Update 11/2011 — the post mentioned continues to get more hits than any other post (ongoing). It’s now got 100s of thousand hits. Lamictal is still a mostly unknown horribly difficult drug to withdraw from. This is mostly because people taking it often stay on it or switch to another “mood-stabilizer” or anti-seizure med, meaning that withdrawals are mitigated by another drug replacing it. If one comes off completely withdrawal syndrome is often the result. MDs too often don’t recognize it as a withdrawal syndrome among those labeled with a psychiatric disorder and will replace it quickly with another medication rather than let the person heal from the drug injury.
In just one year this post alone has had 9,000 views. It is the most viewed post on my blog. It often gets 50 hits a day and has gotten over 200 comments—mostly people freaking out as they withdraw in some sort of reckless fashion.
It strongly suggests there is a serious problem with Lamictal withdrawal for many many people.
I’ve been told that it was the Lamictal withdrawal that has brought about my physical demise. Something about it messing with my glutamine and glutamate cycle. That in fucking with that cycle my Klonopin became extra toxic and yet, double edged sword that it is, withdrawing from Klonopin makes me very ill as well.
So I remain on 2 mg of the 3 mg of Klonopin I started out with and that continues to plague me. I remind you I am off all the other 6 drugs I was on. After 4 years of withdrawal. I took 2 years to come off Lamictal, but according to the person who offered the above theory I came off the end of the Lamictal way too fast. And indeed it was that delightful ortho doc who cold turkeyed me off 55 mg of Lamictal and 3 mg of Klonopin who did this to me all at once at the end after doing everything by the “book” for so long. (what book there is—I’m being somewhat facetious as we’re all in the dark here.)
I must do more research and hopefully learn if there is a way to help this glutamine/glutamate cycle right itself. I’m actively pursuing a neurologist now. I consulted with my neuropsych doc and he has someone in Winston-Salem in mind. I’m terrified of anyone with an MD behind their name at this point. I’ve been screwed so many times, but I want to try to learn what the problem is even if I don’t choose to pursue how they would want to treat me. Medicare should pay for this too which will be a welcome change since orthomolecular psychiatrists generally don’t accept insurance.
I wonder about supplementing with glutamine as I used to for a while. I actually found it very helpful, but that was before I completed the Lamictal withdrawal and I don’t know if the damage was already done when I was finding it helpful. One of the multiple ortho docs I saw took me off the glutamine—another ortho doc had put me on it—bounce, bounce, all around.
I think it might be worth trying baby doses of it and seeing if it helps again. It was something I actually liked a lot but the doc I worked with who took me off it demanded obediance as they all seem to even as they lead you to illness as she did.
Though that is more common among psych docs in my experience. Psychiatrists of all stripes seem to really be into control. I’ve not found that to be true of other docs to the same degree. Maybe this neurologist I’ll see will respect me if I refuse to follow orders. If not I won’t work with them long…that is if their orders involve taking the drugs that have sickened me and that is what I fear.