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  1. Hello all, Several months ago I was brought to the ER for bad vertigo, nausea, and vomiting. Had a pretty traumatic experience in the hospital room when I was gave an anti nausea med. I had extreme akathesia towards the point when I needed to escape!! The doc said all of the results came back fine.... the next day I had panic attacks due to the experience. Contacted another doc and told him that I used lexapro like 12 years ago and it helped panic. He prescribed me Lexapro. The next 2 months on Lexapro was crazy. Depression, increased panic attacks, GI issues, DP/DR, and the lost goes on. I continued taking them for the weeks because I was told it can be worse before it's better. After those 2 months, I did a quick taper in about a week. I was only on 5mg. I've been completely off Lexapro for about 3 weeks, and I am still having these symptoms but they've kinda morphed. These past few weeks I've been having extreme intrusive thoughts, and some paranoia. I've been thinking "what if I am the only person who is alive, and everyone else is basically just a robot". I question whether my family is truly alive, and can really feel me... Those thoughts lead to this feeling of hopelessness... Ive never had these feelings before. I am thinking that Lexapro changed there ingredients, because I didn't have these issues years ago... I feel like there have been some windows, but i am still scared.... would appreciate some input. Thanks Zach
  2. Admin note: link to benzo forum thread - Blondiee1915: Xanax taper. Need help Hi all . I was on SSRI for 9 years (mostly lexapro) with some small breaks in between. I withdrew fully (don't believe I did it slowly) in July and now 3 months later I am experiencing intense symptoms that became disabling at times . I was initially prescribed lexapro in college for panic attacks and general anxiety . Physical symptoms compared to emotional were not bad for me at all . Now 3 months later my fatigue intensified. I am constantly exhausted no matter how much I sleep . I feel detached and disconnected. I am also indifferent and not emotional (example I don't want to be intimate) the most annoying thing is dizziness and the feeling of disbalance I wonder if it will ever go away . At times I wonder if I should go back on drugs but in all honestly they didn't really help me I just get like a zombie. If anyone can share their experience coming off lexapro, similar symptoms and if gets better . Thank you so much ❤️
  3. Hi All, Firstly thanks for the excellent site and taking the time to review my post. History is long, so in the interest of time, 20 yrs on SSRI's (i've tried virtually all but had most luck with prozac and lexapro) with a 4 month bout of Remeron (awful w/d not helped by cross taper) and benzo's on/off for 8 years or so. Benzo: I've successfully switched from .5mg of clonazepam/day to 10mg valium and i'm now at 2mg per day. A bit more about this below. SSRI: Was on 20 mg for celexa for the last several months but completely zombified so decided it's finally time to be done with this sh1t I dropped relatively quickly per docs orders with really no impact down to 5mg celexa completely stopping the celexa and valium on May 1. Started 10 mg prozac only May 1, by May 4 really awful DR with anxiety, inability to focus, sleeplesness, headaches. Reinstated 1-2 mg valium which helped a little bit. Yesterday i tested the waters and dropped the prozac down to 5 mg to see if agitation was from that which resulted in bad anxiety, chills,and shaking. Took the other 5 g prozac and an additional 1mg valium which helped a bit. Today slightly better back at 10mg prozac and 2mg valium in the morning. I have a pdoc appointment tomorrow and really don't know what to do and not sure i trust his opinion frankly but do believe he will be fine with what i recommend. I consider these the following my options: 1.) Reinstate celexa at last dose (5mg?), drop prozac entirely after a week or 2, and keep valium, then micro taper off at 10% per 3 weeks or so. 2.) Hold steady on prozac and valium for awhile (how long?) then micro taper 3.) Something else? Any thoughts are much appreciated and i apologize for any incoherence in this post but just got back from work trip and wanted to get this out there for the educated folks to review asap. Many thanks for any input and your time!!! methuselah
  4. Currently 70 yr old On psychiatric meds most of my adult life ie.benzos and antidepressants. Started weaning off ER .5 mg 2x day in June 2018. Finished taper Sept 2 2019. Started weaning Lexapro 20mg 1x day in July 2020. Took last one Aug 18,2020. Took both Meds for Appx 15 Yrs. currently on NO psychiatric meds. Hoping my age doesn’t make withdrawal more difficult. Insomnia most nights. Everything irritates me. Digestive issues, Depersonalization. Developed a psoriasis type very itchy rash on scalp, and collarbone area. 2 months after my last Xanax. Have no clue if skin and digestive issues are indicative of withdrawal. Hoping this sight gives me more insight. Will it all eventually stop?
  5. Hi there- Looking for reinstatement advice. After having a panic attack in mid-March 2020, I was prescribed klonopin for acute episodes, along with Lexapro to take on an ongoing basis. Before the panic attack, I was having symptoms of general anxiety (difficulty relaxing, circular thoughts, insomnia, etc), though I never felt depressed. I did not heavily research these drugs before taking them. The klonopin was effective in calming me down and allowing for sleep, and in late March 2020, I began taking a very low dose of the 10mg Lexapro that I was prescribed- about 2.5mg for a week, up to 5mg for 5 weeks or so. At first, I felt great-- I could sleep, my thoughts were logical and clear, and I was able to remain positive despite being in NYC during the height of the pandemic (and working an incredibly stressful job). In early June 2020, I increased the dosage to the full 10mg pill. By late June, my brain was hazy, I had rapidly gained about five pounds, I was extremely tired, and I was having a difficult time orgasming and decreased sexual thoughts- though I still had some libido, lubrication, arousal, etc. I consulted with my doctor and decided to come off the Lexapro, and though she said to decrease the dose over 2-3 weeks, I did not think too much of it. I dropped down to 5mg for a week and felt improvements in my sexual desires/sensitivity. The week after I dropped to 2.5mg, and then stopped altogether. For about a week or two, I felt the withdrawal- I felt anxious, depressed, and agitated, but attributed it to coming off the drug. August 2020 until about 14 days ago, I felt incredibly flat- no strong emotions, along with severe sexual dysfunction (numb clitoris, inability to orgasm, no libido, no lubrication, no sexual thoughts, etc). Upon reading this and other forums, I have concluded that I must have PSSD. I decided to reinstate with my doctor's guidance; I started at 2.5mg 14 days ago. The first two days I felt an increase in my libido and emotional functioning, but that initial bubble has since stopped though I have continued to take the low dose. I'm looking for advice if I should continue at this dose, increase to 5mg, or try to slowly taper back down? This has been incredibly distressing so appreciate any guidance (and hopeful stories!). Many thanks.
