Dodging Abilify

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April 14, 2015 | 35 Comments

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  1. I take 30 mg of Abilify every day. Having been diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder with psychotic features, my doctor thinks it’s a necessary treatment for me. I can’t say I disagree, because it works. But the tremor in my leg is getting worse and I still have labile thoughts of suicide. Can anyone recommend another treatment that will “cure” my psychotic symptoms (visual and auditory hallucinations as well as paranoia) in place of the preferred Abilify? I also take 2mg of Haldol every day.

    • Cheryl, I’m no expert, and I’ve never been in your shoes, so I can’t say for sure. But being plagued with thoughts of suicide is dreadful—I do know that first hand. Probably more dangerous than hearing voices, too. You deserve some alternatives.

      There are a lot of people these days working on non-drug approaches to “psychotic” symptoms. They include networks of “Voice Hearers” with lived experience, working with open-minded professionals. Some of them are open to using antipsychotic meds for an acute flareup, while others use no drugs at all. Getting off these meds is difficult, and has to be done gradually – but many people are succeeding!

      David Healy is part of a mini-conference on this exact subject next Friday, 4/24, at Yale in New Haven CT. If by any chance you’re in the Boston-New York-Philly region, it’d be great if you could come (it’s free). More info here: http://www.mentalhealthexcellence.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Yale-Symposium-2015_021915.pdf If not, you might want to check out http://www.madinamerica.com or http://www.mentalhealthexcellence.org
      – two good sites that have info on these alternative approaches.

      One more idea, if you can’t find alternative treatment right now. RxISK has gotten a few reports from people diagnosed with psychosis who take Abilify, and have found that a much smaller dose than they were originally prescribed works just as well or better to control their symptoms. More on that in next week’s column. Thanks so much for being part of the dialog – hope to hear more from you!

      • Johanna, I am the liaison for Chicago Hearing Voices and will be starting a peer support group in Chicago very soon. I look forward to getting support and feedback from my peers. However, I work full time as a peer support specialist on an inpatient unit and my treatment as it stands keeps me employable and safe. I hesitate to titrate down, as I have low-grade ideas of reference sometimes and paranoia too. The doctor has taken me off the Haldol at least for now because I had a tremor in my right leg. I appreciate your thoughts and feedback and will keep you posted.

    • Akathisia is what you describe. At the dosages You describe if it was me or my family I would try systemic or psychological approaches.
      Best wishes
      David

  2. I thought the SSRI’s were the holy grail…I can see where this person is coming from. I’m sure everyone has seen the commercial for Abilify. My friend who was over one day saw the commercial, started laughing and thought a joke was being played on him. I asked what he was laughing about; He stated, “They actually give that shit to people?” I told him, “yes they do.” I’m not sure what Abilify can offer someone except Hell in a pill. Being a PARTIAL agonist at dopamine receptors tells me its not going to offer anyone any benefits to any one except weight gain, high blood sugar, agitation, somnolence, etc. Mirapex is a full agonist at these receptors, specifically D2 and D3. If the Dr. is so gung-ho about treating depression Mirapex I feel should be tried first. It has some irritating side effects, but I can tolerate them. They have gone away for the most part since taking it for 3 months now. Abilify must still be under Patent, that’s why Docs are pushing it so much. I’d take an MAOI before going on to Abilify. Clearly the Insurance Companies are being ripped off blindly. No wonder why are premiums and co-pays are so high. The makers of Abilify did themselves serious injury by creating a commercial for this stuff. The cartoon girl going to a baseball game after getting her script filled. LOL,LOL.

  3. I knew Abilify was total BS. If an antidepressant isn’t working, then the initial claim of the effectiveness of the antidepressant was false. Plus, I had a severe adverse reaction to one SSRI pill in 2006 that turned my life upside down. Thanks for this great article.

