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Catwoman73: New Here! My story…


Catwoman73

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Hi all!  So happy to have found this place!  I’ve browsed a few posts, and I think I’ve found my people lol! 
 

About me- I’m 51 years old, and have been on and off a bunch of psychiatric meds since the 90s.  My memory is poor (more on that later), so I can’t remember exact dates, but I have been on Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin and Escitalopram, along with occasional benzos and zopiclone for short periods.  Honestly- i wish I had never started taking any of them.  Hindsight and a really good therapist has made me realize that many of my choices in life have just not been very congruent with my wants/needs/values etc, leading to some serious cognitive dissonance.  I have also experienced severe professional burnout many times, and have some childhood trauma that I had never dealt with.  Had I found a good therapist in my 20s, I may have never started taking these drugs.

 

BUT- I am generally a pretty optimistic person, so I am looking forward, and feeling so grateful to have been able to improve my knowledge on withdrawal, so I can do it right this time.  I have never tapered slowly. I have always followed my doctors’ advice, and my slowest taper was off of Effexor, and that only took two months.  I had little difficulty coming off Wellbutrin, but all the others were awful- restlessness, irritability, brain zaps, bouts of severe depression, tremors, insomnia, extreme sensitivity to light and noise.

 

I most recently started taking 10mg of escitalopram in 2016.  I had changed jobs, and was having crippling anxiety about my new role.  I didn’t want to start taking it- i had been off of it since before my daughter was born in 2009.  But being in a new job, I felt I had to show my employer that I was willing to do anything to get back to work asap.  So I started taking it, and took four months off to pull myself together, so to speak. 
 

Fast forward to 2020- still on my 10mg of escitalopram.  Didn’t want to be, but couldn’t face weaning, and all the withdrawal symptoms.  Then the pandemic hit.  I work in healthcare, so needless to say, this was a scary time for me.  Anxiety peaked, and my doctor increased my dose to 20mg.  It didn’t help at all.  My anxiety remained high for the next two years… I was just surviving.  I was so anxious and burned out, I barely remember anything from that time period.  It’s like a bad dream.

 

i finally contracted COVID in June 2022.  I was not hospitalized, but was very ill for four weeks.  When I finally managed to go back to work, I couldn’t function.  Went off on sick leave, and was eventually diagnosed with long COVID.  My symptoms have included crippling fatigue, severe right sided headaches, chest pain/pressure, palpitations, severe brain fog, memory issues, internal ‘vibrations’ (for lack of a better term), cyanosis when my heart rate goes over 125 and presyncope.  I haven’t worked since August 2022.
 

Over the last two years, I have learned to manage my symptoms fairly well with diet, hydration, additional salt, compression stockings, meditation and my awesome therapist.  I started to taper my escitalopram last November, with fairly large dosage cuts… it occurred to me that I’ve done this before, and always ended up right back on the meds.  So I started researching how to properly taper, and realized that everything I had done in the past was misguided, and likely caused some long term health issues.  So I’ve decided to slow my taper waaaay down, hoping to get off of these drugs for good!  Feeling very optimistic! 😁

 

I am also taking low dose naltrexone 2.5mg for long COVID, estrogel for hot flashes, vitamin D 2000iu/day, B12 1000mcg per day (I’m vegan- no choice on this one!).

 

i think that’s it- in a nutshell… I’ve had more than my share of legit emotional turmoil too, but it’s all just too much to share here.  I will say that I’m in a really great emotional place right now, so I feel the time is right to do a proper taper.  I look forward to sharing my journey here! 😊

 

 

Edited by Emonda
Name to title

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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  • Emonda changed the title to Catwoman73: New Here! My story…
  • Moderator

Hello, and a warm welcome to SurvivingAnitdepressants. We are a peer support forum to assist in tapering off psychiatric drugs safely, or recovering from psychiatric drug withdrawal.

 

This topic is for anything relating to you, and any questions you have. Please do not start another topic.

 

Good to hear you have slowed your taper down, you're much more likely to be succesful in coming off with the slow and steady approach.

 

Please do keep us updated, and don't be afraid to ask any questions you might have.

 

 

 

Here are a few of the most useful links:

 

Important topics in the Tapering forum and FAQ

 

Micro tapering

 

Why taper by 10% of my dosage?

 

Taking multiple psych drugs? Which drug to taper first?

 

How to make a liquid from tablets or capsules

 

Using a scale to weigh and measure doses

 

We only recommend two supplements. Omega 3 Fish Oil and Magnesium. Both should be introduced separately and increased slowly.

 

Regards

Erimus

 

 

Active Monday-Friday UK time

 

MEDICATION:

1) Sertraline:

50mg - Oct 2020, 100mg - Dec 2020, 50mg - April 2021, 75mg - May 2021, 50mg - Sep 2021; 55mg - 23 Feb 2024; 60mg - 20 March 2024; Start tapering - 24 April 2024

Current dose: 57.93mg  (15 May 2024)

2) Mirtazapine:

15mg - Nov 2020

SUPPLEMENTS:

Cod liver oil, Magnesium, Vitamin C

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Thank you Erimus!  I certainly will.  It’s exceptionally challenging to taper while suffering from long COVID, as there is a fair bit of symptom overlap.  I plan to only taper when my long COVID symptoms are stable to try to be able to tease out what is what.  So this might just take forever lol, but I’m committed.  My gut is telling me that damage from all these psychoactive drugs may have been a contributing factor to me getting long COVID in the first place, so I think it will be hugely beneficial to get these drugs out of my system for good.

