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Hi! I've been on Abilify since last June, tapering down every three months from 30mg to 25mg to 20mg and finally last week to 15mg. Everything was going as expected, ie) temporary mood shift lasting from two weeks to up to a month after each shift to a lower dose, so I though I knew what to expect... until I reached 15mg. Now I have to drink a beer everyday or I feel like I don't know disconnected and agitated and depressed. It's definately a compulsion - and I never drink more than one. But I know it's not good to solve my emotional problems with beer (although it does taste good).

Am I self-medicating???? Will I gradually get used to being on this lower dose of Abilify? Has anyone else experienced the same when they have tapered off AAPs? All support appreciated.

Edited by nightbutterfly

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Why are you going off of Abilify?  Was it not helping?

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Don't get me wrong Abilify has been great and kept me stable and out of hospital for about ten months without major side-effects. But I have experienced the following: mood dulling, tremors, brain fog, increase in appetite (not as much as with Olanzapine but still finding it impossible to lose weight). Also I'm terrified of getting a movement disorder.

I know that being stable is not a reason to go off anti-psychotic medication and I know that from experience but my doctor supported the decrease from 20mg to 15mg and I am doing it under his "supervision" so to speak although my next appt. is in 3 mths time. We've agreed I will contact him if I get any unusual thoughts.

Please don't judge me for choosing to taper down my Abilify... I mean do I really need it to function for the rest of my life? Am I still in denial? Am I just stupid and risking a relapse? I'm so confused right now!!!

Edited by nightbutterfly

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Don't get me wrong Abilify has been great and kept me stable and out of hospital for about ten months without major side-effects. But I have experienced the following: mood dulling, tremors, brain fog, increase in appetite (not as much as with Olanzapine but still finding it impossible to lose weight). Also I'm terrified of getting a movement disorder.

I know that being stable is not a reason to go off anti-psychotic medication and I know that from experience but my doctor supported the decrease from 20mg to 15mg and I am doing it under his "supervision" so to speak although my next appt. is in 3 mths time. We've agreed I will contact him if I get any unusual thoughts.

Please don't judge me for choosing to taper down my Abilify... I mean do I really need it to function for the rest of my life? Am I still in denial? Am I just stupid and risking a relapse? I'm so confused right now!!!

 

I didn't think I did; just asked some questions.

 

Have you tried any other meds?

Edited by melissaw72

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Thanks for your reply Melissa. With all due respect I'm not sure where you're headed with that question. A med change would be too disruptive right now as I'm stable atm.

Going down to 15mg has made me start drinking more. I've been on two benders in the last two weeks corresponding to my decrease in Abilify. I need to find some healthier coping strategies I think.

I also think I need some time to settle into this new regime and give it a chance. I always get a bit moody for the first few weeks after decreasing my Abilify but then it stabilises. I was just wondering if it was common to start self-medicating on alcohol when withdrawing from an AAP.

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Guest

Thanks for your reply Melissa. With all due respect I'm not sure where you're headed with that question. A med change would be too disruptive right now as I'm stable atm.

Going down to 15mg has made me start drinking more. I've been on two benders in the last two weeks corresponding to my decrease in Abilify. I need to find some healthier coping strategies I think.

I also think I need some time to settle into this new regime and give it a chance. I always get a bit moody for the first few weeks after decreasing my Abilify but then it stabilises. I was just wondering if it was common to start self-medicating on alcohol when withdrawing from an AAP.

Drinking more because of a med change does not sound stable to me.  If going down to 15 mg is causing you to rely upon alcohol then I'm thinking that you either need the higher dose or you're tapering too quickly.  Self-medicating with alcohol is not common when withdrawing from an AAP.  

 

Have you considered maybe changing by 2.5 mg rather than 5 mg?  I know it might be difficult to split the tablets into 17.5 mg but with the long half-life, getting a little more one day and a little less the next day shouldn't be a big deal.  

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I had asked if you'd tried any more meds because I wondered if you tried any others to replace the abilify.  I just didn't understand why the tapering down of abilify and not going onto something else. 

 

I'm sorry if i missed why you weren't trying something else after coming off the abilify; I didn't see it in your post.

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