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      National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016   05/01/2016

      Proclamation 9433 of April 28, 2016 National Mental Health Awareness Month, 2016 A Proclamation Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve. In the last 7 years, our country has made extraordinary progress in expanding mental health coverage for more people across America. The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people based on pre-existing conditions, requires coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services in individual and small group markets, and expands mental health and substance use disorder parity policies, which are estimated to help more than 60 million Americans. Nearly 15 million more Americans have gained Medicaid coverage since October 2013, significantly improving access to mental health care. And because of more than $100 million in funding from the Affordable Care Act, community health centers have expanded behavioral health services for nearly 900,000 people nationwide over the past 2 years. Still, far too few Americans experiencing mental illnesses do not receive the care and treatment they need. That is why my most recent Budget proposal includes a new half-billion dollar investment to improve access to mental health care, engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, and help ensure behavioral health care systems work for everyone. Our Nation has made strong advances in improving prevention, increasing early intervention, and expanding treatment of mental illnesses. Earlier this year, I established a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, which aims to ensure that coverage for mental health benefits is comparable to coverage for medical and surgical care, improve understanding of the requirements of the law, and expand compliance with it. Mental health should be treated as part of a person's overall health, and we must ensure individuals living with mental health conditions can get the treatment they need. My Administration also continues to invest in science and research through the BRAIN initiative to enhance our understanding of the complexities of the human brain and to make it easier to diagnose and treat mental health disorders early. One of our most profound obligations as a Nation is to support the men and women in uniform who return home and continue fighting battles against mental illness. Last year, I signed the Clay Hunt SAV Act, which fills critical gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses, increases peer support and outreach, and recruits more talented individuals to work on mental health issues at the Department of Veterans Affairs. This law will make it easier for veterans to get the care they need when they need it. All Americans, including service members, can get immediate assistance by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. During National Mental Health Awareness Month, we recognize those Americans who live with mental illness and substance use disorders, and we pledge solidarity with their families who need our support as well. Let us strive to ensure people living with mental health conditions know that they are not alone, that hope exists, and that the possibility of healing and thriving is real. Together, we can help everyone get the support they need to recover as they continue along the journey to get well. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2016 as National Mental Health Awareness Month. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise mental health awareness and continue helping Americans live longer, healthier lives. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.  
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karen33

Just Weaned Off Luvox... Terrified Of What I Am Feeling

6 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi Everyone,

I am new here. I have been on medication for MDD, GAD, PTSD, and SIB/bulimia for 7 years. Yeah, that's a lot of stuff, but I'm really not that screwed up :Coopwink: . I have been on a lot of medications in the past, but for the past three years I have been on Luvox (50mg BID) and Ativan (2mg TID). I have to get off the meds. This has reached a point where I don't even know who I am off of the meds. I was put on anti-depressants/ anti-anxieties while suffering postpartum depression about 7 years ago. I have had anxiety issues and bouts of agoraphobia by entire life.

Within the last two months, my doctor and I started tapering my Luvox. I took my last dose 23 days ago. It was not a fun withdrawal... the first week was actually okay, the second and third were tough. Bad insomnia, and the most annoying feeling in the world that I had to move my legs. The only thing I can compare it to is Restless Leg Syndrome but it never stopped. It was maddening. All of that has stopped. Now I just cry. A lot. I have lost a little weight already from being off of it, which I like, but I cannot stop crying. Everything makes me cry, even commercials with dogs. And I don't even like dogs :rolleyes: . I don' know if this is me, or if this is part of relearning how to live off of antidepressants. Situationally, I am in a much better place in my life than I was 7 years ago when I went on the meds, so I agreed this was the ideal time to start withdrawing. I find myself thinking about sad things in my life that I had become pretty good at blocking out for the past few years.

I am excercising for 2 hours a day in an attempt to stay healthy and focused. I am drinking a ton of water and eating healthier than ever. I also started taking vitamins again. My dooctor just gives me his statistic that "withdrawal takes about three weeks", but I wanted to ask people who have experienced this, will I ever feel normal again? I do not have a desire to cut, thank G-d, but I am feeling a bit hopeless about my future, even though I have some really good things coming up in the very near future. Sometimes I do wonder if I am just not mant to be in this world. When do you finally say enough is enough with battling this depression and anxiety? Making matters worse, I still have to withdraw from Ativan, which is TERRIFYING. Can someone just lie to me and tell me I will be normal again... whatever normal is?

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Posted

Hello, just wanted to chime in and ask have you been to see a specialist which is a Pychiatrist? General Practioners are okay with normal depression issues, but from what you are describing, I would highly recommend you see a psychiatrist. Also a good therapist/counselor/psychologist would be good to see about other issues that you may have but not understand you have or could be in denial over. Therapists dont advise but sort of help you, help yourself so to speak by making self-discoveries through leading questions and if underlying issues are present help you to help yourself so to speak.

The reason I recommend a psychiatrist is that they are experts in this field. They put you through questionaires and then through consulatation get to the root if you may have a physcial illness (I prefer to think of mental illness as physical as often it *can* be in nature) and if you have say *clinical depression* (please note, I am not saying you do, merely using this as an example), its a lack of happy hormones and you may not be able to withdraw from some type of medical assistance. I am a *lifer* as my brain does not produce enough happy hormones which gives me my highs, allow me to fell good and upbeat about myself, give me a good self-esteem and feel good about myself. General Practioners (if you live in the USA) are not really equipped to handle more than general depression whereas an expert Psychiatrist is. Perhaps Luvox is *not* the drug of choice for you, and he may prescribe another medication(s). Its kinda like having diabetes, you would have to take a medication for that wouldnt you? I am not saying this is the case but you seem to be back-sliding and this is not a good thing to do. Many people live very happy and productive lives taking one little pill in the morning to keep their happy hormones up to par.