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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I'm feeling so frustrated today. 

 

The last few days have been brutal, with severe headaches, brain fog, extreme fatigue (sleeping about 15 hours per day, but sleep is not restful), nausea.  I have no idea if this is just an exacerbation of my long covid symptoms, side effects from the low dose naltrexone that I started a few weeks ago for long covid, or withdrawal from dropping my escitalopram dose a month ago.   I feel like I have a few too many balls in the air right now- maybe starting the naltrexone was a bad idea... the only problem is, I feel like I have to try anything I can to get long covid symptom relief, as I don't want to be viewed as 'uncooperative' by my long term disability provider.  When my doctor suggested the LDN, I felt like I had to say yes.  

 

I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever feel normal again.  I don't anticipate anyone will have any answers for me.  I'm just glad to have a place to express my frustration.

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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I don't know if anyone here has experience with low dose naltrexone for long covid.... I started taking it in late March.  My doctor, not knowing any better, prescribed me 5mg to start, which is a whopping large dose from what I have now learned.  I took the 5mg one night, and literally felt drunk- no equilibrium, bumping into walls, vertigo.  The worst part was the insomnia- I didn't sleep a wink that night.  I consulted some of my long covid support groups, and everyone was pretty mortified that I was started on such a high dose.  I have since backed off all the way to 0.5mg.  I'm no longer having difficulties with equilibrium, but the insomnia and poor sleep remains.  This obviously isn't helping how I'm feeling lol... it has certainly made the long covid symptoms flare like crazy, and therefore has made me reluctant to continue my escitalopram taper.  

 

My question is- does anyone know if it is possible that my nervous system is just too sensitized to tolerate the introduction of low dose naltrexone at this time, while actively tapering escitalopram?  I'm asking here because I plan to see my doctor this week, and I think it's highly likely he will encourage me to keep taking it, and will say that the dose is so low that it shouldn't be having an effect on me.  For perspective, he is a lovely doctor, but doesn't seem to have any real understanding of antidepressant withdrawal, and has had me CT or rapidly wean off of medications in the past.  

 

I just hate how I'm feeling right now, but can't figure out what my best move is...

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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I don't know anything about naltrexone, but having read many thread about supplements and other drugs sensitivity in here, I believe it is totally possible to be hyper sensitive to some drugs during withdrawal. I think I'd hold the current escitalopram dosage and see if you can stabilize more before making another move. Are you still noticing changes in your symptoms?

 

You've made pretty big jumps in your dosage so far, I'd suggest that the next taper attempt to be no more than 10% of your current 10mg dose. 10mg -> 9mg.

 

Take care!

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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Thanks @Tweed9674- that was my intention.  I made those big jumps knowing from past experience that I can tolerate them just fine.  It's just when I get below 5mg that I have problems.  So I decided this time that I would get down from 20 to 10 fairly quickly, and then go to 10% drops each month as tolerated.  But I'm not starting that for at least another month- I want to be on the 10mg for two months, just to be 100% sure I'm stable there before dropping. 

 

My current symptoms are very consistent with what I've been dealing with for two years with long covid- right sided severe headaches, insomnia and crippling exhaustion.  This isn't withdrawal from the escitalopram- it literally started the same day I took my first dose of Naltrexone.  That would be too coincidental!  I'm definitely better than I was when I took that first 5mg dose of naltrexone at the beginning- I'm currently taking 0.5mg- one tenth the dose I started on.  I just can't figure out if I should stick with it, knowing that side effects like this do typically go away with time, hoping that it will pay off and actually give me some energy back in the long run, or if I should stop taking it for now, and try to get back to baseline.  It's a tough call, and I'm not sure if there is any right answer here.   All I know is that it's very discouraging to be feeling this crappy again, when I had made some progress in controlling symptoms with diet, hydration and proper sleep.  Feeling frustrated at the moment, being in uncharted territory!!!  

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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I actually slept last night!!!  I think I have finally adjusted to the 0.5mg of Naltrexone... at least I hope so.  I have no intention of increasing it anytime soon, and will visit my doctor this week to discuss my experience with LDN.  

 

I'm having terrible long covid brain fog today... I'm trying so hard to read through other people's threads, because I really want to participate here and help support other people.  I'm a healthcare worker on long term disability lol... I miss helping others!  But I just can't seem to focus well enough to read through people's histories, and respond appropriately.  It's brutal.  Sigh... I miss my brain!

 

 

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Another good night last night, so 0.5mg of Naltrexone it is!  

 

Feeling OK this morning, just having anxiety about a planned conversation with my long term disability caseworker this afternoon.  She's not very nice, and always makes me feel very defensive.  I know I'll feel better once the conversation is over, but I certainly won't be accomplishing much in the meantime.  Giving myself the grace to breathe through the anxiety at the moment.  Having long covid and antidepressant withdrawal issues is rough- both are conditions that people are super skeptical of. 

 

Side note... I was looking for something to watch on Youtube this morning, and found an interview of @Altostrata with Dr. Josef!  Will watch after my call with my caseworker today.

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Just a short update, for the sake of documenting this journey!