  6. Can any one please help me! I have been on Lexapro for 1.5years 10mg since i switched from Zoloft 100mg. It was working good for my anxiety and running thoughts, only little trouble with hard to get to sleep at night. However, after tress of my work, i feel little worrying feeling and doctor straight away put me on 20mg of Lexapro. I felt heart palpitation when wake up and didn't care of it, and my heart started to beating faster and faster during the 7 weeks, went to 125 bpm for whole day! That was worse than my original Anxiety symptoms! Also i experienced some bowel movement, no appetite but with happy feelings sometimes. I don't even know what happened to me! I after couple research on the web I noticed it is quite simular to Serotonin Syndrome, but i don't know I am right or not, anyone can tell me? Then i went to see doctor, he wants me to reduce dosage to 10mg, right after 2 days, that feeling was awful! Now it has been 2.5 month after i dropped back to 10mg, for the first month i went back to 10mg, the racing heart was slowly calms down to 68bpm but still feel very strange and anxiety. The second month palpitation feeling was totally gone but still have anxiety feeling and stomach starts to feeling nausia, full and indigestive that makes me more anxious I was worrying my stomach too much now. I went to see doctor, he gave me a medicine call Nexium, I only took for one day and felt extremely nausea and vomitted once then I stopped taking that. I am still not well now and do anyone think i am still suffering from a kind of withdrawal syndrome? I am so worrying and don't know if the symptom will still exists or I should keep waiting till its getting stabilized? I contacted my doctor again he said he might give me some add on medicines, but I don't really want to take additional medicine to cause new symptoms. I have lost my job and I really want this feeling go away soon...
  7. Hi, I am 18 and have been on Lexapro for 12 months. I tried to come off about 5 months ago, but now reading this site, i realized i didnt taper/went too fast. (it was what my doctor told me to do). the main reason i want to stop lexapro is it makes me very tired. i saw a different doctor today who practices more integrative medicine. She suggested I consider medicinal cannabis to help 'mask' the symptoms of Lexapro as i slowly taper off over a 10 month period (0.5 MG every 2 weeks). She is a a trained psychiatrist and can prescribe it legally. does anyone have experiences, positive or negative, in using cannabis under guidance from to taper off lexapro? is it something i should try?
  8. Good Day, I wish I could say that my withdrawal symptoms from quitting Lexapro are the worst, but quitting Xanax takes that title. I have been off Xanax for two years and six months. The first day was the worst, the first year was the worst, and I am not feeling any Xanax issues now except waking up in a cold sweat every night since 2014. Anyway, I have not looked back or taken Xanax ever again. During that entire ordeal, I was still on Lexapro. I didn't quit it also because I didn't want to do too much at once. I finally quit Lexapro on the 25th of Dec 2016. Side note: To help me quit Xanax, I was put on Seroquel and Neurontin at rehab, and I gained 20kgs in 6 months which I am still trying to lose. I have lost half of it, but for some reason, my metabolism is no longer the same. I can't lose weight after rehab. I quit Seroquel cold turkey and tapered off Nuerontin. I took it for about six months and stopped when the weight piled on. Back to why I am here: The first month after quitting Lexapro was alright. Just brain zaps and nothing else really. I thought, "Wow! Quitting these antidepressants is very easy! I should have done it earlier." I was basing my experience on Xanax, which is harder at the beginning and easier with time. I didn't expect things to begin falling apart later, and boy are they falling apart. Month two drug free was also not too bad, but it was filled with episodes of sadness. Month three became worse than month two, and I felt withdrawn and my lust for life started disappearing again. Month four was worse than month three and I felt myself losing more joy, being darker than I have ever been. Month five, my current situation, is a hot mess! My anxiety is back, my depression is back, and actually they are back and worse than ever. My obsessive thoughts are back. Oh, and my sexual urges are back, after years of thinking that I might be asexual. The problem is, my sexual urges are disconnected from my emotions, so as horny as I am, I still don't feel like having sex with my husband, and the whole thing is making me panic for several reasons. My insomnia is back. I am weepy and frustrated. My pessimism is back. I hate life right now. My face is braking out and for this last week, I have been unable to eat so I also feel awful due to that, I am sure. I could go on for days about how awful I feel right now. I have not left bed for a week! I have made music though. Actually, I started having the urge and will to create music around month 3 of quitting. Before that, I though I would never make music again. So, there are pros and cons to this quitting, more cons than pros though, currently. I was thinking of going back on Lexapro when I happened on this website. I have now changed my mind. I thought I was just getting worse and worse until I end up committing suicide, however from the posts I have read, it gets better apparently, and none of my torture is unusual. I was suppose to start a family this year but now I have doubts. I would wait a year but I am 35 in three months so... I am taking, and have been for over a year, Magnesium (a high dose), Iron Fumarate (I have severe anemia), Vitamin C (a very high dose), Probiotics, L-Theanine, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin B12 on top, 5HTP and Valerian, camomile tea when I have the strength to make it. Mood: Very Blue. Like in the pic.
  9. Hello everyone, I am currently still in benzo withdrawal from 3.5 years (Clonazapam 2mg) and was on lexapro (10-20mg) the entire time. I felt that since the benzo wd was taking so long, lexapro may be influencing recovery, and decided to taper it off 2 months ago. I did a very quick taper as the ashton manual said 1-3months and symptoms should be mild, and came off in 2 months from 20mg. After a few weeks I had severe terror panic attacks derealisation and agitation and was completely suicidal and had was taken into the hospital and was given benzos for 3 days. After that i visited a doctor and he told me to reinstate the lexapro and he was wanted me to return to 20mg fast and wanted to possibly increase it to 30mg, but i refused. I took for 5, 10, 15 for 2 days each and then 20mg for 2 weeks now. I felt better when i was taking 10mg on the 4th day of reinstatement although still very ill the suicidal and agitation lifted a bit. However now on since entering the 2 week of 20mg, everyday after that a specific symptom the dr, gradually increased in intensity and right now I feel like Im nearing psychosis from the intensity of derealisation where the unrealness and metaphysical crisis feeling is horrific, and the terror felt is absolute insane, and Im severely suicidal and not sure if I can make it even for a few more hours. In desperation, i found survivingantidepressants.com and read the reinstatement feeling something is going wrong. it suggests that maybe my dosage is too high (to not reinstate the original). but I'm not sure what to do; I was off for around 1month before the reinstatement, and I have been on the reinstatement for 3 weeks, with 2 weeks on 20mg. What should I do? Thank you so much. I'm so scared. ANy help is appreciated
  10. Took and stopped prozac and abilify with not much problem. Following ocd depression and a panic attack took them again. After a week constant panic attack and insomnia. Doctor gives lexapro(10) and zyprexa(5). A Week later i decide i have to stop. Tried tapering zyprexa but because of the ocd coming back failed badly. Took 3 months.Some kindling in the stopping process hurt me. Quit after like a 1 mg a week and at 0.6 mg. After 2 days at 0 mg i had very good energy just breathing made me smile. Then the energy decreased and 4 days later sleep problems started so i took zyprexa again 0.6 mg maybe. After two days sleep kinda stabilised so i stopped. 10 days later im worse than i started but not taking the drug is helping me cope. I pray i didnt do damage. Should i reinstate? Also currently trying to lower lexapro.
  11. Nevertoolate

    ☼ Nevertoolate: Lexapro

    I'm so glad I found this page. I've already read so much my brain feels overloaded but in a good way so I can only share a little bit here at the moment. I'm 62 years old have been on antidepressants for I'd say 25 odd years with very few breaks at all. Where I am at the moment is coming to the realization I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling "comfortably numb" but being also afraid of who I may become without Lexapro. I've taken the plunge about 4 months ago tapering off my 10mg dose by half over a period of 2 months approximately. I then went on an overseas holiday so stopped talking them totally from there. I've been through the brain zaps which was pretty much the only physical symptom I've had. All in all I feel reasonably good apart from an occasional angry outburst and like I've read from others elsewhere questioning who the real me is. Will I like who I am when my emotions are not being controlled by the medication. This is all I can write for now.
  12. Hi all, I am a 29 years old female working full time in the mental health field in USA. I started Lexapro/escitalopram 20mg back in 2010 for panic attack, moderate anxiety and mild depression when I was 21 years old. It initially helped me lift my mood and get rid of somatic symptoms. I have been maintaining 20mg for 7 years without much side effects. And I still have regular emotions when situations raise. In 2017, my PCP suggest lowering the dosage since my life is stable and I have more life experiences after these years. By the way, lexapro is the only medication I take; I have overall good health and live a healthy lifestyle (low sugar diet, exercise, no alcohol or smoking, supportive friends & families). Here is a history: 2010-2017: 20mg daily. Did fine for those years without much symptoms ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Family doctor recommended tapering in June 2017 Below is tapering instructed by doctor 6/2017 - 12/2017: 20mg & 10mg every other day, No WD symptoms 12/2017 - 2/2018: 10mg daily, Anxiety and hormone imbalance 2/2018 - 7/12/2018: Restated 15mg daily, No WD symptoms --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is tapering by myself 7/12/2018 - 8/8/2018: 15mg & 12.5mg every other day alternate, No WD symptoms 8/9/2018 - current: 12.5mg daily, experiencing managable WD symptoms: palpitation, brain fog/tightness, diarrhea(stopped on 8/23/18, back to normal bowel movement), dreams, mild obsessive thought. No mood disturbance. I am waiting for current symptoms to subside, and I will use a slower tapering schedule -10% after this. OTHER INFO: Tapering method: cut pills and weigh using digital scale Supplement: fish oil Coping: exercise, meditation, talk to my support network, inform and update people around me of my tapering & ask them to monitor me. Mindset: symptoms are temporary, change is happening everyday, slow and steady. I am happy to find this place where we can share recovery stories and support. Life is a long journey, let's take little step everyday Here is a sheet I use to track symptoms using 0-10 scales.
  13. Hello, Have been on lexapro for approx 11 years now and began tapering around a year ago. So far its gone quite well with no major issues until now. About and a half weeks ago dropped from 4 to 3 mg. Did this as have been having hardly any symptoms previously at almost same percentage decrease. However on Monday I started not feeling right and then last night I got hit hard with symptoms I haven’t really had.....feel like I’m constantly shaking like when you have the flu....head just feels totally weird and horrible.... was having cold sweats big time......horrible neuron emotions that definitely are not me....poor sleep mainly cause by the shakiness and head. What I want to know is that should I expect these symptoms to settle down soon or could it be more months than weeks? Also if they don’t start to improve in the next week do I up dose back to previous amount or try to ride it out? Thanks
  14. Hello to everyone ! I am a 28 years old male who suffered from anxiety and depression. In 2018 May i was put on Sertraline 100mg and upped untill 200mg in 3 months. i got rid of the anxiety but depression was still there. After 3 months i quit cold turkey did not experienced any withdrawal but depression was still there. after that the GP gave me Citalopram 40 mg which for 4 months experienced mostly side effects such as numbness, heavy brain fog, depersonalisation and lack of concentration i got sick of them so i started Lexapro10mg by myself without tapering or anything like that. I have been on Lexapro 10mg from December 2018 until April 2019 and quit cold turkey deciding to see if i can make it without them. The first month was horrible but at the beggining of May i experienced for the first time in many years a relief of everything i felt normal for about 8 hours, then by mistake when taking my supplements ( Fish Oil and Magnesium Methyfolate ) i took 0.5 mg lexapro by mistake and in about 5 hours i was back to square one. The first month i experienced the most heavy depression i have ever felt absolutely horrible could not come out of the house could not focus on anything or do anything just Dead. Now i feel much better after 2 months no depression no anxiety but i my head is like in a fish bowl i experience brain fog depersonalisation and no brain activity , anhedonia and the worst of all i cant focus to read properly. I apologise if it`s difficult to understand my writing but i find it very difficult to think. Will this ever go away ? i am really scared. I hope and wish nothing but the best to everyone out there in suffering from this. Thank you
  15. Hi folks, First of all I'm new to this site, so feel free to tell me I'm in the wrong area or redirect me.. But here's my story... I currently have what I think is severe anhedonia. Last July, I was a bit depressed (I stress a bit, not majorly).......doctor gave me lexapro 10. After taking this, I vomited on the first night and developed sleep problems. Later in the week, I was given 25 seroquel which apparently would help balance out adverse effects of lexapro.......by the end of the week, I wasn't sleeping and I was suicidal. I subsequently was admitted to hospital. In hospital, I got more and more meds thrown at me and my mid august I was on 125 seroquel, 30 mirtazapine, 20 lexapro, 20 Olanzapine/Zyprexa....My main problem was the medication ripped my stomach apart.....the docs didn't believe me and just gave me more and more meds. I left hospital anyway on the concoction I mentioned.....I spent the following four months on these meds. During those four months, I felt no emotion whatsever, nothing. I felt suicidal, and that I would never recover. I had no desire to do anything. I just stayed in bed until late in the day, even though my sleep did not feel like real sleep. By mid November, i realised that the medication was messing me up, I demanded that I gradually come off everything. On that day, the doctor dropped the mirtazapine, and cut everything else in half. There was a quick taper, maybe too quick, and by christmas eve I was off everything. There were brief windows of emotion during the taper but still 95% anhedonia. Days after I went off everything....I cried for the first time in six months.....days later I laughed for the first time in months... I'm now 6 weeks off everything, I had huge headaches up unitl last week. My stomach started to improve after going off everything and is on the mend. However, I'm still worried about emotions/desires/thoughts etc.....over the last six weeks....I've had maybe 5 occassions where I felt strong positive emotions...and maybe 3 times where I've been sad/angry to the point of proper crying. outside of those 8 occassions, there's still an awful amount of flat feeling, apathy etc... I'm worried and wonder how long or if I will recover at all. Feedback welcome!!
