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  1. Moderator note: link to benzo thread - xyz: valium questions Hi, i am new on here. (english is not my first language so pardon the gramma) i was on various benzo for 9 months and stopped taking them once i read about depency. 10 months later i had a health scare and went onto a panic attack and had severe insomnia (5 days of 0 sleep), and akathisia- i was put on remeron for 10 weeks but it gave me tinnitus so i went into a really bad panic attack and was suicidal. at the hospital, they reinstated me on a low dose of valium (4mg) and put me on lexapro 10mg. my panic attack was so bad and my insomnia so severe that i had to take xanax 0.25mg to calm down with lunesta at night for sleep for 3 months. over several months, i was able able to ditch the xanax and lunesta and reduce my valium down to 2mg and i am still on 10mg of lexapro. i still have severe anxiety and insomnia. i have been holding my dose for 3 months now. i was reading on benzobuddies a thread on long long and that gave me hope that if i hold i can give my CNS time to stabilize. i have good days now but on bad days, i wonder how i can even lower my meds and i keep thinking that i have paradoxical effect on them. a term i kept reading on benzobuddies. will it get better if i hold longer? i also have 2 kids (6 and 2 years old) and i am going through early perimenopause- my panic attack, and insomnia get worse around my periods.
  2. Hi! I just joined this site. I'm currently on my 9th out of 25 radiation treatments for stage 2b breast cancer. I've completed a double mascetomy, 4 bi-weekly treatments of A/C Chemo treatments, 12 weekly treatments of Taxo (Chemotherapy) and am now going through radiation treatment. Afterwards, I will be on AI, a type of hormone blockers for estrogen/progesterone positive, HER2-, breast cancer. I started on 10 mg of lexapro while going through chemotherapy. I don't want to be on this forever. I would like some advise for anyone else that is in my situation. I know my brain is starting to heal from the chemo and I'd like it to heal also from using lexapro. What is the safest way to get off of this? Is there any tapering strips that are available for us in the U.S.? Or is measuring the dry pill powder and liquid versions the only way. It all seems so complicated. I started at the beginning of October 2019. This will be my sixth month being on it. Please help? My mind is so consumed with not only cancer but now this drug. I just want the easiest way to do it and from what I've read, reducing by 10% weight seems the best way to do this. But, do I need to purchase empty gel capsules to make at least four weeks of one dose for each taper? Thanks for any help and suggestions!
  3. Success story: karenrose-i-successfully-came-off-after-years-of-trying Hi everyone. It is great to have a forum like this. I am so grateful to find qualified help. I was given an antidepressant 13 years ago to help with a deep depression that no psychotherapy or alternative approach would help with. Paxil was a godsent at the time. However, with my first attempt to come off, I learned how destructive these drugs can be and had to go to Cymbalta, then Lexapro. I came off again, this time with aminoacids and was succesful for about 6 months. I got very depressed again and went back on Lexapro. After several traumatic events I learned that I had Hashimoto's and finally understood how to treat this. My depression abated. Over the last two years I have tapered off Lexapro - very difficult, but succesful to the point that I am now on 1mg instead of 45. I am struggling with the last mg and have horrible symptoms when I try to go off. Looking in this forum to try to find ways to taper more slowly off 1mg. Will elaborate on this later. This is my quick intro for now. Thank you so much for this life saving forum.
  4. Hi, I'm not really new to these forums as I have already found so much support and reassurance from reading people's experience and advice in coming off lepraxo in the past. It helped me to come down from 30 mg to 10 mg. Thank you for all the support on these amazing forums. 🤗I'm sorry I didn't feel I could come on board and share or support others as I was going through a hellish time with withdrawal. I was prescribed 30 mg seven years ago for OCD and managed to taper down to 10mg where I have stayed for about a year and a half. I've been in contact with the doctors at my medical practice to talk about my difficulties withdrawing from lepraxo (in my experience, worse than benzos) and my need for going down in teeny increments from now on, thus requiring a liquid formulation, but it falls on deaf ears. It seem it's too expensive for them to prescribe a liquid. So I'm left with 10 mg tablets and have tried making my own liquid the past 2 days, reducing it by 10 percent , to 9mg. I didn't expect to feel any withdrawal effects but I was amazed that on the second day I have been having moderate strength migraines and fluey hot flashes and other typical symptoms I'm all too familiar with. BIG SIGH Im feeling a bit scared now.😬 Anyway I thought I'd complete my withdrawal journey in the company of fellow survivors (or soon to be!!)
