rTMS Update

I am still having a hard time making regular updates. Things have been kind of nutty for me lately. I don’t recall if I blogged about it or not, but I reduced my dosage of Epival from 1500mg to 1000mg about a month ago. It was extremely hard going for the following week or so, but with some patience and a lot of mindfulness, I was able to struggle through it.

I was supposed to start my rTMS treatments last Wednesday. I was laying in the treatment chair with my shoes off, all ready to go, when the doctor asked me to recap what meds I was taking. I gave him my list and he seemed a little troubled. He excused himself from the room and then reemerged to tell me that there would be an issue if I continued taking the Epival during treatment.

I am not sure if this is always the case or if it is just because I am receiving treatment as part of a CAMH study, but he said the Epival would interfere with the efficacy of the treatment. In order for me to proceed, I am having to come off of my Epival completely.

If you’ve been reading the blog for some time, you may recall my mentioning my desire to be on less medication and so I am completely open to coming off the Epival. Where I am struggling is the doctor’s intent to have me at 0mg in 15 days. I don’t know how I will manage.

So far, he has me taking 250mg in the morning and 500mg in the evenings. I am to do that for two weeks and then 250mg in the morning and 250mg in the evening. Then 250mg in the evening until I am done.

I was a little late making it to the pharmacy because I was out of town at my parent’s house over the weekend so I am already 4 days behind schedule.

Aside from disrupted sleep, which had been one of the first symptoms the last time I reduced, I have been doing very well. There have been no mood symptoms and I haven’t been experiencing racing thoughts or anything else typical of bipolar. We are only at day 2 or 3 and so it is still very early days.

As I’ve discussed with my social worker, Melinda, I have to be prepared for some discomfort and be patient with myself and whatever symptoms may present themselves. Anything that comes up will only be on the short term and I know that I can calmly walk through it.

I will try to check in here more often to give you updates throughout my withdrawal process and as I start my rTMS treatments.

Have any of you gone through the process of coming off of psychiatric medications? What was the experience like for you? What were your biggest struggles?