  16. MOD NOTE: This is Gemma92's topic. Before Gemma joined SA her sister icerose posted requesting assistance. I've merged the two topics so that all of Gemma's history is in one place. _________________________________ Hello. I am new here, and I’m posting on behalf of my 26 year old sister who has been in a psychiatric unit for a week. My sister has a history of mild depression and functionable anxiety. She had occasional bouts of anger, periods of intense fatigue, and nightly hallucinations usually during sleep paralysis. She started having occasional panic attacks a few years ago. (The only psychiatric medication she had been on prior was Prozac during her childhood.) Despite her struggles , she was generally happy and enjoyed life. In August 2017, she had her right thyroid removed due to the growth of a large, benign nodule. Her anxiety slowly seemed to increase over the months and she experienced a panic attack after taking Benadryl (something that never happened before when taking Benadryl.) To help combat her anxiety, she started taking 10 mg of Lexapro in May 2018. Not knowing the danger of taking it intermittently, she took it whenever she remembered. Her doctor increased her dose to 20 mg which she took daily for 2 weeks. In early July, she developed strep symptoms, but tested negative for strep throat. Her doctor diagnosed her with laryngitis. Her throat hurt so bad, that she cold turkeyed off Lexapro because it hurt to swallow the pills. She continued to show symptoms of strep throat and was finally diagnosed on July 4, 2018. After 2 doses of Penicillin (and a couple days off Lexapro) she experienced an episode lasting a couple hours where her moods alternated between intense fear (needing to hold Mom’s hand, impending doom, confusion, depersonalization, terror from Hell) and fits of giddiness (giggling, silly talk). She hallucinated once during this episode (shadow in kitchen.) She stopped taking the Penicillin because she thought it caused the episode. Her doctor told her the strep would probably go away on its own. A week later, she noticed swollen lymph nodes on her neck (near collar bone.) She started another antibiotic which she finished. She started noticing increasing anxiety in the morning that would subside at night. She took Effexor for 5 days, but cold turkeyed because she thought it was worsening her anxiety. She lost her appetite around this time and had to quit her job. At the end of August 2018, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for 5 days. On one of the days, she had a fever and sore throat. It was not addressed. They put her back on Lexapro at 5 mg which she took daily for 1 month. During this time, she also took 0.5 mg of Lorazepam as needed. (10 pills over the course of a month) She cold turkeyed again off the Lexapro and Lorazepam because of bad heartburn and no help with anxiety. After this, she developed physical symptoms such as bad night vision, light sensitivity, ear ringing (stopped as of now), cold sweats (stopped as of now), bone chilling cold, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, extreme weakness, chest pain (went to ER twice because she thought it was a heart attack), and mucus in her stool which was ongoing since before Lexapro. Her mental symptoms increased as well. Her anxiety became “anxiety from Hell” that resided in the pit of her stomach. She experienced impending doom (worse upon waking up), crushing depression, hopelessness, and inconsolable crying spells where she appeared to be very agitated. She obsessed over her health and started doing research. She self diagnosed herself with Lexapro withdrawals, adverse reactions, kindling, neurotoxicity, and brain damage. After seeing a psychiatrist on October 23, 2018, she started 15 mg of Mirtazapine. It dulled the massive anxiety, but brought out rage, verbal aggression, and threats directed at her family. She cold turkeyed the Mirtazapine after 6 days (last day was 7.5 mg). Her rage went down and her anxiety went back up. A few days later, she had a few hours a day where she felt like herself. (Was it the Mirtazapine starting to work?) A couple days before Thanksgiving, she went to the ER after a day of inconsolable crying, anxiety, and impending doom. They sent her home saying “there are too many questions marks in this case so follow up with your psychiatrist.” She had another intense crying/anxiety episode the following day where she was begging for help and immediate relief. She had stopped eating and drinking as was planning her suicide by starvation or going out to the woods to die. She went back to the ER via ambulance and was admitted into the psychiatric unit. After almost a week of refusing meds, she agreed to try 7.5 mg of Mirtazapine. It’s been 3 days since then and she is experiencing numbness in her head and discomfort on the ride side of her body. They are suggesting an antipsychotic (Zyprexa) or electroshock therapy. Since this nightmare began, she never stabilized on any medication and cold turkeyed off everything. She keeps calling me and begging me for advice. I don’t know what to do because I don’t know what’s wrong. No one has an answer. I thought maybe she had Lyme but her test came back negative. I thought maybe she had PANDAS because of the strep. Or maybe it is the fact she never stabilized on medication and kindled her brain. I came here for hope though because I’ve been lurking for a month and I know many of you have recovered from many years of psychiatric drugs and withdrawals. She wasn’t even regularly on anything for more than a month or two at a time. So we need to get her stabilized and we can begin to treat underlying issues. My question is how do we do that?
  17. There are so many inspiring stories from long-term (veterans) anti-depressant users out there. Those who successfully quit after decades of meds and suffered emotional withdrawals for years are truly amazing and strong people. But is there stories of successful withdrawal from short term users like me.? I have been on Lexapro since the birth of my daughter for 18 months. At that point i felt content and "normal" so i decided to gradually stop. In hind sight, I might have tapered too quickly but i didn't experience any physical withdrawal symptoms so i decided i was "free". But after about a month from my last dose I had a huge emotional crush- crying spells, anxiety, insomnia and depression. The really bad period lasted for a month, but now two months after my last dose i am wondering if I too have to live like this for years? I know its selfish of me to complain after seeing people that were on every medication possible and suffered for years from withdrawals. But i feel like this thread might help those of us in the beginning of the anti-depressant journey and stop the inexperienced from going back on them. Thank you for any replies
  18. Hi! English is not my first language so I apologize if my texts are confusing, same with my signature. I quit the last 5 mg escitalopram/cipralex 3 weeks ago. When I went down from 10 to 5 mg nothing got better so I started reading about tardive dysphoria which made me very eager to quit my medication completely. I also found out about 6 months ago that quitting 5 mg at a time is way too drastic for someone who has been using the medication for years, but I figured i'd just endure this last time. The problem is that I've now found out from reading on this site and on other places that some of the side effects might become permanent. So my question now is, should I go back up to 5-4 mg, and then slowly go down 1 mg at a time from there? Or should I just wait this out when it has already been 3 weeks. I'm willing to wait it out if it gets better. But if there are big risks about doing what i'm doing right now i'm gonna go back up if that's your advice. Ps: I do feel horrible physically and mentally and can practically not be around people, but as I said i'm willing to endure it if it gets better. I can't trust my doctors anymore, they want to make me go back up to max dosage with both voxra and cipralex + start giving me more benzo for no good reason. Which is why I'm asking here, the people here seem to have good knowledge about this. TL;DR: Go back up to 5 mg and go down 1 mg at a time or endure this and wait for it to get better?
