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BlueMonster My First Post. Having a hard day


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Im new here. I haven't had time o r energy to put, my history in my signature yet, but ill get here. Im posting from my iPad so please excuse typos.


Im working on tapering Celexa. Im really struggling today with big waves of tears and sadness. Overwhelmed by all around me that is nit finished and that I cant even seem to work on right now. I am also feeling kind like i am choking. I think there is a name for these physical sensations that i read about on here somewhere but i can only remember Windows and waves. I am definitely in a wave right now, and i feel like my surfboard just broke and sharks are circling. I am telling myself this is not going to stay this way. I am praying. But thew aves keep crashing.


Thats all for now.

The shadow proves the sunshine.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome to the forum, Blue Monster.


I'd like to offer some advice to make you feel better, but we can't do that without knowing more.  How much Celexa were you on to start, how much are you on now, and how fast did you taper?  It sounds to me like you've tapered way too fast because you're having severe withdrawal symptoms. You'll probably feel better if you increase your dose a bit, but I can't suggest how much without knowing more.


Here's our topic on tapering off Celexa: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2023-tips-for-tapering-off-celexa-citalopram/?hl=celexa


Please tell us more so we can help.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor

Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/


Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.


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  • Moderator Emeritus

Certainly at the very least stop tapering right now and hold your dose where you are until we can get more information, as Jemima describes above.


It's also helpful to know if you've tried to get off in the past, or gotten off and had to go back on, and if you're taking or have been taking or have recently quit taking any other psych meds.


What you're experiencing sounds like classic withdrawal symptoms. We've all been there. It sucks. I'm so sorry.


This can be controlled by tapering more slowly. You may need to go back up a little bit if you've been tapering too fast, get your CNS stable, and then when you're feeling better restart your taper at a slower rate.


Check out the topics in the Tapering section. This one in particular is a favorite of mine: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6036-why-taper-paper-demonstrates-importance-of-gradual-change-in-plasma-concentration/


And if/when you can, read over the other topics in Important Topics and the other sections that are "pinned" to the top of the page.


If you look at the charts on pages 4 and beyond, you can see why the rate of taper needs to slow down as the taper progresses. This is why we recommend cuts of no more than 10% of your current dose (not your original dose).


I don't know your full history so I can't really predict exactly what will happen, but if you've just been tapering too fast, if you hold now for a while, maybe reinstate a small amount, you are going to feel better. Hang in there, glad you're here!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.


Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 


I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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Hi Rhi and Jemima,


Thanks for your kind words. Today was MUCH better than yesterday. I think spending time with a caring relative who loves me unconditionally yesterday helped. I also took an Epsom Salt bath, and that seemed to make a palpable difference. 


Ok, still don't have my full history - but in the interest of overcoming my perfectionism, I will tell y'all the recent stuff.


Here's my current Rx:




Buspar: 15 mg

Deplin (l-Methylfolate): 15 mg

5 htp: 100 mg

LTyrosine: 200 mg




Celexa: 20 mg

Buspar: 15 mg

5 htp: 100mg



Also take a daily probiotic, and am doing my best to eat clean / GAPS/SCD-esque. (it's a friggin hard diet, but I really think it will help, and I plan to get into it for realz, but I'm still in research / preparation mode right now)


ok - so tapering. I started cutting my Celexa to 3/4 of a pill around mid April this year. I'm sure you noticed the amino acids in my list above. I've been working with a functional physician for some time who subscribes to the Marty Hinz school of thought - which I know is controversial on this site. I have also realized that cutting the pills is inconsistent in the dosing, and I am pretty sure that I am very sensitive. I am planning to try out the DIY liquid Celexa I read on here. Last night I took a full 20 mg, and did the Epsom salt bath, and practiced good boundaries when my husband was being a dink. (that is a whole other facet of this thing) I tried going down to half a pill recently - sin obviously negative results. So I know the things you both wrote about tapering to quickly are spot on. I am learning so much on this site. 


Another thing to add with respect to tapering - I sometimes forget to take my meds. I plan to write out a full history, med wise, but at the moment it comes in bits and pieces. I stopped seeing my psychMedNurse earlier this year because she just wanted to put me on more and more stuff, and I kept resisting - trying to stay at the most benign meds and lowest doses.


I did do a CT stop of 20 mg of just Celexa in March 2012 - pretty sure it was 2012. That was gnarly. With all I have been reading on this site - I suspect that did some pretty bad damage to my CNS. I went back on somewhere around Fall 2013. ( It's kind of a blur right now, and I like that y'all encourage us to write out our history. I think that is going t be beneficial for me... its just a matter of unraveling it all - not a quick process)


So where I am today is clearly a bit damaged. I just got the Glenmullen book in the mail today. I printed off the tracking worksheets from another thread. I think daily tracking and documentation is going to be important for me.


