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Insomnia/Going downhill from non compliance

cartoonhero

cartoonhero

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Dec 15, 2008
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Queensland, Australia
I haven't slept at all in days now. I try to put myself to bed and ready my body for sleep but my mind won't settle and I stay awake.

I've recently stopped taking all medication. The second day without sleep I just stopped taking them all.

Now I feel really jumpy and paranoid. My mind still won't stop. I am hearing voices and seeing people's faces distort now.

I'm too scared to begin taking my medication again. I don't even know why but the thought of taking tablets just scares me to the point I start shaking and get really panicky. I can barely think straight. I cannot eat either. Everything is freaking me out to the extreme. :confused:
 
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staples

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Jul 30, 2008
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i go thru fazes of not taking my medication and i end up not well for months


take your tabs
 
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Dollit

Guest
Prolonged lack of sleep can result in hallucinations and feelings of paranoia. It is also dangerous. If you've stopped taking meds suddenly that won't help at all. Get to your doctor and talk about why you stopped the meds and about how you can restore your sleep.
 
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Danage

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Worcestershire, Great Britain
Prolonged lack of sleep can result in hallucinations and feelings of paranoia. It is also dangerous. If you've stopped taking meds suddenly that won't help at all. Get to your doctor and talk about why you stopped the meds and about how you can restore your sleep.
I have to agree completely. Lack of sleep can cause such terrible things to happen to the body and mind.
 
KP1

KP1

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Many of us try it for various reason stopping the meds including me but if you are suffering psychosis it could be very unwise and cause you to become seriously unwell. Try and see your doctor or psychiatrist to discuss it on Monday. I'm trying to reduce mine by myself at the moment but I hope I would recognise any serious signs of becoming very unwell I'm trying to cope with the withdrawal effects which are very unpleasant on their own.
Take care.
KP
 
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schizolanza

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Proceed with caution cartoonhero.Ive tried stopping medication without reducing gradually with disasterous results.
 
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Apotheosis

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It is possible to successfully get off meds - & the internet is full of such stories of people recovering med free. There is danger in being on meds & there is danger in withdrawal. I have come off meds successfully twice, then after being placed on 1200mg Amisulpride at 25 I haven't been so lucky - 3 withdrawals. 3 attempts to stop - the first I went from 1200mg to 0mg in a matter of weeks & was sectioned - I refused meds on the section & eventually agreed at a 200mg dose. The last two attempts have left me very ill; & in the worst psychoses I have had. I put down these reaction to withdrawal psychosis & not so much because of any underlying illness - these reactions have largely been caused by med withdrawal - IMO. Presently I take 175mg Amisulpride - I will attempt coming off it again; at some stage.

http://www.welcomeworld.org/iHome.htm

http://www.comingoff.com/

http://spiritualemergency.blogspot.com/

http://www.breggin.com/

http://www.theroadback.org/

http://ronandkarens.blogspot.com/
 
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Apotheosis

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Meds are one part of a recovery tool kit. They have a place - they will never be a cure. There is no Bio Chemical cure for mental illness & IMO - there never will be. It is about finding a balance. I have used Valium on around 4 occasions over the past year - when I haven't slept & had very off days. Now I have a script for 5mg Olanzapine - to take as & when I need to. So far I haven't taken any.

It isn't about an either or choice with meds. Some get med free & make a good recovery off meds; others don't; but meds can be part of a recovery. I try to be as accepting as I can of what I take. Personally I have actively refused meds. Presently I am aiming to get off what I am on. Quite how I do that is another matter - but I won't give up hope of one day potentially getting successfully med free. That's me. There are many different views concerning meds.

There is this very good guide -

http://www.freedom-center.org/freedom-center-icarus-project-publish-coming-psychiatric-drugs-guide
 
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Danage

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Worcestershire, Great Britain
Meds are one part of a recovery tool kit. They have a place - they will never be a cure. There is no Bio Chemical cure for mental illness & IMO - there never will be. It is about finding a balance. I have used Valium on around 4 occasions over the past year - when I haven't slept & had very off days. Now I have a script for 5mg Olanzapine - to take as & when I need to. So far I haven't taken any.

It isn't about an either or choice with meds. Some get med free & make a good recovery off meds; others don't; but meds can be part of a recovery. I try to be as accepting as I can of what I take. Personally I have actively refused meds. Presently I am aiming to get off what I am on. Quite how I do that is another matter - but I won't give up hope of one day potentially getting successfully med free. That's me. There are many different views concerning meds.

