---Introduce yourself---

It's a weird thing. I almost never had lucid dreams before dmt but after it started happening spontaneously. I have to add that prior to my first encounters with dmt I had no preconceptions. Only later did I go through the Mckenna catalog, and Strassman etc. At this point in life I totally concur with McKenna's central statements on dmt and psilocybin, which also agree with Kastrupian Idealism. Ok so the whole "I know this, I have been here before, and damn I was supposed to remember this!" feeling that I (and many others) get when entering dmt space, started occurring in my sleep shortly after the first encounter. I'm kind of dense in a way ie not very susceptible to psi stuff, but I seem to have whacked open some ability to be lucid and do stuff when I sleep, occasionaly. Like many people say, just thinking/believing it is possible can trigger it. That said I have a sort of knack for navigating intense weirdness and no trouble with "heroic dosages" so I guess that helps. Anyway, the practice and the whole interplay between dmt and the dreamstate reminds me of the double slit thing where the particles go retroactive. So I get into a dreamstate and these beings greet me and reminds of what I was supposed to practice/remember, and then when I do dmt again the same thing happens but from the other side so to speak. So it gets into a loop that happens outside of time and the practice is constantly going on and I am aware of it. Oh words... The whole thing is quite unenglishable ;-)
 
It's a weird thing. I almost never had lucid dreams before dmt but after it started happening spontaneously. I have to add that prior to my first encounters with dmt I had no preconceptions. Only later did I go through the Mckenna catalog, and Strassman etc. At this point in life I totally concur with McKenna's central statements on dmt and psilocybin, which also agree with Kastrupian Idealism. Ok so the whole "I know this, I have been here before, and damn I was supposed to remember this!" feeling that I (and many others) get when entering dmt space, started occurring in my sleep shortly after the first encounter. I'm kind of dense in a way ie not very susceptible to psi stuff, but I seem to have whacked open some ability to be lucid and do stuff when I sleep, occasionaly. Like many people say, just thinking/believing it is possible can trigger it. That said I have a sort of knack for navigating intense weirdness and no trouble with "heroic dosages" so I guess that helps. Anyway, the practice and the whole interplay between dmt and the dreamstate reminds me of the double slit thing where the particles go retroactive. So I get into a dreamstate and these beings greet me and reminds of what I was supposed to practice/remember, and then when I do dmt again the same thing happens but from the other side so to speak. So it gets into a loop that happens outside of time and the practice is constantly going on and I am aware of it. Oh words... The whole thing is quite unenglishable ;-)
Thanks.
 
Hi everyone

My name is actually Robbie, I'm 25 and from the UK.

I'm guess I'm here as I have a massive fear of death, and I'm looking for something to reassure me that there is at least *something* after.

I hope I can contribute and if anyone has any convincing evidence/experiences or knows a good medium - please let me know.

Hope you guys are okay and look forward to some good conversations :).
 
Hi everyone

My name is actually Robbie, I'm 25 and from the UK.

I'm guess I'm here as I have a massive fear of death, and I'm looking for something to reassure me that there is at least *something* after.

I hope I can contribute and if anyone has any convincing evidence/experiences or knows a good medium - please let me know.

Hope you guys are okay and look forward to some good conversations :).
I always feel that people should not come to Skeptiko to try to believe in an afterlife. We discuss all sorts of ideas here - including some quite unsettling ones - though I agree that we do explore a lot of evidence that is suggestive of an afterlife. Some people here are sceptics, and will argue against the idea of an afterlife.

Maybe if you really do have a "massive fear of death", it might be worth getting some counselling. There is always a danger of ending up desperately trying to hold on to a belief in something until you realise that you only believe it out of desperation!

Having said all that, I suggest you go over to the NDE thread and listen to some of the accounts of actual NDE's by those who experienced them.

David
 
I always feel that people should not come to Skeptiko to try to believe in an afterlife. We discuss all sorts of ideas here - including some quite unsettling ones - though I agree that we do explore a lot of evidence that is suggestive of an afterlife. Some people here are sceptics, and will argue against the idea of an afterlife.

