You think maybe something wasn’t quite right? In the end nothing worked and in retrospect much made me worse, hence the withdrawal process I’m now going through.
Many times on the “trials” of these drugs I went through periods of at least two weeks (my doctor always told me to stick it out as the side-effects might pass) in which I suffered immeasurably. The cocktail I ended up on left me the least twisted, but twisted nonetheless. In retrospect I see now how one drug led to the next. The mood stabilizers which left me depressed led to the antidepressants which left me with insomnia and agitation which led to the benzo’s for sleep. They still didn’t get rid of the agitation which led me to the antipsychotics (which often made everything worse.) All that left me so sedated, the next step was the stimulants. The addiction to benzos left me in tolerance withdrawal which increased the anxiety and thus led to more benzos. Is this story familiar to anyone? My experience in talking with others suggests it’s familiar to many people.
Now I’m withdrawing and not getting any worse and currently off more than half of what I was maintained on for the last several years of treatment. Diet, nutrition and neurofeedback seem to be of more healing value. I look forward to the end of withdrawal when perhaps I will regain some energy. I’m so wasted right now. But my mood is relatively stable excepting when I’m suffering from PMS–something I’m working on which has gotten better to some degree with supplements expressly for those symptoms.
I’ve left out all the drugs I took that weren’t strictly psychotropic to counteract side-effects. And I imagine I’m leaving some psychotropics out. But you’ll see, I’ve tried almost everything available. Often drugs just don’t work.
In order roughly by class:
22. Reboxitine (yes, I had it shipped from Europe as it was not approved here)
addendum: woops I left out Zyprexa!
I have also been on these meds:
Lamictal, Topomax, Risperdal, Abilify, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Lexapro and Concerta….
I was also put on Celexa and 100 mg Adderall per day…
Most people are told they have to be on drugs for the rest of their lives. If they decide not to be they are considered “non-compliant.” Hence, a majority of people, once on drugs are on them for the rest of their lives.
I personally believe there are alternatives at every juncture. That meds are not necessary. There simply does not exist an infrastructure that allows for systematic alternative care so it seems that it’s an impossibility.
That being said, once on drugs, one cannot simply stop taking meds. That would be extremely dangerous. Withdrawal effects can appear to be relapse—doctors will use this to keep people on meds.
Withdrawal must be done carefully and safely with multiple lifestyle changes in place to help support body and mind. Most psychiatrists don’t know the first thing about living med free successfully. And when I say most I mean virtually all psychiatrists.
One thing you can do is look at my “About” page and also the “Recovery Stories” page.
If you’re interested in life without drugs you will need to do a lot of research. It’s not a decision that should be made without much preparation.
Yes, I am still on meds. My single manic episode was two years ago (2006). At the time, I was released and required (mental health court) to report into the “community support services” system for the time being. I had disability insurance through my employer (which I was on disability leave from), but none of the “private sector” psychiatrists in my insurance network could fit me in for an appointment for at least two months out (incredible – must be no shortage of existing clients – no time for brand new ones). What an eye-opener community psychiatric services is!
My current (private sector) doctor took me off of Depakote, etc. and had me on Geodon (80 mg x 2 per day), Lamictal (200 mg / day) and Seroquel (200 mg). I was still having trouble sleeping, etc., so he bumped up my Seroquel slowly to 600 mg. Then, after awhile with no manic symptoms, he slowly took me off Geodon completely. I am still on the Lamictal and Seroquel. I take Ativan as needed (not too frequently – maybe 1 mg once or twice a month) for panic attacks.
Thusfar, I think my psych doctor is ok. He is concerned about all of the side effects that I have developed, (most of them from the Seroquel?). 50 – 60 pound weight gain, no energy, and no libido to speak of. Oh, plus the elevated cholesterol. He actually requested I get tested for cholesterol, so he is at least aware of the potential side effects of these drugs. He has suggested we look at decreasing the Seroquel and perhaps trying a sleep aid with fewer side effects. Does such a thing exist? He hasn’t suggested anything about getting off the Lamictal.
I managed to live most of my life without these psych meds, so I’m not sure they are totally necessary. It’s just too soon (2 years) since my manic episode, and I am leary of ever going through that again. Yes, I read on one of your link websites about cops / psych techs 4-pointing you. Brought back fond memories (if nightmares are your sort of thing). Will probably stay on the meds for awhile, but would like to learn more about people who have gotten off of them successfully. I will probably try to do so eventually too. Starting with the Seroquel?
I have much to read / learn on your website and its links!
I haven’t read that far into all of the blogs. How long are people typically on meds before they try to go off? I am sure it varies, but is there a typical “equilibration time” people strive for, like x number of years with no depression / mania symptoms, before they start to taper off?
Thanks for such a great website and your comments!
Welcome to a world where everything about psychiatry is questioned. I hope you find something interesting here on my blog and on the blogs attached.
Yes, it’s possible to have one manic experience and never have another. The crime is that they tell us the opposite….once manic always bipolar. Makes for good pharmaceutical customers.
Are you on meds now or not? Good luck in your research.
Oh Depakote was awful for me too. And yes, it can make your hair fall out.
Wow! I thought I had read almost everything on bipolar disorder on the web, but somehow only now managed to find your site and the many blog, etc. links that you have to other sites. I intend to investigate all of this new first-hand info.
I can appreciate your litany of drugs that you have been on.
In my 20’s I occassionally (once every so many years) had depression severe enough that I went to a doctor. I was prescribed Zoloft, Paxil, Elavil, etc., but none of them seemed to work, even though I gave them at least several months each to work. I just eventually managed to come out of the depressions on my own after many months. I was usually completely functional and normal.
Then, at age 36, out of nowhere, I had a complete and total delusional episode that lasted months. I have never experienced anything like it before or (thank God) since. I had no idea that I was delusional at the time. After getting into CONSIDERABLE trouble (too much to list here), I finally was diagnosed as being bipolar. They put me on several different meds. I assume the meds worked, as I came out of my delusional state while staying in a facility. I have been “normal” ever since. No depression. And no mania. It’s strange. Before my major manic / delusional episode, I can’t recall ever feeling “manic.” Is it possible to only have one manic episode and be bipolar?
Since my bipolar diagnosis, they have had me on Depakote, Lamictal, Resperdal, Seroquel, Geodon, and Ativan.
The worst for me, bar none, was Depakote. It turned me into a zombie. It also seemed to make me lose my hair. And, hormonally, it must have completely messed me up. I didn’t have my period for six months (and, no, I wasn’t pregnant… confirmed by a doctor a couple of times). Once off of it, my period resumed normally. And who really wants to have their blood drawn / checked on a regular basis, as is apparently required with Depakote? Glad to be off it.
You might want to visit the rest of this blog…there are other stories throughout it’s pages and it’s updated every day.
Go to the “home” page tab and the “recovery stories” tab at the top of the page…
Wow! Such good responses from caring people. Let me say that I have LESS so called psychotic symptoms on the low dose of geodon and greatly reduced benzo dose. Believe me, I know these drugs need to be respected for what they are.
The greatest withdrawals I face, oddly, are not panic. Rather, they are nausea and muscle discomfort along with fatigue (remember I got off the “speed”?). But there is a website called med help that, IMO, has an MD who gives dangerous advice. For instance, he talks about getting off of ANY dose of Geodon in 4 weeks, and I think that is total @#%$. I’d like to see HIM do it!
Now that I’m getting in the final stretch of xanax cuts, I do it 0.25mg per cut and hold for 2 weeks. Yes, under medical supervision. It is not so intolerable. Once I’m off the xanax, I swear I will flush the remainder to prevent the temptation of being readdicted.
Oddly, the majority of MD’s suggest cutting Geodon at 20mg every 2-3 weeks. Seems fast to me. Again, I’d like to see them go through it. All said and done I am faring pretty well. Thanks to ALL of you for helping me and others recover.
Best wishes, Steve
Marlisa’s suggestion is a way to taper called “dry cutting.” It works but is not terribly precise. You can also do water tapers which involve dissolving the pill in water or some other clear liquid and measuring with a syringe—it allows for a more precise tapering schedule.
I’d also like to add, that in my opinion, the neuroleptic (Geodon) should be considered with equal seriousness to the benzo…people can have rebound psychosis coming off a neuroleptic too fast and that includes even if they were not put on the neuroleptic for psychosis.
For some neuroleptics are harder to come off of than benzos. We are truly all different and every drug needs to be deeply respected as the powerful agent of potential misery it is in withdrawal.
I, too, recommend a SLOW withdrawal, especially form the benzos. The best advice I heard was to take your current pills – at whatever dosage – and every day run the pills ONCE across a fine grater. It takes forever to taper at that rate, but it is well worth the effort and initial discouragement. Coming off the benzos at the rate most physicians prescribe is not only dangerous, but frightening.
Ask any doctor who recommends cutting the benzos even semi-rapidly how THEY would like to try it.
I am going more slowly and appreciate the info link you gave me. Gosh, I wish some previous posters would come back and share their stories!
What I am doing is staying at the 60mg dose once a day, it is a whole lot less than what I was originally on..and will SLOWLY go from there. Every MD has a different approach to withdrawal. It is so confusing.
At least I’m not talking about going cold turkey off meds..that spells big trouble for anyone. I will take as long as it takes to safely be psych med free.
Well wishes, Steve
PS If I truly needed this stuff, I think I would have been way off the deep end a while ago!
May I caution you that most likely going down 10 mg a week is WAY too fast.
I suggest you go to my “About” page and look at resources on coming off meds if you’d like to do it more safely.
Also look at my brief piece on withdrawal:
Right now you are running the risk of having intolerable withdrawal symptoms.
the best of luck to you…
it’s a good idea to have a doctor on board to help you out—chances are you will indeed need refills and maybe lots of them. This should not be a contest about how fast you can get off drugs….