  5. Hi all, I have been struggling off and on over the last 14 years with what I thought was anxiety the whole time, but am now realizing it was more likely withdrawal from stopping antidepressants too quickly. The first SSRI I was put on was Paxil. I tapered off after 7 months because I never really liked the idea of being on an antidepressant. I started having anxiety a few months later and was switched to 50 mg of Zoloft. I tried multiple times over the next 13 or so years to stop Zoloft, but the anxiety always returned, so back on I would go. In the fall of 2015 I had a return of anxiety after reducing the Zoloft to 25mg and tried to go back to 50, but it wasn't helping, so ended up going to 150mg before I felt relief. I again tried tapering last summer and got down to 25mg and experienced increased anxiety as well as insomnia. My doctor switched me to Lexapro last October, but it only made me more anxious, so after 10 weeks he switched me to Paxil. I got up to 20mg of Paxil for 3 weeks and wasn't feeling any better, so finally decided I had enough and wanted off the antidepressants. I started tapering at the end of January down to 15mg for 2 weeks, then 10 for 2 weeks, then to 7.5, and after about a week and a half at 7.5 started feeling really anxious again. I found this site and decided to go back up to 10mg of Paxil and stabilized for about 2 weeks and then started tapering 10%. Was doing pretty well for a couple of weeks at 9mg and then started feeling a little anxiety creep in. I talked to my doctor about switching to Prozac to make the tapering hopefully easier, so a week ago this Friday I started taking 4.5 mg each of Paxil and Prozac. I have experienced some ups and downs with anxiety since then, and am having a particularly difficult time right now. Feeling quite anxious and can't sleep. I took .5mg lorazepam tablet and am feeling a bit better, but not sure what to do now. I was going to switch to just 9mg of the Prozac and eliminate the Paxil tomorrow, but not sure if I should continue with the half and half mixture I have been doing or maybe even just go back to the Paxil alone? This just sucks so bad. I know I have probably screwed up my system so much with all of these changes and can only pray the damage is reversible. I was feeling pretty good earlier today, but then started feeling terrible as the evening went on. Haven't felt this bad in a while. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  6. My names Noman, 21. I took Anafranil Lexapro Zoloft Venlafaxine Prozac over the course of 1 year. Now i have SSRI and SNRI withdrawl. Putting aside the other withdrawl symtpoms, the worst one it eye It feels as if I cannot open my eyes, when I do my eye muscles from my brain to my eye feel like they want to force shut, and i get this irriation. This leads to eye pressure, eye blood rush, eye weakness, eye cant focus, etc. I know for sure its withdrawl symptom because wheni went on prozac, it went away. Has anybody else experineced this, if so, is it dangeros? does it go away? please share
  7. I started taking lexapro about 5 years ago was on 20mg. I tapered off over the course of 9 weeks by 10mg each. I've been off for 12 days. I've been feeling the brain zaps which I expected, I was tired and irritable which I expected. One night I woke up in a dead slee with pgad symptoms. Who would have thought that an anti depressant withdrawal would have caused this? I do not have it as bad as what I read but it is there. Im also feeling itchyness all over my body. Tingling everywhere, did anyone have pgad from withdrawal? Did it go away? How long did it take? I came off the lexapro to try and have a baby with my husband. Iam now devastated. Please give me some positivity! (mod note: Original title: Pgad help! Does it ever go away!)
  8. Dev1322

    Dev1322: Tinnitus

    I was on 20 mg of Lexapro and 1.5 mg of Xanax daily for postpartum depression. In February of 2020 I was down to 1.0 mg of Xanax. I began tapering both medicines as I was having some Serotonin Syndrome issues. Once I taped down to 15 mg and .75 mg I began having tinnitus. I am now on 100 mg of Zoloft and .25 mg of Xanax (I am tapering the Xanax still). I still have tinnitus and want any advice on what to do to help. Will it eventually go away? I have been on the 100 mg of Zoloft consistently for almost 7 weeks.
  9. Hello everyone I am new to this site, and am really really appreciative of all the information shared and support given. I am undergoing protracted withdrawal syndrome, after 21/2 years on lexapro. Began taking it after stressful circumstances. This is my second attempt at withdrawal. the first attempt was too quick (these were doctor's instructions! , and I returned to the drug - Also doctor's instructions...). The second attempt, I tapered over 10 months following recommendations from peer websites. I understood that doctors know nothing and refused to see a doctor again.( I am furious about this) The tapering (10% of the current dose) worked quite well. But, after I stopped completely from a seemingly infinitesimal amount of the drug, I got the worst symptoms: mainly generalized anxiety, irritability, crying spells, feelings of doom, insomnia, tinnitus, hot flushes, muscle pains, head zaps, dizziness, head fog, the works. I have never had these symptoms, and that quality of emotions before, and it took a long time beofre I understood them to be part of a syndrome. No one had ever informed me of that possibility, and I found out by myself, by surfing. I was scared out of my wits, and really believed I am losing it. Luckily, I did managed to function at work and at home. In fact, I discovered that keeping busy was one of the best ways to deal with my symptoms I am now 7 months after complete discontinuation, and still experiencing waves and windows. Strangely, these can happen over the course of one day. I may wake up feeling extremely anxious and/or depressed, then after a few hours will feel more of a well being. Then, the next day, terrible crying spells and feeling hopeless, sometimes having thoughts about my life not worth living. Then - a pleasant dinner with friends.. I never know what will happen next. I have dealt with the syndrome mainly by daily physical activities (walking, jogging, yoga, meditation, taking hikes in nature), supplements (Omega, Vitamin B complex, magnesium), psychotherapy, getting informed, keeping a log of symptoms, observing and listening to what's happening, and a lot of support from a few friends and family members. Sometimes I am afraid this will never end. At times I get more hopeful. At the moment, my most troubling symptom is my fear of my own rumbling thoughts (obsessive thoughts about a bleak future, fear of death, fear of being alone, fear of disaster or things going terribly wrong, for me and my dear ones. I do know that these thoughts have no relation to reality, but I still feel them). These thoughts typically arise when I am alone, mainly in my own home. Weekends are especially a nightmare. I deal with this by keeping busy, trying to be around friendly and sensitive people, staying away from stressful situations, making pleasant weekend plans with friends. But that is not always possible. Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions? Will this ever end? Thank you everyone for the support.
