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☼ frustratedbeyondlife: frustrated, exhausted and afraid it will never get better


frustratedbeyondlife

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Hi all,

 

This is my I don't know, 6th? Maybe 7th? Time coming off of cipralex. I have been trapped over the last four years in a cycle of stopping and starting the medication and this past time taking it I became so suicidal that I had to stop cold turkey from 10 mg.

 

I am also taking lithium which I will remain on until I have discussed being weaned off of it and reassessed with my doctor(I say my symptoms match PMDD and seasonal affective disorder with social anxiety more closely than bipolar disorder). Lithium makes me violently sick all night and morning almost every day for over a year now and the worst part is that it doesn't do anything useful for me as I've only experienced manic symptoms when taking antidepressants.

 

I'm feeling frustrated the last few days. I had for whatever reason had this timeline for myself where I would be in the gym doing light exercise by now, getting some peer support and seeing friends. Meditating and living healthier. Instead my days are saved for napping to make up for how horribly I slept the night before. I have to keep cancelling appointments because sleep is more important. And I'm always in pain. I'm frustrated this process takes so long. Between the vomiting, the insomnia and the pain I don't even know how anyone makes it getting off these meds. The emotional spirals every day and cognitive problems.. I was staying positive but it's hard right now.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to frustratedbeyondlife: frustrated, exhausted and afraid it will never get better
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome frustrated,

I'm so sorry about what you are going through, I know how hard it is, I've been through similar myself, having stopped the same drug. Lexapro and Cipralex are different brand names for the same drug.

 

Did you try any natural treatments for PMDD and SAD? I just did a quick search and there seems to be quite a few healthier, safer kinds of treatments you could try. In my opinion, toxic brain changing drugs should be a very last resort and only used in extreme cases when life is at risk.

 

But you have come to a good place for support and information. You will be able to get off your drugs with time, patience and good information, so hang in there, we will do our best to help.

 

We ask members to put their drug and withdrawal history in the signature section. It appears below each of your posts and helps us to help you. Here are instructions for how to do it: 

 

Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

 

I'm thinking that perhaps your dose of Cipralex was too high, causing a lot of unwanted symptoms, but you have been stopping it too fast, which has then caused withdrawal symptoms, and maybe this yoyo effect has made your nervous system more unstable overtime, it can turn into a downward spiral of increasing sensitivity and symptoms as you have discovered.

 

How have you been tapering? We suggest reducing by no more than 10% of the current dose every 4 weeks, this reduces the risk of withdrawal symptoms arising. Please read through this which will explain why:

  

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?  (The general philosophy of gradual tapering)

 

How long since you took your last dose of Cipralex? You may be able to reinstate a small amount, stabilize and then start a proper taper. Reinstatement of a small amount of the drug can often work well to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. According to medical knowledge, reinstatement is the only way to alleviate withdrawal. Reinstatement is best done immediately upon appearance of symptoms. The more time that passes, the less likely it is to work. Once you have stabilized on a low dose of the drug, then a slower, safer taper can be started. Here is some information about reinstatement to help you decide if its something you would like to try:  About reinstating and stabilizing to stop withdrawal symptoms

 

Are your current symptoms getting worse, better or staying about the same?

 

When we have a few more details, we will be in a better position to offer support and suggestions.

 

Petunia.

 

 

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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  • 10 months later...

Hi all, I thought an update would be good here. I posted my original post here nearly a year ago and forgot about it. As of three days ago I am one year off cipralex and 8 months off lithium. I no longer take anything except for probiotics, metamucil and a hypoallergenic multivitamin. After all my time sick on lithium I developed nutritional deficiencies and the vitamin is a new addition to my recovery to try to treat the ridges I have developed in my nails.

 

I never thought that I could make it one year off cipralex. Since 2014 I was going on the med for a few months, becoming suicidal on the med, and then stopping and going through withdrawal for 5-6 months before going back on cipralex to make the withdrawal stop. This medication is the hardest thing I have ever given up, and it didn't even have benefits for me. Over the course of a year I have come to recognize just how related to trauma all of my mental health symptoms are. By developing safety and stability in my life and learning about trauma and my own triggers, I have been able to make significant progress.

