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UnfoldingSky

Doctors who will diagnose drug withdrawal

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UnfoldingSky

I know this isn't about symptoms exactly, but I didn't know where to put this...Does anyone know of a doctor who consistently will diagnose drug withdrawal/iatrogenic issues for what they truly are, in either the continental US or Canada (preferably as close to Ontario, Canada as possible?) And if they are in the US, who don't cost an absolute fortune to see (as I would have to pay out of pocket)?

 

I am past the point of patience with doctors being clueless as to what is wrong with me, and need some kind of diagnosis in order to apply for disability. I would rather be homeless than be given yet another psych label. I currently have "mild" neuro symptoms which can be visible but usually aren't (twitching, happens mostly at night before bed), which might be a very mild case of tardive dyskinesia (stemming from 6 weeks use of an antipsychotic to treat a Celexa reaction. Please don't ever take these drugs...) The trouble is that, though one doctor has said it likely is TD, when I went to a subsequent appointment with a family member, suddenly the diagnosis changed.

 

I need someone to put it on a piece of paper for me, and I'm willing to go just about anywhere to get it. Any input is appreciated!

 

Unfolding Sky

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alexjuice

I live in a capital city of a large US state and can't locate a doctor to assist or refer me. Some on the site may be able to help you, but I've had problems in this area.

 

I want to let you know that I understand your frustration. I have interviewed/seen many,many doctors without success. I currently rely on family for basic needs, if I was in your shoes (re the disability) I can imagine even more frustration.

 

Best wishes.

 

Alex.i

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Altostrata

Dr. Stuart Shipko (see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/677-communications-with-dr-stuart-shipko/page__p__6160__hl__shipko__fromsearch__1#entry6160) will diagnose it for insurance purposes but he doesn't know how to treat it.

 

He is in Southern California.

 

Dr. Mark Foster in Colorado http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/141-its-happening-mark-foster-is-thinking-of-opening-a-psych-withdrawal-facility/page__p__841__hl__foster__fromsearch__1#entry841 might be able to give you a diagnosis, again, he doesn't know how to treat it.

 

Doctors who recognize antidepressant withdrawal are very rare, and those who treat it rarer still.

 

One of the objectives of this site is to bring this to medicine's attention and get diagnosis and treatment.

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Punarbhava

Hi Unfolding Sky.......

 

 

If you live in Canada and in the province of Ontario and applying for disability, I believe you would have to receive a diagnosis and a written report of your current disabilities , by a Canadian Doctor. The disability forms would also have to filled out by a Canadian Doctor.

 

Are you applying for CPP disability or Provincial disabilty or both?

 

 

I do know of one Canadian doctor, an Addiction Specialist, who recognizes addiction to benzos and other drugs (although he hasn't mentioned AD) who utilizes the Ashton Manual to taper people from benzos.

 

He has a web site as well as a book (I have not read his book BTW). He publicly states that it takes about 2 years to recover from WD from benzos and I believe a few other drugs (illegal ones) as well (if I'm recalling correctly).

 

I've been wanting to contact him to ask him about his stance on AD WD but haven't done so as of yet, however, IF he believes in the reality of benzo WD I can't see why he would deny that AD can produce the same horrors, along with protracted WD.

 

I tried to contact him via phone consultation 4 years ago when I developed violent WD upon reinstatement of my AD ..........I couldn't stabilize at all no matter how much I had up-dosed, but unfortunately, he would not consult, diagnose or treat over the phone. One must make an actual app't with him and I was too severely incapacitated to even drive to the corner store, let alone out of town.

 

In any case, you may wish to give him a call and/or make an app't with him.

 

He practices in Toronto, Ontario.

 

Here is his website:

 

Contact Information

http://www.stressrelaxationguide.org/index.html

 

Dr. Steven M. Melemis

 

Phone number:

416-920-2982

 

Address:

208 Bloor St. West,

Suite 702

Toronto, ON

M5S 3B4

 

BTW, there is also a link to a list of benzo-wise doctors on this site (Taking Action Category) that you may wish to review.

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/688-a-list-of-benzo-wise-doctors/

 

Hope some of this helps and I wish you the best re: applying for disability. I hope you get approved.

 

Also, continued healing to you!

 

 

Punar

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Punarbhava

Correction......

 

Wanted to make a correction to Dr. Steven Melemis's web site. The link I provided was not his home page. Here is the correct link:

 

http://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/steven-melemis.htm

 

Sorry about that but I was in a bit of a hurry earlier today and didn't realize my error until this evening.

 

 

Alto, feel free to edit my previous post by inserting the correct link, if you feel it's necessary.

 

 

Punar

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UnfoldingSky

I live in a capital city of a large US state and can't locate a doctor to assist or refer me. Some on the site may be able to help you, but I've had problems in this area.