Dear all psych victims,
First, thank you for welcoming me! I am now down to 40mg of Geodon and the effect is sleep disruptions and very vivid dreams. I will decrease by 10mg per week until done, then get off of the benzos.
I actually have enough pills plus refills without even going to a psychiatrist again. Just came back from a fast 2 mile walk, have been eating really well, and have much improved blood pressure and prostate function.
These are probably the most dangerous drugs around..legal or illicit IMO. I will keep you updated over time as I continue to regain my life, mind and health.
The very best to all. Steve
thanks for sharing and congrats on your major accomplishments of withdrawing from some of your large cocktail.
Illicit drugs are what made me psychotic too…if I’d simply been allowed a washout period I would never have ended up on all the psych meds!
Stay in touch…would love to hear about your progress as you continue.
Hi everyone..I can certainly relate to the one drug leads to another vicous cycle with psych meds. Although I was once diagnosed as schizophrenic decades ago, I was also using pot and the like. Duh! Of course illegal drugs will produce psychosis. Haven’t used them since the early 1980’s..but the psychiatry goes on.
To be brief, I was up to 8mg xanax daily, 8mg klonopin daily, 80mg geodon twice daily, 200 mg provigil daily, and 32 mg gabitril daily. After MUCH effort, I am down to 60mg geodon at bedtime, 3mg xanax daily, 2mg klonopin daily..no more provigil or gabitril.
These drugs caused me vision, prostate and hypertension problems. I am continuing to reduce at a sane rate and ..BINGO..not going crazy at all. I excercise much more, have gained some badly needed solid weight, and am determined to get off of the balance in due time. But I’ve come so far! Wishing you all a great recovery. Steve
I’m sorry Amanda….if you’re careful and work hard there are other ways to go…
good luck…I know it’s very hard to be on drugs and work full time…
Having two kids—that I don’t know about, but I feel for you…I’m with you in spirit…
Lamictal, Klonopin, Topomax, Zoloft, Seroquel, Trazadone for bipolar disorder and have also tried alot of the others too (Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, ect…). Like a zombie during the day. I don’t know how to get through it anymore especially with having a full-time job and being a single mother of 2. Want to scream!!!!!!!
Some people have a difficult time coming off of Prozac. You really need to do the withdrawing very carefully. As I’ve already directed you—go read stuff on withdrawal and do it safely and carefully—it’s not something to be taken lightly.
(for people reading this who don’t know Cotter has only been on Seroquel for a week so coming off in a week is probably okay—otherwise that amount of Seroquel could very likely take several months to get off of.
Xanax…The worst. I was on Xanax for about 4 months or so, that was enough time to get addicted. Eventually as the addiction grew stronger, I kept taking more and more. Kept calling my dr for Rx refils. I finally got a good Dr at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN who took me off of Xanax. There ARE good and bad doctors out there. I am not on a benzodiazapine anymore-THANK YOU JESUS! And am struggling with taking Seroquel at the present moment. The only drugs I’m on are Prozac (20mg) and Seroquel (100mg). Seroquel is an atypical anti=pyschotic drug. When I take this drug, I feel as if I’m psychotic but I’m not. These drugs that I’ve been on have been nothing but bad news. A week or two ago I used to be able to sleep without the use of trazadone and seroquel. Now I sleep some 10-13 hours of sleep. Prior to being on Seroquel, I was on Prozac, Trazadone and Klonopin. Now I’m down to Prozac and Seroquel. I am very proud of myself for making it this far. I’ve had alot of faith in the Lord for helping me though withdrawl.
Now I’m going to look up to Him and ask Him for help in weaning me off of Seroquel as I know that it is doing nothing but harm for me. After the Seroquel withdrawl is complete, hopefully in a week, I will wait a while and start tapering off of Prozac. I believe that tapering should be a steady but slow process. Having faith in God also helps. Prayer helps, there is so many more rescources out there to deal with anxiety other then medication. Most of all, I want my respect back as a person…I dont want to have to take a “feel good pill” the rest of my life…
I certainly cannot suggest you stop taking your drugs. That is a choice you must make—there are plenty of places to educate yourself on what are considered the pros and cons of psych meds.
I will however put in a plug against Xanax since you’re not already taking it. It is a highly addictive drug and can lead to mental degeneration over time—all psych meds can but the benzos are really bad. I guess I’m comfortable advising against additional drug taking, but other than that I can’t really offer an opinion.
I wish the best of luck and good health always.
I quit reading after #35 (or so):
Joyce: Are you on pain medication? I ask because if you are that has always caused me problems with urinating.
I have been on drugs and prescribed medications for over 10 years. I don’t know if my mental health problems are caused by the drugs or if I just have problems. I have been off of illegal drugs for almost 3 months, but still on prescribed medications. I have tried a large % of the medications listed on this page and a lot that are not. I am currently down to only two medications, I have taken myself off the others and the doctors have taken me off of some. Right now the Depekote and Remeron seem to be working, but the side effects from the Depekote ER are awful. I have gained over 20 pounds and I leave hair everywhere, I used to have thick hair and now it is very thin and I don’t even get my blood tested to know what is going on inside my body. However, I do feel better than I have in years, I am scared to quit taking these medications in fear that I might go back to using drugs and fear that I will feel that pain again. Xanax works about the same as these two medications together, but my doctors took my off of it after two years of being on it (by prescription, years of it not prescribed) because of my drug history. I think this is ridiculous considering it helps me and would like any feedback or suggestions. Take Care!!
