Geodon, Mental Illness, And Saying Goodbye

So I know this isn't exactly the best place to post this type of blog, but I've always found this community very supportive and I'm going to need a lot of support soon. So some backstory. I have fought with mental illness my entire life. I have been on anti-psychotics since I was 12, or half of my life. The first anti-psychotic I was on caused me to gain nearly 200 pounds in two years. It also had numerous other horrendous side effects. So when I was 15 I switched over to Geodon. This medication made me gain weight much more slowly and eventually I leveled out at around 350 lbs. My energy levels have decreased with each passing year. I now sleep as much as 16 hours a day. So after living through this for 12 years I have decided to quit. I made this decision after forgetting to take my pills last night. Today has been among the worst days of my life. Going cold turkey on Geodon has similar side effects and severity levels to going cold turkey on Heroine. In essence you feel like your insides were scrambled around and set on fire. You are freezing and boiling at the same time, you shake uncontrollably, have muscle spasms, sweat intensely, are unable to eat or sleep, and in general feel like you are about to die. I plan to spend the next month feeling this as I ween myself off of the drug. It is going to be one of the hardest things I'll ever do. It will be incredibly painful. I'll be weak, starving, exhausted and angry. I might have psychotic episodes. I might hallucinate. I basically am going to go through hell on Earth in hopes of proving that I don't need this medication to function. If I succeed I will hopefully become a new man, healthier and happier than before. I'll be blogging about the experience as I go through it since I won't be good for much else. Right now my next step is coming up with a plan with my physician, which I'll begin to execute sometime later this week. Any advice anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

EDIT: Just to clarify, the cold turkey part was referring to how it felt to not take the medication for one day. I definitely plan on doing it gradually and with the help of a doctor. Thanks for the concern!

19 Comments
20 Comments
Edited by Raven10

So I know this isn't exactly the best place to post this type of blog, but I've always found this community very supportive and I'm going to need a lot of support soon. So some backstory. I have fought with mental illness my entire life. I have been on anti-psychotics since I was 12, or half of my life. The first anti-psychotic I was on caused me to gain nearly 200 pounds in two years. It also had numerous other horrendous side effects. So when I was 15 I switched over to Geodon. This medication made me gain weight much more slowly and eventually I leveled out at around 350 lbs. My energy levels have decreased with each passing year. I now sleep as much as 16 hours a day. So after living through this for 12 years I have decided to quit. I made this decision after forgetting to take my pills last night. Today has been among the worst days of my life. Going cold turkey on Geodon has similar side effects and severity levels to going cold turkey on Heroine. In essence you feel like your insides were scrambled around and set on fire. You are freezing and boiling at the same time, you shake uncontrollably, have muscle spasms, sweat intensely, are unable to eat or sleep, and in general feel like you are about to die. I plan to spend the next month feeling this as I ween myself off of the drug. It is going to be one of the hardest things I'll ever do. It will be incredibly painful. I'll be weak, starving, exhausted and angry. I might have psychotic episodes. I might hallucinate. I basically am going to go through hell on Earth in hopes of proving that I don't need this medication to function. If I succeed I will hopefully become a new man, healthier and happier than before. I'll be blogging about the experience as I go through it since I won't be good for much else. Right now my next step is coming up with a plan with my physician, which I'll begin to execute sometime later this week. Any advice anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

EDIT: Just to clarify, the cold turkey part was referring to how it felt to not take the medication for one day. I definitely plan on doing it gradually and with the help of a doctor. Thanks for the concern!

Posted by Trainer_Red

I have witnessed first hand what mental illness can do to a family. Schizophrenia to be exact.

This person in my immediate family tried multiple times to get off of her prescriptions and each time she got worse to the point where we had to institutionalize her for a few weeks. I would not wish these illnesses on my worse enemy and I hope you find peace somewhere. If you're strong willed then maybe you can wing yourself from these drugs, but my advice would be to take a hard look at the pros and cons. Try to remember why you started taking them in the first place and weigh out whether or not that situation is worse then the one you are going through now.

And for the love of God, please see a doctor before you do this. I know you already stated that you are planning to, but you also stated that you have already started which is not a very good idea. There are ways to go about this without putting your life in danger.

Posted by Bishna

I agree with

Posted by JasonR86

I wish you never had to face this problem dude.

Posted by murisan

That's no bueno. The worst I can really say I've experienced that was similar at all was SSRI withdrawals from cold turkey, and THAT was bad enough for me. After that experience (and it being my second SSRI I tried) I vowed to never bother with medications again.

Well, a year or so later, I lost the battle with my ever-present - but usually mild - depression. I went back to a doctor with the intentions of trying anything and everything, beginning with the medications least likely to give me side effects. I was prepared to be trying different medicines for a year, having to give each three months to test them. Luck was, the first medication I tried worked and I'm still taking it to this day.

My only advice to you is to call your doctor as soon as possible and talk to HIM/HER. They need to know you're stopping cold turkey, and you really do need to tell them. Again, call your doctor as soon as you can, as soon as they're available, and speak with them. Please.

Posted by tysonwritesel

Get on another med bro. See your psych.