  4. I Am very interested in these comments as I constantly try to work out what medicine does the least harm particularly for psychotic symptoms. I still do not know for sure

    • I am so fed up with the experimentation on my 28 year old daughter that I have turned to experts in Holland for the P450 Cytrochrome drugs. None of the drugs have worked. Abilify gave terrible side effects and my daughter took herself off in one go leading to psychosis and the other side effect seemed to be extreme anxiety and bulimia so it appeared. My daughter was not at all well on this drug. Right now she is on Clozapine – supposedly for Schizophrenia but more and more Professors I am in touch with say there is no such thing so what on earth has she been put on all these mind altering drugs for when she should have had counselling for trauma and what is more I have proven through endocrinologist tests that there are problems. All these drugs long term have caused serious physical health problems all of which have been ignored and this is why I am turning to experts in Holland as these tests are not available in the UK. Proper assessments should be given BEFORE someone is put on these drugs as they may have a physical health problem instead but the drugs just make someone worse. There are leading experts in Holland and I hope to write about this on my website psychiatricabuse UK in due course.

      • Susan,

        If you’re daughter’s initial problem was trauma, which is not actually a “chemical imbalance” in her brain. She likely should never have been put on any of these mind altering drugs at all.

        I dealt with idiot doctors who, unbeknownst to me at the time, claimed my concerns of the abuse of my child was psychosis. I was put on a neuroleptic. It made me psychotic within two weeks. All the antipsychotics / neuroleptics can cause psychosis in those wrongly put on them for reasons of trauma. Proof from drugs.com:

        “neuroleptics … may result in … the anticholinergic intoxication syndrome … Central symptoms may include memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, hallucinations, psychosis, delirium, hyperactivity, twitching or jerking movements, stereotypy, and seizures.”

        But be careful if / when you wean your daughter off the drugs, since this will likely result in drug withdrawal induced super sensitivity manic psychosis, which doctors almost always claim is a return of the original illness. In other words, she may become psychotic again (for me it happened 6 months after I was supposedly properly weaned off the drugs). But once she gets through that (and it may require a BRIEF reinstatement of the drugs), she should be able to heal drug free. Best of luck to you and your daughter.

        • By the way, after ten years of research, it looks to me as if the most common etiology of schizophrenia is likely doctors misdiagnosing traumatic experiences as psychosis. Then putting those so misdiagnosed onto the neuroleptics. And then creating the actual schizophrenia symptoms via the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome.

          The cause of most schizophrenia is likely misdiagnoses of the central symptoms of neuroleptic induced anticholinergic intoxication syndrome as schizophrenia. The supposed cure is the cause – “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”― Adolf Hitler. Congrats to the psychiatric industry.

  5. We also have a script to try Abilify sitting at home. Even if we fill it, chances are I’ll never try it on my teenage son with autism. The bottle would sit here amongst others cause he is so happy and calm on his natural supplements like skullcap and St. John’s wort which I don’t think he even needs the latter as he’s normally a happy person. But this is also based on a very healthy kid who has followed a great diet 15 years with plenty of nutrients as a base by which to fully function in all ways.

  6. Thanks Rosemary! After the column on the RxISK Abilify archive, we’ll feature a story from a young man who took Abilify to treat Tourette’s. He suffered physical & mental harm that he’s still struggling to overcome after stopping.

    For those interested in alternative ways of dealing with hearing voices, paranoia, etc.:

    Jacqui Dillon of the Hearing Voices Network sent us a link to some good resources, and a network of people who have been there themselves. You can reach them through their website or follow her on Twitter at @JacquiDillon :

    http://www.hearing-voices.org/resources/free-downloads/

    • Hi Johanna,

      Really appreciated your article. It reminds me of a lot of experiences that my brother has been going through.

      Overall, though, his situation is probably different than yours, in that he developed Manic symptoms when he was 19 years old, after his Celexa (an SSRI anti-depressant) was increased from 20 to 40 mg. On 20mg he was silly and a little high; on 40 he became completely paranoid. Once put on anti-psychotics, he stabilized. We took him off the Celexa. He’s received a Bipolar Diagnosis, and has basically been on Zyprexa, an anti-psychotic, ever since.

