Gianna’s healing adventure

There’s been another shift in my well-being. It is often said that recovery is not linear and I’m proof of that. I’ve had a small downturn, but I don’t expect it to last and right now I already still feel better than I did for the last year in any case.

I had fifteen days in a row of feeling good before this little twist. For  over a year I was not able to feel safe driving and therefore rarely went anywhere as a result of the chronic fatigue caused by the psychiatric drug withdrawal.  On the rare occasions I did get out I had to sit down every fifteen minutes. I was often, the last six months completely bed bound and sometimes did not even have the strength to hold a phone to my ear.

Now I recently had fifteen days of well-being following three months of slow but steady improvement, starting to sleep again, being able to drive, being out up to 6 hours a day, taking an hour and a half yoga class and only taking one two minute break, doing the initial legwork for purchasing a new home, and much much more. I sleep well every night. And I’m continually tapering at a pace that was unheard of before I found my doc. This period has been one of slowly feeling better and better and having more and more frequent intermittent good days which ultimately led up to the 15 days of wonder.

In any case those 15 days came to an end about 4 days ago after an energy medicine treatment. Strangely enough, once again, after an intense energy healing session I basically got really sick. The reason, according to my doctor is that I’ve had a healing crisis—this has now happened every time I have intensive energy healing—but it was most dramatic this time as I was so phenomenally well.

The drugs have become toxic as my body healed extremely quickly in response to the energy medicine.  The toxicity response manifested in about twenty-four hours with my becoming seriously suicidal. I asked my husband to hide all the knives. All my ideation involved knives. I’ve never actually felt unsafe in that way before, ever.  We called my doctor in the morning and she told me to make two tapers that evening .05 mg of Risperdal and 2.5 mg of Lamictal. I was at that point on .38 mg Risperdal and 87.5 mg of Lamictal. By the end of the day I was fine and after making the tapers, the next day I was back to feeling wonderful for another 24 hours. Unfortunately the next day and yesterday and today I’ve not felt well—but it’s not been a mood problem and it’s not been terribly dramatic. I’ve simply felt drugged out of my mind. Called my doc again today and she is tapering me again tonight. She was expecting that I might need to speed up the withdrawal and even though I paid a price by feeling sick, the speed in which I’m able to withdraw is exciting. I actually see an end in sight.

This way of withdrawing—that is, very quickly and often—is unheard of in withdrawal circles and I don’t recommend it for someone who is not getting the individualized treatment I’m getting with all the supplements and especially the energy healing which strangely makes the meds go radically toxic on me. What other psychiatrist would tell me to taper off my meds when extremely suicidal!! And what psychiatrist would believe that going off meds is what actuallty helps the suicidality to go away. I’m quite sure most psychiatric treatment exacerbates suicidality, I’ve seen it again and again in my professional life though it wasn’t registering at the time and unfortunately it virtually never does register with mental health professionals. Certainly spending time in a hospital will cause one to become more suicidal let alone the meds that cause akithisia and other disturbing symptoms that can prompt dangerous and fatal behavior. I was free and clear of all suicidal thinking and all depression with a med cut in a matter of hours.

In general, without the additional supports I’m getting one should not taper more than every couple of weeks and often several weeks at no more than 5 or 10 percent of current dose and also be eating well and at least be taking a solid regime of supplements. I hope some day the process I’m going through can be studied and copied by hundreds, or—why not dream big—thousands of doctors.

What I’m doing with my doc flies in the face of all I’ve been taught about withdrawal—especially since I’m, in general, also doing better than I have the entire time I’ve been tapering. I need to taper again tonight because I feel so drugged-out and tired and then I have an appointment with my doc tomorrow so she will ascertain whether I should do even more.

I feel like crap again today, but it’s mostly PMS and relatively normal crappiness—along with the drugged out feeling from the toxicity and that is why she is suggesting a taper this evening. I don’t feel like driving is a good idea today either. I sleep well all the time now too. It’s so so strange.

