It’s so close I can taste it

And yet these are some of the most despairing times I’ve had as well.

I’ve gotten off 5 drugs. I’m down to 5 mg of Lamictal (from 400mg) and I’ve got the 3 mg of Klonopin to go. I should be off the Lamictal in a few days.

Every night when I take the Klonopin I get toxic. I start to go downhill within an hour or two. I awake feeling miserable. The misery starts to lift about 3 hours after waking. Most of the time that just means I can have normal conversations again but I’m still stuck in bed. On good days I can get out and function. All days by evening I’m emotionally clear and present until I take the Klonopin again.

I’m coming off the Lamictal fast. 2.5 mg every few days. It’s gone toxic on me too. I get painfully nauseous from it and when I cut 2.5 mg the nausea remits for a few days. When it comes back I cut it down again. The trick is that I’m still suffering from withdrawal in other ways. Most distinctly the dibilitating fatigue. So I’m in double-edged sword land. The drugs are making me sick but the withdrawal is also making me sick. The trick is walking both edges of the sword and not losing it like I did with the good doc I was seeing for a bit.

But at this point even my ultra-conservative, always taper slow consultant sees my need to speed it up. She is in reality a pragmatist and teaches what works best for the largest percentage of people and also what is safest when she speaks in general in the email group. But now I no longer fit in that category—and dealing with my individual dilemma is necessary.

I was actually much sicker after I got back from CA in January. But at that point the degree of debilitation was new and so I didn’t actually despair as much. Or maybe I did, but now I’m just sick of it. And the end is so near and I’ve just lost patience. I remember nights when I was in my cottage alone wailing to the universe. The doc that “failed” me during my crisis saved my butt at that time. Her nutritional regimen has been priceless and continues to be. I still sleep like a baby. Something I was not doing then.

Now I’m actually quite optimistic while also being twisted with despair. Every night when I finally am feeling pretty good I have to take the poison which makes me feel so sick again. Can you imagine purposefully taking a substance that makes you horribly ill, because if you don’t in a few days you’ll even be worse off?? It’s as horrible mind-fuck and I’m trapped in it for now.

And I’m being reminded that there are so many people taking these drugs as I did for 20 years thinking they are helping them. I get so angry when I read the preponderance of psych propaganda spewing how necessary meds are for all cases of anything that causes mental distress and anguish. I know so many recovered people. People free of meds who chose alternatives—all sorts of different alternatives who do so much better than most of the people I know on meds.

I frankly don’t know if meds are ever really necessary. It doesn’t matter to me. All I know is they are often NOT necessary when they are crammed down our throats and no option is given and what’s worse they often make the situation worse and people are made to believe it’s their disease. That is criminal. I get angry at night. My mood changes when I take the Klonopin. I get labile. When it leaves my system I am again calm and neutral. How very ironic and disgusting that it is their poison that puts me in a state of mind that would have them give me more. Oh yeah, I rage.

I’ve been writing under the influence of Klonopin lately. All these rants I write are after I’ve taken my Klonopin and the side effects kick in. Wickedly ironic, isn’t it? I promise I’ll try to write something when I’m not all agitated and angry on this shit so you can see I’m very sane during the day…but unfortunately I’m usually too tired and physically sick and and so I kinda just don’t give a shit once it’s left my system. I just want to rest and not think about all this. And that is what I do. So you’ve been gifted with several rants lately as a side effect of the crap I’m trying to get off of. I’m sorry.

Oh…I really have nothing new to say. I just have to get off this drug and maybe you won’t hear from me much until it’s over. I’m so done with this phase emotionally.

In fact it might be good not to hear from me anymore until it’s over. Maybe I’ll post this or that news item or inspirational piece, but I really think I need to be done with this day to day reporting for a while.

We’ll see. I’ve said this many times before. But really, I just want to have something different to say when it comes to this part of my journey. Like, hey! It’s over. I’m off drugs and this is what is happening now…because it certainly should be something different by then. I expect I will be sick for a while, but I also expect that there will be exciting emotional and spiritual and hopefully physical and cognitive improvements. And I suppose we might imagine it might be a few months away.

So I might not be saying as much. Or maybe I will. But don’t expect anything for a while, okay? I’m almost there and I just feel like I’m rehashing shit at this point. I’ll check in with you at some point to let you know how the Klonopin withdrawal is going. And like I said, maybe I’ll post other stuff of interest…but I’m tired so damn tired and it’s getting harder to find stuff.

64 thoughts on “It’s so close I can taste it

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  1. Hi Jan and Gianna-
    I haven’t blogged today because I am having a REALLY rough day today. I’m very sick, I feel very flu like and I am more tired than ever. I really feel as though I’m coming down with a bad flu, and I know it’s the withdrawals. UGH This day can’t go by fast enough. I want to tell everyone off that even talks to me. I am so dizzy and fatigued I can’t stand it. I can literally barely keep my eyes open and my head up!!!!
    I’m going with my Mom this weekend to get some supplements. I have to start somewhere, and hopefully it will start making me feel better!
    I hope you both are feeling better soon too!!!!
    BTW, my move was postponed to next weekend, and I am not sad about it, I don’t have the energy to do it this weekend anyway!!!!