Please see your doctor again at least and at this point I might suggest you ask him to refer you to a pychiatrist. The real *old* you is still in there, you may just not be on the right medication and thats what an expert psychiatrist can do for you. It takes playing with medications to get on the proper one *and* the proper dosage and you post worries me that you are not

where you should be. And I want to stress that *yes* you can be normal again, lots of people do just fine when finally on proper medications, I functioned for like 25 years doing just fine being myself while on an AD, and so can you! PLEASE I beg of you not to dispair, but see a psychiatrist and also a therapist, I like to tackle my issues from both sides of the spectrum so to speak as I want the very best help I can for myself.

Feel free to PM (private message) me if you wish to talk more privately or just to chat and vent if you need to, I know you are scared and frightened, alot of us have been there, but you really neednt torture yourself this way as proper medications are available should you need them. I just think/hope that seeing a psychiatrist will help you come to terms with where your problems may lie.

Good luck and contact me through PM if you have further questions I might be of some assistance with. Also you are not alone in how you feel which is why others like us are here on DF helping to support each other.

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Posted

Hi karen33,

I had to put in this quite from your Doctor as it must be wishful thinking on his behalf:

My doctor just gives me his statistic that "withdrawal takes about three weeks

Withdrawal after a good long tapering/weaning off period can take a few months, and yes you can get back to your 'normal self' provided you were feeling very well indeed on the medication you have just weaned off. The restless legs and other symptoms like agitation will eventually go , again there is no time scale for this.

Your Ativan 2 mg 3 times a day is equivalent to taking 20 mg Valium x 3 times a day that is 60 mg od Diazepam a day!( I mg of Ativan is = to 10 mg of Valium/Diazepam) Now you do need a very very slow tapering program to get off this level of benzodiazepones. Why of why do Doctors let patients stay on this addictive medication which they grow a tolerance too. Do not let him rush you off this medication.

My advice , go back on an SSRI like Prozac and when you are feeling well and only then, start withdrawing from Ativan otherwise it is going to be really tough. You should always withdraw from Ativan while you are on an effective SSRI not the other way round.

See you Doctor say you don't want to start withdrawing from Ativan until you are on an effective SSRI like Prozac again.

Best Wishes

Jim Bow

ps you cam pm me if you weant any more advice.

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Posted

Thank you both so much for your advice. It is a comfort to know others have felt what I am feeling. I have been diagnosed by a psychiatrist, and I see a therapist regularly. I have had the same therapist for over 3 years now. The problem I have is that my crappy insurance doesn't cover any psychiatric care other than clinics. My therapist is actually good. He works at the clinic my insurance company assigned me to. Getting in to see the psychiatrist is another issue entirely. There are three different ones, and only one speaks English, so usually if I do see one I have to speak to him thru an interpreter. In addition, you can literally wait 6-7 hours to see the psychiatrist which is not really a good thing for someone with anxiety as it is LOL... So, I generally just get my meds from my PCP. I don't like going that route, but until I get better insurance I am kind of stuck. I am working with a company that specializes in detoxing people (I don't know if I'm allowed to say their name here) and they work with my PCP on advising about tapering. Right now they are suggesting a taper with Valium. I am well aware my Ativan dose is completely out of hand. I had no idea when I went on this medication how much it would destroy my life or how addictive it was. I am so scared.

I am sure I am going to have a ton of questions coming up, so please bear with me. This whole thing is overwhelming and scary. I don't like knowing there are other people that suffer/have suffered in their lives the way that I have, so it sounds awful to say, but it is such a comfort to know there are others who understand what I am feeling and have walked in my shoes.

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Posted (edited)

Karen,

I agree with Jimbow15 that you should consider stabilizing on an SSRI such as Prozac (which is fat soluble and has a longer half-life) and taper the Ativan very slowly and under the supervision of your healthcare provider. I highly recommend the Ashton Manual "Please PM Member for Link" as a resource to educate yourself about benzodiazepines, their effects on the brain, and how to successfully wean yourself from them. Best of luck.

Edited by Trace
Link Removed as per TOS

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Posted

Hey there,

I hope you are feeling a bit better by now, as this point is two weeks old, but I am in a very similar situation, and wanted to tell you that it really, really does get better. I was recently in the hospital for a month (just got out last week, in fact), where I was tapering off two benzos (Valium and Xanax), which I was taking at 30mg daily and 4mg daily, respectively. This was a temporary solution (that turned into a less than ideal/short term one) to quell the intensity of my insomnia, largely because my insurance company refused to pay for the sleep aids that actually work for me (which has been much easier to contest re: "medical necessity" after being hospitalized and using one of them, which much success, to sleep). I was terrified of coming off of these medications, as the dosage, especially of Xanax, was quite high; and I'm properly terrified myself after reading through Internet posts about withdrawal regarding side effects and time-length. As everyone's body is different, what it true for others might not be true for you. Just make sure to work very, very closely with your psychiatrist. My doctor and I started the process by getting me off of Xanax, and we found I was able to taper much quicker than initially expected without terribly adverse reactions (my anxiety, naturally, increased, but so did my cognitive clarity

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