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Guest: trauma caused by Lexapro reinstatement


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Hello all.


A brief synopsis - I was on Lexapro 10 MG for panic disorder for 8 years (not depression). Late last year I began tapering off the Lexapro and effectively finished tapering in April. In May I scheduled an appointment with a doctor to address a binge drinking problem I've had for several years. I was prescribed Naltrexone to help with my alcohol issue. I took 25 MG of Naltrexone for 6 days. Felt lousy, but everything else was fine. Near the end of my 6 days on Naltrexone I also reinstated Lexapro at 10 MG. 


At this time I read some online posts about Naltrexone side effects and developed tremendous anxiety when reading it was a dopamine blocker. Something about the idea of that really freaked me out. But I also seemed to have a mental breakdown during this time as well that I believe was caused by the Lexapro reinstatement. 


It was a powerful trauma that I can't seem to overcome. I reduced my Lexapro dose to 5 MG the following week and that weekend suffered another powerful trauma in the form of deep depressive episodes that lasted around 3 days. I frantically drove myself to various ERs and psychiatric centers begging them to help me. I had never felt like that before. It's hard to describe how deep this depression was. After those 3 days of hell, I tapered off the Lexapro.


I haven't been the same since. I tried to reinstate the Lexapro again a week ago and suffered from sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and no appetite and stopped taking it after only two days of 5 MG.


One thing I've noticed, that's pretty scary, is I now have the inability feel the warm buzz after drinking alcohol. I used to get that euphoric feeling after a couple beers. I've been testing this by drinking a handful of times since the reinstatement and I can't feel that warm buzz anymore.


I also can't seem to get a runner's high when I run. 


I'm going to stop the Lexapro for good this time. I'm not going to continue taking it, eventually bumping up to 10 MG and risking what could be another episode of deep depressive symptoms that made me unable to function and caused trauma. I was doing fine earlier this year!


Does anybody have any idea why I can't feel the warm buzz after drinking alcohol anymore? Why I can't get a runner's high? 


I've consulted numerous doctors and have had so many people online tell me that it's not the Naltrexone that caused those symptoms and that endorphins cannot be blocked forever by Naltrexone. 


Will my brain heal? I'm done with antidepressants and alcohol. I'm currently taking fish oil and multivitamin and just want to give my brain a rest. But I'm very, very scared that I've caused permanent damage from the Lexapro reinstatement. I had no idea that was going to happen to me.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to MisterX: Trauma caused by Lexapro reinstatement
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Guest, welcome to SA.  

When someone stops a drug, then starts again they often can't tolerate the same doses. Here at SA we frequently recommend very tiny doses of 0.5 to 1mg for reinstatement and have some success with it. There were a lot of changes for your brain to have to try and adjust to. It had worked around lexapro for years and then it was tapered too fast ( not your fault, you did your best ). Stopped Lexapro and alcohol at the same time as starting another drug, naltrexone.  Now your brain and nervous system are trying to regain normality. Everythuing has changed and your body is possibly no lonmger tolerating the alcohol but you are craving it for the good feelings.  Most of us can no longer tolerate alcohol in withdrawal, it makes it much worse.  Caffeine and energy drinks can also be bad,, lots of us have had to let those go too. You are suffering from withdrawal and what sounds very much like a reaction to naltrexone. It will take time to recover but you will get there.   I will get some links for you to read so that you can understand what is happening. 


What is withdrawal syndrome



As you recover you will go through the windows and waves pattern, don't be afraid of this, it is part of the healing process.



Brain remodelling




Reinstating to stabilise. You would need to read this very carefully if you would like to reinstate a very tiny dose of lexapro.



Tapering lexapro, this will tell you how you would get that tiny dose



We need all our members to ill in their signature with their drug and tapering history. You can find instructions here. 









**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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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anybody else had this experience? Ive tried to reinstate Lexapro 3 times now since May. My first time, I ended up with such severe depressive symptoms that it drove to various ERs and psychiatric centers. I've never felt that low of a depression (I was put on Lexapro originally 8 years ago for panic attacks, not anxiety). 


