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Hello. I'm so grateful that this group is here. When I first looked for a support community for getting off of anti-depressants (in 2004) I found one group, in San Francisco, and very little on-line. It is comforting to know that others are going through, or have gone through, similar experiences to my own.


I took my last dose of Lexapro in June of 2008 and have been almost entirely drug-free since then (an occasional crumb of Atavan still gets me through particularly challenging days). I am grateful to be free and clear of ADs, but also disappointed that my emotional stability and happiness are far less than they were before I started taking Lexapro. That said, I do have times of great happiness and I did not have that while on the drugs, so there is  much to be grateful for.


I find the most challenging part of this is the isolation. I have only recently "come out" as someone who struggles with depression (not something I would have thought about myself before becoming dependent on ADs), and that is difficult enough socially. I don't usually even broach the subject of withdrawal syndrome; it's just too grim for normal conversation. When I miss events because I'm having a "bad day," I usually say I've got a migraine headache. My lying about it makes the isolation even worse.


I look forward to meeting other people who are going through, or have been through, similar experiences.


Thank you all for being here.

March 2000 Prescribed Celexa to get through dark winter and difficult situation

May 2000 Tried to quit Celexa cold-turkey w/o medical support

June 2000 Spiraled into worst depression of my life (by far) and went back on Celexa, again w/o medical advice/support

2000-2003 Experienced numerous negative side-effects of Celexa, most notably sexual disfunction (but really lack of any desire for anything), depersonalization, and feeling very "flat" emotionally, at this point I was on a very, very low dose of Celexa.

Spring, 2004, Doctor changes perscription to Lexapro, saying that the side-effect profile was much better (actually, the side-effect profile was the same, but the profit profile was much better as Celexa was about to go generic). Lexapro came in much higher dosages.

Fall, 2004, Began slowly titrating off Lexapro, experiencing debilitating side-effects from discontinuation syndrome, including headaches, brain zaps, anxiety and panic attacks (this was completely new to me), tingling hands, terrible depersonalization, inability to look at faces, inability to read social cues, insomnia, and regular bouts of severe suicidal depression. Switched to a liquid form of Lexapro in order to titrate more gradually.

2004-2008 Continued to titrate off Lexapro, with the support of an excellent accupuncturist. Continued to have the same side effects, but they were less severe

June 2008 Last dose of Lexapro!

2008-present, continue to experience waves of severe depression. They come about every 6 weeks, anxiety builds slowly for 4-5 days followed by one day of acute depression and one day of feeling "hung-over." I still experience headaches, tingling hands, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, and confusion as well as social akwardness, but these times are now interspersed with times of great happiness, hope and engagement with life.

Supplements: Herbs from my accupuncturist, vitamin D and large amounts of probiotics

Daily yoga, walking/cycling outdoors, and writing gratitude lists seem to help as well.


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  • Administrator

Welcome, Sojourner.


After you were finally completely off Lexapro, did you have any withdrawal symptoms?


The regularity of your current symptoms suggests some kind of cyclical cause, perhaps hormonal? Or even weather? Do they coincide with a string of overcast days?


Or are they a remnant of The Windows and Waves Pattern of Recovery ?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Sojourner,

Welcome from me too.  Congratulations for getting off Lexapro and staying off, how long did you taper for?


Many people find  fish oil and magnesium helpful, see King of Supplements: Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) and Magnesium, Nature's Calcium Channel Blocker


You may find some helpful ideas here:


Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms.

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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Hello sojourner wish you well now you have found this site I'm sure it will help your recovery. Be careful of that crumb of ativan sounds like an alcoholic popping out for one drink the brain cannot fully recover until it is completely drug free.thats my opinion of course get into relaxation and meditation it will serve you better take this from someone who messed up big time on that stuff and don't be ashamed of your depression you didn't choose it. Good luck mate

I was originally on 350 mils doxepin started in1975 through the years I tapered down to 100 mils

I stayed on this dose for many years

I have now been off for 7 months ago

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  • 4 months later...
  • Moderator Emeritus

Welcome Sojourner, it's good of you to want to be the decision maker about your brain, instead of turning it over to the drugs!


You've already made some huge steps, with the yoga, and vitamin D & fresh air!


Maybe, now that it's spring, you can use the sun to bring you into better health, so that when it slides away again in the fall, you can keep from going underground again.


Though that said, those times underground (depressed) can enrich your time above ground - you just don't want it to be crippling, disabling.


At your latitude, there is a lack of winter light, so a light box may be in order - not now - but come autumn, just a little bit each morning to keep the winter drab from seeking your soul.  The good news is - you have months to learn about it before you need to start using it!




You may also consider - I didn't see any mention of alcohol or recreational drugs in your post - these things will slow your healing, make your brain weak and unable to rebuild as stable as you'd like.  Alcohol is destabilizing (as is the Ativan) and I'm not going to tell you no, I just want you to be informed that it is unhelpful.  (my personal battle is with sugar, which hits the same pathways as alcohol!)


There are plenty of resources here to explore, and I hope that I'm right - with the coming sun your face will shine brightly enough to see you through the winter!

"Easy, easy - just go easy and you'll finish." - Hawaiian Kapuna


Holding is hard work, holding is a blessing. Give your brain time to heal before you try again.


My suggestions are not medical advice, you are in charge of your own medical choices.


A lifetime of being prescribed antidepressants that caused problems (30 years in total). At age 35 flipped to "bipolar," but was not diagnosed for 5 years. Started my journey in Midwest United States. Crossed the Pacific for love and hope; currently living in Australia.   CT Seroquel 25 mg some time in 2013.   Tapered Reboxetine 4 mg Oct 2013 to Sept 2014 = GONE (3 years on Reboxetine).     Tapered Lithium 900 to 475 MG (alternating with the SNRI) Jan 2014 - Nov 2014, tapered Lithium 475 mg Jan 2015 -  Feb 2016 = GONE (10 years  on Lithium).  Many mistakes in dry cutting dosages were made.

The tedious thread (my intro):  JanCarol ☼ Reboxetine first, then Lithium

The happy thread (my success story):  JanCarol - Undiagnosed  Off all bipolar drugs

My own blog:  https://shamanexplorations.com/shamans-blog/



I have been psych drug FREE since 1 Feb 2016!

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