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Aboveparr: Why does everything look different?


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Since I've been going off all these meds and this last one, lexapro, everything looks different. I don't mean blurry... I mean like ppl and things. 


When I look in the mirror now it's almost like I am not even looking at myself. It's really hard to explain. I notice stuff I never ever saw before I started this journey. Lines, bags, age, thin hair, vat rolls, and not just me but everyone else! 


However I feel I look the worst. I have become super self conscious about my looks. As a woman it's just compounded! I'm not really depressed about it just... Wow. 


Is this normal? Am.i the only one? I am going through more than this but the other stuff everyone talks about so I feel at least it's a normal kind of misery. Not sure about this though. 

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Aboveparr: Why does everything look different?
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Aboveparr,

Thank you for posting an introduction, I'm sorry you are having these problems since going off your meds, but you have come to the right place for support and information.


Are you still tapering, or have you stopped all your medication now? How have you been tapering? When was your last dose? 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


What you are describing sounds like depersonalization and derealization, which can be a withdrawal symptom. Check out the link to our topic and see if it sounds like what you are experiencing. I had this symptom too, it was one of my worst, I especially found it difficult when I went out and everything looked strange in a very unpleasant and scary kind of way. I also hated the new way I looked to myself in the mirror, so I just refused to look. But things are almost back to normal for me again now. 


What other symptoms are you having?


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


You can use this thread as your ongoing journal to track progress, write about symptoms, ask questions and communicate with the community, add to it whenever you want. Its a good idea to bookmark it or follow it, so its easy to find again.



Edited by 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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I did put it in my sig when I signed up. Like paragraphs and paragraphs. It took me a half hour. I'll do it again I guess when I have time. 


I am not on my last dose. I've gone from 20mg and am now on 5mg. I at first I tapered at 2.5mg a week, my dr had wanted it faster but I refused and went on my own time I instead and since she gave me over half a years worth at both 10 and 20mgs, I've been ok on not runing out. 


Anyway, right away. I started having symptoms and this was one of many, so the last drop from 10 to 7.5 was harder and it took me 3 weeks to adjust instead of the one. 

I don't wait for all symptoms to go away before I drop. I wait until I have 2 or 3 days where I improve then drop. Because generally my worst days r day 3 to 5 of a drop. 


My drop from 7.5 to has been harder too same symptoms as always just longer lasting. Terrible fear, bursts of anger as the fear lessons, freezing cold face and upper arms, especially the right upper side by my eye and ear, right eye vision changes and pulsating, ear sensitivity, vision sensitivity, foggy mind like I am thinking through a god and thoughts get lost in it, memory problems, maybe a light headache with a bit of forhead pressure, feeling like I'm on a cliff about to fall forward, feeling like I am flailing about actually fall g but I'm sitting on a couch watching TV, teeth grinding which has improved since lowering actually but gets worse in the early stages of a drop, as time goes on the freezing feeling turns to tingling then to electric shocks to then like a bad sun burn before it eases but doesn't quite go away, long sleeves help, sleeping makes it go away and so do hot baths so I can get some relief if I do those things when my skin is at its worst, I may be missing something I don't know... But is having this many symptoms normal? 


So I've been on 5 mg now for almost 3 weeks and my skin feels like it's on absukute fire! My eye was better yesterday now its all messed up again and pulsating, still better than it was. If those would just ease I could drop again. I was on 20 mg maybe 8 years and 10 or the quivalant of that on Prozac for 20 exactly. 


I just wanted off all the meds and I knew it would dbe very hard. It had nothing to do with cost or in nsurance. After the hurican I was like what if I loose access one day and I am forced to just stop unprepared? That terrified me so i decided I was done and woukd get off and m so I am staying with my parents who r helping me take care of myself while I go through this, I am fortunate in that because this is just awful I can barely function. 


 I did a dna test and it said ssri meds have trouble breaking my brain barrier because of my genes so maybe it would be worse if I didn't have that.