Last December I started tapering off Lexapro over the course of 5-6 months. Now, upon reading this forum I understand this is considered a fast taper, but my doctor's orders were an even faster taper. I was feeling fine until I had a series of anxiety attacks/mental breakdowns in May. Now, I've read a little bit about trauma-induced mental breakdowns and sequently anhedonia. That's what I'm experiencing. I feel like I've been "knocked down a few pegs" mood wise. I feel like I was on a shelf before my breakdowns, I wasn't skipping down the road but I was more than fine, and now I can't get up to that shelf again. I feel permanently flat. It's an extremely uncomfortable and frightening feeling and it doesn't help that my catastrophic thinking is making me think it's permanent. 


Does anybody think it is? Can coming off Lexapro 10 MG having taken it over the course of 8 years, then having a mental breakdown after taking 25 MG of Naltrexone for 6 days straight (reading about the side effects of Naltrexone caused the mental breakdown), and a couple reinstatement attempts at 5 mg and 10 MG cause some permanent damage to my brain? I had an MRI and CT scan and everything is normal and healthy. BUT I AM DESPERATE TO JUST FEEL NORMAL AGAIN, I DON'T NEED TO BE SKIPPING DOWN THE ROAD BUT I CAN'T STAND THIS ANHEDONIA. God, help me. Please help me. 


Has anybody had any experience with anhedonia and does it go away? What do you think exactly happened to me?

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I have and I have heard many others talk about it in more depth...I never had a name for it but I just felt no joy...but did feel the sadness and depression.

It comes and goes.  Perhaps post on your intro site and you might get a better response MX?  And you can actually ask the moderators if you'd like.

It would be helpful for you to have a signature...that shows up at the bottom of your posts with all the drugs you have been one...when started and decreased and stopped and restarted or changed etc.  That way the moderators and others can have a better idea of what is causing what.


If you go to your M up on the right hand corner and click on the arrow and then in the drop down click on account settings, in the left hand corner there is a box and one of the items is 'signature'...click on that to complete it.  I think you will get more help that way.


Take care!!

-Nardil 1976 < year, stopped. React to AD's. Klonopin .5BID 1990, 2.5mg til 2016

-Klonopin doubled Jan '16. Taper to 2.25mg May to Nov '16. Bad react to Lexapro, stop. React to Prevacid too, taper off. 

-November '16 Tapered .25mg Klonopin in hospital. Jan '17 started Viibryd, 20mg from Feb to June '17,     

-20mg to 10mg Viibryd from 3/25 to 6/10 2017, 12/15 10% Viibryd taper...back up next day

-Clonazepam 2mg to 1.85mg 4/14 '17 to end November; taper to 1mg Clonazepam in hospital 9/1 tp 9/14 '17

-Feb '18 Amiloride .25mg  5/18 off Amiloride d/t react. Clonaz compounded  

-4/27 '18 Viibryd 9.5mg, 6/11 9.0 mg, 1/27 '19 Viibryd 8.75mg, ; Clonazepam .2mg 530pm and .7mg 1130pm, Premarin .3mg 830PM CARAFATE QID 2/27/19 to 3/5/19

-July 6'19 1/2 10mg Claritin 230pm, stopped it about July 18, started Oct 11 '19, 

-7/27 Viibryd 8.5, 8/29 8.25, 10/24 8.0, 12/19 7.75, Feb '20 7.50, 3/20 7.25, 5/20 7.0, 6/20 6.75, 7/20 6.5, 8/20 6.25, 10/2 20 6.0, 11/25'20 5.75, 1/9/21 5.5, 2/23 5.25

-1015 AM Viibryd, vit D 4,000IU 130, 415 Clonazepam .2mg, 815 Premarin .3mg, 1015 Clonaz .7mg,

  1115 3t fish oil+D 1145 Castor Oil 650mg(4) 1230 Carafate 1/2GM,Methylated B Vit  1/week,Reacted Mag prn

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  • Moderator Emeritus



As Rabe suggested, you should repost your questions on our Introductions & Updates forum.  You'll get a better response.  Brief answer--anhedonia is a common withdrawal symptom,

it does get better, but it takes time.


To give members the best information, we ask them to summarize their medication history in a signature -- drugs, doses, dates, and discontinuations & reinstatements, in the last 12-24 months particularly.
Please include the dates of your taper, the rate at which you tapered, and whether you did every-other-day dosing.  Please keep your signature as simple and easy to read as possible.


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 June 28: 5mg

Taper is 93% complete.  


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

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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  • Mentor

hi Guest

you're symptoms are quite common for withdrawal and they will all improve in time


have you started a topic in the Introductions section? that's the best way to get your questions answered and get advice that is specific for your personal situation



Taking a break from mentoring, please do not message or tag me, thank you! 
Got some personal stuff to deal with and am not able to give you my full attention. 

I will remove this reminder when I am back. Keep on swimming, my friends. 


  • pysch med history: 1974 @ age 18 to Oct 2017 (approx 43 yrs total) 
  •  Drug list: stelazine, haldol, elavil, lithium, zoloft, celexa, lexapro(doses as high as 40mgs), klonopin, ambien, seroquel(high doses), depakote, zyprexa, lamictal- plus brief trials of dozens of other psych meds over the years
  • started lexapro 2002, dose varied from 20mgs to 40mgs. First attempt to get off it was 2007- WD symptoms were mistaken for "relapse". 
  •  2013 too fast taper down to 5mg but WD forced me back to 20mgs
  •  June of 2105, tapered again too rapidly to 2.5mgs by Dec 2015. Found SA, held at 2.5 mgs til May 2016 when I foolishly "jumped off". felt ok until  Sept, then acute WD hit!!  reinstated at 0.3mgs in Oct. 2106
  • Tapered off to zero by  Oct. 2017 Doing very well. 
  • Nov. 2018 feel 95% healed, age 63 
  • Jan. 2020 feel 100% healed, peaceful and content
  • PRESENT DAYS:  Loving life! ❤️ with all it's ups and downs ;) 
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  • Moderator Emeritus

Updated your signature link Guest:  Please put your withdrawal history in your signature

There is another link in that post that will take you right to your signature for writing or editing.........or use the link that Gridley provided above to get there, when you've read through what we like to see in a signature.


Thank you.



Late 2023- gone to emeritus status, inactive, don't @ me, I can check who I've posted on, and I'm not really here like I used to be......thanks.

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016.  And.....I quit smoking 11/2021. Lapsed.  Redo of quit smoking 9/28/2022, and again finally 5/25/24.  Can you say Hallelujah?(took me long enough)💜

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider.  My success story:  Blue skies ahead, clear sailing


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  • 2 months later...

Hey everyone. I wanted to post an update about my situation. I was on Lexapro 10 MG for around 8 years. I tapered off early this year over the course of 4-5 months. This was WAY slower than the taper schedule my doctor gave me (I think that was over the course of 3 weeks or so). This was back before I discovered this site and learned about proper taper. 


Anyway, I went through some really bad times earlier this year due to tapering off the Lexapro. Intense depressive symptoms, heightened anxiety, bad OCD loops, just generally feeling like I was going crazy.


I'm much better now, but still healing. I'm experiencing the windows and waves that this site introduced me to. There are some days that I feel okay, and I'll make a note of it in my notebook, "I'm feeling a window now". These have happened only a handful of times since early this year.


I'm writing to you guys now because the last couple weeks have been tough for me. I'm having serious OCD issues, and it's getting bad. I'm still able to go to work, clean my apartment, and live my life. But I'm constantly being bombarded with intrusive, irrational thoughts about contamination (I'm a compulsive and ritualistic hand washer), and I think I may have tinnitus sometimes in my right ear, I notice it in the mornings the most, but some days it's not there at all. My nights are not restful at all, I'm getting 8 hours of sleep a night thankfully but I don't feel at peace at night, and am having a lot of nightmares recently. 


I've read on this site that healing fully from SSRIs can take up to two years. For those who have gone through the SSRI healing process, what stage am I at right now 6 months after my last dose? 


I feel like I can get through this. But I hope to god that I start to feel better in the near future. 


One last thing, I quit drinking, I run 3 miles a day 5 days a week, eat relatively healthy, take a good multivitamin and fish oil, get 8 hours of sleep a night, play Brain Age, and I'm learning about meditation. Is there anything critical that I'm missing from my healing plan?


Thank you

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  • Administrator

Guest, I moved your post here, to update your Intro topic.


If you had an obsessive habit of mind before you went on drugs, you're likely to have it off drugs, too. Have you tried Cognitive Behavior Therapy? Also see


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms


Health anxiety, hypochondria, and obsession with symptoms


Do you have any other symptoms now? Good to hear your sleep is okay, please take care of that.


To help us out, follow these instructions Please put your drug and withdrawal history in your signature

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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  • KenA changed the title to Guest: trauma caused by Lexapro reinstatement

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