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Tchi: Don't think I'm bipolar


Tchi

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   I was diagnosed with BP after a severe depression following childbirth 32 years ago .

Was put on 1800 mg lithium by a shrink who later lost his license for sexual harassment  .

Stopped two years later with the help of a GP-Homeopath

In my opinion , I was never manic .

I had a second depression six years later , another doctor put me back on lithium 900mg , when I told him I had taken it before . No mention of bipolarity in his files , but he later send me to a specialist who said I had it on the first visit . I went down to 600 mg.

Seven years later , another depression , I asked for 20 mg Paxil , which I have now been taking for 15 years .

I saw a fantastic  psychiatrist for two years to re-evaluate the bipolar diagnostic , he said I have unipolar depression , not bipolar.

He kept my meds as is , said lithium helped for depression .

However , he retired and my files were destroyed .

In 2006 , I wanted the diagnostic on paper . Went to see another psychiatrist : she confirmed bipolarity  after 20 mn because I do have racing thoughts at times , especially when depressed.  I told her I can tackle different projects ( single-parenting , work , renovations on the house ). I talk a lot ( this is a family character trait ) and expressed poor judgment in partners . Sometimes I spend , never more than I can afford .

But : I never hallucinated  ,no voices  , sleep 8-10 hrs a night , no bipolarity in the family ( depression yes ), no megalomania , no over-spending and I pay all my bills as they come , no multiple partners .

         Never went on sudden highs , except when I did drugs as a teenager ( loll ) – I ‘ve been sober since 2001 ( was sober before in 1985  , but relapsed into periodical drinking for a few years ). I do get anxious at times , also have a good sense of humor.

I always had a doubt  about  the verdict , it doesn’t seem to fit .

In 2015 , I see another psychiatrist ( colleague of the previous one ) : He says ‘’ well , three doctors diagnosed you ….could they all be wrong ? ‘’

 My answer is ‘’ they each saw me in depression , perhaps they rely on each other’s diagnostics ?  What about the one I saw for two years , each week ? ‘’

  We go through all the questions , he’s scratching his head , then says ‘’ you can make a very careful attempt to stop lithium ‘’ . He’s surprised that I’ve been on Paxil for so long , still had depression , and never went into a manic phase .

              None of my friends ( one used to be a psychiatric nurse , her late husband was a shrink ) see me as bipolar  .

              As much as I’ve watched for signs over the years , there are few .

I’m 60 years old , have put 40 lbs since taking Paxil and my libido is dead . I also have Hepatitis C .

 

Would love your feedback

Edited by scallywag
tags

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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Welcome, Tchi.

 

Bipolar disorder is very frequently misdiagnosed. I'm not a doctor, but you don't sound at all bipolar to me.

 

This is a site for going off psychiatric drugs. How can we help you?

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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Thanks for your reply .

 

I'd like to know more about lithium tapering , don't know if you address this issue here .

 

Also , I will be tapering off Paxil ( 20mg now ) , but not at the same time .

I asked the doctor for Wellbutrin  , so I may shed some of the 40 lbs gained and retrieve libido .

She wants to give me Celexa , says I'll sleep better .

 

The way she wants me to do it is :

- paxil 20mg for a week , then 10mg for a week , then stop

- celexa 10mg the second week , to be increased to 20mg if well tolerated.

 

I tried stopping Paxil slowly in 2011 over two months  - I would skip one pill a week for a few weeks , then two , then three  , crashed right back into depression

 

So I'm concerned . She's inexperienced and not overjoyed to supervize the withdrawal process .

She's the one who sent me to the psychiatrist last month to see if I  was bipolar . This really upset me .

 

I'm looking for another doctor. I think her plan is way too fast , and my opinion ticks her off.

 

Pretty scared here , need advice

 

Thanks

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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Tchi,

 

You are right to be concerned.  Her taper is too fast.  So was yours over two months for that matter.  SA advises no more than 10% reductions (measured against last dose) per month as the best way to taper off SSRIs with as little damage as possible and to remain functional.  No guarantees but that is the best way.

 

If you spend some time searching the site you will find a lot of great advice and very knowledgeable, caring and helpful people.  There are no shortcuts, however, when it comes to tapering.

 

I would expect a moderator to come along to provide you with specific links to relevant topics -- it is all covered on the site.  They are better positioned to do so than I.

