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Golrabs: Antidepressants since 2000


Golrabs

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Hello everyone,

 

This year I abruptly got off of antidepressants after some back side effects and I have spent the last 6 months in near constant agony, even after restarting a different antidepressant cocktail.  My central nervous system and mental health are so unstable and I don't know what to do next. I feel like I'd be better off without one or two of these drugs, but I'm too scared to stop anything, even with a slow taper because my body still has rebounded to any kind of stability. Is it better to work toward stability with drugs no matter how long it takes feeling this agony or does it make more sense to just taper slowly if I'm feeling this way. I don't know what's right for my brain and nervous system.

 

Also, does anyone have any suggestions about finding a psychiatrist or therapist that has worked with patients with protracted withdrawal symptoms or helping patient taper off drugs? 

 

My long story:


I've been on antidepressants since I was 20 years old and this year in 2000. I was going through a very rough patch when I went to college in 1998. My self-esteem was awful and my anxiety around people got worse and worse. I quit school, isolated, didn't work for a while but eventually I had a panic attack that shook me to my soul. For almost 2 weeks a feeling of panic was near constant so I went to a psychiatrist and they prescribed me Paroxetine.  I felt pretty immediate relief from the panic and after a short time I did begin going back to school. For the next 10 years I went up and down on paroxetine from 20 mg to 40 mg and tried supplementing it with Wellbutrin to counteract to counteract the near constant fatigue, lack of affect, depression, and sexual numbness. I was told I would likely need antidepressants for my whole life because I had a chemical imbalance. The Wellbutrin was short lived as it didn't do anything to counteract side effects. I lived and got through school and got a Master's degree and was working full time. I even tried to get off of Paroxetine around 2009 by lowering it by 5 mg each month until I was off for a month. I got through the brain zaps, but once I started getting severe insomnia and restless legs and barely slept for a month I got back on Paroxetine and had to add trazodone to help with sleep.

 

Around 2010 a serious relationship I was in ended and I crashed. My depression went from a 5 to a 10 and I felt sick to stomach and was borderline functional for 2 years, until about 2012. I tried different drugs and my trazodone became ineffective and I was prescribed Clonazepam .5 mg. I struggled with difficult levels of depression for the next 6 years, but  I "stabilized" and was able to maintain a long term relationship and work. My depression eventually peaked again after another relationship failed in 2018 and I was advised to switch to Prozac, which seemed to drop the depression down a notch or two. I started exercising more and eventually my psychiatrist advised that I taper off of clonazepam in late 2019 because I had been on it for too long. She said it was such a small dose I should be able to cut it in half every two weeks or so until I was down to .125 mg and then I could stop, so about two months later I was off of clonazepam after taking about .5 mg nightly for 6 years. One month later I had severe insomnia, worse than when I had tried to quit Paroxetine 10 years prior.  Whenever I was tired enough to sleep, I'd lie down and my body would jolt and my legs would have the terrible creeping sensation that grew stronger the more I tried to rest. The only way to get any relief was to get up and walk around. I would walk around for hours every night until 6 am or later, totally exhausted but unable to sleep, and then my legs would calm enough where I'd sleep for 1-2 hours. I did this for a couple of months until I was desperate and I went to a neurologist who said I had restless leg syndrome. I didn't exhibit any medical conditions that are often associated with restless legs. He said I should exercise and wait it out.  I was at a point where I didn't feel I could wait longer without sleep so he suggested I take Mirapex. He said it usually works for a while but then patients need to increase it after 6 months or a year.

 

I took it and it relieved my legs a bit for the next 6 -8 months, but then it got worse than before. I went back to the doctor and he said I should increase it, but the increase didn't make it much better and was getting back side effects during the day. I wasn't sleeping again and I tried using marijuana to calm my legs for bed. It was mildly successful until out of the blue I had a severe panic attack in late 2021. I was still on Prozac and Mirapex but I started having near constant panic, depersonalization, and suicidal urges. I had never been more frightened. My psychiatrist suggested I change to an SNRI, Pristiq, hoping it would reduce my restless legs and help with my panic. After about a month on the lowest prescribed dosage of 25mg the symptoms reduced, except the restless legs, which were as bad as ever. On the Pristiq I was full of energy during the day and my mind raced. At night I couldn't sleep and the restless sensations in my legs AND arms was so extreme I'd feel nausea all night and only get a couple of hours of sleep a night. After 4 months of this in May 2022 I decided to stop the Pristiq. I had read that SSRIs and SNRIs sometimes cause or exacerbate restless legs and I was desperate for sleep. I was on the lowest dosage of Pristiq and all recommendations stated I should be able to stop taking the drug. Over the next month my emotions started getting more and more pronounced. I cried much more easily and I breathed my way through near panic attacks, but I thought this would be the worst of it. I still wasn't sleeping much and my restless legs weren't getting any better.

 

6 weeks into this and I had a breakdown: severe panic and depression in waves, one after the other.  I ended up so close to suicide. I checked myself inpatient at a psychiatric institution. In there they had me stop the Mirapex and they prescribed me Remeron and Gabapentin. The next 10 days was severe hell. Nausea, severe headaches, brain fog, anxiety, depression, insomnia, body aches, nearly all day long. After 10 days I checked out, not much better than when I stepped foot inside. Since then I was taken off of Remeron and Gabapentin and put on Lexapro 10mg, Oxcarbazepine 300 mg and back on clonazepam .5 mg. I tried TMS therapy for 8 weeks, which had zero effect, and I've been seeing a wonderful new therapist twice a week for 5 months.  I was out of work for 4 months and have started working again, but I'm barely hang on to a job. My restless legs have subsided (likely because I'm back on clonazepam), but over the last 6 months my life has been constant hellish struggle. I have severe headaches and fatigue all day long, waves of depression and anxiety (akathisia?) that last a week a time and I feel suicidal, followed by a week the anxiety decreases I breathe a sign a relief for a few days for only feeling depressed. My entire life has become a series of triggers that I have learn to cope with and accept. I'm pretty much indifferent to all the things I used to find somewhat beautiful about the world: nature, art, movies, fiction. On my best days I can find distraction in TV, journaling, walking, or even laugh at a joke with my very patient girlfriend. Otherwise, the pain is near constant and hope is almost gone.               

Edited by Shep
removed bolding

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Shep changed the title to Golrabs: Antidepressants since 2000
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi, @Golrabs

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.

 

On 12/16/2022 at 3:54 PM, Golrabs said:

Is it better to work toward stability with drugs no matter how long it takes feeling this agony or does it make more sense to just taper slowly if I'm feeling this way. I don't know what's right for my brain and nervous system.

 

You want to be as stable as possible before tapering, so this is a very good question to ask from the start. There may be ways of changing the timing of your drugs to prevent adverse drug reactions and paradoxical reactions. As you can see from this drug interaction report, there are several potential moderate drug interactions:

 

Drug interaction checker - lexapro, oxcarbazepine, clonazepam

 

Please set up a signature so we know your drug history. Then we can give you more targeted tapering advice. Please also include any supplements you are currently taking (also include the doses).

 

Here is how to set up a signature:

 

How to Summarize Your Drug History in Your Signature

 

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 12/16/2022 at 3:54 PM, Golrabs said:

Also, does anyone have any suggestions about finding a psychiatrist or therapist that has worked with patients with protracted withdrawal symptoms or helping patient taper off drugs? 

 

Please see:

 

Recommended doctors, therapists, and clinics

 

Mad in America - Provider Directory

 

You may also find this thread helpful:

 

How do you talk to a doctor about tapering and withdrawal?

