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  1. jsiegel

    Is this possible

    Have been on antidepressants since 1990s. I would go to my PCP and tell them what I wanted to try next. Over the years I have been on prozac, paxil, and now the cocktail I want to taper from. Tried to taper in past but gave up quickly thinking there would be a better time. And May 2019 was it. Started to taper from wellbutrin and lexapro ‘cocktail’ under guidance of PCP. She put me on a 2 year taper. In March was down to 150 mg wellbutrin every 4 days. Crashed with current homebound routine. So she suggested I go to every 3 days and wait for the pandemic to ease up before resuming taper. Is it possible after all these years to actually be drug free? Are there any psychiatrists who know about tapering? Ive read allot about the tapering strips. Any psychiatrists willing to prescribe? I want off these meds...but the road sure is daunting at times. Any words of encouragement welcomed.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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"
  5. 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?
  6. 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!
  7. Good morning. I can't sleep right now, so I am posting here. Trying to learn as fast as possible, so bear with me if this information is in another thread. Partner has reduced from 200mg buproprion & 20 mg escitalopram to 150 and 15 respectively. I understand that it is only wise to do one drug at a time. We are on day 15 since reducing the dosage and started to notice prior symptoms reoccurring to a lesser extent around day 9. They are bearable. I don't want to cause damage one way or another by making adjustments too quickly. Have read and need to continue to read more about the 10% rule. I am going to ask the doctor for a liquid form to have a more gradual taper. I understand that we need to do our own research for understanding, and that sometimes doctors can only take us so far. Should she go back on her previous doses, stabilize for a month or two, then reintroduce a taper? Does going back on the previous dosage rock the boat too much or should we taper back up? Thank you so much for your insight. I appreciate everyone's posts here, and am looking forward to further educating myself in this newfound wealth of information.
  8. Wondering if anyone has had problems with switching to liquid lexapro. i have been tapering off 5mg of lexapro (after 7 yrs at 10 mg i stopped too quickly 2 yrs ago and got very sick). over the past year i have gone from 5mg tablet to 1/4 tablet (1.25 mg) and now trying to use liquid. feeling more muscle tension, jaw clenching, carpal tunnel. i also am still dealing with gut issue. been tested for everything and all is good but 2-3 hrs after a bowel movement i can have dizziness, nausea, reflux, anxiety and increased hot flashes. days that i am constipated i have very low symptoms. tried Dr. Hinz amino acid protocol for 10 months and it was interesting, i had some very good days but ended up being very up and down on it so tapered off. it seemed to help some because once i got off it i felt better. now just trying to find some level of lex to feel ok on so i can continue with taper. i was playing around with cutting tablets up but hard to be accurate with that so my holistic dr. gave me script for the liquid. been 5 days at .70 mg and not sure if i need to go up a bit or just stay here for awhile. confusing since the muscle and gut sympoms are aggravated. when i initially went off 10 mg lex one thing i noticed was that the muscle issue and constipation went away. but then i got really sick - like really sick. so now i am perplexed as to why the muscle issue has returned. it was pretty low when i was tapering from 5 mg. had some ups and downs with it on the amino acid protocol. i am a bit freaked that my nervous system is damaged and really want to believe it can heal. it certainly has healed some. i am much better than i was a year ago when i couldnt even work. this is my first post - so alot of info. thanks!
  9. Hello everyone, Before I begin, I want to apologize for the length of my first post. While some of the information may seem irrelevant at first, I'm trying to provide context and useful details to be as helpful as possible. I have tried to follow the forum guidlines as much as possible, but there is a lot to read up on, so if I am missing anything or anything needs adjusted please let me know. I am a male student in my early thirties who was first prescribed Lexapro/Escitalopram when I was nineteen for situational anxiety. Following the doctor's taper advice, I went on and off it twice in my twenties. The reason I returned to the drug both times was, again, situational anxiety that became debilitating to daily life. I did not have any problems with these tapers, which were completed over a few weeks. My latest period on the drug started in late 2013. I was on this dose, Lexapro/Escitalopram 20mg, for approximately six years. Last fall, I decided I wanted to taper off for good. I was experiencing some effects such as sleeping long periods, morning anxiety, and a feeling of a constricted nasal passage in the morning that I thought might be related to the drug. More generally, being on the drug made me feel ashamed and I was coming upon a turning point in my life that had made me committed to living healthier. Given my experience with past tapers, I conceived a taper that, at the time, seemed cautious since it was a longer plan. I would alternate days and divide the dose in half every two weeks. When the dose became too small to prepare with a pill cutter, I used a pill crusher and made a water/drug solution that I administered with an oral syringe. This taper was completed from August to December 2019, over approximately four months. The negative effects I remember when tapering was some occasional irritability/emotional oversensitivity. I now realize that, given my situation, this taper was foolish and too fast. In my mind, I was just trying to do what I thought was a more careful version of the method I used in the past. In the middle