I realized I didn’t make clear how these changes have helped me. When I started neurofeedback and began my withdrawal 3 or 4 years ago, (I earlier said it was 3 years ago, but I believe it was closer to 4 years.) my withdrawals went along quite smoothly for a couple of years. I got off my anti-depressant first. (Lexapro at that point–I’ve been on Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Effexor, Reboxitine, and a few tricyclics as well throughout the years. Always switching from one to the next as they never helped and in retrospect caused anxiety and greater irritability, as well as insomnia–this all led, of course, to more drugs) I then began to withdraw from Risperdal. I went from 11 mg to 4 mg with the help of neurofeedback alone. At that point I got stuck. I had no support from the withdrawing community and my neuro-psychologist did not offer much help in exactly how the withdrawal should be done in terms of how much to decrease by and how often, nor suggestions on other means of supporting my body in the withdrawal process. He knows much of this, but since he works within the confines of a psychiatric practice, does not feel he can give medical advice without facing liability issues. He was and still is always supportive and truly my biggest supporter, in my life outside of the internet, in coming off what he agrees are toxic substances.
Anyway, I got stuck at 4 mg. I could no longer make anymore cuts without extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. I continued neurofeedback for symptom control but basically gave up on further withdrawals, until August of last year when I stumbled upon various websites that led me to information about diet, nutrition and alternative perspectives on psychiatric drugs. Once I got linked into the psychiatric-survivor and withdrawal communities my objective again became the complete and total withdrawal from my drugs.
I, at this point, proceeded to radically changed my diet and added various nutritional supplements. My withdrawal process once again started moving along. The adjuncts made all the difference. Within six months I got off 50 mg of Seroquel and 2 1/2 mg of Risperdal. This is considered very fast. Too fast in some people’s opinion. Many people need to go much slower in order to not face painful withdrawal symptoms. I think the neurofeedback further helped me along–most people do not have the option of this additional support and need to take things much more slowly. I used my withdrawal communities and Peter Breggin’s book as resources for information on how to properly withdraw from the medications and how to nurture my body.
It has now become a little more difficult again. I’ve had to slow down. But slowing down is not a bad thing. In fact once the doses are smaller the titrations need to be smaller and smaller as well. I have stopped my withdrawal of Risperdal for the time being at 1 1/2 mg because I ran into such difficulties. I waited until I was stabilized and have now begun withdrawal from 400 mg of Lamictal. I decided to give my body a break from the neuroleptic withdrawal. My brain needs to become well accustomed to the radical reduction I’ve made.
So…you see, in summary, until I made these nutritional changes my body necessitated stopping the withdrawals. And after I had changed my diet things began to move along quite safely and quickly. More on the withdrawal process later.