Maybe if you really do have a "massive fear of death", it might be worth getting some counselling. There is always a danger of ending up desperately trying to hold on to a belief in something until you realise that you only believe it out of desperation!

Having said all that, I suggest you go over to the NDE thread and listen to some of the accounts of actual NDE's by those who experienced them.

David
Hi David

Maybe I overstated my fear, it comes and goes. I'm more interested in evidence and the truth - I'm not convinced yet even though I'd like to be!

Somebody I know passed away recently, so that's probably why I'm a bit more 'fearful' right now.

I'll consider counselling if it doesn't get better soon though - thanks!

Robbie
 
Hello all, I recently came across Skeptiko, listened to a few episodes, sent some questions to Alex, and then, here I am :)

I have been wondering about the life's fundamental questions and it's been a while I decided to stop turning around the subject and do whatever I can to get closer to a better understanding. I have a wide range of interests but probably science occupies the biggest part of it.

Like many, I'm not too sure if the reductionist approach really has some truth, although I find any other explanation quite hard to prove, in a similar fashion to the materialistic approach. Yet, I'm convinced "there is something", but I'm keen to learn what it really is.

So the best method I found was questioning everything and seeking for information. I usually read as much as possible, material from people with whom I disagree, hoping that it will either help me to correct some flawed conclusions of mine, or just give me some peace of mind that I was right :)

I'm hoping that this forum and other material I find on this site will be very helpful to me.
 
Hello. I'm a recently retired lawyer in Los Angeles. Grew up analyzing the words to Bob Dylan songs, dropped acid and sat up all night discussing cool stuff with really smart people in Berkeley in the late 60's. Have always been rabidly, almost pathologically, anti-organized religion. Seems to be getting worse with age. I don't care about the meaning of life or what happens after death, but I marvel at and wonder about life, nature, the body, the brain, consciousness, the difference between objective and subjective reality, how this all came about. I like to think about things.

After getting a terminal diagnosis in 2007, I did lots of reading and exploring: Acupuncture, energy healing, meditation, visualization, Qigong, books on the mind/body connection, positive thinking, the exceptional (ie. survivor) patient, psychoneuroimmunology. Had some very strange experiences with the universe. Right before I started chemotherapy, I felt I had had a spontaneous remission.

Against all odds, I'm still here, totally fine, and still thinking about things.

I'm a big fan of the show.
 
Hello. I'm a recently retired lawyer in Los Angeles. Grew up analyzing the words to Bob Dylan songs, dropped acid and sat up all night discussing cool stuff with really smart people in Berkeley in the late 60's.
I think the LSD experience simply has to be relevant to the nature of consciousness. I suggest you describe your experiences if you can - ideally in a separate thread.
Have always been rabidly, almost pathologically, anti-organized religion.
A lot of us here are like that - though I was Christian until about age 20.
Seems to be getting worse with age. I don't care about the meaning of life or what happens after death, but I marvel at and wonder about life, nature, the body, the brain, consciousness, the difference between objective and subjective reality, how this all came about. I like to think about things.
I do like to think about life after death, because I think there is enough evidence to make it probable that something does follow.
After getting a terminal diagnosis in 2007, I did lots of reading and exploring: Acupuncture, energy healing, meditation, visualization, Qigong, books on the mind/body connection, positive thinking, the exceptional (ie. survivor) patient, psychoneuroimmunology. Had some very strange experiences with the universe. Right before I started chemotherapy, I felt I had had a spontaneous remission.
I hope you will enlarge about that - preferably in a thread of its own - discussions in this thread soon get lost.
Against all odds, I'm still here, totally fine, and still thinking about things.
I'm a big fan of the show.
So am I - I have learned a lot by hanging out here!

David
 
Hi, I have been lurking Skeptiko and also recently made an account on Bernardo's forum. My name has nothing to do with the president or the brand of cars, I picked it really just cause.