of January 2020, I noticed one of my testicles was swollen. My PCP had me get an ultrasound, which indicated that I had developed a small hydrocele. A hydrocele is an accumulation of fluid that is generally harmless, but sometimes requires surgery to remove. Accompanying the hydrocele was some penile pain/burning. Although a urine test indicated that this was not from a urinary infection or STD, my doctor prescribed an antibiotic. I presume he was suspecting an infection of another kind. I began the antibiotic on February 13, and after about five to six days, I began noticing some very distressing symptoms: confusion, bad mind fog, short-term memory issues, anxiety, strange vertigo-like sensation behind the eyes, inability to feel emotions. I woke up in the middle of the night on day seven with a panic attack like none I'd ever had before. It was relatively short, but my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest, which isn't a symptom associated with my past panic attacks. The symptoms I described would come in waves of a few hours and then attentuate. Around days seven and eight I also was going in out of something I would describe as a dissociative state combined with intense anxiety. It was very bizarre and unlike anything I had ever experienced berfore. I just felt disconnected from everything, the world felt corrupted, and combined with the aforementioned symptoms was very terrifying. At the time the first symptoms (mind fog, anxiety) appeared, I thought they might be connected to coming off the SSRI. This seemed logical considering that they were primarily psychological symptoms. I went online and learned for the first time about the possibility of protracted withdrawal from SSRIs. My understanding prior to this was that talk of "discontinuation/withdrawal syndrome" referred to the brain zaps/flu-like symptoms that sometimes accompany tapering. Nevertheless, on day eight of the antibiotic (February 20), it occurred to me that the antibiotic was the only new factor to be introduced during the preceding week and these symptoms were so qualitatively different than anything I had ever felt before. After looking it up online, I found reports of this particular antibiotic causing the previously mentioned side effects - anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, etc. (see https://www.medications.com/doxycycline-hyclate/39445). After learning this on the evening of day eight, I decided to quit taking the antibiotic, and within two to three days the side effects mostly subsided. The following week (February 23), the penile pain/numbness/occasional paresthesia returned. I had daily anxiety for a couple weeks worrying about this issue until the urologist did a physical examination (March 5) and assured me that everything was normal, but that the symptoms could possibly be coming from an issue with my pelvic floor muscles. She recommended that I look into pelvic floor therapy, which I have yet to look into. Since the urologist appointment, the penile symptoms have largely disappeared, which leads me to believe that they may have been psychosomatic effects combined with lingering antibiotic side effects. Most recently, over the last week (March 9-15), I've noticed a return of some of the psychological symptoms I was experiencing before while on the antibiotic, only not quite as intense: hours-long waves of anxiety, mind fog, heart pounding, memory issues. I'm just generally feeling "out of it" and not "like myself," kind of like a hangover. The last two nights I have had problems sleeping because of anxiety and heart palpitations. I am concerned with what is causing these issues. Some people who took the antibiotic I did said the side effects lasted weeks or months afterwards. This seems possible given that antibiotics can kill a lot of the "good" gut bacteria that have some relation to mood regulation. What is confusing is that some of the side effects of the antibiotic seem to overlap with those of SSRI withdrawal. So could it be that one triggered or exacerbated the other or that it is a combination of both? The last two months have been some of the hardest of my life. From being in the emergency room worried about the antibiotic damaging my brain, to worrying about having a debilitating genital issue that would ruin my ability to form a relationship or have kids, to worrying about the possibility of SSRI withdrawal, it's been one thing after the other. Currently, I'm dealing with trying to finish my semester remotely while holed up with my family because of the coronavirus situation. One family member was recently discharged from the hospital and requires a lot of constant assistance with certain medical procedures and therapies, so that has been stressing everyone out. So it is also possible that I'm just feeling burned out. In the meantime, I have started seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist who is sympathetic to people weaning of antidepressants and transitioning to more wholistic therapy. She thinks it is conceivable that the issue is any or all of the things I described above, and has advised me to live as healthy as possible in the meantime. I have adjusted my diet (including adding probiotic foods), spent time walking daily, cut out caffeine, and started on fish oil, a multivitamin, and gingko biloba. Overall, my purpose for posting here is to get any kind of guidance or perspective that may be helpful. I understand this is a complex situation that doesn't have a clear response. At this point it seems my options are to wait it out or to try to reinstate the Lexapro/Escitalopram at a lower dose which seems successful for some, although from reading here it seems that at three months since the last dose I am approaching the end of the window of opportunity where that seems effective. I found a psychiatrist from the forum's "recommended doctors" section who lives close to me and seems to recognize withdrawal, so scheduling an appointment is a possibility. Finally, I want to thank the administrators and moderators of the forum for their work in selflessly providing a space for those of us in need to receive advice.
