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Blackstar: The nightmare of atypical antipsychotics


Blackstar

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At the request of Altostrata, here is my story..

 

About a year ago, I brought my self to the hospital because I had what is technically classified as a psychotic break. At the time I was taking stimulants for ADD and they figured the paranoia I was having was due to the stimulants, and I agree it certainly precipitated it. So they put me on Olanzapine while I stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks, stating that I would only have to be on this medicine for 3 months to one year. No problem. It was great at first, I ate, slept and gained some weight and didn't mind it.

However, after being on it for 6 weeks or so the weight gain wasn't stopping and I also started to get a lot of anxiety and akathisia all day long and felt like this drug was beginning to rob me of any innate pleasure in doing anything. I also found it difficult to think clearly and my mood would shift wildly and I started having suicidial thoughts. So I decided to stop taking it. I should mention that I've been on pretty well every last generation antidepressant that exists, save a few, and some older ones too and I've never had trouble stopping any medications cold turkey. So I didn't think this would be a problem with olanzapine (zyprexa). Well I was dead wrong.

The first time I stopped it, I suddenly had extreme akathisia, and anxiety to the point where I thought I was hearing voices and was also experiencing pins and needles in my extremities. I got so freaked out that I went back to the hospital for another stay, where all they did was put be back on olanzapine and give me lithium as well. Taking the olanzapine did make me feel better but I knew inside that this medication was drastically altering something in my body, and making me dependent on it. After I got out, I still was determined to get off this medicine.

After months of trying to get off it, i noticed that possibly the worst side effect was that I could no longer sleep without taking it. I eventually switched to seroquel, which wasn't much better, and recently to remeron and now I'm not taking anything. But the damage that these drugs did to me is still very much with me, and I'm still very much having problems sleeping and feeling depressed to the point where if I had a gun I for sure would have blown my brains out by now.

I can't believe these medications are on the market and even worse they are huge sellers. I know this forum is titled antidepressants and in no way do I mean to downplay the agony of what some of you are going through, but some of the atypical antipsychotics are just awful awful drugs and I hope this serves as a warning to people. They not only do a number on your mind and have permanent side effects, they also severely screw with measurable things like your glucose and lipid profiles. At the hospital Ive met 20 year old kids taking this stuff whose blood screening was equivalent to that of an unhealthy 60 year old thanks these poisons. Some have gained so much weight that they now have to take heart and cholesterol medications too, and these are young people. I just read yet more research showing that drugs like olanzapine have a drastic effect on gut bacteria and inflammation. Where does it end? It doesn't seem to, the list goes on and on. Some other things these drugs do to you is lower your stress threshold, make you more submissive/compliant/apathetic, shut down intricate pathways in your brain needed for normal social function, blunt cognition and memory, dysregulate autonomic processes such as sleep, temperature regulation and thyroid function, make you inactive, fat, and stressed out thus suppressing the immune system further, leave you more susceptible to viruses and fungi that your doctor will not care to test you for, cause inflammation (breeding ground for cancer), heighten risk or organ damage, and im sure there is more. God knows what else. And what for? To damp down 'bad thoughts'. That's it.

As I said I really find it difficult to fathom that a medication that's clearly a brutal insult to the human body is accepted by these so called professionals and dispensed like candy these days. So if your doctor ever suggests to you that you take olanzapine, seroquel, or any other antipsychotic (I could list them all), I think the proper response would be "why don't you try it first, and let me know how it goes?".

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  • Administrator

Welcome, Blackstar.

 

Thank you for posting your story. I'm very sorry you've had to go through this.

 

How long have you been completely off olanzapine? Quetiapine?

 

What is your daily symptom pattern like?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Blackstar , welcome to the site.   This an awesome place to access support , advice , and information on everything antidepressant-related.

 

I'm interested to know when you were first put on ad's , approximate years are fine , whatever you can recall.  

A lot of us seem to have found that although the first few rounds of starting and stopping ad's were without incident , it seems like the cumulative effect over the years

sensitizes us to a whole range of drugs , including and not limited to asthma meds , pain meds , cold and flu meds , nasal sprays , ear drops , coffee , any stimulant.

