I’m oh so close…

ivI DO NOT RECOMMEND IV nutrient therapy for withdrawal. While they may not cause any harm they are most likely a waste of money. I do think that on occasion some people do find them helpful, but they did not help me at all and most people I know who’ve tried them felt the same. I wanted to make note of that.

For much more information on slow and safer withdrawal from all psych drugs visit the psych drug withdrawal page: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

this very old post was getting lots of hits for some reason…so I’m doing a small update here at the top since this post taken out of context with the rest of the blog is really outdated…this means it will show up in readers…unfortunately can’t avoid that. 

 

I’m down to 17 mg of Valium. That’s the equivalent of less than 1 mg of Klonopin. I did the crossover a while back. I was on 3 mg of Klonopin which was 60 mg of Valium so I’m over 2/3s of the way off the last and final drug I’m withdrawing from.

There are many tales of the end being the worst for many people. Especially when they were on a massive cocktail like mine. I’m not sure if it’s the worst in all ways. I’m in less physical pain, but I’m more physically disabled. I sleep now and there were many times I did not.

But I’m tired. And not just “chronic fatigue” tired, which is part of it, yes. So much a part that I’m pretty much bed bound most of the time and can’t be on my feet more than 10 minutes on a good day.

But the tired I’m speaking of is a profoundly deep tiredness in my soul. The endurance, persistence and stubbornness I’ve had to find is simply tapped out.

I started my IV nutrient therapy again. I started that when I went to detox and while they were incompetent idiots in many ways, the nutrient cocktail they put directly into my veins did seem to allow me to come off a whole bunch more drug than I would have otherwise.

The contents are simple:
Magnesium
Vitamin C
B vitamins (a bunch of them but B-6 and B-12 in higher doses)
Taurine

and finally at the end I get a Glutathione “push” directly into the vein as it cannot be mixed in the above cocktail because the Vitamin C renders in inert.

These are simple vitamins, minerals and amino acids. All natural. Also all stuff I also take by mouth and have for over a year. But in the vein one can take mega-doses and it’s all readily absorbed. It seems to seriously take the edge off, but as I say, it’s a bit early to be sure.

I’d done enough research to know it might help and I have a good friend who uses this method a lot with difficult people he works with when he helps them come off psychotropics so it seems promising.

As I just said I resumed the IV therapy on Monday. I got it for four days in a row and dropped another 3 mg of Valium with no obvious worsening of withdrawal symptoms. It’s premature to know, but if it really is helping as much as my brief history with it suggests it can I may be off this shit within the next 2 months rather than the next year.

Oh, dare I get hopeful again?? Hope springs eternal even after you’ve been humiliated again and again for being stupidly hopeful it seems.

Anyway, I will let you all know if this truly is an option to move things along as I’m thinking it may be. Then again, I may prove to once again be the fool. Also, it’s very expensive and simply not a viable alternative for too many people. I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t languishing 5 years into withdrawing. But I can’t tolerate the suffering anymore and I have a mom willing to help me with the cost. The most I can do if I discover it does indeed help is launch some sort of campaign to make it available at low cost somewhere.

I’ve made a few interesting connections through my work so I dream big and do hope to be able to turn my experience around in some way to help those less fortunate than I am. To make alternatives available to those whose only means are SSI or less. That is still where a large part of my heart lies as I worked with those folks for many many years and have many friends and acquaintances who are still in those circumstances.

I called my neuropsychologists office yesterday. He is the one who go me started on this journey. I started neurofeedback with him and he was the first person who ever suggested I might live drug free. So I called to ask when our first appointment was because I got off the antidepressants very quickly once I started working with him and I want to know the exact date I started this journey. Because after the Zoloft I came off of one drug after another until now.

I’ve been saying “5 years ago” lately, but frankly I’m not sure exactly when I started.

Round up:

84 mg of Concerta (gone)

200 mg of Zoloft (gone)

400 mg of Lamictal (gone)

11 mg of Risperdal (gone)

50 mg of Seroquel (gone)

3 mg Klonopin crossover to 60 mg of Valium — I’m down to 17 mg of Valium

Once that is gone I will be DRUG FREE.

We’re looking at a matter of weeks (if the IV therapy is doing what I hope it’s doing) to perhaps another year, if I’m wrong.

In addition to that I still have to recover. My body is grossly deconditioned and it’s been suggested I am hypothyroid and heavy metal toxic. I’ve tested positive for both. The thing is there are so many ways these things are interpreted and so much controversy around how to treat these issues that I simply feel stumped and I’m putting those things on the back burner for now.