On another note very significant note, adding to stress and emotional difficulties, but not freaking me out beyond what is normal and expected,  my mother-in-law is dying. Now as I write this I am being over-come with sadness. A sweet woman who has slowly been decompensating with Alzheimers is now in the final stages. My husband will be leaving on Thursday to go to his home country and hopefully get to see his mother before she dies. I really wish I could go but there are too many responsibilities here now.

I’m left with the care of our current home—managing the painter here as well as finishing the closing of our new home. I’ve got power-of-attorney for my husband so I can do all the signing and may be doing it all on my own. There is still some negotiating to be done, I certainly hope my husband will be here for that. The negotiations have a deadline of Wednesday and he will probably be leaving Thursday. As emotionally difficult as this all is, I feel confident I can handle it. I will not get any energy work for the duration of the time he is gone so as not to enter a healing crisis again. I certainly wouldn’t want to be alone for that. I expect to be feeling well as soon as my period comes and goes. It’s due Tuesday or Wednesday.

Unfortunately I am faced with the pain of endometriosis again when my period comes which is starting to hang over my head more and more each month. I’m talking to my doc about the possibility of a third surgery for the endometriosis tomorrow as well. The pain is just awful. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to go under anesthesia and take antibiotics while I’m withdrawing. Anesthesia could conceivably really mess with my chemically hyper-sensitive body and thus throw off my withdrawals. Antibiotics too could seriously mess with my gut when it’s of utmost importance that I have a healthy gut to absorb all my nutrients that are allowing for this marvelous healing to occur.

Whew! Lots of stuff on my plate!

I have to do all the packing while he’s gone too!! Ugh!

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

21 Responses

  1. Wow, that is a lot to be dealing with. You are really making amazing progress to be feeling confident about dealing with it all.

    That’s a tough place to be, trying to decide what to do about the endometriosis. I’d almost be afraid to rock the boat with the anasthesia and the antibiotics…

    I’m sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. My thoughts are with you and your husband.



  2. Sara

    Wow, I don’t really understand that increased taper when you have such an intense mood response. Although I’m trying to get my head around the toxicity angle. Also wish I grasped the healing power of energy medicine a bit better. I sure am impressed with the way you and your doctor can work through these crises though in such a sensitive fashion. I also believe in nutrients so deeply but at the same time wonder how you decide which nutrients at which moment — mind boggling all the knowledge one needs to do this safely and sensitively.


  3. Gianna,

    Thanks for dropping by, and yes I had seen Sean’s site before, and I’m glad to be a part of a growing “tribe” of seekers who look to metaphysics for healing.


    James Winningham


  4. Doe

    I so agree with you about psychiatric treatments increasing suicidal thoughts/tendencies….I too never used to have suicidal thoughts before I started taking medication…now it’s almost a reflex to the most minute stress!

    I feel the drugs have really weakened my ability to handle stress…my suicidal thoughts happen when I am feeling more stress than I can handle. The process for me is like this: stress happens, I can’t deal, and I think “I can’t deal with anything…I can’t survive in this world…therefore I guess I should just take myself out of the world.”

    I guess this is why meditation has helped me so much…to not take my thoughts so seriously…now I sort of think “Yeah, yeah, that’s my mind doing it’s little mind thing…”, which takes some of the velocity out of it.


  5. Gianna,

    I had that same experience when I did my recent Xanax taper. Had the suicidal thinking, depression etc., then once that passed, I felt completely drugged up, as if I was on a higher dose. It’s a strange phenomenon, but I also did a lot of emotional crying and healing during that time. What you are doing is fascinating, and surely is connected. I think you are touching on a spiritual healing -drug taper process that many people could benefit (and are) from by reading here. Good luck with it!

    I am so sorry to hear about your mother in law…I send peace to you and your husband.

    You are a strong person, and I have confidence that you’ll do all of house stuff just fine.

    You’ve had a remarkable summer of growth!



