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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I am being weaned of 4mg of Risperidone (which I have been

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Hi I am being weaned of 4mg of Risperidone (which I have been taking for 3years) and have now been put onto 10mg of Abilify. I am supposed to move down from 4mg to 3mg then 2mg then 1mg of Risperidone weekly until I eventually stop taking the meds, all whilst also gradually building up to 5mg then 10mg of Abilify over two weeks. I misunderstood my pharmacist's instructions and planned to start taking Abilify in the same week that I planned to reduce to 3mg Risperidone. I finished my 4mg Risperidone tablets and then with hindsight realised my mistake in dose calculations-I was supposed to start the Abilify whilst still being on my maximum Risperidone dose of 4mg. So I ended up using the medication meant for weaning me off to compile a 4mg dose (I took a 3mg Risperidone and a 1mg Risperidone).I am going through a stressful time on my college course so I didn't go and explain to my pharmacist, I just carried on compiling the 3,2, and 1mg doses to meet my requirements until now I have run out of Risperidone. Unwise, I know, I have just been so overwhelmed. I ran out of Risperidone all together today and my pharmacy is now closed. Will it be too serious if I go one night without any Risperidone in my system-after taking a 2mg tablet last night-and go to the pharmacy first thing tomorrow? I will still be taking the 10mg of Abilify. I only had one 2mg tablet left last night which I took, even though I am supposed to be on 3mg Risperidone this week. I was feeling fine all afternoon but just woke up from a power nap and have a terrible headache. Could the two be related? Many thanks and blessings.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Dear friend,
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I believe that I can help you.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Most fortunately, risperidone has a half-life of about 20 hours. This means that 20 hours after taking your most recent dose of risperidone you will still have half of it working in your body. After 20 more hours you will have half again of what is left or 1/4 of your original dose.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : By the time you get your refill, your body will not have missed a beat as far as reacting to an insufficient amount of the medication.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : You headache is most likely unrelated, and may have been increased by anxiety of a potential problem, that you have now learned is no threat to you.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : I am glad to tell you this and shall keep you in my prayers.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Warm regards,
Elliott, LPCC, NCC : Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much, that is encouraging to hear! And thank you for your prayers! Another question I was meaning to ask was in relation to therapy, I am in the process of finally accepting I was raped by my ex-boyfriend and possibly his friend. After the incident, I broke up with him for a while but eventually went back. It all ended when I moved cities but I was still so in love and didn't understand that my sexual experiences with him qualified as rape. I am now looking for a counsellor to deal with these issues, I have tried four so far but three did not validate my experience and allowed me to continue believing that I was not a rape victim. I now feel reluctant to seek help-how would you recommend finding a good counsellor? I suffer from clinical depression and show symptoms of denial, I am also looking to deal with childhood trauma where I repeatedly exposed to racist teachers in school. I have really struggled to find someone in the UK who can meet my needs as I grew up in a post-colonial country and don't always feel able to be honest with my counsellors.Any advice? Blessings.
Dear Kiki,

I will try to help you find a counsellor who will help you.

Many years ago I had a friend from Nigeria whose name was Kiki. I am sure it was not you, but your pretty name reminded me of long ago.

Your symptoms stem from trauma and possibly could indicate Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. You never mentioned them, but you are taking medications that would be given for Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, and perhaps as an adjunct medication for depression.

Just for your illumination, here are the diagnostic criteria for PTSD from the psychiatric manual DSM-IV. They may not apply to you at all, but if they do, I want you to be aware of what might be going on. This disorder is suffered by victims of trauma and bullying (racism by those who are supposed to be guiding you).

I am sorry that the spacing option may not be working properly. You can still read it though.

309.81 DSM-IV Criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following have been present:

(1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others (2) the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.

B. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in one (or more) of the following ways:

(1) recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: In young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.

(2) recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.

(3) acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note: In young children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.

(4) intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

(5) physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.

C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

(1) efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma

(2) efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma

(3) inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma

(4) markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities

(5) feeling of detachment or estrangement from others

(6) restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)

(7) sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)

D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:

(1) difficulty falling or staying asleep

(2) irritability or outbursts of anger

(3) difficulty concentrating

(4) hypervigilance

(5) exaggerated startle response

E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C, and D) is more than one month.

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Specify if:

Acute: if duration of symptoms is less than 3 months

Chronic: if duration of symptoms is 3 months or more

Specify if:

With Delayed Onset: if onset of symptoms is at least 6 months after the stressor

If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.Warm regards,Elliott
PS - I have some counsellor search links that may help you.

Here is a place to look:

Here is another:

Here is a third place:

And a fourth place: