Update: latest very good news on my psychiatric drug withdrawal

I’m itching to write something and basically drawing a blank. It’s been days since I wrote anything original. I figured I’d do a quick update on the withdrawal situation in a sort of stream of consciousness fashion.

I am currently down to .25 mg of Risperdal, 77.5 mg of Lamictal and still at the high amount of Klonopin, 3 mg. I had stopped tapering altogether when I met my new doctor. I had stopped for 3 months after 4 years of tapering. I was on 125 mg of Lamictal and .75 mg of Risperdal when I met my doctor.

Again, the all time high was 50 mg of Seroquel, 200 mg Zoloft, 84 mg (? I think) of Concerta, 11 mg of Risperdal, 400 mg of Lamictal and 3 mg of Klonopin with up to 6 mg prn. The four years of tapering this mega amount of psychiatric medications, the largest cocktail I’ve ever encountered, bar one, had left me completely physically disabled. Yes, physically, not mentally. These drugs hurt our bodies, not just our minds. All systems were down. Adrenal and CNS most notably.

In the land of serious drug withdrawal what my doctor has helped me do in the last three months is believed to be impossible. Once people are as sick as I was it’s generally dangerous to continue withdrawing. Without the help of someone specially skilled it’s not wise to withdraw when one feels ill. And frankly, I seem to be learning that for some people it takes many years to recover once adrenals and other body systems are shut down. I was desperately sick and stuck. I didn’t know what I was going to do. The thing is I didn’t give up and I found my doctor. Where there is a will there is a way and I simply refused to give up though I might have if I’d given in to the horribly negative thinking I could be subject to at that time—the thing is I DIDN’T.

My God, I just looked at when I started working with her. My first appointment was April 29th of this year! In just three months she has got me back on my feet and we’ve made over a 35% cut in Risperdal. In general for a neuroleptic at this stage in the game you don’t want to cut more than 5% every 6 weeks!!  Many people find even 2% cuts difficult. And I’ve made another approximately 30% cut of Lamictal another drug many people find extremely daunting to withdraw from. Another general rule is to never taper more than one med at a time. I’m breaking all the rules!

There are two things I can account for the great success. First a dietary and nutritional regime that is completely catered to me. It’s extremely individualized. And second, and most importantly the energy work speeds along my healing so awesomely it’s difficult to fathom. I can’t begin to intellectually understand what is going on. And so I don’t even try.  I have my life back. That is what counts.

I am profoundly grateful. I wish I knew how to help others in this manner. For now though I can only recommend safe, very slow withdrawal with a solid diet and a generic nutritional regime if someone doesn’t have an expert the caliber of which I have. Also I recommend never starting a taper without getting your body prepared with solid diet and nutritional habits.

I am also learning a lot from my doc and I see a future in my relationship with her. It is her goal to make her patients free from needing her medical attention. I hope that once I am free of her as a patient I can sign on as a student. Already we speak as peers occasionally which is great fun. There are very few people on this planet who know as much about withdrawal and it’s just plain ecstasy to chat about what we’ve observed about withdrawal. She, in her practice, and me in all my email groups and here.

What is frustrating now is how limited I am in being able to help others. But I fully intend to get to a place where I can do work similar to what she is doing. I need to strengthen my energy before I can do energy healings on others though and I need to learn muscle testing and get a license of some sort to make me legal!! It will be a while. In the meantime I hope to serve as an inspiration as that is all I can do for now.

I highly recommend people find energy healers if nothing else—there simply are virtually no doctors who know enough about safe withdrawal—-many people need to work it out for themselves with the yahoo groups I recommend and lots of self-study and the cooperation of an amenable doctor. For most people who have not become profoundly ill from withdrawal, a generic good nutritional regime should be enough on the nutritional front, along with diet, but nothing else can take the place of energy work. A good energy healer doesn’t have to know about psychiatric meds per se. So I encourage people to look for someone who knows what they are doing with energy as an adjunct to other self-care like diet and meditation. Also the nice thing is you can learn to do it for yourself with practice and my doctor is teaching me. You don’t have to remain dependent on anyone forever—if nothing else this is a lesson in self-empowerment.

So in spite of a hellish time at home. And I might add, I’m far from happy all the time—a lot of difficult crap has come my way of late. I have many ups and downs. But I’m out of bed EVERY day and I can do whatever I want pretty much. Yesterday I worked a good eight hours packing.

I still have severe noise sensitivity and sometimes my tolerance for stimulation stops me in my tracks, but I do feel like I have a life again and I can live it.

I haven’t done the math but I suppose I’ll be off all my meds in a matter of months. I was thinking it might be another 3 years at the beginning of the year.