  2. Gianna:

    Thanks so much. I had asked the people what was in the lotion, and two of the ingredients he’s sure of are coconut oil and lanolin. I did a search on ‘lanolin and anxiety’, and some things did come up under that. I know that massage in and of itself will definitely cause the body to detox, and I know that’s good, but this truly feels like something in addition to that. At this point I’m getting good at being able to tell if it’s something in addition to the detox/withdrawal. I’m so sick of “reacting” to every stinking thing. I feel like I shouldn’t eat or drink or even breathe at this point for fear something will set me off. And I know this sounds familiar to so many of us coming off of these stupid meds. Teresa – I know this is all too familiar to you. Also, do you know if sunflower seeds are fairly innocuous, or could they cause some weird reaction?

  3. Jan…these are just guesses on my part…

    one: Parabens in lotion can cause people with chemical sensitivities to react…you could bring your own 100% natural lotion maybe…

    two…it’s possible if your body was heavily manipulated and you’re still detoxing, crap left over from the drugs could have been released into your body…

    this may feel really bad, but can actually help with detox in the long run…

    just a couple of wild guesses…

    I think the second scenario would be more likely if you arms and legs had been massaged because that is where all the lymph fluids are held…the back seems kiinda neutral in thar regard…but again..I’m kinda shooting from the hip…

  4. Hello Teresa and Gianna:

    Teresa – I have been off all meds for 13 weeks now and the anxiety, depression and insomnia are still terrible. I have random moments of relief, and then it quickly leaves as soon as it began. I have to be extremely careful with the least little change in diet, exercise and lifestyle. Which brings me to this question for you, Gianna…

    Gianna – I just began Physical Therapy for my back last week. Prior to starting it, I was experiencing some relief, esp. of the mind/emotions and it was so good. But then last Thursday my PT finished with a massage with lotion. I noticed on Friday evening that I started going downhill and have been spiraling downhill ever since, with having had 2 more sessions of PT ending with a motion with lotion. Since our skin is the largest organ, and absorption of products can cause problems, do you think this could at all be causing a problem with my experiencing more jitteriness, anxiety and depression? It sure seems like more than just the usual w/d; I can usually tell when it is something else that’s going on.

    I hope you both start experiencing tremendous relief and healing SOON. You both so deserve it!

    Using a computer at the library now – will check back later on. Teresa – please hang in there and know that you will get better.


  5. Thanks again Gianna,I think it is working well 🙂  I don’t really seem to notice any real problems with it, but I will definitely keep that in mind!Wow, this is ALOT to absorb.  Alot of my problem is that when sometimes becomes too confusing or overwhelming for me, I give up on it, and I can’t allow myself to do that this time!!!!!

  6. beneficial bacteria for your gut…they help heal the body in numerous ways….

    I take Primal Defense Ultra…

    If you have a bad gut (IBS or other gastro problems) write to me in email and I’ll give you some tips on how to heal those problems with probiotics and enzymes…

    if you have a reasonably good working gut just follow the directions on the bottle.

  7. Carlson’s Liquid is what I use…

    there are lots of supplements you should probably start on…but not everyone tolerates everything the same…Omega 3’s though, virtually everyone tolerates and we all need them…

    I have a post on supplements you can look at for ideas…but that’s all…everyone is different and I’m on different stuff now actually…but it’s a good template of stuff to think about…

  8. Gianna-
    What kind of Omega-3 do you get? What brand? I went on and there were so many…. Also, should I get anything else? A multi, vit c or B or b complex or anything?

  9. Hi Jan,
    I get very anxious, but I am still always very tired, so when I go to sleep I don’t want to wake up. I don’t know which is worse, sleeping and still being so tired or not sleeping at all, I’m sure not sleeping at all. You must be SO exhausted. How long has it been since you have been off all meds?
    I know what I am going through is because of withdrawal, but I remember when I went off meds in the past and got REALLY depressed and couldn’t function and ended up having to go back on meds again.
    Some doctors said I just have major depression, and now the last one I went to in Florida said that I have “SOME” symptoms of Bipolar, and that it sounded like I had A-Typical depression, which was why he started me on Lamictal since the Lexapro had stopped working. I was in a deep depression, didn’t even have the energy or even car to get up to shower, and wasn’t working. Just layed around on the couch ALL day, and slept on and off. Now I actually get up, but if I didn’t have a job I wouldn’t!!! I don’t feel as depressed right now, I am not ANGRY and emotional. I could scream and cry, and my head is still pounding 🙁 I’m too stressed today, and anxious and I don’t like it. I think it’s because I took less of the Lamictal last night, but I just can’t stand these headaches anymore, it’s too much already!!!! 🙁 Guess I just have to keep trucking until I find what works and maybe just maybe one day function like a normal human being whatever that may be!!!! I too have to watch while blogging at work, but it seems to be the only thing I want to do at this time of feeling so crappy!!!! Hope your day gets better!!!!