What a find! What a splendid blog!
Wishes of luck are pointless since you’ve clearly won already!
But here’s hoping you and fellow travellers enjoy 2008 to the full!
You sound like an extraordinarily determined individual, and a very gifted writer, too!
Keep up the good work! The net has perilously few people from the right side of the fence who are willing to write on this topic.
There has to be something we can do to stop this vicious machine.
I think we can all play our part depending on how well we are and what our abilities are. We can spread the message and help educate people, we can write letters to legislatures, we can support organizations that are fighting for our rights and freedoms and we can be a living example of there being another way. I hope these things make a difference. That’s what I do now and as I recover more I hope to do more.
Let’s see, I’ve been prescribed: Zyprexa, Depakote, Lithium and Lamictal; Haldol and Seroquel; Prozac (in a “cocktail” with Lithium); Ativan and Klonopin; Ambien. And that’s all in approximately 2002-2003, 2005 for 6 months, 2006 for 9 months. Definitely a “one pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small” problem. If you’re up, they’ll bring you down; down they’ll bring you up; or try mood stabilizers for no feeling at all. There has to be something we can do to stop this vicious machine.
and Brenda I completely empathize with everything in your post as we have similar experiences kinda, but definitely the same feelings and conclusions
wow just wow
reading your post and most of the comments almost made me cry.
You are by far not unusual. These drugs cause suicide and homicide sometimes. They only sometimes relieve symptoms and they out perform placebo only by about 2 percentage points and sometimes not at all. It’s all a big scam.
Many of these drugs are extremely dangerous. People in the mental health system on neuroleptics live an average of 25 years less than other people.
Your are right forcing people to take these drugs is criminal and more and more states are making it legal to force people even in their own homes. The euphimism they use is “assistant outpatient treatment.”
We live in scary times. I’m glad therapy helped you. There are many alternatives to drugs and most people either don’t know it or don’t want to know it.
thanks for sharing your story.
A few years ago, I took an antidepressant drug at a low dosage. It made me feel absolutely horrible. It honestly was one of the worst feelings in my entire life. I felt worse than I have felt when I’ve had a 104 degree fever and pneumonia. I couldn’t tolerate the feeling. And the feeling didn’t go away after the first two weeks of treatment either.
I then tried 2 other kinds of antidepressant drugs as well. They made me feel horrible too. I feel like all 3 drugs was tiring my brain out. It felt like I hadn’t slept in about 2 months. The drugs was kindof taking sleep out of my body.
I’m a woman, but I honestly would rather be raped than forced to take those drugs. I also don’t know which is worse — a man beating me up or being forced to take those drugs. I never was suicidal before taking those drugs, but those drugs made me feel suicidal.
I’m nearly 40 years old, and I have drank any alcohol (not even wine) in my entire life. I also have never smoked or had any nicotine either in my body. Just a guess — is that why my body couldn’t handle those drugs — because my body wasn’t used to having anything powerful in it?
Forcing someone to take those drugs against their will when they have side effects that severe is clearly abuse. It really is. It was torture. They were messing up the chemicals in my brain.
I doubt I even had a chemical imbalance after all. (You know – the psychiatrists only guess that one has a chemical imbalance — there’s no medical proof there to prove it.) The only thing that helped me was professional counseling — something I had never had before.
Ban them all.
They should be ‘legal’ only for those who are in withdrawal – these are the only people who need them (or those who have been coerced into taking them for so long that they are physiologically addicted to them).
Have a fair trial for those who have been behind hiding the secrets about them – have the US attorney general and state attorneys put them on criminal trial – incarcerate them for their countless crimes.
They are all no better than street drugs.
It sounds like it might be helpful for you to have a professional therapist or counselor to help you.
help what should i do i have been diagnosed since i was 19 i am 39 now,and they have tried so much on me but i have not steadily taken anything thru it all until my son was born at a later age i decided to stay on meds steadily i gained alot of weight i have been on trileptol for 2 years now and just started topomax and take prozac in the morning i have three kids two of whom live with me i am a single mom with money problems not to tell u my whole life story but i am afraid to go off the meds i ahve been hospitilzed before for depression.. anyone have any feedback for me? thanks,a
Hi giannakali and thank you for getting back to me. Yes, I was spelling Seroquel wrong! No wonder I couldn’t find much info. on it whenever I did a search!
Thank you for your advice. I agree that I am going off of it way too fast. I was on 600 mg’s last week, and last night I only took one 100 mg. I haven’t been able to sleep and have been very anxious. The entire time I’ve been on Seroquel, I’ve had body temperature problems. I have been freezing; no amount of sweaters or blankets help. Then my body will suddenly heat up and I’ll have to throw off most of my clothing. My body has been going back and forth this way several times a day. It’s happening more frequently, probably because I’m going off of it too quickly.
