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☼ Eyeball: Lexapro for 6 months


eyeball

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Hello everyone.

 

I took Lexapro 5 mg for half a year against panic attacks. It did help and i do not have those anymore, but i feel worse then before since getting off this medication.

My main issue are visual disturbances. I did already start noticing difficulties to see in the dark during those 6 months, but I always thought that side effect will go away once i get off the drug. Also, i had severe side effects when starting the drug with a starting dose of the already high 5 mg: severe depersonalisation for a week and severe sleep disturbances, i always woke up after 1 hour of sleep and couldnt fall asleep for the rest of the night. However, all those issues went away and i had quite a normal 6 months on Lexapro.

 

When stopping the medication, i immediately felt my vision get better from the first day on. I took 2.5 mg for one week, then skipped doses for another week, and then took a few crubles of a pill for a few days after before stopping completely. I realize now that was very stupid but i did not know better at that time.

I felt great for 2 weeks, i felt like my visual field broadened, everything was clear and i was being myself again, not even having realized that i wasnt before.

 

After these two weeks, my vision got worse, i saw patterns move, visual snow, bright halos around light sources and weird contrasts that seemed too strong, and it was difficult for me to see faces because they were too dark in presence of a light source. 

Of course i got super scared but i knew that withdrawal existed, so I said to myself it will probably go away after a few weeks.

Furthermore, my mood got swingy, and i cried a lot, but i am not sure if it is because of withdrawal, or because of despair because of my vision problems.

I started reminiscing a lot since then.

 

In about 11 weeks in withdrawal, my symptoms had changed, i still couldnt see clearly, it is very weird, because i CAN see everything, but i feel like i cannot, my eyes have a hard time focusing on an object, and it feels like they are unable to cooperate correctly. Also i do get a headache behind the eyes, mybe from the strain. I have read those kind of symptoms in this forum before, so i strongly suspect they are withdrawal symptoms. Also the world just does not look right, when it comes to perspectives and contrast. I have had an in-depth ophtamological exam, without anything unusual.

I also experience depersonalisation, and i am not sure if that and my loss of interest and negative view of the future are separate wd symptoms or due to me not being able to grasp the visual world around me correctly.

 

I went to see an emergency psychiatrist in week 11, who acknowledged that this might be wd symptoms, even if it is unusual, and offered me to reinstate lexapro as a liquid version to see if a lower dose might alleviate symptoms. So i did start taking lexapro drops for one week (dose 1-3 mg) until i had a follow up appointment, where my new psychiatrist offered to quit lexapro as a whole because i reacted so badly to it. so i started lowering the dose again, and am now at 0.5 mg. I know that these last two weeks of dosing up and down lexapro were very stupid, but i am just desperate, as i do not feel like myself anymore.

 

I have always been a very active and enthusiastic person, with a very optimistic world view. But right now, I am super afraid my symptoms will persist, especially the visual symptoms. I have seen those issues in this forum and others, but it has not become clear to me if those people eventually got rid of those problems, in contrary to other symptoms.

I regret starting that dmned medication so much, it is just so hard. And i feel like there's a possibility that it gets even worse, when i read some of the stories on here.

 

The hope I am holdiong onto is the fact that I only took 5 mg for 6 months, and the fact that I am in my early 20s. 

What would you guys recommend I do? I am thinking about staying at a 1 mg dose of lexapro and seeing how that works out in a few weeks.

 

Lexapro 5 mg September 2017 - February 2018 (6 months)

Brief reintroduction for 2 weeks in May 2018

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  • Administrator

Welcome, eyeball.

 

Are you taking 0.5mg now? How long have you been taking 0.5mg? How do you feel?

 

Given you have had adverse reactions to Lexapro while starting up, it might be best to give 0.5mg a try for a while. It can take some weeks for symptoms to settle down.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I have been taking 0.5 for only two days now. I started taking Lexapro again two weeks ago by advise of the emergency psychiatrist, dosing up to 3 mg in a week, but then going down again to 0.5 after an appointment with my regular psychiatrist (who suggested i stop lexapro and take some other AD or SSRI if i need it). I did have some of the adverse effects i did have the first time, restlessness, insomnia, hot tingling and twitching, but they are mostly gone now after two weeks, with the exception of some depersonalisation. I feel like I can cope with the mood swings mostly, but what is really driving me mad are the visual symptoms, i so do hope they will fade over time.

Lexapro 5 mg September 2017 - February 2018 (6 months)

Brief reintroduction for 2 weeks in May 2018

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  • Administrator

Are the vision symptoms better or worse than when you were taking 5mg?

