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Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jun 27, 2011 9:38 am

Capricious wrote:
But, the cost of this is staggering. Loss of libido. Loss of silence (persistent ringing in my ears). Loss of emotional peaks. Less interested in pretty much anything creative. Memories and flashback sensations still exist, although less acute. Overall I feel like a shadow of who I am, or was, or something.


When I approached my Dr. 6 years ago with these issues, he did nothing and said nothing. I was completely ignored. The doctors don't know what to do and most times they will not want to reduce the meds.

I switched to a new doctor, who although now reluctant to reduce the med with me is doing it anyway because I am so determined to reduce and get off this debilitating med with or without him. I guess he decided to go safely with me instead of without him. But beware of the doctor's orders! These doctors don't understand that to withdraw safely one has to go at very very small amounts ( much less than 10% of the total starting dose. These doctors often ask you to cut large amounts like .25 or even .5mg at once! Very dangerous and sabotaging!

I am going to start using the "water taper method" as described on the Beyond Meds website to cut the med to thousands of a percent.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 08, 2011 9:57 pm

It has been 5 days since I successfully tapered by half of a .25 tablet or .125mg. This will be the last time I cut pills in half. From here on I will do the "water taper method" to make miniscule tapers that are more reliable. I have tapered to 2.75 mg total of Risperidone. I feel like an invalid in that I tire so easily and need to meditate several times a day for balance and stress relief. At times I get ravenously hungry.

I take slow walks in the park, do grocery shopping, and cook meals. I have been listening to soothing music and diffusing therapeutic healing essential oils in the air. I'm really paying attention to my body and my hair and take long baths, and do self massage 2x a day to stimulate circulation. I will also be taking a Private Yoga session to unlearn bad breathing and postural habits so that I can maximize oxygen to my cells more efficiently with the least effort.

I hope I heal.

I just read a post by the author of Bipolarblast on how to live with pain:
http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/livingwell-while-sick/

She is losing faith that she will ever recover from the chemical injury of many years on psychiatric drugs. She is now off all the drugs (since Feb 2010) but her health is so poor. My heart goes out to her...

Is that my destiny too?
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby After » Jul 09, 2011 3:48 pm

Well I was only on risperdal for a week (pediatrically!) but I was medicated for twelve years, mostly lithium and lamictal... maybe that doesn't make me an expert on you but I have loads and loads of experience with med withdrawal in general. So maybe this info won't help you, but here it is:

Withdrawal sickness, for me, lasted a very long time after the pills had been stopped. It has been just a month shy of three years since I swallowed my last pill, and I've been sick for the vast majority of that time. HOWEVER, it does get gradually better. I'm almost not sick at all now... I'm still very med sensitive and can only take pills, even OTC meds and herbs, in their lowest dose. I can't take any kind of tranquilizer or benzo even before surgery, and I can only take sleep aids like sominex and benadryl for about two days in a row before they start making me severely sick. But most of the withdrawal sickness is finally gone-- my body is healthy enough to get pregnant and so far at just over 7 months, nothing has gone wrong yet!
Withdrawal goes in cycles. If it lasts for years for you it will NOT feel like this all the time. For me there was a horrible dip as soon as I was off all meds, then a gradual reprieve for a few months, then a fairly good summer, then a horrible dip in the fall, then a year-long period of gradually getting stronger. I say gradually, but I should say in little bursts... I would have a hellish day and then an okay day, then a day where it felt like I was really recovering, then two bad days, then three good ones at a stretch or whatever.

The most important thing for me has been nutrition. I don't know how many food allergies I had before this all started, but I'm severely sensitive to gluten now; I can't even touch it. I would definitely reccommend going off of gluten and maybe going on one of those miserable whole foods elimination diets after the pills are out of your system, and staying with that for several months to see if it helps.

Sorry if this is discouraging-- I don't mean it to be. The bottom line is that there's no reason to believe that you'll feel like this the rest of your life. It probably won't be pretty for awhile, but there's no reason to believe you won't recover.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 09, 2011 5:29 pm

Thank you so much After!
Withdrawal sickness, for me, lasted a very long time after the pills had been stopped. It has been just a month shy of three years since I swallowed my last pill, and I've been sick for the vast majority of that time. HOWEVER, it does get gradually better. I'm almost not sick at all now...


This is really serious stuff and it pains me to know that prescribing Dr.s have no notion of exactly how difficult withdrawal is. I feel so alone in this process, but your "tell it like it is" words are very very encouraging. Did you see any health practitioners to guide you through the process and give you check ups or home remedies?