I see my Psychiatrist today, and I know that he is going to want to give me another drug now that I’m going off Seroquel. I don’t trust this doctor. He told me to go off the Lamictal and the Depacote cold turkey. I think the only trick in his bag is Lithium.
I’ve heard that Lithium can be very bad for the liver, but wonder if it is as bad as the recent atypical antipsychotics. I’d like to try and be drug free for a while and see how I feel. I’ve been on antidepressants and Klonopin for 18 years. Klonopin is the only drug that has helped me. I feel that it saved my life due to horrendous anxiety that I had. I think I’ve been on a low dosage of .5mg 3 times a day. I’m afraid to investigate it for bad effects, because after 18 yrs. I’m sure I’m stuck with whatever it may cause.
Best to all,
Seroquel—you are spelling it wrong. Try again.
As far as cutting half your dose that is way too fast. Cut by no more than 10% at a time of CURRENT dose.
There is a lot of info on withdrawal on this site. Go to the “about” page. (top left corner of blog)
As a disclaimer I must say I am not a professional and none of this is meant to be used without the help of a professional. This is just what I’ve learned through research and my own personal journey.
Thanks for writing back to me. I looked through the Furious Season link, but couldn’t find anything on Serequel or Seroquil when I searched in the box you told me about. Also, I don’t know who Philip is.
If you get this post, and can help me out with the Serequel info., I’d be most appreciative. I cut my Serequel from 300mg to 150 last night. So far I feel the usual inability to sleep and on the manic edge. I realize that Serequel wasn’t helping the manic part of my bi-polar at all. In fact. it made it much worse. I liked the extra energy, but was always on the edge and couldn’t calm down.
I don’t know what to expect from withdrawl. This is my 3rd atypical antipsychotic in a little over 6 months. I’ve gone way up and then down quickly on the Depacote and Lamictal, and now Serequel. I could still be having withdrawl symptoms from either or both of the previous drugs I was on. I got off of them immediately. I’m trying to be calm and not freak out.
I was on both Depekote and Seroquil. I had the same problem as yourself, and was put on these medications. The depekote was making me feel sick, and I had the same signs as you. The doctor ordered an ultrasound and told me that I had PCOS. I think people should research if depekote is a cause for this, because I have PCOS, and the websites say their is no known cause. Depkote is a dangerous drug, it causes your hormone levels to get messed up, as well as liver problems.
As for the Seroquil, I was also on this drug, and it didnt even help my manic episodes, so I took myself off the drug last June.
As for controling manic episodes, you might want to locate your local mental health counsling office that has a program called DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therepy. It teaches people how to control their behaviors when they become manic and depressed.
Feel free to shoot an email my way and we can talk some more
Thank you so very much for pointing me in a direction for help. I’m so sorry that you’re not feeling well. I don’t feel well enough to do the searches now, but I certainly will tomorrow. I decided to cut my Serequel down starting tonight. I don’t know what I’ll do if I get depressed again.
This has been the 3rd atypical antipsychotic I’ve been on with terrible results. I wonder about Lithium. I’ve never been on it, but wonder if it carries the same problems as the others. I’d love to be drug free, and have already made many changes in my lifestyle.
I believe that I suffer from being depressed because of childhood trauma. I’m sure that my mother was Bi-Polar, (mostly depressed however), and think there must be a hereditary link there. I now know that I need to take control of my emotional health. I’ve already changed my diet, am exercising, and need to try and do some meditation, or calming exercises. I can see the triggers that cause my manic behavior, and believe I can stop it. As for the depression, I have no clue how to get around it. One thing I know is how important it is to have hope.
best to everyone and thank you!
I know quite a bit about Seroquel as I was on it too at one point. I don’t have the energy right now to give you a good answer to the questions you are asking though. (I”m sorry—I’m really not well at the moment)
I have a suggestion for you though. Go to Furious Seasons:
and do a search in the search box on the bottom left hand side of the page (at the end of where there is writing) for “seroquel”
Philip has written a lot about seroquel and if you go through his archives you should get lots of info and get pointed to various places on the web.
One thing you should know—seroquel as most atypical antipsychotics can cause diabetes.
I am SO glad to have just found this post on PCOS!!! I was on Depakote for 3 months. I got off of it a month ago. I was feeling very ill while on the drug. My Family practice doctor ran bloodwork tests on me, to see if anything abnormal showed up.
My bloodwork came back with borderline diabetes, 5 x the amount of DHEA than is normal. as well as high cortisol levels. These reading were new. I’d never had any of these problems before. My doctor said that he was very worried that I had PCOS and ordered an ultrasound for me. I had high liver function levels with another atypical medication, (which went away after I went off it), and wondered if the Depakote was causing the new problems.