 

My call with my LTD caseworker actually went well yesterday.  She was much nicer this time lol.  I was so relieved afterwards that I felt a surge of energy, and made a nice dinner for the family. :)

 

I slept really well again last night, and I'm feeling generally very stable.  I think I taper my lex by 10% at the start of May, down to 9mg, as long as I stay stable over the next week.  I'm super nervous after all my previous experiences, but excited to do it right this time.   I won't even attempt to increase my naltrexone for 2-3 weeks after dropping the lex dose.  I don't want to complicate things too much.

 

That's it for now... off to take my daily nap lol!  Long covid fatigue is no fun...

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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9 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

I slept really well again last night, and I'm feeling generally very stable.  I think I taper my lex by 10% at the start of May, down to 9mg, as long as I stay stable over the next week.  I'm super nervous after all my previous experiences, but excited to do it right this time.   I won't even attempt to increase my naltrexone for 2-3 weeks after dropping the lex dose.  I don't want to complicate things too much.

 

I was thinking about this while I was walking earlier. I wonder if it would be better to ajust one of the two drug for now?

Tapering escitalopram and then updosing naltrexone in a fairly short amount of time seems a bit risky to me. It could get difficult to know which one is causing symtoms.

 

You experience with naltrexone alone seemed bad enough. Is holding escitalopram at 10mg while you updose naltrexone an option for you?

 

To be honest, i'm conflicted telling you this. I don't want to be a downer, but I also don't want you to get any worse.

 

Take care,

Tweed

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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14 hours ago, Tweed9674 said:

 

Is holding escitalopram at 10mg while you updose naltrexone an option for you?

 

It's absolutely an option!  I'm not ruling anything out right now.  I don't have a strict plan at all... I'm just rolling with the punches lol!

I feel that I will LIKELY be fine dropping the escitalopram until I get to around the 5mg mark- my past experience coming off of the drug in 2007 taught me that I don't tend to have problems until I get below 5mg.  But that taper was too fast, and I went to 0mg from 2.5mg, so it's not a very accurate representation of what might be to come.  Regardless- you are absolutely right- moving too quickly is a bad idea, and I am committed to playing close attention to what my body is telling me along the path.  I'm going to be here every damned day, documenting this journey, which I really think will help me see the patterns and make appropriate decisions.  

 

On that note...

Argh.  I went to my ballet class last night.  I can't always go, and can't EVER fully participate due to long covid-related post exertional malaise, but I went last night because I miss my friends!  I definitely overdid it- ballet is pretty intense, and I was caught up in the moment.  Then I came home and my husband was taking some magnesium to help him sleep.  I decided to take one too- why not, right?  It's supposed to be good to take while tapering!  Well, I had an AWFUL night- had trouble getting to sleep, and woke up repeatedly with my head just buzzing.  It felt like a minor form of brain zaps almost.  And I don't know what the issue was- the intense physical activity, or the magnesium!  So frustrating after a couple of good nights, and now I have to tease out what caused the problem.  So @Tweed9674- your point is absolutely taken!!!

 

Fortunately, I was able to sleep in until 11:00 this morning, and I'm feeling a bit better than I was through the night.  I'm taking it very easy today, listening to some podcasts, and watching Netflix, when I can handle the visual stimuli.  Sometimes visual stuff hurts my brain- and that is DEFINITELY long covid- it's been a problem since long before I started tapering.

 

That's today's update!  Thanks to those reading and following my journey! :)

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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27 minutes ago, Catwoman73 said:

It's absolutely an option!  I'm not ruling anything out right now.  I don't have a strict plan at all... I'm just rolling with the punches lol!

I feel that I will LIKELY be fine dropping the escitalopram until I get to around the 5mg mark- my past experience coming off of the drug in 2007 taught me that I don't tend to have problems until I get below 5mg.  But that taper was too fast, and I went to 0mg from 2.5mg, so it's not a very accurate representation of what might be to come.  Regardless- you are absolutely right- moving too quickly is a bad idea, and I am committed to playing close attention to what my body is telling me along the path.  I'm going to be here every damned day, documenting this journey, which I really think will help me see the patterns and make appropriate decisions.  

 

Alright! They heavily recommend to take a go at only one drug at a time around here. Considering that you suffer from long COVID, it might be a good idea to go that route.

The final decision is yours anyway, nobody know yourself better than you! ;)

 

 

9 minutes ago, Catwoman73 said:

and woke up repeatedly with my head just buzzing.  It felt like a minor form of brain zaps

Weird coincidence, I took a 200mg bisglycinate magnesium capsule around 1am and I had this exact same feeling when I woke up. I didn't even think that it could have been because of the magnesium. I also went fairly harder during my walk yesterday (I really felt like I needed it). Adding a dosage mishap and the possibility that I might be entering THC withdrawal (I was using it for sleep during acute withdrawal, not my greatest idea....) make it impossible to know what is causing what right now. I understand your frustration so much!!!

 

On the plus side, you got to see your friends and enjoy some ballet, that's awesome!

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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4 hours ago, Tweed9674 said:

Weird coincidence, I took a 200mg bisglycinate magnesium capsule around 1am and I had this exact same feeling when I woke up. I didn't even think that it could have been because of the magnesium. I also went fairly harder during my walk yesterday (I really felt like I needed it). Adding a dosage mishap and the possibility that I might be entering THC withdrawal (I was using it for sleep during acute withdrawal, not my greatest idea....) make it impossible to know what is causing what right now. I understand your frustration so much!!!

