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Going off of depression medication
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Going off of depression medication

I decided on my own to go off of my medications, which included 10 mgs of Lexapro and 200 mgs of Lamictal.  I have been diagnosed as bipolar and depressed.  I tried to committ suicide two years ago and was living in a very unhealthy situation with my x-boyfriend.  A lot of things have changed in my life since that time and I felt that I no longer needed my medication.  It has been three weeks and two days since I had any lexapro.  Going off of it was hell and I probably tapered off faster than I should of.  I quit taking the lamictal all together three weeks ago too.  I have electrick shocks that run through my arms,legs, eyes and back of neck.  It only happens a few times a day now and aren't as intense as they were a few weeks ago.  I cry over EVERYTHING.  If someone uses a tone of voice that isn't "soothing", I am in tears.  Every conflict, big or small, sends me into tears.  I also feel that I'm snapping at people more than usual.  Can anyone give me any advice as to how long this is going to go on?  Am I losing "it" or is this normal?  I don't want to go back on the meds, I have come so far!!
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When you were given your antidepressants, were you not told NOT to come off the medication.  When you have a diagnosis of Bipolar the doctor should have told you that you will be on this medication for the rest of your life.  Please see your physician ASAP.  My husband was Bipolar and he tried so hard to get off the medications too but in the end he committed suicide. You are really tempting fate and I cannot tell you how important it is that you see the doctor. I know the medications make you feel strange at times but if they keep you on a level playing field you will be able to enjoy life.  
I wish you the very best.
Calgary 67
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I would suggest you get Peter Breggin's book YOUR DRUGS MAY BE YOUR PROBLEM. He is a psychiatrist who has written a bunch of books, and talks about exactly what you are going through. Your symptoms sound like withdrawal, but you need to be careful.

I am coming off of Prozac (after 15 years!), and have come off of Buspar. I am doing it v-e-r-y slowly, to make sure I'm okay and that it is done safely and forever. I am also working closely with a doctor. These medications are powerful, and so coming off of them is also powerful. I understand not wanting to be on them, but I'd suggest you be careful and find a doc to work with.

Good luck, I know this can really suck! (I'm here tonight because I feel like I'm going to crawl out of my skin or yell at someone for no reason; it's all withdrawal)

laura gail

You
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Dakota,

I know somewhat how you feel.  I've been on various anti-depressants over the last few years and have stopped taking them and had serious and discomforting withdrawals, even though the doctors totally deny the symptoms are possible.  It passes with time.

Hope things work out for you.  I'm coming off Prozac right now and am very irratible and havine suicidal thoughts......I pray this will pass.  

Wishing you much happiness.


Creston  

PS--I live in North Dakota  (I like your screen name!!)
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I saw a new doctor last week and she told me that I was over medicated and we talked about how I was feeling.  I am now coming off Effexor 225 mg.  VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY.  Decreasing 75 mg. has given me a new lease on life. A little bit of energy has returned, an interest in living and not just existing. Keep up the communication.
Mary Ann
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YEAH!!!!!  Going slow is good, that's what I am doing.  What I have also read is that when folks come off slowly they are statistically more likely to stay off.

What I am running into now is that lowering the prozac and coming off Buspar has taken away a buffer I had between me and annoying things. I am realizing that there were lots of places in my life where I didn't HAVE to speak up, because the meds were keeping me just comfortable enough to suck up whatever was going on around me. Not massive things, those I had to deal with. It's things like my husband wanting to sleep with the air conditioner on all the time--when I hate A/C. It's not a huge thing, but I haven't been talking to him about how I feel. Suddenly (or so it seems to him) it's an issue for me. I'm having to do a lot of deep breathing, and reminding the people in my life that I am removing the cotton protection of prozac.

I've been told by all my support folk that I need to get into a regular exercise program to help my body with these changes, and to help me get off the meds totally. Do you (or anyone else reading this) use exercise to help with the depression?