  10. I found this site after I had been off of Escitalopram (Lexapro) for a couple of weeks. I thought I had tapered it properly, but after visiting this site, seems I have come off too fast. I'm a couple of days out from my 7 week mark which is great for me, but the process hasn't been fun... not that I was expecting it to be. I'm definitely over the acute phase of WD. My zaps weren't too bad and only lasted about a week or so. I felt completely over the first phase by about week 3. I've been logging all of my progress as I have been going which helps quite a bit, especially when I'm having a bad day. I can look back at my journals and see that they aren't all bad days, even though when I get a bunch of bad days in a row it feels like I've never felt good in my entire life, nor will I ever feel good again. I know it's not true, but that's where my mind goes when I start to get caught up in these waves of anxiety. My current symptoms are weird burning mouth symptoms, and feel like my blood is hot running though my veins. I have a general uncomfortable feeling, and I know my breath smells bad... I can sense it. Does anyone else get this weird mouth feeling when anxious? Like you're dehydrated? You tongue feels weird and gross, and gets this awful white coating on it? Maybe I am dehydrated. I also react terribly to fasting these days. I used to be able to fast no problem, but now fasting makes my anxiety worse. I feel like my blood sugar is all over the place. I'm angry, so angry, road rage... ear phone rage (when you're wearing headphones and they get caught on stuff and pull your head) I got a parking ticket yesterday, I was so mad I tried to rip it up... you can't rip up tickets anymore, they're made of some kind of super paper or something. Point is, I'm angry a lot... which I think then feeds my anxiety. So ya, Protracted Withdrawal? Or return of my anxiety? Funny thing is, before SSRIs all I had was a panic disorder... I don't mean to minimize the seriousness of panic, but I didn't have anxiety until after I tried to quit SSRIs the first time. So what's going on? My brain is still adjusting? I guess 7 weeks is still pretty early in the grand scheme of things, just sucks. I wish I had known... oh wait, here comes another headache... I wish I had known that panic disorder will go away without drugs if you just face them in the correct way. Seems going the drug route just gave me a more complex problem that I now have to navigate. Ugh, anyway. Hi everyone. I've been sideling for a while now. Thought I would finally introduce myself.
  11. I am asking for a person close to me.. He has been on Lexapro (10mg- and recentl5 mg) for 5-6- years. While on lexapro he smoked and drank coffee.... last year slowly the nicotine and caffeine was becoming a problem causing anxiety whereas before it had a good effect on him. It came to the point where one ciagarette caused a panick attack that lasted hours and he had to stop smoking. My question is whether this is common , being sensitized to nicotine to the point of having to stop it, and if this can be reversed? thank you to anyone who wishes to answer.
  12. i need some advice and/or help in navigating where i'm at with all of this. i have tapered with the help of, previously an inconsiderate doctor, and currently an excellent one. there were times where i was shifted about from tapering lexapro to various different antidepressants, i cannot remember all of them as there were many, but trintellix and was one of them. after a severe (and still recovering) bout of health anxiety, i stumbled upon the ashton manual (around november 2018) and folks talking about their experience with coming off of benzos. since i was taking ativan at the time, it was my scapegoat. i tried kicking it, lurked in various places online for other people's experiences, and started to shift my view to it being less about the benzos, and more about the psychiatric medication as a whole when it didn't quite work out. since february of 2019, i have tapered off of three medications in order: trileptal, geodon, and lexapro. the trileptal was easy enough, but the geodon was a world of hurt. in my signature i've listed that the lexapro and geodon were tapered at the same time- this is to the best of my memory, which is spotty due to the polypharmacy. i know the geodon was the priority, but i seem to recall going back and forth with lexapro's dose while dealing with the geodon withdrawal- which assuredly caused the only psychotic event of my life. i switched doctors after being told to simply 'take the geodon every other day for awhile,' which said doctor told me not to do with the lexapro, and i couldn't handle the fact that my appointments were less than five minutes long. i switched to a new professional, and they are great. i was introduced to the compounding pharmacy for the geodon since it did not go any lower than 20mg, and following the completion of that taper in sept 2019, i focused on the lexapro, which is now completed. i am no stranger to windows and waves, which are thankfully getting much better and easier to tolerate- though the waves are still intense. there are too many symptoms to list, but the FINISH acronym is very apt and applies to me, mostly the zaps, gastrointestinal issues, and insomnia. my biggest concern at the moment is dealing with my sleep issues. previously it was a complete lack of being able to sleep, but now it is more of a reversal of my circadian rhythm. 12 hours on the dot to when i could be waking up otherwise, and i cannot simply 'fix' this as far as i have tried. i have a lot of frustration about having been medicated for entirely the wrong things as a result of being diagnosed with a mental health condition that i do not have by a 10 question piece of paper at a doctor's office, but it is well beyond in the past to change it now. i cannot beat myself up for this, as i was dealing with a gnarly living situation at the time and thought they could help. they could not. this frustration, coupled with having a frazzled nervous system and having a wholly messed up sleep schedule, is getting to me. i have to tell myself that it's okay to be healing right now, as there is not much that is expected of me, but i am having trouble essentially pep-talking myself into feeling better when i feel terrible from still withdrawing. while i am done with all of my medication, there is much healing to be done, and i am very tired of how long this has been going on. apologies for the long post- i felt it necessary to post a bit of history/context, and i have trouble being unprompted for these sorts of things. i have not used a forum in a long time!
