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Trying to taper off meds slowly

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Boston Redsox, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Its seems as soon as I think about tapering down, my pain escalates , what my mind telling me? I have been on a antidepressant along with gabapentin for pain. I am tapering down much slower than my doctor wants I am afraid of side effects.

    Even though I am going threw a very emotional divorce at this time: meaning she wants it more than I , but I am excepting that fact our marriage died years ago but I never wanted to face it.

    I would appreciate any insight on people that have tampered off there meds and what experiences did they face. It seems the more the pain increase the less of my belief in my tms.

    I guess this is how our minds want to protect us.
  2. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Boston,

    It's not clear to me why you want to taper off medication right now. You are under a lot of stress currently, and the medication seems to be helping you.

    I've shared on this Forum about my own tapering down and withdrawal from medication. But I only started it when I knew I was in a low-stress situation. Still it was hard. Even though I did it gradually, I still had an increase in pain, insomnia, mood and anxiety issues, and other symptoms as well. But I was on these medications for decades.

    It just seems like it might be wiser to wait till you get through this period in your life. Then do just one medication at a time very slowly. You can still work on your TMS even while taking medication.
  3. Barb M.

    Barb M. Peer Supporter

    I agree with Ellen. I would wait until you're in a better situation.
  4. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thx Ellen and Barb

    U are right I should wait till I am at a calmer state of mind. But it seems my Lexapro is not doing its job anymore and I don't want to take a higher dose.
  5. alexandra

    alexandra Peer Supporter

    Maybe don't increase it or reduce it at this stressful time, just leave it as it is. I am taking Celexa for 12 years and it's not working anymore but I will continue taking the same dose until I feel emotionally ready to taper off. I believe reducing pain meds and antidepressants while going through a divorce is just too much to deal with all at the same time! I think One thing at a time is best ...☺
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  6. Birdie

    Birdie Peer Supporter

    I agree....tappering off during times of increased stress doesn't seem like a good idea (although I can really understand that you'd prefer to be without meds).
    I tappered off my medication when I thought I was emotionally stable and it put me on a rollercoaster for about one year. Don't want to frighten you, reading all this horror stories about tappering off can also be a huge nocebo. And I didn't know about TMS at this time! I also know people who tappered off without any trouble. I think the more you fear the possible withdrawal symptoms/side effects, the worse it will be. So telling your subconscious that you will be able to taper off your meds for some months could be a good idea (until it sunk in). And then, when you feel more confident about it and you are emotionally more stable, you can slowly start tappering off. Give yourself enough time.....I reduced my meds over a period of half a year (was on Lyrica / Venlafaxin).
  7. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Marco. I agree with the others... stay on the medication until you feel better emotionally.
    A divorce process is not a good time to taper off. When that ordeal is behind you, try tapering off the med.
    And keep positive that the divorce ill give you a much happier, healthier life.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  8. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thx you all for your thoughts on this issue, I guess you are all correct not a good time.
  9. Dahlia

    Dahlia Well known member

    Well, I'll pile on with everyone else and say to wait. You may not have any trouble tapering at all but if there is no emergency then wait.

    I've spent years slowly tapering off medications and what has made it possible is not following some arbitrary time table. Yes, I had a great desire to be rid of them all but throwing my body into rebound pain/depression wasn't going to get me where I wanted to be.

    Whenever you are ready, I found this online resource to be helpful. http://www.theicarusproject.net/HarmReductionGuideComingOffPsychDrugs.

    I was surprised to see how slow they suggest the taper needs to be. Of course everyone is different and of course you should ask your doctor for guidance. Mine was very helpful: he even put me on alternative meds as part of the process to get me there with minimum negative effects. So ask your doc for guidelines first. With one of my meds (Lyrica) I tapered at a rate of 10% per month for a long time. Everyone is different in terms of how they react.

    But set yourself up for success. Wait until outer circumstances are supportive if possible. And ask for help.