I just read the link that giannokali left. It mentions Depakote causing insulin problems, high cortisol levels, as well as the 10% of women getting PCOS. Every single problem that showed up in my bloodwork! I took myself off the drug about a month ago, knowing that it was hurting me. I haven’t had new bloodwork yet. It will be interesting to see what let you know what the results are after I get tested. I wonder if PCOS is reversible.
My psychiatrist never once mentioned getting bloodwork while on these drugs. After getting off the first drug, my liver functions went back to normal. What are these drugs doing to me??? Why don’t doctor’s know anything about the side-effects of these drugs???
I’ve learned that I have to be my own medical advocate, but am I supposed to be more knowledgeable than the specialists? I feel like my psychiatrist is a drug pusher. With every new drug he tries on me, he says, “You’re really going to like this one.” What crap. Now I’m on Serequel, and feeling like shit again. The doctor put me on 600 mg’s a day. I literally felt like I was dying. Totally disoriented, disassociated, headaches, tic’s in my eyelids, couldn’t think of words, no sleep, aches and pains, muscle spasms in my leg, and inability to urinate.
I only weigh 95 lbs. and didn’t think I should be on the “recommended dosage.” I mentioned this to the psychiatrist, and he said the med’s wouldn’t work at a lower dosage. I lowered my dosage down to 300mg. anyway. Some of the bad side effects have gone away, except, I still can’t urinate, and I still feel disconnected from myself and the world. So I have to self-cath… FUN! When I couldn’t urinate, my family doc rushed me to the hospital for MRI’s of my spine. No spinal cord injury was found. No cause for my inability to urinate. I have a feeling that Serequel is the culprit. The only good news about all of these a-typical med’s is that I haven’t felt depressed. I think I can deal with the “manic” side of the illness, but I can’t live with the intense depression I had. Antidepressants only made my depression worse.
I’m going to look into Serequel now, and see what I can find out about it. Please post if you have info. on this drug. As for % of people having side effects; I’m sure they are much higher than stated. Not everyone reports the side-effects or even knows the drug connection. Also the drug companies are not forthcoming in their %’s. I recently read that Upjohn, manufacturer of Halcion, gave the FDA several millions of dollars. I sued Upjohn for what Halcion did to me, (another story), but how dare drug companies pay off the FDA????
If anyone has had experience with Serequel, please leave a reply. I’m sorry about the rant,
Did a google search…found this study.
Depakote causes PCOS in about 10% of women. I know some of these women myself.
To Hymes: Does Depekote really cause Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? Where is your proof behind this. The reason I am asking is because I have been diagnosed with PCOS since I was 8 years old. Depekote I was on for many years, and the doctors told me it only had an effect on my liver, which was why they ordered blood work every six months.
As for my increased anxiety levels, I have been put on the following medications: Abilify 10mg, Celexa 20mg and Trazodone 100mg. These seem to be helping my anxiety attacks, and I finally get good sleep at night.
Alan: I am currently in therepy with my doctor. Things are good for right now, and I have been seeing changes.
Julie, filling out a form isn’t an adequate way to diagnose someone with bipolar disorder. I’m not clear who you are seeing and what their training is, but someone who makes a diagnosis based on you filling out a form isn’t taking enough time with you to really know what is going on. Also prescribing an anti-psychotic and an anti-depressant and no mood stabilizer sounds off for bipolar and if you are not psychotic, why would you take an anti-psychotic?
So as you can see all I have is more questions, but I would get a second, more extensive and interactive opinion rather than relying on the opinion of anyone who relies on a screening form to make a diagnosis.
It also sounds as if your family needs to stop telling you what to do if you are over 18. Going off medications suddenly if that is what you did could have caused a lot of the problems you describe, you can’t go off or on medications just because it is what they want if you are over 18.
Just went to see a doctor yesterday and they told me that I may be bipolar. I am sure that I am depressed and have anixety issues. Also panic attacts. Sleep is something I only remember.
This all occured after my family was concerned that I was addicted to prescripton drugs. Was taking xanax and Lorcet for a torn disc in my back. Was also taking Wellbutrin for my depression. For my family I went off everything then got so depressed that I don’t care if I get out of bed. Which led me to go back to a doctor who gave me a paper to fill out and came back in saying that I need to see someone in mental health as he feels I am not just depressed but have bipolar.
I did not misuse my other meds and thought they worked well for me. I worked and enjoyed life.
Now the further I am looking into what lays ahead of me I just wonder if my family knows what kind of drugs they will put me on now.
As this was a first visit I get to go back 3 more time before they will actually prescribe anything so I understand.
The lady that I spoke with told me that she thought that … Cymbolta and Seroquel would be the first things they try.
Could someone give me a heads up on these 2.
Gads! What an amazing laundry list! Polypharmacy
Has no one ever mentioned to you the proper
nutrition of the brain? It is not the solution to all
brain disorders, but it creates an environment in
which healing is much more likely.
Huh. Depakote can be dangerous for young women as it can cause polycystic ovary syndrome which can cause a lot of weight gain and infertility. Has any doctor warned you about this danger and given you other options?
What do you want to do about your increased anxiety and episodes? Have you looked into all your options including psychotherapy and peer support? What do you think would be most helpful to you at this point?