  13. I have had an account here for a long time. I do not believe I ever did an introduction. I was just speaking with someone who recommended I come here. I am suffering in so many ways and I feel so alone. I am becoming more hopeless every day and am afraid I am going to end up in a hospital. I have little time to even write now because there is way too much going on in my life. I need help. There is no where to go for help. 1- I was started on high doses of xanax in 1997 and continued until they switched me to 4mg klonopin in 2013 during a hospitalization. CT off xanax for a few days which I thought I was going to die. Then Klonopin, which has wreaked havoc in my life and mind and body. 2- Besides these two benzos, doctors have tried their "cocktails" on me. I do not remember every drugs, but these I remember: First, the xanax and the klonopin. Plus they have pulled me off, put me on, rearranged etc over and over the following drugs: remeron, cymbalta, zyprexa, celexa, serzone, brintellix (I think they renamed trintellix), lexapro, effexor, prozac, trazadone, abilify, wellbutrin, ritalin, seroquel, latuda, pristiq, melatonin, ambien, paxil, zoloft, vistaril, vyvanse, lamictal, cogentin, rexulti, and more. I cannot remember all. Life is a blur for these past almost 25 years of polydrugging. Now I am on here for my son as well - we both need help 3- Recent trauma: 2014 youngest son starts becoming delusional and episodes of psychosis. 2015: my father is euthanized in front of me and my family because of other family member's decisions for him - even though he was not dying, was completely alert and had his mind. He was not in hospice. It is a long story and traumatic. 2015: son's psychosis getting worse with son and he moves to another state to live with his brother. 1-4-2016: my son (youngest of four) parked a car and sliced his throat open with a knife- cutting through his trachea. Somehow lived. Got out of car, ran up 7 flights of a construction zone to jump. Construction workers stop him. I get call from hospital and fly to that state the next day. Son had to have 4 hour surgery to put his throat back together. He was in medical for 40 days with trach and feeding tubes. Then in psych. Then they sent him home with me. The rest of 2016 was complete chaos of hospitalizations for him - did not realize it was the drugs they were forcing on him. I was stupid. They messed him up so badly - 30 days of overdrugging in a "stabilization" unit. (he was the MOST unstable here!) Upon D/C, they discontinued his meds and gave him an injection of Abilify Maintena. Severe reaction to this. No sleep, severe akathathsia, pacing the floors night and day, hardly eating -- exactly 2 weeks later - he was arrested. In jail 14 months where they tried multiple drugs on him. Finally putting him on Clozapine and Effexor. Then he was court ordered to a residential treatment center. The doctor there increased the Clozapine from 300mg to 500mg. 225mg effexor. He was getting through the court ordered program for 10 months. Then they ran out of his Clozapine. I really do not know all details because I have learned how corrupt they are. He was forced hospitalized. Day 1: forcibly injected with Haldol X2, Ativan X3, Versed X2, Geodon X1. While he was suffering withdraws from the abrupt CT cessation of 500mg of Clozapine and now the cessation of 225mg of Effexor - both forced upon him by the "professionals". Day 2: Forced injection of Haldol and ativan. I informed the hospital that he cannot tolerate haldol. But they continued to drug him up. Day three: Forced injections of Haldol X 3 and ativan X 3 and then they started giving him Benztropine. By the time I saw my son at visitation, he was almost dead and it was a gruesome sight. I will not give details but I know I suffer post traumatic stress from it all -- I had to argue with nurse to get help for him. He finally was rushed to CV-ICU. He had DX of respiratory failure, acute kidney failure with rhabdomylosis, dehydration, clozapine withdraws. The ICU doctor noted that they had to work on my son for 48 minutes to "stop vital organ system failure and stop further life-threatening deterioration of patient's condition". After ICU, it was awful - he was soon thrown back into psych. All visitation and phone rights denied him. He was kept in restraints, completely naked, hours on end. Med techs would hold him on the floor while other techs kicked and beat him in the head. They continued to forcibly drug him with thorazine, restoril, ativan, even adding depakote and eventually starting the clozapine again. I had to fight for him for three months. He still has health problems today. I am his caretaker but I need help. He currently is taking: 500mg Clozapine, 150mg effexor. 4- Me- I cannot even remember when I started to taper my meds. Everything is a blur. I started realizing how bad they are for me. Knew very little. I cut the lexapro dose in half - I think this was early 2017. And I cut the klonopin dose by 1/4. Still, since then, a few different meds were started but I would stop them CT. Then I started learning more. I read parts of the Ashton Manual. I have been on FB groups. I have actually received a lot of harsh treatment from some people in the FB groups, so I rarely go on any of those groups anymore. I have a scale now. I shave off my klonopin. I tried lowering the lexapro but ended up going back up to 10mg and holding. Want to get off klonopin. But I am not doing well at all. I am exhausted. cannot write anymore. I have waited years to even get this put in here. I hope it makes sense. I have tried liquid titration with klonopin - disaster for me. I hardly have time to even care for myself - son is urgent. I am just barely functioning. So that's that. Not how I would have liked to write it. but mind is jumbled I think. I feel misunderstood. Hope I am not misunderstood here. I feel very much alone. NIghtmares- terrible. depression like I have never experienced. extreme fatigue, but high demands on me. I have to function. No one cares or understands about my son or about me. My son needs to taper but I think he needs to wait until off probation - maybe April or May this year. Everything I read and see about Clozapine and the horrible labels they have assigned to him - it seems hopeless. I feel hopeless of ever getting off klonopin and lexapro. This is no way to live. I am making no sense. Not even painting the right picture...for people to understand. How does anyone successfully get off these drugs and get out of the control of the system? We live in FL and they are "Baker Act" crazy here. Baker Act is forced hospitalization. They even have police come handcuff and take children right out of schools to a psych facility. It is only getting worse. I do not know what to do. I want to be free of these drugs. Also, my son wants to be free of the drugs. We both want to be free from the control of this holocaust type system call psychiatry. I know a moderator has to approve. Maybe this was not written correctly. Just let me know what I did wrong. This took a lot of effort. Even reading takes a lot of effort and I even forget. So maybe i am not supposed to put all this in here. Just let me know.
