2 more weeks to go

Well, the end of my Risperdal withdrawal is indeed moving along quite quickly. I’m down to 1/2 of a milligram of Risperdal. I did 1/2 mg in two weeks. Need I remind you it took almost a full year to get off the prior 3 mg and 2 years to get off the prior 6 mg.

Oh—just as a matter of curiousity for those of you who don’t know what my original dose of 11 mg of Risperdal means: from The Last Psychiatrist:

10 mg Zyprexa = 3 mg Risperdal = 500 mg Seroquel = 120 mg Geodon

Yes, I was on a massive dose of Risperdal!!

So you might say, why did you take so long with the rest of it. Well, perhaps because I was afraid of exactly what is happening now. (also I didn’t know what I know about the importance of diet and nutrition earlier) Anyway, we’re talking meltdowns everyday (crying jags and periods of severe agitated severely painful depression.) Severe sensitivity to everything (light, noise, anything even mildly disturbing or sad on TV—my husband can’t talk about world politics.) It all comes and goes in a flowing like fashion and in between the misery I feel okay from time to time, but not for very long usually. Right now is one of my somewhat okay moments.

I’m not reading most blogs–I’m not commenting. Most of the time all I can do is lay around and hope whatever I’m feeling is going to pass soon. The most blessed fact in this is all is that I’m sleeping!! That in my mind is a miracle. I am, however sleeping very odd hours, but any break at all in consciousness at this juncture is a blessing.

I’m still walking 10 – 20 minutes a day and I’m committed to continuing my Qi Gong lessons. And that is my life. Sleep, pain, walk, Qi Gong and therapy once a week and a little bit more misery tossed in for spice.

I know that probably the reason it’s even tolerable is because I’m taking Immunocal again—a whey protein product that is a cysteine delivery system that converts to glutathione. Glutathione is an amino acid that some people claim helps tremendously in withdrawals and detox. The cheapest place to get it if interested is Label Me Sane. I don’t get anything for sending you there–it’s just much cheaper through them than anywhere else and it gives you some info about glutathione which is scarce on the internet. I only go by lots of anecdotal stories of people it’s helped. I, of course, take lots of other stuff and watch my diet so it’s hard to say what all is exactly helping, but although I’m truly having a hard time—I can imagine much worse. (For example in the past I’ve had severe neck and shoulder pain and I don’t this time)

So my goal now is to get off the other 1/2 of a mg of Risperdal and be done with it in the next two weeks. Then I will take a break for some unknown period. I know I want some sort of normalcy to return. Then I will start in with the Klonopin. I’m a bit concerned about being on just the Klonopin and Lamictal because Klonopin is a major cause of depression and Risperdal is like a mild antidepressant at low doses (or so I’m told.) My depression is pretty bad, so I’m hoping for the best and as soon a I’m somewhat stable I really need to get the hell off the Klonopin if I don’t want to stay depressed.

An interesting update on Ativan came out by the FDA Medwatch. From what I can tell from being in multiple benzo withdrawal boards you can generalize all it’s saying to Klonopin and other benzos as well. All benzo users might want to see what the potential hazards are—it’s a very interesting update on facts that us benzo users in withdrawal have known for a long time.

Lastly I want to remind everyone that what I’m going through can be attributed almost 100% to drug withdrawal. Not underlying problems. This of course can be disputed by those who haven’t gone through this, but since I have access, direct and indirect, to hundreds of people who have gone through this, I feel assured that this is all about withdrawal. I will say that some of the emotional upheaval is true emotion—stuff I never dealt with because of being numbed out—but nothing pathological.

I can’t say how much I will be writing in the next couple of weeks as I imagine it will get worse before it gets better. Hang in there with me! Thanks!

14 thoughts on “2 more weeks to go

  1. Vin,
    the video doesn’t talk about this cerebral spinal fluid theory. I’ve not heard of it.

    I agree skepticism is healthy. I think there are many things that can contribute to distressed mental health including spiritual stuff and nutritional stuff and past trauma.