 

On the plus side, you got to see your friends and enjoy some ballet, that's awesome!

That's so strange lol!  We're on the same wavelength it seems! 

 

I do love my dance classes... they are great for calming my mind and for burning off akathisia 'energy' when it occurs (though I haven't tapered low enough for that to kick in for me... YET).  Unfortunately, I turn very cyanotic when my heart rate goes of 125, so I certainly can't dance with the intensity I would like to and that I once could.  I'm at my lyrical jazz class tonight, as we speak (I watch my daughter's class before mine, when I'm up to it).   I also take hip hop on Thursdays.  And then I sort of crash for several days lol... post exertional malaise is no joke!  But to me, it's worth it- we have to choose how we expend our energy, and I would likely be in waaaaay worse shape emotionally if I gave up dance altogether.  It's nice to be here, even when I can only watch. 

 

I've been having a decent day, reading through lots of threads here.  So damned much suffering!  It's terrible what these drugs have done to us.  Reading about symptoms that others have had makes me wonder if I haven't been suffering the effects of these drugs for my whole adult life, and just not realized what it was.  I've had severe hot flashes and night sweats since I was 27- all hormonal tests came back normal for years (obviously not now- perimenopause has begun!).  I've had muscle and joint pain since my mid-20s- again, testing has shown absolutely nothing.  I had infertility problems, and multiple miscarriages... I was not on any psychoactive meds during that period, but maybe my prior experiences with SSRIs were still having some impact on me?  Ever since I was taken off Paxil cold turkey in my early 20s, I've been emotionally labile, and suffered periods of extreme agitation/akathisia, outbursts of rage, and intense sadness for seemingly no reason.  It's a scary thought that these symptoms have always been with me in varying degrees- makes me question just how much healing I can actually do?  I refuse to give up though, and I'm hoping the fact that I am going to taper slowly this time, with the support of my awesome husband and daughter will help me find the best version of myself.

 

That's it for deep Wednesday evening thoughts lol... time to try to dance!  Fingers crossed I can get through the class unscathed tonight...

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Back with a short update- I had a good dance class last night- it wasn't too intense, thankfully.  I skipped the magnesium last night, and while I had a bit of difficulty falling asleep, I did end up sleeping ok- as well as I ever sleep anyway.  Feeling ok today- just my usual severe fatigue, and a mild headache.  I might just try a short walk this afternoon- the sun is shining, and that always boosts my mood. :)

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Back with my daily update... I do find being here each day to document very helpful, and I'm hoping that once I get into the really tough part of the taper, it will help me keep my eye on the prize.

 

I'm feeling pretty good this morning.  I went to my class last night, and ended up with some chest pressure and palpitations.  And I was quite cyanotic by the end.  Typical signs of over-exertion for me since being diagnosed with long covid, so I'm taking it easy today.   This is purely a long covid thing for me, and has been a problem since I tested positive for covid two years ago.  It's sunny here- I'm going to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine today.  And that's about it.

 

I also had some pretty serious insomnia last night.  I'm not ruminating or restless or anything.... just lying there thinking.  Sometimes about stupid stuff, like what my favourite song was when I was my daughter's age.  I just seem to have trouble shutting these thoughts down.  In any case, I'm not overly stressed about it- being on disability gives me the option to take naps as needed, so I'm just rolling with it. 

 

Interestingly though, despite the insomnia, I don't feel as foggy as normal this morning.  I'm wondering if the naltrexone is starting to have a more positive effect?  Wouldn't that be amazing?  I'm going to test the waters and try to do a crossword puzzle today.  If I can manage to finish it in one or two days, that would be progress- it's been taking me about a week to complete one lately.  I was super skeptical about LDN when I started, but maybe.. just maybe... it's going to make a difference!

 

May 1st is coming up, and that is the day that I decided I would drop my escitalopram to 9mg IF everything is stable.  I'm just taking it day by day- I won't make any firm decisions until that day.  If I do drop the dose, there will be no updosing of the LDN for at least a month.  I know @Tweed9674 suggested holding the escitalopram while I updose my LDN, but I think I've just opted for only changing one drug per month.  That will give me 2 months on each dose of each drug.  And again, I will say that this is ONLY if things are stable.  I will hold each for longer if needed.   The reason I decided on this approach was that I feel it's good for me mentally to see myself making progress on both drugs.  I know this means that getting off the escitalopram and finding my optimal LDN dose might take FOREVER.  I have mixed feelings about this, of course.  Like most people, I'm really eager to get the escitalopram out of my system for good and forever.  I just keep reminding myself that my situation is a bit complex, and slow and steady is the ONLY way, under the circumstances.  

 

That's about it for today.  Off to hang out with my dog in the sunshine! 

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Hi @Catwoman73

 

Insomnia suck :( Maybe a lower dose of magnesium (compared to the one you took a few days ago) could help when you're stuck like this?

 

3 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

May 1st is coming up, and that is the day that I decided I would drop my escitalopram to 9mg IF everything is stable.  I'm just taking it day by day- I won't make any firm decisions until that day.  If I do drop the dose, there will be no updosing of the LDN for at least a month.  I know @Tweed9674 suggested holding the escitalopram while I updose my LDN, but I think I've just opted for only changing one drug per month.  That will give me 2 months on each dose of each drug.

