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Topic: Medication Tapper.

13 posts, 0 answered
  1. Zephyr360
    Zephyr360 avatar
    12 posts
    13 February 2020

    Hi : )

    I have been taking antidepresants for five years.

    So five years ago i was suffering from work burn out, i was working 80 hrs a weeks, living on red bull and eating really badley. I worked in remote desert region so not much mental health support etc. i burnt out.

    I decided to go back to my hometown for some rest and take six months off, but going to my family home just didnt work, they couldnt or wouldnt understand why i wasnt working. This put alot of pressure on me to go back to work but i just couldnt.

    A few months later a close mate ended his life. This really broke me. I went to the doctors for “ help “ i said i just cant feel good at all etc etc etc.. and he probably should of said- go away eat more fruit n veg, take some time off work, meditate, listen to music, go bush walking etc.. but No, he said i should take medication, this medication just did not agree with me at all, it gave me energy for about 2 months, but what go’s up must come down! I stayed on it for around 9 months. I then went to a different doctor and he said another medication is great & helping heaps of people, i said ok reluctantly & stayed on those with similar & worse side effects to the other medication for around 2 years. At that point i hadnt worked, i was thinking of ending my life, my wife was sick of me and my rage, i became very angry.. i was a hard working, funny, active guy that loved his wife more than anything & now was a pretty terrible man to be around. I went and saw the local mental health team and they took me straight off medication without tappering and put me on a new medication. This nearly killed me. I lost my mind, went nuts & wanted to end it. Fastforward.. i have been on this medication for around 3 years now,  and scared spitless to finish the tapper.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. monkey_magic
    monkey_magic avatar
    2885 posts
    13 February 2020 in reply to Zephyr360
    Good morning Zephyr 360,

    I think you're spot on. " He probably should have said go away, eat more fruit and veg, take some time off work, meditate, listen to music, go bushwalking etc. "

    I think you have your answer right there...

    From my personal knowledge you're supposed to tapper of medications slowly not cold turkey before starting a new one. Also, you can get side effects while on medication and while ceasing medications.
    I don't really believe that there's this magic, fix all pill. I think we have to work on grief, go through the process and feel it all. I'm not sure why this quick fix solution that only masks the problem is the go to these days.

    I think you sound sensible. You did the right thing by recognising burnout and taking time off.

    Sorry to hear about your mate. As you know these things take time and I sincerely hope you are easing yourself through it all.

    Feel free to write again.

    MM
    2 people found this helpful
  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2547 posts
    13 February 2020 in reply to Zephyr360

    Hi Zephyr360,

    Thank you for your post. I couldn't agree more with monkey_magic in everything that was written here.

    Unfortunately I'm not surprised by what your Doctor said and did - mental health to them often seems to be such a quick fix with a scribble of a prescription, so what they gave you is absolutely not what you needed.

    Have you since been in touch with a different GP? Ideally - the tapering should be slowly - sometimes even incredibly slowly (i.e. staying on a lower dose for 3-4 weeks before reducing again). The lower dose might be half of what you're taking, or it might even be a quarter - despite what everyone says, you are allowed to advocate for your own healthcare.

    Would you be open to finding a new GP or professional and tapering in this small sort of way?

    rt

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Zephyr360
    Zephyr360 avatar
    12 posts
    13 February 2020 in reply to monkey_magic

    Thanks MM,

    yeah they hand out these very strong psychiatric drugs way too easily, I asked the intial GP to not put me on meds that make me feel like a zombie, he said, dont worry i give these to ladys with hot flushes all the time they are very mild, turns out this particular med is linked with lots of bad side effects, often fatal.

    I feel like someone should be held accountable, they turned a normal bloke into a basket case & there is very little support if you decide that these drugs dont work.

    thanks for the words of encouragement, after five years i think i know everything i need to do, now time to do the work and get normal, whatever that is haha

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Zephyr360
    Zephyr360 avatar
    12 posts
    13 February 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thank Romantic : )

    i have yet to meet a GP that genuinly wants to help me get off these things. The text books they advise from are mostly written by the guys trying to sell this crap, im sure they work for some people but not me, this has detroyed my life in alot of ways, and yet no one is held accountable, you know because i have a chemical imbalance in my brain haha funny thing is all my research says burn out is burn out not! a chemical imbalance, the only imbalance ive had is from the meds. Anyway i will beat this.

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Zephyr360
    Zephyr360 avatar
    12 posts
    13 February 2020

    Continued..

    I am now eating really well, i have armed myself with the knowledge of what to expect, I have spent the last few years researching nutrition, gut health and the link to mental health issues is weird, 85% of seretonin is produced in the gut, i have become an expert on paleo/keto/raw meal plans, super foods etc, i have supplements ready to go, i have herbs & teas for relaxation, i have a good exercise routine, i have a lovely wife.. yet im still scared haha ive tried before in summer and one of the side effects was extreme over heating, thirsty but couldnt quench my thirst, so i have decided to do the tapper over winter, bunker down and get it done.