 

I may have missed it , but how long since you stopped everything?

If you're able to fill in your signature it will let anyone reading see your history at a glance , each time you post. Instructions are in "Read This First".

 

Try reading "What is Withdrawal Syndrome" in Symptoms and Self Care.    

 

There are a lot of folks on here who share your anger ( see nz11's thread)   and you'll find a lot of discussion in "In The Media".

 

Good to have you on board Blackstar.   Welcome to the club none of us ever wanted to have to join.

 

:) 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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Altostrata, I've been off Olanzapine since September, and I've been off Quetiapine for almost a couple of months now. My daily symptoms are basically complete anhedonia, amotivation, destructive thinking, anxiety that comes and goes, poor memory and inability to focus or stay on task for anything. Alot of obsessive/compulsive thinking. I also have nearly no appetite and I can't sleep normally, I wake up 6-8 times a night. But those are signs, not symptoms.

 

Fresh, I've been on and off anti depressants since i was 16 or 17, I'm now 33. It's difficult to give an approximation of the time frames but I've been on citalopram, venlafaxine, cipralex, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, duloxetine, bupropion, clomipramine, mirtazapine, and trazodone at one point or another. Since i've always had a mild tic disorder too, I've previously been tried with risperidone, and ziprasidone but i never took them for more than I week or two because they just always made me feel like i was falling into a hole straight down to hell. I have transiently been on lorazepam, clonazepam, and alprazolam. For ADD, i've had amphetamine, methylphenidate, and lisdexamfetamine. I also took guanfacine, which is a sympatholytic, along with my ADD meds.

To be honest I've never had issues with stopping medication, not until I was hospitalized and put on olanzapine. Even now i don't have issues stopping it's just that I can't seem to sleep normally unless I take something. Since the hospital, I've also been on aripiprazole and lithium although that didn't last long. Oh and i tried zopiclone for sleep which didn't do anything. I've tried other sleeping pills such as zaleplon in the past long ago even though i really didn't need them at that time and i'm not sure why i was perscribed them.

As you can see, the list is long and I'm sorry i can't be more accurate with the time frames. Looking back at it, I probably didn't need most of those meds. As to the sensitization of our brains to meds, I'm not sure that any of those meds except for olanzapine sensitized me at all. Ever since olanzapine my body does not react to meds the same as before. For example, sleeping pills wake me up more instead of put me to sleep. I think maybe we all just have an achilles heal for a certain medication.

 

edit: oh yes and quetiapine

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I forgot to mention that when I'm in bed, alone and trying to fall alseep/half asleep and all throughout the night, my thoughts can and do scare the **** out of me. Alot of destructive thinking, which i won't go into detail about. This i do think may be result of dopamine sensitization from olanzapine.

 

And as I mentioned, my body doesn't can't seem to regulate temperature. Either that or i'm just more sensitive to everything now. My skin is cold and I get goosebumps alot, especially on the upper body, as well as chills, waves of chills. I often sleep in my clothes because of this.

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  • Moderator

Hey Blackstar, wow, thanks for sharing your story.

 

I'm sorry this has happened to you.  It breaks my heart - my 6 year old nephew is on atypical antipsychotics (was risperidal, now abilify) for his autism.  And my tongue and hands are tied - if I say anything, I get cut off from contact with that part of the family.  But my heart breaks when I think what this child will be like when he is 10.  Or 15.  I tried to say something, but "he's doing so well on the drug," and I just grit my teeth - knowing that there are people out there like you - who know exactly what these "atypical antipsychotics" do.

 

At what age were you put on ADD meds?  Robert Whitaker, in "Anatomy of an Epidemic" talks about many "mental illness diagnosis" starting with exactly that - ADD + stimulants, then comes adolescence, and the fit hits the shan.  In fact, it's amazing that your hospital people recognized this.  Normally, they would have labled you with "bipolar" or "schizophrenia" and clucked their tongue and said, "meds for life."  That's more the norm.  So you've been lucky in some regard.

