identity.  She has become so afraid of non-ordinary reality, that she will not walk away from the drugs.  (as is the case with many many people)

 

Some of this is addressed by my story above  with the scientist and the "bag lady." 

 

Your saving grace (if you have the means to argue with yourself) is that MOST PEOPLE have filters in place to prevent this stuff from "leaking in."

 

If you are concerned about someone perceiving your thoughts - you realize that 1.  Most people are self centered and really only care about themselves, not you, and 2.  Most people have solid filters in place to keep them from being distracted by non-ordinary information.

 

If, however, you are having problems with picking up others thoughts (a reverse privacy problem), then you might be helped by developing your own psychic shielding/filtering (as in "magickal" techniques) to give you some peace within your own skull.

 

ARE PSYCHIC SHIELDS AND TINFOIL HATS REAL?  DO THEY DO ANYTHING?  Who knows?  The only information we have on that is subjective.  Non-ordinary.  But I've come to believe that if you need to talk to spacemen, power animals, guiding spirits, archetypes, past lives, deities, etc. in order to heal and be whole - then you do.  The objective side of this is - why is our brain tuned to any religious/spiritual/supernatural thoughts at all?  Why do we dream?  Why do we make symbols and create meanings?  Some studies showed that you can induce spiritual experiences via electrical stimulation on a certain region of the brain - as in - the human brain has receptors and storage for this type of information.  Why?  Do baboons have a god too?  (additionally, formal psilocybin experiments have induced religiosity as well, but we haven't been able to ask the chimpanzees if the DMT helped them "see god."  Again, subjective!)

 

In my own experience, I've found that "past life information" or "spirit guides" or what have you - are often about the HERE AND NOW, this life, this now - but they are presented as symbolic, archeyptical information, in order for you to be able to reach it.  Otherwise, without the symbols, the information is out of reach.  And it takes a lifetime of skill and art to determine:  what is relevant? what is meaning? and to learn and accept:  what is irrelevant? Or what am I completely unable to do anything about?

 

More to come.....

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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  • Moderator

Okay - am I shunning "work" here just to talk to you?  (maybe so, but I think these topics are important, too)

You wrote:

 

my fear for personal space has kept me reluctant to join communities more focused on some of the phenomena i have experienced and am seeking advice on, and my social differentness and uncomfortableness has led me to maintain very few friendships, none of which can grasp the scope or nature of my struggle or offer advice on it most of the time

 

Ah, this is the crux of the biscuit!

 

I, too, have this problem.  It's like I have 3 sets of friends: 

 

1.  The "normal" ones where I don't talk about anything non-consensual Though indigenous peoples call the non-consensual world, the "real" one! My hubby is in this group, he can't even handle the non-reality of cartoons.  He didn't understand the imagination of Monsters, Inc, and the "monsters under the bed" or in the closet, fantasy and science fiction are lost on him, and he doesn't grasp allegory or symbolic meaning in film - and definitely could never read the book about it....decades ago he read the Celestine Prophecies, and was "getting" synchronicities, and he and I shared some in the music of Yes - but since his stroke, that part of his brain has been excised in the struggle just to interface with language and people and functioning.  It's like his brain no longer has room for those fantasies.  If you ask him, he will tell you that he is imaginative.  But it's actually very mathematical and concrete, the things he imagines.  He can sometimes "sideways think" to solve a problem - but anything that involves symbolism, religion, spirituality, dreams, and non-ordinary reality - simply is not real to him.  And I - who am more like you (though not like you, as you know!) must live with this, day in, day out.

 

2. The "psych" ones, where I can talk about drugs, medicine, and recovery.  Hubby is learning, and is coming around on this one.  He now knows why I am so averse to psych drugs, but then doesn't understand my attraction to entheogens (see people #3, and contrast with my description of him above)

 

and 3. The "psychic" ones, where I can talk about shamanism and non-ordinary reality. This last group is, of course, the smallest. Even then, when I hear of others states and information, I often find myself judging:  "they are fantasizing, this is wishful thinking."  But if it helps them, then so what?  There is more of this online.  Look at the Shades of Awakening link, and maybe even go to www.bipolarawakenings.com, Shawn Blackwell's excellent video series exploring consciousness and what is labeled "bipolar" - in short, easy to understand segments.  There is a tiny subset of this group, which I call "travellers," whose vision of non ordinary reality was helped by entheogenic experiments in group consciousness.  Mostly we're too old for that stuff now, and just do our shamanism with a drum.

 

There are a few overlappings between groups 1, 2, and 3 - but they are small.  There are psychic people that I can talk to about psych stuff, and vice versa.

 

But the fact is - is there anyone, really, who has everything in common with you?  If I were to do this in a very mundane way, I might have friends who I like to go to football games with, who have nothing in common with the people I listen to music with, who have nothing in common with my theatre / dramatic friends, who have nothing in common with my garden club, or birdwatcher group, or astronomy fanatics.  There may be overlaps between the groups, but my garden friends would be bored stiff hearing talk about the footy game, and vice versa.  