And I have a new life waiting for me in my dream house. So much to be grateful for. And thank you all of my readers because you all have played an important role in my not giving up. I have an audience and peers rooting me on and that really helps me.

I send blessings from the universe to all of you tonight! This is a spiritual journey as much as anything else!

18 thoughts on “Update: latest very good news on my psychiatric drug withdrawal

  1. Sloopy: there’s knowing (what one does) and knowing (what one does). “Knowing” can mean different things. It can mean intellectually knowing, knowing with one’s thoughts, while one is identified with these thoughts. This is, as I see it, among many other’s, a guy like Biederman’s knowing. It is the most widespread form of knowing in our culture.

    But knowing can also mean being conscious, aware, beyond thoughts only. I think, this is the kind of knowing, Jesus had in mind. And in this sense, the Biedermans of this world actually don’t know what they’re doing.


  2. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

    But what of those who know exactly what they are doing, but carrying on doing it?

    I mean the monsters like Dr Joseph Biederman, named and shamed by the Boston Globe, and linked in your blog entry Psychiatry for Sale.

    Biederman is an immensely dangerous shrink. Through his pharma-funded “studies”, he has caused an explosion in the drugging of infants with powerful, brain-damaging drugs like Zyprexa and Risperdal.

    I figure that if any Bible passage was made for Biederman then it is Luke 12:2..

    “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”


  3. Gianna, I truly commend you for what you have achieved with your perseverence. I was beginning to think you had an impossible task ahead of you, but you just kept going, and it’s paid off. Congratulations.
    Can you give me the name of the doctor. Would like to find out more about her.
    The psych system in BC is completely draconian. My daughter has had a real hard go of it and is far from being free and clear. So far we haven’t tried energy healing.
    Take care


  4. I feel the same about my doctors. They were caring, but clueless….
    I want to contact them and tell them…but I am afraid that they would be afraid I will sue them.

    It is part of my 5 year plan. In 5 years I will contact them and say….Look I am healthy! I am “normal!”


  5. Larry,
    I’ve thought of suing, but you know what? The guy was nice. He cared about me…and I cared about him in turn…I don’t want to destroy a caring man who is just totally screwed up when it comes to how he treats people medically—as you said he’s not unusual. This is a societal problem. It won’t help to mess his life up—

    I will someday tell him what he’s done.

    The problem with psychiatry is that 99% of docs don’t see what they are doing to people…and lots of people do not see what is being done to them…I certainly didn’t see it for many years…

    It’s a huge endemic problem.

    My doctor was a loving man which makes the whole thing all the more sickening.

    As Christ said, he knows not what he’s done. (well that’s not the exact quote…but you get the drift)

    Now this comment will piss a good share of people off who think I take a much to easy stance on the doc, but I really want to practice love and forgiveness…people sometimes hate me for it. Go figure.


  6. Contrary to popular belief, I would be the first to support you in suing the doctor who had you on the highest amount of medications for malpractice.

    Doctors like that give my side of the debate a bad name. (And I admit there are too many of them.)


  7. Kelly,
    so nice to meet you!!
    Please do lots of research and support your body, mind and spirit before withdrawing from meds…

    I’m glad my site is an inspiration.


  8. Sloopy,
    don’t hold me on a pedestal…I too have moments, still, where I think I’m going to fail…it’s not all 100% smooth sailing…simply smoother much more often!

    Love to you.


  9. I just want to tell you that I chanced upon your site when looking for information about psych drug withdrawal. Just wanted to tell you that I’m ever so grateful for your list of recovery stories. Please keep updating that, we need more people like yourself on the Internet. I’m personally going through some issues too with regards to my menu of psych meds, and finding your site was inspiring.

    While I’m not at all on very high doasages to begin with (50mg Zoloft, 0.5mg Risperdal, 1.5mg Bromazepam, 5mg Stilnox/Ambien), I have real doubts as to whether they are the long term solution.

    Safe Zoloft, all the rest were added recently when I experienced panic attacks after withdrawing from 4 years of Zoloft. Yes, after 4 years of Zoloft, I quit, and was fine for a few months, only to get panic attacks that rolled one into the other, day after day, for weeks on end. I wanted to end my life every day but it was my own spiritual beliefs about suicide that kept me from doing it. The suffering was hell.

    I got put back on Zoloft, and then with the other stuff slapped on. Needless to say, I feel devastated and don’t want to be addicted to the benzodiazepine. We all know how hard that can be to come off.

    My doc says she will get me off all the other meds in time, leaving Zoloft to sustain me, but I don’t know how she’s gonna be able to do that since I can’t sleep without the tranquilizers at the moment.