I have had an event happen to me that was medically induced recently, perpetrated by mans own greed and their desires, rather than looking out for the whole. I won't go into details, but it shattered my preexisting worldview. As much as there is a lot of suffering entailed, it made me more empathetic towards others own suffering. It made me delve into a deeper sense of meaning. I had to release my own ego and regret for the past, because it served me no purpose. Whats done is done. I have read a lot of literature on the topic of near death experiences and different philosophies on life. I am a very skeptical person by nature, but there are a lot of things I find hard to fit into a materialist paradigm. Honestly points of view are all subjective but this is what it has done for me. I do see life as an experience, and growth really comes from things that entail pain and suffering, as unfortunate as that is. We do not really evolve through being complacent and having things go our way.

Once I opened the door though, the yearning for more and more knowledge has been arising. So here I am to discuss and broaden my scope of reality.

Thanks

Appreciate all the likes, I know some of the names from lurking the forum.
 
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Hi, I have been lurking Skeptiko and also recently made an account on Bernardo's forum. My name has nothing to do with the president or the brand of cars, I picked it really just cause.

I have had an event happen to me that was medically induced recently, perpetrated by mans own greed and their desires, rather than looking out for the whole. I won't go into details, but it shattered my preexisting worldview. As much as it is a lot of suffering entailed, it made me more empathetic towards others own suffering. It made me delve into a deeper sense of meaning. I had to release my own ego and regret for the past, because it served me no purpose. Whats done is done. I have read a lot of literature on the topic of near death experiences and different philosophies on life. I am a very skeptical person by nature, but there are a lot of things I find hard to fit into a materialist paradigm. Honestly points of view are all subjective but this is what it has done for me. I do see life as an experience, and growth really comes from things that entail pain and suffering, as unfortunate as that is. We do not really evolve through being complacent and having things go our way.

Once I opened the door though, the yearning for more and more knowledge has been arising. So here I am to discuss and broaden my scope of reality.

Thanks
Hi, Lincoln, and welcome. Perhaps you don't care to enlarge on your medical experience, and if not, that's fine, but perhaps you could be persuaded?
 
Hi, Lincoln, and welcome. Perhaps you don't care to enlarge on your medical experience, and if not, that's fine, but perhaps you could be persuaded?
Haha, it's human nature to want the drama I get it. All I can say is it was caused by the Pharmaceutical industry. It is an antidepressant drug I have been on for the past 12 years. I started it when I was 18, at that age I was young and naive. I trusted the medical establishment and now I am finding that to be an unforgiving cataclysm. It's a drug like countless others that should have never been approved for public consumption. Pharmaceutical companies have hidden the data about how dangerous this class of "medication" are.

I decided to take myself off of it following my GP's advice. He gave me a 3 week tapering schedule, because doctors have no clue, that was far too fast. A withdrawal followed that shook me to the core, I don't wish that experience on my worst enemy. Imagine not being able to trust your own mind, also having unrelenting insomnia. My resting heart rate was 120 bpm, I could not eat without becoming nauseous. These are things I have never experienced in my life, I would stay up for days at a time. Just to fall asleep for an hour and wake up with crippling anxiety. I would cry non stop for hours at a time, this is from someone who had probably not shed a tear for a decade plus. This all happened 3 months after I stopped the medication, the symptoms came on and grew more intense. Again I have never felt anything like this in my life. I was prescribed the drug for panic attacks and mild depression. The panic attacks had not occurred for probably a decade, the catch is they still continued for a time while I was on the drug. And my depression was like everyone else's, it happens from time to time. When I went to my GP after experiencing this for two months straight, he told me it could not be withdrawal. It's like someone telling you a deeply personal spiritual experience is not real. Now what happened to me is the exact opposite of that, but I was told it was basically my preexisting condition. Even though I was adamant in telling him I have never had these symptoms before. I was never told either how long to stay on the drug, if it loses it's "therapeutic effect" after awhile or anything. I was left to my own devices and totally clueless.