  6. Sorry for the previous short response. I was running out of work and skimmed the post.

    I completely agree that meds can exacerbate suicidality. In fact, when I was trying to come off Lamictal to 75 mg, my suicidal ideation got extremely worse to the point where I had to go back up. My worry is that I’ll be “addicted” to this medication because I’ll never be able to come off it due to the suicidal behavioral side effects.


  7. Sloopy Cowbell

    It is very sad news about your mother in law.

    But it sounds like there is also much joy in your life, what with the energy medicine, the final med tapers, your renewed mental health, the decorating, the house move, etc!

    Remember to leave some time for the blog. (only joking!)


  8. April


    I have been on Lamictal for almost 12 weeks now, and have worked up to 200 MG for the past two weeks. I have decided to quit taking it for a number of reasons. I want to have another child. I just had jaw surgery and my chin is numb, which is supposed to come back but can be permanent. I understand that Lamictal stops or severely limits electrical impulses in the face/chin area as well as the brain and is even prescribed for a known medical condition involving this. I found this out last night and decided to start tapering. I don’t want to be numb because of this.

    My question is, after only tapering up over 12 weeks, do you have any recommendations on how to taper off? I am thinking 150 mg for 1 week, then 100 for 1, then 50 for 1, then 25 for 1. That’s 4 weeks to undo 12 weeks of buildup.

    Do you think this is safe?


  9. April

    Oh, and by the way, your blog and all the responses have been so helpful for me. I was going to just stop taking it altogether until I learned that is a no-no. I am so glad I found this. Thank you so much for sharing your story.


  10. April

    Thank you for replying! I have read about your journey and become extremely discouraged. But other places I have read that a handful of people seem to have no problem. It seems the ones that do far outnumber the ones that don’t though. My biggest issue right now is my facial nerve endings need to regenerate. I am 5 weeks post op and feel that I should be farther along now. I worry that it’s already too late. Even so, I’m unwilling to stop cold turkey.

    I started yesterday on 150 mg and I’d like to post my progress here if that’s okay. There really are few resources on the net for this type of thing! I am taking a lot of vitamins and supplements already so hopefully this will help

    Yesterday I had a small amount of diarrhea, but that may be coincidence because I started my period. I think it’s gone today.


  11. April

    I am on it after an emotional episode and went to my family doctor. I have never consulted a psych. I am going to see him tomorrow and let him know that I am tapering off. I’m sure he won’t be happy about it but I have made up my mind. I want a second opinion.

    Today I waited to take my 150 until about 1:30 or so. I usually take it first thing in the morning. I started to feel very down and cried a lot. But I have some other really major things going on that are contributing to feeling this way. After I took it, I noticed I felt better after about an hour. I think I had only been on the 200 mg for about 2 weeks, so tapering back to 150 probably won’t be a problem.

    I fear that my doctor may want to taper me over 6 weeks to a month. I can’t wait that long. I want feeling back in my chin, I am sure the Lamictal is affecting that. And it could be permanent because the nerves will die off.

    I think my body is adjusting to the 150 mg and I feel fine. But I know it can be way too early to tell. After only 12 weeks though, I’m very hopeful.

    I had no idea you were on so many meds for 15 years. Do you think you’re going to be okay now?

    Thanks for being so helpful and open.



  12. April

    I just got back from my doctor. Of course he didn’t seem happy that I was tapering off. He got a little snippy and said he would look for a titration kit after I told him I couldn’t afford another prescription. He couldn’t find one, so he told me to keep doing what I’m doing by cutting them into fourths. He wanted to prescribe Lexapro and I said I didn’t want that, and asked for a psyche recommendation. He said to cut back 50 mg per week.

    Haven’t had any real problems like I did yesterday. I took it a little earlier than yesterday, which probably helped. Tomorrow, I may start the 100s and just carry another 50 with me to work just in case. I have been so upset about my recent surgery that I haven’t been able to go into work these past two days.


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