In this Q&A session with the Founder of Alternative to Meds Center, Lyle Murphy, Abilify is discussed.
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Questions about Abilify:
1. Why do people get put on Abilify?
Abilify is used for a variety of mental health symptoms and diagnoses. Anything from hearing voices, to schizophrenia, to sleeplessness, or even bulimia, have been treated with Abilify. Theoretically, Abilify should only be used for the more severe mental health cases like mania or psychosis.
2. What does Abilify do to the brain?
Abilify is believed to hold back dopamine and is called a dopamine antagonist. Dopamine is known to help keep you attentive to things, it assists in providing your zest for life. Things like having a career, or starting a relationship, or having aspirations for your life. So as the dopamine is trying to provide this excitement and stimulation, the medication is working to hold that back. This leads to many Abilify users having very low energy levels and no excitement in life.
3. What does Abilify withdrawal look like?
Often times these drugs were given to help alleviate major issues like psychosis or mania. Usually pulling a person off Abilify will lead to them experiencing a sense of mental acceleration that looks like mania. The key is to maintain a slow Abilify taper, and not push yourself beyond your limits. For difficult cases of Abilify withdrawal, Alternative to Meds offers an inpatient treatment center in Sedona, Arizona. To learn about the program please visit: https://www.alternativetomeds.com/services/inpatient/residential/
4. How long does Abilify withdrawal last?
This is just a rough guide, but usually 1 month for each year the medication was taken, is a
reasonable speed to taper antipsychotic medications. Some of the medications are more difficult than others, and each individual will need their own licensed practitioner or doctor to help them achieve the goal of tapering off Abilify. Following a taper, it is possible for an individual to see symptoms linger an additional period of months. Two red flags during a Abilify taper is if a person stops eating, or has issues sleeping.
5. Can Abilify cause Akathisia or Tardive Dyskinesia
We have seen cases of akathisia during difficult medication tapers. There are some treatments that help to alleviate this severe symptoms. Generally, severe symptoms like akathisia mean your taper may be going to fast and you need to take the approach more gradually.
6. Can Abilify make psychosis worse?
"Any antipsychotic can actually make psychosis worse, everyone has their own way of metabolizing these drugs" - Lyle Murphy
To learn more about the Abilify Taper Program at ATMC please visit: