Is There Now Evidence Withdrawal From Antipsychotics Can Induce Psychosis?

For those who aren’t regular readers of my blog, I have been struggling to quit Abilify – a powerful antipsychotic medication – without success.  This has been a frightening, long and drawn out process for me, since the withdrawal symptoms I’ve experienced every time I have tried to quit this drug inevitably included a mild psychosis.  What is even more disconcerting is I never had any symptoms of psychosis until I started taking Abilify.

Last night I received a reply from a gentleman named Ed to one of my former posts: Abilify Withdrawal – Round 3: Abilify Wins and Antipsychotic Dependence. It is a very thoughtful piece from a person whose son had a psychotic break after trying to quit antipsychotic medication.  If you read Ed’s comment and follow the links he provided, it seems there is  now evidence  in a just published study that withdrawal from antipsychotics may lead to a psychotic episode.

Ed’s Comment to Abilify Withdrawal – Round 3: Abilify Wins and Antipsychotic Dependence:

I think that an answer can be found in the below post that I made on the Madinamerica site. Why isn’t the Mt Sinai report the “smoking gun”? Please see:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813103250.htm. Although the intent of the research published in Nature Neuroscience was to make antipsychotics more effective or to suggest a new avenue for drug development, the implication of the findings is that chronic administration of antipsychotics creates a dopamine supersensitivity, and hence a vulnerability to psychosis on discontinuation, that is far more sinister and likely than anything I have seen to date. This report was released in August, but I don’t see the reaction I would have anticipated. If this report does not indicate that chronic administration of antipsychotics should never be used except in the most extreme of cases, I’m missing something. The findings, as I see them (I’m not a scientist) are that chronic administration of antipsychotics results in elevated HDAC2 which suppresses genetic expression of the mglu2 receptor. Glutamate dysfunction has long been suspected to be relevant to psychosis. Philip Seeman (the discoverer of D2), who is one of the most renowned researchers in pharmacology showed the dramatic effects of mglu2 activity in 2009: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19084908. In short, the the under activity of mglu2 (by implication…Dr Seeman was using mice with no mglu2) results in dramatically greater d2 recepors in high state. This is dopamine supersensitivity or tardive psychosis. Am i missing something? Why am I not seeing a mushroom cloud? Didn’t the Mt Sinai group provide the smoking gun for what Robert Whitaker has been suggesting? In a nutshell, even if you were never psychotic, if you try to discontinue antipsychotics, you are at a high risk of becoming so? Please make this an issue.

After reading both links provided by Ed,  the latest research is very damning, indeed.

Although the smoke from this one is still filling my office, the biggest hurdle I see to this study being seen as a smoking gun is the need at present for a lot of inference to connect the dots. Those of us who have experienced the adverse effects of trying to quit antipsychotics, even laymen such as myself, won’t have much trouble seeing this study for what it potentially is. I think the rest of the world will need the lines drawn in the sand  more clearly before there is widespread acceptance that antipsychotic withdrawal can induce psychosis.

One of many reasons acceptance may be delayed is, from what I have seen, psychiatrists in general have blind faith in the efficacy and safety of antipsychotics for people suffering from Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder, and have the unfortunate tendency to prescribe this class of medication as a prophylactic instead of in response to a psychotic episode. Take my experience with the two psychiatrists currently handling my case (I have Bipolar I). When I arrived in their practice, I was already taking Abilify prescribed as a cautionary measure by my former psychiatrist. I was only three months into treatment and I was already having adverse effects. But the three psychiatrists all believed Abilify to be ‘safe’ and a great method to rely on to insure psychosis would never happen. No one had bothered to note that I had never so much as experienced even a mild psychosis in my life. It’s been an outright battle to get my current docs to understand just how bad for me taking Abilify has been. It has taken one year handling my case, my bringing them countless printouts of studies and patient experiences, three exams from my GP for weight gain related medical problems and three bouts with mild psychosis for them to understand just how detrimental to my mental and physical health this drug has been. Finally, my two lead psychiatrists have consulted with their colleagues, including the head of the Psychiatric Department of the affiliated hospital, about all the withdrawal problems I’ve had so far. The good news is I now have several psychiatrists in my corner who believe that this medication did, in fact, bring on a mild psychosis whenever I tried to stop taking it. The bad news? I am seen as an ‘isolated case.’

Where do I go from here? Well, there are only three viable options: staying on a very low dose of the med in perpetuity, titering down to an even more ridiculously low dose than 2.5mg every other day or quitting cold turkey and dealing with the fallout. The consensus between all the psychiatrists and myself is to choose the third option and go to bed until the withdrawal is complete, which could take one to 1.5 weeks. But, there is one, large caveat. My family and psychiatrists need to be on standby in case I once again enter a withdrawal psychosis.

The need for a number of people to continually monitor my behavior for the next two weeks and be on 24 x 7 standby in case I have a psychotic episode seems surreal. It makes me anxious because logically I should expect to go through another bout of withdrawal psychosis. And, it makes me angry I was administered this class of med in the first place. When I was placed on Abilify I was not in a full-blown mania, it was done as a protective measure and my then-treating psychiatrist assured me of its safety. Had I known there was any chance of actually becoming even mildly psychotic, well, I would never have swallowed the little, blue pill. I would have stayed in The Matrix of mood stabilizers only.

Throughout the last year, we have seen a wealth of articles spring up in some unlikely places calling out the misuse and abuse of antipsychotics. Once again this past week, an article ran in the New York Times.  A Call for Caution on Antipsychotic Drugs gave Dr. Richard Friedman (a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College) an arena to reach the layman population, underscore the seriousness of this class of medication and condemn casual use for conditions unapproved by the FDA (such as insomnia and use in children).  He is right, of course. But deeper conversation and action are sorely needed. In light of the new studies being published, the immediate follow-on conversation needs to be that psychosis may actually be brought on by the very class of medication invented to prevent it.

I only have experience with Abilify. I cannot speak for anyone else but myself.  Given my experience, and since the 5th and 6th most prescribed drugs in the US are antipsychotics, psychiatrists need to be more accepting of patient claims that these drugs are causing some very serious side-effects. There needs to be a cold, hard look by the psychiatric establishment at the tendency to use this powerful medication as a go-to prophylactic instead of a treatment for a well-defined, serious condition that already includes psychosis. Off-label use needs to stop. There is a dire need for further studies around psychosis associated with the use of antipsychotics. There needs to be more dialogue around and research into the entire class of antipsychotic drugs.

Ed and I have been corresponding outside of WordPress and we would love for this conversation to continue. Please feel free to post in the comments section and / or reblog this post.  

I’ve been med free for six years now. My doctor took 2 years weaning me off the antipsychicotics, the last drug I was weaned off of was lithium. Maybe I wasn’t weaned off that slowly enough, but just an FYI, withdrawal induced mania (at least from “mood stabilizers) can occur 6 months to a year after being med free, not just two weeks. Here’s a few related links:

http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/03/do-antipsychotics-worsen-long-term-schizophrenia-outcomes-martin-harrow-explores-the-question/

http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/01/making-schizophrenia-worse-iatrogenic-inhumanity

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18775845/

Somewhere Else – I cannot thank you enough for sending these links. Would you mind if I created another post featuring the links you sent? Will give you full kudos, of course 😉

Wow – good news travels fast! Rhona sent me this link last month. Makes me hopeful people are finding the GOOD resources. Stay tuned…another post on this subject is about to be published. I have a lot more subscribers than when I published this one, so I’m hoping people will contribute even more great links. Thanks again! Hope you are well!!

