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722nd: prescribed Lexapro at 17


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Hi everybody,

   Some background on myself. I'm 22 years old, female, and live in Chicago currently, but I'm from New Orleans. When I was seventeen years old and a junior in high school, I was struggling with severe social anxiety (the can't-look-people-in-the-eye kind), disordered eating, and violent attacks of depression coinciding with the beginning of my period every month. My mother had just lost her mother, and was going through her own period of struggle, and we fought constantly about my burgeoning abuse of alcohol and drugs, and my increasingly obvious eating issues. 


My mother has always struggled with her hormones and periods as well, so she brought me to an OBGYN to talk about options for dealing with these difficult monthly episodes. I think I must've described my issue to this doctor for 30 seconds, a minute tops, and I was prescribed Lexapro 10mg. That easily. My mom was so happy that I was getting some form of help that she cried, but this wasn't exactly the end of it all, as I'm more than sure y'all know.


 My last year of high school saw a huge improvement in my baseline mood and social life, but my friend circle got further entangled with drug problems, and I lost a friend right before I graduated. I went to a high-pressure, high-anxiety liberal arts college in the Fall. My anxiety "returned," and my dosage of Lexapro was bumped up to 20mg by January. Long story short, it didn't go well and I was hospitalized before finishing out my freshman year. 


 My hospitalization and decision to take time off was about 2 and a half years ago. I've since returned to and "dropped out" of college 2 more times and added Bupropion to my regimen for so-called ADHD. Currently, I live in Chicago and am trying to finish out school here, at a different university than the one I started at. In general, I'm doing a lot better—in all honesty, I think getting some distance between myself and my hard years in high school and growing up a bit (along with getting the hell out of that miserable college) have helped as much as anything. I'm visiting my parents in New Orleans in about a week and a half, and I really want to take advantage of my down time to start tapering Lexapro. 


 I really have no idea how getting off Lexapro will go for me because I've been on it for so long. I've gotten extremely sick from just forgetting to take it for a couple days, so I know I need to do things methodically, and I've been going through this forum and reading up about the safest approaches. My mom and my current psychiatrist are both extremely supportive of my hoping to get off of Lexapro. Hopefully when I get home in August I'll be able to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist and discuss tapering, but I can tell that this forum will be really helpful in the meantime.

Edited by mammaP
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Currently: Escitalopram (10mg) for the last 5 years; Wellbutrin (150mg) for 1.5 years; birth control (pill) for 5

Have never tapered, but have gotten sick several times after forgetting to take escitalopram/not having it for a few days in a row

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Hi 722nd, welcome to SA.  I am sorry to read that you were medicated so easily with psychiatric drugs for a hormonal problem, sadly it happens far too often, and it is even more sad when it is a young person whose brain is still developing. I am glad that you found us so that you can educate yourself on the best ways to taper and learn how to take control from the psychiatrist and take responsibility for your own health. You might find that your psychiatrist believes that you can taper very quickly, most tell you to alternate doses and be off within a month. That leads to withdrawal and they will then assume that it is the illness relapsing and prescribe more drugs, quoting the chemical imbalance theory which is actually a myth cooked up by the drug companies to sell their drugs!  


You can taper off lexapro safely as long as you take it slowly. We recommend tapering no more than 10%  of the CURRENT dose with at least 3 weeks between drops. You will learn to listen to your body and recognise the familiar withdrawal symptoms that you have already experienced when missing a dose. If you experience any withdrawal for more than a day or 2 it means the cut was too big or your brain wan't stable after the previous cut.  It takes lots of time and patience to taper successfully but it can be done with minimal discomfort.  When you are finally off lexapro you should wait a while to stabilise  before starting to taper wellbutrin. 


I will get some links to topics for you so that you can be prepared. 


Why taper 10% 



Tapering lexapro 



3 Kis 





**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.



Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014


Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 


My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33


Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible



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Thanks so much, mammaP! I'll be sure to check those links out.

Currently: Escitalopram (10mg) for the last 5 years; Wellbutrin (150mg) for 1.5 years; birth control (pill) for 5

Have never tapered, but have gotten sick several times after forgetting to take escitalopram/not having it for a few days in a row

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  • 6 months later...

722 how are you doing these days.

Any joy from the pdoc meeting in August?

Be great to have an update.

Goodluck with the study.

Thought for the day: Lets stand up, and let’s speak out , together. G Olsen

We have until the 14th. Feb 2018. 

URGENT REQUEST Please consider submitting  for the petition on Prescribed Drug Dependence and Withdrawal currently awaiting its third consideration at the Scottish Parliament. You don't even have to be from Scotland. By clicking on the link below you can read some of the previous submissions but be warned many of them are quite harrowing.


Please tell them about your problems taking and withdrawing from antidepressants and/or benzos.

Send by email to petitions@parliament.scot and quote PE01651 in the subject heading. Keep to a maximum of 3 sides of A4 and you can't name for legal reasons any doctor you have consulted. Tell them if you wish to remain anonymous. We need the numbers to help convince the committee members we are not isolated cases. You have until mid February. Thank you

Recovering paxil addict

None of the published articles shed light on what ssri's ... actually do or what their hazards might be. Healy 2013. 

This is so true, with anything you get on these drugs, dependance, tapering, withdrawal symptoms, side effects, just silent. And if there is something mentioned then their is a serious disconnect between what is said and reality! 

  "Every time I read of a multi-person shooting, I always presume that person had just started a SSRI or had just stopped."  Dr Mosher. Me too! 

Over two decades later, the number of antidepressant prescriptions a year is slightly more than the number of people in the Western world. Most (nine out of 10) prescriptions are for patients who faced difficulties on stopping, equating to about a tenth of the population. These patients are often advised to continue treatment because their difficulties indicate they need ongoing treatment, just as a person with diabetes needs insulin. Healy 2015

I believe the ssri era will soon stand as one of the most shameful in the history of medicine. Healy 2015

Let people help people ... in a natural, kind, non-addictive (and non-big pharma) way. J Broadley 2017



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