 

I wanted to welcome you and echo Alto's reaction that what you describe does not sound like a "true" bipolar personality.  Doctors jam patients into that category for a lot of reasons these days -- many engendered by the drug manufacturers.  Back in the good old days, it was really hard to find anyone who was bipolar.  Nowadays, it's all too common.

 

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Welcome Tchi

20 mg Paxil , which I have now been taking for 15 years .

 

The way she wants me to do it is :

- paxil 20mg for a week , then 10mg for a week , then stop

- celexa 10mg the second week , to be increased to 20mg if well tolerated.

 

A two week taper,  is a recipe for disaster.

As Andy says you will need to follow the 10%taper method rec here to give you a chance of breaking this drug addiction. [Putting things in perspective you will need to taper for several years not 2 weeks].

 

I join with the others concern regarding this bipolar diagnonsense. 

 

nz11

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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 Andy , thanks . I see you're taking vitamin supplements . How did you decide which ones ?

 

nz11 , I read your history , wow !  Glad I found this site , it's such a lonely road .... my best friend is on medication for dysthemia , she's not too supportive on my decision + research ( says it's '' hurting me '' ). Is it true you need a person close to you to witness your withdrawal ?

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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  • Administrator

Tchi, what drugs are you taking now, at what dosage? Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

Please put ALL the drugs you take in the Drug Interactions Checker http://www.drugs.com/drug_interactions.html and copy and paste the results in this topic.

Also see Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

If your goal is to lose the weight put on by Paxil, reducing Paxil should help. Why do you think you need Wellbutrin?

 

No, you don't "need a person close to you to witness your withdrawal". That's a safeguard in case you become extremely and irrationally distressed over withdrawal symptoms. If you taper carefully, take responsibility for taking care of yourself, and keep in touch here, you can do this yourself.

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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Tchi was also on the meds for so long. Am i the only one who cannot tolerate these psych drugs and need to get off?

Partner suddenly died 2014. Severe depression AGAIN (had previous episode 10 years ago). I was given escitalopram but could not bear the side effects, so i ask for an ECT (not sure if this helped). During the treatment and my hospital stay I was given Depakote mood stabilizer.  PDOC says I need to take it for two years. After 4-5 months I have a hard time with the Depakote. Hard to get up in the morning. Depression again or Depakote effects? So stopped Depakote (did not know about tapering then)

 

Januray 21, 2015. Severe depression again, started Pristiq 50mg and clonazepam 0.5 mg nightly. Had confusion, suicidal thoughts, thoughts about death, and find it hard to understand the TV, much more type in a computer.

 

Had adverse reaction to most antidepressants: muscle pain/spasms, irritablity, restlessness. Also Tried Prozac, Zoloft, Escitalopram years ago.

Started to taper pristiq and clonazepam after four months:

5th month:

2 weeks - 3/4 tablet PRISTIQ   (deducting the clonazepam also, so hard to cut)

2 weeks - 1/2 tablet PRISTIQ   (crumbs of clonazepam nightly)

2 weeks - 1/8 or less (hard to cut really) (zero clonazepam)

Then jump off pristiq.

I just wonder why I was cured during the 10 year period (2004-2014) I have no depression symptoms and no meds either. Pdoc said I might be biploar 2 but it is a "grey" area. Aren't bipolars supposed to be on maintenance meds?! Damn this diagnosis. I am tapering Pristiq either way.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

 Andy , thanks . I see you're taking vitamin supplements . How did you decide which ones ?

 

 

Hi, Tchi.  I started taking supplements before I found SA so I've been on them for varying times.  I've taken some kind of Omega-3 oil (Krill, Fish, Marine) for years so I was ahead of that game before I started (you should be taking one in or out of withdrawal in my view).  Magnesium is a great calming agent and is highly recommended on this site.  I use oral and topical.  I'm a big believe in Vitamin D and the fact that most people north of Atlanta are deficient if they don't supplement due to lack of sunlight.  After that it gets very personalized.

 

I was on B complex because of MTHFR mutation and homocysteine levels but I've held off the past two days to see if that has been contributing to my symptoms revving up.

 

I started taking CoQ-10 because I was on a statin but I've dropped the statin of late but keep the CoQ-10 since I think it is generally something that becomes deficient in most over time and it supports the heart.