I know this post is two years old, but I just wanted to thank you for illuminating how detrimental anti-psychotics can be when used for prophylactic rather than acute purposes. Around the same time this was posted I was coming off Abilify (for treatment resistant uni-polar depression not bi-polar or schizophrenia) and went through a tumultuous series of mood-swings which bordered psychosis. I lost a year of school and to this day have an occasional twitch or “brain-zap”. It takes a lot of courage to write through your struggles, wish you the best!

I read your article and am going through abilify withdrawl. It has been one of the worst experiences in my life. I had two days of complete psychosis. I almost went to the hospital. I will never take that drug again. It caused restless legg syndrome, weight gain, my tonge moves around with no control. The dr. Tapered me off with no backup medication and i almost had a episode. Then she wanted to put me back on it. I refused. I am now three days without it and i am very weak but i feel better i am off that dangerous drug. I believe everythig you have said completely.

I am so sorry that you’re struggling with this nasty drug. My son, who is a graduate student in Medicinal Chemistry, did a research paper on Abilify for one of his classes. He said it is a horrifying drug.

I would like to offer one additional option that you might think of trying: you might try temporarily adding one of the more “traditional” antipsychotics like Haldol in low dose while you are weaning off the Abilify. Then, once you have stabilized off Abilify, wean off the Haldol over two to three weeks. You may need to add on something else eventually, to take the place of the Abilify if it was being used as adjunct therapy.

Just an idea. Sending healing vibes your way!

Dina

Hi, Dina – Thanks so much for the well wishes (I need them!). I’m not at all surprised a Medicinal Chemistry student found Abilify to be horrifying. I’m glad you told me that, though, because it makes me feel better. (I’d love to read your son’s paper, too.)

I think that your suggestion of introducing something like Haldol is viable. Thanks for mentioning it – my doc never discussed this approach with me. At this point I get the impression all of the docs just want me off this class of med so everyone can hopefully avoid a potential time bomb. But, I’ll tell you, if I ever really do need an antipsychotic to control mania or true psychosis, it won’t be Abilify.

Take care! Vivien

I nodded my way through your entire post, which is such an important one. My son was prescribed Abilify (then switched to Risperdal), both off-label, for his severe OCD. They are disastrous, horrible drugs. Why do so many people, except for the psychiatrists, realize this? Thanks for keeping the conversation going and getting the word out there about these drugs. Good luck with getting off Abilify. Why not wean down as slow and as low as possible? That’s how my son got off Effexor (he had terrible withdrawal symptoms from it). It took many extra weeks, but it worked as far as not experiencing the side-effects. Good Luck!

Thanks very much for the reply and the well wishes! I’m glad your son was able to finally wean off without any problems, and I hope things continue to go well for him. I’m down to 1.25 today myself. I decided to do some experimenting and see if I could go lower (than 2.5) without starting the withdrawal. Fingers crossed. Be well!

You know you’re preaching to the choir here, Vivien. If I were in your shoes right now, my question would be: Once off antipsychotics, does the brain regain its own ability to produce/respond to dopamine? Are the psychosis-producing effects of the drugs reversed?

If you can survive the withdrawal, will your brain find a new balance? I believe the answer is yes, but getting to that new place is dangerous. You have to be willing to submit to the 24/7 care for as long as it takes to reach the other side. That might take a week or it might take a month or longer. it took me about 6 weeks to wean off all my meds and get past all the horrific withdrawal symptoms. It is terrifying, but I believed to my core that I would be healthier, saner and more stable once I reached the other side.

Now, 2 years later, I’m still working on it. Before I started on medication I was bipolar 1, now I’m bipolar 2 with rapid cycling. I believe the medication and ECT caused those changes, but I have no proof. All I know is that I will never take psychotropics of any kind again. I’ll continue to work on advancing my overall health with diet and exercise, and manage my mental health with my Bipolar Bad-Ass Training. It’s not easy, but **still easier than my life was on the drugs**

You know I’m with you. Please keep us updated.

Hi, Sandy! I hope you’re doing well. Yeah, it’s gone through what’s left of my mind several times that what’s left of me post-med might not be all that was there before I started with antipsychotics. I am not sure if the brain – well, my brain – can regain some sort of balance. I know it sounds crazy to want to upset the apple cart and get off this med when my moods were relatively stable. But, like you I just can’t see this as a long-term solution. Thanks so much for your support. I’ll do my best to keep you posted.

(I hope this gets to you – WP trashed my first reply). Thanks for commenting! I’m sorry if I gave you the heebie jeebies. Disclaimer Time – I’m not a doc, just part of the patient set who has serious withdrawal problems with Abilify. Before you go off the drug, have a talk with your doc expressing your concerns. Then, be sure to stay in touch with them and report anything you even think might be out of the ordinary. You’re probably one of the folks who won’t have any issues at all but being aware of the potential problems is a good thing. Good luck! Take care & if you’d like to chat privately feel free to drop me a line.

My sincerest thanks to Vivien for posting this here. To all those who have successfully gotten off meds…,real joy. I worry that my posting about a failed attempt, my son’s, might discourage people from trying. Please, please don’t let a cautionary tale serve as more than just another piece of information. The post that Vivien placed on her website will hopefully lead to a variety of important discussions. It is not only another clear reason to not allow people to be blindly led into psychotropic medication, but it may hold one of the keys to getting off the meds for those whose attempts have not been successful. I look forward to reading people’s responses.

It makes perfect sense to me. We get rebound anxiety from coming off of benzos. Why not rebound psychosis.

Your choices must be so frustrating and overwhelming. I wish you the best in any choice that you make. And I will send positive stuff your way.

And thanks for the heads up on the Abilify. I’m currently taking it.

Hi, Lulu. I thought you might be on Abilify but I wasn’t sure. Is it working? Are you having any weight gain or other health issues? Yeah, I’m pretty frustrated at the moment. I had to take a 2.5 dose last night due to an unexpected must-do today, so I’m back at square one. It’s moments like these that make me wonder if I can / will ever get off the stuff. Let me know how you are doing.

I’m doing alright. I’ve seen a little bit of weight gain, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the medication. I’ve had a recent lifestyle
change. I’m not working, and I’m not walking anywhere between three to seven miles a day anymore. So, a marginal weight gain of about 3 to 5 lbs is to be expected. I’m not over my usual weight anyway, I’m just not at my “little” weight. I have to train myself to get up in the morning and start doing laps around the house now.

The only health issue that I’m having is that I’m having difficulty with thirst and water management. I am heat and cold sensitive, although I should technically only be heat sensitive.

I experienced psychosis prior to taking Abilify, so I can say that I’m doing alright in that department. The only thing it hardly put a dent in was the mixed episode states. At least now it doesn’t feel like it’s all at once. It’s more staggered. Like, I have crying jags here and there, but it’s not every day. Maybe about once a week.

There is one odd thing that was happening prior to me having to lower my Lamictal dose. I was having these transient dissociative states. Does that have anything to do with Abilify?