I feel like I am about to enter a new chapter of life. I am thankful to have found you all and this site. I am thankful for the internet anonymity to be able to lay this all out. I am even thankful for the old skool bulletin board thing. I hope I can be a blessing to others here, as well as receive help and encouragement.


Thank you both for sharing your stories and help here, with all you have been through. 



The shadow proves the sunshine.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello and welcome BlueMonster,


I know well what you mean by overcoming perfectionism: it's prevented me from doing anything quite a few times ;) but you are managing it the way I usually do it: telling myself I won't do what I think shoudl be done but will do SOMETHING ;)


We have a bit clearer picture with your latest additions (and you can just copy them into the signature so that we can see it whenever you post instead of having to browse through your thread). I also find it very useful as a calendar of my cuts. 


It seems that you are still fluctuating with the dosing of Celexa? So mid of April you were on 3/4 of a pill? (it's very positive that you are moving towards making DIY liquid). From then on till now, you have been pretty inconsistent with dosing and also sometimes skipping doses (accidentally).  Now you have more or less gone back to the initial 20 mg (at least on some days). Do I understand it well?


Given this inconsistent pattern (which our CNS dislikes intensely), if I were you, I'd stabilise on 20 mg celexa and hold it for some time. I would use that time to learn about safe ways of tapering and also inform myself about 5 htp (which has very mixed reviews), the role of Buspar and amino acids. These background players contribute a lot to the whole picture. And in case of healing our brains from medication, less is more. ( We all had a stage when we would buy various supplements believing it would help the process only to find out that it didn't do anything or very often even made things worse since our brains are (during tapering and withdrawal) extra sensitive even to things that we found helpful before.) Most people do well with magnesium and omega 3:






I also practice boundaries a lot so understand that too. It seems you are also dealing with external stressors in your relationship. It's a lot to handle so give yourself some credit for that. You are already making some good decisions on many fronts: setting boundaries, being mindful of your diet, educating yourself on how to taper... It all takes time and it's a process of learning and changing habits.


It happens to all of us to sometimes forget to take medication. Then we just take it as soon as possible and resume a regular schedule. But it is very, very important to train yourself to take the same dose at the same time of the day. (I had big problems with that but when I realised how important that is and why, I now successfuly take one of my drugs 5 times a day (including at night). So it is possible ;) (when I understood that taking it at infrequent intervals was causing symptoms).


I also felt like I was doing something extremely important for myself when joining this forum and opening a new chapter as you say. And so far I can say, I was right: I feel better and more in control than ever before through understanding what is happening to me. 


You may also want to inform yourself about Buspar: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/3210-tips-for-tapering-off-busipirone-buspar/?hl=buspar


and 5-HTP http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/656-5-htp-5-hydroxytryptophan-and-tryptophan/


the slow turtle wins the race so give yourself time ;)




Current: 9/2022 Xanax 0.08, Lexapro 2

2020 Xanax 0.26 (down from 2 mg in 2013), Lexapro 2.85 mg (down from 5 mg 2013)

Amitriptyline (tricyclic AD) and clonazepam for 3 months to treat headache in 1996 
1999. - present Xanax prn up to 3 mg.
2000-2005 Prozac CT twice, 2005-2010 Zoloft CT 3 times, 2010-2013 Escitalopram 10 mg
went from 2.5 to zero on 7 Aug 2013, bad crash 40 days after
reinstated to 5 mg Escitalopram 4Oct 2013 and holding liquid Xanax every 5 hours
28 Jan 2014 Xanax 1.9, 18 Apr  2015 1 mg,  25 June 2015 Lex 4.8, 6 Aug Lexapro 4.6, 1 Jan 2016 0.64  Xanax     9 month hold

24 Sept 2016 4.5 Lex, 17 Oct 4.4 Lex (Nov 0.63 Xanax, Dec 0.625 Xanax), 1 Jan 2017 4.3 Lex, 24 Jan 4.2, 5 Feb 4.1, 24 Mar 4 mg, 10 Apr 3.9 mg, May 3.85, June 3.8, July 3.75, 22 July 3.7, 15 Aug 3.65, 17 Sept 3.6, 1 Jan 2018 3.55, 19 Jan 3.5, 16 Mar 3.4, 14 Apr 3.3, 23 May 3.2, 16 June 3.15, 15 Jul 3.1, 31 Jul 3, 21 Aug 2.9 26 Sept 2.85, 14 Nov Xan 0.61, 1 Dec 0.59, 19 Dec 0.58, 4 Jan 0.565, 6 Feb 0.55, 20 Feb 0.535, 1 Mar 0.505, 10 Mar 0.475, 14 Mar 0.45, 4 Apr 0.415, 13 Apr 0.37, 21 Apr 0.33, 29 Apr 0.29, 10 May 0.27, 17 May 0.25, 28 May 0.22, 19 June 0.22, 21 Jun updose to 0.24, 24 Jun updose to 0.26

Supplements: Omega 3 + Vit E, Vit C, D, magnesium, Taurine, probiotic 

I'm not a medical professional. Any advice I give is based on my own experience and reading. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi BlueMonster,

I don't have anything to add to the excellent advice you have been given so far, but I wanted to say hello, welcome and I love your cute avatar.