  10. Teresa:

    I am SO sorry you are feeling that way, too. And yes – I’m at work so I have to be careful about the frequency of my blogging, so if I don’t reply at times don’t think it’s because I’m not interested. I sure do want to run away from it all, but what happens to me is that most of the time I’m so jumpy that I can’t sleep, so crawling under the covers for me is a scary thing since sleep eludes me so often. I don’t very often want to be alone, but also find that when I’m around a lot of people, I can feel like I want to jump out of my skin. I have the total opposites always raging inside of me. And I do feel hopeless most of the time. That hopelessness is the med withdrawal talking. Please don’t forget how the meds and the withdrawal has a way of talking in our heads that makes us think it’s all us when, in fact, it IS the withdrawal. I’m not on anything and still have that problem, so it is quite understandable why you still have that going on since you are still on some amount of the psych meds. I was on clonazepam for a while which is the generic of Klonopin. What a wicked, wicked drug! And it just makes you want more. But it IS the drug, not you. Find someone who can keep telling you that and reassuring you. And when I feel much better, I want to let the so-called medical professionals know what they did to me, so I understand that rage you have, too. I think part of the anger comes from the withdrawal. We have to remind each other of this: It’s the drugs and withdrawal AND – we WILL get better!
    I used to get the sweats/panic attacks constantly, but those have decreased greatly, so yes – my face would get hot and the sweat was terrible, too. I never had to deal with headaches much – I guess that could be from both meds or possibly just the YAZ – not sure. One thing I hate, though – why does it seem that some of my systems are healing, but it is taking the brain/emotions the longest to come around? Do you feel that way?

    I hope and pray that you will get some relief, even if it’s just a bit. Any relief is better than none, and one day it will happen.

  11. Hi Jan,
    I am really sorry you are having a rough day.. Do you ever feel like why bother??? Sometimes I feel like telling my Mom to just send me away to a freaking mental Institute and let them drug me all day to where I can’t feel anything. I’ve never been an addict, but I tell you what sometimes I am tempted to take some sort of pain pills or something so that I just don’t feel at all. I can certainly understand why people become addicts. Today is one of those days. I’m a mess. I am so anxious, so moody, want to cry and my head is POUNDING!!!!!
    I can’t seem to tolerate any stress or anything not going my way. My face is hot, does that ever happen to you???
    My breasts were very sore and I was worried but now realize it was from the Yaz. Honestly when I feel this way I feel completely hopeless and just frustrated that I will never be “normal”, or mentally healthy and I am soooo sick of it. I just want to go home and crawl up in bed, turn out the lights, close the blinds, and be alone. I feel like I want to take my rage oout on someone and just tell them off so bad!!!!! If I had a punching bag right now it would be dead! Are you at work???? I just need to try to breath. I took .25 mg’s of Klonopin, and now I’m more tired and don’t even want to hold my head up. Do your limbs ever get really heavy??? How many people out there have a so-called mental illness, it seems that everyone does. It seems like a bunch of bullshit to me!!!!!! Anyway, thanks for letting me vent!!! I hope you feel better!!!!

  12. Hi Teresa:

    I know Gianna is good at imparting advice much better than I am on the subject of the YAZ and the other meds. If it helps you at all (not that you take pleasure in someone else suffering), I am having one hell of a day today with the anxiety and depression. I always then question whether I ate something that did it, and I am so very careful about what I take in. I am sensitive to every med right now, too, and to all supplements. There are definitely certain foods I cannot eat. I have been wondering about the soy milk I’ve been using. I stopped it altogether on Monday. The weird thing that just started happening is that my breasts have started getting sore, and the only time that has happened in the last 3 years has been whenever I was taking estrogen replacement. I am not taking any estrogen or hormone replacement now. It’s very bizarre, and leads me to believe that soy might have something to do with it. Anyway, my point is that you have a fellow sufferer, and some days are just horrific, today being one of them! You hang in there – I will try to do the same.


  13. Gianna, Sarah and Jan-
    Thank you so much for your advice and support, it REALLY means ALOT to me! I have felt so alone in this for such a long time, that I always isolated myself from people because I just didn’t want to be around anyone. Noone could understand!
    I have been on Yaz for about a month and a half now, and I have to say that my PMS last month was almost nonexistent, however I am now wondering if that is what is adding to these horrible headaches, because they do show one of the main side effects being headache, same with Lamictal….. So I just have a headache on top of a headache.
    As for the Therapist I went to- or APRN-BC which stands for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse- Board Certified, I have mixed feelings. She was very nice and listened to me, and she agreed that it sounds like I am sensitive to meds and need a break from them, and need to exercise and do Yoga and suggested I get some sort of light box for my desk since there are no windows in my office-which I am alone in…. She also said that I really should look into a new job, that doing Accounting and being in an office alone alot, and away from sunlight etc., that it isn’t good for me!
    She said that when I go to the new psychiatrist next week to make sure he LISTENS to me when I say that I am very sensitive to meds, and I want to go off of them, and for him to help me with that… However, one thing she said that I didn’t like was that, it does sound like I am Bipolar II, and that although exercise and nuttrion and alternatives help, they don’t cure, or wont make you ok. So I have mixed feelings, but I go to the new Psychiatrist on Tuesday and I am going to see what he says, than I go back to her the following week, I am wondering if I should go to a PCP to get blood tests, etc. and see what his take is on everything. Also, I want to call my GYN and see what he thinks about the YAZ and if there is anything I can do about the headaches, or if I should discontinue. It’s hard to know with the withdrawal from Lamictal where all of these symptoms are coming from, and I don’t want to add to them, but also don’t want to make them worse 🙁 Ugh, sooo confused and sooo much on my mind with all of this, and my move this weekend!!!!! DEEP BREATH 🙂 Still VERYYY tired, a bit anxious today, and guess what Gianna, NOOOOO caffeine! Still dizzy, horrible headache and blurred vision 🙁 I don’t feel depressed though, so I guess that’s good! I wonder if the Lamictal is causing Hypomania, or if I am even really Bipolar….. I do know that I’ve always had prettttyyyyy BAD mood swings and anger issues, so who knows… I hate being confused and not REALLY knowing 🙁

  14. Teresa:

    I know this is a lot of info coming at you, but these good women really know what they’re talking about. I know I have had to learn to be my own advocate. In this day and age, you MUST stick up for yourself for your health’s sake. There are so many people in this country who can’t even do that. And research, research, research – not to scare you, but to educate. You will be a stronger person for it. And you’ll be helping someone who’s going down this same path, able to hold their hand and cheer them on. And when you look back at where you’ve been, and then how far you’ve come, you’ll be amazed!


