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Notes on second edition of Coming Off Guide

Notes on second edition of Coming Off Guide

Postby cloud antlers » Dec 28, 2010 1:32 am

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Postby will » Dec 28, 2010 12:45 pm

Thanks for your interest - yes help is still needed on this. If you want to go through the guide and make notes of specific additions changes things missing corrections etc and then email them to me, that would be great. The new edition wont be dramatically different from the old, but if your personal experience with coming off gives you any ideas or insights about how to improve the guide I'd really appreciate hearing from you. Will@theicarusproject.net. - thanks ----
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Postby cloud antlers » Dec 28, 2010 1:49 pm

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Postby will » Mar 06, 2011 1:09 pm

Hi everyone - just a quick update that I am working away on the second edition - thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions.

Please if you have anything to add or suggest NOW is the time. Email me directly at

will@theicarusproject.net.

- Will
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Postby triciafishDE » Mar 06, 2011 3:45 pm

Hi Will! Thanks so much for what you do to help those who are having trouble with psych meds.
In my walks with people who are addicted to heroin, alcohol, crack, etc..
I find that they just go cold turkey. Like John Lennon's song. :)
These people have also gone to AA and they pray.

I have come off of psych meds. I wasn't on any of them very long. Paxil I was only on 3 months and had the worst withdrawal. I might have tapered for a week. But I think titrating just prolongs the pain and burden.
Klonopin was another bitch to come off of and I suffered severe depression for the first time after withdrawal. I knew it acted like alchol, so I was aware that alcoholics get depressed after quitting drinking. Iknew that this too shall pass. And it did.

But we know that these psych meds can be dangerous to come off of.

I would suggest talk to some guys/gals who have come off of illegal drugs like heroin, crack, etc... and see how they did it.
Attend some AA meetings and ask the old timers how they got off alcohol.

Thanks again for what you do. And sorry i was too lazy to send this to your email.
<p><font color="#808080"> </font><span class="UIStory_Message">&lrm;" We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society." Martin Luther King, Jr</span></p>
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Postby triciafishDE » Mar 06, 2011 3:47 pm

PS. I also have gone off of Risperdal, Seroquel, Haldol, Lithium, etc...

Risperdal I still lactated 2 weeks after quitting it. And that was only tapering off less than a week...it was pretty much cold turkey after only using it a month though
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby Yashi » Apr 11, 2011 1:23 am

I'd really like to know what sort of damage long term psych drugs can do to a person's brain. Especially if like in my case a person drank heavily while using them, but do we even have the technology to answer this question properly? We know so little about the brain still, yes more than in the 1950's but I think that this question is pertinent to Psychiatric drug withdrawal. It would be helpful to know if there is any damage done in order to know a. whether complete withdrawl is advisable and also b. what sort of therapy may be useful post detox - a Herbalist would benefit from this information, for example. I recently had a CT scan and was told that 'everything was normal.' Erm, a CT scan is just a fancy Xray, the information available from a scan could in no way enable anyone to be able to make a conclusive statement like this. Now we have people who have been medicated with anti-psychotics for several decades, one of my friends for example has been given neuroleptics for over 30 years. If only I could cut him open and take a good look, Mwahahahaaa...perhaps I can convince him to donate his body to scientific research.
I haven't read the first harm reduction guide, but if there is time I'm glad to set myself the task of reading it and hopefully being able to contribute somehow!
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby TheSingingCello » Jun 15, 2011 12:14 am

This is cool, will have to check out this guide in the days to come - hard to read stuff for very long.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby scumtownie » Aug 12, 2011 4:32 pm

I haven't read the first guide but i would say there is really one thing to remember when going off medication. BUT FIRST, a quick 2 step guide on how you take those first steps.

1. Try (yeah this one is hard) to tell your doctor. leading to
2. (harder still) Don't stop taking your pills overnight. Slow and steady wins the race.

Once you got that down all you really need to remember is nothing about you is you for a few months. You'll be hungry tired weak, irritable, horny, everything about you will be directly related to the medication getting out of your system. This point can not be underestimated. You should probably remind yourself about 40 times a day that you are going off medication. You are not yourself.

If you're one of those people(who don't exist) who can go off medication without being completely thrown out of their skin and have their brain scooped out with a soup ladle, good for you. Everyone else, good luck.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby TheSingingCello » Aug 12, 2011 5:39 pm

Dark, quiet, cool places is a good idea... not to get overwhelmed by any new thoughts/creativity or anything that involves the mind or very many of the senses... lots of sleep, be prepared to have some strange stuff going on in your head at first... parts of the brain are becoming un-numbed so your libel to hear some feed back for a while... just don't confuse it with psychosis or something and freak out.

Have a simple routine, nothing too complex and try and stay out of your head... wouldn't suggest watching TV (ever), but especially not when coming off meds, too much stimulation that could seriously mess with the brain... computers too. Relaxing music I imagine would be helpful.