    So i suppose i started this thread to chat with people going through the same thing, and to keep it as a diary. One thing ive learned in my research is alot of people are in my shoes and have no idea how to deal with it, maybe reading my progress will help someone with theirs ✊🏼

    1 person found this helpful
  7. monkey_magic
    monkey_magic avatar
    2885 posts
    13 February 2020 in reply to Zephyr360
    Hi Zephyr 360,

    Oh, how we think the same. I'm on psychiatric drugs against my will going through horrendous side effects so I know where you're coming from. I've been suffering for over a year now.
    They put me on a community treatment order bcas I didn't want to take them bcas I know what they do to ppl and now I'm forced on them.
    The mental health treating team have the power to do this.
    It's hard going through symptoms/side effects beyond your control knowing it's not the true/real you.

    Psychiatrists have a lot to answer for in my opinion and should tell us the truth about these drugs before administering them to us.

    I've honestly never felt so rotten in all my life than this past year being medicated.
  8. iamanxiety
    iamanxiety avatar
    79 posts
    13 February 2020 in reply to Zephyr360
    Hi all,

    it's usually a horrible and long process with antidepressants. if you where not getting relief and are getting bad side effects I would not recommend staying on them for so long.

    I have tried a few ADs and if they didn't work within a month I change or changed dose.

    it's really hit and miss with these things unfortunately. in my case they where needed as the alternative was worse.

    weaning of these is usually straight forward . I can't be live you held on for years.

    you may be talking about another medication where taper can be a struggle. I have did a benzo taper and it was possibly the hardest thing I've ever done.

    all the best
    1 person found this helpful
  9. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    367 posts
    18 February 2020

    I pretty much burnt out and had a breakdown due to work aswell.

    These are the stories which make me so so hesitant about going on medication.

    I understand antidepressants work differently for different people and that some people have almost no side effects but it makes me anxious thinking about them.

    When I saw my GP to get a MHCP we talked about it and talked about the self care I was doing (meditating, getting out and about, diet, trying to sleep better, being kinder to myself etc) and how it was making me feel. She was happy to keep letting me do this but made the point that medication is an option.

    Ive seen my psychologist only 3 times so far and I'm already starting to feel like i've got a little more more control and weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

    For me, combining self care with psychology has made me feel alot more 'together', i feel more calm and collected. I have my ups and downs of course but I feel more in control when I have downs.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2547 posts
    19 February 2020 in reply to Zephyr360

    Hi Zephyr360,

    Sorry I just saw that you had replied to me! :)

    I promise that there will be a GP who can help you taper off these meds - they are out there. It's frustrating and disappointing (and all those negative words) the way that GP's think of medications and prescribe them willy-nilly.

    It sounds like you've made lots of progress looking into gut health and the way it's connected to mood - it can be so empowering finding things that you can do yourself to help. If you like maybe you can share some of what you are learning in the staying well threads? That way you can start a new conversation about it and help more people too.

    I still want to encourage you to hunt down for a GP, or really work to advocate for yourself in wanting to taper off. Although I believe you in wanting to do it safely, it can be really hard to know what is the best route to take in how much to reduce and how long to reduce it for before reducing it again. Especially if say your dose is 20mg (or even 50), it's not very easy to just cut it in half or even in quarters!

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  11. mocha delight
    mocha delight  avatar
    169 posts
    20 February 2020
    Thank you all who have replied as you’ve all taught me that even though I’m not been diagnosed with depression & anxiety (although there’s no doubt in my mind I have both) that I need find out what what side effects there of anything I might be prescribed once I am plus to not to take no as an answer to finding that out.
    1 person found this helpful
  12. Haether
    Haether  avatar
    10 posts
    2 March 2020 in reply to Zephyr360

    Hi. I'm sorry you've had such a horrible experience, many / most people take antidepressants with few major problems. I'm fortunate in that I've stopped every psychotropic med I've taken cold turkey (over a dozen - and some multiple times) with no issues. However many people do have difficulties if they taper medication too quickly. There is a fairly simple formula to follow when tapering, but I won't tell you as I suspect BB will consider it medical advice (BB doesn't know the legal definition of medical advice, they think sharing information is advice).

    The thing to remember about the internet is that typically it is only the people with difficulties that are posting. Eg I don't go on sites pointing out that I've never had any issues. If you are interested in getting good information about medication, google the name of the medication (chemical name) and 'product information'. That gives you the information doctors read, and has good info about side effects and their incidence. Hope that helps.

  13. Zephyr360
    Zephyr360 avatar
    12 posts
    10 March 2020

    Gday!

    Thanks for the replys folks : ) i have started the tappering and down to 3/4 of 30mg, doing ok, no energy but not alot of brain zaps, have been eating well and taking viatamin B12 & tumeric caps.

    9 days in and im ok so far, will do this for 1 month then drop down to half.

    I join the gym tomorrow, this will help.

    Will check in and update as i go

    🖖🏻

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