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Fear of the unknown/ Gun fight without a gun


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        I am only 12 clean; are we calling it clean? This is the 5th time I have gotten off of an anti-depressant; Lexapro. The first 4 times was Celexa. All I ever took was Celexa until 16 months ago when I started Lexapro. In the past, with Celexa, I weaned for a year. No reading about weaning and no direction with a doctor. Just me thinking I needed a year. But this time I came off in only 2 months unfortunately. Because thats what the doctor told me to do and I wanted to get pregnant. I am 37 and my first son is 7. They are far enough apart already. 

         But I am no longer ready to have a child at this moment. And after reading all these post about the horrible withdrawal that comes in waves and can last a long time, I am a bit nervous about trying at all. I dont know what to expect and Id hate to find out the hard way. Knowing about the waves does give me some relief. Had I known about them, I would have tried to stick it out in the past; saw them as the normal healing process. However, as soon as times get hard, I wanted the only life I ever knew, which is a life on Celexa. 

I wonder how much of this is withdrawal anxiety and how much of what we experience is "fear of the unknown". It feels like I am going into a gun fight without a gun. I havent been doing life without Celexa, my whole life. I was put on Celexa when I spent a summer depressed from a heart break and group of "mean girls". Now dont get me wrong, I am a sensitive, free spirit so women like me are often medicated. But I find that I take after my mom and am a very positive little bee but I also take after my dad and can think too much and worry. My parents are complete opposites and I got some of both. However I have no family history of mental health issues other than my grandfather being a racist, mean, angry piece of crap. Who knows what he would have been diagnosed with during these times. I was never allowed to meet him. 

           Anyways, I wake up with anxiety. I wake up wondering how each day is going to go, not being on medicine. What scares me is that even though i only tapered over 2 months, it has been slightly easier than the other times which took 12 months. I don't know if it makes a difference but I live a much healthier lifestyle than I did before. I have been taking ALOT of magnesium. From what I read, we lose magnesium when we are stressed. And I knew tapering would be extremely stressful and I was experiencing alot of anxiety so I loaded up. I also have been cleansing my gut this past year with herbs and a special pro-biotic made for mental health. Did you know studies have shown that people without mental health issues have microbiota in their gut that people with mental health issues don't have?! So now they have probiotics that contain those microbiota. How cool! At least they are trying to figure it out! I am a bi of a science nerd.

          I also try to eat mostly whole foods. I eat a crap ton of high antioxidant foods. I don't often eat gluten, dairy or added sugar because I read it causes inflammation and who needs that! I also take Juice Plus which is just fruits and vegetables juiced down and then ground down into powder and put into a capsule. Its a sneaky way for your body to think you are eating tons of fruits and vegetables, which I still do. Anyways, my point is is that I am alot nicer to my body than I ever was before. And I am hoping it helps. Taking medicine daily at such a long age really made me feel out of control. But make good healthy decisions helped me gain some control back. 

      My therapist told me that part of my problem is that my antidepressant was also my "teddy bear" or "baby blanket". It made me feel safe. And she is 100% right. After I had my son, I was so anxious, I couldn't sleep. And after I got back on Celexa, I started sleeping 3 days later. And I know it didn't help that fast but just the thought that I was taking it, made me feel better. And often times, when heading into a stressful situation, I would think, "Its ok. My antidepressants will get me through it". 

           But now I don't have it. And now I am reading about so many people that go through such hard times after they get off. And it makes sense. I have been on it since I was 14!!!! I am 37 now!! Thats a long time. I did get off of it for about 3 years and those were the best 3 years of my life. I had anxiety but would laugh at it. I never got depressed. But 3 years later, I all of a sudden had a little mini panic attack and then stopped sleeping. I asked the doctor to put me back on Celexa and I asked for Xanax to help me sleep until the Celexa kicked in. I hadn't taken Xanax before but I heard it would help. Only took it for a month but I quickly got dependent on it because when I ran out, I stopped sleeping again and had a panic attack which caused me to go to the hospital. There they convinced me to stay so that they could get me to sleep! Well, if you cant sleep at home, you aint sleeping in a psychiatric ward. And it was an awful experience. Being told you cant leave and are basically locked up are incredibly traumatizing.

       This past year, I learned that the insomnia and nervousness started the week after I got shots of Steroids in my back and is often a side effect of Steroids for some people. Maybe if I had known that, maybe I would have been able to get through it and maybe I would be able to say I have been off of antidepressants for 6 years. 