      I really feel for him, though. It hurts him cognitively, and he knows it. His reading is severely hampered, he’s put on a whole bunch of weight. It’s been a couple years since his first attack. Generally, he’s stable, but he’s still prone to relapses, say, once a year, and during those times his psychiatrist raises his Zyprexa. This always does the trick.

      I’ve seen you post about open-minded psychiatrists who only use anti-psychotics for acute treatment of mania (not for ‘maintenance’ as most do), and some who are open to not using such drugs at all. I definitely feel that acute use would be just as effective as the ‘maintenance’ regimen he’s on now, and would like to even find people who have alternative approaches to the anti-psychotics approach.

      How do I find these psychiatrists?

      I’ve read so much of the psychiatry-critical literature–in particular some of Whitaker’s stuff, and some very informative stuff from Dr. Peter Breggin–but I can’t seem to find anyone who can help my brother. (I live in the NYC area).

  7. Recently depressed because of a severe reaction to unlawful dismissal.Had all of the symptoms that go along with loss of self esteem,loss of self worth etc.Saw a psychiatrist who is very much against antidepressants.Was given some older ones but they were terrible! My GP suggested I resume my excercise program but go for it to the limit! (I ran marathons until I was 75!!Now I am much better,and am on no drugs.There is literature on the effect of excercise in mild to moderate depression,whatever that is!Someof you should try it out,.Why not? Just make sure tour heart and lungs are ok!

    • Noel, I remember reading in Robert Whitaker’s excellent “Anatomy of an Epidemic” – in the great chapter devoted to alternative approaches (other than medications) to mental health, that many primary care doctors in England prescribe walking and running as first line treatment for any patient who complains of depression/feeling low.
      Good for you that it has helped you out!

    • Bravo Noel! And bravo to your GP for bucking the trend. You are 100% right, exercise can be hugely helpful — and if you’re “not an athlete” it doesn’t have to be anything like a marathon. Walking a mile may be enough of a challenge for some, and it can make a big difference. One of my many problems with antipsychotics is this: When I’m depressed, the LAST thing I need is a pill that will pack on the pounds and also make me tired and groggy.

      People also need to be told that it’s natural to be depressed to some extent in response to real pain and loss — and even severe distress, consistent with clinical depression, does not mean they have a “biological brain disease.” How on earth can anyone tell people whose first episode of serious emotional trouble shows up in mid-adulthood, in response to an actual personal crisis, that they have a “lifelong disease requiring lifelong treatment”? It’s freaking bizarre. So glad you & your doc didn’t swallow it.

  8. All I know is I never had psychosis, never suffered major Depression, never heard voices, never wanted to suicide, UNTIL, I was given antidepressants. Then of course later, came the antipsychotics, the mood stabilizers, the stuff so you can sleep, etc etc. In ten years, I became
    unemployable, lost my marriage, lost everything I had worked for for 45 damn years. To finally realise, the only problem I ever had was a severe adverse reaction to valium, has crushed me. Anyone who says they have had any of these ailments, ask yourself… did you have them before the drugs? I didn’t. And giving them up now? I have spent 5 months walking through hell, and yes, suicidal, never ever been suicidal. These Pills Kill, trouble is, while on them, you cant see the forest for the trees. The real “”awakening”” is difficult, to realise what these poisons have cost me.
    The doctors give you the drugs, see you happy and “high”, how many actually go back to the doctors, when their life is destroyed, and they trying to get off the stuff, how many have the emotional strength to tell these doctors the truth? Not me, cause I still have that fear, those docs have such a control over people. You dont have to hurt anyone, they can have you committed, or forcibly injected……. it takes a long time to recover from that fear. So to the doctors, arent we all success stories? Just wish they would read the true statistics, but that would invalidate everything they have stood for, so they chose not to see the forest.