    Besides these, my depression has been unrelenting this time round, and I found no relief from Zoloft. I was thinking thoughts of not wanting to live and crying day after day. So, my doc now put me on Lamictal, which I’ve taken 25mg of for less than 2 weeks. She says Lamictal could be what makes the difference between being depressed and feeling less so. Luckily, I found your website and am promptly going to stop taking the Lamictal. 2 weeks isn’t long enough for it to have found a foothold in my system, and so I’m gonna stop it right now, before it’s too late.

    3 days ago, after voluntarily getting hospitalized (I was so sad and terribly down), I asked to be discharged again after 24 hours. They let me go, since it was a voluntary hospitalization. I went straight to an acupuncturist from the hospital and found some relief after weeks and weeks of crying. He gave me some Chinese herbals too which seem to be helping. I’ve decided I’m going to keep up with the acupuncture. The acupuncturist says he can support me in withdrawal from the benzo and sleeping meds. He’s apparently had other patients who were in the same boat and they now sleep fine without these mind drugging pills.

    I feel happier today than I’ve felt in weeks and this leads me to wonder if modern medicine can even cure the ills they purport to. They didn’t do anything for me in the hospital and just left me to cry. Nobody came to ask if I was alright, or if I needed someone to talk to. This is the state of mental health care in my country and it leaves me feeling cold.

    I wish you all the best in your withdrawal and I’ll keep coming by to read your blog.


  10. An astonishing achievement! A personal triumph!

    And in treading that path, you’ve beaten the way for fellow travellers like me, who many times along the same journey of withdrawal have thought “I can’t do this, the pain is too great” and “the shrink was right.. my brain is diseased. The rest of my pitiful life is mapped out, to be spent whacked out on toxic psych-drugs”..

    But half an hour spent reading your blog, and you’ve shown us how wrong that is, and how both withdrawal and recovery are possible!

    When our own journeys are done, we will have a life long indebtedness to you for your help via this blog!


  11. Gianna,

    The words are gonna fall short here – no matter what I say…
    I am thrilled for you – beyond words….

    Recovery – it couldn’t happen for a more deserving person.

    I know things are going to be hard for you and your husband with the loss of his mother – please know you are both in my prayers.



  12. This is wonderful news, Gianna, especially considering where you were earlier this year and all the stuff you’re dealing with right now. You must be so excited to see everything coming together and to be able to see the path clearly before you!

    I agree with Doe–you are clearly meant to be a healer, and it would be wonderful if you could begin moving along that path! Well, you already are, really, with this site, but it would be great to be able to do for other people what your doctor is doing for you.

    I’m glad to read that you are so excited about the future!


  13. I’m so happy for you…and it is amazing and inspiring to witness. I am so grateful for your blog and getting to learn along with you.
    I think it would be so fabulous if you started a mentorship/apprenticeship with your doctor. In my opinion, you are clearly meant to be a healer…you have so much to give in this arena, and so much knowledge, and so much HUNGER for knowledge…and a hell of a lot of will!


  14. Such an upbeat post filled with good news Gianna

    Good to hear the house is coming along and that your withdrawal continues.

    No argument on your conclusions about meds.

    Be careful with energy work.

    Especially at this stage of the game.

    You have to ask yourself, where does this energy comes from.

    It does not come out of thin air.

    There are several levels of vibration that go into healing energy.

    Your physical body, your awareness, CNS, emotions and thoughts all add to energy healing.

    Energy healing takes a toll on your own energy.

    It can drain you as surely as leaving the lights in your car all night can drain the battery.

    As it is your CNS battery is just starting to hold a charge again.

    Compared with just a few months ago when you had so much fatigue you could not sit up or move around much.

    You have grow your energy battery and tolerance again.

    If you are going DIY with energy healing you have to make sure that your healing machine (your body) is strong.

    According to chinese principles your internal organs, especially your kidneys and lungs are prime sources of yin and yang energies in your body.

    Your diet and nutritional stuff seems balanced and state of the art but food alone is not the only factor in how much energy you have to heal yourself or others.

    For that I can not recommend highly enough a practice of Chi Gung and I know you bought some videos from the guy I recommended.

    Chi Gung means energy work. It is what all the best and most powerful energy healers do to build up enough energy to heal sick people without burning out their own internal batteries.

    Chi Gung can reopen closed energy pathways, mobilize your natural biorhythms and restore fluid pulsing. It helps your central nervous system making you stronger and healthier.

    At any rate great to see such an upbeat and energetic post about your recovery Gianna


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