Well I came across this blog via a websearch on some of the drugs that I was put on for bipolar related symptoms and anxiety.
Of all people, I agree with everyone that doctors are putting people on medicine not knowing what they are doing to people.
I am diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1, PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am only 18, but my whole life I have been on the following medicines:
1. Depekote, and Depekote E.R. (which resulted in my complete blood count being taken every month or so, and I hate needles)
2. Seroquil (I didnt really see a change in my moods to my knowledge, but it was used as a PRN when I had “episodes”)
3. Abilify (This was the most recent one, and I was on this medicine from June 2005 to June 2006, and then was weaned off of this medicine for my Cadet Annual Training. People say that they definatly saw a change when I was on this medicine.)
4. Prozac (I was put on this medicine at a young age, and it made my thoughts of suicide increase. I ended up being hospitalized for about three months in eighth grade because of these thoughts.)
5. Paxil (I was also put on this at a young age, and it made my manic episodes and my depressive episodes increase)
6. Lexapro (I was on this medicine recently, 10mg once a day, along with Depekote and Abilify and it seemed to help me a little bit)
7. Zoloft (I dont remember much about this medicine, but it made it alot harder for me to concentrate and sit still in classes)
8. Atavan (I was put on this medicine to try and “calm” me from my hour long episodes)
9. Xanax (I dont remember this pill, but it is listed on my medical records)
10. Klonopin (This medicine calmed me down when I had my panic attack episodes, and also made my episodes increase???)
11. Zyprexa (I dont remember this medicine, but it is listed in my medical records as well)
So, In turn, I was put on a variety of medicines, and am doing alright without them. I am going to see a psychiatrist on October 31st 2007, to determine if I need to be on medicine again. I do notice that my anxiety is acting up, and my episodes are increasing, so perhaps they may put me on the combination that seemed to work which was Abilify 20mg, Depekote ER 250mg, and lexapro 10mg. This combination seemed to work for me.
Be careful. And take it slow. I’ve felt like you seem to feel many times and for me it runs into problems because I try to rush things. Be healthy–my best wishes.
I am now taking and trying to get doctors to bring me back from their hellish hold the following: Lithium, Depakote, Effexor, Lexapro,and Ambien CR. I just got off of Lamictel and was put back on Depakote.
Coming off Lamictel was pure HELL. I have been on some of the other pills you mention: Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil, Trazadone, and several others that I can’t remember their names. I have been on so many of these damn pills for so long, I wonder what the real me is like. Does she even exist? I don’t know until I try. I have a long road ahead, but I’m not going anywhere any way. So, I will give it my best shot. Take care everyone and good luck on your jouney home.
If you’re going to go natural I suggest you look at my “About” page. There are resources there on how to do it. Vitamins, minerals and other supplements including Omega 3 like you mentioned are important. You should have a professional help you.
In the links on the about page are books and email support groups.
the important thing is to listen to your body and be PATIENT. The biggest mistake people make is not being patient.
I wish you the best of luck.
If you want to know what drugs I’m on read my last post.
My last post
i cant go back. i am now feeling better the insomnia is there. today i feel my brain is kicking once more the suicidal tendecies have gone ..im a little paranoid but even zyprexa didnt take away my paranoia im incorparating exercises and i feel good. i think the worst that would have happened to me was to start my 10 mg dose it would have made it heard to stop it… on second thought i think i may have been misdiagnosed …ohhh theres this drug paxil heard of it how is it i was given it but never took it…. ive also read on natural cure for scizophrenia through foods ..read about the jungian technique how he cured schizophrenia with vitamin c supplement …i am also considering omega 3 supplements gianna i can beat besides the drugs only made me brain numb….gianna kali what drug are you currently on?
splitmind–I still recommend reinstating and going slowly. 4 months is long enough to have some structural changes in the brain already, according to one of my sources who has been helping people get off drugs for 20 years. All you have to do is fill your prescription and SLOWLY cut down. Otherwise you risk psychosis. Whatever you decide I wish you the best of luck. Take care.
hi gianna kali i have been on it four 4 months now i was on 5mg dose when my psychiarist decided to increase it to 10mg thats when i read about this drug over the internet luckily i have gained like only two kg but my heart palpitations are on. i decided to go cold turkey i imagine if 5mg can cause those side effects what of 10 mg. though i feel like shit i feel i did good to go off that drug and since im in africa our psychiatrist are not as advanced as yours( if you know what i mean) he may prescribe me a worser anti psychotic… wish me well.
I don’t know how long you’ve been on zyprexa but it is usually very dangerous to cold turkey off. You might want to think about reinstating and going off very slowly.
people i am withdrawing from zyprexa its now 3 days now and i feel like shit i have been reduced to a zombie my creativity is gone . this mind numbing drugs are to blame .thank you zyprexa and lily you destroyed my life.
but the day is coming all those makers of this drugs will burn in hell…. ohh if you are schizophrenic try zyprexa it will increase ten fold the paranoia hits the roof….. trust me iam there holding to a thread flush your anti psychotic drugs
How in the hell did I leave Zyprexa out??? I know it was in my first draft!!