 

 

 

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Thank you Shep. I am concerned about the drug interactions. I am also concerned about my psychiatrist who doesn't seem to think antidepressant withdrawal is a contributing problem, and simply thinks switching from drug to drug is safe until I find one that stabilizes me, even though that hasn't worked for the last year.  Also, even after all the misery of quick drug withdrawals, she seems too comfortable with saying what "majority of patients" respond to and doesn't seem to acknowledge how MY body has reacted in the past and present. 

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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I also had a question that I'm not sure where to post. I just went through a period of hospitalization and I was on extended leave for 3 months from work as I could barely function. At some point, when I feel more stable, I'd like to try a slow taper. I wanted to know if anyone has shared how they prepared for their tapers, both supports and financially. It seems very common that even slow tapers get bad enough that many have to leave work for a period or that they live with someone that helps support them emotionally or financially.    

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Moderator Emeritus
13 hours ago, Golrabs said:

Thank you Shep. I am concerned about the drug interactions. I am also concerned about my psychiatrist who doesn't seem to think antidepressant withdrawal is a contributing problem, and simply thinks switching from drug to drug is safe until I find one that stabilizes me, even though that hasn't worked for the last year.  Also, even after all the misery of quick drug withdrawals, she seems too comfortable with saying what "majority of patients" respond to and doesn't seem to acknowledge how MY body has reacted in the past and present. 

 

Sadly, most psychiatrists are ignorant. But as long as she continues to prescribe the drugs, you can find what you need to do a safe taper by doing your own research, such as you're doing here. All you need a doctor for is to keep prescribing the drugs until you're done with your taper. 

 

Some good facts to know:

 

Long-term Evidence We Can’t Overlook Anymore: Anti-Depressant Outcomes

 

You may want to get a copy of Robert Whitaker's book, Anatomy of an Epidemic. You can also find a number of talks by Whitaker on YouTube. His work comes highly recommended here, as does his Mad in America website

 

12 hours ago, Golrabs said:

I also had a question that I'm not sure where to post. I just went through a period of hospitalization and I was on extended leave for 3 months from work as I could barely function. At some point, when I feel more stable, I'd like to try a slow taper. I wanted to know if anyone has shared how they prepared for their tapers, both supports and financially. It seems very common that even slow tapers get bad enough that many have to leave work for a period or that they live with someone that helps support them emotionally or financially.    

 

For some helpful tips, please see:

 

Before you begin tapering - what you need to know

 

Tips from members: Preparing to taper

 

We find that diet is really important during withdrawal. Many people find that going on a low carb diet to be helpful, especially removing sugar, caffeine, and processed foods. The more you can build yourself up, the better. If you smoke, you may also want to consider tapering off cigarettes, which can be stimulating for some people during withdrawal. And definitely avoid alcohol - we see more severe setbacks from alcohol than most anything else. 

 

And don't assume your taper is going to end up badly - most people who come to this site are already in bad shape. Most of us (including myself) didn't do this type of research until our nervous systems were already badly destabilized. Your journey may not be like this at all. You may be able to do a slow and mindful taper, learn a lot of non-drug coping skills, make the appropriate dietary changes, and walk away with minimal symptoms. 

 

Speaking of non-drug coping skills, I'll leave this link:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

Before you begin your taper, please check in so we can look at setting up a game plan for getting off all of them. In the meantime, I'll leave you some links for all of your drugs so you can do more research before beginning your taper:


Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

Tips for tapering off escitalopram (Lexapro)

 

Tips for tapering off oxcarbazepine (Trileptal)

 

We don't have a dedicated thread for clonazepam, however, we recommend tapering it at the same 10% rate. Here is information on that:


Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

More information on withdrawal:


The Windows and Waves Pattern of Stabilization

 

Please continue to post here in your thread and ask questions. You're asking the right questions before you start your taper. 

 

 

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  • Moderator
19 hours ago, Golrabs said:

I wanted to know if anyone has shared how they prepared for their tapers, both supports and financially. It seems very common that even slow tapers get bad enough that many have to leave work for a period or that they live with someone that helps support them emotionally or financially.    

 

I am preparing for my taper now which I plan to start in February or March. I live alone and have to work to afford my house and care for my pets so am planning a slow, and steady, taper in hopes of avoiding any overwhelming withdrawal symptoms but I am also doing the following -

  • Building non-drug coping skills including meditation, "changing the channel", yoga, and journaling (including daily grateful lists)
  • Creating a support system including my therapist and my Mom
  • Exercising daily
  • Cutting back on alcohol
  • Eating better/healthier (signed up for a meal delivery service)
  • Forgoing vacations so I can use my vacation time if I need a few days off occasionally due to symptoms

As Shep mentioned, your taper might be uneventful especially if you follow the guidance provided here. I will only have been on the drug (Zyprexa/Olanzapine) for 3-4 months by the time I start my taper but it will take me somewhere between 18-26 months to taper off if it and while I am not looking forward to tapering that long would rather have a long and "boring" taper than go too fast and end up with horrendous withdrawals. 

 

Pre- October 2022: Wellbutrin, Escitalopram, CitalopramSertraline, Adderall IR, Vyvanse, Propranolol, Buspar, Ativan, and Latuda

Oct 13, 2022 - Oct 24, 2022 and Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Zyprexa (2.5 mg). Jan 14, 2023 -> Began transition to liquid suspension. Jan 29, 2023 = 2.375mg -> Feb 12, 2023 = 2.25mg -> Feb 27, 2023 = 2.14mg -> Mar 12, 2023 = 2.025mg -> Mar 27, 2023 = 1.93mg -> Apr 10, 2023 = 1.82mg -> Apr 23, 2023 = 1.74mg -> May 7, 2023 = 1.64mg -> May 21, 2023 = 1.56mg -> June 4, 2023 = 1.48mg -> June 19, 2023 = 1.4mg -> July 2, 2023 = 1.33mg -> July 16, 2023 = 1.26mg -> July 31, 2023 = 1.2mg -> Aug 13, 2023 = 1.14mg -> Aug 27, 2023 = 1.08mg -> Sep 13, 2023 = 1.02mg -> Jan 22, 2024 = 0.97mg -> Feb 4, 2024 = 0.92mg -> Feb 19, 2024 = 0.87mg -> Mar 3, 2024 = 0.83mg -> Mar 17, 2024 = 0.78mg -> Mar 31, 2024 = 0.74mg -> Apr 14, 2024 = 0.7mg -> Apr 28, 2024 = 0.66mg -> May 12, 2024 = 0.63mg -> May 27, 2024 = 0.6mg -> June 9, 2024 = 0.57mg

Oct 14, 2022 - Present: Prozac (40mg) upped from 20mg on Nov 1, 2022.

Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Gabapentin (300mg 3x day) -> May 3, 2023 = 300mg 2x day -> Oct 1, 2023 = 570mg -> Oct 15, 2023 = 540mg -> Oct 29, 2023 = 510mg -> Nov 13, 2023 = 484mg -> Nov 27, 2023 = 460mg -> Dec 9, 2023 = 436mg -> Dec 24, 2023 = 414mg -> Jan 7, 2024 = 400mg

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus
16 hours ago, FireflyFyte said:

Cutting back on alcohol

 

Firefly, you're giving excellent pointers! I'll just add that it's better to cut out alcohol altogether, especially for folks with destabilized nervous systems. We see some really horrendous setbacks from alcohol, more so than just about anything else. 