  19. Hi everyone. Thank you for reading my introduction. I've had an odd initiation to psyche meds. I'm middle aged and was rather healthy prior to my breakdown. I exercised five days a week, numbers were good, was generally 'relaxed' and comfortable in my skin and had a great marriage. Then, in the summer of 2015, I decided to try meditating. I had been studying Buddhism for awhile and a book I was reading stated that, if you really want to study Buddhism, you need to start meditating. So, that's what I did. I went to our local community meditation center and began a small meditation practice. About six months into it I started getting very anxious. I had no idea why. My blood pressure went up and I was put on the first regular prescription I've ever been on: Lisinopril. The anxiety continued and began increasing. My blood pressure kept rising. I asked my doc if it could be the meditation. He said "Not possible: meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety." I started seeing a therapist (first time) and asked the same question. I received the same response. I knew I should quit meditating, but everyone I talked to said that couldn't be the issue. So I continued. In the winter of 2016 I had what I call my 'Long Night' which was actually a week of altered mental states, completely unbalanced thought patterns and anxiety that went through the roof. I kept working and tried to keep my act together, but it was very difficult. The meditation teacher at the community meditation center said I was going through something called 'Dissolution' and congratulated me. He put me in touch with a more authoritative teacher (a person widely known in meditation circles) who confirmed this. Unfortunately neither of these people were much help. I looked all over the Internet and in books for answers, but the altered states kept occurring (even without meditation), my blood pressure was through the roof, I wasn't getting any sleep and my personal life was falling apart. I kept going to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. One morning my wife asked me if I was going to work and I broke down crying. She took me to the ER. The doctor there had compassion and said he thought he knew what was wrong with me and gave me an Ativan. For the first time in months, my blood pressure went down and I felt better. I went to see a psychiatrist in the spring of 2016. He put me on Celexa and Klonopin. He gave me some Ativan for my panic attacks. The Klonopin was needed until the Celexa reached a therapeutic dose. When I was ready to get off the Klonopin he introduced Buspar. Tapered off the Klonopin (no problems). I was on both of those for about two years after I quit the Klonopin. Everything seemed OK. In January of 2019 I started getting nausea and a headache. Just low-grade stuff, but consistent. And they slowly were getting worse. By the summer of 2019, it was pretty bad. I talked to my psyche doc about coming off and he agreed. We started with the Celexa and that taper went fine; however, Buspar was another story. I tried coming off that and I got very sick: felt like I had the stomach flu. I was home for three days. And that was just by cutting Buspar down to 30 mg from 45 mg. So we reinstated and decided we'd try Lexapro. I was sick on Lexapro, but gave it a couple of months. Quit it cold-turkey. He moved me to Zoloft in January 2020 (which I had high hopes for as my wife takes it), but that also made me sick. I decided to 'ride it out' for 3 months to see if the side effects went away, but they didn't. During this time I reinstated Klonopin (0.5 mg per day) as only the Buspar was treating my anxiety. I finally decided I was done with Zoloft and tapered off. My psyche doc retired. I got a new psyche doc. He decided we should wipe the slate clean and start new. He recommended I get off the Buspar as I may be experiencing 'Serotonin Resistance'. Began tapering that this summer (July 2020) and, after three months, I am off it (last dose 9/8/2020). I feel terrible, but not all the time. Depression seems to be 'soul crushing' around lunch, but slowly gets better. I feel anxiety when I wake up, That slowly gets worse, but kind of 'ebbs and flows' throughout the day. Muscle pains, cramps, dizziness, but no problem sleeping. Seems like I have problems breathing at times, but I actually don't. I feel bloated and full most of the day, but still manage to eat a bit. My chest hurts (I have a cardiologist so my heart is fine), guts burn and stomach is as hard as a rock at times. Other times (like now), not so much. I exercise when I can (was on the treadmill yesterday and took a long walk Monday). Evening and night seem to be OK. That is when I typically exercise (summer in AZ). My wife and I watch our shows and go to bed. I took 7.5 mg of Buspar this morning just to see what would happen. It seems like I had less physical symptoms such as my stomach, chest and gut felt fine most of today. The 'soul crushing' depression came and went. For that I usually just disassociate with the feeling, watch it as a disinterested third party and it eventually goes away. At least that is what works for now. The anxiety: that remains fairly consistent. Comes and goes in waves. I've been anxious since I was a kid, so I'm kind of used to it. I feel it a lot more since I had my breakdown. The depression SUCKS! I'm not used to that at all. Buspar withdrawals SUCK! Not used to those either. My marriage is still great. It would be nice to have sex again. That is my story. Thanks, again, for your time.
  20. Hello there, friends. I Have been on Lexapro 20mg and 150mg Buproprion XL since 2011. I have always developed brain zaps and dizziness even when I’m just a few hours passed my regular dosage time - though I am symptom free when I am at my normal dose and taking them at the proper time. I don’t suffer from much side effects that I am aware of, perhaps some weight gain. in general, the meds had been a literal life-saver in the early years of taking them, But I have always wanted to try going off to see how much I do or do not need these drugs long term, and because physical dependency on them feels disconcerting. This month I tried a taper for the first time. Half doses daily for a week and then half doses every other day for a week, and then fully off for a few days now - this was the recommended taper from my physician. Symptoms following the drop off were intense brain zaps, dizziness, sudden bursts of weeping, feeling like a truck hit me, feeling like my lower back or kidneys had taken a beating, intense eye weakness and eye strain, anxiety, insomnia, and disassociation. Symptoms got so bad that after a few days of being fully off, I went back to a half dose of both, which has almost immediately helped the symptoms subside (some). I am currently at half doses daily for both meds and seeking advice on whether I should go up to the full daily dose before trying a proper taper or if I should see if I can stabilize on the half doses for both. I don’t want to create a situation where I wait too long and going back up to full dose will no longer work, but being able to begin a proper taper at 10mg of Escitalopram and 75mg of Bupropion would be nice. I want to take the least painful path forward - the withdrawal symptoms were not something I want to ever feel again if I can avoid them. So if going back up to full dose is the wiser choice, even if it means double the length of my taper, I’d rather that than to try to stay lower and risk something I don’t fully understand.