 

I have been dealing with hip osteoarthritis so I have been taking Curcumin and Glucosamine/Chondroitin but have recently cut out the latter.

 

I guess the general answer however is largely trial and error but I think the advice here is most likely going to be fish oil and magnesium are good and all others are kind of hit or miss and fewer is probably safer than more.  The board contains threads on most (all?) supplements if you search. E.g. some people swear by Taurine and others not so much.  Same with Ashwaganda.

 

Hope that helps.

]

Andy

Sertraline 50mg and Clonazapam .375mg from 2000 -- symptoms of dizziness Spring 2012

increased to .5 Clonazapam and 100mg Sertraline -- no improvement

Benzo microtaper from November 2012 to November 2014 (followed benzo sites "taper benzo first")

Started Sertraline taper in December 2014 cut by 25mg to 75mg; 62.5mg 1/1/15 and 50mg on 2/1/15

Held at 50mg through April 5 to use liquid 
Reduced dosage in 10% or less drops from 50mg to 25mg -- at single tablet of 25mg on 10/5/15

Transitioned to all liquid for accuracy while tapering -- Horrible insomnia -- back to 25mg liquid and held until October 1, 2016

10/16 -- 11/18 tapered very slowly to 10.6mg.  No real improvement and never really stable so updosed to 12.5mg (1/2 a pill) for convenience and long hold.

After 8+ months of holding with no noticeable improvement decided to add .4ml of liquid Prozac (about 1.5mg) to see if that improves the situation

Supplements, Magnesium, D3, Omega 3, curcumin, Valerian, 81mg Aspirin, L-Theanine, Vit. C,

 

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Interactions between your selected drugs

interaction-3-big.png lithium ↔ paroxetine

Applies to: lithium, Paxil (paroxetine)

Talk to your doctor before using lithium together with PARoxetine. Combining these medications can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called the serotonin syndrome, which may include symptoms such as confusion, hallucination, seizure, extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, excessive sweating, shivering or shaking, blurred vision, muscle spasm or stiffness, tremor, incoordination, stomach cramp, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Severe cases may result in coma and even death. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms while taking the medications. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.

Switch to professional interaction data

Other drugs that your selected drugs interact with

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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  • Administrator

Have you had regular blood tests to check kidney and thyroid function? Lithium can be very destructive.

 

See Tips for tapering off lithium Did your doctor say anything about the technique he'd use to go off lithium?

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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Andy , many thanks !

 

Alto , GP is waiting for the shrink to send her his report on the lithium and paxil tapering .

That could take a few weeks . So far , no success in finding a new GP .

I made a mistake in paxil dosage : it's 30mg , not 20mg.

 

I hope both paxil and lithium tapering will be prescribed SLOWLY , one after the other .

Which means they should give me the adequate tablets :

- lithane 150 mg and 300 mg capsules ( available in Canada )

- paxil : 10- 20-30-40 mg tablets

 

In order to taper 10% ,this means :

- 540mg lithium : I will have to tamper with one capsule , seems a tad complicated

- 27mg paxil : easier

 

The wellbutrin in small doses is meant to ease paxil tapering and to avoid recurrent depression .

( had 5 major ones ) .

I hope to stop all médications one day .

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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The wellbutrin in small doses is meant to ease paxil tapering and to avoid recurrent depression .

 

Who says this ? The doctor?

I think what they are calling recurring depression is simply ssri withdrawal symptoms -something they refuse to acknowledge, it comes about because you are not being tapered safely. imo

 

Rather than throw more drugs into the mix one thing you could do  to ease paxil tapering is to go slowly with the taper and if that doesnt work then go even slower. 

 

I just ran this new combo through the interactions checker and shes comin up 'major'!

 

Is this still the doctors game plan or has it changed...

The way she wants me to do it is :

- paxil 20mg for a week , then 10mg for a week , then stop

- celexa 10mg the second week , to be increased to 20mg if well tolerated.

 

It sounds like they have now changed it to paxil and wellbutrin?

