Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Comments by LoveLife32

Showing 19 of 19 comments.

  • I live in Ohio. Jodie Skillicorn (330) 715-9282 (Akron/Medina area) has helped me immensely. Maybe she could recommend someone, or maybe others on this board know of a someone else who could help. You can get better. You will get better. Good luck!

  • I would like to post a follow-up to my prior comment. I have been under the care of a wonderful doctor (one recommended in a Mad In America forum, thank you) for over 6 months. I have tapered off all the medications and I am doing awesome. I have my normal personality back and my relationships are thriving. I can’t even think of what could have happened to my life if I had stayed on medication any longer! Thank you Mad in America (from my beautiful children and husband, friends, and family, as well– who are in awe of the comeback I’ve made since stopping meds).

  • I share all the common personal paradigm shifts you mentioned. My psychosis was the best experience of my life and it changed everything for the better. Words cannot describe the beauty of my breakdown. I wish it on everyone. =)

    “For example, the participants of my own research who have experienced such a resolution all share the following common shifts as having occurred within their personal paradigms when comparing their experience now with what existed prior to the onset of their psychosis:

    A significantly changed spectrum of feelings with more depth and unitive feelings
    An increased experience of interconnectedness
    A strong desire to contribute to the wellbeing of others
    An integration of good and evil (feeling generally more whole and integrated within themselves; and seeing “evil” actions or intentions as simply the result of profound ignorance—especially as problems with constricted selfhood—rather than as anything intrinsic within anyone).
    Appreciating the limits of consensus reality
    And they all share the following lasting benefits (comparing their experience after the resolution of their psychosis to that which existed prior to the onset of the psychosis):

    Greatly increased wellbeing
    Greater equanimity
    Greater resilience
    Healthier, more rewarding relationships with others
    Healthier relationship with oneself”

  • Yes! I took an antidepressant after having a child and experiencing chronic dizziness and fatigue (deemed depression/anxiety). I was told these pills “help lots of new moms” and when I asked about side effects, they were minimized. I was told if anything out of the ordinary happened, or if it didn’t help my 2 symptoms, I could always discontinue by decreasing the dose at the same pace I began.

    I took Celexa for about a month, and experienced side effects such as vomiting (which I was told was normal and to continue for at least 2 more weeks). I felt numb and disconnected from life (and my dear husband and baby), I felt irritable, impulsive, and angry almost constantly. Finally, I’d had enough and my doctor agreed it didn’t help and I should go off of it. I tapered over 2 weeks. I was told that once it was “out of my system” the side effects would be gone.

    Well, I gradually slipped into a depression. I thought it would go away and I would snap back to my old self. But it continued to get worse and so I saw a different doctor. I should have been told this was a symptom of withdrawal, but instead was told that I had “developed” depression and it is common for people in their mid-20’s to experience onset of depression. That doctor put me on a Lexapro (AD) and eventually I went “high” or hypo-manic on after about 8 months on that drug. Once I had that “hypo-manic” episode (impulsive spending, super happy, super motivated, working out lots, very productive, while irritable) I was put on “watch” for development of bipolar 2. I knew the AD’s were messing with my mind, so I told them I needed to get off of them. I tapered under a doctor (from 10mg Lexapro to none within 2 weeks) and then went into a severe depression with suicidal ideation, planning, constant crying and rage. That was logged as another “depressive” episode when it was just withdrawal from the Lexapro. THEN, I was switched to Lamictal (a mood stabilizer) and I happened to also drink energy drinks at the same time (my bad). I was awake for 5 days straight and it shot me up into actual manic psychosis with hyper-religiosity. I was hospitalized for 11 days and then labeled Bipolar 1 and given anti-psychotics, mood stabilizers, and I don’t know what else. I was discharged and referred to my regular psychiatrist. He immediately started weaning me off the heavy anti-psychotics because clearly I was going mad on them. He diagnosed me as bipolar 1, adult onset, and said my treatment goal was to stay out of the hospital for 6 month stretches for the rest of my LIFE. I was told I needed to take these meds for life just like a good diabetic.

    Thanks to this website, Robert’s book, the support of my spouse, and my own badass awesomeness for listening to my intuition which said it was the drugs all along– I am finally getting the help I need to safely step away from psychiatric meds.

    These meds nearly cost my life. If I hadn’t had a spouse who could support me financially I would have been on disability. I could have lost my children to the foster system had I been a single mom. I could have lost my marriage because the drugs numbed me out, it was as if I didn’t exist inside my own head anymore.

    Rant: These drugs are serious. They are ineffective for many. How one could ethically consider putting children on them is BEYOND me. How on earth would a child have a snowball’s chance it hell of reporting physical or mental symptoms? Most kids are just learning to identify and label their feelings- if they are lucky!