Really try to ease off like in other suggestions. If you do it all at once, your basically throwing a wrench into all your (brain) gears and fixing for disaster. Medications are serious stuff and it is really bad for the brain/body to be jostled so quickly.. its bad enough were put on the medications in the first place, no need to subject ourselves to reliving that same torment when it can just as easily be done over long stretches of time... (say 1/5th of the meds off per 3-6 month period? or 1/4th etc...) Be sure to have a game plan with all of this... expect turbulence try not to allow yourself to do anything stupid :P
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby sweetmadness » Aug 19, 2011 12:36 pm

Hm not to get ahead of yourself or too wrapped up in new ideas until you feel more comfortable. Protect your emotions. Don't vent too much to people unless they are good friends and try not to be too open about it with others. Drink lots of water, meditate, read a lot to clear the mind, avoid situations that could make you feel anxious, I recommend Fish Oil, Vitamin C, and Niacin...those are the three things which are helping me. Be prepared. Create structure where there was none. No drastic changes, but confidence is also a key part in healing the body brain and mind.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby ObservantEarthling » Aug 27, 2011 1:23 am

I have some pretty decent guidelines for coming off Abilify and Zoloft, if anyone is interested.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby sweetmadness » Sep 09, 2011 5:21 pm

ObservantEarthling wrote:I have some pretty decent guidelines for coming off Abilify and Zoloft, if anyone is interested.


I'm trying to get off the Abilify right now. I would like some guidelines. Is it ever possible to just do it cold turkey? I can't handle this medication anymore--it makes me feel borderline.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby ObservantEarthling » Sep 11, 2011 12:48 am

sweetmadness wrote:
ObservantEarthling wrote:I have some pretty decent guidelines for coming off Abilify and Zoloft, if anyone is interested.


I'm trying to get off the Abilify right now. I would like some guidelines. Is it ever possible to just do it cold turkey? I can't handle this medication anymore--it makes me feel borderline.


I apologize for not responding to this sooner; I was unable to get to the site for awhile, but I am still around.

The only thing I can say to you about Abilify is that I was on a very low dose (5 mg) and was able to quit cold turkey...it wasn't harsh in the least (like Zoloft was), but I don't know what your dosage is; an excellent former doctor of mine (former only because I moved geographically) was exceptional...and unique, as compared to many...in actively helping me get off of meds several years ago, and he told me then that Abilify would be no problem, but that Zoloft would present a challenge.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby stripes » Sep 16, 2011 3:41 am

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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby haibane_rose » Feb 02, 2012 5:38 pm

Brian zaps:

a lot of people, when coming off SSRI drugs, will experience the brain zap. it's uncomfortable. However, I THINK I came across a method to manage doing so a bit more easily.

Most people will say to switch to using a LONG lasting SSRI then lower that dose. A few alternatives actually, are to switch to a short acting one, say, fluvoxamine, then lower that dose down after the entirety of the longer lasting one is gone.

the theory there is that the brain zaps are caused by diferences in the serotonin levels in diferen tparts of the brain, due to movement and rebinding to other receptors causing ones closer to the start of brain blood vessels to have less substance, but the ones near the exit areas diferent activity levels. if one were to clear out it all, and suddenly lower the amount totaly, with something which has far lower binding affinity and more easil flushed from the system, then the potential for misbalance is lower.

alternatives are, to date, DXM. A truly facinating thing, it has a multitude of effects and uses. 90mg of it to get through the worst part of the jolts, for example, and after it seems that often the effects are gone.

I don't have enough test data though yet. -.-
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby silverelf » Feb 03, 2012 4:02 am

There is also evidence that DXM can reverse tolerance to many tops of drugs and/or aid withdrawals - even with benzos

http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/threads/5018 ... al-reports

I don't think this info will make it into the HRG, too out there at this point, and too experimental, and most psych med withdrawals are focused around not adding any other substances in, but would be interested in exploring what you know in this area. I have thought about using DXM and/or ketamine to help with benzo tapering and to reverse the current "tolerance withdrawal" state I seem to have found myself in. I have no desire to up dose my benzos, but neither do I like being stuck in tinnitus/burning skin/panicky/OCD/"why is that light so fucking bright" hell realms
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby will » Feb 03, 2012 11:46 am

Thanks for the lead on DXM, I am forwarding this to Monica of Beyond Meds who may be interested. There are a ton of different ideas and guidelines for managing withdrawal using various supplements etc so yes the Guide is just staying with to some very basic advice and encouragement to explore and try things that may be helpful (including this forum).

Longer half life is an issue that is discussed in edition 1 and will be in edition 2. I will be mentioning that some folks have used cannabis to help with withdrawal. Also I generally emphasize the mind/body connection and the diversity of responses to everything based on individual experience- I think in the future the mainstream will catch up with this more and we are going to see greater neuroscience on the individual variability of brain chemistry and the individual brain as an irreducible singularity rather than a fixed universal organ.

Having said that, we do desperately need some good research into withdrawal and brain chemistry to get better guidelines for dealing with benzo issues for example. I keep hearing again and again medical doctors doing atrocious things like abrupt withdrawal or too rapid withdrawal and leaving people to pick up the pieces - even doctors in specific drug rehab settings who should know better. One thing to look at is the recreational drug addiction realm for benzo information and experience, and I just discovered more benzo resources in he UK, where the national medical establishment recognizes it as a serious issue and has hotlines etc. (Google benzodiazepine uk hotline")And again Monica's site is awesome.

Thank you all for this important discussion and these ideas.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby silverelf » Feb 03, 2012 11:53 am

Hi Will,

Yes I agree that abrupt cessation of benzos by doctors that should know better - especially now that there are tens of thousands of people online that have attested to the harmful lingering effects from rapid tapers - is nothing short of barbaric.
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Re: Coming Off Medications Guide -- Second Edition Needs Inp

Postby haibane_rose » Feb 21, 2012 1:45 am

a primary question we'd like to raise is _what_ is it that causes the things listed to work? which serotonin receptors, is the sigma receptor involved too, and what does the NMDA antagonist effect have?
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