 

But you've been through the merry go round of:  More side effects = more drugs, more drug changes.  And it's an awful thing to do to a nervous system.

 

You've been on a lot of changes, over a number of years, and come off suddenly, and I think you may be suffering overmuch because of it.  You have the option of trying to hunker down and outlast it, or, if it becomes unbearable, you can reinstate a tiny amount of the seroquel to take the edge off the symptoms and get stable.  I notice that Alto hasn't suggested this, and anyway we'd need to know what your last dose was before fully understanding.  Just notice that I said TINY.  Like maybe 10% of your total dose.  

 

The impulses, the thoughts, the emotions, can be called "Neuroemotions" - nearly all of us in withdrawal have them.  Hear what other people have to say, here:  Neuro-emotion

 

I know the title says "Surviving Antidepressants," because that's what happens to most people in here.  I've been on many of those, but my journey right now isn't about antidepressants, either.  I'm down to the last lithium.  (and I quit seroquel over 2 years ago. in horror, but I was only on 25-75mg prn for sleep, I got lucky and had no trouble, but I know that's rare.)  This place is about helping you to choose how you wish to proceed. 

 

It sounds like you've done a lot of hard work already, and you have a lot to be thankful for.

 

You may be helped by fish oil and magnesium, as they help the brain to heal, to recalibrate, to rebuild itself.  Omega-3 fish oil and Magnesium.  Gentle exercise can help heal, too.  Walking is among the best, as the tick-tock motion helps the brain to balance.

 

Again, welcome, please keep us posted on how you are going - I have a feeling there is more to come before you are out of the woods.

 

ps Alessandro, "neuroleptics" are worse than benzos in the destruction they cause in the brain.  Benzos are bad enough, and they kill links between neurons and storage, later ushering in dementia, while the neuroleptics can shrink the frontal lobe, and other areas of the brain, destroying impulse control, self discipline, personality, social acceptability, etc  THEN there's the tardive dyskinisia.  When neuroleptics (we don't call them antipsychotics, because they only quiet the brain, they don't "fix" it)  were first invented, they were called "chemical lobotomy," then they got renamed to "atypical antipsychotics" - but really, there is little difference in the long term effects between the "typical" and "atypical" of this class of drug.  It would be rare for 3 weeks of benzos to cause the same symptoms that 3 weeks of olanzapine have caused in you.

"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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Hey,

 

i would think to put more drugs to get "stable" is a psychatric propaganda.

 

I did this mistake, and Seroquel for only 4 days messed my transmitters total!!!

 

Never, Ever, touch this drug when you have finished it.

 

Take for sleep, ambien or  Mariuhana, perhaps a benzo but not any psychatric ****.

 

Bad advice telling someone with a history of paranoia to take marijuana. Ambien is a horrible drug as well and benzo's, are you serious?

 

There are many other remedies for sleep.

 

Valarian root, hops, skullcap, 5-htp, magnesium, the list goes on.

trintellix 1 mg and rexulti .5mg

 

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Alessandro, I was aware that olanzapine is a thienobenzodiazapine but didn't know that quetiapine was also a type of benzo...interesting and doesn't surprise me. As far as sleep, typical sleeping pills don't work on me anymore after olanzapine. They used to knock me out like any normal person but now, nothing, it's as if I took an aspirin. Actually i had a paradoxical reaction to zopiclone recently, in that it stimulated me. I've also tried marijuana and it too diesnt work. The remeron (mirtazapine) semi-works. That also used to put me out like a light but now it barely works.

 

JanCarol, I'm sorry to hear about your nephew being drugged at such a young age. That makes me wonder what kind of an effect it will have on him later as well. I only started taking add meds about 3 years ago, so it wasn't long but still a good couple of years. I will read the neuro-emotion page. I have considered micro dosing and realize I may have to resort to a small dose. But as Alessandro says, I would rather not. The highest in dose I went up to with olanzapine was 10mg, and the highest on quetiapine was 300 a day but for the most part it was anywhere between 25 to 150 a day, with the last stretch taking 50mg xr every night. I realize that at those doses it's not even considered an antipsychotic, more of just a sedative, but I still chose to go off it. I did actually take fish oil and mag when I was first trying to get off olanzapine and found it didn't help, so I stopped but now that you mention it, I should probably just finish off the bottles since I have them.