  14. About six months ago I went to my doctor because I was having chest pain which she shrugged off as anxiety and prescribed 10 mg of lexapro once a day. it ended up being a serious heart condition but that's another story. I wasn't depressed or anxious at the time but I took the lexapro anyways just to prove my doctor wrong. After about 30 minutes of my first dose I felt a rush of euphoria like I never felt before; music sounded so much intense,energetic and wonderful even music that normally felt blah;I couldn't help but dance and sing along. memes,jokes and things on tv were the funniest thing ever at the time and I was laughing at everything; I would rarely laugh otherwise. I couldn't sleep at night because I had too much excitement; my mind was full of different ideas,thoughts and things I wanted to do. I ended up impulse buying a lot of useless things that I felt like I just had to have at the time using my savings. I did a complete wardrobe overhaul and went through a goth,sport,vintage,hipster phase all in the course of a week. ended up completely redecorating my room. it felt impossible to answer question in class or do my homework which would have been easy before taking lexapro; but I kept taking it anyways because of how good it felt, it was like a constant high. I pick up hobbies that I hadn't done in forever like model trains and photography; but there wasn't many interesting things to take pictures of where I lived so I had the great idea of dropping everything I was doing at the time and driving across the country to sight see and take pictures. so I packed my things and went with no real plan of how I was gong to do that. I only ended up diving about 50 miles away before my double vision, lack of coordination and reflexes started to come back a side effect of the lexapro. I ended up crashing into a tree; I walked out with only a few scratches but the car was wrecked. I realized I could have seriously hurt or killed someone. I flushed my medication down the toilet so I wouldn't be tempted to take it again. a day afterwards everything that I had done had hit me at once; I felt flabbergasted and even though I only took it for a week I spiraled into a deep depression that lasted over a month. But I resisted the urge to claim I lost my medication and take it again. I got a second opinion and found another doctor that actually found what was really wrong and just in time too. now it's been about six months since I last took lexapro and recently I've been having urges to take it again for fun; life feels boring sober. Especially with everything closed and being alone stuck in quarantine. I found a merchant on the dark web selling lexapro; so I went to a bitcoin ATM added funds to an account and opened a PO box but I manged to stop myself before I bought it.I haven't tried any illegal drugs so I can't imagine those would make me feel but the drug I have the urge to try is lexapro. So do you guys have any advice on how to stop the cravings.
  15. I am new to this site and hoping to get some tips. I have been on Lexapro for about 19 years ( now mid50s) and really want to come off it. I first went on when I suffered anxiety after suddenly losing my mother and really should not have stayed on so long. Tried coming off a few times and got irritable/ mood changes so resumed (all attempts were cold turkey). Since Oct, at the advice of my doctor I halved to 10mg in one go for 6 weeks and then to zero from there about 6 weeks ago. I thought I was being slow and careful, but reading some of your posts, I have gone way too quick! I had no idea about the withdrawal effects - and neither did my doctor either, it would seem! in the last few weeks I have had vertigo/ dizziness which now seems to have resolved, but am very irritable/ short fused for the past 3-4 weeks. I am unsure what to do now - should I wait it out and stay off the pills, or am I likely setting myself up for a big fail? Shoukd I go back on some dose, and stay there for a while before tapering more slowly in 3-6 months time? There is no big hurry, I just want to be aiming to get to zero at a safe point any advice on the best path from here would be appreciated. Unsure what I should do and if these symptoms will stay/ or get worse if I stay off tge a Lexapro
  16. Hello all! I will try to make this nice and short. I have been on lexapro 20mg for about 5 years with great success. However, I recently had been constantly tired, sleeping 10 hours at night, and 3 hours during the day. I got blood work and a sleep study, all negative, so i suspected my medication. This had made things difficult, so i decided to talk to my doctor, who recommended reducing the dose to 15mg. This had went well for the most part, but i began to feel foggy, so he recommended switching to prozac. Here is how he switched me: Week 1: 15mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 2: 10mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 3: 5mg lexapro, 20 mg prozac Week 4: 20 mg prozac only I have been on 20mg prozac only for ~1 weeks, and it has been hell. I have had insomnia, increased depression/anxiety, but most severely, I have had intense brain fog. I have trouble remembering anything. I am in my final year of physical therapy school, in my final clinical rotation, and it has 100% affected my performance. I struggle with simply remembering what my patients have already done, remembering their names, remembering techniques I have learned, etc. I am thinking this intense brain fog is mostly due to coming off the lexapro so quickly after being on it for so long, combined with a small amount of prozac side effects. Sooo, my question is this: Do i stick it out with the prozac and hope my body gets used to it? Do i jump from 20mg of prozac to 40mg (my doctor said it is up to me?), Or do i go back to taking my 20mg of lexapro, and gradually tapering my medication properly using the 10% rule. I am leaning to doing this, but feel terrible, as its like I am addicted to these medications to simply function. But at the same time, this is the most important part of my young career, as suceeding in clinical rotation leads to job offers and is necessary to even graduate. Any advice is greater appreciated!!
  17. Hi everyone! 24 yr old here (my birthday is in 7 days though!) had a really horrible reaction with Escitalopram after only 2 1/2 weeks on 10mg around mid-September and i've been struggling with the symptoms since. My body and nervous system is hypersensitive to medication, like even a typical mosquito bite will cause my arm to balloon up. Unsure if it was neurotoxicity or what exactly went wrong but i basically had to cold turkey immediately, the ssri was prescribed for panic attacks and it's giving me a whole ton of anxiety-inducing symptoms that persist like: onset of multiple drifting floaters in my visual field that i've *never* experienced in my life before which are super distracting when having conversations, or looking at bright white surfaces like a phone or computer screen, these seem to have calmed down slightly after 6 weeks off but remain, and i'm worried they're permanent. About 2-3 times per week if i'm overly stressed or fatigued i'll wake up with a blotchy red spot in my field of view that disappears after a few seconds which is absolutely terrifying, this has improved from seeing it daily on the 1st week of withdrawal - i've searched the net and it seems like i'm the only person that has this symptom when driving or looking into far distances there appears to be a mirage haze or heat-wave vision.. the closest thing I can describe it to would be gas shimmering in the air, (in the middle of spring?) and when i'm having a realllyyyy bad day the the walls look like they're shaking until I look away. This is totally a nightmare and taking Lexapro was the worst decision of my young life, before the antidepressant I had never hallucinated, never taken psychedelics, and now I don't even want my friends to see me like this. I can't remain asleep for more than 3 hours without waking up and i'm scared daily but trying to remain hopeful!! I also get hypnic jerks and trembling/shaking while drifting off to sleep but it's rare enough to be manageable, i've found approx~ 100mg of magnesium and two capsules of fish oil in the morning and night really helps. Thanks so much for reading :3 just need some reassurance that all of this will pass!
  18. Hello everybody, I apologize in advance for my English writing, it wil not be perfect but i hope you can understand me! My name is Andi and i am from The Netherlands, i am 31 years old! I have a history with social anxiety and panic disorder although i can honestly say that as for as the social anxiety goes im doing a lot better, the only major problem i have is the fact that i have a lot of fear for the fear if that makes sense! Anyway i started using Lexapro in 2012 and the first 2 years i was doing fine, no issues whatsoever, after 2 years i started to get severe neck nerve pain, i went to the doctor many times and the only thing he said was that is was due to stress! After walking around with crazy nerve pain for about 4 years and ruling out everything i then thought it had to be the Escitalopram! So then i made the biggest mistake ever!!! I quit cold turkey in 2017! For the first couple of weeks i was feeling kinda sick like the flue but it was actually not really that bad! My neck was starting to feel better so i was actually happy about it and thought that i was gonna feel fine in a couple of weeks! Wow was i wrong!! After 4 weeks i woke up with tinnitus, and after about 5 weeks the bomb exploded! I had the worst anxiety and panic attacks ever!! Whey worse than before the medication! I had severe restless legs and could not sleep! I was extremely emotional and also agressive! I had never been like that before!! I then obviously started googling these issues and came across this site as many others, i read a lot of different stories and thought wel maybe i will get better in time! But after 4 months of hell i had enough! I basically made an appointment with a psychiatrist and the first day they gave me Effexor! They could have given me anything because i didn't wanna go a day longer! Anyway after 2 weeks i went up to 75mg of Effexor and yes my emotional problems where a lot better but once again i got extreme neck pain, even worse than before so i had to go back to 37,5 mg! After a couple of days my neck was feeling a lot better but anxiety wise i was not great! Not as bad as before but also not great! The biggest issue i had with the anxiety that came was this weird thing where i felt like i could not breath!! That was horrible! Everytime the doorbell rang at home i immediately could't breath! Before the medication my anxiety was never like this!! Anyway after dropping to 37mg of Effexor i still felt like choking sometimes however i was sleeping a bit better (not longer than 4 hours in a row) but atleast the restless legs where gone! Emotional wise i was still doing oke. So because i was to scared to come off Effexor i was on it for about a year until the end of 2018! At that moment i felt reasonable and the anxiety was also a bit better so i decided to gett off the meds because i was getting some annoying side effects once again! So i tapered down over the course of 3 months, i know some people will say that this is to fast but i was done with the medication because of the very annoying side effects like teeth grinding, not being able to sleep long and once again neck pain! Anyway in February of this year i had my last pill! So the first 6 weeks i was doing okay! I definitely felt some withdrawal issues like restless legs and emotional, irritated and things like that but not as bad as last year when i came off lexapro! But once again after about 7 weeks things got bad, i got a lot more anxiety and emotional and somehow my neck started hurting again, i also feel extemely irritated and annoyed very fast! I can get really angry if something goes wrong and i hate this because i have never been like this before! My anxiety is also through the roof and once again i cant sleep! So its been 4 months now and still no progress! I still feel like im surviving and have no life! I talked with many people, i have a new psychiatrist and when i explain my problem she looks at me like she doesn't care, she keeps saying that i am probably one of the very few people with these issues! The only option she gives me is to take other medication! I really don't want to do it but i will probably take an other medicine in August because i just cant do this anymore! Nobody reassures me or anything! They act like i had these issues before the medication but i know that is such bulls... I really start to hate doctors!! Anyway the only option i see is to wait until August because then i have been off the meds for 6 months, if by then there is no progression i have no other choice but to try an other medicine! Again i really don't want it but right now my life is horrible! I need reassurence, i still cant sleep! Why is it that when i started taking Effexor i could not sleep longer than 4 hours in a row and now i am off this medicine and i still have the same issue!? Is this permanent? Can these meds really damage you for life? Can anybody tell me will this get better and what is the timeframe? Thank you for reading!