 

 

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  • Moderator
2 hours ago, Shep said:

Firefly, you're giving excellent pointers! I'll just add that it's better to cut out alcohol altogether, especially for folks with destabilized nervous systems. We see some really horrendous setbacks from alcohol, more so than just about anything else. 

 

Completely fair. I am hoping that I can enjoy a beer or two occasionally during my taper but understand that I might have to cut it out completely.

 

Pre- October 2022: Wellbutrin, Escitalopram, CitalopramSertraline, Adderall IR, Vyvanse, Propranolol, Buspar, Ativan, and Latuda

Oct 13, 2022 - Oct 24, 2022 and Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Zyprexa (2.5 mg). Jan 14, 2023 -> Began transition to liquid suspension. Jan 29, 2023 = 2.375mg -> Feb 12, 2023 = 2.25mg -> Feb 27, 2023 = 2.14mg -> Mar 12, 2023 = 2.025mg -> Mar 27, 2023 = 1.93mg -> Apr 10, 2023 = 1.82mg -> Apr 23, 2023 = 1.74mg -> May 7, 2023 = 1.64mg -> May 21, 2023 = 1.56mg -> June 4, 2023 = 1.48mg -> June 19, 2023 = 1.4mg -> July 2, 2023 = 1.33mg -> July 16, 2023 = 1.26mg -> July 31, 2023 = 1.2mg -> Aug 13, 2023 = 1.14mg -> Aug 27, 2023 = 1.08mg -> Sep 13, 2023 = 1.02mg -> Jan 22, 2024 = 0.97mg -> Feb 4, 2024 = 0.92mg -> Feb 19, 2024 = 0.87mg -> Mar 3, 2024 = 0.83mg -> Mar 17, 2024 = 0.78mg -> Mar 31, 2024 = 0.74mg -> Apr 14, 2024 = 0.7mg -> Apr 28, 2024 = 0.66mg -> May 12, 2024 = 0.63mg -> May 27, 2024 = 0.6mg -> June 9, 2024 = 0.57mg

Oct 14, 2022 - Present: Prozac (40mg) upped from 20mg on Nov 1, 2022.

Oct 31, 2022 - Present: Gabapentin (300mg 3x day) -> May 3, 2023 = 300mg 2x day -> Oct 1, 2023 = 570mg -> Oct 15, 2023 = 540mg -> Oct 29, 2023 = 510mg -> Nov 13, 2023 = 484mg -> Nov 27, 2023 = 460mg -> Dec 9, 2023 = 436mg -> Dec 24, 2023 = 414mg -> Jan 7, 2024 = 400mg

 

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Sorry to bother everyone again with the "when to taper" topic, but I'm struggling immensely with indecision. What does it mean to be stable before tapering?  When I tried to quit my antidepressant in May 2022 (cold turkey) it was because I was having such severe restless leg syndrome for 2 years after quitting Clonazepam and my misery all night was so extreme and doctors had no answers, or worse, were completely unsympathetic. Now, after a hospitalization, and a quick reinstatement of a drug cocktail of Lexapro, Oxcarbazepine, and Clonazepam, I sleep a druggy 5-7 hours, but my withdrawal symptoms are all still there, except for the restless legs. True, the symptoms are somewhat less severe than those first 1-2 months, but I'm basically fluctuating between 6-8 days of hellish symptoms, followed by 5-6 days of relative low side effects for the last 4 months, like a human yo-yo. I reinstated medication because of how bad the withdrawal was and I have stayed on them because I wanted to reduce the frequency of "hellish weeks" where it sometimes gets bad enough that I consider going to the hospital for my safety. My doctor has suggested adding Buspar now to help stabilize me. I realize the predicament I am in where I the mental and physical distress is so great on bad weeks that it feels touch and go, but doesn't adding another drug increase the risk of further destabilization? But doesn't keeping things the same pose a huge risk too?

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Moderator Emeritus
6 hours ago, Golrabs said:

What does it mean to be stable before tapering?

 

You may find this post helpful on what it means to be stable before tapering: 

 

Withdrawal Normal

 

6 hours ago, Golrabs said:

My doctor has suggested adding Buspar now to help stabilize me. I realize the predicament I am in where I the mental and physical distress is so great on bad weeks that it feels touch and go, but doesn't adding another drug increase the risk of further destabilization? But doesn't keeping things the same pose a huge risk too?

 

I would be very hesitant to add in Buspar. You're already on three other drugs, two of them with sedating qualities. Buspar also has sedating qualities. The problem with drugs with sedating effects is they tend to turn paradoxical - the more you dampen down the nervous system with sedatives, the more it fights to stay awake. 

 

6 hours ago, Golrabs said:

True, the symptoms are somewhat less severe than those first 1-2 months, but I'm basically fluctuating between 6-8 days of hellish symptoms, followed by 5-6 days of relative low side effects for the last 4 months, like a human yo-yo.

 

From your signature, it looks like you've been holding all three drugs at the same dose each for the past few months. Does anything else change that would cause your symptoms to improve after 6- 8 days and then get worse after the following 5 - 6 days? 

 

Also, what time(s) of the day are you taking your drugs? What time(s) of the day are your symptoms worse? 

 

 

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Hi Shep. I take the Lexapro in the morning when I wake up around 8 am. I take 300mg of Oxcarbazepine and .5 mg of Clonazepam at bedtime around 10-11 pm each night. From the moment I wake at about 7:30 to 8 am it's at it's worst until it start to get a bit better around 7 pm.

 

My anxiety often starts first thing in the morning and it's oftentimes been hard to identify why I have '"calmer" days. I seem to get triggered early in the morning. From what I can gather my cortisol levels are spiked higher than normal when I wake up. That's just my guess. Otherwise, I have have found a few times where very stressful situations have activated my anxiety to extremely high levels and it doesn't calm down or anything after the stressful situation passes. It just goes on for days, almost like my body eventually wears out or runs out of fuel.

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Moderator Emeritus
22 hours ago, Golrabs said:

From what I can gather my cortisol levels are spiked higher than normal when I wake up. That's just my guess.

 

That's a great guess, Golrabs. Please see this thread for some tips on how to manage those cortisol spikes:

 

Early-morning waking - managing the morning cortisol spike

 

Do you eat a healthy breakfast when you wake up? That can help, as withdrawal can cause blood sugar crashes, which can have some of the same symptoms as withdrawal (weakness, low mood, anxiety, etc). 

 

Are you sleeping from 10 or 11 PM until the next morning at 7:30 or 8 AM? 

 

 

 

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Thanks Shep. Yeah, I actually started a sleep routine 4 months ago, which I'm fairly successful at being consistent with, and darkened my room at night based on a lot of advice in that posting when I first found this website. The last 2 months I've been able to sleep 6-7 hours, mostly straight through. If I'm in bed by 10 or 11 then I'm asleep by 11 or 12 and I'm up by 6 or 7 am. I'll usually wake up dead tired and groggy like I haven't slept and usually fall back asleep if I shut my eyes. An hour or so later, 7 or 8 am and my legs are shaking and I get out of bed. But I've been waking up like that for the last 8 months even when I was getting 2-4 hours of sleep.

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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Hello Golrabs,

 

I cannot really give you any advice in tapering as I certainly did it much too fast. However, I would like to tell you you are not alone with your history. I have also been in the hands of psychiatric care for many years and been subjected to a long list of drungs and drug cocktails. I am not angry at my doctors for trying the meds - I assume they didn’t know any better - but I am angry that they didn’t listen to me. They didn’t take my side effects seriously and they didn’t take it seriously when I said I can’t take it anymore with the agitation and anxiety and made me feel like I was weak and silly. That I am angry about. 
 