One of the major problems with antipsychotics in my opinion is that they shut down electrical pathways in the brain, including the ones we need for normal social functioning. And when those pathways are not being used, they lose strength, and probably insulation (myelin) making them less robust. While this may be good for psychotic thoughts, it's bad for everything else.

 

I will keep everyone posted as I go along.

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I'm so sorry this happened to you.  I was brutally detoxed off of klonopin and the wonderful center put me on seroquel and remeron.

 

I am trapped because my CNS is so fragile from this and there is no way, I fear, I will ever be able to taper off this stuff.

 

What you describe is terrifying and i am getting akathisia which I can't tell if it's from the seroquel or the benzo ct.

 

God help us all.

Klonopin 2mg 2000-2005 Tapered off without bad symptoms

Ativan 1mg 2007-2010 Tapered with moderate problems

 

Klonopin 16 total mgs in Jan and Feb 2014 - got dependent and foolishly updosed by bad doctor to 1.25mg for 4 weeks.  Then horrific detox and placed on Neurontin 100mg, bid, Propanolol 40mg prn, Seroquel 100mg qhs and Remeron 15mg qhs.  Quickly dropped Neurontin and Propanolol.   Stuck on other two meds and still having strong symptoms from klonopin cold turkey.  Want someday to be med free and healed again

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  • Moderator

Hey Blackstar, if your magnesium was ineffective, it may be the wrong kind.  Magnesium oxide and Magnesium carbonate are not very well absorbed.  I take Magnesium Glycinate, and there are others who swear by Magnesium Orotate or even Magnesium threonine (I'm gonna try that one soon).

 

I also keep magnesium chloride flakes and magnesium sulfite (Epsom salt) crystals, and take baths with them (one or the other, not both).  The Mag Chloride is stronger, the Epsom salt is gentler.  Additionally, I have magnesium oil to put on me topically as I have a lot of pain, and it is the most helpful thing for pain right now.

 

I have to agree with antidepressantsnomore on the cannabis.  While cannabis is hundreds of times safer than these drugs, and does have anti-seizure properties - they do affect the neurotransmitter cascade and can freak you out.  Heavy cannabis users had 3x the psychosis of non cannabis users.  Additionally, it is a street drug, and the blend can be different, higher THC or lower CBD (or any of the other hundreds of compounds in cannabis) can cause reactions.  Oh.  I see it wasn't you recommending the cannabis, it was Alessandro.  Well, I have to respectfully disagree.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5030-cannabis-thc-or-marijuana-to-ease-withdrawal-symptoms/?hl=family

 

Here's what others say about it.

"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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  • Administrator

Blackstar, those symptoms, or signs if you'd like, sound like withdrawal syndrome.

 

Difficulty sleeping is a very common withdrawal symptom. Quite a few people find emotional anesthesia follows going on and off many psychiatric drugs. Your nervous system is tired and wants little stimulation while it repairs itself.

 

How did you go off quetiapine? Do you have any left? If you do, you might find taking a very small amount, say 5mg, may help you sleep. You might stay stable on that for a good while, then very carefully taper off and "redo" the last part of your taper off quetiapine.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Antidepressantsnomore, I have tried valerian, melatonin, 5htp, and mag and they don't do anything for me. After zopiclone didn't work for me, my psychiatrist actually tried to tell me that the reason these meds are not working for me is because I don't want them to work. What an idiot. I felt like walking out.

Satch, I'm wondering why they put you on both seroquel and remeron. They're both very sedating. Getting off seroquel can be difficult as well. One particularly weird effect you may get is constant itching and in places you'd rather not have it. I hope you can get off it all soon.