  15. I have heard of some horror stories with YAZ. In fact I think there are YAZ survivor groups on the internet — you might want to check it out. But I am certainly not an expert. But I do know one woman with chronic fatigue syndrome who was on it and when she stopped she had some severe mucosal inflammatory responses that are still plaguing her today, several months later. Admittedly her immune system is screwed up but it certainly appears that YAZ may well have made things worse.

  16. I considered YAZ for the reason you took it before I became pretty much anti-drug across the board…I never took it because I found documentation on the net of it making some women worse….even though it’s been approved to help PMS…I KNEW I would be one of those women…I’ve learned something about my body in all these years!!

    I would say it’s likely you’re one of those women…

    I avoid any traditional Western docs and practitioners these days…some are okay if they identify as alternative…

    I don’t know what a APRN-BC is…

    In general anyone with a traditional background won’t believe you…

    but having said that I have found a good ol’ regular GP who does believe me even though he has never heard of any of this…

    I work with alternative practitioners though when I want treatment advice…not my GP

    be prepared to advocate for yourself and that means be ready to stick up for yourself! Hopefully you’ll find someone who listens…and you won’t have to leave feeling unheard or invisible…

  17. Sorry-
    One more question! Do you have any advice on whether it matters if you go to a Psychologist or an APRN-BC?
    The woman I am going to see tonight is a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

  18. Gianna,
    I wonder if that is adding to my symptoms of being nauseous and dizzy as well as my OMS symptoms- to be specific and I hope this isn’t too much info., my breasts are very sore!!! Usually happens to me a week to ten days before I get my period. Well I had it already and they are still sore… Making me wonder what is going on with that! I am on YAZ because they say it is supposed to help with PMDD. I thought maybe something other than depression meds or an anticonvulsant could make my moods a bit better because I was getting such severe PMS. I am scared to take anything at this point, cold meds, sinus meds, the claritin I am supposed to take… I’m even scared to eat and drink certain things because I don’t want to feel worse. I am so dizzy right now it’s horrible!!!!
    Have you heard of anyone trying YAZ and it helping their moods?

  19. the pill causes some people to essentially have “PMS” around the clock…very dangerous crap for those of us with these sensitivities…sorry to unload another piece of info you probably don’t want to hear….

    I can’t take the pill…and I know lots of people who it’s made go bonkers…

  20. Jan-No, I haven’t researched as much as I should 🙁  I know that caffeine is bad for you, I just don’t know the specifics behind it!  I know that now I feel like crap, I came crashing down hard, and I am so dizzy and have a headache!!!  I am soooo tired, I don’t know what to do to stay awake, or wake myself up!I want to put my head down on my desk and go to sleep.  I have to go to the file room and pull files that I need to do billings on, and the thought of standing that long is dreadful!!!!  I am so exhausted I want to lay not even sit down, let alone stand up!!!I have to spend more time looking into natural options for energy!!!

  21. Teresa: I have very little experience with Lamictal. The brief time I was on it I had incontinence problems. Isn’t that sweet? I wet my pants several times plus I didn’t feel like a human being on the stuff, but had not noticed any acne, but I sure wouldn’t rule anything out with these nasty meds.

    The coffee experience you had I can relate to. I have stayed off of caffeine and decaf for over two months now. If I have the least little bit I’m nuts! At first I feel great, but the next day and for several days after, I am really anxious-ridden and feel like my whole world is going down the toilet. Have you ever researched exactly what caffeine does to the body? You’d be surprised (or maybe not) if you haven’t already researched it. Maybe, when you’re tempted again, you should research it, then print out what you’ve found and keep it with you, and then read it when you really feel you need some. I keep a print-out of Dr. Lee-Bloom’s ‘Protracted Withdrawal’ list at my desk to remind me that I’m not crazy. This might help you. Plus – just ask the rest of us. This is a great forum for affirmation in its finest!

