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I have tapered from 1800mg of ocxarbazepine (tirleptal) to 0mg and from 4mg xanax to 1mg over the last week.

edit - also tapered off 450 ithium ER.

My last mg of xanax is tonight.

My doctor has tapered me off all neuroleptics.

I have felt better in the last two days than I have in three years! My sleep has gotten better - that is I can get to sleep on 1.5mg instead of 4mg of xanax, and I feel rested in the morning.

I still have residual waves during the day, up and down that is. And although they are high in frequency they are low in amplitude. Kind of like a subthreshold symptoms, only I'm not on any medications.

Is this familiar to anyone?

I thought bp symptoms would worsen when tapered off of medications.

moderators - any thoughts?

Edited by bubblegirl
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I assume you decided to taper off because you and your doctor felt you were stable enough? About your withdrawal, this is something that differs from person to person. However, you are tapering off of several powerful drugs. I don't mean to be a downer but the reality is you could experience negative symptoms further into the taper. I'm glad to here you're feeling fine with only sub threshold symptoms to speak of but watch out for an increase in intensity.

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Is there a reason for your doctor doing this? Are you going to be on meds again?

There have been times when I hopped off meds without authorisation (bad me) and I did find that I felt better at first. That is, after the initial wave of side effects from withdrawal. I did find that after a few weeks, I got more symptomatic. So you might have to watch for that.

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I am tapering off for ECT.

Starts Monday, so I probably won't get into the repercussions of withdrawal just yet.

It is just puzzling to me that I am so much clearer and alert than before. It will make things more difficult on the other side, because I will resist going back onto Lithium and oxcarbazepine.

I don't like the way they make me feel at all. It seems like my symptoms were magnified by them instead of suppressed.

I'm not so sure that oxcarbazepine didn't contribute to my depressive state.

I've reported to my psychiatrist on this. He knows what to expect next.

I don't know what I will do really. There has to be something that works. So far yesterday and today are the first two days in 3 years without major depression, mixed state or SI or all of the above. in 24 hours my blood serum will be technically cleared, as far as half-lives go, except for xanax. It is definitely a puzzle to me.

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I know that phenomenon where you feel better coming off meds. It has happened to me. However, in a few weeks to months, I become symptomatic again. Sometimes I am not even aware that I am becoming symptomatic, and I only know when I am very far down into the pit of despair. I have always had to return to meds.

The point is that the period of feeling good is temporary.

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Do you think you tapered too fast? And all at once? Why not taper off one at a time (how do you know which withdrawal symptoms are coming from which of the individual meds you are on ... they could come from any 3 of the meds you're on)?

For me and xanax, for only 3 mg it took a couple months so I wouldn't feel withdrawal side effects. Idk about the other 2 meds you're on, but going from 1800 mg to 0 mg of trileptal is a big taper, IMO. And then lithium on top of that just adds to (possible) withdrawal symptoms.

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Do you think you tapered too fast? And all at once? Why not taper off one at a time (how do you know which withdrawal symptoms are coming from which of the individual meds you are on ... they could come from any 3 of the meds you're on)?

For me and xanax, for only 3 mg it took a couple months so I wouldn't feel withdrawal side effects. Idk about the other 2 meds you're on, but going from 1800 mg to 0 mg of trileptal is a big taper, IMO. And then lithium on top of that just adds to (possible) withdrawal symptoms.

It was a little faster than typical, and you're right about one at a time. However, the psychiatrist doing my ECT was going to do it a week ago, which would have involve tapering in 4 days. I chose to take eleven days and try to get fewer withdrawal issues.

Like I said, the first four or five days were pretty tough, mixed state-wise, but after that I have had less instense peaks and valleys around/along with the withdrawal effects. That is what is puzzling to me. I feel better now that the drugs are getting out of my system, even with the withdrawal effects.

I know that phenomenon where you feel better coming off meds. It has happened to me. However, in a few weeks to months, I become symptomatic again. Sometimes I am not even aware that I am becoming symptomatic, and I only know when I am very far down into the pit of despair. I have always had to return to meds.

The point is that the period of feeling good is temporary.

I thought I had read that somewhere at some point. I have just not been able to find any literature on it.

The bottom line here is that I am feeling better and it will definitely influence my choice of treatment after ECT, come what may. I may learn the hard way or I may be doing myself a huge favor. That remains to be seen.

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You may simply be experiencing a period of stability combined with the lack of negative side effects from the meds. But you need to remember that BP is a cyclical illness that comes and goes, so the chances of a mood episode occurring in the future is pretty high. Just because you feel good now doesn't mean you will never have a mood episode again. You still have BP, and that never goes away.