 

I'm not changing my mind on this one, haha! But hey, it's only an opinion. At the end of the day, I'm clueless.... and mostly driven by a crazy fear of things going wrong.

 

That being said, I do understand the NEED to get off AD. And I do understand that your situation is complex.

As long as you you go slow and listen to your symptoms... I'd hope that you'll be ok!

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Tweed9674 said:

Hi @Catwoman73

 

Insomnia suck :( Maybe a lower dose of magnesium (compared to the one you took a few days ago) could help when you're stuck like this?

 

 

I'm not changing my mind on this one, haha! But hey, it's only an opinion. At the end of the day, I'm clueless.... and mostly driven by a crazy fear of things going wrong.

 

That being said, I do understand the NEED to get off AD. And I do understand that your situation is complex.

As long as you you go slow and listen to your symptoms... I'd hope that you'll be ok!

Haha... we can agree to disagree lol!  But I do plan to take things super slow and careful.  I literally have nothing better to do than take care of myself right now, and pay close attention to the signals my body is sending me.  If I were still working, I likely wouldn't tackle both drugs at the same time- there's no way I could do it. 

 

I actually didn't take Magnesium last night or the night before at all.  My one night experience with it freaked me out lol!  I may try it again, but instead of the pill, I might try that 'Calm' powder instead.  I used that years ago, and found it helpful without the crazy brain symptoms.  I don't know if it will have the same effect though- I seem so much more sensitive to virtually all meds and supplements now.  Worth a try though- I'm going to pick some up tomorrow. 

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Daily update... I slept so long last night!  Not great quality sleep (LOTS of crazy nightmares last night), but it seems I made up for it in quantity, because I'm feeling ok this morning/afternoon.  

 

It's Saturday, and my husband and I have some work to do on our in-law suite- we're hoping to rent it out starting in June for a bit of extra income.  We hired someone to do some renovations, but we opted to install a backsplash and paint ourselves.  So that's on the agenda for the day.  I'm a bit concerned that this will cause my energy levels to crash.  We just moved to this house in March, and when we were painting our old house in preparation for sale, I was a giant mess- my body and head hurt so badly that I was sobbing while rolling that paint on the walls.  Fortunately, we're not under the time crunch we were to sell our old place- May is still 5ish weeks away.  So if I need to rest, I will force myself to... I struggle with leaving jobs unfinished.  My type A personality doesn't like it.  I'm a work in progress lol... learning to let things go in order to be a healthier me!

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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I spoke too soon when I said I was feeling ok this morning.  Argh.  I didn't end up getting to do any work on our in-law suite- I realized that we had almost no food in the house, so I had to go grocery shopping instead.  I realized I was feeling a bit run down shortly before leaving, but had no choice- we needed food.  So I went to Walmart on a Saturday.  Not wise.

 

I felt extremely exhausted while shopping, and started having strange symptoms- I felt like I was gagging or my throat was closing up or something.  And I was flooded with emotions- had to fight weeping in the store- then I actually did weep when I saw a very sad looking homeless guy.  I gave him a few dollars and that made me weep even more.  I wouldn't label what I was feeling as anxiety or anything, I just felt a bit overwhelmed with everything.  

 

Being super emotional is nothing new for me- I was always a hypersensitive child.  I think I was a poor fit for working in healthcare.  Everything upset me, and I had to bury it in order to be professional on the job.  The meds have been dulling the emotion for so long.  I think I'd be smart to start working on learning to deal with big emotions without meds NOW.  Geez, I sound like I'm talking about a child lol... but to be fair, I was never allowed to express big emotions as a child.  I was always told that if there's no blood, there shouldn't be any tears.  So horrible now that I think about it.  No wonder I ended up medicated.  Maybe a part of me is still a child, trying to sort through it all.  

 

Anyway, enough rambling on that.  My amazing husband gave me a huge hug when I got home, and I'm feeling better.  Currently making some comfort food for dinner.  We're planning to watch The Sound of Music tonight, as my daughter has an audition for the musical coming up.  Planning some nice family time always helps me feel human again. 

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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In an ideal world, it makes you the perfect person to be in healthcare. Because you do care.

 

In an hospital where they force you to do double shifts and where they won't give you time to process the hard stuff....

Not that many people can go through that their whole life unscathed.

 

The way I see it, it's the healthcare system that is broken.

You? Only human, and it's okay.

 

Happy to hear that you now feel a bit better! Tomorrow is another day :)

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Tweed9674 said:

In an ideal world, it makes you the perfect person to be in healthcare. Because you do care.

 

In an hospital where they force you to do double shifts and where they won't give you time to process the hard stuff....

Not that many people can go through that their whole life unscathed.

 

The way I see it, it's the healthcare system that is broken.

You? Only human, and it's okay.

 

Happy to hear that you now feel a bit better! Tomorrow is another day :)

Thanks, now I'm crying again lol... good tears though. 

 

You're right, the system is terribly broken.  Even if I get well enough to work again, I'm not sure I can go back to it.  But that's a whole different story- part of the identity crisis that I have alluded to.  I'll figure it out... one day at a time!

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Daily update- I didn't sleep long enough last night- I had to get up and get my daughter to a rehearsal this morning.  Afterwards I came home and feel asleep on the couch, and didn't wake until after noon.  I hate sleeping most of the day away, but I clearly need it.  Otherwise, I'm just fine today!  Tired and foggy, but that's nothing out of the ordinary for me.  I don't even have a headache today, which is stellar. 

