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Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Withdrawal from Arirpripazole - help!!

Hi there - does anyone have experience in withdrawal from Arirpriprazole ? I’m struggling badly with severe anxiety, panic, 4hours sleep at night, freezing cold then hot, it feels horrendous..... I’d weaned down to 5mg and stopped 2 weeks ago, I’m on 2mg Diazepam x3 a day which helps a lot, can anyone share similar experiences? Thank you

Poppi

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Hi Poppifg

Welcome to the forum which is for mums suffering the effects of Postpartum Psychosis (PP) and ups and downs to recovery, with support for their families and friends. Can I ask if you have had PP?

I'm sorry to hear you are struggling with awful side effects of Aripiprazole. Have you read the leaflet which you should have in the box? Perhaps it might be an idea to ring your GP, to reassure you and arrange an urgent appointment tomorrow if you are in the UK?

I'm sorry I don't have any experience of this medication. The choice and medication site at choiceandmedication.org/ncmh will possibly be helpful to you. Take good care and please seek professional help if needed.

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Hi Lilybeth

Thank you so much for replying, yes I’ve had PP twice and two relapses..... I will have a look at the info sheet and the link- I saw my GP on Friday and have a care co- ordinator who isn’t available as much as I need but I can always speak to someone on the duty team, it helps to reach out and share .

Thank you again.

Poppi

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Hi Poppifg

I'm sorry to hear you had PP twice and relapsed twice. That must have been very hard for you. You might have read on the forum that I had PP twice too, six years apart, but that was a long time ago. It is all very real and frightening at the time isn't it?

How far into your recovery are you? I did relapse once due to trying to limit my medication myself as I felt very sedated. This was a bad idea as I almost went back to square one! It's good that you saw your GP recently but a shame that your care co-ordinator isn't available as often as you need.

I hope the link is helpful. Have you also seen the PP Guides, "Recovery after Postpartum Psychosis" and "Postpartum Psychosis : A Guide for Partners", the link being app-network.org/what-is-pp/... We are all here to support each other, as you say, it does help to reach out and share. Take care.

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Hi Lilybeth

Thank you for your lovely reply, much appreciated..... I had PP 23 and 17 years ago but I’m now in menopause hence the relapses...... I’ve replied to JetGirl which was helpful.

I’ve had to go back on a lose dose as the symptoms are literally unbearable

Best wishes

Poppi

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Hi Poppifg

Good to hear from you. I had an early menopause years ago after a hysterectomy and it was everything you describe ..... hot flushes, freezing cold then hot, not sleeping, quilt on, quilt off .... just awful!

There was a week long Radio 4 series "The Menopause" exploring its impact with women talking about what it is / was like for them. There's also a phone-in which is a good listen. So I thought this might be helpful, the link being bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05tpw79. If the link doesn't work, I also found it by searching 'Woman's Hour BBC Radio 4 - Menopause'.

It's good that your care-cordinator was helpful and I hope the symptoms will ease a little for you.

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Hi there,

Actually my first post here. Not experienced PP but am high risk due to being bipolar and so a whole care plan is in place just in case for when the time comes.

I was on aripriprizol for about 3 years (15mg) and came off it a couple of years ago. Sounds like you are one of the unlucky ones with withdrawal as aripriprizol withdrawal not always that bad. I had anxiety and a bit of a low, but not any of the other things you are experiencing. I did have however for about six months after tardive dyskinesia from the withdrawal, involuntary movements in my mouth and jaw which was horrible.

Part of my care plan is to go back on it immediately after giving birth as part of a preventative measure. I am worried about the TD being brought back.

Having been on a ridiculous number of medications in the past 17 years and experiencing different withdrawals from each I can only offer support in the hang in there variety. It does ease off and get better, some meds just take longer than others. However if you feel the problems from the withdrawal are impacting or could impact your mental health and cause a relapse you should definitely speak to your doctor.

I hope it eases up soon.

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Hi JetGirl17

Welcome to the forum and thank you for reaching out to support Poppi. I'm glad you have a care plan in place and wondered if you had seen the PP Insider Guide "Planning pregnancy : A guide for women at high risk of PP"? The link is app-network.org/what-is-pp/... I wondered if it might be helpful for you. There are also other guides on the page produced in partnership with APP.

I hope all goes well for you when the time comes. Take care.

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Hi Lilybeth,

Thank you, yes I have. My perinatal psychiatrist printed them for me and gave to me when we first met and put the care plan together. That's how I found my way here.