    Take care,


  22. Gianna and Jan-
    Sometimes it is nice to be around my family, but when I am feeling really anxious, sick or just plain tired which is alot or most of the time and I just want to be alone, it’s impossible!!! I feel that once I am in my own place again with just myself and my boyfriend and his dog, at least I will have someone around, but wont have the stress of too many people around or not being able to have Peace and Quiet or just being able to relax and do NOTHING if I want to!!!! I am realllllyyyy looking forward to it. I am not even dreading that I have to drive back and forth to Georgia this weekend to get the rest of my boyfriend’s stuff and furniture, because I feel I will finally be FREE again. I’ve been on my own since I was 18, now 29 and I am really used to my Independence!!!! I’m relieved that all of the hard work that I’ve done the past 4 months had paid off. I was able to start over completely, thanks to my Mom and am now going to be in my own place again, no car payment, no credit cards and it feels great, because as bad as this sounds, I know that if it gets to where I end up being out of work again, at least I wont have too much to worry about!!! Ofcourse rent, and that kind of thing, but not so many other things on top of it. So as hard as it’s been to work through all of this, it paid off. I’m only hoping that I can get healthy and can continue to keep a steady job. I’ve always had financial issues because of spending too much, and not being responsible with money, and than losing or quitting jobs because I couldn’t handle it, and ended up getting myself into debt. So I still have a ways to go, but this feels good!!!
    Another subject completely- I felt ok this morning, but being on a lower dose, I think it wears off alot faster and I take it at night, so now at this time I’m sick again! DIZZY, fatigued even more, and anxious. I was bad and drank coffee this morning because I was too tired to function, and I immediately regretted it. By the time I went to lunch I was shaking so bad and felt like I was going to pass out, everything was loud and I was so dizzy. Once I ate and took .25 mg’s of Klonopin I started to feel better, but still feel horrible right now. I feel so weak!! It’s very scary, I could barely drive!!! Also, had anyone else had problems with Acne from Lamictal??? I get bad acne, very big almost cystic pimples on my neck and face, I have one below my lip right now which hurts and even got one on my eye lid under my eye brow!! I’ve also been having problems as if I am PMS’ing, but I’m on the pill again for the past two months… Weird!!!! I feel like crap 🙁

  23. Hey Jan,
    considering you’re at a different time of life than me and you’ve had a hysterectomy, I wouldn’t assume consuming soy is the same for you as it is for me…

    you might want to see if you can find a naturopath with some experience understanding hormones…

    best to you!!

    and yeah…there really is a balance of being around people and not…

    I try to see friends as often as possible in low key environments…I totally need people too…but a big family with accompanying responsibilities sounds like a nightmare….

  24. Teresa:

    You have a very full plate and are so deserving of a break. My situation is very different – it is just my mother and I (in 2 separate apartments but same building) – and I can’t seem to get enough of people. I can’t be by myself at all while I’m going through this. I know that balance for all of us is an issue and can be a major struggle. I do hope you find that balance and that peace once in your new home. I wish you the very best, and remember: It is withdrawal!


  25. Gianna:

    Well! Enough said about the soy. I had forgot to mention that I, too, have had major problems in the gynecological area and am now on the backside of menopause (been going through it for 5 years). I had a hysterectomy in 2000 (just the uterus), and before that had polyps, fibroids, cysts and endometriosis – pretty much a hormonal mess. You made a confirmation for me once again; it probably is messing with my delicate balance, also. Wish I had thought of this sooner. Thanks for your advice – you are great even through feeling so awful.


  26. Hi Jan,
    I do avoid soy almost entirely….the estrogens can indeed mess with our delicate beings….

    I however, do have severe hormonal problems which manifest with my having severe problems when I’m premenstrual…I don’t know that it’s equally important for everyone to avoid soy, but in general I figure it’s worth being over-cautious while we’re healing…

    I will cook with small amounts of Tamari every now and then and very occasionally I’ll have some miso soup…but both are treats at this point.

    yes getting your own place will work wonders! There is no way in hell I could be around a bunch of people right now…downright impossible…

    hope you move goes smoothly.

  27. Gianna and Jan-
    Yes, I have definitely learned how serious I need to be, and careful when I decide to taper down again. I can not be sick like that again. Thank you both again for your support!
    I feel ok today (so far), but usually as the day goes by I start to feel worse. I am up and down, happy, sad, MAD and than just plain tired!!!!
    I am so happy that I have people to talk to that understands. My Mom tries to be very supportive and understanding and help me in any way she can, so that’s helpful. My boyfriend has tried to be better about it, but sometimes I still want to punch him in the face 🙂 That’s ofcourse when I’m feeling like total crap, and am so exhausted and he asks me to go out for a beer, like last night Grrrrrrrrr I am staying with family right now, ALOT of family, my Mom and her husband, my sister and her boyfriend and my two nieces and my boyfriend, good thing it’s a big house… Thank GOD I am moving into my own place this weekend, because let me tell you, when I get off of work I don’t want to have to help with dinner for that many people, clean up, pack my boyfriends lunch since he didn’t get home from work until 9 last night and left at 6 am, (or he would be doing it himself), helped my niece with her school project of the computer after working and being on the computer all day, and almost had to do laundry, got out of that one, so finally got to lay down around 10, and PASSED OUT!!! I’d still be sleeping if I could…. Let’s not forget that my sister was there, didn’t clean up from dinner, nor did her loser boyfriend (NO, I don’t like him), and I helped my niece with her project not my sister and than did the dishes while everyone else hung out and had a beer !!! Needless to say I felt like saying hey ASSHOLES I feel like crap, I can barely stand up, but don’t worry I’LL DO IT!!! Yes, sometimes I try to do too much and want to tell everyone they are jerks for not helping!!!! Sorry had to vent, but 2 more days till FREEDOM, than I can go home and lay on the couch all night and not do ANYTHIING if that’s what I choose 🙂 It sounds wonderful right now!!!!

  28. Gianna:

    Almost forgot that I have a question. Can soy products cause some problems in this healing process? I am very careful about my diet, and it just occurred to me that I have soy milk just about every day. I was wondering if that could be causing some sort of problem with estrogen levels and be a source of anxiety. Any thoughts?