JanCarol, my mag says it's from oxide, citrate, fumarate, malate, and succinate sources. From what I know, magnesium is best absorbed through the skin. It takes about a year to replenish bodily stores if taking an oral supplement and a few months if absorbing it through the skin. I unfortunately cannot afford to be buying and trying different kinds of magnesium.

 

Altostrata, I just stopped the quetiapine at 50 mg. I do have some left and what you suggest is not a bad idea but there is the issue of measuring such small amounts. I have thought about grinding up and dissolving it in water and then using an eye dropper. I'd still be very reluctant to take it into my body again though. One thing I noticed while on these drugs is that I was tachycardic pretty much all the time, my heart rate was significantly higher than what's normal for me. Now that I'm off the medicine, and just in the last couple weeks, I noticed its back to normal, around 60bmp, resting. The elevated heart rate is just one of the things that really bothered me and I'd hate to go back there. But still, I may *have* to microdose in order to be able to sleep. We'll see how I progess.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Blackstar ,   try looking in the Tapering section for easy ways to measure tiny doses.

Some people here have recommended magnesium spray , which is interesting as you say it absorbs easiest via skin.

 

Constant coldness is a bugger isn't it?    I found the only thing that would warm me deep inside was baths.   In and out , 6 or 7 times a night

sometimes , just kept topping it up with hot.

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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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

How are you doing Blackstar?

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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Hey Fresh, thanks for asking, I'm not too bad today.  I had my psychiatrist appointment this morning and was officially discharged from the early intervention clinic.  They offered to refer me to the community psychiatric clinic but since it still looks like i'm gonna be moving up north for school in a month, there is really no sense.  I feel good about not having to go to that place any more, and never really wanted to be there actually, as I don't feel i have a psychosis problem, and now they seem to agree!  Either that, or they just want my difficult-to-deal-with self out of their hair.  

 

Since i've been managing to get to sleep at one point or another during the night, I wont be trying a small dose of anything.  Although, out of curiosity, a few days ago i did try what's more like a micro dose of olanzapine.  I wanted to see if it would have any positive effect.  I ground up a 10mg tablet and dissolved it in water in a 50ml glass bottle with an eye dropper (used up bottle of ashwaganda) and took 1 ml of it, so the equivalent of of 0.2mg of olanzapine.  It had no immediate effect.  However, for the next three days, I had a pretty bad headache throughout the afternoon and into the night. I don't know if it was due to the olanzapine or not but my feeling is, it was - i must be sensitized to the stuff now. 

 

You can actually find the will to get in and out of the bath 6-7 times a night?  You got more motivation than me!  Yes being cold sucks, but aren't you in Syndey?!?.  The only thing I can hope is that once i start working out again and gain more muscle mass, I will cease being cold. 

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I just couldn't get warm any other way.   The heating was on 26 and I was dressed like a bag-lady , lol.  

The only thing that warmed me deep down was the bath , so i just kept topping it up with hot.

:)

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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When I was having prolonged cold-flashes, I wore a hat and gloves and stayed in bed. They eventually stopped. I hope yours do too.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 2 months later...

I wore a coat in the house and made hot packs out of flax seed heated them in the microwave wore them on different parts of my body. Often this would start a headache especially in summer during storms... so I put a cold pack on my neck.  For some reason confusing my body seemed to help bit of cold bit of heat at the same time helps with pain too... I have no clue why it just works. 

At times that was not enough I would submerge myself in a tub of hot water then I could not breath.. and off to bed I would go and lay on my heating pad. I did mag in the tub by way of epson salt baths and sometimes added salt too. 

 

I don't often feel freezing these days but I do feel I have cold spots generally they hurt.. I heat them up use lineaments ect 

 

I have just found your thread today guess I was away when you joined.. welcome. 

 

PS

I had no energy the bath was only when I could get in it.. once a wk maybe once every 2 wks.. if somebody would clean the tub and run the bath ... well I would have had more... but that was just a pipe dream... sometimes once a month... I was doing good to bath or shower at all during that time. I have been known is desperate times to heat my bones in a dirty tub... yes I am ashamed to admit it.. but desperate times call for desperate measures. 