  19. Hi Everyone, So where to start? Guess this forces another time to think back when a fatal turn of my life started. Unlike most of us here, I started the 2 week sample supply of Lexapro pill in 2009 for a severe headache based on recommendation of a friend who has been taking SSRI for years. So I didn't go through any information of side effect or how to take the drugs etc., information you would otherwise get from a pharmacist or dedication insert. Somehow it stopped my headache 2 weeks on 10 mg of lex. I don't remember why I restarted it after the initial doses, but do know it’s not for another headache. It was something only now I can relate that it must be withdrawal of that 2 weeks sample. Anyway, I started feeling anxious and other flu-like symptoms (which I mistakenly thought I do have anxiety) so I have been on and off lex on a dose 1/4--1/3 of the 10 mg pill over 3 yrs. period (so been withdrawal numerous times unconsciously). I was ok then except for some pins/needling sensation on head, neck and back in morning which is tolerable. When the generic Lex was first available in the market mid-2012, insurance switched me to it without my awareness. After half year of the switch (increased from 2.5mg to 10mg in fighting with the side effects), pin and needling getting less to none while jaw pain progresses to a level of daily bothersome. The thought of withdrawal was triggered by the worsening of the jaw pain. I prepared the WD fully (as I thought) by lots of online research and used the program from Point of Return taking their supplement pre, during, post WD along with lower than suggested reduction rate (5%) tapering down from 10mg-5mg quickly and then 5mg-2.5mg (liquid) in 2 months when hell started with the most weird and severe jaw and head pain which took me to the first ever panic attack (Aug.2013), plus constent knifing on my head. I backed up to 2.5-3.0mg since then in fearing of the recurrence of the severe WD. Ever since then, I never had one day or minute free of this pain, along with hot flush companied by occasional anxiety and depression.. I switched back to name brand Nov. 2013 (also liquid) after learning from others that the generic can cause severe jaw pain (it is recognized by many generic takers that the two works differently and the generic is bad or worse). It seems the pain is lessoned after 4 month switch just a tiny bit in severity not even the frequency while stabilizing for the change has been the battle of my everyday life. It’s so crazy how much one drop more or less can do to my poor mind and I have to say I gave up hope to understand weather it’s too much or too less of the med is causing which/what symptoms. Everytime I change (ip or down) just a few drops of the liquid lex, I got handful of strange and new symptoms and lately I have been thinking of suicide, the only way to stop it all. I dont know if when others talking about suicidal thoughts, is it somethign poped up out of blue or more like the terrible feeling/suffering put you into such thought? Putting all the sorrow and agony aside, While in constant search for understanding of the situation for a strategy, from what I learned from publications (one of those linked below) and fellow victims (with same severe WD after many years), I have been asking myself this big question: will it be better off just staying with the med than continuing tapering (which could post greater danger and suffering for long time)? http://www.madinamer...n-acknowledged/ I understand this means giving up the hope for freedom and live with poor quality life. But this is what I have been struggling lately everyday and really appreciate your thoughts. Hope we all have a good day for the good Friday and getting better.
  20. Hello, my name is Jonathan. I’m 21. I started taking Lexapro after being admitted into the hospital for intense panic attacks that resulted in suicidal ideology. The first dose I took of Lexapro I immediately felt this numbing/ quieting effect in my mind, like my internal dialogue was shut off, which then resulted in me feeling so removed from reality I just remember crying and staring at a wall for 2-3 hours before I eventually fell asleep. I feel like I had such adverse effects due to an overall hypersensitivity to medication which was confirmed because I also tried Wellbutrin and switching to Zoloft and both of these medications resulted in me feeling adverse effects immediately. I was on Lexapro 5mg morning 5mg night starting June 2018 and it was miserable the whole time. I felt the emotional numbing, general apathy which I expected. But the worst thing was the dissociation. It was like everything physically was numbed out. Bright light, foggy days, nature in general made me feel like I was stuck in this dream state. I often felt like I had lost all connection to myself, like I was a gathering of vague memories floating through with no meaning. This started bringing lots of panic back and crying spells multiple nights a week. I decided I wanted to come off Lexapro and I stupidly, the spring of 2019, tried cold turkey. Being so sensitive to the drug, after about 3 days I went into a 104 degree fever which lasted 15 days. Luckily my parents came into town and took me home from college. this was the start of an extremely slow taper that lasted until just recently Beginning of April 2020 where I am finally off the drug. I was hopeful for the first time in a while that things might return to normal, like before I was on the drug at all. However, I’ve been feeling a lot of the same feelings I had every time I would taper on Lexapro. Crying spells, the feeling that I am not real. All concepts have lost meaning. Space, time, memory. I wake up in the same familiar bed with the most obvious feeling that it couldn’t be farther from alright. Everything is off. I drive down the same roads I’ve been on my whole life and I can’t help but feel the fog creep in until it has covered my memories, convincing me that my reality has been manipulated and I am no longer able to see things as they truly are, or were. Color is faded. Light is surreal. Overcast days fill me with dread. I’ve lost all connection to the physical world. Those concepts of space and time bring on the most intense feelings of fear and despair. The only sensations I feel anymore, the only ones that remind me that this feels like a nightmare. It honestly feels like hell and I don’t know how to find relief. I’ve started up therapy again but talking about all these feelings make it worse. I’d rather completely numb/ distract myself in my room all day then be forced to relive all these moments. I honestly don’t know if I will ever be able to feel like things are ok again. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  21. Well, as someone who abused prescription and street drugs for over 15 years, I do tend to trust drug users over MDs. Thats why I am here. but I'm having trouble believing cold turkey will actually make withdrawal worse or last longer. This post is probably going to not be very cohesive. I am having a lot of trouble concentrating. Anyway, my psychiatrist said that basically I had mild anxiety and depression mostly induced by polydrug abuse. I used, tapered, and relapsed on alprazolam (Xanax) for years. Went cold turkey after a 10 day libriu taper. So much easier than tapering for a long time, in my opinion. It has been 20 months since then. Therefore I am not sold on the antidepressant taper. I cut lexapro in half a few months ago to 10mg. I noticed no change. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist because my GP is an idiot. I trust her even less than most doctors. I went down to 5 mg a week ago and have started to experience a lot of negative symptoms in the past few days. Mainly just irritability, fatigue, and dissociation. Honestly the info on this forum is the only thing thats really lowered my self-efficacy. Could you give me your general thoughts? Thank you
  22. Hello, I started lexapro for mild social anxiety and was on it for 6 years (3 of those years I was on 60mg which I found out later was 3x the Max dose). I never had any issues on the medicine if I skipped a dose or went up or down in dosage. I abruptly stopped taking it about 2 years ago and had horrible withdrawal symptoms. I went right back on the medicine but was never able to have coffee after that and had palpitations. After that scare I wanted to get off the medicine so last year starting in January i weaned down from 10mg to 0mg in a 4 month period. I never had any issues while tapering off. Then in June (3 months after stopping) one day I randomly felt 2 sharp electric shocks in my head while reading and started to have an onslaught of symptoms after. Dizziness (feeling like a bobble head when walking), extreme fatigue, heart issues which caused me to go to ER a few times, sensitiviy to noise, visual disturbances etc. I went to many doctors and everything was normal. In September my symptoms got progressively worse to the point where I had to move back home to my parents. For the past 2.5 months I have basically been bed ridden am developing POTs type symptoms and have extreme fatigue and dizziness. I tried taking Xanax for 3 days in September, lexapro for 4 days at 1mg in nov and this past weekend I took Zoloft at 25mg for two days and I had a bad reaction to each, especially the Zoloft. I now have brain zaps and shocky like sensations whenever I move my head or eyes. I wanted to get advice to see if this sounds like it’s attributed to lexapro as every doctor has assured me it’s not and if so, if there’s any hope for healing. Thanks.