I'm not a doctor.  My comments are not medical advise. These are my opinions based on my own experience and what I've learned. Please discuss your situation with a medical practitioner who has knowledge of tapering and withdrawal...if you are lucky enough to find one.

My Introduction Thread

Full Drug and Withdrawal History

Brief Summary

Several SSRIs for 13 years starting 1997 (for mild to moderate partly situational anxiety) Xanax PRN ~ Various other drugs over the years for side effects

2 month 'taper' off Lexapro 2010

Short acute withdrawal, followed by 2 -3 months of improvement then delayed protracted withdrawal

DX ADHD followed by several years of stimulants and other drugs trying to manage increasing symptoms

Failed reinstatement of Lexapro and trial of Prozac (became suicidal)

May 2013 Found SA, learned about withdrawal, stopped taking drugs...healing begins.

Protracted withdrawal, with a very sensitized nervous system, slowly recovering as time passes

Supplements which have helped: Vitamin C, Magnesium, Taurine

Bad reactions: Many supplements but mostly fish oil and Vitamin D

June 2016 - Started daily juicing, mostly vegetables and lots of greens.

Aug 2016 - Oct 2016 Best window ever, felt almost completely recovered

Oct 2016 -Symptoms returned - bad days and less bad days.

April 2018 - No windows, but significant improvement, it feels like permanent full recovery is close.

VIDEO: Where did the chemical imbalance theory come from?

VIDEO: How are psychiatric diagnoses made?

VIDEO: Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

VIDEO: Can psychiatric drugs cause long-lasting negative effects?

VIDEO: Dr. Claire Weekes




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Hi BlueMonster,


I am not one of the moderators, but  i identify alot with your story so i wanted to say welcome and to share part of my story.

i tried so many things before i found this forum and the wisdom and experience these folks have. it has truly been a life saver for me.


i too tried the Dr. Hinz protocol. i spend alot of money (did it for over 6 months) and had some good periods, but the doctor, who consulted with Hinz on my case, was not able to stabilize me.  at the end i was fluctuating so much and could not tolerate the state i was in that i decided, with the help of my primary care doc (also an alternative med doc) to stop, which i had to do gradually.  i now know it was because i was dealing with SSRI discontinuation syndrome and also had not been on a consistent dose of the SSRI that i had reinstated. So, from my experience, i would say that the Hinz protocol might work for someone not dealing with dis-regulation of the nervous system but i dont think it works to treat SSRI discontinuation syndrome. i searched the net and talked to a few doctors but could not find any info on how it would work for this syndrome.  i tried other treatments as well, which i wont go into but really what helped was following the advice and support i found here. i am doing so much better now and i dont take any supplements at all. i eat  a very clean simple diet and try to take good care of myself.  the most important thing i did was to stay at a consistent dose and to taper very very slowly. it took a while for this advice to sink in, but i now get it!  i just tapered from 3 months at .5 mg of lexapro to .485 mg ( a 3% cut) and had a wavy 6-7 days but feeling pretty good now so will stay at this dose for a while before making another cut.

i hope you are doing ok. perhaps the Hinz protocol will work better for you. i know our bodies and nervous systems are all different,so it would be great if it did work well for you. i just wanted to let you know about my experience.


Pokeshaw in Brooklyn

7 yrs Lexapro 10 mg. Mar/2011 - 1 month taper. Severe W/D. Multiple symptoms.Gallbladder and parathyroid surgery in Aug and Oct. Disability 3 months.  Dec/2011 reinstated 5mg Lex and went back to work. very bad shape.

By Aug/2012 - self tapered to 1.25 mg cutting pills. -very bad shape. Nov/2012  Dr. Hinz neuro-replete. up and down. Aug/2013 at aprox 1.0 mg Lex stopped neuro-replete ~Oct 2013 Found this site  ~ began using compounded Lexapro and have been micro tapering since then and holding as needed.

11/6/2013 -  0.6 mg

2/1/2018 - .135 mg  Now reducing 5-10% per month 

4/1/18 - .1 mg

4/17/18 - changed delivery from compounded individual caps to aliquot. went from .1 mg to .09 aliquot

7/4/2018 - .09 mg Holding due to wave of W/D symptoms

7/22/18 updosed to .1 mg aliquot

9/30/18 - reduced to .0975 aliquot

2/1/19 - updosed to .1 mg aliquot due to instability bad wave W/D

9/12/19 - back to .1 mg individual caps since could not get stable using aliquot

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