The point is, I’m not gonna be all better once the drugs are out. It will be a good while still. The only thing I will treat as soon as my results come back is my very obvious female hormonal issues. It’s unreal how messed up I get pre-menstrually. And so I will, at least temporarily, succumb to bio-identical supplementation with what will probably be some progesterone.

Once off the drugs and once I’m able to make it to appointments again I’ll switch over to my gynecological acupuncturist who I think can do this without my having to take hormones. I don’t like the idea of taking hormones. Even bio-identical ones. My fear is it’s all hype, though I do think they may relieve some of my issues in the short term, adding hormones to the body smacks too much of pharmacology to me. And without clinical trials I remain skeptical to the safety of it even though in alternative circles it’s all the hype.

Finally I want to add to this post. I know I’m tired and I sound tired. But I have dreams. Big dreams to make this a different journey for people in the future, that no one need ever go through what I have gone through. My spirit, though tired, is alive and well.

For much more information on slow and safer withdrawal from all psych drugs visit the psych drug withdrawal page: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

25 thoughts on “I’m oh so close…

  1. This is awesome progress Gianna. You are nearly at the finishing line. Now is when you need to haul yourself up even more and dig deep into your own reserves, your spirit is strong, you have come so far, now hang on in there and keep gritting those teeth. I remember so clearly the last 12 weeks of my withdrawal I was on 5mg olanzapine (zyprexa) and it seemed like 12 years I crossed off each day on the calendar I had a picture of myself in my mind 24/7 of how I’d be when medication free. I did it, you can do it, you ARE doing it

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  2. Gianna–you will recover. I know you will. Try to be patient with yourself. Sometimes all I can do is cry because it is so hard to get back the physical vitality and ability that is lost.

    I want to tell you something–when I was in the hospital after my surgery the doctor, for reasons of his own, decided to start weaning me off my Klonipin. Over the course of 3 weeks he got me down from 5 mg a day to 3–amazing since I’ve taken 5 for a very long time. Because of you I am continuing that process–down to 2 now. I count myself fortunate in this. The pain drugs (which I do need and which I’m not allowed to take much of) seem to be making the lowering of the Klonipin easier. But most of all your journey is what is giving me what I need to do this. I’m grateful to you for showing me that I don’t need to need to take this crap to live. I know it may get rough as I continue. But I’m already taking a few amino acids by mouth and I’ve always been the vitamin queen 🙂 And as long as I have to take the pain stuff, I’ll happily use that to help me as well. Thank you for your example, and your great courage.

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    1. Joan,
      good for you…not everyone has a horrible time withdrawing from benzos…I always try to remind people there is a huge spectrum of experience…unfortunately my tale concentrates on what is a all too common worst case scenario…but many people have it much easier…

      someone who used to read this blog shared her withdrawal from 2 mg of Klonopin after 10 years of use. She did it in 2 weeks with no symtoms and is fine…she also got off Lithium and perhaps something else after a couple of decades…she had a bipolar diagnosis and is fine many years out now.

      thanks for sharing your journey…AND I get the feeling you do get what it’s like to be physically disabled which is really very difficult for most folks to conceive of unless they’ve experienced it. It’s always nice to exchange words with people who seem to get it.

      thanks.

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  3. Thanks for the welcome I was thinking it may be the reason too. It could be why your iv drip is helpful. These are the suppliments suggested for mitochondrial disfunction.

    Creatine, L-carnitine and coQ10 supplements often are combined into a “cocktail” for treating mitochondrial disease. http://www.mda.org/Publications/mitochondrial_myopathies.html#howaremitochondrial

    It is difficult to say what might help we could sure use some research in this area. I guess in a way you are doing some.

    I have been searching for things that might help and looked at several support sites and blogs from what I can tell most people but not all will heal from the fallout of these drugs. The time frame seems to be 7 years after quitting this is obviously people who have been off for a long time so they have the benefit of hind sight. I am sure if we asked them 3 years after quitting they were much improved from the year before. So complete healing if you are going to get it will take 7 years supposedly.

    BTW have you noticed how many sites there are discussing these issues the number is mind boggling. So odd there can be so many of us and still the mainstream does not seem to get it.
    I am constantly talking to people some on these drugs they think I am nuts. lol which I may be they are sure their drugs are safe and good for them. Makes me want to scream but they will not listen. Some are family members I hope I don’t have to watch them suffer don’t think I could stand it.