  10. It started in December 2018. On 17th of December I took my first (and only pill) of lexapro 10 mg. I have never taken drugs (not even alcohol). I desperetely took an AD because I was depressed and suffered from extreme anxiety attacks, due to malnutrion, being out of work and the loss of what I felt was the love of my life. I wanted talk therapy but the waiting list was so long and I got desperate. 1 pill made me suffer terrible insomnia and crazy mania. I was so afraid because I couldn't feel any emotions and I started sweating like crazy. My doctor ignored my, and after a few days without sleep I ended up in the hospital where they drugged me with Olanzapine for my anxiety. I wook up feeling even more terrible. This time I had vision problems, metallic taste in my mouth, angry violent impulses rushing in combination with being like a zombie. I was numb in the left side of my body, had poor co-ordination and couldn't move the fingers in my left hand. I told doctors this, but they didn't listen. "You really need your meds" was the answer.After 4 days on olanzapine I quit CT. During this period my health anxiety and mania around it skyrocketed. I ordered a lot of supplements to heal my brain, went to the ER asking to get my brain was damaged from the stroke. The reason I believed it was a stroke was that when I googled my symptoms "intense headache like you never experienced before" , "numbness on one side of the body", so I thought my brain One of the supplements I ordered was Mucuna Pruriens, an indian medicine with L-dopa. And with the effects of the other drugs still in my system I reacted really badly. I got this extreme euphoria from nowhere and then I totally crashed. I ended up in hospital, after trying LLLT-therapy. No doctors believed my theory that the drugs had done this, and that I got an dopamine-overdose, and now a broken reward system. At first I at least had some energy in January. But after the hospital, where they gave me a cicordinol injection along with benzos, I completely disconnected from my self. There is no now anymore, and the damage/experience is so much worse than it was when it started with Lexapro (which was an enough traumatic experience). No one has listened and only now do my family believe me, when they got to witness live how i developed tardive dyskenisia from the injection at the hospital. My lean and healthy--looking face and body, is now pluffy/swollen. I have gained weight despite excellent dietary habits. I have never before been able to gain weight, no matter what I eat. My hospital stay was in February-April. The injection was against my will, my family and doctors aswell. The doctor said I'm not psychotic. The doctors on the otherhand gave me "delusional disorder" and other labels for simply criticizing modern medicine and how telling them how sick I became because of the drugs. One of the sleeping meds made me totally loose my vision and I got muscle spasm, but the nurse's didn't bother. After the injection my neck starting twitching and I couldn't hold it straight. I could not talk. I was drooling and couldn't open my jaw. I stood drooling in front of the whole medical staff team, and they ignored me and told me to go back to my room. The doctor didn't give me any meds after that, stating, "Well you are obviously sensitive to drugs". Well, that should have been plain, given the reason I was there in the first place. During this time I also suggested to be treated with Zoloft. I think it was for 2-3 weeks, can't really remember anything from this time really. Only didn't to escape more antipsychotic poisoning and because I felt my life was already over anyways. Been free of medicines since April. 1 pill Escitalopram (10mg) December. 4 pills olanzapine (10mg) December. Sleeping meds: imovane (december-march/april). Benzos: Mitrazepan 1-2 times. Theralen, 2 times. (Really damaged me) Cicodirnol injection (don't now the dose, but low dose). Reasoning for it was that I stopped showering at the hospital. Why? Well it was traumatic to see yourself naked and in front of a mirror, and not being able to feel the water on your body... I live at home. With wellfare (thanks Sweden, but your healthcare is like the medieval ages). Every day I'm slowly loosing touch with reality.I have friends and family. A yoga teacher supporting me to go to an Indian Ayruvedic hospital in June. But my health is detoriating. I can barely move my neck (that problem I didn't have before when the worst of the injection was behind me). I have no feelings whatsoever. Anhedonia. Nothing gives me pleasure. I am against porn, but tried it to see if I react, I did react at the hospital (not a normal reaction, but something happened), no nothing. Porn was an easy test due to dopamine and how powerful it is on our brains. But nothing happens. I have no higher concioussness. No feeling of the now or my-self. This was severely damaged by the drugs in the first place, but it is just getting worse. When it all started I had racing thoughts, flashbacks, anxiety etc. And even hope when I started to improve after quitting Olanzapine. But the Mucuna Pruriens sent me back to something that is not worthy a life at all. So body has shut down. Memory. IQ. Everything declining. I have a hard time writing and coordinating everything I do. I don't know if this post belongs here, but I most say it does. Everything started with Lexapro. Got worse with Olanzapine. And finally ended me with the dopamine overload and later on injection. My background: 26 year old from Sweden. Musician, graphic designer, have master's degree in Media Production, worked as a teacher, have been a top-performer but also really anxious and low sense of self, I have not valued my self at all despite everything external going great for me. Loving, caring and really emotional. Now I'm flat and liveless. My face has changed. Eyes are dead.No curiosity for life. Deaf in one ear after the meds. I can't read or listen to music, or watch films. That was possible in the beginning before my self medication. It feels lonely. Lonely to have had such a strong reaction, not being taken seriously which made the situation much worse than it should have been. I know some of you have been on theese drugs for years, I have not, but the damage has been imense. What has happened? Can this be turned around? I am lonely in this? I just want my life back. So I wanted to share this. I should have done that in December. Maybe then I could have been warned, tapering, avoiding interactions etc. Need your support. Hope everything makes sense. I can't remember what I have written and have no energy to proof-read. / Albin
  11. Hello and welcome to my hell. Lexapro 2 years along with heavy marijuana use, CT ... Fine for 5 months then all hell broke loose. April 2019 Took 1 10mg lexapro and woke up vomiting and diahrea. Cut back to 5mg for 2 days but couldnt move and also had the flu. Dr. Says try again when flu gets better. May 2019 took 2.5mg lexapro and awoke two hrs later7 in sheer panic and full blown akathesia. No good. Ended up in mental hospital and put on 10 mg celexa. After 5 days thrown back into full blown akathesia. No good so stopped and got worse. Second hospital stay now on lithium and zyprexa which lasted less than a week. 3 weeks later back in another mental hospital. Third time not the charm .. Put on Zoloft 25 and 3 days later up to 50. Did okay for 4 weeks then got really ill, could not get out of bed. Tapered off over 2 weeks. That was 3 weeks ago from today (Sept 1 2019). Felt pretty good first week, slowly declining 2nd week and now I am in a lot of body pain, sweats, tingles, head pressure, si, inner restlessness, trouble sleeping, crying spells, anger, and at times just ok. Supplements are Lions Mane, l theanine, B vits, methyl b12 and folinic acid since I am a mthfr! Vit D. Omega's and mag.