  29. Teresa:

    Yep – I ditto what Gianna said re: taking care of yourself and making sure the right diet and exercise are in place. And I can CERTAINLY relate to others not understanding and always wondering why you’re so sick. I have even found that, even though a person may have gone through it themselves, that doesn’t make THEM the most compassionate person, either. I think the one thing that you must do is actively and constantly seek out people who will be supportive, loving and comforting through all of this, and let them know what you need. Don’t be afraid to tell them. I do have some people in my life who know just how lousy I feel, and they are sticking by me, and I make sure I spend as much time with them as possible. It hurts when friends and/or family members seem to turn their backs on you; I’ve seen it in my own life with friends, but sometimes I think they are missing out on so much by not getting to help me grow and find wings through the whole process. Teresa, withdrawal makes us think negative things. Your brain and body are now healing, and you are on a journey that will bring peace. Keep believing it!

  30. Well, great Teresa,
    I’m sorry if I sounded like a hard ass…sometimes people do stupid shit and it gets old…I don’t always have a lot of patience when people do things recklessly and tell me about it…

    I”m glad you’re taking good care of yourself.

    I hope we both feel better soon.

  31. Gianna,
    I guess that came across wrong. I have actually stopped tapering because I was too sick and couldn’t function. I am moving this weekend and couldn’t be sick like I was, so I decided to bring it back up a bit and stabilize for now.
    What I really meant was after I taper down, I will “CONTINUE” to eat healthy and exercise and hopefully feel better.
    I don’t actually plan to taper again until like you said I have other options in place. I am going to a Therapist tomorrow evening actually and as soon as I have some extra money and am settled into my new place I plan to buy the supplements that I need and join the gym so I can exercise and do Yoga. Also once I’m in my own place again I can cook healthy and eat what I want, not what’s around!
    I don’t plan to taper down any further until I can do that. So I will probably stay where I am at for the next few weeks or month!!!! Thank you again for your concern and continued support, I really appreciate it, especially since I know how crappy you are feeling right now and what you are going through yourself!!!
    Feel better!!!!

  32. Once I get off of the meds I am going to have to exercise if I can find the energy and eat healthy and take supplements.

    You should NOT be coming off meds without alternatives already in place…

    You should be eating healthy now and you should be taking supplements and doing some sort of meditation practice or yoga or both…maybe have a therapist…different supports work for different people, but withdrawal should not happen without supports in place.

    If you are not supporting your body and mind during withdrawal it doesn’t bode well…

    You might need to stop tapering or even reinstate drug if you’re really sick and start taking care of your body and mind before you continue…

  33. Jan,
    Thank you SO MUCH for you support and kind words. They mean so much! I try to talk to my boyfriend about this and he just says I’m sorry that you don’t feel good, or sometimes I think he gets sick of hearing it and says, geez it’s always something, you never feel good, and I say imagine how I feel!!!!!!!
    I have several friends that say to me, “you’re sick again!?” I than say to myself, wow, am I just a baby or what! I don’t know how much longer I can go through this, and work at the same time.
    Once I get off of the meds I am going to have to exercise if I can find the energy and eat healthy and take supplements. If they don’t help I am afraid I will break in desperation of feeling better and end up back on something thinking that I need it and there is obviously something wrong with me and I will always have to be on meds, which is what has happened to me many times before, thus being on meds for 11 years!!!!
    I hope you feel better too, I really do appreciate your support!!!! It is sad to know how many people go through this, but comforting to know that it’s not just me. Sometimes I wonder why I can’t just be normal like everyone else…. I guess I’m not the only one wishing that!!!!!

  34. Teresa:

    Was looking at the posts here and noticed yours, esp. saying how much you’re sick of being sick. I can very much relate. I’ve been off of all meds now for almost 13 weeks, and it’s so hard for me to believe I can still be feeling so unbelievably anxious, depressed and ungodly fatigued, but that’s where it is in a nutshell. The sleep is terrible, too. I am so sorry that anyone else has to go through this hell, and I do hope that you soon feel better. I know it helps to know that others are experiencing the same thing. I have a dear person in my life who MUST keep telling me that it’s the withdrawal, so I’ll tell you that, too – it IS the withdrawal. Coming off of these drugs does horrendous things to the body, but the body will heal. Hang in there, Teresa.


  35. Gianna,
    I am so sorry you are sick, I am too but trying so hard to tell myself it will pass. Doesn’t it really make you ANGRY that we are constantly saying the same thing, I AM SICK? I am SICK of being SICK!!! I am so tired today I could barely stand in the shower, and can barely keep my head up at work. I don’t even have energy to walk around 🙁
    I hope you feel better, I really do, and I hope that I can soon too!!!!
    I just want to sleep!!!!

  36. Hi Teresa,
    No I’m not posting..

    not feeling so great…want this very long chapter to be over….that is the 4 years plus of withdrawal…

    I have one more drug to go and I just want to be on the other side and report from there…

    I try to find other interesting stuff to post…but I’m not up to writing much, so basically it’s just sitting there for now….

    I’m waiting on a friend to maybe give me permission to post something she wrote about something that is happening in the mental health system here where I live, but I haven’t gotten permission…if she doesn’t let me post it then I have to get around to paraphrasing…and I’m just too tired….

    I”m really sick too…

    It’s kinda nice to have you guys keeping me a little bit busy though!!

    Hope you fee better soon.