But then, anger only is useful if it makes us do something. So I also decided to get off the drugs. It took a lot of hel and admonishing from the kind people here to convince me that I don’t just need a different drug. But without them, I am feeling I am slowly, every so slowly and painfully emerging from some sort of different version of me to the real me. And that is good.

 

I admire you being able to sleep! May I ask what you did besides darkening your room?

 

Thank you and well, just eanted to show you support 🙂. I hope your taper goes smoothly.

About 1997: A three weeks taking of lariam/mefloquine. Intense psychiatric side effects.

- six weeks on escitalopram stopped March 2010 - during this dosing in, 2 or 3 weeks of lorazepam. 3x0,5 mg. Stopped March 2010.- two months on mirtazapine 45mg stopped 2011 - Elontril/wellbutrin 150mg and 300mg, about a year stopped 2013 - Agomelatine, Venlafaxine short trial periods in 2010 - Passion flower 10 years, 450mg, stopped Feb 2022 reinstated october 20 2022- Beta blocker, low dose, 12 years, still current- Tianeptine, 4 months, stopped 2015- Sertraline 5 weeks, from March 15 to April 30 2022 - stopped passion flower January 2023
- since June 2022: Estradiol gel 2 pumps, progesterone orally cyclic 200mg. Moclobemide 150mg, 300 mg on August, 450 mg late August, 600 mg beginning September for a week, back to 450 mg after a week, 300mg late September, 150mg for a week in October, back to 225 currently since October 14th, 150mg since November 12th, 75 since November 20th, 0 since November 28th

Agomelatine 25mg since November 28th, trial for 7 days approximately 

No psychotrophic medication except passion flower since December 10th. And since Jan 23 only lemon balm tincture and lavendar oil capsule (and magnesium, potassium, melatonin)

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Other than darkening the room, I use white noise (just a small fan), and I do a 20 min sleep meditation when I get into bed. I also try to have have my TV off before 10 pm, although it should probably be earlier than that.   

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Mentor

Hello @Golrabs! Welcome to SA! 
You were on Paxil about same time as me. 
 

you may know some of this already I just thought I would stop by and meet you. 
Sleep is good! Sounds like you are doing good with 6-7 hrs! Some other suggestions are games suduko or solitaire. Suduko.com. Reading a book . Audible bedtime stories. Listening to 8 hr rain , etc. from podcast or you tube. These also work good for ruminating anxiety. 
Magnesium helps to calm also. 
 

Distraction like keeping busy is a major help for me during awake hours. 
 

Stable - holding same doses everyday will help the uneasy early morning cortisol to fizzle out. You will start feeling calm in evening then at lunch then mid morning. Any external stresses or life style behaviors can deter this. Holding for periods of time often is a good thing . I had the cortisol issue last summer and I have been holding for about 5 months and everything back to wd normal . I probably be ready to taper again in a month. Our nervous system likes slow and steady and will reset back . It’s all temporary. 
 

Everyone’s stable is different. We all have different lives and responsibilities and we are all different. So with me my stability for taper is when I can physically and mentally work and basic life functions with Zero anxiety . Then and only then will I start a taper. Other minor symptoms digestive, irritability, minor fatigue and pains etc are ok. Now that is just me.  If there are heavy stressful external life issues then no taper for me . 
 

There are a lot of details when deciding to taper🤷‍♂️. Is there a life threatening side effect from the drug ? Can I put up with the temporary side effects?  Are any side effects going to cause life long health issues if I take my time and taper?  Side effects will also fizzle away as you taper down in in dosage. 
 

You don’t have to taper at 10% current dose per month this is just a max recommendation that can be safely done. Basically listening to your body. I have been averaging about 6%.
 

Please let the mods know before you taper. 
 
Hang on💪

 

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 merry go round
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 taper to 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 taper to 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  taper to 7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 taper to 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9 2022 5.4ml, 

Klonopin prn, Allegra 180 for 3 seasons, aspirin 81 mg, plavix , nitroglycerin 0.4 mg prn, 2k mg  turmeric Qunol, 4- Trader Joe’s omega 3 -2400 mg, Pepcid 20mg,  Prilosec 40 mg, Tylenol arthritis 4 tablets daily, 350mg calm magnesium citrate, melatonin 2.5- 5mg as needed to sleep. Saline spray as needed. 

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Heath,

 

Did you get somewhat stable on Lexapro before you started your taper? 

 

I ask because every since I went cold turkey off of Pristiq in May I've had strong suicidal ideation for anywhere from 33-50% of the days each month. I started Lexapro 5mg in July and moved up to 12.5 mg in mid November, Clonazepam at night. A lot of this feeling is due to the intensity of the anxiety, panic, brain fog, dizziness, and nausea, but I don't know how long I can wait it out on these doses without trying a different drug to help stabilize, even though the thought of another drug is truly frightening. 

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Mentor
1 hour ago, Golrabs said:

Did you get somewhat stable on Lexapro before you started your taper? 

Yes. 
 

To start a taper with anxiety, panic and dark thoughts is a big no for me. Even when we taper slowly the nervous system still becomes hypersensitive and irritated. So whatever and however you feel at start of taper most likely symptoms will heighten some. Thus stable and calm before taper. 
 

In my experience trying or adding another drug will not help.  You will not get relief any faster. And it usually (will) make symptoms worse. 

One key to healing and feeling better in my journey with this poison is Time.  Before I learned I tried to speed up  with cold turkey and faster tapers and it only made it worse. 
 

After your cold turkey from pristiq and the drug brand change I would plan to hold at least 6 months or more - From the day you started holding same dose, same brand, same time every day. The nervous system will take time to heal after what has happened in may and July. It’s pissed off. The good thing is the symptoms are only temporary. 

So you gradually worked up to 12.5 mg? 
Have you gradually felt any better? 
Is there an emergency or serious lexapro side effect that you need to get off of it ? If the answer is no , then the solution is time with self help. 

 

Have you tried magnesium or omega 3 ? 
these are only 2 supplements SA suggests. A lot of people find them helpful. But research about them first and start with a small dose to see how it goes. 
 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/4244-stabilizing-what-does-that-mean-how-long-does-it-take-after-reinstating-or-updosing/

 

 

 

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 merry go round
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 taper to 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 taper to 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  taper to 7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 taper to 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9 2022 5.4ml, 

Klonopin prn, Allegra 180 for 3 seasons, aspirin 81 mg, plavix , nitroglycerin 0.4 mg prn, 2k mg  turmeric Qunol, 4- Trader Joe’s omega 3 -2400 mg, Pepcid 20mg,  Prilosec 40 mg, Tylenol arthritis 4 tablets daily, 350mg calm magnesium citrate, melatonin 2.5- 5mg as needed to sleep. Saline spray as needed. 

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Hi Heath,

 

Yeah, I started at 5 mg of Lexapro in late July.  I also did TMS therapy to help, but that didn't have any effect. Eventually I worked up to 10 mg of Lexapro and then 15 mg. When I hit 15 mg mid-November I didn't like how drowsy and drugged I felt with the other 2 medications I'm on so I dropped to 12.5mg. I've since held there for the last month. So I guess I've got several months more to stay here. 

 

I take an Omega 3 in the morning. I don't use magnesium anymore because it makes me too tired. I'm always tired/drowsy, especially when I'm super anxious (tremors), which is a weird combination.   