  12. 2 months ago I was prescribed 5 mg of lexapro for depression after a 10 minute discussion where all I said was basically I had low energy. I knew I was sensitive to medication so I only took 2.5mg and only a few hours later I started having side effects and decided this was not for me. I thought they would last for the time it took for lexapro to leave my system but boy was that wrong. These 2 months have been the hardest of my life. It's like the side effects come and go in waves, getting worse and worse with small "windows" of feeling sane again. They include digestive upset, at first just diarrhea but that has gone away and now I just have random projectile vomiting usually set off by something so small like even a small magnesium supplement or food that I had no problem taking before. Brain zaps after the first month,have gone away but I thought I was having seizures when they happened my whole body would shake and any head movement or stress would trigger seeing stars and blackouts it was horrifying. Now at the near 3 month mark the emotional symtoms are the worst, every morning it's like I feel my mind spiral out of control as I wake up and become more alert. It's almost like I have to make myself not think because every thought becomes reality and the thoughts are always extreme and terrifying. Sometimes I can meditate and come into reality in the evening with the help of a beta blocker but during the day it is a constant effort to just sit still and not run away or believe the paranoid thoughts and delusions that are terrifying that I even think them. Each day usually ends in hysterical crying and existential terror which exhausts me to the point that I feel some "window" of normal like other people talk about. Thankfully my family is home from work due to the coronavirus but unfortunately the psychiatric place by my home is closed. My family doesn't believe this is caused by the lexapro and I know my doctor would not either. But I've read on sites that people are tapering off it in extremely tiny doses way smaller than 2.5mg So I guess my question is how much longer until I feel normal?? I read the article on this site about how some people try to go back on their drug to get off it slower but idk if this point if I should do that or if I'm too far past the last dose and theres no one to ask because most people believe that I should be fine from the 'small's dose I took. My current physical symptoms are no appetite despite constant stomach gurgling, acid reflux, vomiting, sweating shaking tremors, the worst is the constant pounding heartbeat, at any time of of my eyes is slightly drooping and my brain and face feel like it's hot and on fire. I've tried taking extremely small doses of theanine, klonopin, and 5htp. Nothing really helps longterm because it seems these symtoms are part of withdrawal and theres nothing I can do to stop them. I hope this isnt too long and does not come across as insensitive to others who were on larger doses for a longer time. I would greatly appreciate absolutely ANY support or advice.
  13. Hello all, I am new to this forum and found it through looking up antidepressant withdrawal like many of you probably did. Here is my story in short: December/Jan 2019/2020: Lots of life circumstances all sort of happened around the same time and led to me having a couple of panic attacks and some bad insomnia (a few random nights of not sleeping at all, but no more than 2 in a row ever) as well as increased anxiety. 1/16/20: I go to see my GP, tell him about my symptoms, and walk out of there with an Rx for Lexapro 10 mg and Trazodone 50 mg. I was wary of starting the meds so I did not fill them right away. 1/18/20: I didn't sleep the night before and decide that day that I need to "do something about it" so I fill and start taking the Lexapro 10 mg and 50 mg Trazodone at night. 1/18/20-2/8/20: 10 mg Lexapro daily and Trazodone 50 mg nightly. Gradually start to experience anhedonia, decreased social interest, just feeling withdrawn. Also bad short term memory loss. Also sleep was much worse, only 4-5 hours per night. 2/9/20-3/2/20: 5 mg Lexapro daily and Trazodone 50 mg nightly. Symptoms no better. Saw psychiatrist who recommended to just stop taking the Lexapro. 3/3/20-3/12/20: Only taking 25 mg Trazodone nightly now. Sleep has improved but symptoms of anhedonia are worse than they have ever been (note: I was not really depressed before the meds, I was taking them more for anxiety/panic attacks). Also, autonomic symptoms are all over the place--I am either too hot or cold, sweating too much, dizziness, etc. Also have a constant headache and also feeling like I am having some vision changes. Also having to use the bathroom much more than usual. I am looking for advice about what to do at this point. Obviously the past is in the past but I wish I could go back to January and just tell myself never to start the meds. But I am trying to be in the present and do what I can now. I have missed days at work and am fearful of not being able to work/losing my job. Any advice would be helpful/appreciated at this point. My GP and psych will likely be of no use/help at this point.