    I am so, so fortunate to have found this community. I am not broken, I never was, but these meds sure as hell DID break me. For the women out there, having medication induced depression or mania seems similar to going through labor with pitocin (induced) vs going into labor naturally. They are 2 totally different experiences, the former being extremely painful and risky and often times leading to an “emergency” C-section that wouldn’t have occurred had nature taken it’s course. I hope that makes sense for someone out there. The meds made me SO much worse.

    Anyways, things are looking up for me. It has been a huge relief to learn that I will be able to live a full life once again, as long as I slowly take the time to heal from all the side effects of these meds.

  • I love the phrase psychiatric survivor-ship. It makes me feel acknowledged for how strong I’ve been while taking meds, switching meds, and tapering meds. Nobody can possibly understand the strength it takes to walk through drug induced depression and mania. *celexa, lexapro, lithium, latuda, lamitrogine, etc. I have survived all of this. I will continue to survive and then thrive once I am med free. =)

  • Thank you, Someone Else. I have been under the care of my new doctor, as recommended here, Dr. Jodie Skillicorn (Akron, OH). She is simply the best. I am in good hands, now. She is confident I do not have bipolar, as is my entire family, and I will heal.

    It shakes me to my core to know that people are misdiagnosed like this day in, day out. And children, too. =( Oh my.

  • YES!!!

    “I believe that a “bi-polar diagnosis” cannot ever be made if a person had taken any psychiatric drug prior to the diagnosis. I know for a fact that these drugs CAUSE symptoms, and the symptoms are then re-diagnosed as a “disorder” or “disease”. I consider that to be severely unintelligent and grossly negligent. My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was a child. She has spent 6 years on anti-depressants and after med switches and increasing doses she went “manic”. She chose not to take meds for bipolar- and is doing very well today- 25 years later. Zero episodes of depression or mania. The antidepressants clearly caused the mania.

    I took an antidepressant after having my first child (to help with dizziness and fatigue– the doctors said, “these pills help lots of new moms”). With no prior personal history of depression, I took that pill (celexa) for a month. It made me numbed out, truly depressed, disconnected from any feelings of love, just awful. The doctor agreed I should go off the drug and after I did I sunk into a deeper depression that I couldn’t fight off for months and months, so I tried a different anti-depressant. After 8 months on that med I began going “hypomanic” so my doctor tapered me off it– and then I got clinically depressed/suicidal. I called and begged for more medication. In the meantime, I drank an energy drink (prior to taking antidepressants I had no issue with them) and it shot me into full mania. I was hospitalized for over a week. Then, since they saw a “clinical depression”, a “manic episode”, and a “family history” of bipolar I was slapped with lithium, latuda, hadol, and the whole nine yards! My list of symptoms went from 2, to a page long!

    My mom never had bipolar– it was caused by antidepressants.
    I don’t have bipolar- it was also caused by antidepressants.

    What we BOTH had was adrenal fatigue after childbirth, which presented depressive symptoms (exhaustion, dizziness (caused by “anxiety” I was told), and new motherhood (choppy sleep, breastfeeding hormones).

    I am on my true path to healing now. Anyways, I loved your post!!

  • This, YES: “Most books about suicide set up a dichotomy: follow this simple, easy-to-understand list of instructions, and you can save your loved one. But when the person dies, the books step in to say the opposite, “It’s not possible to save your loved one. Don’t blame yourself.” And “You’ll heal with time. You’ll never be the same, but you’ll find a way to go on.” That may be true but I never wanted a suicidal person to read that part, just in case there was still a shred within their demon-ravaged self who could even imagine a fraction of the pain their suicide would inflict, the perpetual gash they would leave in the world.” At the time I was fantasizing about suicide, I understood it would hurt everyone around me. Once I realized that everyone would eventually heal from it, I moved into the planning stages. Luckily, I had a safety net to catch me. Others do not.

  • Thank you all so much for your support. It means the world to me. I asked my husband to read about anti-depressant induced bi-polar and he is COMPLETELY on board with me getting off lamictal and lexapro. He agrees that this is EXACTLY what happened to me! We both agree I need to find a new psychiatrist who can advise/monitor symptoms as I taper off so if anyone has recommendations in the CLEVELAND, OHIO area please let me know. We are going to hire house help, babysitters, and put together a workout plan/down time plan for both of us. He is 100% on board with making this investment my future (and thus, the future of our family and children). I am not alone. I have hope. I am terrified of the withdrawl side effects but hopefully I’ll have a strong enough safety net to catch me and keep our family functioning for a while. I am so encouraged– thank you for the responses!

  • How can I safely get off 75m lamictal? And more importantly, how am I going to “convince” those around me who think I’m mentally ill, that I’m in fact, NOT? At this point, I feel like my psychiatrist, spouse, and close friends view me with bias as a “patient”. Yet, it will be hard to fully recover without their support. Has anyone been though that aspect– healing the relationships?