Glad to hear you’re doing OK! Hmmm…I’ve read patient reports that Abilify can cause dissociation and excessive thirst, but I’ve never had those problems myself. I’ve also got temperature sensitivity issues so I understand the frustration there. Sounds like the med did stop the psychosis (it did for me too, after I had to go back on it and they raised my dose). I’ve found a lot of info about Abilify at a ‘low dose’ (<15mg) not being effective for mixed states. One doc claims that a lower dose of the drug acts more like an antidepressant, thereby bringing on the mixed state in those with antidepressant sensitivity. Another doc suggests amping up the dose or moving on to a mood stabilizer – or an additional mood stabilizer if you're already taking one – to get the mixed states under control. I wish there were more independent studies out there on this topic. Frustrating.

Let me know if you talk to your doc and what they have to say. Be well!

I did have other, pretty bad side effects at first, so I’m not inclined to go any higher. I ended up with the restlessness for a little while, and a few other horror of horrors. I knew that if I powered through it, it would go away. But, I don’t really intend on going any higher than 10mg. And if that’s the case, then I probably shouldn’t even bother.

Wonderful! Thank you! I’ll write a post about how my doc’s appointment went and if they increased my dose or anything.

Lulu and Vivien and Anyone else on antipsychotics:
Doctors talk to their clients as if dosages translate to plasma levels. There is a huge variation ( there are a number of studies out there…I’ll try to post the citations when I have time) between individuals in this area. One huge factor is the genetic variation in production of CYP2D6. This is the primary enzyme for metabolizing most antipsychotics (and very specifically Abilify). When I pushed my son’s GP to test his CYP2D6, he responded that my son’s liver enzymes were normal. The misconception that a regular liver enzyme panel provides the information on specific enzymes is a disservice to those on antipsychotics. It doesn’t. The test for CYP2D6 is a genetic CHIP array. It is expensive (around $750.00 last time I looked) and may not be covered by insurance. In NJ where I live it cannot be done without a prescription (stupid law). All that is required from the person being tested is a blood draw or cheek swab. Given variations between individuals is huge, the test should be mandatory before anyone starts an antipsychotic. For Abilify (and many other drugs), the genetic liver enzyme determination will tell you what your actual level of the drug is. Further, specifically for Abilify, 60% of it’s effect is from an active metabolite that may not even exist in a poor metabolized. Many things from dose, side effects profile, time to take effect, time to clear the system, and timing of dosage may be highly impacted based on the level of this one enzyme. If you can have the test done you should. One of the investigations comparing dose to plasma level between rapid metabolizers (high CYP2D6) and poor metabolizers (very low CYP2D6) showed a variation of 30x. A reported case is noted somewhere of an individual whose plasma level was 100X what the dose would normally produce. How often have you heard people comment, “I’m very sensitive to drugs” or It just didn’t seem to do anything”. This is sometimes the reason for those responses. Simple test…huge impact on drug user.
Ed

Thank you so much for this post!
It is incredibly difficult coming off antipsychotics, especially if you have been on them for a long-time (I’m talking years). My experiences were hellish and required me to be incapacitated for quite a while in a hospital and at home. My advice is to find a way to stop everything you are doing and give yourself time to get through the acute withdrawal symptoms. However, this is unattainable for most. In my withdrawal, the benzodiazapine Ativan definitely prevented any hospitalizations and then weaning myself off the 2mg/week took a few months as well.
I went through the research (with my training in biology) and the conclusion that antipsychotic use can lead to psychosis is a strong one. In fact I didn’t need to read this research because it is a firm belief that I hold because of my experiences withdrawing from them completely over a year ago. I made a blog post about this just now and I hope it allows people to understand the science behind this statement.
Unfortunately, I can say with confidence that the brain does not completely restore itself to a previous state because the brain does structurally change after prolonged use of these drugs (lots of stuff on pubmed supports this).

Hi! You’re very welcome! I stopped by your site and read your related post. http://schizotomasz.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/long-term-antipsychotic-use-or-withdrawal-can-cause-psychosis/ [Ed – you should read this post, the related papers, the post’s conclusion. Then, we can set up a lab in one of our basements, get some mice together and turn Tomasz loose 🙂 ]

I hate to hear stories of people going through hell to get off these drugs, but it gives me hope to hear you were finally successful. How long did it take you in total number of weeks? I am desperately trying to ‘clear the calendar.’ That sounds so much easier than it actually is. I’m so glad you mentioned that Ativan helped get you through. My husband is telling me to, “…just take the Xanax,” so I will have an easier time riding the withdrawal. I hate taking benzos but I think this time it’s going to be benzos and bed or the hospital.

Thanks for reading & reblogging!

Hi Tomasz,
Can you kindly explain to me how you were able to wean yourself off the medications? More details? Over how many months? How many attempts? Did you follow any written guidelines that you wish to share with us? Are you still off the med?

Many thanks,

Alex

In early 2011, I started refusing medication at the hospital after 3 years of suffering and suicide attempts caused by high doses of antipsychotics. I was forced to take a low dose of 5mg olanzapine there because the withdrawal was very severe and I wasn’t sleeping. I took the 5mg olanzapine for 6 months. During this period I had pretty bad insomnia because my body was used to high doses of these sedatives. I was barely functional but I wrote most of my book and tried to keep busy. I gained 50-60 pounds too. I had 1-2mg tablets of Ativan that I took once a week when I needed to catch up on sleep. In October 2011, when my insomnia was improving, I cut my olanzapine down to 2.5mg. After 2 weeks of that I stopped taking it all together. This was premature because a few days into that my insomnia came back and I was forced to take 2.5mg because I was not sleeping and I actually had a craving for it, believe it or not. I’ve been off antipsychotics since then. I took some Ativan every now and then for 6 months. I lost all the weight. It’s been pretty much a year since I took any pill, maybe a tablet or two of Ativan since early-mid 2012. Overall I find my symptoms of Schizoaffective (hallucinations, paranioa, low/high moods) to be way more tolerable than the medications. With exercise and diet I’m quite stable, but I will probably never attain the productivity I had before I was meddled with by psychiatry. I joined a network for non-medical model peer support called Mad Students Society, which helped tremendously.

Lulu:
You posted earlier about dissociation and yes, there are plenty of articles about it both in regard to “illness” and as a side effect of drugs. My experience with dissociation was connected to neither. There was a time when I was a kid that there were situations I could neither correct nor endure. I learned to step away from myself. The things that were happening were not really happening to me. I suspect it’s a natural defense. I don ‘t do that any more, but I consider it to be a resource I could rely on if I ever had to again. I guess my short comment would be, it might be a natural response to what you are going through. From my own experience, a “safe room” is a good thing to have, but I wouldn’t want to live there.
Be well,
Ed

Thank you for this very interesting and informative post! I am on a combo of Navane (an old antipsychotic), Zyprexa and then drugs to help with the side effects. Have tried to get off them and now resigned to have them the rest of my life.

Hi there – you’ve very welcome. Thanks for commenting – you’re definitely not alone. Some days I also feel like it would be better to just live with the little blue pills, especially when the days have been particularly stressful. I do hope one day you can get off the drugs. (I’m trying again myself this Monday.) I wish you well!

Stockdalewolfe:
I am so sorry you are currently “trapped in the web”. Coming to terms with the situation is one thing, but rather than “resigned to have them the rest of my life”, I like a mantra a psychologist gave to my son: I will find the answer, but not today”.
Be well,
Ed

Sorry to hear what you are going through. I am currently on geodon and I started at 80 mg. it took me 4 years to wean down to 20 mg. It took 4 tries to get from 40 to 20. What finally did it was I quit smoking and was able to wean down with little problems. I was amazed! After quitting the drug even seemed stronger. After researching around i learned that smokers require a higher dose than non smokers. Smoking cigarettes clears antiphychotic medication faster from the body which in my case resulted in extreme withdrawl symptoms. So when I was trying to wean down too much of the drug was being cleared.

If your smoking it may benefit you to quit smoking first and then try and withdraw the drug. Not sure if you smoke but I thought it was worth a mention.

Hi, Michelle: Wow – you really went through it with the Geodon.

After eight months I did manage to quit Abilify. The last two weeks were hell. I’ve never smoked, but thanks for passing the info along. I’m sure any smokers who read the thread will be interested.

Are you completely off Geodon now? How do you feel without it?

My story seems to clearly back up the idea of weakness to psychosis being engendered by meds and that weaknesses become ingrained by brain re-formation…. I’ve had schizophrenia diagnosis for ~12 years. After taking medication I was forced by it to sleep very long sleep (10-11hrs at first and then 12hrs or over 6 years later) that left me tired all day. My dreaming took over my sleep and the depression I had lost 4 years earlier returned even more strongly – hence the long ineffective sleeping. Soon I was experiencing distractibility and hearing voices instead of the simple thought-block I had initially. The depressive side-effect of the antipsychotics was advancing my illness. Studies show that sleep deprivation leads to psychosis – so the poor quality sleep that the medication induced every night was presumably to blame and my tiredness during the day seemed to make consciousness itself a source of stress – which fed the depression and hence the psychosis… Whenever I talk of reducing doses I am curtailed by doctors expressing professional views that minimum therapeutic doses are medium doses atleast. So I stay ill and stay much worse than when I was first diagnosed… So taking matters into my own hands I have tried to come of meds rapidly all of which attempts led to withdrawal and eventually the relapse would be detected and I would be administered drugs again. I didn’t take the withdrawal effect into account and blamed my own brain’s weakness for my relapses and would try again. Eventually as I realised that there was a withdrawal making my psychosis worse each time I managed coming off meds for five months – during which I felt very well. Yet trying to go through withdrawal continued to lead immediately to relapse condition. At the last attempt after a year on paliperidone depot (which depresses me more than all the others) I found coming off led to two months of many irrelevant intrusions of voices compared to my usual relapse into thought-block and distractibility. My sleeping remained at 12hrs per day and the I didn’t regain the usual levels of energy-flow which I enjoyed during my previous times off-dose. I seemed to have a weakened ability to sleep and ingrained tiredness that wouldn’t shake off this time… Just before going back on depot I began to achieve some degree of control of the intrusive thoughts… but my brain clearly has some ingrained weakness now. SO! – I just hope I can be given official permission to reduce dose soon in a controlled – monitored way…

Hi, Yearning4. Your history is exactly the pattern Edgewise and I kept coming across over and over gain while researching the darker side of antipsychotics. Is your current doc on board with weaning you slowly? This is just my opinion (Disclaimer time! I am not a doc!), but if they aren’t maybe there is someone else you can see who is? There’s nothing more frustrating then a doc who won’t listen to their patient. Since writing this post I’ve come across so many people who were basically desperate to get off of the med and have been successful. The only thing that worked for me was a very, very slow titer down and constant supervision. And you’re right, life is sooo much better without this med in your system. I don’t know where you live, but would a voluntary admit be possible if things got too rough? I’m so sorry you’re having such a hard time. There are a lot of us who feel your pain. I wish you the very best of luck. And hope you’ll stop back every once in a while and let us know how you’re doing!

This was a fascinating article on a topic about which I really didn’t know much–and we’ve never done anything on it. You are indeed no ‘isolated case’ (although of course you’re special, and all that!). In a 2006 article with the quite-a-mouthful-title: “Does antipsychotic withdrawal provoke psychosis? Review of the literature on rapid-onset psychosis (supersensitivity psychosis) and withdrawal related relapse?” (Here’s the address; I don’t know how to make it link: http://psychrights.org/research/digest/nlps/actadrugwith.pdf), the researchers are quite clear that at times there is psychosis-related withdrawal, and they conclude, so elegantly, “Interventions to reduce morbidity after drug withdrawal need to be developed.” Bet that helps you a lot in the here and now!

Hi! Thanks so much for the reply and the link! I’m glad I’m not an isolated case but feel very sorry for everyone else out there who has gone through the withdrawal. Would you mind if I posted this link as a separate blog entry? Patients need to know what they’re getting themselves into when they swallow that first pill!

I’m getting disgusted with the “tiny” (50 mg) dose of Seroquel that I’ve been on for the last 2 1/2 years for the purpose of keeping me from going over the edge while caring for my elderly parents. It’s caused me to have to sleep 12 hours a day, gained 15 lb probably because I don’t feel like doing anything anymore, certainly not because of overeating because it’s robbed me of my sense of taste and makes my mouth taste terrible all the time….but I’m afraid to do without it because I think I would end up in the nuthouse without it. Anybody got any good ideas? The only thing I can think of is to get re-addicted to exercise (I used to do two dance aerobics classes per day, plus weight lifting, plus skiing, pluse horseback riding (but I no longer have access to snow or horses), and that barely kept the mania down to a low boil). But I would have to get rid of the Seroquel first, because as it stands I can’t get up before 9 in the morning.

Nah. The problem is, even though I hate it, it’s essential to my sanity right now, as I’m staying by my parents, who live in a place I can’t stand, among people I despise, away from my “homies” and my true friends and family of choice. So the reason I started taking the Seroquel was actually to keep me sedated enough so that I could stand being in a place I can’t stand. Pretty lame, but that’s the way it is right now, into the foreseeable (actually unforeseeable) future.

Soul survivor, I’m on Seroquel also and have had all the same side effects as you plus more. I believe there must be life after medication and to at least give it a try. I’m following a program from Point of Return that deals with people tapering off their medication. I want to dance again, be motivated, get my enthusiasm back and zest for life.

7 years ago I was forced to take anti psychotics because I displayed positive symptoms of schizophrenia but was actually just very high from smoking super strong weed. In my haze i was taken to hospital where i was hand cuffed and strapped to a hospital bed where i was given 5 shots of morphine to try and put me out within an hour. I eventually passed out and awoke feeling fine like a few days prior to being admitted to hospital. It was 4am and found myself in a ward with only one other person staring at me in a zombie state. Quite freaked out i decided to move to the light emanating from the corner and discovered a bathroom where i found a bag with my name on it and decided to shower and took a shave and kept looking through the window noticing the security moving around outside. I had just finished shaving and noticed that it started raining and knew now was my chance to escape from hospital. I climbed through the window and thanks to the morphine i was able to jump throw myself over a 2.5metre fence. I ran like the wind and made it home an hour later about 15 kilometre distance where i got my dad leaving the driveway. Quite shocked to see me and quite worried the hospital and police were looking for me he decided to call the hospital to inform them i was home, but unfortunately for me they insisted my dad pick up my pills and start administering them to me. I was scared from the whole experience and refused to take the pills for 4 days and due to the high dose of morphine the hospital gave me i was starting to experience a great discomfort and withdrawal, but still bearable. I was still able to watch tv and play pc games but my mom being concerned for my wellbeing insisted that i take the pills that were prescribed for me. I eventually agreed to try it once i downed the little pink pill 2.5mg haloperidol and a valium. Not even an hour later i was so hyper so disorientated so blown out of mind and tired i passed out and awoke in hospital again. This time i was well and truly f.d up thanks to anti psychotics and it’s taken me 7 years to become barely functional now i can’t live without meds. I’ve been trying to quit my current medication risperidone and its been 3months on less than a milligram and still can’t go more than three days without it. To think my last psychiatrist gave me three options Seroquel, Risperidone and Abilify.. I’ve been on so many meds in 7years I can’t say which is best cause they all messed me up and as much as i’d love to be the kind soul I once was I know that’ll never be thanks to the devils pills.