Posted by fishmicmuffin

Best of luck. I hope it goes well for you.

Posted by HerbieBug

Do NOT quit cold turkey. I'm not going to tell you not to quit but I am going to tell you that immediately dropping from regular dosage to zero is going to be horrifying for you. If you refuse to speak with your doctor, fine. But please PLEASE at least gradually reduce your dosage over a period of weeks before stopping entirely. You are making this far harder and far more harmful to your body than it needs to be.

Edited by Sanity

All the best, cant offer much advice other then do what you think is right and try to stay positive. Also make sure you have friends and family on alert in the early goings just in case something goes wrong. Withdrawal in the beginning can be very dangerous.

Online
Posted by SpartyOn

@Raven10: Other people have said it, but it requires reiteration: Do not adjust your dosage without the consultation of a medical professional. What you are attempting to do is incredibly dangerous and you are doing so under the assumption that it will improve something with no knowledge that this is the case. Not only that, but handling symptoms like extreme withdrawal takes a tremendous physical as well as mental toll on a person, and your mind is returning to a state it has not occupied in quite some time, making the likelihood of a complete psychotic break that much greater. I would URGE you to consult a medical profession immediately and discuss a plan with them that is safe and accomplishes your goals.

UPDATE: Upon further research into my prescription manuals, I found Ziprasidone (aka Geodon) and it is highly recommended discontinuing use gradually, again, as planned out by a medical professional. Rapid reduction in the dosages of that drug, and others or its class, is likely to cause problems significantly greater than those you faced while on the drug, as well as those before it. That pain can likely be avoided through a gradual termination, so do yourself a favor and go about this the right way.

Posted by TaliciaDragonsong

There's specialists for this, go see them.
 
It's better to get into more trouble with your doctor's blessing than on your own.

Posted by pweidman

TC: Absolutely do this in coordination with your Dr. and/or Psych. You need to get advice and information now first about how to go about quitting your meds.

That said, good luck and god speed duder.

Posted by gamefreak9

Dno much about personal issues but...You probably don't need meds. Here's an interesting talk from Angell on how the companies function to convince everyone that they need meds.

Posted by SinGulaR

Getting of anti-psychotics shouldn't be done aprubtly. You should lower the dosage slowly until you get to zero. Talk with your doctor about this. And good luck.

Posted by Butler

As mentioned multiple times before consult the medical professionals.

But here is something relatively simple to do:

Eat healthy, workout, and meditate!

Seriously.

The renewed sense of mental clarity/balance and overall energy has skyrocketed after a mere month. Just dropping soda/candy sugar I lost 20 lbs in under 3 weeks and started to notice changes in my physique and mind.

Posted by fetchfox

Follow the advice from the other users here, but beyond that, best of luck. I used to have a close friend that used something similar for the same reasons and lets just say things didn't work out. I hope and look forward to hearing from you again!

Posted by Raven10

Thanks for the advice everyone. I don't plan on doing it cold turkey. I was just explaining how it felt after one day of not taking it because I forgot. I am planning to see my doctor as soon as possible but I've decided to maybe hold off till after the holidays as my family is all coming to visit and I want to be in a good state to spend time with them.

Posted by Raven10

@Trainer_Red: @murisan: @HerbieBug: @SpartyOn: I didn't start yet. Sorry for the confusion everyone! I was just referring to how it felt not being on it for a day after I forgot to take it. I don't plan on starting until after I see my doctor. I have thought long and hard about the pros and cons. The thing is, I don't have Schizophrenia, I'm not psychotic, nor do I have severe OCD. I was put on this medication as a kid when I really didn't understand why I needed to be on it. At the time I wasn't really able to explain my problems clearly to a psychiatrist. I didn't really have enough knowledge to describe what I was going through. Now, 12 years later, I look at the things anti-psychotics are supposed to be used to control and I don't really have any of them. So I want to at least try and see what it would feel like to be off them. Maybe it will be terrible, in which case I will go back on them, but there is always the chance that I'll be fine and I think that is worth the month or so of pain.

Posted by Akrid

What needs to be said has been said, so I'll just add my well-wishes to the rest. Good luck! You should be very proud of yourself for every day of your life that you've fought your illness, and even more proud that you've chosen to fight even harder now.

Posted by jerseyscum

Jersey Scum's Fun Fact: Going cold-turkey off certain kinds of psych meds (Benzos like Xanax especially) is DANGEROUS. The last thing you want is possibly suffering a psychotic break and ending up in a hospital loony bin. Thankfully, you've seen the light and will do this with the help of a goddamn trained medical professional. Maybe he could give you some tranquilizers to ease the detox process.

If you're bipolar....going off your meds is a fucking bad idea. Ever see Brad Pitt in 12 Monkeys? Yes, that kind of crazy.

I've had SSRI withdrawal before and that sucked. Imagine hooking up your nervous system to a car battery and getting electric shocks from the head down. I almost checked myself into a ER from the sheer panic I was feeling. I'm better on the meds than off, so I stick to a schedule and always keep a blister pack (gotta love free samples) in my glove box.