  21. Hi all, In 2013 I received the diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder when I started having therapy for the first time in my life - I was 23 then. I've been anxious through my teens and early adulthood, and also suffered from bouts of low mood, but did not think much of it - I thought it was just how I was. In 2013 because I was at a particularly bad phase in college, I went to a psychiatrist through which I started taking 20mg Lexapro (I take the generic - Escitalopram). Everything improved a lot. Anxiety greatly reduced, mood also better, more drive to do stuff. And basically no side effects. So I kept taking it religiously, and basically forgot about it. About 3 years later, it started to bug me that I was taking a drug to keep myself mentally stable. I knew nothing about how bad the withdrawals from this type of drug were, and I felt good, so I just cold turkey'd - 20 to 0. You can imagine how this goes. After some days I was hit by what I thought was the worst flu I had ever had. I could not leave bed. That was odd. Didn't think just stopping that drug would cause that, as the effect of the drug is pretty much non-noticeable (it's not like taking a benzo where you feel drowsy and so on) and you just feel pretty much like the normal you. Either way, just to be safe I went back on the 20mg and all the symptoms disappeared after some time and again I did not think much about it anymore. I think I attempted cold turkeying again after some time just to experience exactly the same symptoms. So I thought "alright, this really is the Lexapro, not a flu". From then on I started being more uncomfortable for taking the Lexapro. Here's this drug that apparently makes me feel stable, but I stop taking it and I'm completely wrecked. This doesn't feel right. So in 2018 I started a slow tapper, or at least what I considered a slow tapper. I was reducing around 2.5mg every month or every other month. I was going linearly - no percentage reduction. That was the logical thing for me to do as my doctor never told me about the liquid form of Lexapro and with the tablets available where I live it's impossible to do a precise lower division lower than 2.5mg. Throughout the tapper I felt what I now acknowledge as withdrawal symptoms, but again I did not think much of it. I was in a difficult life situation, living abroad and always extremely stressed, so I thought the life situation was what was causing that. In May 2019, I was down to already 2.5mg. Not feeling that well, but that was such a low dose that I thought it was insignificant and dropped to zero. This overlapped with a break-up and with starting a job that was really quite demanding. That's when I got into hell. I started waking up at night with panic attacks. In the morning my arms and legs were burning - I felt the anxiety burning my body. I just wanted to leave my body and my mind, that feeling was just too unbearable. Crying non-stop, huge feelings of rage - I just wanted to destroy stuff and just felt this huge urge sometimes to beat up anyone that did something even mildly annoying (and mind that I've always been quite a controled person - this was not at all me). I also had muscle spasms, couldn't digest anything properly and lost a bunch of weight. I had never been so thin in my life. That's when I started thinking I had to have something serious in my brain - I even forgot about the Lexapro then - I thought I was developing a neurological disease. This person was not me. My psychiatrist had tried to put me on other antidepressants - Fluvoxamine and Mirtazapine. None of them worked. Then I was put back on the Lexapro (only 10mg). And I wasn't seeing much improvement on my state. I started becoming suicidal. I did not want to go through the realization that I had a disease that would invalidate me for the rest of my days. I was going to doctor after doctor, doing exam after exam, and they didn't seem to find anything wrong which left me feeling even more helpless. I thought that was never going to end. I started thinking every day about suicide. That's all I thought about. I just could not bear that reality. That's when I told my parents - "I need to be checked in at the hospital. I won't last much longer like this." So I was checked in at the hospital. Even the doctors who checked me in did not believe I was in such a bad state - I guess even in that state I kept my composure. I spent 2 weeks there, in what was the most horrible experience of my life. The people there were for sure much worse than I was - most of them had even lost touch with reality. But deep down I know this was the experience I needed to snap out of it. While I was there the doctor who was supervising me increased my Lexapro dose to 20mg. I became reeeaally sleepy after that. Just as I had become the first time I went into 20mg back in 2013. By then I still did not believe I did not have a horrifying disease. It was really hard to believe this was coming just from a psychological source. And it took quite long for me to become convinced that was the case. The months right after the hospital were tough. I was sleeping a lot - around 12 hours a day. Very, very slowly things started improving. Too slowly for me to even notice a difference. But little by little I started sleeping less, recovered my appetite, some days even saw a glimpse of contentment. At some point I was feeling good more often than I was feeling bad. I started exercising every day, having psychotherapy twice a week, taking supplements, getting sun light, meditating. Everything I could do to improve, I did. Around April of this year, I was already entering a pretty stable stage. Some days I still had energy and mood breaks which I had no idea where they came from and were pretty demotivating - now I realize they are likely something akin to the "waves" that I've seen mentioned here at SA. I also still had some lingering symptoms such as some vague leg pain here and there, as well as teeth pain. But those bad days and lingering symptoms started becoming more and more rare. So for some months I was doing really good. Feeling drive and contentment with life. Optimistic. Last month I had an appointment with my psychiatrist, and as I really want to be med-free he suggested that I attempted a new reduction again. At first he suggested me to drop to 15mg, but I thought it was better to go first down to 17.5mg instead. And that's the dosage I'm at right now. The reduction was not that large, but I can for sure feel the withdrawals - even though I know the reduction was larger than the 10% recommended here at SA - my next drops I will follow that guidance. After the drop to 17.5mg, I started having more of those down days. Also the days right afterwards I had rebound anxiety, which has already disappeared. Some days my energy and mood breaks. And I'm more irritable, less drive, etc. Also those lingering pains I mentioned are back sometimes. Furthermore, I feel like I can't train at the gym at the same level I did - even though my body weight and composition is exactly the same as it was before the drop to 17.5mg, I feel significantly less strength some days. So for now I will stick with cardio. Now I know much better than I did in the past and will wait to fully stabilize from the current withdrawal until I attempt another reduction. I am also building a sauna at my place, which I have read has many benefits for mood, so that's another resource I will have to deal with the tapering process. Hope this post can be useful for someone.