Yeah, devil’s pills, I’m with you on that one. 🙂 Quitting this med is the worst. Absolutely. It took me a total of 8 months. False stops, too many restarts and a lot of tears. Eventually doing the ‘little bit every other day’ was the only thing that worked. Everything else failed miserably. Have you tried that yet?

Hi,

I stumbled upon your blog.

I have had several different psychiatric diagnoses, and have had great success with the GAPS Nutritional Protocol.

Good luck on your journey.

M

Hey! Ive been on antipsychotics for 6 years now and it started by alcohol and drug abuse. Ive been on 6 to 8 different meds and some meds had disastrous effects.I could not breathe and had to be fiven oxygen. This has happened twice. Anyway. Although the meds have worked no doubt, i was chronic before now sumwhat stable schizo sortof thing. Anyway i felt ED and didnt think about it that much in the beginning. Now after 6 years ive come to the conclusion my ed was a side effect of these drugs. The most recent one solian. And nobpdy took me seriously when i told them. The docs and shrinks i mean. So i smoked some hash ocassionly and it helped a little..but from personal experience i can tell that i was healthy as fuck concerning my ed before any medication. Ive tried viagra and its worked a couple of times only making me believe it was the drugs. So after getting sick and tired of it..i think im better off with the sickness if my manhood is in question! If i lose my mind and my body while taking the meds theres nothong left for me. So now i have refused to take solian ever again and just talked to my shrink some hours ago and shes fine with me taking a break from the meds for 6 months. Psychologically im feeling better already so i hope this plays a factor and i can get healthy when im off the meds. If this works ill stop antipsychotics for sure and advise everybody to do the same. Im only 24! Anyhow i guess im under surveilance aswell as im sortof the impulsive type. But hey..ur not the only one fighting psychsis and psychotic disease. And nobody can understand u more than a fellow diagnosee. So ill just say do what U think is right and believe it will work. If not pray to god he will help..i swear it..and..do some physical exercisw like sports or gym..really helps u take ur thoughts off the atupid docs drugging us without telling us what tje drug can actually do to us..if i dont get healthy ill tear sumone apart..or maybe just a punching bag..but im working with all my might to get better..trying to study and pass aswell..i forgot ur name (will have to read it again) but, worrying just causes stress and stress in psychotic patients causes our brain to fuk up..but im here with you (ur name!) ill be glad to help anyway i can. U can email me..my names on my email..im on facebook aswell if u just look up my name..anyway..ill post how my time off meds helps..im pretty sure it will. I pray for us all to get a 100% fitt both mentally and physically! Amen. Im from copenhagen denmark..

Don’t Wanna be Named (LOVE the handle!) Thanks for commenting. The more people this post reaches, the more people come out of the woodwork to tell their (horror) stories. I really have to wonder if the docs are aware of what this class of med does to some patients, or if they’re under the spell of the drug company’s BS the salesmen spout. I hope you are able to get off the med for six months. See how you feel. I feel great and will never willingly take antipsychotics again. Post back and let me know how you’re doing. I wish you the very best of luck! Be well!

Stumbled upon your blog also and can relate in a lot of ways! My feeling is that there is a causal relationship between the generic aripiprazole (concerning time taken, i.e. morning vs night-time) and the withdrawal effects associated with psychosis and Abilify-withdrawal, but that is just what I experienced this past summer and fall. I’ve been taking the brand-name Abilify pills for more than five years and had quite a time of it with the generic pills from taking long and irrelevant walks in the woods to hospitalizations.

I’m not sure I want to go off “the devil’s pill,” as you call it, since it does appear to be next-to-impossible to go off…I’m coping with classical music and exercise when I can. I have a pretty good support team around me, but my fear is with the Abilify over the long-term. As I see it, there has been a causal link between dementia patients taking Abilify and heart failure/ death and I don’t want that to be me later on down the road. So, the question remains: Is it worth it to go thru hell to get off these small, yellow pills or Is it better just to stomach it and try to spread it out over the long-term. I’m not sure of the right answer right now, but I will pray to God that He may have the answer if that’s what it comes down to; the Abilify withdrawal did definitely cause a psychosis in my case and strong anxiety attacks, together with the insomnia. Basically, I didn’t sleep for five days straight. Well them’s the brakes–It was only thru a friend who had gone through the same thing at a lower dosage that she was able to help me get through this one harsh night of Abilify withdrawal with another drug, which I called “the antidote” in the moment.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences with us in this blog!!! –God bless.

P.s. We psycgotics are the toughest people in the world! U can take the withdrawals..be strong..get off the meds!

Thank you! I’d forgotten all about this video! Like I just said to Don’t Wanna be Named, I wonder if docs really aren’t aware how bad this med can be because they are listening to the drug reps peddle their BS? I realize there is no way a doc can keep up with all the changes in medicine that come down the pike. How could they? When it came to new meds, how did you do it?

New meds for myself, or for my patients? For myself, I’ve been fortunate to have insurance that only covers old meds, unless you want to pay a gazillion dollars in copays, so that kind of protects me. As for my own patients when I was in practice, I’m very old-fashioned, and unless there was a really good reason to use a new drug, I just don’t do it until the 2-year after-market data is in. I participated in many Phase 3 drug trials (that’s just before the drug comes on the market), which try to establish that the drug that has already been proven to be “effective” is also “safe”. But as we know, a three- or six-month trial can’t possibly pick up long-term effects. So there is a two-year (initial) post-market “look-back” where the company is mandated to report any adverse effects to the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies, but there are of course longer-term adverse effects, which also must be reported, but doctors often don’t report them, not out of malice, but often out of ignorance of the system. I just had to report a bizarre adverse reaction that my dog had to a drug that has been out for years and years, that I have safely used in other dogs of mine, and that has never been known to cause sudden cardiovascular collapse, which is what happened to her. I had to resuscitate her. When I called the drug company to report it (Novartis), they were great. They put me right through to their staff veterinarian, who listened very closely and asked good questions, and put Noga’s reaction into a tracking system because she felt after listening to my story that it was indeed a drug reaction.