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What you describe doesn't surprise me. I feel better, more alert, have a bit of spring in my step every time I have quit my meds.

And then things start going down hill, while I keep telling myself I don't need these meds, and congratulate myself on how clever I am, and how I'm not under control again. And then I fall off the cliff. And my condition has worsened after every incident. The last time I lost time, did things I can't remember, broke a lot of things, and did stupid kid pranks that could get my middle aged butt tangled up with the cops.

So I've been scared straight for three years come January. The med side effects are an acceptable trade off for being alive, safe and doing what I can to enjoy life. :) Oh, I screwed up two semesters of classes, got put on double secret probation by the dean and embarrassed myself to at least one professor I had begged special permission to take his class. sigh.

I hope your ECT goes smoothly and gets you back on track, dear! All the best, a.m.

Edited by AirMarshall
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What you describe doesn't surprise me. I feel better, more alert, have a bit of spring in my step every time I have quit my meds.

And then things start going down hill, while I keep telling myself I don't need these meds, and congratulate myself on how clever I am, and how I'm not under control again. And then I fall off the cliff. And my condition has worsened after every incident. The last time I lost time, did things I can't remember, broke a lot of things, and did stupid kid pranks that could get my middle aged butt tangled up with the cops.

So I've been scared straight for three years come January. The med side effects are an acceptable trade off for being alive, safe and doing what I can to enjoy life. :) Oh, I screwed up two semesters of classes, got put on double secret probation by the dean and embarrassed myself to at least one professor I had begged special permission to take his class. sigh.

I hope your ECT goes smoothly and gets you back on track, dear! All the best, a.m.

a.m.

Yes even as I sit here blinded by this monitor at 3 in the morning, buzzed on xanax withdrawal and waves of depression and anxiety, awaiting the knife, I can recall many the events of a ruined life without medication. I will not report them to you here, as I am also embarrassed of my thirty five years of exploits as a BP1.

I really appreciate your care.

It has been several years since I experienced a full blown, long term manic episode. I just alternate between mixed, depressive and hypomania during the day while I am on my mood stabilizers. My symptoms weave in and around each other like vines.

I felt pretty clever last week, but not so much today. :huh:

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I am in touch with a local team on NHS mental health professionals who offer support to people who come off medications they have been on for a while. Their golden rule is a gradual reduction over a time frame that reflects how long you have been on the med, a slower reduction for people on high doses for years. They always recommend coming off one medication at a time. They also recommend making a plan of coping skills you plan to use, self care you have to increase, how to manage a crisis etc, so you don't crash into a crisis without any forward planning.

I can find some coming off medication resources online, if you need them.

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OK. So now I am numb. I have been numb for several days. I called the pdoc who is doing the ECT and she said it was not a side effect of ECT.

I was doing alright until after my second ECT, then I just got numb all over. I have no energy. I feel like I am running a fever, but nothing registers above normal on the thermometer. I just sit and stare in front of the TV all day and night, except for about 6 hours of sleep from midnight to six am.

I am afraid this will never go away. I am a zombie. Nothing registers.

If it is withrawals from trileptal, then why didn't they start sooner? I don't understand this and am very worried that this is never going to end.

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I just sit and stare in front of the TV all day and night, except for about 6 hours of sleep from midnight to six am.

I did that yesterday. Sat in front of the TV much of the day just waiting for the time to take my meds.

But I did have a surge of sharp depression, probably when the Seroquel wore off late in the afternoon.

Then I forced myself out for a walk, got over the surge of depression, but had anger stemming from the long day of doing nothing.

Now that I am in the depressive phase, I expect that to last for awhile.

All this is to say that I can identify with what you're going thru.

I guess we both have to just hold on, but get help from pdoc if it gets unbearable.

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when i tapered off celexa nearly a year ago i felt great. very few w/d at all. a few months later i was stupid enough to listen to doc she put me on prozac, which made for very bad insomnia. it was dc'd immediately and two weeks later i had severe w/d sympt. it occured to me later i was probably not experiencing rebound depression but abrupt w/d of the meds. since then life has been a downward spiral. i'm stuck with my doc until she signs the release to send me back to work.

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good luck with ECT. but i must say that the euphoria wont last. ive come off of my zoloft before and i felt good the first day. second day, i was a wreck. i could not function at all (this was all before lithium.) my point being that most folks who go off their meds feel good at first. just be mindful of your meds and your MI.

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