  14. Hi guys, Long time visitor to the site, but just registered to get some answers if possible. I’ll start with my history on Lexapro. I was convinced back in 2010 I was dying from a brain tumor and got very anxious and scared of what I was feeling. I remember getting the fight or flight sensations and it terrified me and I didn’t know what was happening. Doctor prescribed 5mg lexapro and then that went to 10mg. After about 1 - 2 years on it I wanted to get off it so the doctor recommend half the tablet and taper over the course of 4weeks. Followed his instructions and did that. Maybe 6-8 weeks the withdraw set in, brain zaps feeling of doom etc etc. Doc put me on the tablets again 10mg. So I stayed on them for about 5 more years and I think at 1 point went up to 20mg for about 4 months in 2011. Mainly I’ve been on 10mg. So fast forward to 2019. My anxiety was still here and doctor wanted me on 15mg of lexapro. So I did that, April 2019 started 15mg of Lex, and then in August I decided to taper but slowly. By November 24th I was on 5.5mg of Lexapro. I tried to see if I would stabilise one this dose but come January 2020 I didn’t and began to increase to 6.6, then next week 7.7 and then I stuck on 8mg from January 25th till February 15. I started to feel more anxiety and not only that depression came and I never suffered with depression so it was strange, nothing interests me or it’s just blah feeling. I am now 9 days on lexapro 10mg again and feeing like I failed. I must mention that when I went back up to 8mg from 5.5mg dosage I’m not sure if coincidence but my legs are feeling very heavy. I still have the depression symptoms too and I’m wondering if I am still in some type of withdrawal. Any advice regarding my recent increase? Should I stay on the 10mg ? I really want to get off these meds and will follow the 10% taper from this website but I just ask when would be the time to taper? I feel like the meds are now making me depressed and loss of interest in activities and my job too. thanks for reading if you got through all that lol -Jack
  15. Hi All, What an informative site. Well done all involved. Currently I'm on 20mg Lexapro & wish to reduce it down to 15mg over the next three months. I find my concentration poor so I would I would be very grateful if you could give me information in simple terms even bullet points. I've been on Lexapro 11 years.This is my goal for 2016.
  16. I know this community seems to be heavily in favor of getting of medicine entirely, but my anxiety and panic attacks are so bad I'd like to get into a calm state before I attempt. I have been on Lexapro for 12 years. The last few years the medicine has not seemed to work very well. My PCP and I decided to add Buspar 10mg while going from 10mg Lexapro to 5mg Lexapro. I had been feeling really well for two weeks after starting the Buspar. I went down on Lexapro and a week and a half later got extreme dizziness / off balance / coordination issues / vertigo / "wooshing" sensations. No other symtpoms. Three weeks of dealing with this I though maybe this was the Lexapro (although I was told with a Cross taper this would not happen) and went back on the Lexapro. It has been an additional three weeks and things have not improved. That's when googling lead me to this site... PCP now wants me to cross taper to Zoloft but I am incredibly afraid of making these symptoms worse. He says there should not be any withdrawl when cross tapering from SSRI to SSRI and these symptoms must be from something else and that we will do further medical testing to determine the cause. In the meantime, wants me to get settled on the Zoloft to calm my anxiety / panic / OCD around the symptoms. Then says when stable for a bit can start to slowly withdrawl the Zoloft. I feel stuck because I'm so afraid to go off the Lexapro (with or without the Zoloft!) due to these symptoms but feel stuck as I'm in a very bad place mentally but the medication is not helping the symptoms at all! I guess to summarize: Is is true that a cross taper from SSRI to SSRI should not induce any sort of withdrawl? Was that NOT that case when I had Buspar (since thats not a SSRI)? Does this sound like withdrawl, and if so, wondering why this is the only main symptom and why I've seen no improvement after six weeks.
  17. Hello! So it has been four months since my last dose of Lexapro. I’ve been experiencing pretty bad tinnitus - anyone else experiencing something similar? Anyone know how long this typically lasts?