Abilify/Seroquel cause suicidal feelings – this is a long post, so I apologise.
I found that there was some zeal on the part of the psychiatric profession in trying to push antipsychotics at me, simply by virtue of the diagnosis. The diagnosis was an episode of psychosis, or with psychotic elements (while, at the same time, totally lucid and fully aware).
I decided to try an extremely low dose of Abilify – less than the so-called “effective minimum dose”, since I found it hard to function on the dose originally prescribed (something which the prescribing psychiatrist didn’t really accept.) On this dose of Abilify, I developed “flat effect”, and intense suicidal feelings which are certainly not characteristic of me, and were not related to depression. It also started to be a struggle to look after myself. All these are considered to be manifestations of schizophrenia, and as a result of these side effects of the medication, I found myself newly diagnosed with this illness, considered to be lifelong, to go on my medical records for eternity!
Later on, as a consequence of the side-effects I was experiencing from the medication (inhibiting my expression, my engagement in things that were meaningful to me, my social activities, my ability to exercise), I did spiral into a severe depression. Instead of accepting my view that the suicidal feelings and depression were linked to the drug Abilify, a psychiatrist described it as “the evolution of an illness”.
Another psychiatrist decided to transfer me instead to the antipsychotic Seroquel, even though it states in the contra-indications that this drug may intensify existing suicidal feelings, and surely enough, it intensified mine. Since (I presume) I was on such a low dose of Abilify, the psychiatrist didn’t instruct me to taper Abilify, but simply to stop it, and start Seroquel. A few days in, I decided to discontinue the antipsychotic medication. I was told that I could simply stop taking it. (As a result of my experience, I would advise anyone to taper when coming off an antipsychotic – however small the dose. If, like me, you are taking half a tablet a day, you could then take it every other day for a while, and then every third day, etc.) I started to experience almost total insomnia which lasted about 6 weeks. At every stage, it was not acknowledged by psychiatrists that the manifestations I was experiencing were caused by medication, or withdrawal from it. Thus, the insomnia was attributed to my depression, rather than to withdrawal from the medication. It was on the internet that I was able to learn that chronic insomnia is a withdrawal effect from Abilify and Seroquel, and since I had only taken Seroquel for a few days while still having Abilify in my system, I must have been withdrawing from both. I was prescribed the highest dose of the sleeping medication Zopiclone (Zimovane) intensified by an extra Clonazepam tablet at night; this provided me with about two hours of sleep a night.
After about 6 weeks, with the antipsychotics out of my system, the insomnia ended, and by this time, I had started taking an antidepressant, and my suicidal feelings subsided. I subsequently came off all medication – including the antidepressant: Citalopram.
I firmly believe, following my experience, that a proportion of psychiatric patients are being misdiagnosed based on the manifestations of the side effects of antipsychotic medication, and various other factors unrelated to brain chemistry. I further believe that for all the lives that may be saved as a result of the administration of antipsychotics, there is a significant proportion of patients who commit suicide not because of their illness, but because of the side effects of medication which they may be unnecessarily or inappropriately prescribed. These numbers are then used to substantiate and boost statistics supporting suicidal action or attempts as symptomatic of psychotic illnesses.

Thanks for sharing your story- it wasn’t too long at all!

I’ve corresponded with a few people over the last year who firmly believe they were misdiagnosed because of the side effects of the medication. One of these people literally had their life ruined.

There are no studies (that I know of, anyway) that show what percentage of those who take antipsychotics are actually helped and what percentage are harmed. Of course, my putting out a post like this is more likely to have people who have suffered adverse affects respond. I’ve been thinking about creating a post extolling the virtues of the med just to see how many responses it gets. Un-scientific, absolutely! But it would be interesting to see.

Shortly after Abilify first came out, a good friend of mine was mis-diagnosed as schizophrenic and prescribed the maximum dose possible- 30 mg, and she was a petite female who suffered dramatically from side effects. She thinks it most certainly caused a temporary psychosis! (And gave her negative side effects- things like delusions, it was meant to ironically help with).
They quickly switched it to 15 mg but she was still very negatively affected and had to wean herself off against doctor’s recs in the end because it was making her feel so crazy. She now is very mentally stable, and is writing a book on the experience that took her to two mental hospitals and through a lot of severe emotional ups and downs. I’m sharing this with her!

Sigh. When I hear stories like this it makes me cringe. Since putting this post out I’ve heard from so many people with very bad experiences because of this drug. You wrote your comment a while ago, so I hope your friend is still doing well. I have no doubt she will find a publisher for her book. Thank her for help getting the word out!

Sadly, a local woman in her 40’s who was literally a poster child for Abilify–was featured on their calendars and a spokeswoman–became more and more disabled after being on it for more than four years, developed a seizure disorder, and died last week from complications of a prolonged seizure. If there’s any way you can wean off it by adding a second antipsychotic such as Seroquel and gradually increasing the dose of that while decreasing the dose of Abilify….do it! Have you tried that approach?

I had a hashpsychosis 2 years ago after smoking hash for 35 years, was treated with zyprexa 30 mg and truxal 300 mg a Day for a couple of monts and my doc prescribed me alprazolam and zyprexa for almost a year, i have not been able to sleep since, have no hallucinations, and has been diagnosed with depression earlier this year, been on 20 different kinds of medicines since the psychosis, all with servere sideaffects, the antidepressants has made my body to go dystonic, i’ ve had tardive dyskinesea which all went Away when i started to use sleep medicine, and now i am on imovane and noritren i still cant sleep more than a few hours a Night, my limbs has started to Stiffen and makes cracking noise…i dont know what to do anymore, since the antidepressant makes me hyper and dont induce any sleep, only a sleeping pill can make me sleep…have thought on smoking again but very afraid to get hallucinations again…anyone out there have an idea what to do to get my sleep back? I am trying to tap’er Down the sleep and anxiority medicine i get…oxapax and imovane, but what do i do after that?

In my case, I found the only way to get back to normality was to gradually taper off all medication. I found that most of my manifestations which were impeding me were side effects of medication, and the rest I had other ways to deal with. You may find the following useful:
.tararokpa.org/medicine/index.html

I agree, slowly tapering from all the drugs is the best solution. But I can’t promise it’s easy, or that the medical community will support such. But I am hoping for such necessary and obviously beneficial for patient support from the psychiatric community, especially now that it’s all over the web that their drugs are largely the same ones we were taught to avoid (because they were illegal) as children.

It’s heartbreaking to me that mainstream psychiatry is mandating children be put on stimulants, such as Ritilan, which are chemically almost identical to cocaine, so they may “cure” a made up disorder of ADHD. And what’s even more criminal is the the ADHD drugs, and “antidepressant” drugs BOTH cause “mania, suicides, and violence.” And millions of innocent patients have either killed themselves, harmed others, or had the drug induced “mania” misdiagnosed, and it is malpractice to do this according the the DSM itself, as “bipolar.” Bipolar is a “partially or completely iatrogenic disease.” The scope of the psychiatric industries’ iatrogenic (doctor induced) crimes against humanity are almost unfathomable.

Well, I will survive, I think patients working to educate other patients, and getting the information on the web, as Manic Muses and others are doing is wonderful. I’m trying to figure out how to start up a website too now, so I may get my research into iatrogenic “bipolar” online and available to others.

I’m also hoping the ethical doctors within the mainstream medical industry will start to realize the magnitude of harm the psychiatric drugs are causing, and start helping to end the psycho / pharmaceutical industries’ most recent crimes against humanity.

And personally, I do a lot of praying.

I’ve been on and off of anti psychotics (mostly on) for 10 years now. I was originally admitted to the hospital because I was living on the streets for years and teaching myself computer programming. I was admittedly manic when they found me, no place to live and trying to program a 3d gaming engine on paper.