    • Ang,
      I did tell my psychiatrist how his 15 years of poly drugging was killing me and the guy burst into tears apologizing. Naturally I became a legal liability to him and he did major side stepping. I originally went to him because of insomnia (caused by car accident/physical injuries). He started prescribing and prescribing till I was no longer “me”. Any drug toxic side effects I reported to him he considered worsening mental illness and upped the drugs. So how did this help me?? It didn’t. After I realized how bogus he was with his drugs and the Akathisia was so bad I was up for days and nights pacing with it. He considered this “mania”. Geez, how did I ever got through this I don’t know but I’m drug free now and no more akathisia, weird thoughts, odd behavior, being 100 pounds overweight, profuse confusion, etc. I went under the radar but still felt the psychiatrist could do whatever he wanted to me if I officially complained. Yes, it is scarey to know this. I still think late at night please please don’t let the psychiatrist ever decide to have me forcefully drudged even though I quit seeing him years ago. The fear is real.

  9. Why is it that countries who cannot afford these drugs find their rates of psychosocial disabilities are lower?

    We ignore the person, and give them a bottle instead.

    History will not be kind.

  10. The things that gets me most about the articles I read on this web site and the responses are: 1. how absolutely opposed people are to almost all medications; 2. how poor their prescribers are, apparently, at listening and observing them; and 3: how frequently people disagree, not only with their own diagnoses but, in the diagnostic procedure in general and how it can lead to the prescribing of medications specifically.

    Let me tell you, first, that I am a Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in psychiatry and I do medication management in a small clinic that sees almost totally Medicare and Medicaid patients. I may, in the future, say more about my general philosophy of mental illness (which does include diagnosing and prescribing) but right now I want to comment on Abilify, mood stabilizers in general, poly pharmacy, and patients who come in asking for medication.

    First let me say that most medications serve a purpose and work for some people but not for all people. I don’t prescribe Abilify very often, not because it is a bad drug but it is not in my list of top 3-5 drugs to prescribe. The major reason for this is that I have seen too many people develop side effects such as EPS at low doses. I could give Cogentin but don’t think that the prescribing of a medication that requires another medication to control side effects is the best practice UNLESS every other appropriate medication has been tried and there is nothing else. I also am not convinced that it is effective as a mood stabilizer although I know some of my colleagues swear by it. I haven’t seen it.

    I also don’t prescribe Zyprexa very often, as well. When choosing a medication, I always review the available medications with my patients and tell them why I would consider, say, 3 medications but not others. Zyprexa is a good drug for its primary indication- an antipsychotic. But, regardless of what the drug reps say, I have seen people put on a great deal of weight, develop diabetes and hypertension due to the weight gain, and then stop it on their own when the damage has been done. Believe me, the weight doesn’t just drop off. When it first came out, the drug reps insisted that it did not cause weight gain and visited the clinic I worked in at least weekly (bringing all kinds of food) so that I began to call them “the Stalkers”. Then, out of the blue, they came bearing a new patient education program on eating properly and losing weight – totally unrelated to our observations that patients were gaining weight because of the drug. If it didn’t cause weight gain, then why this whole comprehensive, expensive (for the pharmaceutical company) program? Duh! Would I ever prescribe it? Yes. In a patient who is psychotic but may have stopped eating and is losing a lot of weight to the point where the weight loss is more of a risk than the weight gain that the drug will, hopefully, cause.

    To answer a question that might be forming in readers’ minds, yes, I do involve my patients in the selection of their medications as much as I can. The patients for whom I prescribe medication do need it. Without meds, at least half of my patients would end up on the street or in jail, neither of which is the best setting to regain control of their lives. But I don’t believe in overmedicating my patients and I definitely believe in getting the diagnosis right, even if it means contradicting the diagnosis given to them by some of the most famous institutions in the area. And my patients do get better – although some people don’t agree.

    At one point I was seeing a number of patients from a specific agency’s group homes. Many of them were on a lot of medications – often 6 or 7, and of course the first thing they would ask me was to take them off. I would tell them that I would not do that until I got to know them, and then, I would only wean them off one medication at a time. Frequently I would end up re-diagnosing them. Then I would wean them off one medication at a time, requiring that they come in more frequently so I could do an ongoing assessment. Our appointments became less confrontational. As I listened to them, they began to listen to me. Our exchange of ideas became more “collegial” and we worked out the whole treatment plan together. Many were down to only 2 or three meds, were functioning better, getting along better. The problem was that they were also getting more assertive in their homes, asking questions, demanding explanations of policies that seemed unreasonable, expecting services that they had been promised.