    All the best!
    Boston Redsox and Ellen like this.
  10. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Thx Dahlia
  11. Jak

    Jak New Member

    We don't get that choice, as far as I can tell. I too have been on pain medication for 2 years. As soon as I started reading about TMS/MBS I KNEW that was me. I started tapering the very next day. I haven't even seen my pain Management Dr yet. I will be seeing him in 2 weeks but I don't think he's going to let me decide how long I want to take. My pain doesn't come back but my fear is through the roof. How did you tell your Dr YOUR plan. I'm truly scared.
  12. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I know this is a very old thread but this is an important topic.
    I have conflicting personal experiences; they are not even consistent with each other.
    When I read HBP I almost immediately quit all meds....no problems.
    I once was on an SSRI and my doctor just wasn't gonna ever drop the dose, so I tapered off...no problems

    But..Once I was on a medication that I thought I ought to be off of and tapered off..and was really uncomfortable for a long time.

    As far as our TMS goes, pain killers don't really kill pain BUT there is a strong psychological and physical addiction sometimes..
    The most important things to monitor would be your Blood Pressure and your personal, internal feelings.

    Because of the nature of 'medicine' nowadays it seems like a lot of docs don't like you getting off of meds, BUT if it is bumming you out, making you depressed etc.....well. Sometimes you gotta 'get another opinion'.....and keep an eye on that BP. !!
    Jak likes this.
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I gotta tell you, @Jak , that your post screams "victim" to me! You're getting smarter about this every day, so I don't think I need to explain why I had this response. Any thoughts?
  14. Jak

    Jak New Member

    I don't see it Jan. I don't see what you're seeing. I'll be back doing my homework later this morning (I'm West Coast time) but I glanced at this last night already and still don't see what you see.
  15. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Okay, what I see is that you're a victim of your pain management doctor and a victim of medical practices and that you don't see yourself as having any control in your own care. Mind you, you certainly were a victim to pain when you started going to a pain management doctor, and doctors respond accordingly, don't you think? If you go in with a completely different mindset about your pain and about your power to heal yourself, perhaps this doctor will not treat you like a victim anymore, and more like a partner in making the changes you need to make. Does that make sense?
  16. Jak

    Jak New Member

    Oh! Sheesh! Yes, I understand. Thsnk you Jan.

    Your comment actually sent on a bit of a spiral bc I misunderstood your meaning of Victim.

    I am NOT sure that my pain Management Dr will be willing to work with me at a pace I'm comfortable with. I'm not saying he's a bully. He's very, very kind, but this is our exact monthly conversation:

    Dr: "dis jus bandaid u know. Dis won't fix you. We need to get you off dese. Dis BANDaid!"

    Me: "Yes, I know Doc. I can only move as fast as the insurance companies approve junk"

    Dr: "Cuz dis jus BANDaid."


    On the wall of every pharmacy and every Pain Management Doctor are threats if you Dr. Hop or Pharmacy Hop. This isn't 2015.

    I found TMS/MBS info the morning of my last appointment. I had only just started learning.

    I dipped my toe into the "could this be caused by what was going on in my life when my pain started!" convo very slightly. He had a blank look so i told him I think I'd like to talk to some kind of Pain therapist and left it at that. I really probably should.

    I step outside and jog a bit when I start chewing over what got me in the pain I was in. I'll even acknowledge that I still have loads of rage. I've been able to mostly ignore it because this is so exciting and I'm running!! I still think my PM Dr will allow me much control of the tapering process. You'd laugh (or maybe not) if you knew what my husband does. I'm not saying it publicly but he is reading/learning even more than I was that first week. He's also angry. Maybe I'll take him with me so my Dr stops talking at me.

    I'm not a shrinking violet. I never have been. I'm also not going to make a scene anywhere. I'm worn and I'm tired of fighting. I know exactly how I got here, I NOW have tools (or know where to look for them) to fight pain, but I have 4+ years (2015-19) of being buffeting on all sides and I'm just tired.

    I will fight for control of tapering. I don't think my Dr. treats me like a victim - I want off as much as he wants me off. It's HIS medical license he's using to prescribe pain management meds and that's not a safe career for him right now. It's boatloads of paperwork to show why each patient needs each "Controlled Substances" (Schedule 2).