 

I want to let you know that I understand your frustration. I have interviewed/seen many,many doctors without success. I currently rely on family for basic needs, if I was in your shoes (re the disability) I can imagine even more frustration.

 

Best wishes.

 

Alex.i

 

Thanks Alex, and I am sorry to hear of your failed search. Hopefully our luck turns soon!

 

Unfolding Sky

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UnfoldingSky

 

I do know of one Canadian doctor, an Addiction Specialist, who recognizes addiction to benzos and other drugs (although he hasn't mentioned AD) who utilizes the Ashton Manual to taper people from benzos.

 

 

 

Hi Punar, thank you so much for this link. This doctor sounds good in theory, though I have heard that PW from benzos can go on for longer than two years. Nevertheless I will contact his office to see if they have any stance on ADs. My big concern would be to be labeled as an addict, something that doesn't fit my scenario at all (unless we are talking about sugar addictions...)

 

I wish you continued healing as well!

 

Unfolding Sky

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UnfoldingSky

Dr. Stuart Shipko (see http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/677-communications-with-dr-stuart-shipko/page__p__6160__hl__shipko__fromsearch__1#entry6160) will diagnose it for insurance purposes but he doesn't know how to treat it.

 

He is in Southern California.

 

Dr. Mark Foster in Colorado http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/141-its-happening-mark-foster-is-thinking-of-opening-a-psych-withdrawal-facility/page__p__841__hl__foster__fromsearch__1#entry841 might be able to give you a diagnosis, again, he doesn't know how to treat it.

 

Doctors who recognize antidepressant withdrawal are very rare, and those who treat it rarer still.

 

One of the objectives of this site is to bring this to medicine's attention and get diagnosis and treatment.

 

Hi Altostrata, somehow I skipped your post when I was responding to the others. Good to know there may be some more options. I wouldn't mind visiting Colorado!

 

Take care,

 

Unfolding Sky

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UnfoldingSky

Okay, so if the above mentioned doctor in Toronto does not work out, I wondered if anyone knows if Dr. Grace Jackson of North Carolina (author of Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs) takes patients? I've been reading some of her work that is posted online, and she seems very brutally honest about drugs (to the point you wonder if she took one herself.) She's been an expert witness for drug cases if what I read was true.

 

Has anyone seen her?

 

Unfolding Sky

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Altostrata

Good idea. Suggest you contact Dr. Jackson and let us know if she sees patients!

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Altostrata
UnfoldingSky

Okay, so I tried Dr. Steven Melemis a long time ago, and haven't written of the outcome because I am having such a hard time writing lately. Basically, it was a no go. I can't recall exactly what I asked, but likely it was something along the lines of "do you treat longstanding issues resulting from AD use?" I know they told me they deal with benzo withdrawal, and that they could not help me.

 

I also have tried a number of other doctors, listed here and elsewhere, and have only managed to get to speak to one. Dr. Charles Whitfield, author of "Not Crazy". He encouraged me to try to get in touch with Dr. Breggin, as he is substantially closer to where I live. He was very nice on the phone, and very forthcoming that drugs do cause issues--what a relief to hear, after six long years of being told in every possible way that I am the problem (even from doctors who diagnosed me as having had a reaction.) At the same time it was extremely frustrating--is it really so hard for other doctors to say, yes, the drug caused your problems?

 

What I also found to be interesting--in Ontario, we generally do not get to speak directly to doctors over the phone, we usually only get to speak to the secretaries. So having the doctor pick up on a call was a total shock--I panicked when I realized it was the doctor himself, and nearly hung up!

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alexjuice

What I also found to be interesting--in Ontario, we generally do not get to speak directly to doctors over the phone, we usually only get to speak to the secretaries. So having the doctor pick up on a call was a total shock--I panicked when I realized it was the doctor himself, and nearly hung up!

 

Well, it's pretty rare in the US to phone a doc and get a "Hello," on the other end. Certainly if you call a family clinic the physician is not answering nor returning calls. But, in my experience, psychiatrists in private practice makeup the total of the remaining market in external answering machines. After leaving a message, the doc will call you back or even email with you, though mine tend not to want to do this if I am their patient for papertrail reasons that increase their liability potentially.

 

It'd be great though if I woke up feeling crappy and could call the doctor and have a quick chat!

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Nikki

I live in Florida and fortunately my Nurse Practitioner is vary familiar with it. I don;t believe she treats over the phone. In the USA, they have to see you in person.

 

I have an idea. Can you make a list of all of the Psych MD's is your area, and call each one and ask the Front Desk person if the doctor knows about Discontinuation Syndrome. If someone says 'yes' make the appointment.

 

And yes, it amazes me at how so many MD's who prescribe meds like they were lollipops are so clueless about this...

 

Hugs

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Barbarannamated

I live in Florida and fortunately my Nurse Practitioner is vary familiar with it. I don;t believe she treats over the phone. In the USA, they have to see you in person.