 

Many people do better with fish oil and magnesium supplements, see
http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/36-king-of-supplements-omega-3-fatty-acids-fish-oil/

http://survivingantidepressants.org/topic/15483-magnesium-natures-calcium-channel-blocker/

 

A lot of people find them helpful. Try a little bit of one at a time to see how it affects you.

 

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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They feel worse than when i was on 5 mg, but I feel like maybe I did not recognize some of the symptoms back then because i was still on the drug. It is after my two weeks of 'mind clearness' where I felt like myself again that i feel like i can safely say that i do not feel normal right now. Back then, I had only difficulties seeing in the dark, and I felt that I did not see clearly, but it is when withdrawal started that i developed visual snow, floaters, and a sense of the proportions not being right.

 

I already take magnesium daily since a few months, i will try if the fish oil and see if it does anything for me. 

 

Thank you for helping!

 

Lexapro 5 mg September 2017 - February 2018 (6 months)

Brief reintroduction for 2 weeks in May 2018

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  • 3 weeks later...

So i've been taking 0.5 mg lexapro for around three weeks now, i dont really feel it has done a lot for me. I ve gone down to 0.4 mg, but i dont seem to feel those small differences as opposed to a lot of other members here.

Also i ve been taking the magnesium and fish oil, havent noticed anything, but maybe it would ve gotten worse if i wouldnt take it.

 

My main symptoms are still visual problems.

I still see grainy and fast vibrating snow when looking at patterns or flat surfaces, and i still have afterimages. The floaters seem to have become less, they come and they go, which is releaving.

 

What is bothering me the most is that my eyes still cannot focus on a single point, they only seem to be able to kind of wiggle around what i am trying to look at. This makes everything look weird and strange of course, and males me feel distanced from the real world. Thats also why I am not sure if my derealisationg is a symptom on its own or due to the visual problems.

When i try to focus my eyes, i feel a weird kind of pressure behind my forehead, like my eye  muscles are trying, but just cant achieve their goal. I also feel like I am high all the time. Is that what people call 'lightheadedness'?

Also i seem to read that blurry vision is common in WD. I am not sure what that is supposed to mean, is it like a camera that is not focused on an object and just not sharp? Because that is not a sympyom i have.

 

I had an MRI which was ok of course and i will be having visual evoked potentials and maybe an electroretinography. This will probably all come out normal, but it will help me be reassured that the problem is not permannent.

 

Also i feel like my body temperature is weirdly high and my sleep seems disturbed sometimes, but i can yey cope with it.

 

All in all, I am functional, I can go to work, I can meet up with my friends and work out and actually do everything, but not being able to see as i am supposed to makes me feel very desperate. Sometimes I feel like i should not be that depressed from only those symptoms, regarding the fact that so many people do so much worse in withdrawal, but it is bothering me very much. 

 

The one thing that seems to change the most is my hope. Some days I am sure it will go away and i go on with my life, and some days i am just so desperate i would just want to sit in the corner, cry and get rid of my ******* eyes.

 

I have been thinking of getting rid of the lexapro, and trying Prozac or Citalopram, after reading depresstothecores story, whose visual symptoms seem pretty close to mine. But then ofc i know it doesnt have to work cause my brain is different. Or should i go higher with the lexapro dose and see if my eyes get better?

 

I am glad for every help i can get, sorry for the long lines.

 

Hugs to everyone going to this very special kind of hell.

Lexapro 5 mg September 2017 - February 2018 (6 months)

Brief reintroduction for 2 weeks in May 2018

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On 5/22/2018 at 10:37 PM, eyeball said:

but it is when withdrawal started that i developed visual snow, floaters, and a sense of the proportions not being right.

 

These were some of my early withdrawal symptoms from Lexapro too. They have gone away now. I know what you mean about how the problem is with perception rather than vision. It was like I could look at something and know I was seeing it properly, but it just seemed all wrong. But anyway, I just wanted to reassure you that this withdrawal symptom will slowly fade and disappear over time.

 

Temperature dysregulation, sleep problems and mood instability are also withdrawal symptoms and will go away over time. You are still able to function, which is great, everything will continue to get easier.

 

I don't recommend starting on a new medication. All psychiatric drugs have side effects and over time have the potential to cause more harm, increasing the risk of other illness.

 

You are young and were only taking this drug for 6 months, you will recover. It may just take a little more time. I'm sorry you had to have this experience, but now you have learned that psychiatric drugs are really not the safe solution they are claimed to be and in future you can protect yourself from this form of treatment. Counseling can work well for panic attacks.

 

The work of Dr. Claire Weekes is also excellent for curing panic attacks, something you might want to look into if they ever come back.