    The staff began to say that I was making too many mistakes; not giving them as much medication as the “should be” on. These patients were transferred to nother provider at the home’s request, are on more medication but are “much less of a problem”. (except to the new provider with whom they continuously argue about their meds).

    Anyway, my philosophy of mental health varies from many of the doctors that I have worked with in that nurses generally come from a wellness perspective – a “Be all that you can be” viewpoint that I got from my years in the Army. But I do believe in the use of medication, appropriately prescribed, and listening to my patients about their experiences with their medications. I believe that my patients are less angry than a lot of people on this website; and I also believe (and so do they) that my patients get better on their medications.

    • Bonnie S,

      You sound wonderful and unusual in the aspects of prescribing. My reasons and unfortunate experiencing for coming here to post are I was wrongly diagnosed and poly drugged to oblivion by a private psychiatrist. I thought he knew what he was doing and he didn’t (got all his office notes). He did not look into my questions of new unusual behavior and/or physical symptoms when he prescribed a new drug. He always seemed perplexed. I went to a different psychiatrist after 15 years who said I was in no way psychotic and had no reason at all to be on 7 drugs. There is little continuity in diagnosing and to have a profound mental illness in anyone’s medical chart will never go away even if it has been deemed incorrect.

      Yes, I am angry and very upset with what happened to me. I was told I was permanently damaged and would need multiple psych drugs for the rest of my life. This proven to be wrong. I compare this to being told I had cancer and after having chemo, radiation and surgery found out I never had cancer. Psychiatry profoundly impacted my life in a very negative way. I can’t think most of the posters here are a few who had negative interactions with psychiatry. I was not in a group home but on various psych drugs my ability to function was lessen to a point I was chemically institutionalized. I think a lot of us here wish we had someone like you on our team when we were dealing with psychiatry. May you continue to listen really listen to your clients and help them.

  11. I read these comments with interest as my son has just been changed from Clozapine to Abilify and he does not seem as drugged up and is functioning better. I am concerned about the long term effects of all these drugs too.
    I am with a charity Bio-Balance Health that has brought a scientist to Australia to train Australian doctors to rebalance a person’s biochemistry using Nutrients and we have 170 doctors trained in Australia who love the success they are getting. His book “Nutrient Power, Heal Your Biochemistry, Heal Your Brain “by William J Walsh PhD is very informative.
    Unfortunately, at this stage my son won’t go on the programme, but we have psychiatrists trained who are getting marvellous results. Not every time, but at least it is natural.

  12. Well, I dunno why your doc was so skeptical. I was sedated on 2mg of Abilify. I slept 16 hours a day for nearly 2 months. Stopped taking the Abilify with no other regimen alterations and converted to 8 hours a night instantly.

  13. My Question’s below History is: Abilify is not the Number 1 drug because it “ONLY helps” people – I feel it didn’t help me and made me confused so I couldn’t help myself – It is probably from advertisements and dumping money into P.R. and promotion done from the Drug company to various sources, including the Doctors themselves.

    Question 1: Thus why, and what does it cost to make those 30 pills with the $900 a month expense price tag? (I suspect it costs $30 to press out 30 tabs at the actual Labs, who know?)
    Question 2: What Perks and incentives to Doctors getting for pushing the Drug?
    (And I mean anything, from trips to Tahiti for 30 prescriptions a month to even under the table cash. There is something crooked about the way this drug is being shoved down America’s mouth, and I suspect Bribery of Doctors play a big part of it.)
    Question 3: Isn’t that last question a conflict of interest between Doctor v. Patient relationship? – – I mean Heroin Drug Pushers doesn’t look after your health by selling his stuff, so why would anyone think a M.D. making money for pushing drugs would either?
    Question 4: Why isn’t this kind of Drug pushing activity outlawed?
    All the answers to the above answers can be found by following the Money trails of Bribery.
    Done in all levels of Government, State and Federal Congress, Doctors, Lawyers and anyone else who stands in the way of a 14 Billion dollar a year (2003) business.