GP is waiting for the shrink to send her his report on the lithium and paxil tapering .

 it would be very wise to check in here first before acting on any of their advice imo

 

I tried stopping Paxil slowly in 2011 over two months  - I would skip one pill a week for a few weeks , then two , then three  , crashed right back into depression

 we have all learnt the hard way that this is not slowly (such is the addictiveness of this drug...after 13 yrs use slowly would be in the vicinity of several years ) and skipping doses is not the way to go ..you crashed into ssri withdrawal, to explain what it feels like all we have in the laymans vocab is the 'd ' word but it is not ..

 

This thread is well worth reading ...basically it is gold!

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1024-why-taper-by-10-of-my-dosage/

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.

http://www.parliament.scot/GettingInvolved/Petitions/PE01651   

Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017

 

 

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  • Administrator

Very, very few doctors know anything about tapering or withdrawal syndrome. Please be prepared to take responsibility for your rate of taper as it's unlikely any of your doctors will have a clue.

 

This site exists because we've all tried to get such help from doctors and failed.

 

Wellbutrin will do nothing to help you go off the other drugs. Sleeplessness and anxiety are common side effects, exactly what you do NOT want to amplify when tapering.

 

You've been on drugs for many years, your nervous system has changed. People do not automatically become depressed off their drug cocktails. Withdrawal syndrome is far more common and can be avoided by careful tapering.

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

You don't sound bipolar, you sound HUMAN.  If your doctors ONLY saw you when you were depressed, obviously they misdiagnosed you.  After all, did you go out of your way to make an appointment with them EVERY time you were happy in your life so that you could make sure they wrote down the words, "happy, normal person" in your medical records?  No.  

Those doctors were stupid criminals, and I'm sorry about what's happened to you.

*I'm not a doctor and don't give medical advice, just personal experience
**Off all meds since Nov. 2014. Mentally & emotionally recovered; physically not
-Dual cold turkeys off TCA & Ativan in Oct 2014. Prescribed from 2011-2014

-All meds were Rxed off-label for an autoimmune illness.  It was a MISDIAGNOSIS, but I did not find out until AFTER meds caused damage.  All med tapers/cold turkeys directed by doctors 

-Nortriptyline May 2012 - Dec 2013. Cold turkey off nortrip & cold switched to desipramine

-Desipramine Jan 2014 - Oct. 29, 2014 (rapid taper/cold turkey)

-Lorazepam 1 mg per night during 2011
-Lorazepam 1 mg per month in 2012 (or less)

-Lorazepam on & off, Dec 2013 through Aug 2014. Didn't exceed 3x a week

-Lorazepam again in Oct. 2014 to help get off of desipramine. Last dose lzpam was 1 mg, Nov. 2, 2014. Immediate paradoxical reactions to benzos after stopping TCAs 

-First muscle/dystonia side effects started on nortriptyline, but docs too stupid to figure it out. On desipramine, muscle tremors & rigidity worsened

-Two weeks after I got off all meds, I developed full-blown TD.  Tardive dystonia, dyskinesia, myoclonic jerks ALL over body, ribcage wiggles, facial tics, twitching tongue & fingers, tremors/twitches of arms, legs, cognitive impairment, throat muscles semi-paralyzed & unable to swallow solid food, brain zaps, ears ring, dizzy, everything looks too far away, insomnia, numbness & electric shocks everywhere when I try to fall asleep, jerk awake from sleep with big, gasping breaths, wake with terrors & tremors, severely depressed.  NO HISTORY OF DEPRESSION, EVER. Meds CREATED it.

-Month 7: hair falling out; no vision improvement; still tardive dystonia; facial & tongue tics returned
-Month 8: back to acute, incl. Grand Mal seizure-like episodes. New mental torment, PGAD, worse insomnia
-Month 9: tardive dystonia worse, dyskinesia returned. Unable to breathe well due to dystonia in stomach, chest, throat
-Month 13: Back to acute, brain zaps back, developed eczema & stomach problems. Left leg no longer works right due to dystonia, meaning both legs now damaged
-7 years off: Huge improvements, incl. improved dystonia

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

 

I started tapering lithium from 600mg to 450mg three weeks ago .

300mg in the am , 150 at night

So far , so good , a bit of anxiety in the morning , but then that could me the frozen shoulder + impending sale of my

place !

This will go on for four months , then another step down .

It is not possible to taper 10% , due to the available capsule's format and non-availability of liquid

lithium .

So....30% drop.