Things other than the above listed that I have found help. Car rides! These help. I am not comfortable at the wheel so everyday one of my parents takes me for a long aimless ride. Sometimes we do something, most the time jot as i get scared, but the movement of the car passifies me as if I was a baby. It also gives my brain something it can deal with without stress. Facebook, yes sad, but it keeps my mind off of these feelings. However it can bsck fire and make me want to strangle it as well. Visiting my horses, I have other pets but now that I have a foal it gives me purpose. 


Oh another side effect of comi g off! I do not like most processed or sugury foods anymore. I have to have, for example bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then maybe a frape or aldis ice cream, all other ice cream tarstes processed. It's the weirdest thing. I'd eaten hardly anything my while life but still gained 65 pounds on this stuff. I lost 30 when i started this process with no excersize or real food intake changes. For now I'm steady. 


Hase anyone else have different food preferences with this? 


I've actually had more energy. Often sleep problems but before I slept all day and on and off at night. However now. My legs get restless at night and sometimes I have to take several baths to stop it before bed. Anyway, it's nice to be awake in the day light hours now. 



I am so glad to hear this is normal, in regards to how I see stuff and myself now. Sometimes it seems like the ground is to close or to far and I'm not sure how to walk because of that. Like do I step up or down or stay level? Uhhh.. Frustrating. 

 And I stay incomunicoto with friends. I don't even have interest in them. Also I don't want them to know. I don't know what to tell them. I have to fake being ok when I'm out. It does help me sometimes but it is mentally and emotion bally tiring so I have to leave the situation sooner than otherwise. 


OK... Thats all I can. Muster for now. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

It would be really helpful if you could put your tapering information into your signature - drugs, doses, dates (see my signature for an example).

please put your withdrawal history in your signature


Dropping by 2.5mg per week is a lot faster than we recommend here.  I am concerned that if you continue to drop at that speed, withdrawal symptoms could get an awful lot worse.  In general it is recommended to hold on a dose for at least four weeks (or longer if necessary, to restabilise), as withdrawal symptoms can show up even two or three weeks after a dose drop.  Dropping when your system is still unstable from a previous drop can produce even more instability.  Dose drops of no more than 10% are generally recommended - of the dose you're on at the time, not the original start dose.  For more information: 

why taper by 10% of my dosage

the rule of 3KIS: Keep it simple keep it slow keep it stable


You might consider holding at your current dose for a good couple of months to let your system catch up with the last few drops.

2001–2002 paroxetine

2003  citalopram

2004-2008  paroxetine (various failed tapers) 
2008  paroxetine slow taper down to

2016  Aug off paroxetine
2016  citalopram May 20mg  Oct 15mg … slow taper down
2018  citalopram 13 Feb 4.6mg 15 Mar 4.4mg 29 Apr 4.2mg 6 Jul 4.1mg 17 Aug 4.0mg  18 Nov 3.8mg
2019  15 Mar 3.6mg  21 May 3.4mg  26 Dec 3.2mg 

2020  19 Feb 3.0mg 19 Jul 2.9mg 16 Sep 2.8mg 25 Oct 2.7mg 23 Oct 2.6mg 24 Dec 2.5mg

2021   29 Aug 2.4mg   15 Nov 2.3mg

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I had very similar symptoms last year: everything looked strange because I was far more aware of details etc my vision was picking up details in the flat I've been  living in for three years that I’d never noticed before. 


I think it’s your head clearing clearing itself.  I actually enjoyed it at first but then found it too overwhelming and upped my dose again. 

Past four years: Fluoxetine, 10mg; currently tapered down to 2.8mg. 

Diazepam, 5mg, once daily (goes up to 8mg sometimes during taper). 

1999-2016: Mainly sertraline but also Venlafaxine  and Paroxetine. 

31 Oct: discontinued Fluoxetine.

1 Nov 2019: started Sertraline, 12.5mg, once every two days. 

13 Nov 2019: Reinstated Fluoxetine due to adverse effects from Sertraline. Plan to start Citalopram once stabilised on Fluoxetine 


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