There is this very good guide -

http://www.freedom-center.org/freedom-center-icarus-project-publish-coming-psychiatric-drugs-guide
I once refused to take meds because of the weight gain the Olanzapine caused, but it only made my mental state worse, leading to a second psychotic episode.
 
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Apotheosis

Guest
I once refused to take meds because of the weight gain the Olanzapine caused, but it only made my mental state worse, leading to a second psychotic episode.
Which can often be the case - but I have personally found the subject to be complex & not clear cut. Med withdrawal can be very severe; which is why the general advice is for very slow reduction, & comprehensive support; & many things in place for those attempting withdrawal. There is simply too little research on the subject of meds - especially med withdrawal. It is documented that meds cause an often severe withdrawal reaction; especially with the longer the meds have been taken, & with the higher doses. Unfortunately; everything experienced in med withdrawal is usually blamed on the "illness". It is too simplistic to say - "someone is OK on meds & ill when they are off them". That may be the case in certain circumstances. But it is complex. Others are made ill'er by meds. We are all very different; with different make ups. I have horrendous withdrawal reactions to the meds I take - so much so that it is easier to stay on them; due to a lack of the right kind, & amount, of support in my life.

I would love to be med free - I will actively pursue that long term goal. I don't think I will be on these tablets the rest of my life; & such an idea as being on them the next 40 odd years fills me with horror.

But each to their own.
 
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Danage

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I would love to be med free - I will actively pursue that long term goal. I don't think I will be on these tablets the rest of my life; & such an idea as being on them the next 40 odd years fills me with horror.
I would love to be med free as well, but your post about withdrawal symptoms has got me thinking about meds. I have never had withdrawal symptoms to my knowledge, so am ignorant as to what they could be. Could you please elaborate?
 
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Apotheosis

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I would love to be med free as well, but your post about withdrawal symptoms has got me thinking about meds. I have never had withdrawal symptoms to my knowledge, so am ignorant as to what they could be. Could you please elaborate?
They can be many & varied. Very common is withdrawal psychosis. Of course it then becomes incredibly hard to separate out what is actually any underlying illness & what is withdrawal.

In my own experience; after long term prescription on anti psychotics & earlier on at high doses I find this - The experience of withdrawal is rather like waking from a dream; or waking up to reality - things become over-whelming; sights & sounds become very pronounced & intense. I get increasing anxiety; this leads to a lack of sleep; which in turn snowballs the anxiety & racing thoughts; & in turn again leads back to a lack of sleep. From there the extreme anxiety turns to paranoia & psychosis. The psychosis is such that I become very detached & withdrawn to a state of almost catatonia. It is very scary. I put this down to a withdrawal reaction - & it can surface within days of reducing/stopping meds.

Antidepressants and Neuroleptics

· flu-like syndrome with headache, muscle aches, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite
· muscular reactions such as uncontrollable rhythmic movements and tremors (these are more severe with neuroleptics)
· insomnia, emotional distress, feeling like one is "going crazy"
http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/quittingdrugs.htm

Info on this subject here as well - http://www.comingoff.com/

http://www.mindfreedom.org/kb/psychiatric-drugs/quitting

http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/

Withdrawal effects

How can I tell the difference between withdrawal problems and relapse? There are three ways to tell if symptoms are the result of withdrawal, according to one expert, David Healy, who applied it to SSRIs in particular:

*
The problems begin immediately after reducing or stopping the drug. (If the original problem has been treated, it should be some time before the symptoms come back, if ever.)
*
The symptoms disappear if you go back on the drug, or raise the dose.
*
You are experiencing new symptoms as well as some of those that were a feature of your original condition (flu-like symptoms as well as depression, for instance).

These are the kind of withdrawal effects you might encounter:

Minor tranquillisers

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms include: anxiety, depression, panic, agoraphobia, confusion, perceptual disturbances and hallucinations, insomnia, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, memory problems, cold sweats, heart palpitations, breathing problems, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, nose bleeds, tremor, muscle spasms, tinnitus, light-headedness, dizziness, detachment, feeling poisoned.