    I have had my own problems with Abilify and misdiagnosis of Bipolar. So bad in fact that at one point I was trying to commit suicide from Depression and the drugs give by my Psychiatrist.
    The more medication (5 mg move up to 10 mg etc) he pushed (to suppress the depression urges to kill myself) the worst it got. Finally A different doctor took me off the Drugs and i am now no longer Depressed nor suicidal. I do believe I would be dead now if the 5150 Doctor had not caught my being better without the Abilify and Bipolar drugs.
    (while in lockup my old doctor called and told the new doctor to resume my Abilify – even against my wife’s desires to not use the drugs. Wow what can you say about that?!!!)
    but that is just my case, your life expectancy may vary with continued use of Abilify.

  14. http://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/otsuka-and-proteus-strike-out-drug-adherence-device?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWVRFME5HTTJPVEJpT0dRMiIsInQiOiJDYWVcL0VvV3B0eWhVNXBMbG02ZGJSeU1kZDlzZklhTU1VMzI1OGR6dTRMSFhGdHdIc0pzck54UEtnUmtpbHZ2QXBLWTJpcjhMaDZ1cjB2RjJmbFwvOE1IQnFQWmJuWlcyZ2xEMUF1Q1VpaGtRPSJ9&mrkid=698881&utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal

    An extraordinarily long link – hope it opens. Dodging Abilify looks as though it might get even harder if and when this ‘adherence’ device gets FDA approval. I’m not at all sure how it works, biochemically, but the article suggests a patch can detect when a patient is being non-adherent. Scary stuff. Imagining a time when the thing gets approved for use: will patients be persuaded or coerced into wearing the patch? And what will happen if they do and the patch-police spot someone dodging Abilify? Come knocking? Involuntary admission to hospital for forced drugging? The ethics of the idea itself beggars belief….

  15. This is an interesting article. To me the aversion seems overboard, but to each their own, people do need to listen to themselves and do what they think or feel is right for them, though I sometimes wonder if that’s true, and sometimes people are working against themselves. I’ve been leary and cautious with medications and would rather do natural things but what I’ve tried so far hasn’t worked well (fish oil, B-12, etc.), and I haven’t been able to afford to try much (not enough fish oil, etc.). Insurance covers the medication so I can afford to do that, and at this point I just need something that works.

    Abilify has been great for me, I wanted to try it. Not because of the silly commercial or any marketing or doctor’s suggestions (which there were none), but because I’d been doing some reading about medications for awhile and wanted/needed something to help me and for some reason I felt/thought it would. I had previously tried Seroquel (concern blood sugar/weight gain, made me drowsy), Wellbutrin (made me quick to anger/blowup), Celexa (made me too drowsy), Ritalin for suspected ADD (made me hypomanic/manic? not able to think well), and now recently Trileptal (too drugged/drowsy feeling), and while they worked in some ways, they didn’t overall, and I didn’t like how they made me feel in one way or another.

    Abilify on the other hand helps me feel like myself again, I can actually think better like I used to, and I feel good and level emotionally. I take a very small dose now as I’m just beginning again, 0.5mg. I’ve even started at 0.25mg before because I’ve been afraid, and that amount really isn’t enough haha, but 0.5mg is. In the past I got to a point where I felt that wasn’t enough and went to 1mg. When I first started I was put on 2 or 3mg which is from what I know the typical starting dose, and that was too much. I felt drugged, had a hard time making my body move and breathe for a walk, etc, noticed some annoying tightness-like sensation in the back of my neck/base of my head which made me think of TD which concerned me. I have had the typical restlessness or insomnia, and chest pain at times, which can be from anxiety caused from it, not sure or if it’s actual heart problems. That has concerned me and that’s why I’ve quit taking it before. I might need to do every other day, off and on, it’s seemed that way with alot of medications for me. But this is the best I’ve had so far and I need to be able to function and get things done.