We don't have the data regarding long term usage with these drugs. They test them for usually 3-6 weeks max and then post their results. The FDA also has a rule that you only need 3 positive trials to get a drug approved. But here is the loophole, you can do as many trials as you want. If you keep throwing money at the process, well you have a new drug on the market. In my opinion this is just one facet of a problem that corporations are causing upon our whole world. I can't tell you how many people I know that are overdosing on Oxycontin around my area, it's rampant. I see articles in my local paper all the time from grieving parents that have lost their child. It's not just Pharmaceutical companies, it's corporations in general destroying the environment at unprecedented rate too.

I had to reinstate the drug, and everything that was happening to me died down within weeks. It's not that the drug cures anything, it creates a dependence. It is a highly destabilizing nervous system agent. I had to find an online forum for a tapering schedule. Let me repeat that I had to find a forum populated by people such as myself. The reason for that, people experiencing the symptoms I had were told they were not well and ended up on more drugs. They got worse and worse, so they devised a tapering schedule. The medical establishment is in complete denial of withdrawal caused by these drugs. I recommend Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker detailing this. People are getting off the drugs and getting their lives back. Understand that like any drug it has side effects while on it as well. For me the main side effect was a feeling of being numb to life, not experiencing sadness but not experiencing true positive emotions as well. When your childhood dog dies that you loved very much and you don't shed a tear, there is a problem there. I had tried to stop the drug two times previously after I was on it for four years and also eight. I had intense crying jags and severe depression, I would say "Oh this is what it's like to be off the med, this is no good". I would then reinstate, I never had a clue to think the drug was the culprit. I am in the process of tapering, which will take two years from where I am now, but hey I can function. I recommend anyone on a psychotropic drug to please not cold turkey, it can leave you in a personal hell for many months or years.

The only reason I brought up the experience in my introduction, was because it was the catalyst for me searching for a deeper meaning. I feel I am going through this for a reason, and it was put in my path for some sort of enlightenment. This did not come straight away, I had a long time of regret and blaming myself. "Why did I take this drug?" "I was stupid to trust, I should have researched". I realized I was blaming a decision by an 18 year old kid, with who I am presently. It would be the same as getting mad at a child who cannot ride his bicycle at the level you can. I also needed to let it go regardless, because it was futile, the past cannot be changed. Something happened though after the experience, I became acutely empathetic to peoples suffering. I want to help people in any way I can, with whatever is in my power to do so. I feel a sense of connectedness with people that I previously had not known before. I feel we are here for a purpose, I don't agree with the analogy of life as a soul school. I think we are just here to experience in general and with that comes the positive and negative. Is there leaning involved? Sure. I just don't believe souls incarnate in certain roles to cause harm against one individual for their own growth. Life is what it is, it's messy and painful, but it's also beautiful. In your darkest times you can get through anything with tapping into that certain "self" inside. I don't agree that I am a chemical meat bag, but hey that is subjective and people can argue otherwise, that is their right. I don't consider myself a skeptic or proponent, but those two categories are needed for the advancement of any category within life. They keep each other in check, it feels nice to be comfortable, but questions need to be asked and research done.

All in all consider what I wrote above just another anecdote. Believe it or don't, like so many other certain experiences we know about it. ;)
 
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Haha, it's human nature to want the drama I get it. All I can say is it was caused by the Pharmaceutical industry. It is an antidepressant drug I have been on for the past 12 years. I started it when I was 18, at that age I was young and naive. I trusted the medical establishment and now I am finding that to be an unforgiving cataclysm. It's a drug like countless others that should have never been approved for public consumption. Pharmaceutical companies have hidden the data about how dangerous this class of "medication" are.