 

I have an idea. Can you make a list of all of the Psych MD's is your area, and call each one and ask the Front Desk person if the doctor knows about Discontinuation Syndrome. If someone says 'yes' make the appointment.

 

Would like to hear more about your Nurse Practitioner's approach, Nikki. I found a NP w/endocrinology specialty who *seems* like she may be open to learning. I'm in that very vulnerable place and all doctors scare me right now (just fyi, I live with one).

 

Psychiatrists will undoubtedly say that they know about discontinuation syndrome - as it is described in most medical literature and prescribing info provided by pharma company: "effects a small percentage of patients after abrupt discontinuation and can be avoided by tapering". Even some doctors who advertise that they help people get off of psychiatric medication don't acknowledge SS/NRI withdrawal and see antipsychotics as the problematic drugs.

I suspect that the liability and, as Alex mentioned, just being in the papertrail, is a factor. Even though the dangers of being on the drugs is documented, nobody knows how to handle the autonomic instability that occurs as well as the perceptual, cognitive, and mood changes as the body tries to reach homeostasis after years or decades of neurohormone disruption.

I attended the ISEPP Conference and posted some reports from there. Alto has been communicating with doctors for years trying to find any who will work WITH patients in new territory.

My endocrinologist is very aware of the dangers of SS/NRIs and how they CAUSE DEPRESSION and even he admitted it may be less problematic to reinstate when I was a few months off and experiencing autonomic dumping/dysregulation. Sadly, it is a 'lesser of 2 evils' to many doctors.

I am NOT defending this position nor do I mean to knock your approach to finding docs!

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Nikki

Barbara when I was in Lexapro w/d a friend recommended her as my psych moved. He was excellent and he knew about it as well.

 

I guess they read and listen. I didn't have to give them any information, they just knew.

I did however give them the website names like Paxilfree - ****** and seroxatmad.

 

The NP already knew about ****** and wasn't crazy about it. I agreed with her on that. Additionally she and my former psych would send patients to a colleague for a second opinion to make sure they were on the right track with a diagnosis/treatment.

Another word for that is humility and I have to give them alot of credit for that.

 

Regardless of what field your in, listening, reading, and continuing ed can only enhance your services.

 

My mother's psych's son was on paxil and had a helluva time getting off, so he saw first hand how his son suffered.

 

Handouts are helpful give the Doctor.

 

Hugs

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Barbarannamated

Thanks, Nikki.

 

I think you hit on 2 key elements - personal experience and humility.

 

That said, I'm supposed to see my pain doc today and I'm not feeling good about it even though he's been good to me in the past. I went to his new website and learned that he now has a Clinical Trials division in his corporation. Dollars for Docs revealed quite a bit, too. Red flag.

I'm having trouble trusting any medical professional at present.

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Altostrata

Nikki, if you can recommend your practitioner as someone who has a reasonable, individualized approach to tapering, please post her contact information in Recommended doctors, therapists, or clinics (Also true of your original psychiatrist.)

 

What were the flaws you and she saw in ******?

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Nikki

Barbara it is very difficult for so many to trust, yet somehow (I see it all the time) people just take whatever psych med the doctor doles out...

 

Alto, I will ask her the next time I see her. She has had success in getting people off Effexor which amazed me.

 

The flaws we saw, were that there is a herd-mindset. At that time, the philosophy was no one should be on psych meds and everyone needs to be med free and people were shunned as a result of it.

 

Medications can and have been life saving. There were suicides on that site from people relying on advise which was....get off the meds and don't try another. Very sad. And worst of all, no matter how much someone was suffering, the advise (at that time) was 'you'll turn a corner, don't worry, just get off the stuff. Some of the poor souls there cracked and ended up in the hospital or dead.

 

A 10% reduction is not for everyone. My Nurse Practitioner recommends that you determine the reduction by how you feel. 1/2 mg. drop in dose or 1mg. or just 2-3 drops.

 

She used to look on the site for herself and we talked about it. We both thought it had become quite dangerous and was not safe for people (especially those trying to get off Effexor).

 

Additionally (and this is just my opinion) they were unkind, rigid, insulting, condescending and shamed people. It was demoralizing....

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EFXRob

There seem to be several Aussie here...Maybe they can share any good medical resources... I am being referred to an "Effexor expert"...and although it carries many red flags for me...will probably go through, on the understanding that I don't have to take his advice, and indeed, I should be assessing him...Its not for two months anyway...

 

Meanwhile, Nikki; keen to hear the nurse practitioners special insights on Effexor... already, I am assuming a 5% taper over a much longer period... But pleased that there is some success here with Effexor reductions on this site..and hope we can pool wisdom and experience here... I suspect suffering is not avoiidable... but can be greatly minimised...also, expecting it is worth taking a "harm minmisation" approach; ie better am on a lower dose than bigger dose...and not approach the whole taper in terms of 0 = successes...