  23. ME: 37 y.o. female STORY: In escitalopram 1 year and two months: low dosis (10 mg per day) from Jun 2013 to May 2013, then I low to 10 gr every two days. eventually quit on September 2013 WHY STARTING WITH IT? I had the drug because I experienced a great general anxiety. It really cure my problem. Other drugs you are having or gone back to this one : NO SIDE EFFECTS: - Not arousal, not libido: the sensation of "I could live without sex" - I can get orgasms but they are much weaker. - I have noticed that my breast don´t get swollen before menstruation - Lack of vaginal discharge - Barely absence of vaginal odour Any improvements since then: NO Natural suplements or herbs you are having?: 1500 mg oil fish omega 3 daily since 28/1/2014 "if you come up with any good ideas, please let us know"
  24. Suffering from severe stress, overthinking and anxiety for over 15 years. Was on cymbalta for about 5 years. Then tried to withdraw from it using amino acids and herbs on my own. But had serious withdrawal symptoms and psychosis. Then I was prescribed Lexapro 20 mg and rexulti 1 mg. I was able to withdraw from rexulti after 2 years. But still currently on Lexapro 20 mg since 4 years. I want to wean off this time. I am so planning to get the SPECT scan done at the Amen clinics soon if it can be helpful. I am currently 35 years old and not going to give up this time. i tried to lower the dose by 15% (approx) 3 weeks back for 3 days and had severe withdrawal symptoms like fever, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, brain zaps, loss of control. I went back to my original 20mg dose and doing fine now since this week. Is it a good idea to take fish oil, multi vitamins, and other natural herbs while tapering off Lexapro so brain can produce new neurotransmitters?
  25. Hi there everyone, Im really hoping to get some perspective on my situation as it feels as though Im a bit of a loss. My story: In May 2016 I suffered a mental break due to high situational stress which resurfaced trauma. I experienced panic attacks, depression, paranoia (induced by an acne medication started in the days prior) instrusive thoughts, etc. Not knowing what was happening I saw an MD that prescribed me Zoloft. After 2 days on it I became desperate and ended up in hospital where I was switched onto Lexapro 15mg and Risperidone 0.5 for my racing thoughts and sleeping pills. I was released after 2 weeks and soon after I quickly gave up the sleeping pills. I underwent psychotherapy and in February 2017 I gave up the dose of Risperidone and reduced my Lexapro to 10 mg. In spring of 2018 I talked to my MD about feeling strong enough to begin my taper as I felt like I'd been functioning well. The side effects of reduced emotions, 30lb weight gain and low libido were nagging me so he said I was approved to go. I did some research and began reducing at what I thought was a slow taper; in retrospect I can see it wasn't. I did my best to cut the pills and did this: -10mg to 7.5mg for 2 weeks - 7.5mg to 6mg for 3 weeks - 6mg to 5mg for 2 weeks And so forth... As I tapered I experienced WD symptoms like anxiety, panic, dizziness, crying spells etc. As a result I started seeing a therapist who was supportive of what I was trying to do. When I got to smaller doses I switched to a liquid form of lexapro and managed to wean myself to 1.2mg and then it was TOO MUCH. I reinstated to 1.3mg and recovered for months as my work life became so complicated and I needed time to help myself. That last taper was in Sept 2018 and here I am nearly 10 months later. I have been changing my lifestyle and working through again resurfaced traumas with a new therapist, and Im feeling more like that mild to moderate depression is lifting. I have been struggling again with a lack in range of emotions and wondering if this is a me problem or a medication issue. The therapist seems to think that my anxiety and mild/moderate depression are back and new meds is the key solution. With all the progress I've made and how I've grown in over 3 years makes me think otherwise, so I feel stuck. Being on such a low dose how should I go about continuing my taper? Is it possible Im experiencing a poop-out that I've read about? Just looking for advice! On the day to day my mood is stable not much anxiety except around my cycle. Just again those flattened emotions which is frustrating. This website has been a guide post for me in educating myself, thank you so much!
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