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    1. I do not pay attention to how long it will take me to recover… I don’t believe it’s helpful..and there are those who feel well right away and those who don’t recover…it makes no sense to me to think in this manner…I trust I will recover…that is enough…

      yes, I’ve been taking all sorts of stuff by mouth that is supposed to help with mytochodrial damage and the IVs are much more direct…and virtually no one knows about them…so I am in new territory.

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  4. You were on a lot more drugs than I was. I know in my case that when I was to the absolute END of the drug weaning, that after I stopped the very low dose of the last drug (Depakote at 125 mg per day at the end), that once that got out of my system over a couple of days, it was like WOW! The drug-induced fog just LIFTED, and all at once.

    Hang in there, and know that you do NOT “need” Valium.

    Beth

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    1. Don’t worry I know I don’t need any drug by this time…you don’t come off five drugs almost 6 now, feel more sane and think you need this shit…

      the tragedy is I’m physically impaired so I mourn…I sure as hell have no doubt I’m doing and have done the right thing.

      thanks for your encouragement.

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  5. You have done a fabulous job and I hope it keeps getting better and better. I too feel a need to tell others and make changes so no other has to suffer.
    A short bit about me I am new here and not sure where to put a new person story I will try to be breif and am sorry if I am breaking a rule.
    I have been on antidepressants off and on for 18 years. Other drugs have been added in over the years resperidal lorazapam valproic acid clonozapm likely spelling some wrong but it is late and I am tired. Thing is I have always quit all of these drugs cold turkey many times. There are many things about these drugs that many don’t know this information needs to be common knowledge. One of the most damaging for me was that they do stop working and can make you sick. That long list of side effects is for real. This last bout of antidepressant (effexor and celexa- lorazapm clonazapam) withdrawal almost killed me but I was so sick by then I felt sure I would not live if I continued taking them. This last bout of illness from the drugs thru cold turkey to now being 20 months drug free has so far taken 5 years that is a long time. So I feel for you there. I have learned a lot the hard way and can’t wait to share and lean more from people heard. I think chronic fatigue is a huge part of withdrawal. I think it may be in part because of mitochondrial disorders caused by many of these drugs which I have been diagnosed with a few years ago but not treatment was offerred.

    You can find a list of drugs that cause mitochondieal disease here

    [PDF] Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – View as HTML
    4 Medication-induced mitochondrial damage. Mitochondrial dysfunction is increasingly implicated in the etiology of drug-induced toxicities, …
    psychrights.org/research/Digest/NLPs/DrugsCauseMitochondrialDamage.pdf – Similar
    must sleep bye

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    1. hi Susan,
      yeah, it’s generally much more risky cold-turkeying..

      I’ve posted that article on mitochondrial damage before..I think that has a lot to do with why we get so sick.

      thanks for sharing and welcome

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  6. You give everyone HOPE no one could ask for more. You really are beautiful, strong, honest, caring, soulfull, speacial YOU XXXXX Thank you XXXXX

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  7. Don’t have the experience of coming off meds but as you know I’ve been doing a long climb back to my life after emergency surgery on my back. I know exhaustion, but I also know the exaltation that comes with being able to do something I haven’t been able to do for so long. I got my quad cane yesterday so not walking (much less running!!) yet and I can only use it for short periods in the house–but in April I was sitting in a wheelchair. I don’t know if this is helping, but I know that hope is not a bad thing. Sometimes it lets you down but if you keep on hoping eventually it comes through.

    And tired is ok too!! With what you’ve been through just in the time I’ve known you I’m amazed you can write at all.

    You are doing a great thing for yourself and for others who will follow. Be gentle with yourself–you deserve all the gentleness in the world.
    Joan

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  8. What a long and arduous journey… I believe in those big dreams of yours and I have faith they will come true. Sending good thoughts. In support, Lyn

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  9. Gianna,
    What a journey!
    I have to tell you that you are very brave and I’m sure you will go till the end. I just hope you get better and start feeling well soon.
    Yes, for some people it gets harder at the end.
    You are right, you are close to the end.
    Love,
    Ana

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  10. Don’t forget to call if you need a dose of hope. I can get to your house in 20-30 minutes if you need me, or just talk on the phone.

    I hope some day that all our cases give healers more of an idea of the range of possibilities in withdrawal, and what to do to ease the transition.