Okay…so 37 drugs…or did I miss something else too?
We have these in common: Depakote, Topamax, Risperdal, Zoloft, Effexor, Ativan, and Klonopin. The only med I’ve taken that you haven’t is Zyprexa… unless you just forgot that one!
Everything I’ve ever taken (just for the record):
Lamictal, Depakote, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Geodon, Trazodone, Ambien, Lunesta, Zoloft, Lexapro, Topamax, Geodon, Abilify
I collect stories of withdrawal and recover. if you care to share yours I’d be very pleased. I do not share any information you choose to give me unless you agree to it. If you feel so inclined I’d really appreciate your story. You can email me And thanks for the words of encouragement!
From the melting, morphing memory vault (1992 – 1996):
Aurorix, Xanax, Paxil, Prothiaden, Largactil (Thorazine), Prozac, Risperdal, Valium, Temaze, Serepax, Effexor, Luvox.
Predictably, the SSRIs combined with the disinhibiting effects of the benzos revved me right up into a state of righteous agitation… about, among other things, being turned into a fine-motor marionette jerked around by the hidden puppeteer Thorazine!
Emblazoned across the discharge notes from my final hospitalisation in 1996: REFUSED LITHIUM. I also refused sodium valproate on the grounds that my hair was frizzy enough! Bloody teenagers; just can’t get their priorities straight!
And I suppose I should add, as per last year’s temporary rapprochement with psycho-pharmacology: Zoloft, Avanza, Solian (an atypical not used in the US) and Klonopin. The first one I came off earlier this year, and the second and third I threw away after just a few doses. So there’s just the Klonopin left.
Haldol is so appropriately named – a doling out of Hell. It does continue to serve a very important purpose though – because its side-effects are so awful, the pharmas use them as a baseline to which they compare the side-effects of whatever new atypical they’re seeking approval for. Which of course has the effect of making taking the atypical look like a walk in the park, relatively speaking.
We should play game like six degrees of Kevin Bacon and work out if we’ve been on a med that someone else has been on, along with something that Gianna has been on – that would mean we have a Bipolar Blast Number of 2. Needless to say most of the readers of BB would have BB numbers of 1, a bit like the cast of Animal House, so it would only really be fun for ‘normal people’ to play.
Liz, I do not believe that all meds should be banned: I think that while meds may not be suitable at all for some people, for others (such as myself at this point in my life, at least), they are a necessity. I think that we should try to respect the choices that everyone makes…for whatever reasons that they elect to do so.
Thank you so much for showing the different categories. I have been prescribed many of these on the list and the doctors never told me what they were for or warned me about the side effects. ~ D
I am so sorry that you are going through so much with the medication withdrawal. I am tappering off my last med, Wellbutrin. Not easy. Don’t give up, it gets better.
Thank you for sharing your experiences.
I truly believe they should ALL be banned..entirely.
Anonymous, I agree with your remarks on Ambien…should be banned entirely.
I have been ready a lot of blogs about Bipolar and I cannot belief how many people with Bipolar still taking antidepressant, like Paxil, Prozac and such. It should be clear by now that these antidepressant make Bipolar worse and are worthless in treating Bipolar. Also I read that people are taking Ambien, which in my view, experience and talking with people who are taking this so-called sleeping pill, should be banned.
I currently take Zoloft, Abilify, and Topamax.
Yours is an interesting story, I hope you don’t mind that I have linked you up from my blog.
Have an excellent day,
My story is nearly identical in terms of the length of treatment, medicating side effects, stacking drugs on top of each other, and the need to taper for many years.
Over twenty plus years I had trials of two mood stabilizers, aprox. 15-20 ADs, several benzos/benzo analogues, and two stimulants. I think at the end I was on about 6-7 meds concurrently.
In retrospect it was all unnecessary. I later learned that both therapy and exercise were very powerful for me.
We have these in common:
1. Lithium, 2. Tegretol, 3. Depakote. About 5 years ago I said no more…even though I truely beleived I was mentally ill. So if it was invited after this time I wasn’t on it….Although doctors tried.
7. Haldol 11. Risperdal 12. Seroquel
Antidepressants: 16. Imipramine
8. Prozac 19. Wellbutrin 20. Zoloft 21. Effexor
30. Ambien 32. Trazadone
Hey, I believed for the longest time this stuff was the answer to my problems. I lost everything…spouse, jobs, home, custody of my child…..
Run like hell if a doctor tries to get you on this stuff.
People who love you and treat you with dignity are the answer to your problems. Drugs will screw you up.
Many people think the drugs helped me at times…I say, “No,” it was a nurse or a psych doc who actually listened to me who helped me…in spite of the drugs.
We have these meds in common:
Topomax, Haldol, Mellaril, Thorazine, Prozac, Paxil, Atavan, and Klonopin.The worst med of all was (drumroll) Haldol! Paxil win second place (clap clap clap), and third place is Mellaril!