The one made for partners was very helpful for my other half also. We're all going to be on standby when the time comes. Lucky in many ways as most early earning signs are identical to those of an episode of hypomania so it's familiar territory at least.

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Hi JetGirl7

So pleased you found your way here via your helpful perinatal psychiatrist :) I think the forum is a great support for just a chat or shared experiences and there are brave mums here who also cope with bipolar. Take care.

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Hi JetGirl17

Thank you so much for your reply, it was so helpful...... I’m only getting 4 hours sleep and I’m concerned I’m going to go manic again so I’ve spoken to my care Co-ordinator who has been helpful and I’ve gone back on a lose dose as from this morning as I can’t cope any more with the horrible symptoms.

It sounds like you have a good plan in place and great that you have reached out to the forum.

Thank you again.

Poppi

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Hi Poppi

I hope you are feeling a bit better on reduced medication, although I'm sure it's not easy if you are trying to cope with unbearable symptoms. I'm not sure whether the menopause Radio 4 link was helpful but hope your GP and care co-ordinator are supporting you,

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Hi Lilybeth

Thank you for your reply - lovely that you are ‘there’ to talk to...,, going back on 5mg has put an end to the horrible withdrawal which means I am sleeping better, not going hot and cold and not feeling in complete fear constantly but it’s made me feel very low and flat and that’s what I was like before I stopped it but it’s got to be better than when I was withdrawing, I’d like more support from my care Co-ordinator as she takes days to get back to me, so I’m holding on in there.

I’ll check out that info on radio 4.

It’s great to have the support of this forum - thank you so much and I hope you are well.

Poppi

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Hi Poppi

Good to hear from you .... we are all here whenever you feel like talking, so you're not on your own :) I'm glad the horrible symptoms are fading since going back on 5mg but sorry you're feeling very low. Do you think your GP could prescribe anything for your low mood or would talking therapy help? I think feeling low is very hard when you're trying to cope with the effects of medication, not sleeping very well and routine at home.

It's a shame the care co-ordinator isn't supporting you as much as you would like but I hope you can lean on the duty team if she's not available?

I hope some of the radio interview will be helpful. I'm well, thank you, and hope you will have the continuing support you need. Take care.

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Hello Poppi,

so pleased to meet you on here. This forum has given me strengths and support five years after PPP and the traumatising experience in a mixed gender Psychiatric unit for 39 days without my baby and continuous isolation and ill-treatment.

Luckily MBU's are more accessible and regionally available as I believe that this is the most suitable place for mums with PPP and other severe mental health issues after birth.

I was on Lorazepam, Haloperidol and Risperidone-the once I took for several months and of course the side effects have been horrendous, but helped me to get rid of Post Partum Psychosis.

I am not familiar with the drug you take at the moment and I read up a bit on that in order to get an idea:

sAripiprazole long-acting injection (also known as aripiprazole LAI or Abilify Maintena®) is an antipsychotic or neuroleptic, mainly used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Nevertheless, in my opinion I believe the exchange with other mums and their experience with this specific meds maybe more useful. Mine were of a traditional nature and the new drugs had no effect at the time...it was pretty much trial and error until my halluzinations and continuous episodes mellowed down.

Our make up is unique and we all react differently towards chemicals and obviously it is a personal choice. I wondered Poppi, if you could get a second opinion?

I continued to struggle, I was not only miss-diagnosed at the very beginning, but undiagnosed for 7 years until I found Professor Ian Jones from Cardiff University via APP.

My GP diagnosed agora and social phobia in 2012... I actually experienced severe anxiety, sleep deprivation and extreme hyper activity, because of Bi-polar 1 throughout my recovery of PPP. Stressors such as loosing 2 family members did not help and slowed down my recovery.

I thought I was not only peri-menopausal, but have had menstrual psychosis, but I am so pleased that everything has been clarified. My choice of life is based on therapeutic healing and CBD oil. I am happy, despite my ups and downs...I ride the waves :-)

Hope it was helpful and wishing you the best of luck...

x

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Hello Pikoura

Thank you for contacting me here, there’s not much to add in addition to my reply to Lilybeth..,,,, it’s great to know that you have managed your condition and that gives me hope for my future that you and so many other wonderful ladies have recovered.

Wishing you all the best and thank you again for your kindness.