I was admitted for 5 weeks initially. They put me on Zyprexa. After the hospital, I stopped the meds. 9 months later I had a psychotic episode and wound up in the hospital again (they did get me a place to live which was all I really needed in the first place). So I was in the hospital again for 4 weeks and back on some other drug.

After that hospital stay, I quit the meds again and 9 months later the same thing happened to me. At that time, I gave into it and continued taking the meds after the hospital stay. I was on Geodon then. There were some pretty bad side effects that made it really hard to do my programming work, especially in the mornings. I was also sleeping a lot (10-12 hours a day).

I finally got employed as a programmer full time and continued to take the meds. A few years later I stopped cold turkey and wound up in the hospital again less than 2 months later. I was in the hospital for 2 months that time. They put me on Depakote in addition to the Geodon. I continued to take that stuff for a year. I put on a lot of weight, I was literally nodding off at my desk at work and was pretty much miserable without being aware of it.

About 15 months ago, I stopped cold turkey again. Two months later I was back in the hospital. Thank god they only kept me for a week that time. They put me on Paliperidone. I went back and forth between Paliperidone and Geodon for a couple months then finally got stabalized on Paliperidone. Paliperidone didn’t have the negative side effects that the Geodon had, although it has some other negative side effects. At least I was able to work better though.

About 11 months ago, I decided that a slow taper off may work. My goal was a 2 year taper off. I’m convinced that these drugs are actually causing my problems. I had also been playing around with calorie reduction dieting over the last couple years. My general practitioner said I had fatty liver disease and prescribed rapid weight loss. I took matters into my own hands at that point.

The slow taper off appears to be working. I’m doing it by skipping dosages. My doctor knows I’m doing it, but I’m doing it somewhat against his recommendations. The Paliperidone is long acting, so that makes skipping dosages easier. It has been rough at times. Dropping the meds and dieting at the same time was pretty intense. When things would get too crazy, I’d just take an extra pill and they would even out within a few days. I’m on about 1/5th of a full dosage now. I feel like I’m in the clear now, but I’m going to keep up the taper down for a while longer.

I’m so much more functional at work now. I’m not manic or paranoid at all. I am sleeping a lot less, usually 5-7 hours a night. If I start getting weird dreams, that is a sign to take a little more medication. I really think this slow taper is going to work in the long run. Oh, and the code that I was writing on paper while on the streets totally works. I’ve made several video games with that code. It is too bad that the doctors had to put me on this medication rather than just give me a place to live. I didn’t have a choice about it once they admitted me against my will. And it has been a hard road to figure out this secret taper down formula. I’ve also lost 30 pounds in the last year by simple calorie reduction as well.

Power to you! Good for you! Psychiatrists do seem to miss the obvious! And ruin lives in the process. Glad you’re managing to get out and on!

Wow, Rand. It’s been a hard road for you but in the end it’s a success story. And a very inspirational one at that!

“When things would get too crazy, I’d just take an extra pill and they would even out within a few days.”

Yup – exactly. You can’t rush this drying out period at all. At. All. After talking with a lot of people (a lot!), one of the biggest misconceptions is that if you start the taper you have to keep going, even if you run into trouble. Not so. I know it’s taken you a long time – well done! And, as a fellow IT geek I really have to give you a high 5. Your code/designs for the game worked, even though you wrote them in a less than ideal mood state. 🙂

Thanks for replying – I hope all is well with you.

Hi everyone
I’m wondering if you might b able to help pls?
On New Year’s Eve in London I was given a drug called prochlorperazine ( an older antiphyscotic) just because I was dizzy.
I took 30mg every day for a week & then developed akathisia.
At the time I had no idea the drug was an antiphyscotic & I have never had an mental health problems prior to this.
I ended up hallucinating & was told to just stop the drugs so I did.
Things just got worse with all these dillusional thoughts & feelings & it’s now been 8 weeks.
Things are calming down a bit now that I’m on paxil for the extreme anxiety & depression that I now have ( & I’m well aware of paxil problems aswel- it’s just I was suicidal & I have two children so this is my last attempt to get bk to semi normality).
Do you think that I now have physcosis & if so what are my options pls?
Should I just carry on & hope it all goes away or should I now be put on an antiphyscotic.
I’m not actually hallucinating now- that was only one day- the day after I stopped the drugs- I just still have very scary thoughts & feel terrified alot of the time & kept thinking there was a thick white cloud everywhere that was dangerous? But again- I didn’t see this- was just imagining it but thinking it was real?
I really appreciate your help.
Thank you

Hi Karen
Anything can come into the mind at any time, but the thing is not to believe everything that comes into the mind.
It sounds as if it may be the medication inducing psychosis and suicidal feelings in you.
This may be of interest:
http://www.tararokpa.org/therapy/
Also, if you’re in London, and feeling suicidal, it’s good to know about this:
http://www.maytree.org.uk/index.php
If you’re not in London, there may be an equivalent where you’re living.
Breathing meditation is helpful in focusing the mind, so that whatever comes into the mind, you can acknowledge it without fear, and bring the mind back to the breath, and also keep the mind focused on the breath, and stay in your body.
Go easy on anti-anxiety medication – I took Clonazepam – they’re helpful in small doses and initially, but can start to cause their own problems after a while.
Take care.

Do not let yourself be put back on Antipsychotics, The longer you take them, the harder it is to withdraw successfully. Get a Cytochrome P 450 test at Genelex/Seattle and ask them for advice for a suitable alternative that`s less harmful for you metabolism. Your withdrawal symptoms will eventually go away and the you can slowly taper from a milder type of drug, Antipsychotics are the worst. Read Peter Breggins book: “Your Medicine might be your problem”

I suffered a prescription drug induced psychosis (I believe caused by someone spiking my drink but with a label of psychosis it’s a tough sell) back in april. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks and put on olanzapine being told by the doctor that I will only have to be on it for 3 months to a year. Quite quickly the unpleasant side effects made me lower the dose. The early intervention doctor wanted me to go back up so I did. The side effects came back and I stopped the drug. After 4 days of hell, severe anxiety and suicidal ideation I thought I started to hear a voice in my head so I went back to emerg and was hospitalized for another 2 weeks where they couldn’t really figure out what was wrong with me and back to the psychosis team I went. They also put me back on olanzapine. Then just recently my father pointed out that I was doing weird things with my lower lip and that on top of the horrible side effects of this drug made me decide to go off completely. I have now been off olanzapine almost 2 weeks. The really bad anxiety/depression/pacing phase is over. However, I’m left extremely demotivated, still having some weird type of anxiety, still depressed, feeling physically weak and hopeless and still having suicidal thoughts. The worst part is that my sleeping has been messed up. I cannot get to bed without a low dose of seroquel and even then, the sleeping is weird, I don’t have dreams and I sleep for 5 hours max then boom I wake up and can’t get back to bed. I used to be able to sleep like a bear. Something is not right, and the docs are going to tell me it’s psychosis but drug induced psychosis is temporary yet it feels like something inside me has been permanently altered. I hope I’m wrong. I’m extremely worried and no body believes me that this drug has done something bad to my body. I have been on many many medications in my life and got off them no problem (including other antipsychotics which I could never handle for more than a week) This is different. I can only hope I return to normal because right now it doesn’t feel like I will.

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand.

It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.

I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
the hang of it!