Can the withdrawal process be life threatening? Sometimes I feel like I am at death's door. My heart pounds and I have sharp internal pains, or I stop breathing in my sleep only to wake with a huge gasp for air! I feel very nauseous and get severe diarrhea. Then it passes and I feel ok for a while. And my thyroid or throat feels swollen with difficulty chewing and swallowing.

I am eating a whole foods diet but I am often too tired to do kitchen prep for a complete meal, so I do what i can.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby After » Jul 09, 2011 5:56 pm

As far as I know, the only psych drug withdrawal that is deadly is benzo withdrawal. Long-term withdrawal isn't deadly in itself that I know of, unless being on or getting off of a drug has caused a different condition (seroquel can cause diabetes I believe, for example, and you could get complications and die from that, but withdrawal wouldn't really be the cause).

I have a chiropractor who's also a nutritionist and allergist; he's been the only person who was really successful in helping me get my health back. If you want his number I'd be glad to give it to you-- chiropractors can be total quacks but some are wonderful, and he's sort of a star in his field. If you don't happen to live in Ohio, USA you can ask if he recommends anyone in your area or you could even arrange to come here for a consultation; I've never heard of him turning anyone away. And he's completely honest about when he can't help, too, which is in some ways more important than being able to help.

In general, naturopath/homeopath/chiropractor/osteopath type professionals are better than MD's for withdrawal... I personally have never heard of an MD having much useful to say about withdrawal and long-term help for a generally screwed up body. It's just not what they're trained to do. Also, they tend to read your blood tests and such for major life threatening deficiencies instead of subtle imbalances that won't kill you but will completely disable you. A chiropractor/naturopath type of professional will look carefully at your blood work and show you which chemicals are on the very lowest side of normal, and so on.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 09, 2011 6:53 pm

You are so right about MD's. It's the subtle imbalances that they overlook which are the cause of such disabling issues. Also, all they know about is prescribing medications or surgery which don't really get to the source of the problem but rather putting a band aid on it. I have been steering clear of any type of allopathic physician. I will be seeing a new naturopath next week and am very curious what she will tell me regarding my health. After that I would like your chiropractor's number to ask him if he could recommend a good one in NYC. I won't be doing much traveling for a while, so going to Ohio would be too difficult for me.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby sujahni » Jul 12, 2011 8:41 am

Hello, a few months later on this topic. I have been withdrawing from Risperdal, (reducing, going up again and reducing again) over about a year and a half or two years (it's hard to keep track exactly). I've been on Lithium and Risperdal together for over ten years, before that just Lithium (on and off) and before that a very low dose of Haldol for about ten years. As I am in my mid fifties now I am experiencing thyroid issues and pre-diabetic blood sugar levels. I might not be trying to come off the drugs except that I am very worried about the health effects.

Recently I have reduced the Risperdal to one half a milligram a week. This is down from a maximum dose of maybe 3/4 or 1 mg a day. I have always tried to take as little as possible and had pretty good support around that from the proffesional mental health community (psychiatrists, PMHNP's). Currently my PMHNP is a little freaked out and recommending that I stay stable on whatever dose I am on because I am considering changes around work. I have also reduced the Lithium from 600mg a day to 300. That went fairly smoothly a couple of years ago.

sorry for the long post......continued on next
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby sujahni » Jul 12, 2011 8:53 am

Soooo....getting off the Risperdal is difficult. I have been experiencing a lot of anxiety, depression and fear (of nothing). I have been having trouble making decisions and following through on ideas and inspirations. It's not been constant negative feelings but when they hit it's intense. I usually get out of it by connecting with friends or activities like 12-step meetings. I have a great support system and have been trying to eat right and am using accupuncture and naturopathic medicine some. I've got a knowlegible and supportive counselor.

A day or two ago I got fed up with the depression and took an extra 1/8 mg for two days. This morning at about 3:30 am I wokeup with pain in the back of my head. It's an awfull feeling that I wonder if anyone else has experienced. It kind of feels like something is eating away at the back of one's brain. I have also felt this while withdrawing.

Would love to hear how it's going for others and recieve support.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 12, 2011 9:09 am

For the pain in the back of the head, perhaps you can try massaging your head and hair with some coconut oil and one drop of lavender oil once or twice a day. It is very soothing and will increase circulation to your brain so that it can make neuro-chemical connections more efficiently and easily. Lavender also eases anxiety, depression and fear.

I often feel a crusty, dehydrated and congested feeling (feels like stuck energy) in the back and front of my head during withdrawal. A body massage and brushing your hair 50 brushes is also very helpful.

Also good nutrition and fish oil and other good fats are always good. Because your body may be dry due to peri-menopause, drinking a good amount of water is also hydrating. Coconut water is hydrating too.

Make sure you eat protein like fatty fish, pastured eggs, and nuts.