  22. Bethechange2020

    Bethechange2020: introduction

    Hello all, I am a 60 y/o woman and after beeing on psych meds since my twenties I decided to get off of them as I have been stable for over a year, and also as a person who is always concerned with the health of my mind/body/spirit, and soul, I had too many concerns about the harm these psychotropic meds could be doing to me. I am currently off all of my medications since 30 days. I was taking Lexapro, Gabapentin, Mirtazapine, Lamitrogine, and occasionally Xanax. Getting off the Lexapro was so positive for me. I started to have more emotions of all kinds, which made me feel more alive and whole. The negative aspects of getting off all of my meds started to kick in once I got off of everything else, with the worst of it beginning, and still going strong, when I got off the Lamitrogene. My current symptoms, in order of horribleness, are insomnia, wailing for 15mins straight, no appetite, exhaustion, rages, panic, and a myriad of sensorial sensitivities to smells, sounds, touch, and sights. If I see a bug in the house it makes me burst into tears. At times I want to rip my skin off or jump out of it, and other times I feel completely dead inside. Basically, it's Hell, and if I thought there was no end to this I wouldn't be able to take it. I am really lucky to have a loving partner, and to live in beautiful North Carolina where I can take a walk in nature alone. I am working with a psychiatrist who is wholistically oriented, and thinks I may have issues with hormone levels, and/or my endocrine system. I also am part of a medical practice that has a yoga teacher who I feel hopeful will be teaching me some restorative excercises. I studied food and healing, and know the importance that it plays my own mental stability. I haven't had sugar, gluten, caffeine, dairy, or refined foods in a month, which I am 100%certain has kept me from being hospitalized! I also stopped using industrialized "heart healthy" oils like canola and sesame, and use only virgin olive oil, ghee, and coconut oils.I briefly tried a Paleo diet because of the leaky gut theory of depression, but felt horrendous, so now I reintroduced around 1 serving daily of a non glutinous grain such as amaranth, quinoa, or millet, and feel better. I want to incorporate daily walks and yoga into my routine, which is a struggle for me as I often veg out for hours watching Netflix, etc. I don't judge myself for it, but I just don't think it helps one bit, and in fact think it makes me feel worse. It's like something that promises to help me to feel better, but actually has the opposite effect. So that's all for now. Thank for letting me join your group.
  23. Hi good people🙂 Sten from Norway here. Living outside Oslo, am 59 years old, and have 2 kids ( 24 and 27). English is not my native language, so please bear with me. I have always been a very senitive person and did grow up in a familiy with 5 brothers. I am nr 3. My father was struggling with mental issues, and my mother was a emotional distant person. Not much comfort and love there. I got meningites age 10 and almost died, but came back. When I started to get anxiety problems ehan I wast 18-19 years, my father took med to his doctor to get this fantastic pills. That is where my Paxil period started. I was using them for many years, while studying, but still had a lot of problems with anxiety. Worked with som psycoterapists, but it did not help much. After 10 years I was told that it was a new drug that wast much better, and I started with Seroxat. It is hard for me to remember how long iI did use them, and how many times I managed to stay off, but in 2001 and managed to quit. I then started on a acupuncture education, much because I thought it could save me from the drugs and help with my anxiety. Ii was hard, and I also had a wife that never understood my problems, so in 2012 my GP said it was best if I started with Cipralex, that was sooo much better than Seroxat. I used them for 5 years, felt totally numb, flat, did not feel anything. I then tried to taper and quit, went through hell, so my brothers that also use Cipralex convinced me to restart. That was the worst month in my life. Then after attending av Joe Dispenza workshop in Scotland I decided to try quitting again. I tapered down from march to September, and tomorrow it is one year without any drugs. What is special is that I was allowed to move in to the acupuncture school where I had been a student 15 years ago. After I quit I have had a lot of Acupuncture treatments, with focus on cleansing my blood, reduce stress and strengthen my Water energy. This is where fear and anxiety is signals of imbalance. I have had tinnitus for 20 years, and also Insomnia during this winter. It really did help with liquid melatonin from the health food store. I also take Ashwagandha - an ayurvedic supplement, and also Vit D, Ginko Biloba, and after reading this site, I have started with Milk Thistle, Vit B Complex and Fish Oil. Have had a lot of muscle pain, and it is so good to read that many of you have the same. I am optimistic, and must say it is interesting to start feeling again, having all kind of emotions and my kids tell me that I am much calmer and nice to be with. I hope that I can manage the coming waves, and also that I can enjoy the windows. Sending love and good energy from now colder Norway.
  24. angelicus

    Angelicus: intro

    Hello all, Let me first say that finding this site (mentioned on Dr. Brogan's own site) has been incredible! I've been scrolling through a bit last night and today and finally thought to make an intro. Here's a history. In 2017 I experienced a panic attack on a flight back to school. Was out late drinking the night before, had some fast food at the airport. Took a nap at the beginning of the flight. Woke up feeling quite odd, shooting sensation up my left arm, heart was beating like crazy, thought it was a heart attack. Luckily, there was a doctor on the flight (he said it was a panic attack) and another passenger had Klonopin, so the rest of the flight was just about getting me calm. Not fun. After we landed I went to the ER to see if it was anything with my heart, all was well. Next few weeks was constantly on edge, worried I was going to have another attack. Then one morning I woke up with some derealization. Again, had no idea what was going on at all. Went to the ER maybe a few days later, was given some ativan, doctor told me it was just high anxiety. A few months later (after I graduated), I went to my PCP and told him about my derealization symptons, to which he promptly prescribed me lexapro (10mg). Since this was a long time ago I'm not sure how I exactly took it at first, I think I started only taking 5mg to start and then worked my way up to 10mg. Don't recall any terrible side effects besides maybe just feeling "odd." Derealization didn't fully go away, Doctor prescribed me with 20 mg. However, I kept only taking 10mg (I don't know why, maybe some intuition?). Anyways, the derealization eventually went away after I drove back to school for my master's program (a 12 hour drive, quite on edge for the first hour or two!). I kept taking the lexapro throughout the year. Things were fine, but again I'm really not sure whether it was the lexapro or just my brain being fine with the derealization being over. Anyways, that summer, I was having some sleeping problems (caused by the lexapro, in my view), and I went to see a psychiatrist and she prescribed me klonopin (a neighbor gave me some one night after I told him about lexapro issues). Was prescribed 0.5mg. After finishing my master's that summer, I went to another school to get another master's (overkill, lol), and was running out of klonopin so I was naturally worried I wouldn't be able to sleep. Went to school doc who prescribed me the klonopin and referred me to a psychiatrist. Continued on this (intermittently, I could go a month or so without it and be okay) and the lexapro for the whole 2018-2019 school year. Took 20mg of lexapro for a month or two but it was too much and went back down to 10mg. I was pretty consistent with my doses of lexapro, though occasionally would miss a few (and would avoid taking it some nights I knew I was going to drink; I never drank on klonopin). In January of this year, I decided, without the advice of my psychiatrist (imprudently, I know) to taper myself off the medication. I believe it was a quicker taper (my memory is