 

We are showing our in-law suite apartment to a couple of people this afternoon.  We're hoping to have it rented out by mid-may/start of June.  The extra income will be helpful.  Stress of any sort tends to flare my symptoms in a big way, and money stress is the worst stress of all.  Being on long term disability has drastically reduced my income, so we've had our share of challenges. 

 

If I still have a bit of energy after that, I'll make some dinner.  But that's it for today, I think.  Pacing myself is critical to staying as well as possible, so even when I feel good, I have to reign in my desire to do too much.  God, I hope that someday, I'll be able to just do stuff and not have to conserve energy, and worry about crashing!  I've not been a high energy person since I first started taking antidepressants, but it sure would be nice to at least be able to stay busy all day, and not need a nap!  Big goals lol!

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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OK- second day in a row that the gagging and weeping has happened, at almost exactly the same time as it did yesterday!  Drug side effect, withdrawal issue, or something else?  I have absolutely no idea.  I take my meds and vitamins at dinner time, and this seems to happen at around 2pm... maybe I'll try moving my Naltrexone a bit earlier in the day.  This was never an issue before I started taking it, so my suspicion lies with naltrexone.

 

Maybe I should not be taking Naltrexone at all right now?  I don't know.  I was hoping it would be the magic bullet for my long covid.  I'm starting to realize that it's more complicated than that though.  The more I learn about antidepressants, the more suspicious I am that taking them for so long is really at the root of a lot of my issues.  I mean, my poor nervous system has probably been a bit of a mess for a couple of decades due to a highly stressful career, and my revolving door of drugs (I honestly haven't had much energy since I started taking antidepressants decades ago).  I was under the worst work stress of my life when I contracted covid, and it just never went away.  I think my nervous system had a lot of healing to do, even without long covid.  And is adding another drug really the answer?  

 

I don't know.  Rambling lol.  Feeling a bit frustrated at the moment.  I'm going to go see my doctor, hopefully tomorrow to discuss... for all the help that will be lol.

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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That really suck. I understand your frustration.

 

Was there a trigger this time?

It could be withdrawal... I often cry for no reason since I quit escitalopram. Reinstatement did not help with that.

 

I think it's a fairly common side effect of AD withdrawal.

 

Take care!

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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No real trigger this time.  I started feeling this way after showing our rental unit to a potential tenant.  Which certainly isn’t triggering.  So I think it’s a safe bet that one of the drugs is more than likely causing this.  I think I’ll reach out to my long COVID groups to see what kind of side effects those people have while updosing LDN.  But you’re right- this could be the escitalopram too.  
 

i think if I hold steady at current doses, but take both drugs at different times of day, it might help me figure out what’s what.  Symptoms seem to be starting about 3-4 hours before my next dose, but since I’m taking both drugs at the same time, it’s hard to tell which drug is the issue.

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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2 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

So I think it’s a safe bet that one of the drugs is more than likely causing this.  I think I’ll reach out to my long COVID groups to see what kind of side effects those people have while updosing LDN.

Good idea!

 

2 hours ago, Catwoman73 said:

i think if I hold steady at current doses, but take both drugs at different times of day, it might help me figure out what’s what.

I don't know if there is one of the drug that is safest to move. I know they usually suggest to always take your AD at the same time... but if it helps, it helps!

 

The good thing is that you you can take your time to figure it out and see if you can find a pattern.

 

It's frustrating... but the way I see it, it's better that it happens now instead of the day following a dosage change!

 

 

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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Daily update!

 

So last night I developed one of my lovely retinal migraines (where you lose vision in one eye temporarily).  This has been a feature of my long covid from the beginning.  It could also be an explanation for the weird symptoms I've been having over the last couple of days.  GI and emotional upset is often part of the prodrome.  I don't know why I fail to recognize it after all this time.  Nonetheless, I have decided to move my Naltrexone to breakfast time (11:00 for me due to intermittent fasting) anyway.  I chose Naltrexone because of its short half life- I figured it was the safer of the two drugs to move.   So we'll see how I feel over the next 24 hours!  I am a walking experiment lol!

 

With the migraine, I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep.  I stayed up late on the couch.  Just threw some movies on the TV that I had seen before, so I could have distracting background noise, while I closed my eyes, and just got through it.  I don't take anything for my migraines.  No more damned drugs- I don't tend to react well to them these days, and I have become extraordinarily skeptical of pharmaceuticals in general.  I wouldn't say I'm anti-drug- there are times when drugs are lifesaving- but my experiences with psychiatric drugs, and the knowledge that the approval of most of these drugs lacks the rigorous, unbiased testing that should be in place, I just can't anymore.  Not unless I'm at risk for significant morbidity or death. 

 

In any case, I fell asleep around 3a.m. and got up at 11, and I'm feeling relatively well at the moment.  Well enough to tackle some household chores, unfortunately lol. 

 

Nothing further to report today.  Still two days away from my tentatively planned taper- no decisions will be made until the day of!  