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is it normal or common that 7 months after my attempted CT off of Pristiq and Mirapex (and reinstatement of Lexapro, Clonazepam, and Oxcarbazepine) that I would still have almost no identifiable positive feelings? I'm struggling mightily nearly every day with chronic anxiety, brain fog, headaches, dizziness, and oftentimes depression. Walks in nature usually has that feeling like I'm watching paint dry. I really have to focus just to notice an interesting tree or color pattern. I guess I'm looking for encouragement or a slight hope. I'm waiting patiently for that "good enough" feeling where the waves aren't suicidal so I can seriously start a slow taper of Lexapro. Whenever I read other recovery stories, those that are well along in their taper or finished, I hear it's been 1 year, 2 years, 5 years, etc. of misery/torture without a window for more than a couple of hours or week, sometimes no windows in first 6-12 months, until after many years they're finally getting windows consistently. Am I making a major cognitive distortion? 

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Mentor

@Golrabs yes sir it is normal . 
 

I have experienced this a few times probably 4 or 5 where I tapered to fast had withdrawals and for whatever reason dr changed me to different brand. 
 

The different times this has happened to me it has always taken about 3 or 4 months to see some change for the better . And then about another 3 to 5 months to feel like my old self again. So about 6 to 9 months total for me. I didn’t like it but now that experience has given me ability to be a little calmer and faith it will pass. 

 

Now this time frame I’m speaking of is after the day I started taking same brand, same dose and same time daily. So if I was in wd for a month then dr tried this or that for a month or I gradually upped dose as you did and which I did also then you just add that to 6 to 9 months. 
 

I don’t like putting a time on it anymore because now I’m in a different playing field of this journey and using self help now instead of upping doses as in the past. 
 

And we are all different. Different life etc. So your time will be different than mine. 
 

You have been on a roller coaster for about 4 or 5 years. I was on a roller coaster for about 5 years too. 
 

When did you start taking 12.5 mg daily? 

Update your signature when you can that way the mods can help you better if you run into trouble. 
 

It’s gonna take some time.
It will pass and Know that it will ! 
Just keep steady same dose same time every day. 

 

Distraction has always helped me through those dark days. 
 

💪

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 merry go round
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 taper to 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 taper to 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  taper to 7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 taper to 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9 2022 5.4ml, 

Klonopin prn, Allegra 180 for 3 seasons, aspirin 81 mg, plavix , nitroglycerin 0.4 mg prn, 2k mg  turmeric Qunol, 4- Trader Joe’s omega 3 -2400 mg, Pepcid 20mg,  Prilosec 40 mg, Tylenol arthritis 4 tablets daily, 350mg calm magnesium citrate, melatonin 2.5- 5mg as needed to sleep. Saline spray as needed. 

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Thanks again. So you had these issues when you dropped Paxil and went on the drug merry-go-round? Then you stabilized as best you could on Lexapro and started your taper? 

 

It's been about 6 weeks since I've been steadily one dose of Lexapro. I'm switching to liquid doses so I can more accurately take 12.5 mg. 

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Mentor

@Golrabs

yes , you are describing me a few years ago. A lot of SA members been through what you are going through.
 

so after Prozac 2017/2018 the drug before lexapro I realized this was craziness trying to live like this. And the dr didn’t have a clue to what I was going through. I had been telling him since 2013 I had to taper slow.
 

So when I got on Lexapro 15 mg I stayed there for a year. Side effects dry eyes, dry mouth, dry sinuses and sluggishness dizziness brain fog  etc. after holding there for 4 months went to allergy dr who was also a Paxil survivor, he said it could be side effects. Wake up call for me.  
 

After trying to lower dose slowly with idiot dr again I found SA. 2019. The dumby said I was bipolar 🤷‍♂️. That was his answer for ssri withdrawals even after I had already given him the answer numerous times

 

I didn’t change to liquid until after being on it for about 1 year and a few months. 

 

so you have been through a few swaps too so you know about how long it took you to stabilize before. Just know you will get better in time. 
 

once you get the liquid lexapro you will feel a little more confident and secure (more in control). Because you can control your dosage. The liquid lowered my anxiousness. I had a thought 🤔. Liquid courage😁. Na not the same. 
 

you can read my intro it may be a few tips there from my mistakes. 
 

 

Anyway read read read and ask questions on SA before you change to liquid. This can destabilize your nervous system again for a time if not carefully done. 
 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/25691-cross-over-changing-form-eg-tablet-to-liquid-of-drug-or-changing-brand-of-same-drug/


Distractions and holding and passing time is your friend to get off this drug. 

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 merry go round
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 taper to 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 taper to 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  taper to 7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 taper to 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9 2022 5.4ml, 

Klonopin prn, Allegra 180 for 3 seasons, aspirin 81 mg, plavix , nitroglycerin 0.4 mg prn, 2k mg  turmeric Qunol, 4- Trader Joe’s omega 3 -2400 mg, Pepcid 20mg,  Prilosec 40 mg, Tylenol arthritis 4 tablets daily, 350mg calm magnesium citrate, melatonin 2.5- 5mg as needed to sleep. Saline spray as needed. 

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Thanks Heath.

 

This might be pretty difficult. Lexapro only comes in 10 mg or 5 mg pills. If I'm going to do anything like this for a full switch to liquid AND keep the amounts as accurate as I can, I think I could only do:

 

10 mg tablet + 2.5 mg liquid for 3-7 days

5 mg tablet + 7.5 mg liquid for 3-7 days

Then 12.5 mg liquid

 

Otherwise, I'd be cutting pills 10 and 5 mg pills and getting really inaccurate doses, which seems more likely to upset to my nervous system. I appreciate the 

 

Quote

To do a cross over you would take the following combinations for 3 to 7 days or longer if needed:

 

3/4 old form of drug (eg tablet) + 1/4 new form of drug (eg liquid)

 

1/2 + 1/2

 

1/4 + 3/4

 

Sometimes it is difficult to get the doses you need to do the cross over but you might be able to do:

 

2/3 old form + 1/3 new form

 

1/2 + 1/2

 

1/3 + 2/3

 

Please note that there are no hard and fast rules about how to do this.  Observe your symptoms and if needed stay on a combination for longer.

 

I don't have a dissimilar story than you Heath. All the years I was on Paxil I had a very strong need to sleep. Honestly, I could sleep 12-14 hours straight without issue. I stopped most or all my hobbies, other than the ones that would so engross me that it would excite whatever chemical in my brain was needed to keep me alert, like watching movies, reading fiction, or exercise, but writing and drawing and creative work was almost impossible and I always thought I just didn't have any passion or motivation. If I was alone, I was usually in bed sleeping.  I trusted explicitly in my doctors all these years that I would probably need to be on drugs my whole life because that was just the way it was with people with chemical imbalances and since I have family members that have depression and/or anxiety and have been on antidepressants that sealed it. 

 

I switched off of Paxil because I was going through a deeply troubling depression, which had happened once before, only worse. On Paxil recall almost always having a light depression, even on good days. So I switched to Prozac and thought that was the "fix." Then I had one of psychiatrists say I should get off the Clonazepam since I was on a "baby dose" of .5 mg. Just taper down to .25 mg for a month, then every other day at .25 mg for a month and quit. That was beginning of big wake up, because I started having terrible restless legs and my psychiatrists said it couldn't have anything to do with quitting Clonazepam or the Prozac. Then started more drugs, like Pramipexole for restless legs (no warning from the neurologist at all about the side effects that might bring!) and then Prozac to Pristiq. You've read the stories like this before. No doctor, just my therapist, has believed me at all. My psychiatrist over the last 3 years is probably the only one willing to say "maybe" it's has a little to do with the drugs, but that it's most likely my symptoms returning and my inability to regulate my emotions. I met a girl last Spring who did a taper and she wizened me up a bit on the dangers and ignorance of psychiatry, especially in the Western world. 