I decided to take myself off of it following my GP's advice. He gave me a 3 week tapering schedule, because doctors have no clue, that was far too fast. A withdrawal followed that shook me to the core, I don't wish that experience on my worst enemy. Imagine not being able to trust your own mind, also having unrelenting insomnia. My resting heart rate was 120 bpm, I could not eat without becoming nauseous. These are things I have never experienced in my life, I would stay up for days at a time. Just to fall asleep for an hour and wake up with crippling anxiety. I would cry non stop for hours at a time, this is from someone who had probably not shed a tear for a decade plus. This all happened 3 months after I stopped the medication, the symptoms came on and grew more intense. Again I have never felt anything like this in my life. I was prescribed the drug for panic attacks and mild depression. The panic attacks had not occurred for probably a decade, the catch is they still continued for a time while I was on the drug. And my depression was like everyone else's, it happens from time to time. When I went to my GP after experiencing this for two months straight, he told me it could not be withdrawal. It's like someone telling you a deeply personal spiritual experience is not real. Now what happened to me is the exact opposite of that, but I was told it was basically my preexisting condition. Even though I was adamant in telling him I have never had these symptoms before. I was never told either how long to stay on the drug, if it loses it's "therapeutic effect" after awhile or anything. I was left to my own devices and totally clueless.

We don't have the data regarding long term usage with these drugs. They test them for usually 3-6 weeks max and then post their results. The FDA also has a rule that you only need 3 positive trials to get a drug approved. But here is the loophole, you can do as many trials as you want. If you keep throwing money at the process, well you have a new drug on the market. In my opinion this is just one facet of a problem that corporations are causing upon our whole world. I can't tell you how many people I know that are overdosing on Oxycontin around my area, it's rampant. I see articles in my local paper all the time from grieving parents that have lost their child. It's not just Pharmaceutical companies, it's corporations in general destroying the environment at unprecedented rate too.

I had to reinstate the drug, and everything that was happening to me died down within weeks. It's not that the drug cures anything, it creates a dependence. It is a highly destabilizing nervous system agent. I had to find an online forum for a tapering schedule. Let me repeat that I had to find a forum populated by people such as myself. The reason for that, people experiencing the symptoms I had were told they were not well and ended up on more drugs. They got worse and worse, so they devised a tapering schedule. The medical establishment is in complete denial of withdrawal caused by these drugs. I recommend Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker detailing this. People are getting off the drugs and getting their lives back. Understand that like any drug it has side effects while on it as well. For me the main side effect was a feeling of being numb to life, not experiencing sadness but not experiencing true positive emotions as well. When your childhood dog dies that you loved very much and you don't shed a tear, there is a problem there. I had tried to stop the drug two times previously after I was on it for four years and also eight. I had intense crying jags and severe depression, I would say "Oh this is what it's like to be off the med, this is no good". I would then reinstate, I never had a clue to think the drug was the culprit. I am in the process of tapering, which will take two years from where I am now, but hey I can function. I recommend anyone on a psychotropic drug to please not cold turkey, it can leave you in a personal hell for many months or years.

The only reason I brought up the experience in my introduction, was because it was the catalyst for me searching for a deeper meaning. I feel I am going through this for a reason, and it was put in my path for some sort of enlightenment. This did not come straight away, I had a long time of regret and blaming myself. "Why did I take this drug?" "I was stupid to trust, I should have researched". I realized I was blaming a decision by an 18 year old kid, with who I am presently. It would be the same as getting mad at a child who cannot ride his bicycle at the level you can. I also needed to let it go regardless, because it was futile, the past cannot be changed. Something happened though after the experience, I became acutely empathetic to peoples suffering. I want to help people in any way I can, with whatever is in my power to do so. I feel a sense of connectedness with people that I previously had not known before. I feel we are here for a purpose, I don't agree with the analogy of life as a soul school. I think we are just here to experience in general and with that comes the positive and negative. Is there leaning involved? Sure. I just don't believe souls incarnate in certain roles to cause harm against one individual for their own growth. Life is what it is, it's messy and painful, but it's also beautiful. In your darkest times you can get through anything with tapping into that certain "self" inside. I don't agree that I am a chemical meat bag, but hey that is subjective and people can argue otherwise, that is their right. I don't consider myself a skeptic or proponent, but those two categories are needed for the advancement of any category within life. They keep each other in check, it feels nice to be comfortable, but questions need to be asked and research done.

All in all consider what I wrote above just another anecdote. Believe it or don't, like so many other certain experiences we know about it. ;)
Sorry you have had a rough time on your anti-depressants. If I can just give some two cents from someone with experience, it sounds like from your post that you had a GP managing you. If you have the coverage, I would seriously consider going to a psychiatrist. These medications are not one size fits all. Perscriptions often have to be tinkered with over months to find the appropriate dosage, and sometimes switching medications is needed.