  37. I have a feeling that my job is a big part of what makes me unhappy… I am miserable, bored and lonely all day at work. I am so bored with what I do, and it seems as soon as I leave work I feel sooo much better!!!! Do you think everyone feels that way, or maybe I need to find a job that I like?
    I wonder if it’s that, or if I will never like ANY job as long as I feel this way…
    I also wonder if I have a sinus infection, or if this is also from the Lamictal……. I know, that was totally in a different direction, just feeling like crap and wondering if it is simply all from the Lamictal… I wish I could just take a nap right now, the fatigue is terrible!!! I wish I could drink and espresso, but I know that it would make me awake but NUTS!!!! Hope you are all doing well today.
    Gianna, I haven’t seen you post much, are you ok????

  38. Gianna:

    Thank you for the info and where to find a person who was coming off of Depakote. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have people to connect with who have gone through this. I will certainly check the site out. And I hope you are “feeling the healing” even as you read this. You have worked so hard – you deserve it. We all do!


  39. Jimmy,
    I use 5 mg pediatric pills which I then cut in half.

    I can’t give you medical advice Jimmy. Withdrawal symptoms can be many and varied, but if you had some of your symptoms before withdrawal I can’t tell you what those are…there are simply too many possibilities and I’m not a doctor….

    Try to find someone to help you Jimmy. You might find a practitioner that is willing to cooperate here:

    best of luck to you.

  40. Giannakali,
    Thank you so much for reading my comment and thank you for your advice. Do you think my depression and sleepiness is related to meds withdrawal??? How long it takes to pass?What about weird head sensation, iI had them before when I was taking meds and was anxious, is it normal? They desappear when i get better or have better day. Are they like muscle tension or so? Also, have another question. How you cut your lamictal pills to get 5mg or 2.5 mg? Thanks

  41. Jimmy,
    You sound like you are going off drugs way too fast. I’m worried about you. Please do some research and don’t hesitate to go back on drugs if you need to. If you want to stay functioning as you say you do you need to start learning how to do withdrawal more responsibly…and you can’t rely on the doc doing it slowly enough.

    Check out my “About” page for resources to sensible withdrawal instructions. (top of page click on about tab)

  42. Janice,
    I have heard of people having a real hard time with Depakote…

    there is a blogger who talks about his difficulty…”bipolarlife”

    I’m not sure what is going on with his withdrawal right now…but yeah, people can and do have problems…

    I went off of it years ago and had no problem at all when I made my switch from Depakote to Lamictal…

    But we are endlessly different and I’ve met other in email groups that have a hard time too…it should be taken seriously as all psych drugs should…they are all potentially dangerous to withdraw from and all of them can potentiate a crisis if not done carefully….

  43. Hello Gianna,

    Sorry for submiting my story in comment section but I am new over here and I do not know how yet wher i can blog etc. First of all thank you for being such a support for allof us. My story is long. I has been 10 years already since I suffer from multiple symptoms of anxiety, depression, mood swings etc. To make long story short, it started 10 years ago with severe panic attacks when my friend passed away then I was getting depressed and anxious at the same time. For those years I was on all new generation antidepressants on the market which eider did not helped or gave me horrible side effects. Finally, two years ago because nothing worked and I was still depressed (no mania/ maybe some anger and irrability) my pdoc diagnosed me with BPII. So he started adding med after med. First Lexapro 10mg (went down to 2.5 due to side effects) Xanax XR 1.5 (for 3 years, I wean off myself I do not know how) then lithium 1200mg(went down to 450) then he added depakote 1250 (horrible se, went down to 750),then Lamictal 100, ended up on 25mg (se) he substitute Xanax durring withdrawal with klonopin 3X.5 but I take .25 a day because i do not want to get addicted again. I still did not feel much of relief so we tried abilify for a month that i have to stop because made me so hyper and then 80mg of geodon which was a nightmare. After that I recognized i am getting so tired of being on meds, nothing made me happy, i do not want to have sex with my gf, do not see hope, everything is so blah, I am depressed. One year ago I was skiing in Colorado and had little pleasure doing that. Today nothing makes me happy, I am so empty and my negative thinking (feer about the mental illnes future, no family, ho am I going to live etc), brain fog, was too much. To weeks ago I went to my pdoc and decided to do something with this. At that time I was taking 2.5 of Lexapro, .25 of Klonopin, 750 of depakote, 450 of Lithium, 25mg of lamictal and 20 of Geodon for one week after 60 mg reduction. I told him we cannot do it anymore, that we should concentrate on something what helps me get better. He took me off 20 mg geodon within one day, the side effects disappeared, then stop the lithium going from 450 to 300 for two days then stop and lamictal 25 to 12.5 for a week and stop ( I am in the process of stopping). After I’ve stopped the Geodon my depression and anxiety kikked in. Then I stopped Lithium. The dissociation and brain fog liffted. A week ago I added 3600mg (1800 omega 3) of fish oil a day to my diet along with some vitamins and feel some lift in depression for about a week (placebo?). I will try some diet. Last three days was hard, I was depressed and anxious, my sex drive did not come back after Geodon. I sleep a lot 12-14 hours a day and still have a lot of fears about the future and my mental state, do not want to socialize and go out. I have tightness in diffrent areas of my head and dizziness(anxiety?) but when my mood lifts it all dissapear. I have cashed some of my retirement to start Biofeedback. I run on your web site and it kind of opened my eyes. I was getting worse instead gettin better. I got lost. Please tell me does it take some time to get better? I am not sure if I will be able hang in there!!! Now I am on 2.5 of Lexapro, .25 of Klono, 750 of Depak, and 12.5 of lamictal and weaning off. I do not know how but I was able to finish college, lear english in 8 years. I am between jobs now and I am so anxious if I can perform like I used too. I was always one of the best, but know it’s just fear and lost of selfesteem. Still better end down. Sometimes I think my main problem is anxiety that leads to mood swings and depression. I want to live normal life like I used to, be myself, enjoy things I used to enjoy. I will be 30 in couple of months and I would like to get better. Thank you for reading my post. Can you also tell me where I can post an communicate with you all and share my experience and help if I can.
    Thank You