 

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Mentor

Yea I could sleep anywhere anytime on Paxil. No interest in anything. 
 

I used a special pill cutter when changing to liquid. 
 

as CC said there are no fast hard rules. Listen to your body and hold longer if you need to. 

2000-2013 Paxil - 1 year fast taper

2013-2018 merry go round
zoloft, cymbalta, lamictal, Prozac.

 Nov. 2018 lexapro 15 mgs, Dec. 2019 to Mar. 2020 taper to 10mg. Jul 2020 to October 2020 taper to 8.5 ml.
Oct 2020 reinstated to 9 ml.
Apr 2021 to Jul  taper to 7ml. Oct 2021 to Jan 2022 taper to 5.9ml, Mar 5 2022 5.8 ml, Mar 12 5.7ml, Mar 20 5.6ml, Mar 27 5.5ml, April 23 5.4ml, April 30 5.3ml, May 7 5.2ml,  Jul 9 2022 5.4ml, 

Klonopin prn, Allegra 180 for 3 seasons, aspirin 81 mg, plavix , nitroglycerin 0.4 mg prn, 2k mg  turmeric Qunol, 4- Trader Joe’s omega 3 -2400 mg, Pepcid 20mg,  Prilosec 40 mg, Tylenol arthritis 4 tablets daily, 350mg calm magnesium citrate, melatonin 2.5- 5mg as needed to sleep. Saline spray as needed. 

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@manymoretodays

Quote

I guess that is confusing.  Yes.  I wish I had gone slower AND done a crossover from solid Lexapro(escitalopram) 5 mg to liquid escitaloprm, while not decreasing my dose at all.

We have a topic now about how to cross over between forms of drug:

Cross Over: Changing form(eg tablet to liquid) of drug OR changing brand of same drug

 

I also did not go into the hospital inpatient to get off my escitalopram.  That was 2014.  I had not even visited survivingantidepressants.org yet.  I was just on escitalopram only.  I had previously come off Seroquel.  And had also been trialed on at least 28 other drugs, on and off again.

I went to the hospital because I could no longer function, was maybe into some akathisia(highly anxious, fearful, could not think straight, nor could I function with daily activities anymore), or just extreme acute WD.  I had gone right to liquid, as well as decreased my dose by much more than 10% of 5 mg in just a couple of days.

I didn't even know to suggest an updose of the escitalopram.

I didn't know much about tapering and WD then.

I didn't even get to see a shrink, or psychiatrist for about 2 days either, and they had zero knowledge of WD.

I could not, at that time, get my words out well enough when I did finally see the shrink......in a way, that might have led them to think about WD.  I mean I really did suspect something was going on, that wasn't as simplistic as a Mental Illness Disorder or Disease........but couldn't clearly state that.   Or ugh.....Non compliance.  Do they still use that term?   Thank goodness I was sometimes less than compliant when a medication made me sick or had adverse effects.

 

Sorry about that MMT. I misread and misunderstood your signature. I thought maybe you had tried to expedite the process by in the hospital or something like that. I had a similar experience at inpatient psychiatric clinic. I went in because I tried CT because of bad side effects and my body and brain went crazy after a several weeks off.  Every withdrawal symptom, physical and mental. And the doctor didn't think it was WD since I'd been off the drug for 5-6 weeks.  The only good thing, and it's not a small one, is that it kept me alive to be in the clinic.   

 

I guess my questions were to reassure myself I was doing the right thing. I read that your last drug was a Trileptal so I guess I was looking for someone who had similar drug experiences there. I think (long term plan here) that will the one I stop last. Most recommendations I've got on SA have said start with Lexapro first (as slow as needed), then tackle the benzo.  Also, I get such an intense fear that I'll get as bad as I was when I went CT in when I eventually try to taper. That was truly the most painful thing I can imagine. I'm "a little" better now - how much is hard to tell - since the CT and the hospital but it's been almost 7 months and it's pretty dicey 50-60% of each month.

If/when I reach some stability (where I don't fee suicidal on bad days and I am managing my cortisol spikes better) I just question that 'll be strong enough to make the taper if it's going to be as bad as that CT was.

 

I agree with you though, needing to reframe thinking, is the only way I've been able to last this long. I wish actual therapy had been the only option all those years ago and that I had the emotional maturity and support to go through it that way. 

 

Thanks MMT

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Moderator Emeritus

No worries......often confusing, I am.

On 1/10/2023 at 10:46 AM, Golrabs said:

Also, I get such an intense fear that I'll get as bad as I was when I went CT in when I eventually try to taper. That was truly the most painful thing I can imagine. I'm "a little" better now - how much is hard to tell - since the CT and the hospital but it's been almost 7 months and it's pretty dicey 50-60% of each month.

If/when I reach some stability (where I don't fee suicidal on bad days and I am managing my cortisol spikes better) I just question that 'll be strong enough to make the taper if it's going to be as bad as that CT was.

 

I agree with you though, needing to reframe thinking, is the only way I've been able to last this long. I wish actual therapy had been the only option all those years ago and that I had the emotional maturity and support to go through it that way. 

 

You'll have less fear as you get going and then also as you understand what exactly happened to you with your drugs and CT.  Darn, that we cannot find the doctors to validate our experiences!!!!  It makes me livid.....it does.  Those who think they know best for us......and think that is continued drugging for too many years.  I've just got to think that is harmful and circular and does no one any good and a heck of lot of harm.

Alright......!!!!!!!!!!!!! over.  I should make those red.  Heh, heh, I did.

 

Sounds like you have a good plan in place now.  And your fear will reduce as you continue to learn more.

 

You can adapt the cross-over to liquid, with the Lexapro, as you need to, OR do part liquid and part solid form too.......that works for some.  You may have to get a bit creative, and then use the tapering topics too.  I see them above, and here's a quick link to get to your first informational and welcoming post:

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/28385-golrabs-antidepressants-since-2000/?do=findComment&comment=624946

 

My un-similarity is with the clonazepam.  I never could stay with a benzo for more than a few days back when I was drugged........I just went to zombified, couch potato, and overly tranqulized.  It was scary, and so I would quit after 1 day, 2 days, or 3 days.  I found myself not remembering a daytime drive home and stuff like that.  I'm lucky I didn't get cited by a traffic cop or something for drugged driving?  Anyway.......they, the benzo's, kept me too scared to function.

 

So yah.....lot's of similarities.  And I will definitely follow Golrabs. 

 

Are you working now and stuff, or just into convalescence for awhile?  I haven't read up much of your Introduction yet.  What's your ground support like?  Anyone who "gets" withdrawal and tapering or are you on your own with these concepts?

 

Best.  Again.....no worries......so easy to misread or interpet on the nets sometimes..........glad I could clarify.  The hospitals, as far as I know, are the likely last place you want to do a taper at..........  Sad, we have so little going for respite for tapering and WD anywhere.  Just a place, one could go......to get respite from their norm, and also get instruction on tapering, and learn coping skills and all to cope, and well.......just hang out with like minded souls. 

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

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.  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 weeks later...