 

I am now in paid therapy for trauma which I started in March. I have another counselor who I see for free between therapy sessions. I am able to leave my house and function normally without having anxiety in most situations, except for social situations which I have always struggled with. I have come to the conclusion that I may be on the autism spectrum, but I have yet to find a doctor who is willing to help me with this. In addition to my therapy I am back to being able to clean my full house daily and take my kids out 4-5 times a week for extracurricular activities.

 

I should also mention that this year, for the first time since I was 15 years old, I had NO winter depression. I cannot tell if it's due to accepting that my depression has been trauma based instead of caused by a chemical imbalance, or if it's due to figuring out that my "winter depression" occurred each year at the same time I was assaulted when I was 15. In fact I have not had a depressive episode since stopping cipralex a year ago, which makes this the longest stretch I can remember of being ok. I have not experienced anything resembling mania in the time since I stopped all meds, and I am convinced that the manic symptoms were side effects of antidepressants and other medications.

 

I did a genetic test shortly after stopping cipralex that showed that I am a poor metabolizer or non expresser of a large number of medications, meaning that they either do not effect me at all or they build up in my system creating side effects. This information was so helpful to me in realizing that I needed to stay off all meds in order to get better. It also showed to me that I have some genetic mutations that make it difficult to process certain vitamins, which is why I take a hypoallergenic option now with methylated forms of b vitamins.

 

I'm at a stage in recovery now where I am starting to add in meditation, yoga, and exercise in the gym. This will all be starting within the next couple of weeks. I have a healthy eating plan that I am getting ready to begin either this month or next month. I make sure that I get 8+ hours of sleep every single night, using melatonin as needed if I'm struggling to relax. I cannot take melatonin every single day because it causes depressive symptoms but every now and then as needed it has worked wonders. I have recently learned that if I avoid or significantly limit caffeine I can minimize my PMDD symptoms. I tried a full month with no coffee and didn't seem to have difficult PMDD at all that month.

 

I wouldn't say that I am effected much in my life by withdrawal symptoms at this point. I get chronic headaches and I have developed IBS from going on and off cipralex so many times, but finding metamucil for this has been a life saver. I take 1 tbsp at 7 PM with water every day and I no longer wake with pain and gas in my stomach. The probiotics have further improved this condition. Until I found this combination I was unable to eat much food other than soup.

 

I think the most important thing about getting off antidepressants is just to hang in there and remember it WILL get better. Take it easy and be gentle with yourself, and over time the symptoms will fade and feel like a distant memory.

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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=3.0✔️ June7=3mg✔️ July 15= 2.95✔️ This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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On 4/6/2019 at 6:30 AM, frustratedbeyondlife said:

I have recently learned that if I avoid or significantly limit caffeine I can minimize my PMDD symptoms. I tried a full month with no coffee and didn't seem to have difficult PMDD at all that month.

Congrats! Sound like your doing great! I was wondering if you developed “PMDD” during WD, or was it pre-existing. Is it getting better? Mine came w WD, and is horrible now. Scared...

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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14 hours ago, Peachy said:

Congrats! Sound like your doing great! I was wondering if you developed “PMDD” during WD, or was it pre-existing. Is it getting better? Mine came w WD, and is horrible now. Scared...

I have struggled with PMDD symptoms since I was 14. It got worse during withdrawal.

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Hey @frustratedbeyondlife  

Would you say it was WAY more intense? And has it since gotten better? 

I hope your doing better now ❤️

med history: 17 years total

Concerta: 2 yrs - cold turkey, brought on first "depression" 

Short trials of Zoloft and Effexor: 1-3 years - multiple cold turkey's brought on OCD intrusive thoughts for the first time

Lexapro 15-20 mg (16 yrs)  - tried to quit once, cold turkey, worst WD ever, had to go on to 20mg to stop WD

Welbutrin 150mg (8-ish yrs) NO w/d symptoms from CT

Adderall 5-7.5mg (8-10-ish yrs) quit CT, brought on many WD symptoms, but manageable. 

 

Begin taper March 2018 Currently on 4.4 mg lexapro - down from 20mg

 

Symptoms depression, horrible intrusive thoughts and urges, new onset PMS/PMDD, constant extreme irritation and anger, visual hallucinations, irrational thinking patterns, panic, nausea, dizzy, intolerance to working out, chemical sensitivities, noise sensitivities, memory issues, heart palps, etc. 

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