I can't say what happened to you when you went off cold turkey, I can tell you that that hasn't been my experience when I've done it (sometimes I don't manage to get my refill - I start feeling worse but not in terms of nausea, etc. Just in terms of mood - within a few days I get rather dark (I've made some posts here that I now regret during a couple of those times). I can tell you with pretty good degree of confidence that I likely wouldn't be here without them - but it took some time to find the right amount. I can also tell you that I've never had anything like the numbing of emotion that you reported. It sounds like you had someone who might not have really known what they were doing.

Long and short: GPs know a little about a lot, psychiatrists are the experts and will do a much better job of helping you find something effective. And diagnosing too.

Welcome to the forum and I hope things improve for you here on out.
 
Sorry you have had a rough time on your anti-depressants. If I can just give some two cents from someone with experience, it sounds like from your post that you had a GP managing you. If you have the coverage, I would seriously consider going to a psychiatrist. These medications are not one size fits all. Perscriptions often have to be tinkered with over months to find the appropriate dosage, and sometimes switching medications is needed.

I can't say what happened to you when you went off cold turkey, I can tell you that that hasn't been my experience when I've done it (sometimes I don't manage to get my refill - I start feeling worse but not in terms of nausea, etc. Just in terms of mood - within a few days I get rather dark (I've made some posts here that I now regret during a couple of those times). I can tell you with pretty good degree of confidence that I likely wouldn't be here without them - but it took some time to find the right amount. I can also tell you that I've never had anything like the numbing of emotion that you reported. It sounds like you had someone who might not have really known what they were doing.

Long and short: GPs know a little about a lot, psychiatrists are the experts and will do a much better job of helping you find something effective. And diagnosing too.

Welcome to the forum and I hope things improve for you here on out.
I did not make it clear, but I have tried to withdraw through a psychiatrists guidance before. I have also only been on one medication, and the same dosage. It was also prescribed by a psychiatrist. The withdrawal experience was the same. It is just that my recent withdrawal was the longest period of time. The symptoms build when going through cold turkey withdrawal, it is cumulative. It is just that psych drug withdrawal is not a very known occurrence in the medical establishment, even though it is a very real thing. And the tapering schedules are nowhere near sufficient for people wanting to come off these drugs. I just have the need to say this, but if you ever feel the need to get off whatever medication you are on. Please do not blindly follow your psychiatrists plan, research. I am only saying this as one human being looking out for another.

I want to thank you for your concern. I respect your stand as far as what the medications have done for you. That is just not my personal experience though. So I will to agree to disagree. If you would like to contact me through a private message to discuss this further, that is fine. I just don't want to go any further into this on this section of the forum, because I don't see it as the appropriate place. At the end of the day I respect where you are coming from, and thank you for welcoming me.
 
I did not make it clear, but I have tried to withdraw through a psychiatrists guidance before. I have also only been on one medication, and the same dosage. It was also prescribed by a psychiatrist. The withdrawal experience was the same. It is just that my recent withdrawal was the longest period of time. The symptoms build when going through cold turkey withdrawal, it is cumulative. It is just that psych drug withdrawal is not a very known occurrence in the medical establishment, even though it is a very real thing. And the tapering schedules are nowhere near sufficient for people wanting to come off these drugs. I just have the need to say this, but if you ever feel the need to get off whatever medication you are on. Please do not blindly follow your psychiatrists plan, research. I am only saying this as one human being looking out for another.

I want to thank you for your concern. I respect your stand as far as what the medications have done for you. That is just not my personal experience though. So I will to agree to disagree. If you would like to contact me through a private message to discuss this further, that is fine. I just don't want to go any further into this on this section of the forum, because I don't see it as the appropriate place. At the end of the day I respect where you are coming from, and thank you for welcoming me.
Thanks for expanding on your experience, Lincoln. Not sure why I asked except that many years ago I had an episode where I was prescribed pills and had some difficulty coming off them. I wanted to do so rapidly, but my GP advised me to do so gradually, and I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that was the best thing to do. So in a sense, my experience runs counter to yours, but of course, we are all different in how we react, not to mention the mindset of our doctor. I was also different in that my interest in the spiritual side of life started before rather than after the episode, and was to some extent the cause of it, so that I had to hold that interest in abeyance for a few years until I felt I'd regained my equilibrium.