Antidepressants

Withdrawal symptoms for tricyclic antidepressants include: excessive anxiety, restlessness, hyperactivity, insomnia, disturbing dreams and nightmares, flu-like symptoms (headache, sweating, diarrhoea, stomach ache, bowel discomfort, nausea, vomiting, hot and cold flushes, goosebumps), fast or irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, and increased libido. Psychiatric effects include hypomania and mania, apathy, social withdrawal, depressed mood, panic attacks, aggression, delirium and psychoses.

When describing the symptoms of withdrawal from SSRI antidepressants, David Healy breaks them down into two groups:

*
symptoms 'unlike anything you have had before'
*
symptoms that 'may lead you or your physician to think that all you have are features of your original problem'.

The first group include: dizziness (when you turn your head you feel your brain gets left behind); 'electric head' (strange brain sensations which have been likened to goose bumps in the brain); electric shock-like sensations, other strange tingling or painful sensations; nausea, diarrhoea and flatulence; headache; muscle spasms and tremor; agitated and vivid dreams; agitation; hearing or seeing things others can't.

The second group include: mood swings; irritability; confusion; fatigue, malaise and flu-like symptoms; insomnia or drowsiness; sweating; feelings of unreality; disturbed temperature sensations; change in personality.

Many people taking SSRIs, especially paroxetine (Seroxat) and fluoxetine (Prozac), have reported uncharacteristic feelings of violence and suicidal thoughts and actions, and these seem to be particularly associated with changes in dose.
Withdrawal symptoms for monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are less well known than for other antidepressants, because they are less commonly prescribed. There are conflicting reports on the frequency and severity of withdrawal problems. Reported symptoms include: anxiety, agitation, paranoia, being unusually talkative, headaches, low blood pressure when standing, muscle weakness, shivering and tingling, burning sensations, and mania. Catatonic states have also been reported.

Antipsychotics

Withdrawal psychosis and tardive dyskinesia are two of the most serious problems. There could also be other less severe but still unpleasant effects to contend with: flu-like effects (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, chills, sweating, runny nose); movement problems (involuntary twitches, muscle spasms and tics); psychological effects (insomnia, anxiety, agitation, irritability, and psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions, confusion and disorientation). The psychological effects may be little different from the symptoms of the original problem, and it may be very hard to know for certain which it is.

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is a very serious condition, which some people have developed on drug withdrawal. It can also occur as a side effect of the drugs. It can be life-threatening and involves changes in consciousness, abnormal movements and fever. It is important to seek medical treatment immediately.

Mood stabilisers

Mood stabilisers behave differently from other psychiatric drugs. Lithium does not directly affect neurotransmitters, but slows down the normal electrical traffic of brain cells by replacing the sodium and potassium ions involved. There are no problems, therefore, with increased or reduced receptor numbers. Even so, it's still better to withdraw gradually, because this reduces the risk of depression or mania returning, and allows people to adjust the speed of withdrawal to their own needs. Withdrawal may significantly alter blood flow through the brain, and this could lead to manic states. Slow withdrawal will allow the brain to adjust gradually to changes in blood flow. There is some disagreement among experts about whether the blood flow is returning to normal having been changed by lithium treatment or whether withdrawal leads to an abnormal flow pattern. Lithium withdrawal may bring common problems such as feeling anxious, irritable, tense, restless and highly emotional or confused. There don't seem to be any physical 'rebound phenomena'.

Carbamazepine is an anticonvulsant that can also be used to stabilise moods. (Much of the information about withdrawal comes from people who have taken it for epilepsy.) Withdrawal symptoms include aching muscles, spasms or twitches, walking unsteadily, sleeping problems, no energy or appetite, headaches, tension, weak memory and loss of concentration. It can also make people feel depressed and irritable, disconnected (depersonalised), paranoid and confused. There are reports of some people having low blood pressure with a fast heartbeat.

Valproate and similar anticonvulsants should be reduced gradually to minimise withdrawal symptoms, 'such as anxiety and restlessness', according to guidelines on withdrawal for people with epilepsy. Other reported withdrawal symptoms of valproate are anxiety, muscle twitching, tremors, weakness, nausea and vomiting. There is also a small risk of having a seizure, even for those who haven't had one before.
Source - http://www.mind.org.uk/Information/...ing+sense+of+coming+off+psychiatric+drugs.htm
 
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Danage

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Thanks.

Thank you for explaining. From that, I must assume that my second psychotic episode was real, and not withdrawal, as the episode began about a week after I stopped taking Olanzapine the first time.
 
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schizolanza

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How you doing now cartoonhero? Hope you are ok.
 
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