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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Altostrata, I've been off Olanzapine since September, and I've been off Quetiapine for almost a couple of months now. My daily symptoms are basically complete anhedonia, amotivation, destructive thinking, anxiety that comes and goes, poor memory and inability to focus or stay on task for anything. Alot of obsessive/compulsive thinking. I also have nearly no appetite and I can't sleep normally, I wake up 6-8 times a night. But those are signs, not symptoms.

 

Fresh, I've been on and off anti depressants since i was 16 or 17, I'm now 33. It's difficult to give an approximation of the time frames but I've been on citalopram, venlafaxine, cipralex, fluoxetine, paroxetine, sertraline, duloxetine, bupropion, clomipramine, mirtazapine, and trazodone at one point or another. Since i've always had a mild tic disorder too, I've previously been tried with risperidone, and ziprasidone but i never took them for more than I week or two because they just always made me feel like i was falling into a hole straight down to hell. I have transiently been on lorazepam, clonazepam, and alprazolam. For ADD, i've had amphetamine, methylphenidate, and lisdexamfetamine. I also took guanfacine, which is a sympatholytic, along with my ADD meds.

To be honest I've never had issues with stopping medication, not until I was hospitalized and put on olanzapine. Even now i don't have issues stopping it's just that I can't seem to sleep normally unless I take something. Since the hospital, I've also been on aripiprazole and lithium although that didn't last long. Oh and i tried zopiclone for sleep which didn't do anything. I've tried other sleeping pills such as zaleplon in the past long ago even though i really didn't need them at that time and i'm not sure why i was perscribed them.

As you can see, the list is long and I'm sorry i can't be more accurate with the time frames. Looking back at it, I probably didn't need most of those meds. As to the sensitization of our brains to meds, I'm not sure that any of those meds except for olanzapine sensitized me at all. Ever since olanzapine my body does not react to meds the same as before. For example, sleeping pills wake me up more instead of put me to sleep. I think maybe we all just have an achilles heal for a certain medication.

 

edit: oh yes and quetiapine

it would be helpful if you put all of this into your signature... 

that is one heii of a lot of drugs... 

doses and time on each drug would be helpful as best as you can recall .. 

yes it does matter. 

I wish you peace

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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  • 3 months later...

Well I thought I should give a little update.  

 

I'm not sure that I'm feeling a ton better, but I'm certainly doing better.  I'm busy with school every day, have a decent routine there, am at the top of my class (marks wise), and on the exterior.. things are okay.  Internally however, I still have issues.  And after all this time, I still cannot manage to sleep for more than 4-5 hours without waking up, and then taking at least one other 30 minute to 1 hour nap per day (most days i take 2-3 of these 'naps').  Right now it's manageable due to my schedule, but there will surely come a time when my schedule doesn't allow it, and that will not be fun.  Even after managing to get 5-7 hours of sleep total in a day most days, I never feel rested.  I also still have a piss poor appetite, and feel almost nauseous when I have to eat.  Eating is like pulling fingernails.  

 I'm of course still doing research on this topic and have come up with another theory as to what's going on with me, and others who seem to be permanently wiped out after being on antipsychotics.  Earlier this year, I found an article talking about how antipsychotics suppress and can permanently damage the immune system, allowing latent viruses to grow to large numbers, causing chronic fatique syndrome.  It can be found here  http://www.prunderground.com/antipsychotic-drugs-can-cause-chronic-fatigue-cbcd-reviews-the-medical-literature/0040850/.  I took note of it and moved on as I didn't see my issue being a physical one but rather a mental one.  However, after going to the gym regularly, I have noticed that without a doubt, I do not that the energy that I had before being in the hospital and put on medication, and feel almost unable to get the results I used to before being put on medication.  And I'm not talking about subtle differences here.  I noticed I can be sore for about 10 times as long as i used to get after a good work out, and I'm really not exaggerating.  My muscles also seem to burn even when I'm doing normal every day things like getting out of bed, at times.  This is not normal, at least certainly not for me.  