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Hi! I just wanted to say that I just read up on your story.  I am new here too and it seems we have a LOT in common!  I also have long covid after getting it in January 2022.  And I am also planning to start my taper off of Mirtazapine on May 1!  I have tried all the supplements for long covid including LDN (4.5mg) which I was on for maybe a year.  I don't really think it did much to help me.  I also had to take it in the mornings because it made me really weird feeling at night and i couldn't sleep. A weird energy restlessness agitation feeling that is hard to explain.  I was fine taking it in the morning though so that's also weird.  I have nearly gone broke from all the supplements to fight the long covid and decided to go off almost all except vit d, c, fish oil, probiotics, and then homeopathy.  I have a long ways to go but I'm maybe 50%/60% better.  I totally understand your crippling fatigue and post exertional malaise.  I too am wondering now if being on antidepressants made me more susceptible to developing long covid.  I was super healthy before.  Hiked and exercised regularly, ran a half marathon.  Now I can't exercise at all.  I wanted to ask on here or find a way to see if there was a correlation between long covid and antidepressants.  I want off them now as I too think it is stalling out my long covid healing. 

 I look back and don't think I really even needed to go on the Mirtazapine.  So that sucks.  But my doctor made it seem like no big deal.   And "They aren't addictive".  But I try not to dwell there and just want to move forward.  Anyways, I am just saying hello, glad you are here, and know that you aren't alone in this!  

1994-1997 Prozac.  Quit almost cold turkey and had to go back on.  It didn't work again so tried Paxil.

1997- Paxil.  Side effects so tried Serzone.

1997- Serzone for a few years.  Didn't really work so went off with no obvious bad withdrawal effects.  

 

2013-Cipralex for a year or less.  Went off completely following dr's taper advice in October 2013.  6 months later developed panic attacks.

April 2014 Mirtazapine 45mg-

May 1, 2024 Mirtazapine 37.5mg (bad reaction either due to manufacturer change or too big a taper)

May 2, 2024 Mirtazapine 45mg-

May 8, 2024 Mirtazapine 40.5mg- current

 

 

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3 minutes ago, YellowGrace said:

Hi! I just wanted to say that I just read up on your story.  I am new here too and it seems we have a LOT in common!  I also have long covid after getting it in January 2022.  And I am also planning to start my taper off of Mirtazapine on May 1!  I have tried all the supplements for long covid including LDN (4.5mg) which I was on for maybe a year.  I don't really think it did much to help me.  I also had to take it in the mornings because it made me really weird feeling at night and i couldn't sleep. A weird energy restlessness agitation feeling that is hard to explain.  I was fine taking it in the morning though so that's also weird.  I have nearly gone broke from all the supplements to fight the long covid and decided to go off almost all except vit d, c, fish oil, probiotics, and then homeopathy.  I have a long ways to go but I'm maybe 50%/60% better.  I totally understand your crippling fatigue and post exertional malaise.  I too am wondering now if being on antidepressants made me more susceptible to developing long covid.  I was super healthy before.  Hiked and exercised regularly, ran a half marathon.  Now I can't exercise at all.  I wanted to ask on here or find a way to see if there was a correlation between long covid and antidepressants.  I want off them now as I too think it is stalling out my long covid healing. 

 I look back and don't think I really even needed to go on the Mirtazapine.  So that sucks.  But my doctor made it seem like no big deal.   And "They aren't addictive".  But I try not to dwell there and just want to move forward.  Anyways, I am just saying hello, glad you are here, and know that you aren't alone in this!  

Hi @YellowGrace, and welcome!!!

 

I think we are the same person lol!  I used to be a runner as well.  I can barely walk around the block most days now.  I refuse to give up my dance though- the mental health benefits outweigh any concerns I have about crashing/PEM. 

 

I, too, have gone broke with supplements... I spend a fortune on infusions with a naturopath!  It would make me feel better for 24 hours, and then I would go back to feeling exactly the same.  So I ditched that, and now I'm just taking vitamin D and B12 (I'm vegan- no choice on that one).  Honestly, I think the infusions just helped me with hydration more than anything else.  So now I just drink more water lol.  Good to know that LDN was not a huge help for you.  I have very mixed feelings about it, and I'm not even sure I will stick with it.  Argh... lots to think about and consider for sure.

 

I'm better than I was too, but I don't think I'm actually healing- I just think I've learned to manage my symptoms better.  I think getting off of the escitalopram will help with healing.  At least that's my theory.  I would LOVE to know if antidepressant history has any correlation with long covid... but I don't think there are any studies being done on that.  Wouldn't it be nice to know though?!?  

 

I also don't think I ever really needed the drugs.  I was a sensitive person, deeply affected by things.  Not ever really depressed, but certainly anxious about the state of the world, my life, etc.  I think learning some skills to cope with those big emotions when I was younger would have been much more helpful than the drugs.  But like you said, what's done is done... no point dwelling on what happened in the past.  I'm trying to keep my Suzy Sunshine personality intact, and I'm trying to look at all this craziness as a grand adventure lol! 

 

Anyway, nice to meet you, and I look forward to following your journey! 

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Damn- the gaggin and wretching are back.  Right on time- 2-2:30pm.  So it's not the naltrexone. 

It's either the escitalopram drop, or- something I failed to consider until today- hormonal issues.  I'm perimenopausal, so my cycles are completely bizarre, and I often feel 'off' before my period.  I guess I'll know in a day or two what the issue is.  