  44. Gianna,

    I agree – you are an inspiration to so many, and I believe it is darkest before the dawn, too. I had been experiencing a bit of relief last week, and for some ungodly reason, as the week wore on, did not pay close enough attention to my diet. I had been ingesting sugar most of the week, so by Friday, I was out of it, and by Saturday, the depression was off the charts. I remember someone in one of the blogs commenting about a “pop tart incident”. I would love to hear what that entailed – I’m bettin’ it was a very similar experience. Anyway, I am now suffering the bleak consequences of my choice to think I could eat whatever I wanted and not suffer any consequences. What a joke!
    Also, is there a link to anyone having come off of Depakote and going through withdrawal? I haven’t seen anything on that.


  45. I had written to you on this post a few days ago but it seemed so trite. I erased it all. I remember when I was going off my drugs and how the clarity of mind would start happening. It was too beautiful to describe. To feel again. To really comprehend again. Just keep going Gianna. It’s so close.

    The idea we were on all these drugs and for what good did it do most of us?? Yes, I get mad. The other day a very old friend kept commenting how horrible it was that I was even prescribed drugs. She’s so mad about it because she saw what it did to me.
    She has known me before, during and after.

  46. You’re an amazing inspiration, Gianna!

    Celebration Time once you’ve broken free of the Lamictal!

    Just one drug to go then! What a journey! Drug-free and I bet the recovery really gains speed!

  47. Froscha,
    I don’t remember where you are (Canada, I guess?), but in the US Lamictal is now generic…you may be able to get something cheaper where you are too if you go generic…

    and yeah…I got a whole bunch of samples for the end of my taper from my doc…

    best to you.

  48. Gah! I meant Trileptal!!! Sorry, I get these generic and brand names confused, even on a good day. :}

    Still, I know it’s not wise to quit any of these drugs so suddenly.

    I’m on social assistance but their drug benefit plan does not cover Lamictal or Trileptal, and I can’t afford enough groceries for a month let alone prescription refills I have to pay on my own. (Thanks again, Seroquel, for preventing me from holding down my last two jobs!) So I let the Trileptal lapse after a partial taper.

    As for Lamictal, this is the only drug I’m still on but I only have 10 more pills left. I hope to get more sample packs from my doctor like last time. Otherwise, I will beg and borrow the cash to get more. I know how dangerous it would be to drop that one — tapering off too quickly 2 months ago (in anticipation of lack of coverage) was a serious lesson.

    I remain truly flabbergasted that the government drug plan in my province does not support Lamictal (not for my diagnosis, anyhow) when the medical repercussions of quitting or switching to something else are so high.

  49. Froscha…
    some people don’t have serious problems coming off Lamictal and I hope you are one of those people.

    However, it’s possible you haven’t actually experienced the withdrawal that could come with cold-turkeying 75 mg of Lamictal yet.

    what you’ve done is dangerous. It could cause seizures. that risk is probably gone 12 days out, but noone should do what Froscha did if you are reading this.

    Stopping anti-seizure meds that abruptly can cause not only seizure but death.

    Like I said none of that is likely after 12 days and hopefully you will start to improve, but if your fatigue gets much worse or you end up with other strange or scary symptoms I would get a hold of some Lamictal and reinstate.

    I really wish you the best but it would be irresponsible of me not to let you know you’re in a scary place and anything could happen.

  50. Uhm, I forgot my main point, which was: now that I’ve read your post, I am less frustrated with myself for not having recovered yet. I will not feel guilty for cocooning in my new place all this week.

    I needed a reminder to be kinder to myself. So, thanks for that!

  51. I for one am glad you posted this.

    I’ve been away from your blog for a couple weeks and came back to it only today, after resolving a housing crisis (ie. stuck between rentals) while simultaneously coming off Lamictal with a much steeper decline than yours. I was taking 75mg until 12 days ago. PMS hit me on the same day I ran out, of course!

    Now that I have a nice new space with all the autonomy that comes with it, I was hoping to dive back into blogging (my housing crisis has actually been a year-long in the sense of staying in a bad “temporary” situation) and my other To Dos, and frustrated that I still feel like hell. General fatigue, light sensitivity, feeling indescribably awful early in the morning, headachey and woozy at various periods throughout the day; and all this, despite better sleep, improved vitamin regimen, cedarwood oil supplements, and healthy eating. Could also be the lingering effects of stress from not knowing if I’d have a place to stay until the 11th hour.

    It is reassuring to read about someone else’s parallel struggle, but by all means, take time away if you need it.


  52. Gianna,

    A really good friend of mine posted something the other day that might help….

    She did it as almost a kind of side-note…without much apparent thought….

    But, I think she was feeling something pretty profound, and telling….

    This is what she posted –

    “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

    You hang in there Gianna!


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