 

Now, shift that a little bit (to be more about me, and not about an imaginary person):  I don't discuss drugs or psychic phenomenon with my karate friends (usually), and a few of my music friends understand the cosmic implications of certain psychic phenomenon, but I won't go there with everyone.  My dramatic friends - I'm trying to show them the tragedy of psych drugs (and create a play, with extremely limited success because of overarching societal norms), and while I can identify 30-50 birds in my neighborhood by vision or call - people who care about that, don't care doodly squat about the shamanic symbolism of each of those birds.  Nor do my friends who watch the aurora, moon, or constellations in the sky necessarily care about the astrological implications of such.

 

Nobody ever gets the whole of you.  Except you.  And this is what makes "crazy people" fascinating, charming, interesting folk.  Our barriers between things are less rigid.  (woo, you got me going on that one InvisibleUnless!)  (hmmm.  IU.  The university in my hometown.  Hmmmm.  synchronicity?  maybe not....)

 

You continue:

 

so, yes, psychedelic animals: that is definitely what my thread is about.

 

:D

 

Then there is the bit that you haven't brought up: synchronicity and intuition.

 

In The Celestine Prophecies (I know, I know) Redfield talks about how synchronicities tell us we are "on the right path."  While I don't buy all of the premises of the book, I do like this one, and it seems to correlate with the way Jung utilized synchronicities, too.

 

In 95% of most decisions I make (this is my OCD solution) it doesn't really matter if I wear the red shirt or the blue one.  Or eat the toast or the cereal.  Or listen to this music or that one. Or watch a movie or a comedy.   So I have a little OCD system of randomizing these decisions so that I'm not paralyzed by indecision. 

 

But what I find out is this:  my little "random system" often takes me into synchronicities.  Where the music I picked fits the movie I just watched, or even better - correlates with what I see or am doing while I listen to it.  The music was selected randomly (out of thousands of choices) - and yet - it was just right for what I need right now.  It's like "divination through synchronicity."

 

But here is where the OCD ends.  IF, in the midst of a random decision - I find that I CARE about something.  NO, I don't want to hear that, I'd rather hear THIS, then I override the system and go with that feeling.  This is intuition, and can lead to synchronicity as well.

 

Synchronicity alone, as a non-consensual phenomenon, is a study that, in depth - can be maddening, or can be liberating.  (see, the TV is talking to me!)

 

And I think that is where mindfulness, a Buddhist sort of emotional detachment comes into play.  Why do I care if that was really a UFO, or if MK-ULTRA is still in force?  What can I do about it?  And the serenity prayer:  god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  If there are ghosts haunting that building right now - what is the personal significance of that?  What can I do about that?  Keeping an emotional detachment from the "phenomenon" is the key to exploring these states.

 

I think this is what they call "shamanic death."  Part of you has to die, in order to NOT pursue the ghosts in that building, or become obsessed with MK-ULTRA, or channel space-beings.  Like air, these phenomenon pass through you - you can sift through them for relevance, information, and aid - but you let them go just as easily as they came.

 
I hope  this musing becomes mutual, interactive, a shared conversation - because this is fascinating stuff!  (for me, and I hope for you - and maybe - just maybe - for others as well?)

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna

 

Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.

 

My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.

 

A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.


The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/

 

 

I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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InvisibleUnless

hey, JanCarol, i wanted to say that i saw these posts come in via email and i hope to read them and respond in the next week.  its a bit voluminous---in a good and proper way---so i will wait until i am in a proper brainstate to discuss in mutual effort.  a lot has probably changed since march, but i skimmed via email last night and there do seem to be plenty of interesting things to respond on.

 

in november i will construct and post a general condition update.  i am waiting on some test results and for the state of mind to coherently encapsulate the last 5 months of seeking, treatment, and difficulties.

 

thanks for all the time you spent responding to those ideas!

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi IU ,  good to see you again.   Hope you're travelling okay.

 

:)

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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  • 1 year later...

Saw your intro, and found some similarities with mine. Wanted to say hi. How are you now? 

Several ssri's, antipsychotics, opiads and benzo's since 2003.

Flurazepam: rapid taper after 6 weeks usage in beginning of march 2015

Trazodone: rapid taper from 50ms to 0mgs end of july 2015

Current medication:12 mgs seroquel (from 25mgs)

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  • 1 year later...
  • Mentor
FarmGirlWorks
On 11/03/2018 at 8:22 PM, InvisibleUnless said:

as a side note, i superload protein (mostly seafoods, also beef, some goat and lamb).  if i dont have a fatty protein-heavy diet, i undergo serious muscle catabolism and also experience worse withdrawal symptoms.