    The DEA is practicing medicine without a license. Pain Management conferences that I know of STILL aren't talking about TMS/MBS.
  17. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Off topic, but I saw a chart...all of the Fentanyl abuse and overdose exactly corresponds to when the DEA made getting prescription pain meds nigh impossible.
    Check out the graph down there..it was 2014. Since that year I lost a friend and my son lost a GF and a Bestie.

    Whenever the govt. tries to help, it always makes it worse. The people who were abusing drugs are gonna get SOMETHING no matter what and the people who meds genuinely help are going to get angrier, pressured= more pain and might end up on that chart.

    @Jak back when I was in a chronic pain center (right before I found Sarno) the only part I liked was talking to the counselour/shrink.
    It is outside their experience as Sarno said
    . I ended up in Emergency room melting down. Emergency doc had never heard of the meds I was on. Made me DRINK charcoal. I was really pissed. All it took was a phone call from my 'understanding and sensitive' pain doc to explain what I was on, but NO. He didn't call and I had to drink the charcoal.
    The Young bad-ass E-room doc said as much. He laughed at me. Said QUOTE "He's not going to call....guys go into Chronic pain so they came make a 3pm tee time. But I'll bet he's a reeeeally nice guy who is compassionate and listens to all of your drama and sorrows" (Cue Villainous laughter)...he gave me a 1/2 hour...no call

    Went in to the pain center FUMING the next day. Told them I would only talk to the shrink and do PT. They said "No...this is not a partial program...you're either in it all day 5 days a week or your insurance won't cover it"

    Went and bought Healing Back Pain. Read about 10 pages. Called pain center and told them to F-off....Been pain free for a quarter century.

    When I occasionally have had to have X-rays/Mri's for other things I always tell the tech/Dr. "I do NOT want to know what you find...if I have the problem you are looking for, great, otherwise I do not want to know"
    Gotten some strange looks from Drs. My Dentist thought I was CRAZY (probably am).... but Gnothi Seauton , right?

    The one time I forgot to tell a Dr. to not give me his 'opinion' was the time in 2015 when I was told "You broke a vertebrae in your spine and it has healed.....when did that happen?" They were MRI'ing my Gall bladder or something?
    Anyways. They always gotta drop their 2 cents and I have learned that the stuff they say absent mindedly can cause a very strong reaction in people...I am aware of it, but not above it!!

    So, as Jan was getting at, you really have to become your own advocate. No Dr. you speak to for 10 minutes is going to know what you are trying to tell them like YOU are gonna know.

    You sound like your doing well on this...I would bet money your going to be cured really fast.

    that's my .02 cents

    Attached Files:

    Jak likes this.
  18. Jak

    Jak New Member

    My brother and wife lost a 7th grader because they put him on ADHD meds and the DEA only "allows" pharmacies a limited amount of the medication. You can't over prescribe a drug like Adderall and then limit it. It's evil.
  19. Jak

    Jak New Member

    For Pete's sake! I still can't figure out how to respond to small sections. My Pain Mgmt Dr has never even asked me what happened to my back. When I think how long ive been in pain and ONE question could have turned a on I could weep!

    He's not a a listenery, not particularly friendly but not unfriendly either. He could just leave a tape recorder running and not even show up because he says the same thing every time. You know this is just a bandaid...He looks exhausted and frustrated. He needs to validate why he's prescribing what he's prescribing. I absolutely understand that. I'm afraid Tapering won't meet the DEA standards and I'm a horrific liar. I don't know a Dr or pharmacy who doesn't fear the DEA right now. I'm so ready to be done. I spend about 2 hours a day reading/working through the program, I'm jogging every night or I'll go for a quick jog if I start thinking I'm feeling pain. I feel exultant and triumphant as I jog but fear creeps in about these stupid meds. I'm actually fearing something that hasn't even happened yet. I'm almost completely off my Extended Release meds.

    I know this was an old thread. I appreciate you acknowledging it's an important one.

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