Poppi

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I was initially on that medication and did very poorly on it. I felt super claustrophobic all the time and couldn’t sit down. And did nothing to improve my intrusive thoughts. After 1 month of that went to risperidol. Did better on that. Had Zoloft. That helped the most. Now weaned off risperidol and only taking a small dosage of Zoloft. No problems weaning off

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Hi Coffeemom2

Thank you for your really helpful reply and I’m pleased you are doing well..... the Psychiatrist has agreed that I can go back on HRT and that gives me hope as I was very well on that before I had to stop taking it in January ...... so I’m a bit more hopeful now and see some light at the end of a very long tunnel...... thank you again

Poppi

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Hi Poppifg

I'm glad you're feeling more hopeful since the Psychiatrist agreed that you can go back on HRT as you were very well on that before. Take care .... I hope you will soon feel the benefit :)

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Hi Poppi

I hope the mood stabiliser works well with the HRT. I remember having depression and how low my mood was. It is hard because you try so much every day to be fine for your family but feel very low. I think it's best not to push yourself to be well although I'm sure the Psychiatrist is very supportive. Take good care of yourself.

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Hi Poppfg

Thinking of you .... hope you are managing to sleep a little bit more and have felt reassured by the Psychiatrist caring for you. Sometimes it can feel like an uphill struggle with one thing after another.

It's difficult with family to look after but try and rest as much as you can during the day if you're not sleeping at night. I hope the care co-ordinator is being more helpful and the symptoms become more manageable with time. We are all here to talk ... take care.

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Hi Lilybeth, lovely to hear from you again and thank you for your concern......I’m still not sleeping very well, I manage about 4 hours then awake for a couple more hours then sleep lightly for a couple more.....I’m trying to accept that this is just the way it is at the moment

.....I think it’s too early for there to be any effect from the HRT as I only started it a week ago......

I hope all is well with you, thank you again xx

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Hi Poppi

Sorry to hear you're still not sleeping very well. I think depression is very hard to lift without medication so I hope the psychiatrist will consider it for you. It's good that you are trying different options to help with sleep. I have also found listening to piano music with soft rain sounds on YouTube to be very relaxing and calming.

I hope the care co-ordinator is a bit more supportive to you than she has been. You have been amazing to cope with such horrible symptoms. It's good that you are trying your best to cope ..... it will take time to find peace of mind but with good medical support you will eventually feel stronger. Take care, we are here for you. xx

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Hi Lilybeth

Thank you for saying I’m amazing to cope with the horrible symptoms...... I do kind of agree with you !! As I have had so many desperate and dark thoughts, but feel a bit better in the last two days, it’s good to know you’re there, thank you so much xx

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Hi Poppi

I'm glad you kind of agree with me :) I remember feeling helpless and hopeless and it was so hard to fight my thoughts and feelings at the time. I think it's a relief when you realise that you do feel a bit better and the dark cloud is lifting slightly. I really hope you will eventually be able to have a good sleep. Thinking of you. xx

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Hi Poppi,

I hope you will be fine, soon. Sleep deprivation is very tiresome...if I can not sleep at night I listen to Hayhouse guided meditation. Usually I catch some sleep and wake up in the morning still with my headphones on. :-)

I control my triggers with Reiki, daily Meditation, Yoga twice a week...or painting...of course CBD oil is helping to lower my BP spectrum, which is a bit easier to cope with for my big and little man...between new moon and full moon I just ride the waves...

We are unique and one has to figure out what is suitable & tailor-made and adapts to personal life style. It is important to talk to health professionals...I never relied just on one opinion and always outweigh the pros and cons together with my partner...at this moment my approach works for our family...

Look after yourself.

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Hello Pikoura

Lovey to hear from you and for your kind interest and replies.....I have the Headspace app for mindfulness and listen to rain music in bed to help me sleep.....I’m hoping that the psychiatrist will put me on meds to life the depression and help me sleep......as I mentioned above to Lilybeth I’m trying to stop ‘fighting it’ and just accepting this is the way it is for now.

Thank you for sharing your tips on how you look after your wellbeing and thank you for being there for me .......xx

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Thank you for your words! So pleased that you have some coping strategies. I do hope that you will get the appropriate medication , so that you find some rest and inner peace. Journalising & tracking your feelings maybe useful in order to remember and feedback to your Psychiatrist. My partner observed me closely when poorly and was very precise on summarising my weekly overall well-being and progression. Nowadays I record my own feelings and find it quite therapeutic.

Take good care, Poppi… remember all in stepping stones.

Kind wishes!

x

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