  18. Skeeter

    Skeeter's Journey

    My signature pretty much covers my recent history. For anyone reading this, if you have a short term bout of anxiety, and your doc suggests, Xanax, PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, read up on how hard it is to come off of it, and consider that before you ever start the med. I was put on it for short term anxiety, was on it for 4 months, and then my doc switched me from Xanax to less that half of the equivalent dose of Valium in one day (a process that should take several months, according to the Ashton Method, which most say is too fast- and I agree), so I ended up with over 50 signs and symptoms on top of the pain I already deal with on a daily basis that changed from day to day, even hour to hour. April was when I did the switch, and I did not feel human until July sometime. I am just holding now, before I am ready to start a very slow taper on my own, WITHOUT A CALENDAR! I have been on valium for a long time, but at a dose that is still at least 5mg over what I was on for muscle spasms. I would like to get back to PRN (as needed). That is the reason I am here, but if we back up to October of 2016, my doctor took me off of 3 AD's, 2 of which I had been on over 7 years. Wellbutrin (depression from chronic pain), and Trazodone (for sleep), then added Cymbalta for about a year, a clerical error, I was SUPPOSED to slowly switch from one to the other, but because I was feeling better, it got forgotten about. I had 3 episodes of Serotonin Syndrome between September and December of 2015 (was set off by minor to moderate dehydration, I was hospitalized for 3 days, and remember only parts of it, I did not sleep in those 3 days, nor did I eat, but the hospital did not pay much attention to me.. So,I was suffering from poop-out of all of the AD's, and my doc agreed to take me off of the AD's and switch for a new one, only e weeks later, he changed his mind, and refused to switch me to a new one, and gave me the name of ONE psychiatrist. I was suffering from severe anxiety first, and instead of giving me a simple AD, he thought somehow that it was SAFER to give me 2-3mg of Xanax every day (up from the 8mg of Valium I took for 7 years, a drop in the bucket compared to Xanax), then, by month 3, I started to have interdose WD. I found out my GP would prescribe an AD (Lexapro), so I started that, and within a month, i felt human again. I had severe suicidal ideation before I started Lexapro, and tht did stop the AD WD fully, I was given a choice by 2 docs, 1 saud, 12 weeks, no longer, we will remove you from 3mg/day of Xanax. Knowing this might happen, I lowered down to 2mg a day (equal to 40mg/day of Valium. Doc 2 said we switch you in one day from X to V, so of course I picked doc #2's plan. it was awful, but the best of 2 choices. I was lucky, I stayed out of the psychiatrists hands! My biggest issue right now is stopping the messages that were firmly implanted in my head after belonging to other forums, where to me they seemed to clearly be saying in their messages, as I understood them, that if you are not moving forward with your taper, you are failing yourself and prolonging your agony. Again this is the message I took from it. This made no sense to me, because if you go too quickly with tapering benzo's, you are virtually guaranteeing a trip through hell via Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome/Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). And at one forum there are seemingly hundreds of people going through PAWS. I am not saying the forum is wrong, but the only talks about going super slow I could find were years old or there was one forum that talked about taking prolonged breaks once in a while. I also read the liquid micro taper area, where the main moderator in one forum seems to be very clear in her opinion (again if I understood correctly) in saying that not tapering daily (esp taking a break for 3 days or more) seems to be greatly frowned upon... As a result, I got it stuck in my head that I am failing myself somehow by not continually forcing myself to taper when I do not feel ready to, like I am somehow hurting my body. My only remaining symptom out of over 50 at my peak is a severe sensitivity to artificial sweeteners like Sorbitol, Mannitol, Xylitol, etc. I had to stop reading one forum because of all of the horror stories, and all of the people with Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome. Seeing people talking and being so confused because they ended up with constant severe disabling symptoms leaving them bedbound for months to years, confused because they did what the forums considered a slow to average taper- following the directions laid out for them, during which they seemed to suffer greatly virtually non-stop only to end up with symptoms that ended up being MUCH worse than the taper itself( and lasting longer than the taper did!). I do not get why at that point you do not reinstate and stay on a very low dose until... I finally saw a ray of light (and felt my first hope since April!!) several days ago when I did a search on the internet named "How slow is too slow to taper off of Valium." What came up was a link from this forum called "The slowness of slow tapers", which was started by Rhiannon. It was the lightbulb moment I needed. I am only 5 pages in, it was started in 2012, and is still going. I also noticed you have a Benzo place here that I look forward to visiting!! Thank you for offering the kind of support I have been looking for this whole time, when I first stated looking for help. On other forums, I saw at least 20 comments from people on one forum who said that they cold not bear to read that forum because there were so many people suffering so awfully. Yes, all of the forums offer support, but I think that maybe with so many people suffering that maybe one might need to look at why so many people who follow the programs and taper schedules supplied end up in such a bad place for so horribly long after stopping the med. I do understand that some of these people did a cold turkey stop of the meds, but so many I found had followed a taper schedule and followed the calendar vs how they were feeling. Ashton is a great place to start, but maybe the schedules she provided prior to her passing are no longer applicable, and are possibly now far too fast for some with the understanding we now have of how the mind and body works, maybe? This is a general rhetorical question, I am not trying to slam any specific forum. I did not read just one forum, and I belonged to more than one. I want to be very clear on this! For the moderators and members offering gentle help and amazing support- thank you so much for your time!! Thank you for reading about my experience, and my questions. I feel sorry that you had to suffer through al of this...lol! UPDATE: After switching Xanax for a low dose of Valium, I had waves of symptoms that lasted until I was 20 months out from my one day switch. My doc even told me he knew the Xanax would not last long for me, and he knew would have to see someone else to get an AD. I loved my doctor, but I still have never forgotten the hell I suffered. Yes I was feeling pretty well by the time I wrote this, but it did not last
  19. This is really more like a side-effect from taking SSRIs rather than the symptom of WD itself, but some of those who are still on drugs and are getting ready for tapering may find it really helpful. Weight gain While on drugs my body weight went up by about 55-60 pounds. I was able to get rid of it thanks to lowering my carbs intake. What worked in your case? Interestingly, no amount of physical exercise was enough in my case to help lose weight - the whole endocrine system, metabolism, and what not, was so much out of whack, that even running three marathons a day wouldn't do a thing.