    So anyway, the 2-3mg was obviously too much for me, and a very low dose works for me though which is great. It might just be helping for depression vs bipolar or schizophrenia since it’s such a low dose, and from what little I’ve read it doesn’t start helping bipolar or schizophrenia until higher doses. I couldn’t imagine something like 30mg haha. So hopefully writing my experience here helps people or the writer who have been afraid to try.

  16. As someone with Bipolar II, I can tell you that yes, there are mania’s involved because I’ve checked myself into the psyche ward twice because of them. Bipolar II is the milder version of Bipolar I, mostly mood swings from hell. Someone who is untreated for either puts themselves and others in danger. It took getting on Lamictal in 2004 to notice a difference in how I felt overall…and it was for the better. I even had friends tell me there was a marked improvement. Since I started taking Lamictal, I haven’t had one single mania, and it’s been 12 years. In essence, it saved my life, and I am very grateful for it. Generic doesn’t work for me (yes, there IS a difference, try about 30% or more), so I have to get a “formulary exception” from my Medicare Part D provider for it, as well as other meds. Fortunately, I’ve found a combination that gets along: Wellbutrin SR and Lamictal. Lamictal is particular in which meds it gets along with, so I got lucky. As for Abilify, the moment I first learned about it, I had a very negative vibe from it, as in no way in hell would I touch it with a 10′ pole! What I read about it only validated my suspicions, so I avoid it like the plague. A friend’s husband had success with it, which is a blessing because he was more severe mania than depressive, so if it can work for him, it can work for others. Medication is essential in treating mental disorders, as well as learning coping skills and therapy.

  17. I have a question. Has anyone had a bad experience with abilify?
    My partner who has a history of depression needed some help because he was having trouble with grieving a loss. He was referred to a psychiatrist. He was prescribed 2mg abilify. He started hearing the neighbors thru the walls. I convinced him to make an emergency appt to get help stopping the prescription. Instead, the Dr doubled the dose. Now on top of communicating thru walls he is getting very agressive. His Dr can’t see him till after the hollidays.
    We have lived together for 16 years, i don’t even know this person.

      • I read your post. Sorry to hear about your step-dad, i hope he gets back to where he was.
        Over the weekend my partner was allowed to self check in at our local e.r.. he checked himself out when he thought the staff was making fun of him behind his back. Now that he is home he thinks the staff is conspiring with the neighbors.
        I hope this wears off, i am very concerned that it has done permanent damage.

  18. Hi there … my 74-year-old step-dad has suffered from anxiety, depression and many other things over many many years. After abusing xanax and other meds, we had to put him in-patient at a facility where he stayed for 2 weeks to get off xanax and level out. Unfortunately, they put him on Abilify without our knowledge. He was on it for maybe 12 weeks total. There was a period of about 2 weeks after he got out of the facility where it seemed as though he was coming out of the fog, returning to some piece of his old self. And then it all spiraled south. He began having tremendous shaking and strange behavior — agitation, pacing, inability to “settle.” Over-the-top anxiety about nothing. Cognitively he was not good either. He has been OFF Abilify for 2 weeks or so now, but he is not getting any better. Neuro says he definitely is showing bradykinesia and signs of Parkinsonism. He is a mess, long story short. I have read that this shaking, slowness and rigidity could be permanent. Our family is very concerned. We are doing everything we can to get answers. Has anyone had any experience like this with an older person who might also have dementia? Thank you for any thoughts. We are beyond frustrated.

  19. I went to an outpatient clinic for depression two years ago. The MD prescribed abilify, but after reading some of the literature about the drug, I decided not to take it. There was almost constant pressure from my therapist and case manager to take it. At one point I was referred to the clinic’s medical unit for a physical exam. They found a couple of minor medical issues that they could quickly treat me for; treatment was made contingent, however, on me becoming “compliant” with my psychiatric treatment by taking the abilify. I quit therapy altogether soon after that. Also, I was a casemanager at a mental health agency in 2014-2015; I can attest to the explosion in the number of prescriptions for abilify during this period. My caseload went from about 1/4 taking abilify, to 3/4 by the time I left the agency.

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