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YouCanDoHardThings Help with catastrophic lexapro withdrawal


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I am suffering serious withdrawal symptoms after having a horrific reaction to Lexapro. I should have stopped as soon as I took the first dose, but  the drug was making me extremely disoriented and confused (borderline psychotic).  After being on it for 14 days, I ended up getting an ambulance to the emergency after I started having intense muscle spasms, shaking and extreme irritability, which finally resulted in me starting to lose vision. I stopped the drug cold turkey at the recommendation of the hospital staff (I was on 5mg).


It has been 16 days and I have been going through the most intense, overwhelming withdrawal. I feel like I'm going crazy and will never get better. I have terrible anxiety, panic, derealization and insomnia among other things. It just seems Impossible. I have lost touch with reality. I have gone so far as to make peace with all my friends and family in case I don't make it out of this.


Before I took the medication I was almost completely fine, just over stressed. I never had any anxiety or panic for the last 4 years.


I have been to doctors, counsellors and others, but they don't seem to understand SSRI withdrawals at all. Do you have any suggestions of who I should see to get help or how to get help?

I live in Duncan, BC, Vancouver Island, Canada. I'm a healthy 32 year old male.

will travel pretty much anywhere, if I can get some good help and support.



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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome @YouCanDoHardThings


I’m so sorry to hear about your suffering and that you ended up in emergency.  These meds can cause a severe adverse reaction to a lot of people. It would have been best to have stopped straight after the first day, as you said, but we can’t change the past sadly. Some people have suffered for quite a while too, even after just taking one tablet of something, due to an adverse reaction. 

Most doctors don’t understand how severely these meds can affect us. Our brains have a remarkable ability to heal, but I’m afraid that sometimes it can take quite some time for our brain to reach some kind of homeostasis again. On the other hand, it might not take too long for you to recover. No one knows. The recovery process is the same as everyone on this site. You will go through periods of windows and waves. Waves are when the symptoms are bad, and windows are when the symptoms subside a little. We never know how long windows and waves last. Our brains are trying to heal themselves.

Please don’t drink any alcohol, try and cut down on caffeine and sugar also. 

Some people find taking magnesium and fish oil helps a bit. Our systems are so hypersensitive though, so you’ll need to start off on a low dose of one of them and see if you can tolerate it, then up it slowly.


Can you please put in your drug signature. Just go to the top of the Introductions page. There’s a thread on starting a topic about yourself. In the first paragraph there’s a link that will show you how to do it. Thank you.


Keep us updated💛

Seroquel. 2019:➡️ From 7.25mg to 5.80mg. 2020➡️5.60 to 4.80. 2021➡️4.60 to 4.0.  2022➡️3.95 to 3.55. 2023➡️ From 3.50 to 3.25.  2024➡️Jan15=3.20✔️ Feb19=3.15✔️ March26=3.10✔️May1=3.05✔️This is NOT medical advice.Consult your doctor.

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  • Carmie changed the title to YouCanDoHardThings Help with catastrophic lexapro withdrawal

It's been 3 weeks since stopping the medication. Things are still incredibly hard, but I have been seeing improvements each day. 


My ability to think and imagine is still very week. I have a lot of apathy and the world seems very dull and pointless a lot of the time. I can't access my interests, and normal way of thinking.


I had one day without a panic attack at night, which is good. I also have been eating more. I don't feel so cold when sleeping (using less blankets). My normal thinking seems to be slowly coming back each day. 


I can't help but get scared wondering how long until my thinking comes back. It is so hard to distract yourself when I can't think about other things. It makes me feel so naked and gives me lots of anxiety not having my own thoughts back.



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