 

i have my suspicions still about adipose tissue breakdown and some of my symptoms, but have not written to the RxISK people about it yet--they do mention an ongoing interest and i want to ask them what sort of data they have so far.

 

Hey, thanks Invisible, much appreciated. Good tip on the protein loading; I'll try to get more. I'm in a dark wave at present and eating is something I force myself to do. From your signature, I see you were put on a wild cocktail of drugs. How are you now?

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added quote
  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

Link to post
InvisibleUnless

for the first several years, eating was difficult for me.  i used cannabis to help with that for a short while, but that became unfeasible due to the reverse tolerance to all psychotropic drugs.  eating to cravings has been the best and most workable plan in terms of nutrition, though, and sometimes i will not feel like 9 things but the 10th seems at least mildly appealing.

 

i am 6+ years in now, and im doing better than any time since this all began.  the prescriber, at the last time i contacted him years back, insisted that it was impossible any of my symptoms could be due to the regimen he had maintained.  not just as a withdrawal reaction, but in general.  cooky motherfucker.

 

i dont update my status on here much, but i have made gradual improvements.  some things improve year by year, such as sleep.  some things still cycle more profoundly, and sometimes there are new problems which were not present in the first couple years (multiple periods of upper GI bleeding, multiple instances of serotonin syndrome, a bone fracture, etc).  overall, though, im very encouraged and feel like my faith in myself and my recovery is continually vindicated.

 

perhaps not everyone has that capacity--who knows what we can all hope or strive for--but i am more confident than ever that i can make a full recovery.  everything from my cognitive issues to my damaged hair follicles will be mended and made better than ever.  while i am still disabled, i am making new strides towards regaining my functional and financial independence.  the earliest years were the hardest.  we all learn a lot.

 

as for protein loading, it may or may not be useful on a daily basis for any given individual.  i attribute much of the usefulness of meats to my antipsychotic-disturbed metabolic functioning.  a body oftentimes fueled by fats rather than carbs, in reverse of the norm, definitely complicates diet.  meats and seafoods, dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream), and water have been the cornerstone of my dietary programme, i suppose.  not for any purpose beyond discerning that that is the way for me to go.

 

i have some friends in northern washington, and would go up there once or twice a year until i hit upon this withdrawal crisis.  im a little skeptical about plane use still, due to cardiovascular and neurological concerns, but i plan to take an out of state trip within the next 12 months or so.  itll be shorter than going to seattle, but a decent test run.  if im up there again sometime, i will look into your group.  i dont know of any such thing in my current locale.

from 2005-2012, i spent 7 years taking 17 different psychotropic medications covering several classes.  i would be taking 3-7 medications at a time, and 6 out of the 17 medications listed below were maxed or overmaxed in clinical dosage before i moved on to trying the next unhelpful cocktail.
 
antidepressants (SSRIs, SNRIs, NDRIs, tetracyclics): zoloft, wellbutrin, effexor, lexapro, prozac, cymbalta, remeron
antipsychotics (atypical): abilify, zyprexa, risperdal, geodon
sleep aids (benzos, off-label antidepressants & antipsychotics, hypnotics): seroquel, temazepam, trazodone, ambien
anxiolytics: buspar
anticonvulsants: topamax
 
i tapered off all psychotropics from late 2011 through early 2013, one by one.  since quitting, ive been cycling through severe, disabling withdrawal symptoms spanning the gamut of the serious, less serious, and rather worrisome side effects of these assorted medications.  previous cross-tapering and medication or dosage changes had also caused undiagnosed withdrawal symptoms.
 
brainpan addlepation

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  • Mentor
FarmGirlWorks
15 hours ago, InvisibleUnless said:

due to the reverse tolerance to all psychotropic drugs

Can you explain what this is? I use cannabis occasionally (tincture) but my tolerance is way higher. And, probably depending on strain, it sometimes makes me paranoid, rarely relaxed. I do take some before yoga as it helps me deepen the experience and I know I'll be in a safe space for two hours.

 

I choke down a hard-boiled egg in the morning when I get up then use chicken broth for liquid to take the omega3s. Later it is peanut-butter and half an apple then maybe kale and salmon or ground beef. Lots of herbal tea. I feel like I'm eating like an old person.

 

Man, what a ride you've been on. I am truly glad that you feel you are recovering. Selfishly, as I need to hope that the cog fog/mental decline and crazy depression will lift as it has for you. Some of the physical symptoms came much later. For instance, I "leaked" tears for around a month -- not crying, just constantly leaking. Now, I get angry very fast and have outbursts that scare my dog. I realize that more physical symptoms may manifest down the line but who knows what they'll be.

 

The group was mainly my way of giving back for a little bit. Don't know how long I'll continue it; I hope turn it over to someone else in the future. It'll be interesting if anyone comes back more than the first time. It seems like ppl just need to see that they are not alone and compare notes with others. However, if you ever make it up this way, feel free to look me up!