@manymoretodays@Heath

 

Well my plan has hit a snag. I started the switch to liquid Lexapro. Decided to go slow so I took 10 mg of tablet and 2.5 ml of liquid.  I'm on 8th day of this and it has been severe. I have no clear answer how much of this is from the change and how much is life stress, but I couldn't work last week at all and just 4 months after starting work again, I am on disability. I am looking into a partial hospitalization program, but hospitalization may be needed first because this last week has been severe. I've resisted the urge to mess around with trying another medication or a medication replacement like going back on Prozac from Lexapro. 

 

Apologies for the repetitiveness of this question, but has anyone experienced reinstating to a different drug after a CT attempt and actually found even moderate stability so they can take their life into their hands and attempt a reasonable taper? I'm not asking if anyone has found a miracle drug that makes them feel great again, but just enough to be stable again. Everyone's signature, at least those who were well counseled to taper slowly, all have that point where some is on a drug(s) that they want to get off of, but that they feel "ready" or "stable" enough to do so.  I want to get there, but 7 months of the worst psychological and physical pain of my life and then this last week and I'm back to needing hospitalization again. 

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Ooooh Golrabs, sorry to hear this.

Do you want to go back to all solid with your Lexapro, give it 4 to 7 days, and see if that makes a difference?

I just ran your drug interactions too, at Drugs.com and here are those results:

https://www.drugs.com/interactions-check.php?drug_list=703-0,1013-565,1765-0&types[]=major&types[]=minor&types[]=moderate&types[]=food&types[]=therapeutic_duplication&professional=1

 

When do you take your drugs?

Times and then note the drug by name and dose.

 

I am wondering about drug interactions, and if you might need to lower your escitalopram even......but I don't know for sure.

 

What would you expect from the hospital or partial hospitalization?

16 hours ago, Golrabs said:

Apologies for the repetitiveness of this question, but has anyone experienced reinstating to a different drug after a CT attempt and actually found even moderate stability so they can take their life into their hands and attempt a reasonable taper? I'm not asking if anyone has found a miracle drug that makes them feel great again, but just enough to be stable again.

 

Golrabs, that's gonna be something that we can't really help with.  Drug switches.  If you want to go there, and then come back when you might like to taper then that is up to you.

 

And I don't want to deter you from if you really feel you need outside of this site help now either.

 

If you can hang on, or are stable enough to, or decide freely to.........then next I think I would ask to see some NOTES/daily drug and symptom logs so I can get some other staff input into what to do now with your case, if anything.

This would just be more than just drugs listed after the times.

 

So.....if able.  Post some daily drug and symptom logs aka NOTES.

Date at the top.

Times on the left.  To the right of times note your drugs by name and dose.  Also to the right of times note symptoms as they occur or peak.  Some will rate symptoms, once described on a scale of 1 to 10.  Note your sleep, after the fact.....you could summarize after a.m. time.

And that will help us......see objectively......just what is happening now.

 

Link to help with that and an example daily note:

Keep notes on paper

 

What can we help with for non-drug coping now too?  Or are you feeling just beyond that now?

 

Can you just breathe?  In for 4 seconds.  Hold for 7 seconds.  And then out for 8 seconds.  Repeat.  Try a couple rounds.  Four used to work for me, to get my system calmed a bit.  By the 4th round I could think again, and just count and hold.......and relax a bit.

Guided meditations are often so good too.  Just listening, finding the right voice to fill your head with and drowning out a bit all the fear thoughts coming in.

 

Here's a wonderful list for you to peruse and pick and choose from, at the bottom of the first post here:

Non-drug techniques

 

Again.....I am so sorry it all feels so unmanageable now.  Update soon.  What you want to do.  If stay and get stable enough to taper, or make a drug shift outside of here.  Rooting for you.....I am.  And healing hugs.

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

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.  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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  • Moderator Emeritus
17 hours ago, Golrabs said:

Decided to go slow so I took 10 mg of tablet and 2.5 ml of liquid.

 

Golrabs, so we're all on the same page, how are you doing your liquid? How many milligrams is in 2.5 milliliters of liquid? 

 

You have "Escitalopram 12.5 mg" in the last line of your signature, so just checking to see if there's been a change in dose, along with the change in formula (tablet to liquid). 

 

 

 

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@Shep

I was taking 12.5 of Escitalopram in tablet form - a 10mg tablet and a 5 mg tablet cut in half.  I was concerned about how unevenly the 5 mg tablets cut and I was planning a slow taper in the future when things were more stable so I though I could get started on the liquid. So I got the liquid which is 5mg of Escitalopram per 5 ml.  So I take 2.5 ml and the 10 mg tablet.

 

@manymoretodays

My question about drug switches wasn't to see if anyone had good advice on antidepressants. It was more to see if anyone had tried CT and had to go back on drugs to stabilize before doing a slow taper.  Like what kind of advice is there when you're in that place where you know the drugs cause harm, but you also know you central nervous system is out of whack and even a slight change in anything from a bad night's sleep to a reduction in drug dose can be destabilizing. 

 

My reason for potentially going into the hospital is "only" personal safety and not to change drugs.

 

Partial hospitalization is to get into a program over the next couple of months while I'm out of work, but still have insurance so I can have support and help with maintaining a schedule away from job, since I live alone.

 

Here's my general day (I do a lot of guided meditation and breathwork 1-2 hours a day, especially when it's bad)

 

6:00 - 7:30 am Wake up naturally with anxiety (increased heartrate, very uncomfortable anxiety in arms and legs, sometimes dizzy)

7:30-8:00 am Lexapro 12.5 mg no change in symptoms

8:00-8:30 am breakfast (hard to eat with no appetite)

9:00 am -1:00 pm (symptoms at their worst, heartrate can race, brain fog, dizziness, eye pain/headaches, anxiety throughout body; sometimes on "good days" this is can start subsiding by 11 am, but more than half the time it's bad during this period)

1:00 pm lunch (symptoms can symptoms feel a touch better with food)

1:30 - 5:00 pm (same symptoms, but they sometimes decrease after 5pm)

6:00 pm dinner

6:30 pm meditation

6:30-9:00 (anxiety starts to decrease as the evening wears on; headaches usually come back worse than the afternoon)

9:00-10:00 (headaches lighten and get tired)

10:00 pm Oxcarbazepine 300 mg

10:00 pm meditation

10:30 pm .5 mg Clonazepam

10:30 in bed

11:00 pm-12:00 am fall asleep

 

 

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Okay.  Good.  Do a real one though.  Real time real day for tomorrow rather than generalizing one for all your days.  You might be surprised.  How were you prescribed the oxcarbazepine?  Have you ever split the dose into 2 and taken it morning and evening?  And okay...I'm glad the liquid Lexapro is 1 mg in 1 ml....that was a great ? from Shep.                  Good good you have some excellent non drug coping!                               Now ......patience.....and I know it's not like you have not been patient.                   And show us real time NOTES for a couple days.  Something may stand out.  Okay?   And I hear you.....that being alone in your present state.  Try for the sense of connectedness here, on site......that can help.  Pick a few to visit and just support and encourage or go to off topic and poems or music there.  Look at the time off not as a failure but as a gift?  Who wouldn't feel bad that their work was disrupted.  That stings/hurts Golrab.  Reframe it though....it's not forever.  And I'm hoping for fresh input based on what your Notes show too.  Believe in your healing and the ability to turn the corner, be resilient.  It's in there.....you have capacity for.   Thankyou for updating and following directions.  You are a joy to assist.  L, p, h, and g  mmt

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.  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

 

Link to comment
  • Moderator Emeritus
On 1/22/2023 at 5:51 PM, Golrabs said:

Like what kind of advice is there when you're in that place where you know the drugs cause harm, but you also know you central nervous system is out of whack and even a slight change in anything from a bad night's sleep to a reduction in drug dose can be destabilizing. 