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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It also just occurred to me that this seems to happen about 3-4 hours after I have coffee.  It's going to hurt, but maybe giving up the caffeine would be wise.  It's a sad day indeed lol.  I love my coffee.

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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I think you can hold the coffee. As you said, wait a few day, see how it goes.

I'd advise to hold the two other drugs maybe a week more than you initially planed. Just to be sure... there is no rush!

 

Stable is best, stable is life!!! 😊

 

Take care!

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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I didn't have coffee today, I had tea instead.  Black tea, so it still had caffeine.  And much to my surprise, no gagging this afternoon.  And I'm not randomly crying either, like I have been the last two days.  I have some mild reflux, but that could be because I hadn't fully digested my food before lying down for a nap.  Reflux isn't entirely new to me, I had a wicked episode of it that left me in terrible pain and unable to eat in January.  I was on omeprazole for a month, but haven't needed it since.  I started tapering my escitalopram in November, and had my first episode of reflux in January... and there are serotonin receptors in the stomach- hmmmm, interesting.  Must do more reading on that one.

 

The other thing I did today that might be contributing to feeling better is that I moved my usual morning nap to afternoon.  My intent was to try to go without napping today.  I do that now and then, when I have a decent sleep at night, just to see how my energy levels hold out during the day.  Well, but 1:30 I very clearly needed to nap.  I guess I'm not cured of my long covid just yet lol.  That being said, I have started to wonder how much of my fatigue is long covid, and how much of it is related to these damned drugs.  I have never, as an adult, been a high energy person, and frequently required naps to function even in my 20s and 30s.  Before I was started on Paxil at 21, I was VERY energetic.  I think maybe there have been some long lasting effects from my revolving drug door in my youth, and maybe contracting covid was just the last straw.  Who knows.  I'm just hoping that getting off these pills will allow me to heal, and find out what I'm really like, underneath it all!

 

Regardless, I am feeling more normal today.  Drinking tea instead of coffee and napping at a different time of day are easy things to repeat to see if one or the other or both continue to make a difference.

 

It finally stopped raining here, so I'm going out to sit in the sunshine for a while.  I have ballet tonight too.  Sunshine and dance class together makes for a pretty good day!  Not sure how much I'll be able to do though- I have had lots of palpitations today.  Another long covid symptom that has been with me for two years.  I've had the full cardiac workup, and there's nothing catastrophic or dangerous going on.  But there is a definite correlation between days that are heavy on palpitations and my ability to exercise, so I suspect I'll be watching more than dancing tonight.

 

Still undecided about my planned taper tomorrow.  I don't feel like any of the issues I am currently experiencing are severe, and even if they got significantly worse, I feel I could ride it out.  So I am leaning towards going for it.  But a lot can change in 24 hours... I'll make the decision then.

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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Nice to see that you had a better day!

 

43 minutes ago, Catwoman73 said:

Still undecided about my planned taper tomorrow.  I don't feel like any of the issues I am currently experiencing are severe, and even if they got significantly worse, I feel I could ride it out.  So I am leaning towards going for it.  But a lot can change in 24 hours... I'll make the decision then.

 

Sounds good to me!! You got this!!

 

Take care!

Supplements: Vit D3, Fish oil, Magnesium bisglycenate 200mg (when needed), Melatonin 1.25mg (when needed), Camomile tea (1 cup before bed), THC oil (0.03ml once a week, don't do this to yourself), Vit C 500mg a day
Started effexor in 2011.

Stopped effexor in 2012 (fast tamper).

Got back on effexor in 2012.

Tried stopping effexor again in 2014 (I'm not sure?), fast tamper again.

Started effexor again in 2014.

Switched to Escitalopram in 2016 I believe

Stopped Escitalopram 10mg cold turkey on January 3 2024.

Reinstated Escitalopram 5mg on april 2 2024.

Down to 1mg on april 3 2024, 1.25mg on april 11 2024

 

 

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Argh... I overdid it at ballet last night, then woke up on the middle of the night feeling like I was coming down with the flu.  Typical post exertional malaise- it was soooo hot in the studio, and I worked hard, even with some rest breaks thrown in.  Radical rest is the only cure.  I don't have much choice, regardless- I seem to have also done something to my left foot last night, and it hurts to walk on it.  Looks like I'll have to miss my lyrical class tonight.  It's frustrating, because my classes really help me cope with all this craziness.  

 

In any case, still feeling flu-ish this morning, with a terrible headache, chills, and I can barely stay awake.  I'm going to nap pretty much all day, and hopefully spend some time outside.  It's a nice day here, and sunshine always makes me feel more positive. 

 

As for my planned taper today- I'll see how I feel at the end of the day.  I take my meds with dinner, so I have some time to decide. 

1995- 2007- On and off multiple antidepressants (Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin, escitalopram). Memory poor- can’t remember dates. Always tapered fast or CT.  2007- tapered Wellbutrin, zopiclone and escitalopram over one month to get pregnant.  Withdrawal hell.

2009- Daughter born 🥰

2016- Back on escitalopram

2022- Diagnosed with long covid 08/22.

2023- 01/23- Long term disability approved for long covid.  Started taper under MD advice from 20mg: 11/23- 15mg. 2024- March-10mg. Started low dose naltrexone for long covid-5mg- terrible reaction, reduced to 0.5mg.  April- 10mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 1- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.0mg LDN. May 15- 9.0mg escitalopram, 1.5mg LDN

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