    I do believe that healing and recover is possible much more often than is believed and that people are not offered an option of recovery because the mainstream treatments don’t lead to recovery. (this is a generalization of all mental illness)

    the woman in the video you mention talks about schizophrenics possibly having smaller frontal lobes. As far as I understand this is caused by neuroleptic drugs and people who are drug naive don’t show this shrinkage. Yes the neuroleptics shrink the brain. There are studies that show this.

    See here


  2. The brain is surrounded by cerebrospinel fluids. Theory has
    it that schizophrenia (which you don’t have) is caused by
    a compression of brain matter by these fluids. This would account
    for the fact that no chemical imbalances can be found as to
    causation. I got this from my p-doc who was not into CI.

    YouTube “What Schizophrenia Is Part 1” gives a clearer
    explanation in her comments. Although this applies to
    scz it might have application to other “mental
    traumatic events”.

    The counterargument is that scans do not consistently show increases in ventricle size. It is only the latest theory
    thats been around for awhile along with glutamine receptors
    replacing dopamine.

    My point being that it will all come back to a measurable
    cause that will have a physical component or components.
    I am divided as to the spiritual causes. I think it is better
    to be a skeptic and not to overemphasize.


  3. Well Vin,
    I can tell you for certain that I have hypoglycemia and hormone problems. And I know for a fact that many people do have these problems when they get labeled with disorders and have drugs that do nothing for the problem shoved down their throats.

    I do question what you call “diseases.” I don’t really think of mental distress as a disease anymore. I think it’s in general a combination of stress, trauma, spiritual emergence that gets thwarted and some nutritional problems that include the need to balance blood sugar and hormones.

    I’m also agree that allergies and candida can play a part for some but know much less about those. I know celiac disease which is gluten intolerance can cause psychosis.

    Thyroid problems definitely can cause bipolar like symptoms.

    Thanks for joining the discussion.


  4. Good to read about your progress gianna. Read the link on
    Atavan and did not know that the bottle of Lozazepam sitting
    unused for months was the same benzo. I took it for 3 days
    and stopped when I found out that when stopped the symptoms were worse then when I started.

    I also follow SF Jane-word travels fast.

    Immunocal might be worth while for me. I tried Beta Glucan
    and saw my anxiety disappear…for three days. I was so
    happy I went out and got drunk which caused a reverse.
    It was probably placebo.

    I would like to know how many people with these diseases
    have hypoglycemia, allergies, candida, hidden hormone
    and thyroid problems? IMO many. More than reported.
    I think that when some or all of the above combine with
    stress they cause a total body spasm. Since we are mostly water I also think that the above causes a storm in the body’s hydraulic system causing premature brain aging and shrinkage. Brain elasticity can bring it back. Beats chemical imbalance:)

    Anyway, you touched a lot of bases that rung a few bells.
    Thanks for the links and your thoughts.


  5. I agree with you there is no reason to not subject claims of nutritionists to analysis. I also think there are a ton of charlatans out there claiming natural things do all sorts of miracles. I didn’t buy their claims in general for years and was not interested in them. Now, I try to get my information from sources that are not selling a product. Usually my sources are people who have found a product useful themselves. I realize that placebo effect may be a part of what I’m experiencing as beneficial, though I don’t believe it’s all of it—ultimately I don’t care as long as I get off the drugs. This may not be very scientific of me, but given there are virtually no studies about what really helps in withdrawal, it’s about the best I can do if I’m honest with myself. There are studies about nutrition and mental health and health in general, of course. I try to stay apprised—my problem is with remembering what I read. (ah–that psychotropic cognitive impairment)

    I know that my hypoglycemia and eating right for that is NOT placebo. I’m on a roller coaster if I don’t control my blood sugar. And psychotropic drugs screw with blood sugar so I feel it’s important people know how to eat to control blood sugar which I talk about on my “About” page in the nutrition section.

    Ahhh!! I’ve become super sensitive to so much including cigarettes, since you asked. They started making me feel really sick. I seem to be getting more and more sensitive to all toxins. I don’t think it’s in my head. I don’t tolerate smelly cleaning toxins etc. And I don’t ever crave a cigarette anymore and the smell makes me sick. (though that was the case even when I was a smoker–when I wasn’t smoking!)