 

Where are you at Golrabs? 

I think I hear a ton of anxiety or fear in what I quoted.

And I know......stay unstable or add what could be destabilizing? 

In that case I think my best counsel would be just to HOLD.  HOLD steady.

Work non-drug coping.

Let us know where you are at, or update.

When you can.

It's not a crime to seek care in the system if and when, that feels right to 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.  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

 

Link to comment

@manymoretodays

 

Hey, sorry that I didn't respond earlier. I've been getting paperwork done for a long-term leave of absence from work. Yeah definitely a ton of fear about medication harm, but still being on them, wanting to get started on a taper, being afraid of the extreme wd symptoms I've had going since I tried ct in May. 

 

I got through that "wave" or whatever it was and I'm in calmer days since Monday - this has been the kind of cycle I've had for months; 7-10 days of hell, 5-6 days of relatively ok days.  I've been recording real-time notes that I've post below. These have been better days so anxiety has been mostly under control. I'm in a PHP program starting today to help with support, coping techniques, and routine. I really didn't want to the see the psychiatrist, but it's required. She said, perhaps I have a "cycling" mood disorder. Never had that before medication or while on medication, only when I stopped medication quickly. Sounds like a lot of personal stories I've read on SA where people going through medication wd, PAWS, DAWS, etc. are told their bipolar or possibly schizophrenic when things are at their worst. I didn't expect a worthwhile conversation, but the psychiatric profession seems so largely bankrupt it's sad

 

7:30 AM              Woke up to alarm; anxiety lower than previous days; couldn't fall asleep until 1-2 am; worry

9:00 AM              Got out of bed; usual drugged drowsy feeling

9:00 AM              Took Lexapro 12.5 mg; fish oil    

9:15 AM              Breakfast; bowl of cereal and piece of chicken     Feel a little depressed

9:30 AM - 12:00 PM        Watch TV; mild ringing in ears

12:00 PM            Lunch; tired, burning eyes

1:00 - 2:00 PM   Nap; depression

2:30 PM              Library; depression

3:30 PM              Shopping           

4:30 PM              Walk    

5:00 PM              Did some work 

6:00 PM              Dinner; depression dissipated

7:00 PM - 10:00 PM  Watch TV; Tired, very mild headache, and mild depression; some health and self-confidence anxiety triggers creating flashes of anxiety

10:00 PM            Oxcarbazepine 300 mg  

10:45 PM            Clonazepam .5 mg         

10:45 PM - 11:15 PM      Guided Meditation        

11:15 PM            Going to sleep  

                            

7:30 AM              Woke up to alarm; anxiety lower than previous day; couldn't fall asleep until 1-2 am

9:00 AM              Got out of bed; drugged drowsy feeling

9:00 AM              Took Lexapro 12.5 mg; took fish oil         

9:15 AM              Ate breakfast; bowl of cereal and avocado          

10:15 AM - 12:00 PM     PHP Assessment; mild depression

12:00 PM            Lunch; chicken, peanuts, protein bar      

1:00 - 2:00 PM   Watch TV

2:30 PM              Library; shopping           

3:30 - 4:30 PM   Walk; decent energy

5:00 PM              Drowsy; mild depression, ring in ears

6:00 PM              Dinner 

7:00 PM              Therapy             

8:30 - 10:30 PM Watch TV          

10:00 PM            Ate a late meal; drowsy

10:00 PM            Oxcarbazepine 300 mg  

10:45 PM            Clonazepam .5 mg         

10:45 PM - 11:15 PM      Guided meditation        

11:15 PM              Going to sleep; too much energy             

                            

8:00 AM              Woke up with no alarm; lower anxiety; Couldn't fall asleep until 1-2 am from late night snack(?)

9:30 AM              Got out of bed; drowsy

9:30 AM              Took Lexapro 12.5 mg, fish oil

9:30 AM              Ate breakfast; bowl of cereal and avocado          

10:30 AM - 11:30 PM     Grocery shopping; anxiety increase talking about triggers topics (medication, family problems)

11:30 - 1:00 PM Read; internet  

1:00 PM              Lunch; chicken  

1:30 PM              Drove to apartment       

2:30-4:30 PM     Dishes, cleaned, worked on puzzle; mild headache

6:00 PM              Dinner 

7:00 - 9:00 PM   Movie; headache

10:00 PM            Oxcarbazepine 

10:45 PM            Clonazepam     

10:45 PM            Guided meditation

11:15 PM             Going to sleep

2000-2018 Paroxetine

2018-2021 Prozac 20 mg 

2020-2022 Pramipexole .25 mg

2022 Pristiq 25 mg cold turkey May 1 (inpatient in 20 June 2022)

2022 Mirtazapine 15 mg cold turkey 20 June -  15 July 2002

2022 Escitalopram 5 - 15 mg  as 1 Jul 2022 - 30 November 2022

2022 Escitalopram 12.5 mg Dec 1 2022 - May 12 2023

2023 Escitalopram 11.5 mg May 2023 - June 2023

2023 Escitalopram 10.5 mg  as of June 12, 2023

2022 Clonazepam .25 mg  as of Sept 2023

2022 Oxcarbazepine 525  mg  as of Feb 2024

2023 Escitalopram 8 mg  as of May 4, 2024

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  • Moderator Emeritus
On 1/26/2023 at 5:44 PM, Golrabs said:

I'm in a PHP program starting today to help with support, coping techniques, and routine. I really didn't want to the see the psychiatrist, but it's required. She said, perhaps I have a "cycling" mood disorder. Never had that before medication or while on medication, only when I stopped medication quickly. Sounds like a lot of personal stories I've read on SA where people going through medication wd, PAWS, DAWS, etc. are told their bipolar or possibly schizophrenic when things are at their worst. I didn't expect a worthwhile conversation, but the psychiatric profession seems so largely bankrupt it's sad

 

Hi Golrabs,

Okay, this is okay.  And I am only so happy you've been around here and possible elsewhere where you have found your own truth now.  Outside of the psychiatry.  It's so hard though......as I know, to HOLD ones own.  We get it here though.  Your drugs very likely are at the root of your current problems.

 

How much do you have to do with this psychiatrist?  Are they your prescriber?  Or can you stick with your previous prescriber?   Can you resisit if "they" start suggesting more medications or medication changes?

 

On 1/26/2023 at 5:44 PM, Golrabs said:

I got through that "wave" or whatever it was and I'm in calmer days since Monday - this has been the kind of cycle I've had for months; 7-10 days of hell, 5-6 days of relatively ok days.  I've been recording real-time notes that I've post below. These have been better days so anxiety has been mostly under control.

 

This is good ^ !!!!  Except no, Hell isn't good.  Hoping that even gets better.

 

And thank you.  On putting together some Notes, daily drug and symptom logs. 

When you note you drugs by name, do always put the dose there too.

 

I'm hoping you can get what you need in this outpatient program now, as far as skills and even temporary community and structure.

Can you consider any tapering now?  Or is that out of the question?

The reason I ask is I did want to get more input on just where to start and with what for you.

And then the NOTES are helpful when asking for input.

 

Thank you Golrabs for the update and first try at Notes!!!  You are super. 

Where are you at now with the liquid Lexapro?

 

L, P, H, and G,

mmt

 

 

 

 

Edited by manymoretodays

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.  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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