Author Topic: worried about rapid taper  (Read 3670 times)

[Buddie]

worried about rapid taper
« on: January 12, 2023, 12:35:55 pm »
I didnt know where else to put this. I have a couple threads going but ive not had any response as of late.
Im now at my wits end and getting extremely overwhelmed.

I seen my gp yesterday and hes still pushing a rapid taper with me. Im 65 and my withdrawal symptoms have become worse. I am still expected to end my taper by spring of this year and have only started tapering off a 25 yr daily dose of X since roughly November of 2022.

I am stuck at 3mg per day and my gp has not read any of the material i gave him back in December 2022 that wintersun advised to give him on tapering and the like. He refused to lower my taper to 5% and allow me to lead my own taper , by going much slower so the withdrawal process is tolerable for me , saying , ' you cant do that', and he also suggested crossing or switching me over to another medication,  such as Abilify or other antidepressants, which I refused to do. I know from past experience with those drugs, that i will end up in far worse shape than i am trying to get off of the X I'm on now.

I felt completely defeated and just gave up trying to reason with him. I was so upset after that, when i got home i just broke down. Theres  no way i will be able to make it down to 0 by April 2023, no way. Im suffering now and actually have been for the last 6 mths with this. I searched for a new doctor, in the hope I would find one who is far better with tapering, but so far no luck. My only other option is the hospital or a walkin clinic.  These are hugely difficult and not very promising. 

I was starting to get depressed last night , so I read some of the success stories here, looking for hope of getting through this somehow.  I read Gitfiddle's post on how she went slow, 2 yrs or so off her X and took special notice of a Dr S. Shipko she mentioned. I found him on YouTube and a book on kindle called  Xanax Withdrawal.
I found his website and email,  so i emailed him asking if he could perhaps suggest a proper tapering process for me.
I truly didn't expect him to respond,  but he did.

This is what he said in regards to how my doctor is handling my tapering....

""I don't think that it can be done in the timeframe you mention.  The tapering has to be based on how you are doing after each dosage cut, sometimes going up a bit if the cut is too much. If you are doing well, you might be able to go faster, but the only way this will work is if you are in control of the tapering speed.  I describe this in my eBook, Xanax Withdrawal.  At 65 with the dosage and duration that you describe, there is a real risk of hypertensive or hypotensive stroke or heart attack, seizures or suicide - to name a few.  It is not just a matter of discomfort. I think that at your age, rather than trying to go entirely off, harm reduction, by trying to get the dosage down to 2 mg may be more reasonable.  Even this would take a long time.  No set schedule, but I would estimate that would take 1 - 2 years from today. Feel free to share this with your doctor.  I would be happy to speak with him/her  if he they are interested.

 

Best Wishes,

Dr.S.""

I was shocked at what he said, and I printed out the whole thing. Being I live in Canada and hes in California,  I'm not sure my doctor would even take this seriously,  but this man is a psychiatrist, wouldnt that account for something?

I need advice on where to go from here now. Do i give this email to my doctor or someone else, like a pharmacist or is any of this worth bothering with now? Im on the verge of giving up.

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2023, 02:24:36 pm »
Hi [...]

Iím so sorry youíre in this situation because of your ill-informed, ignorant doctor. I can only tell you what I would do if in your position - I would give the printed email to my doctor, look him in the eye, and sayÖ I am not leaving this room until you have read this email from this psychiatrist and the other information I have provided you with over this time.

Your doctor has taken a oath to do no harm, and so I would advise him that you are documenting all of your discussions with him, and if anything happens to you health wise, there are those around you that will not only hold him solely responsible, but he will be held accountable through legal means. At this point, there is nothing for you to save with this doctor, and he has no power over you, he just thinks he does because heís a doctor. I would just flat out refuse to leave the room until he at least has the common decency to read what you have provided him, both on the day, and on past occasions. Thereís a saying - ďignorance is no excuseĒ and this also applies to medical professionals. Dig your heels in, moojoo, you have absolutely nothing to lose with this doctor. Heís already causing you unnecessary suffering.  Please keep searching for another doctor, donít give up on that.

Again, so sorry you have been put in such a terrible position by your doctor :hug:
« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 04:06:40 pm by [Buddie] »
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2023, 03:05:07 pm »
I'm sorry you've been put through this terrible ordeal. I hope you're able to switch to a more knowledgeable, kind, patient centered doctor soon so you can begin a sensible, slow taper.  Once you've tapered down to 2mg you may be able to reassess and find it's reasonable to keep tapering.   
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2023, 07:52:41 pm »
I plan on going back in soon, i am tired as heck right now and mentally exhausted. I need to recharge and I will be going back in mad as hell this time. As you said and i agree Wintersun, theres nothing to save with him now.
Even if i cant find another doctor, and he will be searching for me,since by law here in Canada , NO DOCTOR can outright abandon or fire a patient without good cause. Ive done everything hes asked me to up to this point,even when i openly disagreed with him. 
Im trying to keep a stiff upper lip, but I must say, it is getting harder to stay positive. Nor am i sure ive the energy to push this much longer. I am glad though for all my buddies here. Thank you for all your thoughtful advice.  :smitten: :highfive:

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2023, 08:09:42 pm »
Hi [...],

I'm glad you reached out to this Dr. Shipko. He's absolutely right about the risks of tapering too quickly and about the manner and rate to be able to taper safely. I hope you can get this resolved and on a safe taper schedule that keeps your symptoms as minimal as possible.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2023, 08:28:28 pm »
This is a long shot but I wonder if the folks at Toronto-based Outro Health (see link below) might be able to give you suggestions on how to find a doctor who would be willing to work with you on a safe and gradual taper?