I'm ready for a certain amount of discomfort .

 

Thanks for your support

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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Tcho,

That's a big cut. What's your hurry?

 

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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It is not possible to taper 10% , due to the available capsule's formats ( 300- 150 )and non-availability of liquid

lithium .

The capsule is filled with powder

Do you have any suggestion ?

Thanks

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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When I need Irregular doses of lithium, I make a water solution. I put the contents of 150mg tablet in 6 ml water, which makes it 25mg/ml. Then you can measure whatever you want. I use intact capsules as possible, then add in the liquid to make the desired total dose. Lithium really tastes nasty, but it is doable.

 

My opinion is that lithium does a lot in the brain, much not understood. It is not like tapering a drug with a single action. I think it might be wise to stair-step off the two drugs so the Paxil doesn't overstimulate you. Wellbutrin would be even more risky.

 

If you have nothing else to do :), JanCarol and I have been fighting off drugs for questionable bipolar diagnoses for years now. I think we have speculated in every possible way on our threads. We're both winning, so nothing scary. If I can help, PM me...I'm well enough now that I am not always around here.

 

Best to you!

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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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello Chi, One of our members, Meimequest, is also tapering lithium and tells us how she does it here.. 

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2976-tips-for-tapering-off-lithium/?p=101279 She is very knowledgeable and has experience with tapering, I believe she has works in a  medical background too, but maybe you would be best checking out her thread as my memory is not what it used to be and could be wrong!  We err on the side of caution because when tepring lithium any withdrawal would immediately be diagnosed as the mental illness and medications changed and added to while people are vulnerable. It is possible to make a liquid yourself, as Meimequest does, and take a mix of capsule and liquid. So, you would take 1 x 300 capsule, 1x150 capsule and make liquid for 100mg which would be just under 10% cut. 

 

Did you continue taking the wellbutrin?

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I see Meime got here while I was typing ! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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Just one more thing: I finally have a great psychiatrist. When he did my intake, I was giving him all the reasons I don't think I have bipolar. He finally said, "It's hard to know if you have it or not, since we don't even know what it is." Something finally clicked with me in that statement. Whether I have bipolar disorder or not doesn't even matter...we know this medicine is not good for me, and the symptoms I have need to be managed, root causes need to be identified....so let's just get on with it.

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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  • Administrator

Words of wisdom, meimei. Thank you.

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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Thank you so much , ladies !

 

So I mix the powder from the capsule with water , and then take the desired amount with a measuring device ?

Does it mix well ? Do you keep it in the refrigerator ?

Never took Wellbutrin .

Taking 30mg of Paxil . My doctor said to first tamper off the lithium .

Have noticed some difficulty in sleeping lately , but not so bad .

No psychiatrist , a good one is difficult to find and very expensive .

I have a spiritual councellor , he's very good and has degrees in psychology .

I'm not religious , and tend to distrust doctors .

 

Have a good day , your advice is precious

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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  • Administrator

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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  • 2 weeks later...

I started to feel anxious after two weeks of the 30% decrease , so I took a 300mg capsule , emptied it and made 4 x 75mg portions . So I'm at 525 mg now , a 12.5% drop , and MUCH more comfortable !

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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And figuring this out :)

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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Yep , thanks to you people !

I came across this link : http://rethinkingbipolar.com/2015/03/26/how-long-did-you-take-to-come-off-lithium-bipolarfaq/

 

This person did it as follows :

 

08/01/2003 800

05/02/2003 650

01/02/2005 650

01/04/2005 600

15/12/2008 600

15/01/2009 500

15/08/2009 500

15/09/2009 450

15/10/2009 425

15/11/2009 400

15/07/2010 400

15/08/2010 381

15/09/2010 350

15/10/2010 347

15/11/2010 285

15/12/2010 240

15/01/2011 210

15/02/2011 207

15/03/2011 193

15/04/2011 174

15/05/2011 159

15/06/2011 132

15/07/2011 100

15/08/2011 100

15/09/2011 80

15/10/2011 60

 

That's eight years !

What do you think ?

 

Also , my dosage is now 300mg in the morning and 225mg at night .

Next taper should be 225mg in the morning ?

How many months should I wait for the next reduction ?

 

Thanks

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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I think you could try 10% of the last dose every four weeks if you are doing well. Just don't move ahead if you have not recovered yet from the last drop.