  • I wanted to add I am currently taking 75mg of Lamictal and feel irritable, chronically tired, mentally stunted, numb (unable to genuinely, spontaneously tell a joke or laugh), and I’ve gained 15 lbs. I’ve never had a weight problem and work out 6 days per week (30 minutes cardio, 30 minutes weights). I cannot lose the weight. I absolutely want to get off this drug, but my current doctor believes that my hypomanic esisodes that happened while ON Lexapro were caused by “underlying bipolar”. I do not believe I can trust him to help me off. Additionally, on several occasion since declaring myself “God” I have assured him I am not religious and have returned to my non-manic, atheist self. To which he responded, “Now, you and I both know you don’t believe that.” He believes that if I am “saved” then I will be healed of bipolar. It’s nuts. I feel like I’m trapped in Disneyland except I’m the only one who knows the characters are not real!

  • I would like to comment on the topic of energy drinks. Please bear with me while I provide the context for my story. In 2009, after a normal and emotionally well pregnancy I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. She could be categorized as an “aware” baby as she rarely slept and was constantly crying (colicky). She would wake 6-8 times per night between 10pm-6am. I had zero support or help from anyone besides my husband, who traveled 5 days per week. I had good spirits, though. I handled it very well emotionally. However, I felt dizzy all the time and would lose my balance while walking. I sought medical advice for this and my blood/hormone levels were checked. The doctor concluded that even though I felt emotionally/mentally well, I might benefit from an anti-depressant because “lots of new moms benefit from them”. She prescribed 20mg Celexa and I took it for 6 weeks. I puked, couldn’t sleep, and eventually my body adjusted and I just felt numb/ emotionally absent from my life. I was advised to stop taking it. Within the next 3-6 months I fell into a grating depression. I could function but I was irritable and negative. At that point, I sought help from another doctor. This doctor saw my withdrawl symptoms from Celexa and told me to try a different ant-depressant- 20 mg Lexapro. I took that for a few months and then felt a bit too happy and like my mind was taking off on it’s own course, without me. It felt awful, and so I tapered off that drug on my own. Next, I got pregnant and felt really depressed the whole time. After the birth, I once again had a colicky baby who screamed and did not sleep on top of an active 2 year old, a move across the state, and still no help at home. I slept about 2 hours per night, broken of course. No naps, no breaks. Beautiful, perfect yet needy, crying children wrapped around my legs and in my arms. I checked myself into the ER one night when I felt “disconnected from myself”. They put me on Celexa again and sent me home with a follow-up psych appointment. The next doctor looked at my history and said, “you’ve had 3 depressive episodes. I will increase the dose of Lexapro.” I took that as prescribed for 7 months until I felt really agitated, energetic, and out of control (hypo-manic). My doctor then told me that I’d had 3 depressive episodes and 2 hypo-manic episodes within 4 years, therefore, I had bipolar disorder. I explained to him that I never had these symptoms of massive depression or hypo-mania prior to taking SSRI’s. I told him I wanted to get off Lexapro and he agreed. However, he wanted me to switch to Lamictal for mood stabilization. At the same time, weaned my child because I did not want to take Lamictal while breastfeeding. So, all at once I stopped breastfeeding (which in itself can cause depression as hormones rebalance) and I stopped Lexapro. Within 1-2 months, I became suicidal. Writing notes, plotting. I begged my doctor for medicine and he gave me Lamictal. After taking Lamictal for 3 days I felt violent, irritable, truly insane. I then drank an energy drink called Spark by Advocare as recommended (3 scoops per day) and I did this for a few days to help me feel “better”. Within 5 days I was so manic I wrote a 600 page book, proclaimed I had a direct connection to God (as an atheist this was odd), and since I lost the desire for food/water and my ability to feel pain vanished, I literally thought I could do anything I wanted without physical consequence. I was certifiably crazy. And I knew it. I agreed to check into the ER, where the doctor looked at the label of my energy drink and said it was the equivalent of drinking 12 cups of coffee per day, plus the Lamictal. OMG. I spent the next 11 days in inpatient care (what an odd experience). I lost 11 days of life with my children. They looked at my “manic episode” and “history of depression” and gave me the diagnosis of Bipolar 1. I was put on 3 anti-psychotics. Worst experience, ever. I cannot even describe the hell that was my brain. They released me on all these meds and I became violent with my own children (as a peaceful, educated parent I had never laid a hand on my children. I do not believe in punitive discipline and had an emotionally healthy relationship with my kids). I begged for help around the house. I put my kids in childcare. I tried to wean off the meds with the help of my doctor who agreed the types and doses of meds I had been put on were all wrong. In the meantime, I got to experience “stigma” from family/friends. I had to grapple with this diagnosis– that I still feel was CAUSED BY SSRI’s AND ENERGY DRINKS. Since finding this blog I feel huge relief. I am not crazy. I have hope again. Thank you!