Again, that's great news Mary Ann. Also, Creston, if you're out there, how are you doing?

laura gail
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Hi,
I am on Lexapro for 9 month and month ago i decided to go off that medication. I spoked to my Physician and he told me that the is no withdrawal from Lexapro once u treated and you dont have a depression anymore. Boolshit. I tried to quit and i had shock sensation in my head, i couldn't turn my head i was so dizzy and depressed as hell. So i decided to go see spealist. I told him my story and he said that he is not recommending me to go off. but If i really want it its up to me, but I have to go off very slowly and carefull. I was cutting 1 ml every monday Like Now i am only taking 1 mlg. and i should be the end in 4 days, but this tuesday i forgot to take 1 mlg, and yesterday i was soo dizzy and depressed, i couldnt concentrate it was horrible. So today i am going to see my doc. and ask him whats gonna happen with me when i ll finish taking 1 mlg.
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Hi, I have been on Prozac for15 months. In Feb I began reducing my meds to every other day. Four weeks ago I felt ready to stop completely as I had gained a lot of weight and that was causing me to feel worse. The first 3 weeks were great I felt no different, then last week i began getting excruciating headaches and i felt very dizzy and light headed. I put it down to late withdrawals. This week i feel as though i felt back before i started taking the tablets. Everything irritates me, like Laura says, while i was on the meds I felt i was a much happier person, I dealt with every day life much better, my husband didn't irritate me for forgetting to do the simplest thing. But now i feel i am sooooo snappy. I notice every little thing and i feel as though i am nagging. I am also due on my period next week so unsure if its withdrawel or PMT, either way i don't want to be this person. On the upside i feel i have more energy, but its no good to me if i am pulling away from my family and friends. I have booked an appointment with my doc for 4th July to allow myself time to hopefully pass this, otherwise i feel i need to go back on meds for sake of myself and my family. Is this normal withdrawal?? does it pass and how soon should it, lots of negative feelings are coming back and i don't want to go back to that place. Although the meds had loads of side effects, i was very chilled and handled life better. my husband is a half empty type of guy and i found on meds i was strong for him, but without them i find his negativeness drags me down. Yet while on tablets i didn't even notice it. i hate this hyposensitiveness, cause i have always suffered with it when i have pmt but the last 15 months i haven't. which is the real me.
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220476_tn?1212722950
I did recently get back into working with a trainer twice a week.  We do strength training.  It's been so great.  I feel like a different person.  I do think that exercise is a great way to treat depression.  I have completly gone off of prozac since I started my weekly routine.  I go to a trainer because I can't cancel the appointment and I can talk to someone for that hour.  We are good friends.  It's been a great outlet.  Without the appointment I didn't have any motivation to actually go and excercise.  If you can't afford a trainer then maybe try to find a friend to workout with you.  Good luck.
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Thanks for the hope Charlie's girl!  Just what I needed to hear. While I can't get a personal trainer right now, the friend idea is great. When I've had work out buddies it's always been successful, while on my own it tends to be mixed.

1Indiana, sounds very familiar. Some of it sounds like long withdrawal, and some like PMS. The rest also sounds very familiar, and I know that for me, it's not depression, it's feeling reality again.

What I'm realizing is that the Prozac has acted as a buffer--things which would annoy me without the meds don't bother me with the meds. While it may be more comfortable on the medication, I don't think it's healthy. I've got friends who are supporting me in finding ways to APPROPRIATELY deal with all those things which annoy me that I've allowed to slide.

For example, my husband loves to sleep with the air conditioner on. I hate it unless we're in a heat wave, and I have trouble sleeping with the a/c on.  While I was still on the Buspar and at a higher level with the Prozac I was still able to sleep with the a/c on, but I hated it and would sort of tell my husband how I felt. Well, last week I couldn't sleep with the a/c on, so I decided to let him have his a/c and I'd just sleep on the couch. I didn't mind, but he was really mad the next day, and told me that the a/c had never been this big a deal before. Basically I ended up telling him that it hadn't bothered me as much before because of the meds, but that I was not willing to be drugged out for his convenience. He didn't say much for a while, but since then it's not been an issue. No a/c without talking about it first, and only if I say it's okay, and no pushing me around to say yes either.

So, I'm finding that a lot of old negative feelings and annoyances are coming back, but as I deal with them they're going away. And as for me being hyper-sensative, I figure it will change as I get used to not being wrapped in cotton, and as I learn new ways of being. I don't want to be a *****, but I also don't want to be happy and nice just because I'm drugged. There are no easy answers, but I know I can do this with my friends and family and anyone else who wants to help me!

Hang in there.

laura gail
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I MOST DEFINATELY AGREE!

I have been on BiPolar drugs, and done the withdrawal thing.
It was really bad.

The only way to go off is to taper
VERY VERY VERY VERY SLOWLY!