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Altostrata

Nikki, I hope you and your NP find this site more helpful.

 

We do take a harm reduction approach here, and advocate a taper tailored to the individual.

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Nikki

Alto this is a terrific site. Love it.

 

Trying to get some friends from UK to join. Lovely People.

 

Rob...I remember from quite a few years back that Effexor has little sphere or pellets inside the capsule. My understanding is that a Compounding Pharmacy can divide up the pellets for reduction purposes....Have they come out with a liquid now???

 

Hugs

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EFXRob

Yep, when I get to that stage, I will ask the compounding pharmacy near me if they can repackage the smallest size capsule of Effexor, which does have different sized balls..

 

Meanwhile... still feeling pretty unresolved in the pain department after my last injection... lots of flare ups... and down emotions..

 

Have big work commitments coming up in 10 days... for two weeks...like the work... and the challenge...but assume I will have to act "as if"... but maybe teh flare ups will resolve by then..

 

Rob

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Shanti

My new doctor understands about the withdrawal issues and doesn't prescribe Paxil, Effexor and other meds that cause this. He also understands how to help such as the Prozac Switch. The problem is that he is a doctor at the Native American medical clinic and you can only go there if you're Native American. However, he may be open to talking to your own doctor if they call him. I don't know. I'll ask him next time I see him if I can share his information.

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Nikki

I have finished the antiobiotics and am feeling soooo much better.

 

I was really beating myself up for having to lay down and rest.

 

I see now how sick I really was and was mad at myself for being sick. The diverticulitis, intestinal virus and UTI were murderous. The antiobiotics were murderous as well.

 

The insomnia was a monster. Thank God that's over too.

 

I don't know if I still have some residual stuff going on from the Imipramine taper, but I do feel much better.

 

Thank you for your responses. It really wasn't Isolating, it was simply taking care of myself.

I didn't have the energy to chat, go out (except for work) or to do much of anything else.

 

And yes, there is a weeding out process that may or may not be related to w/d as far as friends go. I also know who's got my back covered and I am grateful for those friends and relatives. My brother who lives in NJ, is a sweetheart, and I forget to call him when I need some support.

 

Thanks guys

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Mort81

Any updates about doctors supporting and recognizing WD or status quo?

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Laura1981

Hi Mort, 

 

there's a thread under "Tapering" regarding recommended doctors: 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/988-recommended-doctors-therapists-or-clinics/

 

As far as I know, they are still hard to get by. I couldn't find any in Ireland as the three on the list are either not practicing anymore or not accepting patients. 

 

Sad, sad, sad...

 

Cheers, Laura

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Zhannahatespsychedrugs

I am looking for a doctor In Cleveland Ohio that will help me get off of psyche drugs. Does anyone know of any doctors in OHIO? Primarily cleveland.

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scallywag

I am looking for a doctor In Cleveland Ohio that will help me get off of psyche drugs. Does anyone know of any doctors in OHIO? Primarily cleveland.

Zhanna, Please look at the posts in this discussion topic:

Recommended doctors, therapists, or clinics

 

Please start an introduction topic for yourself. That will be the best place to answer your questions.

 

Link to start a new topic for yourself in the Introductions and updates forum

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Sugar

We are in a real pickle right now:

The doctor who has been assisting my son in the tapering off process of ADs (especially Cymbalta) ended up in prison and we need to find a replacement promptly. 

How can one go about finding a doc who is experienced in this regard  and is willing to take over?

It will have to be in the L.A. area (Burbank to be exact).

Thank you for any suggestions.

 

 

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Sugar

A note:

Stuart Shipko, M.D. in Pasadena, CA who is listed here, has very bad patient reviews.

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anongrl5590

I found a psychiatrist in Los Angeles, CA named Dr. Eric Noble, MD. He has worked with patients undergoing withdrawals from SSRIs. 

 

 

Phone: 818-962-0472

 

Address: 10921 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #412 Los Angeles, CA 90024

 

E-mail: eric@noblepsychiatry.com

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Altostrata

For disability claims, this neuropsychology expert provides medical record review and documentation for iatrogenic neurological impairment:

 

Raymond Singer, Ph.D.
Professional Association

Main and Correspondence Office
36 Alondra Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico USA
87508-8316

Secondary Office

180 E. 79th Street
Suite 1-C
New York, N.Y. 10021

Telephone: (505) 466-1100
Website: www.neurotox.com

 

Services and fee schedule

 

See

http://neurotox.com/psych-drug-injuries-long-term-disability/?fbclid=IwAR3T91lWP1TDoBoEhuvXqnWB8y9nzv-f5clUhEPazgR21AC0vtONP9a2FEY

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