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RSurviving After Having SEVERE Issues Trying to Get off of My "Anti-" Meds.


RSurviving

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Hello, my name is RSurviving and I'm new to Survivingantidepressants.org. I've been on the anti-depressant drug Zoloft (Sertaline) for aprox. 6 years now and the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal (Risperdone) for 5 years. I am a young woman with- hopefully- my whole life ahead of me. I live a pretty peaceful existence now, but since this wasn't always the case, I take 150mg of Zoloft and .25mg of Risperdal.  

 

I have/had pretty sever depression and anxiety with some suicidal ideation and I still deal with it on a daily basis. I also have other chronic health issues that impact my life and mental health issues every day. About 11 months back, I expressed to my psych Dr. that I wanted to wean off of one of my medications, and since I have no actual psychotic tendencies (Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia) I believed Risperdal should go first, especially since it's the lowest dose. School was just starting up again, and so she agreed that we could attempt it, under the condition that I replace it with Klonopin. This idea is very self-defeating. I know. Why get off of one only to start another immediately? That's why I didn't want to agree. After much convincing from my mother and doctor, I left the session not only with a new script for Klonopin, but the advice from the doctor that since the Risperdal was such a low dose, I could quit cold-turkey...

 

I tried to insist that I didn't feel comfortable just stopping it, especially after so many years of use ( I didn't even want to stop taking my allergy meds for three days in order to get annual allergy testing done) because I've heard so many horror stories about abruptly stopping anti-anything medication. However, I let myself, my mother, and even my longtime boyfriend be convinced that it was low enough to stop for good.

 

In the beginning of September 2014 I was off of the Risperdal for four days before I started taking the Kolnopin under the direction of my doctor. I was normal for about a week. I had a job, an amazing, supportive boyfriend/family and was a full time student, until things went south.

 

I have never experienced anything like this before. Life looked distorted, like a colorful, geometric pop-up book. My co-workers were trying to "kill" me when they walked too close to me at work. Spiders crawled all over my body and my house.  I was always sick. I tried to claw my way out of my body by scratching at my skin. I tried to pull my hair out. I screamed at things that weren't there. I head voices and talked to myself as if I was Norman Bates. I acted completely out of character by trying to seduce other people even though they weren't my boyfriend and I didn't want to/had no intention of being with them. I left work in the middle of my shift and apparently walked in the night to the other side of town to a park where my sister found me, confused as to where I was. I frequently forgot who/where I was. Everyone who loved me tried to help and understand, but it was like I was comatose, and in my place was an evil shell of myself. The worst part is, I still don't fully remember all of the damage I caused, or anything that happened in those two moths of my life. However, I will always have to live with the guilt of knowing that I hurt the people I love most, without even knowing how.

 

Needless to say, after a couple of months for this, my mom and boyfriend finally got me back to normal. I still find moments where I don't know where I am, but fortunately, it doesn't last long. My memory is still shoddy as well, but I'm taking it one day at a time. So now, even though my family and I are terrified about stopping my medicine, I feel that it is necessary for my sanity (pun not intended.)

 

I wrote this for support, advice, and even some help from others, but I also wrote this for those people who, like me, have seen the evil side of coming off these drugs in an unsafe manner and need to do it the right way. For those who want to know that even though this path is dark, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

I hope this helps, and thank you for your time.

Edited by Altostrata
added paragraph breaks

Currently taking: Zoloft 150 mg, and Risperdal 0.25mg.

 

Tried to stop Risperdal 0.25 cold-turkey ***read here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9326-rsurviving-after-having-severe-issues-trying-to-get-off-of-my-anti-meds/ Which led to me taking Klonopin for aprox. <2 weeks. Stopped it immediately. **Can't recall dosage.**

 

I also take: Albuterol, Entocort EC, Protonix, Reclipsen, Singulair, Symbicort, Uceris, Uribel, Valtrex, Xolair, and Zyrtec every day.

 

I also add: Biotin, Vitamin B, and a multi-vitamin to my daily pills.

 

Yes, I do take 16 different medications each day.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Rsurviving , welcome to the site , and thankyou for sharing your story.

 

What you experienced is exactly the reason this site recommends slow tapering off medications rather

than stopping abruptly. It's a terrifying thing most doctors don't understand - they say it's

the original condition emerging.

How did you get back to normal , and what medications are you taking now?

 

If you want to go off them , I'm sure you'll do it safely and go down very slowly - no more than 10%

decrease at a time.

 

Good to have you on board.

 

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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Hi RSurviving,

Your story is inspirational and you are very courageous.

Welcome to the forum and I hope that you will find the support that you need to get off meds.

 

The road to recovery is bumpy, but as you have pointed out, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

A lot of people experience awful and terrifying wd symptoms from meds.

The fact that you have improved greatly is a sign that you are healing.

If you decide to to tapper from your current medication, tapper slowly and listen to your body.

Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something that you don't feel comfortable with. Some doctors can be pushy and have a tunnel vision. Best wishes, hopefull.

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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  • Administrator

Welcome, RSurviving.

 

You had a bout of severe withdrawal syndrome. How did your mother and boyfriend "get you back to normal"?

 

What drugs are you taking now? Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and post the results in this topic.

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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Hi RSurviving. Thanks for sharing the story and welcome to the group.

I'm glad you're better now. Lots of people and ideas here that can help you, the main point being that you need to give yourself time and care.

Best,

Jose

1999-2004 citalopram 10 to 20mg with 2-3 withdrawal attempts.
2004 fluvoxamine for 4-5 months aprox. Changed to venlafaxine because of the headaches and dizziness.
2005-March 2014 venlafaxine usually starting on 150mg and coming down to 75 or 37.5. Several withdrawal attempts.
In March 2014 I stopped taking 37.5mg of venlafaxine without tapering.

Went through 5 months of confusion, anxiety, insomnia and desperation. From then I am very slowly recovering, on windows and waves.

Symptoms: muscle stiffness and aches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, memory loss, inability to concentrate or think straight, difficulty to speak, difficulty to read (improving).

Taking omega3, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E and probiotics.

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Fresh, that is exactly what the doctor said. Ever since I've felt confusion as to what is me naturally and what are the meds. Thank you Hopefull and Jose for the well-wishes! Same to you! Altostrata, sorry for the vagueness when I said "get me back to normal." By this I meant that they got me back to regular counseling and since we were all so terrified, this meant a return to the 0.25 of Risperdal as well. I take about 16 different medications daily, 13 of which are prescribed. I've used the drug interaction calculator before, but since you reminded me, I decided to update a few of my medications on there. Here http://www.drugs.com/interactions-check.php?drug_list=109-0,431-196,1790-1152,807-9732,2019-1305,1654-1024,432-2530,431-16032,1306-15017,2282-1514,1748-1117,2057-1348,569-286is my list. Thank you all for your time!

Currently taking: Zoloft 150 mg, and Risperdal 0.25mg.

 

Tried to stop Risperdal 0.25 cold-turkey ***read here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9326-rsurviving-after-having-severe-issues-trying-to-get-off-of-my-anti-meds/ Which led to me taking Klonopin for aprox. <2 weeks. Stopped it immediately. **Can't recall dosage.**

 

I also take: Albuterol, Entocort EC, Protonix, Reclipsen, Singulair, Symbicort, Uceris, Uribel, Valtrex, Xolair, and Zyrtec every day.

 

I also add: Biotin, Vitamin B, and a multi-vitamin to my daily pills.

 

Yes, I do take 16 different medications each day.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Wow , that's an awful lot!

 

Try reading the following threads in the Tapering section:

"Why Taper By 10% of my Dosage" here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

"Tips For Tapering off Zoloft" here http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1441-tips-for-tapering-off-zoloft-sertraline/

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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  • Administrator

RSurviving, that is a truly excessive number of drugs. Did none of your doctors notice the interactions?

 

Which of them is absolutely important for your physical health?

 

You need to see a doctor who will remove the drugs that are doing the same thing. Many need to be tapered.

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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Wow I thought I was on a lot of meds. Do listen to these people, some are a bit radical but everyone here means well.

As requested. In the last 3 years to the best of my recollection I first dropped the max dose of Lamictal. Yes I just stopped it was doing absolutely nothing. Then I dropped Lexapro, that was even easier I had been on and off that a dozen times before. There were at least 2 odd off label attempts at anxiety that I won’t be able to remember. Then there was sweet/evil Seroquel. That was the last to go it’s been around 16 months.

Lithium, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Celexa, Lamictal, Lexapro, Luvox, Viibryd, Brintellix, Pristiq, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Abilify, Latuda, Ritalin, Adderall, Valium, Clonazepam, Alprazolam, Propanalol, Spravato

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I hope that you will find a doctor that will help you get off the drugs that you don't need.

Cheers, Hopefull.

DRUG HISTORY:

 

November 2013- Zoloft, ( Bad reaction).

January 2014 - March 2014 Seroquel.( Quit Cold Turkey).

January2014- Mirtazapine, I was taking 15mg at one stage, reduced to 7.5mg, Pgad reactions to Mirtazapine. Doctor kept increasing it to 37.5mg, until July 2014. No improvement, experiencing panic attacks, on 37.5 mg. I had enough by October 2014. Began tapering.

October 2014- Started tapering Mirtazapine from 37.5mg.

September 2015- Down to 4mg of Mirtazapine. Crashed.

September 16th- Up dosed to 5mg. Held this dose for almost 5 months. Stabilised.

February 2016- Began tapering again. From 5mg to 4.5mg of Mirtazapine. (Rocking the boat, again)! Lol. :(

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