Even when down to 1/4 pill, then stopping altogether,
I would take 1/4 pill every couple days to keep the withdrawal
symptoms at bay.

IT WORKS!
Good Luck to you all.
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Throughout the 20 years of being diagnosed bipolar, I used to go off my medication thinking I could deal with life on my own.
I would not learn my lesson that every time I would go off my meds on my own, I would end up worse than the previous time.
Since last October, I started taking them again, hoping to stay on them. They don't quite work, but is better than before.
I know, should I not take my meds, I'll end up in the hospital again, or probably worse.
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It's now been over a month since I came off the buspar, and did the first prozac reduction from 40 to 30 mg, and I'm feeling pretty good. My brain is MUCH MUCH clearer, and the non-stop irritation has stopped.

I saw my doc last week, and we're going to hold steady at 30 mg for another month. Then I will do a much slower tapper down to 20mg, I will take 30 mg a day for three days and on the fourth take 20 mg.  I'm not sure how long he wants me to do that pattern, I think it's going to be for a month.

What I am finding is that I will periodically think I am having anxiety attacks, but when I stop, breathe, and really look at what I am feeling it is almost always not anxiety but me feeling annoyed about something. (and so far it's always been things which are appropriate to be annoyed about!)

How are other folks doing?

laura gail
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I was diagniosed with anixety and given Buspar, well I might as well have been in a comma,after taking it. Then my pshyc. put me on Prozac woked for 6 moths and then major  poop out. Now being on all of them for the last 4-ever years I feel they are making me worse than better. I never want to go back to the pit of blackness but now on 60mgs of cymbalta I feel no better. I have been taking it for at least 3 years,

I want to stop all meds as well but I am not stupid enough to stop without help from a medical professional. The Virtigo I get after one day free of midication is enough to make me never want to stop. Can't we find someone that truly understands the chemical process going on in our minds.  This is a true epidemic.  

Sick and tired of people telling me it's all mind over matter, blah, blah. blah.

Does anyone know a good PHD that can get us off this poision and onto the healing combination of detox and healthy natural ingrideatnts.
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Has anyone been on all of these medicatios at once...or something similar?
Wellbutrin
Prozac
Lithium
Klonipin (klonopin)
Topamax
Vyvanse
I also want to get off my meds. It has been 2 years since my first major depression episode.
tlk4067
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I have been diagniosed with bipolar and was taking Lamictal for 6 months and stopped them about 2 months ago.  I feel terrible i dont want to be around anyone i feel like I'm losing my mind I can't seem to consintrate on nothing everything I do i have to recheck because I forget. I have a doctors appt. and have him help me with getting back on them. Has anyone gone though what I am? Please comment
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First of all this post is 2 years old so it might have been pointless to comment on it. Secondly, as medications on the links page there are many helpful websites on medications. There are many options. I would not suggest reading any book by Peter Breggin and I would strongly suggest staying on medication (for anyone here). Please understand that an anti-psychiatry book is of little use for anyone here. The people in the anti-psychiatry movement such as Peter Breggin believes that psychiatric disabilities can be treated without medication and overstate the risk of rare side effects to scare people off medication which is blatantly wrong and are unaware of new developments in treatment. You can read my journal entries if you wish as I am in a specific case study. But if you want standard consumer friendly websites on the wide variety of mood stabilizers and anti-depressents now available there are many now on the links page and let's stick with those or suggest others we might find helpful to community leaders and not books that state that there are no options because encouraging a person to go off treatment is a very destructive idea.
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My 20 year old son was diagnosed with Bi-Polar a year ago and put on medication. After taking it for a short while, he quit, saying it made him feel bad.  He's joined the Navy and passed boot camp. I am very concerned about him. He seems to think that he can manage his Bi-polar without medication. When he was 17, he had a lot of anger issues and would scream at me for hours sometimes, then he'd be totally unconcerned and uninterested in much of anything for a long while.  He went to college and he'd stay awake for days and then sleep for days.  That's when he went to the doctor and got the diagnosis.  I know he couldn't have been truthful on  his Navy application!  I adopted him when  he was 12 and I know that he was in psychiatric hospitals several times during the years before that.  I have a question for you, do you think that someone can manage the feelings and mood swings associated with Bi-polar by just convincing themselves that they can do it?  Since I don't know how it feels, it would be impossible for me to make a conclusion as to whether or not he can make it without some medication, but my gut is telling me that it's a disaster waiting to happen.
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