And seaweed (like nori, arame, wakame or hijiki) are very moistening and great for the thyroid.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby sujahni » Jul 12, 2011 1:39 pm

Thanks for this good information, I'll try it! Anyone else?
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 12, 2011 7:03 pm

When ever I am not feeling well, due to withdrawal, I go online and buy myself something. I've got to hold off on this, because I am depleting my funds. Does anyone else spend money when they feel bad?
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby sujahni » Jul 12, 2011 10:46 pm

I usually spend more money when I'm feeling good. I'm somewhat of a tightwad. When I'm feeling bad it's too hard to make a decision and I lack enthusiasm.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 23, 2011 9:55 am

I have found that aromatherapy is very helpful in getting back to balance when I am feeling especially bad. I have found that my immune system is depleted and essential oils of Frankincense and Sandalwood diffused into the air perk me up and build immunity, power, energy and strength.

Also music or psychoacoustics is essential for brain and mind/body balance where tone, tempo, and pattern affect our mind and body and that sound is a “nutrient” to the nervous system. The best music for this is Vedic Chants and Classical Indian ragas. I have also found that Tibetan Monks' throat singing or chanting with bells and gongs is very soothing as well.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby sujahni » Jul 23, 2011 8:37 pm

Thanks for sharing that. I'll try the oils. Been using lavender oil on my skin and doing the hair brushing and it's helpfull. I am a drummer so I know about the healing power of sound and rhythm very well. Also recently learned chakra toning and I like the ancient Sanskrit sounds the best as they correspond with the Chakras.....lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, om, aum.....from the 1st through 7th Chakras. Holding my own right now. Just returned to my job. Might see a local Naturopath who specializes in mental health issues or just continue on my own. Thanks again!
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby After » Jul 23, 2011 11:39 pm

One thing about the coconut oil in your head massage-- withdrawal seems to make allergies worse and cause allergies and sensitivities you hadn't had before; I have no idea why but it happened to me and I've heard of it happening to others. And they're finding out coconut oil is an allergen for more and more people. So maybe test a dab of it on the inside of your wrist overnight before rubbing it all over! Just a thought.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 24, 2011 5:04 am

I know what you mean about increased allergens and sensitivities while withdrawing from the drug. I am constantly sneezing, itching, excreting and often feel irritable!! It is important to build immunity by eating simple foods as well as cut out the foods that cause the sensitivity. Try not to eat acid forming foods and eat a lot of vegetables which are alkaline. Also get plenty of rest! And meditate! Ommmmmm.....(sujahni: I'm just now learning about Sanskrit chakra mantras too, which is adding much more depth to my meditations)

If you notice a sensitivity to coconut oil, try a different oil like sweet almond oil, grape-seed, or jojoba. Look in the health food store in the body care section and you will see other oils as well.

The most healing essential oils are the Young Living Essential Oils. Many other brands aren't pure therapeutic oils and have additives like fragrances, etc that may cause sensitivity as well, and these other oils do not promote the profound healing that I have experienced from Young Living oils.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby sujahni » Jul 26, 2011 9:44 pm

I need more rest and more drumming. I'm trying to move into a part time schedule at my job. It's very demanding. I work with people with various mental illness diagnoses and they are victims of the system, heavily medicated mostly and many suffering from long term health problems because of it. I love my work but it's challenging. I would like to offer more alternative help to people (like drumming) and chakra work. Meanwhile I'm on my own healing journey. All that has been said is very good and helpfull.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 27, 2011 5:11 am

A drumming circle can be So healing!, especially for people suffering with serious mental health problems. It would be so wonderful if you could lead a group with a chakra meditation and then a drumming circle outdoors in nature if possible!! That would be so great to do for you as well, sujahni. I hope you can work something out.
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby sujahni » Jul 28, 2011 12:48 am

Thanks, thanks for the encouragement.....it's gonna happen.......free healing drum circles and chakra balancing sessions...the sooner I reduce my regular work hours the better.....
I'm holding at 1/2 mg risperdal a week for now until my job situation is clear. I have an appointment with my PMHNP on Sept. 6th, when she gets back from an extended leave and will ask her for support, a letter of recommendation to reduce work hours and then see what happens after that, how they respond at the job. It's ridiculous that you have to fight to work less. I should see the naturopath. Can you tell me more about the water tapering method? I should probably use it.

Going camping tomorrow for a few days. Have a good weekend!
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Re: Risperdal (Risperidone) withdrawal

Postby Squeakykin » Jul 28, 2011 7:38 pm

Here's a lenghy description of the Water Taper Method from Beyond Meds website:
http://bipolarblast.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/water-titration-for-slow-and-controlled-psychiatric-drug-withdrawal/
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