  20. Hello there , this by far is best blog , I haven't recently deleted all other pages or blogs talking about surviving antidepressants and I'm bound here. I have a daily routine now to read 2 or 3 success stories as a hopeful reminder;) so thank you!!!! I have been off Lexapro and Trintellix for nearly 2 month, after been on them for 6 month only . Still on a low dose of benzo rivotril to help me thru the discontinuation My story: I was an active mom of 4, Life was beautiful till I got a sudden panic attack haven't experienced in 15 years due to a traumatic scene, vulnerable rushed to psych put me on Lexapro for 3 month 20 mg (anxoety decreased by 20% but depression and ahedonia kicked in!!! Was never like that, I would say benzo helped the most, unstoppable apathy and crying) , changed psych told her the Lexapro made me more depressed and flatlined, she tapered me too quickly from 20mg to 5 mg in 4 weeks of Lexapro as well as put me on Trintellix same time going up from 5mg to 20mg ! I crashed !!!!!! All emotional symptoms intensified 10x stronger ! I reinstated back to 10mg Lexapro for about a month then started weaning down to zero in about a month (which I know now was too fast) and weaned off Trintellix too (too fast) . Still taking the benzo though , dosage changes depending on need but never exceeded the max dose. Now my symptoms are : -:compelte Ahedona , lack of zest and zero motivation (unlike the old me completly) - sleep.is fine but it's my only escape - wake up w dread kind of feeling and anxiety - nervous system on edge all the time, relaxation is forgotten word . - no physical symptoms other than headaches - ugly intrusive thoughts - unstoppable crying spells - heightened nervous system - constant Fear of Losing Control of myself is haunting me ! What I did : journal progress acupuncture (helped but only during session) neurofeedback (same as above) chiropractor (unuseful) homeopathy (not useful) naturopathy : take Omega 3 fish oil + b complex + magnesium + used 5htp (got me headaches but no good feelings) Did a hormonal test found my dhea and testosterone is high and ratio of oestrogen and progesterone is not good , doing a neurotransmitters level testing and waiting for results I feel I'm a different person completely, started to reject driving because I don't want to be alone and still am not happy, seeing my kids and being unable to engage with them is killing me Questions : -I'm confused now whether my symptoms are driving my ugly intrusive thoughts or vice versa ? - What to do ? - Helpful supplements ? - How long from your experience to healing, knowing that I have been on the meds for only 6 month ?. - Will this traumatic experience continue to haunt me ? - Is this fear of losing control normal? - benzo has been the only calming thing , I know it has it's own withdrawals but I have stopped it a few times haven't felt great wd reaction like with AD . Is it ok to continue just till my nervous system recalibrate and my happinness hormones kick in again or being on the benzo will stop the natural healing to take place ? Trying cbd oil , nothing close to the effect of a benzo My husband is pushing me to go to a psych again but im battling not to , I just want to want to LIVE again and just have peace of mind and be happy! Help !
  21. Hello to all! I was tapered, over a period of two months w/doctor's help, off of venlafaxine xr, buspirone, trazadone, and abilify. I had taken venlafaxine xr and abilify for 7 years and the other two for 14 years. Prior to the venlafaxine and abilify, I was on lexapro for 7 years. Considering the multiple meds and number of years of having taken them, I believe that my doctor tapered me down much too quickly. What is a real kicker is that when I contacted her to tell her I was having terrible symptoms, she diagnosed me over the phone with allergies and told me to go see my GP for further help. I did that, and he said they were all withdrawal symptoms. He assured me that time will heal me. He advised me to drink a lot of water, get exercise, and a lot of sleep. It's been over 5 months now, and I'm still symptomatic although they have reduced in minute degrees of intensity. I go from always being sick to feeling sicker and then back to being sick. My symptoms include burning, stinging, tingling skin on my arms; hot flashes (did those years ago with menopause); insomnia; lack of energy and motivation; icy-cold feeling hands, lower legs, and feet; brain-freeze feeling in the right backside of my head; and sensations of being stabbed throughout my body. The skin sensations are constant. The only thing I take now is fish oil--nothing else. When I first went off the drugs I also had terrible, intense, insatiable itching. The more I scratched, the more I itched. That has subsided, thank goodness. Has anyone experienced any similar symptoms? If so, did they eventually disappear? Did you ever experience a window? So far, I don't think I've had one. I would appreciate any help.