just so hazy). Went from 10mg to 5mg for a bit, then just managed to stop. Same with klonopin, started to take only .25mg and then just stopped when I ran out. The withdrawal was real, and I wish I tapered more carefully, but I was just in such a rush to get off the meds. Went through a strong depression for 1-2 weeks after stopping, but tried to eat a lot healthier and exercise (weightlifting, walking). Both of those helped and I eventually got out of the depression funk, though I still experienced anxiety (even it wasn't fully calmed during all the medication). Fast forward to about a few weeks ago, I was driving back home from my apartment by my school and had a panic attack on my drive back, which freaked me out. Was on edge for a bit, constant fear of driving alone. Called my psychiatrist to see if I should go back on medication which, to no surprise, he said yes and prescribed 10mg Lexapro and 0.5mg klonopin (I tried to only take 0.25mg even when necessary) which I began on 8/11. The first few days were fine, but on the fourth day I had some severe anxiety and stomach problems (a frequent theme throughout my anxiety/panic attacks). Anyways, went for a walk, came home and ate some lunch, but a few minutes after I threw it all up. Body felt like it was on fire and I had an intrusive suicidal thought that just freaked me tf out. Luckily, I'm here with my family so I went to the ER because it felt like the worst panic attack ever. ER trip wasn't really fruitful, high BP (148/89 or something close to that), they took blood and urine but didn't do any tests. Next few days were horrendous, same high anxiety symptoms/panic attacks/stomach problems and I started to develop depression. I called my psych asking if I could stop taking the meds, he advised me to just split my dose. I thought that would cure everything, but could not be more wrong. Next two days were extremely brutal, same problems of debilitating anxiety/depression/stomach issues. Wanted to split my dose again into 2.5mg thinking that would do the trick, but woke up the next morning with extreme stomach pain and was back in the ER again. Took the klonopin (0.25mg) in the morning and later when I got home. Thankfully, some actually tests were run (urine/blood) and everything came back fine. Called my psych to see if I could stop and he said yes. Rest of the day I felt extraordinarily depressed, called my psych again to see if I should check myself into a psych ward as I was having intrusive suicidal thoughts. He advised I take my actual dose of klonopin of 0.5mg to see if that would help. It did a bit, the depression went away after I napped, but was still extremely jittery. Called my psych again to see if there was anything else I should try, he prescribed my seroquel which I picked up and absolutely refused to take. These past 6 days of the lexapro have been...not fun. Anxiety high, depression (a very physical one, feeling it throughout my whole body), intrusive/obsessive thoughts, and terrible GI condition. Each day I've really wanted to reach for the klonopin, but I fought it off, knowing it would be worse in the long run. Finally went to see a naturopath today. She was great, but I'm not sure of the supplements she gave me. One is "GI Revive" which contains a bunch of different herbs (I feel this might be too much for my system to handle, and I felt odd after taking it earlier, though less anxious, perhaps due to the chamomille in the mix) as well as glycine (powder, take ever morning). She also gave me magnesium glycinate if the glycine didn't help after two weeks. Based on what I'm reading here I think it might just be better to go straight for the magnesium and ask her for just gluminate for the GI problems. Hoping these will at least help during this process. I was just really freaked out over all this, as I had no previous adverse reactions to lexapro and for my system to react this way after only 10 days just reallllly has me freaked. But reading stuff here has been extremely helpful as I'm seeing these adverse reactions can happen. My psych was also perplexed calling it "odd." Anyways, my main symptoms seem to be High Anxiety Hyperarousal/Hypersensitivity Depression No motivation Intrusive thoughts Obsessing over my future (I had to take a term withdrawal this semester, which I'm fine about), but just constantly ruminating over "will this happen again in future?" "will I ever be able to function again?" "will these feelings last forever?") Catastrophizing (which I've always done, even before my first 'official' panic attack) Intense GI problems (I think the Lexapro exacerbated these, as I've been dealing with some problems here for the past month or so) I've definitely been trying to cope with all this. Like I said, it was and is such a weird and quite debilitating. My main coping mechanisms have been prayer, walking, distracting myself on the Internet (kind of good, kind of bad) and reading a bit. I've always tried to adjust my diet to maximize mineral/vitamin content from food. I've always begun psychotherapy with my psychiatrist, but am contemplating looking for a Catholic therapist to help with the spiritual dimension of this (I'm Catholic). Unfortunately I am a smoker (pack/day), but I am working to taper off that as well, as I know the stimulant exacerbates things. it's an awful coping mechanism. The past three days have been better, though I definitely have my ups and downs throughout the day. Any advice/encouragement you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated. Again, I'm really glad I found this forum and disappointed I didn't see it years ago when I was first going through the stuff and I know me not consistently taking the doses at times was not the smartest. Nevertheless, ruminating on my past mistakes isn't the most beneficial, so I'm trying my best to look towards the future. I don't expect it to be easy, but just trying to take it one day at a time. I've probably missed some aspects of my history/symptoms/etc., but this post has been quite long so my apologies! Thankfully, I'm with family, and they have been so accepting/understanding. I appreciate all that ya'll do here, and will definitely recommend it any friends who think about taking these meds. -angelicus
  25. Hi I was on lexapro 10 mg for 6 years. I tapered off starting Feb 2017 following my doctors advice. I took 5 mg for 2 weeks then 5 mg every other day for 1 week then stopped completely. 3 days after my last dose the brain zaps started. Now after 8 weeks I have a continuous feeling like a sparkler is firing off in my brain, all day long. Sometimes it is more intense than other times, but it never goes away. It feels like a shower of sparks is swirling around in my brain, it is so hard to describe. It is not in my ears, but in my brain. I went back to my doctor to see if I should go back on and taper off more slowly. He said no, to just try to ignore it like you would ignore a back ache. I tried ignoring it for 2 weeks then returned to him, he referred me to a neurologist. Today I saw the neurologist who looked at me with wide eyes and said he never heard of this. He said he will order a test of brain waves but doubts it will show anything. His suggestion is to go back on the 10 mg to see if it goes away. My question is: is 8 weeks too long to be off it to reintroduce the drug and then taper off slower? I have read that reinstating the drug will get rid of symptoms IF YOU DO IT IMMEDIATELY. I am afraid that after 8 weeks, it could make it worse. I just want to be off the drug. I never had these sensations before using this drug. I don't know what is causing them and if they are benign. I tell my self they are not hurting my brain, that it is just my brain "coming back on line" but as they persist it is harder and harder to believe this. I really do not want to go back on, but if it is the only way to make them go away I will and then taper more slowly. Then I wonder if this counts as "time served" and if I go back on and taper more slowly, I will just have to serve this time again. Also, is it just the addicted part of me telling me to go back on, like how I used to lie to myself when quitting smoking? (By the way quitting smoking cigarettes after smoking for 10 years was infinitely easier than what I am going through with this.) I appreciate any wisdom, any body live through months of zaps? do they ever go away? are they harmful? Thank you so much
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