 

I read a blog almost every week, I can't remember the name, maybe Birth of a New Brain (I just google dyane bipolar and it comes up). She tapered very carefully for a year "all of her bipolar meds" and got into a world of hurt blasting past symptoms, keeping a schedule. She seems like a really nice person, and I am so sorry it happened, but I use it as a warning.

 

And in the meantime, anything you can do for your underlying health is a great way to occupy the time.

 

I am really thinking of slowing my taper down to 12.5mg/month for a while. I do bounce back, but the drops are hard, and just in the past days I am realizing again that I am trading in the quality of my last months with my daughter who is a senior to get off more quickly. Is it a wise trade off? Everyone is different, and toxicity is decreasing as doses go down. Projecting a schedule is interesting, but things usually don't go on a schedule. Sometimes it might be easier than the schedule, sometimes harder. Sometimes we have the space to feel sick, sometimes not so much. Just make the most of this one day you are in. Speaking to myself :)

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Meimei

it's going well

The next drop will be november first - 14% for an even 450 mg

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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Hey Tchi - I'm the other one of the lithium kids around here.  MeiMei has been doing this longer - was on a higher dose.  She is smarter about making liquid and adjustments and stuff, and has actually guided my own taper, which is nothing but the lithium left.

 

I have to question your psychiatrist who says, "get off the lithium first," because Paxil is an evil little troll that will bite you if you mess with it.

 

Lithium, on the other hand, when it is not toxic (it was going toxic in me), will cushion some of the blows that you will receive from tapering Paxil.  Next time you get the lithium down to an easy or convenient dose (i.e., not having to split tablets or make liquid) - I would hold there and start the long, slow creep off of the Paxil.  Especially since you report difficulties sleeping.

 

If you need to be careful about the lithium (and you do), you need to be 10x more careful about the Paxil.  It is the one with worldwide lawsuits regarding protracted (and extreme) withdrawal difficulties.

 

This thread discusses which drug to come off of first, and it's usually the antidepressant:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2207-taking-multiple-psych-drugs-which-drug-to-taper-first/

 

Once the lithium is below a certain level, it can actually offer more benefit than harm.  Not that I'm a fan of it - it gave me diabetes insipidus, strange rashes, flat affect, anhedonia, depression, and more.  But now that it is down below what the docs call "therapeutic levels," I'm less afraid of it.  You will see huge discussions about this on my thread (usually with MeiMeiQuest, as until recently, we were the only lithium kids on the block).

 

You asked:

 

Is it true you need a person close to you to witness your withdrawal ?

 

It's harder, but not impossible to do it alone.

 

I'm going to echo Alto and add:  It helps to have support - but it need not be your friend or partner.  Many people have done this with only the support of SA.

 

As someone here said:  you need to increase your self-care and self-knowledge as you decrease your dose.  This improves your chances for success.

 

Work on building your support, whether it is with your spiritual community, or even unrelated groups like AA or knitting circles - having somewhere to go (even if you cannot talk about withdrawal there) where you feel welcomed and cared about, and that gives you something to care about - will help you immensely.

 

You also wrote:

I hope both paxil and lithium tapering will be prescribed SLOWLY , one after the other .

 

If you're waiting for doctors to prescribe your taper, you will be waiting a long, long time.  Especially if you want the conservative taper we practice here at SA.  Doctors taper too fast, or not at all - and many of us have fallen victim to doctor's ignorance.  It was doctors who got you into this to begin with - and they learned about drugs from medical schools which were funded by pharmaceutical companies.

 

It's not a grand conspiracy - but it is a huge systemic failure, where people like you, and me, and everyone on SA - and people suffering from other iatrogenic damage (caused by medical intervention) like unnecessary surgeries, excessive drugs, drug interactions, etc. etc. are falling through the cracks.  Dr. Peter Gotzsche estimates that worldwide, antidepressants are the 3rd leading cause of death. (If I remember correctly).  

 

If you have the opportunity to get ahold of Robert Whitaker's excellent, "Anatomy of an Epidemic," you will be amazed at what you read there.  He wanted to show how the psych drugs were so successful in keeping people out of institutions.  What he found, and what he wrote, was a very different story about the disabling and damaging effects of these drugs.

