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Withdrawal symptoms? Cold turkey?

icecreamcake

icecreamcake

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First of all, what is the difference between those two? Are they one and the same?

Secondly, let my try to lay down my situation as calmly as possible (even if right now I’m in the midst of a potential panic attack that I am suppressing)... To go straight to the point, I stopped taking my meds for almost 4 weeks already. I am a female, 25 years of age. I have bipolar disorder type 2. My most recent medications which I stopped altogether (and to be honest quite abruptly) are the following: Lithium carbonate, Aripiprazole, and Fluoxetine. I am not fully aware of the consequences but I did do my own research at potential withdrawal effects of stopping psych meds such as these. Like having relapses of mania, dips of depression, nightmares, tightness of chest, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, irritability, etc. One condition that I noticed I get whenever I try to suddenly stop taking my meds is an itchiness all over my body that shifts from area to area of my body. I am itching so bad as of this moment but am avoiding scratching too much so as not to get wounds. I do not get hives from my current itchiness. My last two though had hives and red patches, but I think it was because I over scratched at those times and that I know better now. Has anyone ever experienced this? If you have, what reliefs have you done (and please don’t say taking your medications again)?

More info and background about me: I honestly don’t trust my psychiatrist lately. She is nice, but why is it that what she says medically is different from what my endocrinologist says would put me in a better mood and such. It is very frustrating. This is one reason why I decided to stop my psych meds without consulting her. Also, personally, the fact that I am dependent on these medications to make me feel better or “back to normal” makes me feel terrible about myself and even depressed and anxious at times, hence, I’ve been trying to stop. And this is my longest streak so far.

Now, hear me out further before you judge me as closed-minded or whatever... I am open-minded about this and what you guys have to say. This is why I’m laying this down in public at this forum... because honestly... I am seeking for help somehow... which you should understand, is a very difficult thing for someone like me... and I would rather get help from people who understand me at a level such as yours since we have the same disorder and such.

Disclaimer: I don’t advice people with bipolar disorder to just abruptly stop their meds on their own like I did, coz I tell you... It will feel somewhat fulfilling at the start coz of the initial mania you get at the start of quitting, but then there’s this sudden dip and dive into depression and anxiety, and if you don’t have the support group or will power to choose to live and fight the good fight, then this could be a very hazardous act against your health and a painful scene for your loved ones.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Hi and :welcome: to the forum.

Cold turkey means a sudden and complete stop to medications. Not recommended especially if you are taking any Benzodiazepines.

Withdraw symptoms are the unpleasant physical and mental effects that result when you stop doing or taking something, especially a drug, that has become a habit.( thanks to google) ☺

Psychiatric medications are not given based on an exact diagnosis. Psychiatrist can’t even promise you a 100% correct diagnosis. It’s like an experiment lab where they try one thing and wait for results. If no result or unpleasant outcome, they try the next thing and so on and so forth.
 
daffy

daffy

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While I understand stopping your meds what you’ve done could cause you serious problems. Not just the sickness, vomiting etc. But could throw you into a psychotic episode and causing hospitalisation. I stopped taking my antipsychotics without consent and they still think I’m on half the dose but I did it slowly over 18 months. Stopping fully in January and am now three months later I’ve started suffering depression fluctuations into mania. But my mood is being monitored by my CPN .

I would be very wary about what your endocrinologist has said . Has he recommended anything else that you should take. And what training has he got in mental health , why does he think the meds are doing you no good. Does he know that you’ve suddenly stopped your meds

Sorry for all the questions

If you feel ill please phone 111 or 999
Take care
Daf
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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I forgot to add that those are too many medications to stop abruptly. Just be careful please. 🙂
 
icecreamcake

icecreamcake

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Hi and :welcome: to the forum.

Cold turkey means a sudden and complete stop to medications. Not recommended especially if you are taking any Benzodiazepines.

Withdraw symptoms are the unpleasant physical and mental effects that result when you stop doing or taking something, especially a drug, that has become a habit.( thanks to google) ☺

Psychiatric medications are not given based on an exact diagnosis. Psychiatrist can’t even promise you a 100% correct diagnosis. It’s like an experiment lab where they try one thing and wait for results. If no result or unpleasant outcome, they try the next thing and so on and so forth.
Hi, hopeful313!

Thanks for the welcome and for the reply! ☺ Much appreciated!

Well noted. So I’m seeing now that the act of what I did is called “cold turkey” and what i’m experiencing now with all the panic attacks that i’m trying to suppress, the sudden dips of depression, irritability, etc. are actually my withdrawal symptoms. I see...

Do you happen to have anything to say though about me doing the cold turkey? My mind is open.
 
S

schizolanza

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I understand about being dependant on drugs and how that makes you feel as a person. I've also tried cold turkey and got terrible withdrawal symptoms. There is a very high chance you will fail to successfully withdraw from the drugs this way. So why not taper down the dose very gradually over a period of many months? That way gives a high chance of success.
 
daffy

daffy

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Sorry I’ve just notice your in the Philippines so please ignore the phone numbers I’ve given you.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Hi, hopeful313!

Thanks for the welcome and for the reply! ☺ Much appreciated!

Well noted. So I’m seeing now that the act of what I did is called “cold turkey” and what i’m experiencing now with all the panic attacks that i’m trying to suppress, the sudden dips of depression, irritability, etc. are actually my withdrawal symptoms. I see...

Do you happen to have anything to say though about me doing the cold turkey? My mind is open.
If it hasn’t been long since you did stop your medication, it’s suggested that you start your regular dose. After you’re back to normal and symptoms receded, you can start slowly decreasing your intake of medications.

If you don’t trust your psychiatrist that’s fine but they do have valuable information you can use. I think it would’ve been much better to consult with your psychiatrist.

I wish you good health. :hug:
 
S

schizolanza

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I am afraid of my psychiatrist. Schizophrenia symptoms and my relationship with my current psychiatrist is the only experience I have to go by. In the past I have been dishonest about cold turkey attempts because I wanted to be in control of the situation not him. And I still collected my drugs so if I needed them in an emergency they would be there. And I did. If he was in control of the situation I was afraid of not having the drugs quickly enough should I desperately need them.
 
S

schizolanza

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Also know that psychiatrists general idea of withdrawal from the drugs I take is often brutal. They know that the shorter the withdrawal period the quicker I'll get back on the drugs.even to the extent that it is used as a punishment for my attempts to regain control from him.
 
S

schizolanza

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But that's my experience. I don't pretend to understand your experience.
For years now I've been completely honest with my psychiatrist and taken my drugs as prescribed. And I absolutely do not want to upset him in any way because he is in a position of power and I am afraid of him.
 
S

schizolanza

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Just telling my psychiatrist I wanted to come off my meds could result in a hospital locked ward admission.
 
S

schizolanza

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So I choose to take olanzapine 20mg. Venlafaxine and procycledine. As long as I don't miss a dose I'm relatively well. And relatively happy. And I don't get locked up.i don't leave the house except to go to the shop. That's the only place I've been in years. I know that's not normal situation. But that's a whole lot better than being able to go out on my own and off the drugs. I don't want to be tortured to that extent again. I don't want to be that unhappy again.
 
icecreamcake

icecreamcake

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Hey @schizolanza

Thank you for your openness. I very much appreciate it. I like how you at least try to relate to me somehow by laying down your experience.

Honestly, taking your advise and everyone who’s replied so far to get back on my meds and gradually bring it down to lower dosages till i can hopefully cope without them anymore.
 
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