I have been on so many different meds over a 15 year period that I have no way of remembering many of them or what effect they had on me. I wish I had kept a meds diary over the years, so I would have better insight into which meds I am able/unable to tolerate in the future. I am currently weaning of Lamictin from a dose of 100mg per day. I am about 3 months into the weaning process (going slowly), but it has been extremely difficult. My moods have been unstable and I have been on an exceptionally short fuse, with my husband bearing the brunt of my irritation. It is like having PMS (on steroids) 24/7. Anxiety is often unbearable and I have done a little self-medicating with alcohol.

I am not sure whether my moodiness and other symptoms are due to the weaning process, or whether they are confirmation of my need to remain on this med. Was I really this awful prior to Lamictin? Were all these symptoms the very reason I was first prescribed this med? Time and mental illness have blurred the lines between my original symptoms and those possibly illicited by psychiatric meds. I don’t know where the real “me” begins and ends anymore because there has been too much input by mind-altering medications.

Thank you for this forum and for sharing your experiences!

Hi. I’ve been on various antipsychotics for 9 years. 1 year ago i decided to taper from solian 800mg. In less than a year i removed about 36% of the dose. Im down to 512.5 mg from 800mg. Thats when the withdrawal really started. Brainfog, insomnia, ekstreme sensetive sences (the worst part) i can hear someone drop a penny on the floor from 10 miles away, depression etc. But i will get trough this:) my doctor just prescribe the drug. Nothing else. I will start to taper next month again. I just gave myself a little break. Hope, time and support 🙂 take care guy.

Best regards kristian
26 years old.
Denmark

I am so glad that I came across this forummy son was diagnosed with that induced psychosis 2 years ago. I immediately admitted him to the psychiatric ward, I didn’t know what was going on with him I just knew that he needed help. So this is now two of being on 10 mg of Zyprexa, he did try to go off it twice and both timrs the pychosis came back. Now i kmow why, it was wothdrawks. in the past two years they have tried different medications like klonopin and abilify which put him in the psychosis within 12 hours after taking it . He is now at that point in his life when he is ready to come off of it because of the side effect, weight gain, foggy head, up and down all night long eating, etc! a year after him being sick I started doing some research on alternative medicine CBD ( found in cannibis)I do have my medical marijuana card so when he had a psychotic episode after trying to quit taking the zyprexa. I gave him a 43 milligram cookie of straight CBD it was amazing it was like a light switch went off in his head he come out of the bathroom two and a half hours after eating the cookie and said oh my god mom that broke my bad mood , he didn’t realize it had been a week of living hell not just a bad mood . so It was at that point that I became a believer now he eats a cookie everyday and we are in the process of growing CBD for him which is actually medical marijuana very low THC being that it’s a natural anti psychotic I would recommend this for anyone that has or goes through psychosis! Thr key is low THC.. next month our plants will be done and I will be making cookies for him we’re hoping to slowly go off the zyprexa as I’m reading here it’s very important to taper off can you give me any recommendations on how to go off it with minimal side effects. I will keep you posted on the CBD

Unfortunately, you’re rolling the dice if you choose the withdrawal. I abruptly went off an antipsychotic last year and had to be hospitalized with a severe mixed episode (I have Bipolar I). It took three months of pure and utter hell to even get back to a semblance of normalcy. During the three month period I could barely sleep or eat –had to be given cancer drugs in order not to regurgitate my food. Lost 35 lbs along with experiencing a bone crushing, suicidal depression on top of insane anxiety. Overall, it took a YEAR to fully recover from this breakdown. Please be careful when it comes to these poisonous drugs. I say this, but I still have to take a small amount of Seroquel (75mgs) daily. Much better, though, than the high dose of the previous antipsychotic. Good luck.

the same happened to me crazy thoughts sleeping all day not looking after myself coundnt sit still thought I was crazy felt out of it for 18 months honest what are these people playing at a only went to doctors cause a was having a rough time then what happened next is awful a wanted to jump out of windows and cars thought a were goning to kill someone couldn’t be around anyone fast racing thoughts sweating loss 2 stone constant run down crying fits shakes had to learn how to walk again and talk just awfull

An antidepressant over the years turned my wife into angry person, saying mean things and eventually physical problems and started to become delusional of things happening around her. She called for help thinking they would help her get off of the antidepressant, NOPE, she was put on more(600mg/day). Then she was taken to the hospital after “take one skip a day” directed by her doctor didn’t work and they didn’t tell her she couldn’t just stop the other antidepressant either and that gave her bad withdrawal symptoms ( made her look like she was going crazy ). She was ok at the hospital after 10 days of withdrawal but they petitioned her anyway,I was almost arrested and they sent her to a behavior center where they drugged her with all kinds of antipsychotics,mood stabilizers,antidepressants,ect.. After she was released from their evil grips(3wks inpatient 1wk out) ,she wanted to come off of these poisons. Her psychiatrist lied to her when she said she would lower the dose(my wife was like a zombie and didn’t know what to do with herself)and instead up the dose to twice as much(2mg2x a day to 4mg)but before she got the medication she developed the mask face then the need to keep walking and then started the uncontrollable movements. I cut the pill in half when we got them and we also got a letter from the woman psychiatrist that she was no longer going to be her psychiatrist. Before this her psychiatrist accused her of going to just stop the medication and said she would just end up back at the behavior center. When the uncontrollable movements started I was frantic in finding info on these poisons. I had to first wean the mood stabilizer then wean the antidepressant half way and then start the weaning of the antipsychotic risperdal. I had to stop her from beating on her knees with her fists and hold her down during an uncontrollable episode. After searching I found restless leg helped but not like benadryl in stopping the side effects and after 2 1/2 months of weaning ,the next day she stopped the movements and a few days later started to get the pain/withdrawal effects. Again the benadryl(better than Lorazepam) helped the anxiety but she still had pain so I took her to a hospital I could have faith in and they helped her a little bit. So we went to her pain doctor(D.O.)(who put her on the antidepressants)to get help with the pain from withdrawal. He said ” I’m not a psychiatrist, she needs to be fine tuned “. which made me think” If your not a psychiatrist then why are you allowed to prescribe psychiatric drugs(antidepressant) ? ” He then called the hospital to see if they could send her to a behavior place to be put back on these poisons. ,which I was furious about so we took her to a different hospital and they gave her something for the pain. But she was only given a prescription for 10 norco. And of course her pain doctor is not an option . So we were forced to do this by ourselves and so as we are in month 2 now of withdrawal her pain has been under control ,the scary feeling she gets about not getting better is soothed by how much better she has gotten,love ,caressing/massaging and other recovery ,support,sympathetic stories and videos. She sounds like herself now,likes to hear a raining sounds video for meditation ,even had some good dreams! She cannot wait till these withdrawal symptoms finally go away and then wean from the rest of the antidepressant . Me too !
This not advice just what we have done.
Tegretol 2wks weaning
60mg cymbalta antidepressant weaned to 30mg in 6wks
She was on 2mg 2x a day for 2 1/2 months before the two and a half month weaning.
benadryl for anxiety the first few wks(2x a day 1st wk ,1 or 2x/day 2nd wk 1x/day when needed 3rd wk).
Norco for pain
melatonin
selenium
vitamin B,C,d3 ,fish oil,magnesium citrate fruits and vegetables,Chicken,turkey,soup ,plenty of water

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