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Ask Dr. Ed Wilfong Your Own Question
Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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Is it possible for someone who was diagnosed with acute

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Is it possible for someone who was diagnosed with acute psychosis and a bi-polar disorder to safely withdraw from olanzapine? I was first diagnosed with these over 2 years ago and kept in the mental ward of a hospital for a week. I think I was on Seroquel, and my family physician felt it was safe to slowly withdraw from it. So I did. A month or two later, I wound up back in the mental ward of a hospital, this time for 2 months. Since then I have been on olanzapine. I have very slowly reduced my medication since then, and I am now on 7mg/day. (I take it after dinner.) I'm afraid to lower it any more, but my mother has me seeing this "naturopath" doctor, who thinks he can ween me off it entirely with niacine, b-12, fish oil, vitamin C and multi-vitamins. Like I said, I'm reluctant to lower it any further. I don't want to end up in a hospital again. On the other hand though, I've developed a very short attention span since taking these drugs (which is very inconvenient when studying.) (I'm an accounting student, and I'm required to read at least 80 pages a week, and I'm a painfully slow reader to begin with.) Also, I used to weigh 180 pounds. Now I weigh 250. A month ago, I weighed 260. For a month now, I've been doing intense cardio every morning in hopes of losing weight, and so far, I've been successful. However, I don't want to have to do intense cardio every morning just to maintain a normal weight for the rest of my life. Another embarrassing and inconvenient side effect is erectile dysfunction. I would like to limit these side-effects as much as possible. What should I do?
Dr. Ed Wilfong :

YEs, sometime psychosis due represent an acute condition. In an acute condition, a diagnosis of acute psychosis and bi-polar basically means "something bad is happening, but we are not sure what.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

The fact you relapsed after discontinuing seroquel is not a good sign. I would also not let a primary care physician make that decision -- you REALLY need a specialist. Slowly reducing Olanzapine may help find the minmial effective dose, but it is a high risk thing to do on your own.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

Seeing a Naturopath is against all known science and the suggestions being made by him/her are weak -- just good basic health.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

Since you are a student, I assume you are somewhere between late teens - mid-to-late 20's. (sorry, just saw your age...) This is the time of life these symptoms usually .appear, making careful monitoring more important since your risk of relapse is very high. Avoiding hospitalization and getting a good diagnosis (which you don't yet have) should be your priority. Sadly weight gain and a "foggy, hard to concentrate" state are common side effects of these medications. Being in hospital is a "side effect" of not taking them. The weight gain is very hard to combat

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

The order in which to do things is to find a PSYCHIATRIST to treat you. After that, they can help find a medication with the least side effects and the minimal dosage.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

These things are hard to accept as many people have them "come out of no-where" and must suddenly deal with a new and horrible mental state. There are numerous possibilities for you, none of which I can recommend specifically excepy you need a specialist and dumt the naturopath.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

I am online less often than usual these days, so please be patient if you want a reply.

Customer:

Okay. I suppose I'll keep exercising (to combat the weight gain) and start looking for a psychiatrist. Thank you for your time.

Dr. Ed Wilfong and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Glad I could help.
Stay on medication until you find a psychiatrist. Your plan is good.

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