       Oh well, we live, and we learn. And we hope to teach others about our mistakes so that they don't make more. I believe people can be depressed for many reasons. Trauma, vitamin deficiencies, lake of exercise, poor diet, lifestyle, drug or alcohol use, etc. And I think their are many things to change or fix before resorting to medication but that is not the way the world works right now. 14 was young to be medicated but I know they are medicating children much younger than that now and that sucks. If all else fails, and ones quality of life is awful than thank goodness for medication! Thank goodness!!! BUT, it shouldn't be the first go to, like I know it is.

      So I am scared of the unknown. I am terrified. I am sad I didn't give my son a sibling because his mom couldn't on medicine.  Id really like to do that for him. We just learned he will never have a cousin. I love him so much and want to give him more family and I want to mother another child. But like I said, after reading yalls post, I am wondering if that is a good idea because I don't know what is in store with me in the withdrawal process. Only time well tell, but I don't have that time of time. 




Age 14-24 Celexa.    Stopped Celexa in May age 24, after a 1 year long taper done by myself

Age 24-28 Back on Celexa in September Age 24 until Age 28, May, stopped Celexa after another 1 year long taper by myself.

Age 29.  November- started Celexa 1 month after giving birth

Age 31   May- stopped Celexa after 1 year long taper. 

Age 34  April- started Celexa after shots of steroids in my back. 

Age 35  June- stopped Celexa semi cold turkey

Age 35   September- started Lexapro 15mg

Age 36   November 5th- went down to 12.5mg for a week, then 10mg.

 Age 37  December 5th- went down to 7.5mg for a week, then 5mg. January 22nd- 0mg

I am taking around 800mg of Magnesium Glycinate, 500mg of Magnesium L-Threonate, Vitamin D 2,000, Tumeric, Vital Biome Gut Microbiome Support, 99mg Potassium, 1,333mcg Methylfolate, ProBio 5. I also take Juice Plus supplements. Green tea every AM

Rarely gluten, dairy, added sugars. No alcohol or drug use.  Organic, whole foods, active lifestyle


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  • 6 months later...

Hi Gardenlife, I saw this and I relate so much. I too started zoloft very young because I was going through heartache, and because I felt like I should have known what I wanted to do with my life in college, but I didn't. So I thought there was something wrong with me. I too am a free spirit. And I to am terrified of the future and the unknown. I recently heard that I was going to have to leave our home I've lived in my whole life, and since then, I have been having a very very hard time. I can't relate to being pregnant or having a child, but my heart goes out to you. All I can say is that you have everything you need within you! I highly recommend the works and podcasts of Dr. Caroline Leaf, and Nicole Sachs JournalSpeak. And check out neurofeedback. 


I too eat like you, very healthy lifestyle, all that, and just know that it's not going to waste. It's keeping you healthy in other ways. I hope you are doing well. Your story touched me. Do reply back if you are able, and I will check this site. 

Started Zoloft 25 mg Dec. 2009, age 19. Jan. 2010 upped to 50 mg, June 2010 75 mg. March 2015 cut back to 50 mg. August 2015 down to 25 mg. May 2016 stopped cold turkey. Reinstated to 12.5 mg after a month, then 25, Sep. 2016 back to 50 mg. Started a new taper in April 2019, at 10% descrease every 2 weeks. Minimal symptoms: anxiety, dizziness, nocturnal panic attacks every couple of months. Successfully took last dose September 2020.
Klonopin, hydroxyzine, and ondansetron for emergency/as-needed (maybe a few times a year)
Non-pharmaceuticals: daily magnesium, vitamin D, fish oil, flax oil, probiotics, evening primrose oil, methylated sublingual B-complex, food-based multi-vitamin; As needed GABA, kava-kava, full-spectrum CBD, exercise daily and whole organic foods diet
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  • 9 months later...

Hi @Gardenlife

Just stopping by to thank you for what you've shared in your intro.

How are you going? 

If you ever visit SA it would be great to hear how you are. 

With my appreciation, 


1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

August 2021 - 2mg melatonin   August 1, 2022 - 1mg melatonin   March 31, 2023 - 0mg melatonin

2024 supplements update: electrolyte blend in water sipped throughout the day; 1 tsp cod liver oil blend (incl. vit. A+D+E) w/ breakfast; calcium; vitamin C+zinc


Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house


I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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