 

 

I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?



VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?



VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?



VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes

 

 

 

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@Petunia

Thank you Petunia for reassuring me that these symptoms are common and will go away. I am now determined to refrain from any psy drugs again, this experience is been horrible enough.

I am actually very thankful i found this site before being put on any other drug to battle wd symptoms.

 

As an update: I had VEP yesterday to see if anything was wrong with my optic nerve. As expected, everything was normal, but it nonetheless reassured me that no obvious nerve damage was done. The neurologist thinks it's all in my head (not in a condescending kind of way, but in a self-upholding kind of way) (does that make sense? sorry for my english)

 

I was thinking of having electroretinography too, but as it would not change anything regarding what to do about it, i decided not to do it.

 

I also had another appointment at the clinic with  the psychiatrist (not the one who prescribed the Lexapro), and she agreed that the best thing to do now is to wait for the symptoms to pass and to do psychotherapy in order to deal with the symptoms. So that's what i'm gonna do now.

 

I feel like my visual symptoms are still the same, but my derealisation feelings seem to get stronger. I feel like i am not really there and not really me, i feel like my real self is trapped inside my body not being able to perceive the world as it really is. I ve had this for the first time when i was started on lexapro, i guess it will pass.

 

I've been wondering though, if the current dosage of Lexapro i took as a reinstatement (0.4mg) need to be tapered out again, or if i can just cold turkey that small amount, as it did not really do anything for me after reinstatement. 

(My psy thinks that dose is not doing anything as it is too small, but she is okay with me tapering it as it can not cause harm anyway.)

I have been taking 0.5mg for three weeks and then 0.4 mg for one week.

 

I appreciate any recommendation i can get.

 

Lexapro 5 mg September 2017 - February 2018 (6 months)

Brief reintroduction for 2 weeks in May 2018

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I would definitely not cold turkey the .4 and would recommend you taper a good bit lower before you jump off.  The fact that you didn't feel the .4 do anything for you doesn't mean it didn't affect your brain.  It would be good, if possible, for you to get  to .1mg or lower before dropping to zero.  (Brassmonkey, one of our moderators, dropped to zero from .016.)  I know these doses sounds tiny and you probably are eager to get off, but these drugs are powerful and you don't want to take any chances.

 

This link should provide some guidance:

 

When to end the taper and jump to zero?

 

 

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper of 18.75mg Valium 

End 2021  year 1 of Valium taper at 6mg

End 2022 year 2 of Valium taper at 2.75mg 

End 2023 year 3 of Valium taper at 1mg

Jan. 24, 2024: Hold at 1mg and shift to Imipramine taper.

Taper is 95% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan.-Sept. 2016 tapered to 14.4mg  

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5mg and shift to Valium taper

Jan. 24, 2024: Resume Imipramine taper.  Current dose as of May 2: 6.1mg

Taper is 92% complete.  

  

Supplements: multiple, quercetin, omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg, iron, serrapeptase, nattokinase


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update:

 

All of my physical symptoms seem to be gone.

heres a short recapitulation of my symptoms:

 

brain lagging behind eye movements (gone)

dizzines, flu-like symptoms (gone)

visual snow (nearly gone)

floaters (gone)

vibrating vision (gone)

derealisation (gone)

brain fog (gone)

trouble concentrating (gone)

eye strain/weird headache when focusing (gone)

weird headaches (gone)

sleeping troubles (gone)

 

present symptoms:

 

loss of purpose

crying spells

mood swings

depressive feelings

fear of the future

fear of unhappiness

Lexapro 5 mg September 2017 - February 2018 (6 months)

Brief reintroduction for 2 weeks in May 2018

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  • 7 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi eyeball, 

 

How are you doing?💚

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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Hello carmie, thanks for asking.

I am much better. I am not bothered by any symptoms anymore on a daily basis. I feel like all is left is bad memories and fear of what happened. But I also feel a little better prepared if anything else might come at me again.

I feel such a tremendous amount of respect for everyone on here trying to get through this.

love

Lexapro 5 mg September 2017 - February 2018 (6 months)

Brief reintroduction for 2 weeks in May 2018

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi eyeball, 

 

Thanks for the update. I’m so happy that you’re doing so well. That’s great that you’re not bothered by any of the symptoms anymore, I’m very happy for you. You sound like you are on your way to recovery. 

 

Wishing you all all the best in your continued healing💚

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Because you're feeling better, I added our cheerful "here comes the sun" symbol ☼ to the title of your Intro topic, to show you're recovering.

 

Please continue to let us know how you're doing. I hope you will add your story to our Recovery Success Stories eventually!

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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