I think doctors are under a lot of pressure and have limited time to deal with patients who think pills cure everything, and end up habitually over-prescribing. Matter of fact, there's the first of two BBC programmes about this here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=the doctor who gave up drugs. You might find it interesting, particularly the experience of a young woman trying to come off drugs for her depression -- her therapy includes exercises based around cold water swimming.
 
I did not make it clear, but I have tried to withdraw through a psychiatrists guidance before.
Welcome to the forum - I am sure you will find this place interesting, and you write clearly, and you did make that clear first time around!
I have also only been on one medication, and the same dosage. It was also prescribed by a psychiatrist. The withdrawal experience was the same. It is just that my recent withdrawal was the longest period of time. The symptoms build when going through cold turkey withdrawal, it is cumulative. It is just that psych drug withdrawal is not a very known occurrence in the medical establishment, even though it is a very real thing. And the tapering schedules are nowhere near sufficient for people wanting to come off these drugs. I just have the need to say this, but if you ever feel the need to get off whatever medication you are on.
I think your experience might be more valuable to others if you named the drug (and dose) - but don't feel under any pressure.
Please do not blindly follow your psychiatrists plan, research. I am only saying this as one human being looking out for another.

I want to thank you for your concern. I respect your stand as far as what the medications have done for you. That is just not my personal experience though. So I will to agree to disagree. If you would like to contact me through a private message to discuss this further, that is fine. I just don't want to go any further into this on this section of the forum, because I don't see it as the appropriate place. At the end of the day I respect where you are coming from, and thank you for welcoming me.
Fortunately I haven't needed any psychoactive drugs (unless you count a very little cannabis), but I did get burned by statins. They tell you these only have rare mild side effects, but they are lying - a lot of people get severe muscle pains. When you reach that point in your life, just say NO!

When you taper your drug, do you gradually lower the number of pills you take - which might be rather large steps - or cut them to reduce the dose?

I am pretty sure none of us are 'chemical meat bags' and as you know that question is at the heart of Skeptiko.

David
 
I can't say what happened to you when you went off cold turkey, I can tell you that that hasn't been my experience when I've done it (sometimes I don't manage to get my refill - I start feeling worse but not in terms of nausea, etc. Just in terms of mood - within a few days I get rather dark (I've made some posts here that I now regret during a couple of those times).
I suppose you should think of the bad mood as being your side effect. It might be that if you tapered your dose down just enough to feel some mood deterioration, you might find that after a bit your mood straightened out and you could try a further small reduction.....

To recover from the statin poisoning, I had to take an NSAID in order to be able to exercise the muscles involved, which in turn required a PPI (absurd, I know, but I suspect that without exercise I wouldn't have recovered properly. I tapered the NSAID off very gently, but then I discovered that the PPI induced a dependence (so stopping them suddenly gave me acid reflux), so I had to take Gaviscon for a while to return to stability.

Big pharma is a huge problem by now.

David
 
Thanks for expanding on your experience, Lincoln. Not sure why I asked except that many years ago I had an episode where I was prescribed pills and had some difficulty coming off them. I wanted to do so rapidly, but my GP advised me to do so gradually, and I think, with the benefit of hindsight, that was the best thing to do. So in a sense, my experience runs counter to yours, but of course, we are all different in how we react, not to mention the mindset of our doctor. I was also different in that my interest in the spiritual side of life started before rather than after the episode, and was to some extent the cause of it, so that I had to hold that interest in abeyance for a few years until I felt I'd regained my equilibrium.