  • Prozac | late 2004-mid-2005 | CT WD in a couple months, mostly emotional
  • Sertraline 50-100mg | 11/2011-3/2014, 10/2014-3/2017
  • Sertraline fast taper March 2017, 4 weeks, OFF sertraline April 1, 2017
  • Quit alcohol May 20, 2017
  • Lifestyle changes: AA, kundalini yoga

 

"If you've seen a monster, even if it's horrible, that's evidence of divinity." – Damien Echols

 

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  • 1 month later...
rattledbytherush

InvisibleUnless, you are inspiring. You have an obvious strength of spirit. I go in and out of my presence on this site, but whenever I sit down and take time to read the experiences of others I feel like a part of me has touched base socially in this realm. The honest accounts we share with each other here open up each other’s authentic natures. It is hard to feel validated within this subculture, as I think you mentioned. 

 

The fact that you have meticulously documented your experience will help others in the future. I’m sorry about your experience with your prescriber. I’ve never spoken to a GP who knows anything about withdrawal, even if they say they do. I’ve had even psychiatrists put me on regimens that for hundreds of dollars that ended in nervous breakdowns. Which is why I’m here. 

 

Confidence is a huge part of getting through this. It’s good you’ve been able to find that. Thank you for sharing your experience. Will check back. 

 

Xoxo

 

 

 

 

Beginning of slow taper: November 2017: 45mg liquid sertraline 

December 2017: 40 mg liquid sertraline

January 2018: 35 mg liquid sertraline

February 2018: 30mg liquid sertraline

March 20, 2018: 25 mg liquid sertraline

May 2nd, 2018: 20 mg liquid sertraline

June 1st, 2018: 18 mg liquid sertraline

July 2018: reinstatement to 20 mg liquid sertraline

September 21st, 2018: took 50mg sertraline for one day; reinstated back to 22mg liquid sertraline after

September 29th-30th: Ran out of liquid, taking 25 mg tablets to hold for two days until liquid scrip is ready

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  • 4 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus
Quote

 

 am 6+ years in now, and im doing better than any time since this all began.  the prescriber, at the last time i contacted him years back, insisted that it was impossible any of my symptoms could be due to the regimen he had maintained.  not just as a withdrawal reaction, but in general.  cooky motherfucker.

 

i dont update my status on here much, but i have made gradual improvements.  some things improve year by year, such as sleep.  some things still cycle more profoundly, and sometimes there are new problems which were not present in the first couple years (multiple periods of upper GI bleeding, multiple instances of serotonin syndrome, a bone fracture, etc).  overall, though, im very encouraged and feel like my faith in myself and my recovery is continually vindicated.

 

 

InvisibleUnless,

What an inspiration you are.  Glo's (my daughter) "normal reality" is different than most humans. However, her experience of being on antipsychotics and subsequently trying to withdraw from them is no different.  From reading your first post to your March 12th post,  i am once again very encouraged that it is possible for her to return to a better state and quite possibly her 'normal self' once this drug is out of her system and time has allowed her to fully heal.   Thank you for taking time to share your story and post updates.  Those of us 'seeking answers' and the truth are grateful.  Peace to you, Glosmom

2016 - Oct -Daughter started Risperdal (for steroid induced psychosis that never went away after stopping prednisone)

Nov - dose increases stopped at 1.5mg in Dec

2017 - Jan- weaned from 1.5 to 1.0 in 2 weeks then 1.0 to .5 in two weeks and then off. Feb. 3 weeks of increased psychosis, pacing, insomnia, other awful symptoms so late Feb  - Back on 1.5 mg Risperdal. May  - decrease to 1.25mg, two weeks later 1.0mg - symptoms started again. June - held steady at 1.25mg for 6 weeks and switched to liquid (3 ml syringe). July - started 10% taper every 3 weeks, October -  .8 mg, December - .7 mg .

2018 -Jan- 0.65 mg,  Feb- 0.59,  Mar-0.50, late April - .40mg, July- .36 mg, Aug - switched from 3 mL syringe to 1 mL syringe for more accuracy (her dad and i were not sure we were giving her the same dose when in between the 'dashes' on the 3 mL syringe.) Aug -.30 mg (3mL syr)/.44 mg (1 mL syr) difference due to med in the tip of both syringes). Sept- .28 mg (3mL syr)/.42 mg (1 mL syr). Oct - .16 mg (3 mL syr)/.30 mg (1 mL syr). Nov.- .06mg (3mL syr)/.20 mg (1mLsyr). Dec. - tip only/unmeasurable (3mL syr)/.10 mg (1mLsyr)

2019- Jan -.06 mg (1 mL syr), Feb- .025 mg (1 mL syr), Feb 27, 2019 - jumped to zero!!

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