The current focus of Outro Health (OH) is helping individuals safely taper off antidepressants. However, my sense is that OH may also be exploring the possibility of expanding its services at some point to include helping individuals safely taper off benzodiazepines.

Link:
Outro Health | Safely Taper Off Antidepressants
https://www.outro.com/
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2023, 11:55:37 pm »
Moojoo2

I responded on your other thread

If youíre in the Toronto area or anywhere in Ont, I can help.

You need to find a RAAM clinic.

They will taper you off using Ashton.

They are pretty ignorant about the severity of symptoms and frankly donít understand why Iím so bad, but they let me go at my pace.

Let me know where you are, and I can try and help.

Weíre here to help

[...]
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2023, 12:32:46 am »
Someone mentioned RAAM before on here and I checked it out and found a clinic in my area, but they kind of taper a bit too fast and I had mentioned I didn't want to cross over to another benzo since I had been tapering fairly well off the X , at that time I contacted them, (last year)...going at my own pace and trying to ward off the doctors BS. Its just him refusing to allow me to do it my way.
Dr Shipko suggested possibly holding at 2mg, or get down to that in time and remain at that dose for as long as I need. This is what I will be giving to my doctor next week. I was unable to get back out to see him this week and I can only muster a phone call and email ,at the moment, because of all the stress. I can email him a copy of that email from DR Shipko. ( good Lord thats a lot of emails  .. !)

I also have a session with the therapist tomorrow, weather permitting, and I will be passing the email from Dr Shipko onto her as well.
He ( my doctor) seriously cant expect me to continue on his way if I have worse chances of ending up sicker than I am now. I will also speak to my pharmacist, who has a good idea of whats going on and who I know personally, and let him in on whats happening now. I will attempt a call to him tomorrow depending on how I feel. Right now I am feeling a little sick to my stomach worrying about all this.
I appreciate everyone's help, I  really do. But I am starting to get  over anxious and want to keep my mind busy with other things for a while. Im just too over stressed with all this and I dont want any feelings hurt.
I am so happy that there is so much caring and concern here. Again, thank you all.
I do have enough meds to keep me going for another 10 days or longer, simply because I couldnt taper down to the 2.5 mg from the 3 mg this fast from the last week of December. I am going by my symptoms and how I am able to function. Right now its just feeling very tired and overwhelmed...so I will keep you all updated as I move forward. One last thing I remember my *DA* doctor saying before I left his office yesterday ,that if I ran out before the end of this month , he would fax in enough to get me to the 29th. We shall see how that goes. I dont want to say to much more about it right now

Thank you all so much and thumbs up to all of you who are plowing through your own suffering. I wish I could make it all stop for every.single .one .of you. I do.
God Bless!  :mybuddy:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2023, 12:44:03 am »
Iím not sure which RAAM clinic you called, but yes some arenít that great.

I go to the one at Womenís College Hospital and I am able to tell them how I want to do it.

They even leave people on and get them to a lower dose.

But every dr is different, even at this place.

Iím sorry you didnít get what you wanted, but Iíd seriously go to the RAAM clinic and show them the email and you might get more reception than your dr.

Tell them that the latest research is to not switch the benzo you are used to.

I wish I never switched to Valium. Iím a rapid metabolizer and itís terrible drug.

Itís possible to taper from Xanax, just by taking it more times a day.

Canada is so stupid about benzos.

Iím so sorry youíre in this position.

Good luck. Reach out to me if you need help.

[...]

Ps. They also let me hold as long as I want and need.
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: worried about rapid taper
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2023, 05:32:58 am »
I plan on going back in soon, i am tired as heck right now and mentally exhausted. I need to recharge and I will be going back in mad as hell this time. As you said and i agree Wintersun, theres nothing to save with him now.
Even if i cant find another doctor, and he will be searching for me,since by law here in Canada , NO DOCTOR can outright abandon or fire a patient without good cause. Ive done everything hes asked me to up to this point,even when i openly disagreed with him. 
Im trying to keep a stiff upper lip, but I must say, it is getting harder to stay positive. Nor am i sure ive the energy to push this much longer. I am glad though for all my buddies here. Thank you for all your thoughtful advice.  :smitten: :highfive:

Hi [...]

Sorry if that previous reply of mine was pretty full on, I was feeling so angry with your doctor when I wrote it, and I try not to do that, but I do stand by most of what I said. We tend to cower to doctors, and they know it!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.