    Hugs,
    Moss

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  11. Dear Gianna,
    I’m writing this with tears in my eyes. Somehow, in my heart I have the feeling that this is finally going to work for you. While I know that getting off the medication is truly the first step, and it took years after I was mostly off medication for my mind and body to heal, I sense that this will be the beginning of the end of the medication, and you’ll start this other journey.

    If it turns out to be true, I can’t tell you how hopeful I feel for you. I’d spent years doing research about the kind of IV therapy you’re taking, and I didn’t pursue it because I couldn’t figure out whom to go to about this, and after all the tens of thousands of dollars we’d spent on this illness, I couldn’t invest in yet another alternative therapy that might not work.

    As you know, I still need Adderall for part of the year, and when I’m on that I need Ativan to sleep at night. As a result of reading this, I’m going to find a doctor I trust to see about getting this IV drip with the idea that perhaps it will help me stop taking both drugs once and for all.

    While I am so much better in so many ways, I know that there is something “off” with my body that is causing the terrible fall depressions that lasted this year for almost seven months.

    Anyway, this should be about you, not me. But I do want to say that your story is prompting me to take the final step in riding my body of medication. And I am cautiously optimistic that this will work for you.

    I imagine a time when I can visit you and we can go on hikes, play tennis, garden together, and delight in our wellness!

    With love,
    Susan

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    1. Dear Susan,
      I certainly hope I can report with great assurance that what I’m doing now is the final piece and what will help me get well…and if it can help others that would be fantastic…

      as far as this supposing to be about me…well…no….I write this for all of us. It’s not supposed to be just about me. And so I love to hear how perhaps something I learn may help you. And I love to hear about all our struggles and gains toward wellness.

      I always had the intention that I write this for everyone….not just me, though of course the support I get from you and most of my readers is a huge part of what makes this meaningful too.

      thanks for being such a wonderful friend and supporter throughout this whole journey.
      and yes, I think we will someday meet each other and go on a hike, play tennis or garden together.
      with love,
      Gianna

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  12. “My spirit, though tired, is alive and well.” Wow, Gianna! What good news this is. I send you continuing love and prayers as it looks as if you are successfully achieving your withdrawal journey and about to formally continue your career of helping many other people do the same. Keep going all the way!

    Love,
    Sally

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    1. so far all of you who have responded today have gone before me…all three of you have come off meds successfully…how delightful to hear from you all and get a dose of extra inspiration each time you’ve all left a comment.

      thanks.

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  13. Dear Pat,
    thanks so much…you are one of my many inspirations…

    I’m lucky in that I have no desire whatsoever to take Valium…it feels toxic and I hate it. And I’ve come to that conclusion in this process.

    I’ve never had cravings for it or any psychotropic drug in that way. There have been times when my withdrawals have gotten too out of control and I’ve had to reinstate a small amount, but luckily Valium simply feels toxic…as all the drugs do now. On the rare occasion I’ve had to reinstate a bit while it’s been necessary and it has, indeed, relieved some discomfort, it also created other problems making it clear that all I wanted to do was continue getting off the drug…

    But I can imagine that if some sort of extreme state crops up once I’m well off drugs there may sometimes be a desire to take something…

    I cannot predict the future and given there is no infrastructure of care for people in extreme states, I still do wonder what the alternatives are, really for such people?

    https://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/having-been-victim/

    I hope we find more answers and have readily available relief in the way of alternatives for people in life threatening crisis…or even for people who are just scared to death by some form of extreme state of consciousness…right now we don’t have it available for most people.

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  14. I’ve survived five heart attacks. I’m convinced that the damage to my heart was caused by the psychiatric drug cocktail I took for over ten years: Stelazine & Navane (antipsychotics), Sinequan & Imipramine (antidepressants) and Clonipin, Cogentin, Valium & Benedryl for “side effects”; all taken twice daily. It took me a few years to get clean and the last and worst was Valium. The difficulty was it kept pulling me back into it like an addict. I’d convinced myself that I “needed” it; as a muscle relaxer (blamed not taking it for all my aches and pains), as a sleep aid, to help concentration, for everything. It still, after 17 years, tugs at me once in a while and I just have to toughen up and refuse it’s allure.

    Hang in there. There’s a peace of mind at the end that’s well worth it.

    with love, honor and respect,
    Pat Risser

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  15. Yeah, you’re not out of the woods but at least you are closer to the end of this path. Don’t worry so much about being hopeful. Hope doesn’t care about setbacks, that’s the nature of hope – blind trust in the face of overwhelming odds. Hope must be a buddha don’t you think? A very wise and patient buddha.

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