I think doctors are under a lot of pressure and have limited time to deal with patients who think pills cure everything, and end up habitually over-prescribing. Matter of fact, there's the first of two BBC programmes about this here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=the doctor who gave up drugs. You might find it interesting, particularly the experience of a young woman trying to come off drugs for her depression -- her therapy includes exercises based around cold water swimming.
Thank you Michael for telling me about your experience. I am glad you can resume delving into your spiritual practices. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said in your second paragraph. I think medications are prescribed much too quickly. We need as a society to find alternative methods, instead of messing with physiological processes essential to the well being of our bodies and brains. I will check out that video later tonight.

Welcome to the forum - I am sure you will find this place interesting, and you write clearly, and you did make that clear first time around!
Thank you David for the welcome. I did leave out in my post accidentally, that I was prescribed this medication by a psychiatrist and was under his care. It was when I went to my GP for a general check up, I was telling him about my withdrawal symptoms. My GP and psychiatrist together signed off on my tapering schedule. What Arouet said was valid that is why I wanted to clear it up.

I think your experience might be more valuable to others if you named the drug (and dose) - but don't feel under any pressure.
I am not going to divulge this information, and I mean it as no slight against you. It is just for my own personal comfort. There is an unfortunate stigma against people taking any form of psychotropic drug as being "mentally ill", when that is the farthest thing from the truth. This is the age of the internet, and anonymity is not rooted as strongly as people think.

When you taper your drug, do you gradually lower the number of pills you take - which might be rather large steps - or cut them to reduce the dose?
I taper my drug at 10% every 4-6 weeks. The catch here is that the next 10% drop will be put to the last dosage. So if I am at 10 mg I will then drop to 9 mg, then to 8.1 mg and so on.This gives your body time to adjust to the dosage decreases. This has been used by psychiatrists to great benefit for people wanting to come off their medication. The sad thing is, it's the patients bringing them this information. As I said in my post detailing my experience, I am part of an online community helping and also supporting people getting off the drugs. I won't list this site here, but if you would like to know it, I would be OK giving it you through a private message. The reason for this is, these are people suffering greatly, it's beyond belief. They feel hurt and betrayed by psychiatry, they are often told what they are experience is not true. We see heroin withdrawal as a real occurrence. Psychiatry denies the long term withdrawal associated with drugs that alter brain chemistry. Also if they do acknowledge it, (because the data for it now cannot be ignored) they make light of it. It's insane and barbaric. For that reason is why I am not putting the site URL, for their safety. All the members here can click that link with good intentions, but there is always that one person.

I also use a liquid formulation, and am tapering with an oral syringe. It is just much easier than splitting pills. People that do taper through pills, usually weigh them on a scale for their dosage.

Fortunately I haven't needed any psychoactive drugs (unless you count a very little cannabis), but I did get burned by statins. They tell you these only have rare mild side effects, but they are lying - a lot of people get severe muscle pains. When you reach that point in your life, just say NO!
I appreciate the heads up, and I am sorry you had to go through that. In my opinion it is part of the learning experience in life. It's a shame we have to be cautious about people approaching us with a smile and medication that the real side effects are not known. All Pharmaceutical companies have countless lawsuits against them for hiding side effects and not publishing negative trials. The word corrupt does not even do it justice. There is no "true" informed consent, because if there was no one would take the drugs. The whole structure for pharmaceuticals needs to be overhauled. Drug trials need to stop being overseen by the companies who manufacture them. There needs to be a third party that publishes the positive and negative trial results. And when a drug does get through and approved, ALL the side effects need to be told to the patient before taking it.

I will leave this link here that gives more substance to the problem with the psychiatric industry and their drugs, so if you do wish to know more this a good site for that purpose. http://cepuk.org/

Again, if anyone wants to contact me through private message. I will be happy to help them, and also discuss what they feel from my messages above. I would really like to move on to other topics now though. This whole psychiatric experience has been a difficult journey for me. I am very cautious on who I trust because of it, but also there to help anyone in need. Even though I have come through this with a more spiritual worldview and insight, it is not something I wish anyone else to go through. It is a very isolating experience, and once you go through it, you can never look at the world through the same lens again.
 
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