  22. Ive been following and reading on this site for 2 months now , i FT in a month from 10 to 5 and from 5 to 0 as my WD hit me very hard after 5 months i was thinking to resume my 10mg lexapro so i can 10% taper after im stabilized again. I wanted the opinions of u guys ! Any ideo or help is welcome !!
  23. Hi all, I had been taking 20mg Lexapro for about 8 years. About 3 months ago I was having a very bad bout of depression, anxiety etc. and was suggested by my doctor to change to 100mg Sertraline. In early November 2019 I CT'd the Lexapro, waited 24 hours and started taking the Sertraline (doctor's recommendation). I immediately suffered from extreme brain fog. Over the next 5 weeks the brain fog didn't ease up. I thought the brain fog was due to the Sertraline, so I stopped taking the Sertraline (fast taper over 3 weeks). I wanted to see how my mind and body would function without any medication so I did not reinstate the Lexapro (psychologist's recommendation). It has been about 4 weeks since I have stopped taking the Sertraline, and almost 3 months since I stopped taking the Lexapro. My anxiety and depression is ok (I am attending regular therapy to cope here, and have made positive life changes which has helped a lot). However, my heavy brain fog is still present, and my general concentration is far lower then what I am accustomed to. I have now come to realise that the brain fog was not caused by starting the Sertraline, but was due to withdrawal from the Lexapro. After doing some research over the past couple of weeks, and in particular reading stories about very slow tapering, it would seem going Lexapro CT was definitely the wrong choice! I am approaching 3 months out from stopping the Lexapro. I am thinking of possibly reinstating as I work as an engineer, and brain fog and lack of concentration is a major issue for me (as it would be for any job really). However, as I am almost 3 months out from taking my last dose of Lexapro, and my anxiety and depression is under control, and it is only the brain fog/concentration that is the issue, I am thinking it would probably be best if I don't reinstate, and hope that in the coming months (or even years as I have read) my brain slowly starts firing again. I guess I am looking for any form of advice about the possibility of reinstating, stabilising, and then slow tapering over a year or more (will this even cure my brain fog in the short term??), or am I best just to live with the brain fog and hope that it will fade in due time. What are some people's time frame for brain fog to disappear? Thanks everyone Dean
  24. Hello, I have been lurking for a few days on the forum. There is some incredibly useful information here, so thank you to all who have taken the time to share your experience and wisdom. I have been on Cipralex (Lexapro) and Wellbutrin for a few years, and now want to at least reduce them because of increased migraines. I have spoken to my family doctor about this and she does not agree, but did agree to refer me to a neurologist and to a psychiatrist. However, the wait times for appointments are long. I have had to go on medical leave because I am getting 2-4 migraines a week, so I have decided to start tapering one of the antidepressants on my own. (Both Cipralex and Wellbutrin may cause migraines. I am already doing diet and lifestyle changes, but to no avail. I have tried two types of triptans, which did not help, and I would rather take less meds than more. Migraine meds plus antidepressants can lead to serotonin syndrome.) In the past, I have only made changes to medication under the supervision of a doctor, so I am feeling a bit like a renegade right now. I decided to start with the Cipralex. Last night I attempted to take 90% of my regular dose by making a liquid. I found the tablet dissolved quickly enough but it wasn't a true dissolution, and I couldn't keep the particles evenly distributed enough to feel that I got an accurate dose. I will try to get my hands on some of the Ora-Plus. When I reduced the dosage of Cipralex a few years ago (under doctor supervision), I did not taper it and experienced some withdrawal symptoms. I hope to minimize the symptoms this time.
  25. I will work on my signature this evening. My immediate issue is I did a drop from 15mg of Lexapro to 10mg about two to three months back. In the past that first jump was not a problem. I had a international business trip and agreed to a final hepatitis b shot, a flu shot and decided to try some doxycycline for my rosacea. Four days later I started to get bad headaches behind my ears and at the top of my neck that even Advil was not helping with crazy sinus pain yet no mucus it almost felt like muscles squeezing (note I do have bad TMJ but this was new) then later in the week chest pain and some crying very easily. During the trip it was bad and returning went to the ER for chest pain and feeling of pressure at the base of my skull. Also before the trip stopped doxy thinking it was a reaction. Heart Ok normal cardiac enzyme and clot test head pain they said was TMJ. Started getting nocturnal panic attacks on some nights and mild agoraphobia, then I started getting prickling feelings randomly all over body mainly in the late afternoon and evening. I am not hyperventilating when this occurs. I decided to updise to 12.5 and have been there for about 10 days. It has stabilized the anxiety and crying for the most part but the burning and paresthesia and headaches are bad. Now I am scared that I am stuck with adverse reaction vs withdrawal or could this be a hepatitis b shot reaction? I have followed up with my regular doc and psych doc and had even more blood work done and all normal. I also have a condition called meralgia parenthetica and this sensory symptoms are making it really bad. I am afraid to go up to 15 and afraid to go to 10. I do have bad health anxiety and that does not help the situation! Why does the nerve stuff only occur mainly at night?
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