    In any case, no I don’t smoke anymore, and it was stunning how much better I felt when I finally quit. I had become sensitive in a way I had never been before the previous times I quit. It seems my sensitivities are forcing me into a healthy diet and lifestyle whether I was choosing it or not. That is how alcohol and caffeine went. I just stopped tolerating them. It wasn’t a choice on my part.


  6. I was such a (liquid) coke addict when I was working – you could have set your watch by the sounds of the can hitting the bottom of the chute in the machine and the “click – tssh” of me opening it. When I was younger it was mostly to offset the boredom; but later on I used it to counteract the side-effects of Klonopin. When I quit work, I quit the K and stopped drinking caffeinated drinks more or less unconsciously. These days, if I have a couple of glasses of Pepsi (sorry, more product placement) at lunchtime, I can forget about getting to sleep before 3 a.m. So I’m missing those gentle morning highs too… the same goes I guess for cigarettes. Ten or eleven years ago, I’d be lighting up the next one before I’d finished the one before. But as soon as I stopped the meds, I stopped smoking – not due to any concerted effort or display of willpower, but because I simply no longer saw the point. Nowadays I only get cravings around exam time – some subliminal association between mental effort and smoking, I guess – and if someone blows smoke in my face, I just about have an asthma attack (in all seriousness, NOT just to be an anti-smoking pain in the ass). Are you finding that the desire to light up is less frequent these days, or unchanged?

    I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that considering nutritional issues isn’t potentially very useful (but I guess you know that). I think that when we are “offered” various explanations and/or panaceas for our problems, and the evidence for them is inconclusive, we have to ask ‘Who stands to benefit from our adopting this particular set of beliefs?’ This could mean big pharma profiting from “blockbuster” drugs or people in general being able to tell themselves ‘They say its genetic, and therefore it’s nothing I did/it can’t happen to me’. I see no reason not to subject the claims of nutritionists and holistic practitioners to the same analysis, just as I see no reason to dismiss the importance of nutrition and lifestyle issues out of hand. At the end of the day, what works, works. (I wish I had a better idea of what works for me!)


  7. I see looking at some of mental health issues as being nutritional deficiencies as being very different from the biomedical model.

    And you can’t divorce nutrition from psychological issues that must be worked through either…..the whole mind/body thing, if you will. It’s all about a holistic approach.

    But I do see your point and frankly it’s a bit confusing to me. I guess the thing that is most disgusting to me is big pharma and psychiatry cashing in on shit for which there is no proof. And the fact that drugs never helped and ultimately disabled me. I can’t say that about nutrients I’ve added to my diet—they do seem to truly help.

    I know I feel better eating better. Once I cleaned out my system from caffeine and alcohol I don’t even tolerate it anymore. Literally–they both make me sick within a half an hour. It’s actually a disappointment. I loved both. I was a hard-core caffeine addict–so that is just as well gone–but never getting a bit of a caffeine high is a bit sad. And alcohol—well that was just plain fun socially. I really miss it. It’s not at all about being pure. It’s simply what my body will tolerate. I do hope that as I get better I will be able to occasionally dabble in these things I like. But I think that perhaps I was always making my body unhappy with these substances but wasn’t aware of it. I don’t really know. This really is all a big experiment in so many ways.

    Good to see you Ruth!


  8. 1/2 mg in two weeks; that’s impressive – congratulations, and hang in there!

    I remember that emotional hypersensitivity very well – I remember crying over everything on TV, even the ads, while I was withdrawing from Zoloft. But there was a bittersweet quality to it too, the novelty of no longer being a slightly ‘roidal robot.

    BTW, I’ve noticed that glutathione depletion is now being implicated in schizophrenia, of all things. I guess there’s a bit of a slippery slope between (rightly) recognising the importance of diet and nutrition and insisting that biological causes are primary.


  9. Gianna, it amazes me that no matter how bad you are feeling, you always have such hidden treasures in your posts. You are so full of great information and your willingness to share it with the rest of us is tremendous. I am always learning something new here. I am glad to hear you are getting some good sleep, since that is one of the best things you can do for yourself after such stressful events in your life. take care and hang tough, your friend, Denise


  10. you sound good and energetic here, though i believe you totally when you say that you are feeling anything but!

    hanging in there with you, a hundred per cent.


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