 

Know that you are not alone.  Most of the people here on SA have received a "bipolar" diagnosis (or the threat of one) at some point in their lives.  It still sits, in all-cap letters on my medical charts.  I'd fight to get it removed, but then they'd just keep offering me SSRI's for other conditions, as they seem to be the go-to drug at the moment.  And if you keep reading on SA, you will find many, many people started on the drugs for other medical conditions - not for mental illness at all!

 

You are not alone, you have found us.  What are you going to do to increase your support as you come off the drugs?  We will stay with you every step of the way, and encourage you through the hard times, and cheer you through the successes.  Welcome to SA!

"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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JanCarol , many thanks for all the information .

I decided to taper the lithium fist , because I've been taking it for such a long time .

I want to see the changes first . I'm concerned that if I taper both drugs at the same time it will be difficult to monitor the side-effects .

Maybe not ? I'm tempted to try...10% of 30mg Pavil = 3mg ; it's going to be mighty hard to cut that pill, no ? Can't remember if it can be dissolved in water .

My doctor is giving me a lot of slack , or should I say I'm taking it . It's true she doesn't know much about tapering .

 

I need to say I'm my 91 years old mother's primary caregiver, so I need to be in fair shape .

 

Also , just bought a new place and put up the actual one for sale , in a slow market.

It's added stress .

But I'm determined to quit , have quit drugs + alcohol for 14 years today ( no AA ) !

 

Have a great day

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi !

 

Came down 10% from Paxil since october 14th . I'm cutting the pill .

So far , so good .

Last night , had very vivid dreams but it might just be a coincidence .

 

Good day everyone !

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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  • 4 months later...

Hi

 

Last mid-october , I tapered slowly ( 10% a month ) from 30 mg Paxil to 20 mg at the end of January .

The last drop has been real difficult : sleep is bad ( even with help ) , but mostly I have those recurrent negative thoughts which cause depression .

The last few days have been unbearable : anger , depression non-stop .

I care for my 92-yrs old mother who had a cerebro vascular accident , could this be a factor ?

Also trying to sell my house in a bad market , first five months I was patient but find myself very anxious lately .

I'm trying to understand  and find solutions .

Don't think I can '' hang in there '' so I'll go up to 21 mg .

 

Any advice ?

 Recurrent depression  -900mg Lithane since 1991 - tried to stop in 1995, went down to 600mg .

 20mg Paxil since 1998 - tried to taper in 2011 - doctor increased dosage to 30mg .
LITHIUM : September 1st 2015 : down to 450mg lithium ( 300 in the morning , 150 at night )- 30% decrease
 2015/09/15 : 75mg increase , for a total of 525 mg - 12.5% decrease

 2015/11/24  : lithium down to 475 mg - minus 9%         2016/01/08  : 450mg

 2016/02/05 :  420mg -           Kidney failure         2016/03/09 : 375mg              Total taper : 38% in 5 months

2017/01/01 :   300mg per day for the past six months   50% in 15 months - Below therapeutic level.

  2017/03/27 : down to 120mg .  April 30th 2017 : ZERO :)

 PAXIL :  2015/10/14 : 10% taper 30mg Paxil = 26.5 ml          2015/11 : 24.3mg     2015/12/16 :  21.6mg

                2016/01/23 :  20mg        Total taper : 30%  in 4 months   -  2016/11/01 : Still at 20 mg after failing at 15 mg

 

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Hi TChi .  Welcome.  

You say you're down to  Paxil  26.5 mg . ( in your  Sig. )  Then you say you will go up to 21mg, as you can't hang in  . Oh, just saw you were down to 20mg at the end of January .

Last mid-october , I tapered slowly ( 10% a month ) from 30 mg Paxil to 20 mg at the end of January .

 

You have done well, but maybe tapered too fast . Reinstating a little is probably a good idea, to stabilize on for a while , and then slowly taper , if that is what you are wanting to do .

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

How can we help ?  Are you wanting to taper off your medications ?

Many SSRI's and SSNRI's over 20 years. Zoloft for 7 years followed by Effexor, Lexapro, Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Pristiq, Valdoxan, Mianserin and more - on and off. No tapering. Cold turkey off Valdoxan - end of May 2014

 

                                                  Psych Drug - free since May 2014
.
         

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