  So not that long ago I started looking into chronic fatigue syndrome and it turns out I pretty much have the exact symptoms a person suffering from that disorder has.  So my thinking is, that being on antipsychotics suppressed/likely did some damage to my immune system and allowed some of these latent viruses (that we all have pretty much) to propagate, causing me to acquire a mild/moderate form of CFS.  

 It may sound like a stretch and a bit 'out there' but at this point I can't find too many other sound explanations for this.  

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I am sorry for you as well. I have also taken olanzapine. I started an AD for fatigue and went slowly downhill from there. The most practical help I have found is from Sarah Myhill's website and book, The Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue (Syndrome?). If you can swing a lot of veggies, I think The Wahls Protocol can cure a lot of things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.4.14 Started Walsh Protocol

56 years old

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I will check it out, Meimequest, thank you.  I don't have a huge budget for food right now.  But I definitely do need to eat more veggies, that's for sure.  

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Hello Blackstar,

Can you tell me how long you were on remeron and on what mg.?

 

Hope you are getting some much needed rest.

 

Awesome that you are in school.

I wish you the best,

Tgirl

April 2014 remeron 45mg.

June 2014 abilify 2.5 remeron wasn't working so abilify was then added

September 2014 woke up with anxiety x 100!!!!

Pdoc then took me from 45 to 7.5 within a month and took abilify from 2.5 to 0

Currently

Remeron 7.5

Vitamin d 5,000 iu taking for about 3 years

October 2014 added fish oil/omega 3 1000 mg per day

Levothyroxitine 100 10 years or so

Dec 2014 started tapering 10% every 10 days-no problems.

August 2015 down to 0.1 mg

Woke up with severe anxiety-sleep issues-racing thoughts-depression. 9/9/15 up dose 1 mg.

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Hey Tgirl. Thanks for the kind words.  

I took Remeron 3 times in my life, and never for more than 6 weeks.  The first time I took it was about 10 years ago, and I took 30 mg for about 6 weeks.  I quit because it simply made me really tired, very hungry all the time, and at times very agitated.  The second time was about 3 years ago and I was basically using it on an as-needed basis (at various dosages from 7.5 to 15mg)to put me to sleep whenever my ADD meds (stimulants) kept me up too long.  The 3rd and last time I tried using Remeron was at the beginning of this year at a dose of 15mg.  The sole reason I persuaded my psychiatrist to prescribe it to me is because I knew how quickly and effectively it knocked me out, and how hungry it had made me before - two qualities which i desperately needed to have (being able to eat and sleep).  Upon taking it, I found out it no longer had that effect on me.  It make me a little groggy and a little hungry but I still stayed up the whole night and still couldn't eat.  A testament to how much being on olanzapine had altered my biochemistry.  I took it for a couple weeks before quitting as I really had no use for it.  

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  • 7 years later...

How are you? 

Aug 2020 - Feb 2022 on and off Lexapro 5 and 10mg three times (mostly on) 

Nov 2021 - May 2022 on and off Wellbutrin 100mg, 150mg, 75mg, clindamycin cycle and also Plan B bc 1x 

Fall 2020- June 2022 - Xanax .5 PRN usually 4x a week for sleep 

June 2022 - Z pack, Buspar 2.5 3x a day for 3 days then stopped everything 

September 20-24th 2022- low tryptophan diet and 20-30g beef gelatin powder

Oct 3- 16 - Xanax .5 for sleep each pm, 1 mg Ativan in ER, .25 Xanax, then .125 then stopped 

Oct 14-17Trazadone 50/75, Lunesta 3mg 

Oct 24-current 10mg Belsomra to 15 to 20 

Nov 3-5 10 Belsomra and 300mg Gabapentin 

Oct 13-Dec 1 Buspar 2.5 and 5/  5 and 5/ 7.5 and 7.5 since Nov 1 

Nov 30th- Propanolol 10mg 2-3x day 

Current: Belsomra 20mg —> 15mgAnd Propanolol 20mg AM, 10mg, 20mg PM 

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