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  1. I have been taking 20 mg of Lexapro for nearly 4 years now after having multiple pregnancy losses/stillborn. I began working out late last year and felt great and thought it was time to wean off this medication. I had finally accepted I'll never have another child. My family Dr gave me a timeline to wean which I thought seemed pretty quick, but did it. I was off within 2 months. Since then I've felt worse than I did when I first started taking the meds. I've had thoughts of harming myself, extreme depression, anxiety, insomnia and just feel like I have the flu all the time. I think I need to start back on meds but don't know how much to take. I just want to feel normal again. Problem is my Dr is on paternity leave until end of February. If anyone could please give me some direction I would be so grateful!
  2. Hi All, I recently stumbled upon this site in hope that it would shed some light on my withdrawal experience. To start, I will give a background on my medication history. I started Lexapro in 2013 and went from 10 mgs to 20mgs. Xanax as needed for panic attacks (which would happen once in a blue moon). This year I dealt with a lot of stress from work and I started having frequent panic attacks and headaches in July/August of 2019. Then in August, I went to the ER for the headaches and enlarged pupil (to rule out stroke, etc. - I have a history of DVT blood clot). Went to my PCP a week later, told him I was worried the Lexapro was giving me the headaches and that I wanted to try something different to help with the anxiety. Knew nothing about weaning off ADs - went down to 10mgs of the Lexapro in a week and then to 0 as per the DR, while adding 150mgs of Welbutrin. I had withdrawal symptoms for about 2-3 weeks, and the Welbutrin was not helping after about a month so I stopped taking it. From there, I could feel my anxiety and some depression creeping back in, but the headaches were gone. I was starting a new project with work in October which is where things dramatically went downhill with my anxiety. I would come home and be so paralyzed with anxiety that I could barely get off the couch. I could barely eat or carry out my daily functions, let alone leave the house. The worst of the symptoms was the morning anxiety. I would wake up feeling very overwhelmed, fidgety, and start immediately feeling nauseous. I’d also feel terrified/fearful for most of the day. The only thing that helps with any of the symptoms is Xanax - I’ll take anywhere from .25mgs to .5mgs, once, usually in the morning/early afternoon. I am also a Type 1 Diabetic and I’m lucky my blood sugars have been okay, but I should be eating more. I’ve lost almost 15 lbs since October. PCP put me on Prozac 6 weeks ago and I was just upped to 40mgs by my Psychiatrist last week. Symptoms have been better - appetite and nausea has been better, but I still am not eating as I should be. Still feeling very fearful for the most part and I’m really scared it’s going to interfere with my job, especially since it gives me most of my anxiety. Started taking 200mgs of Magnesium 2 weeks ago, especially since being in ketosis really depletes your body of it...not sure if it is that or the Prozac but sleep has been better. I’m worried that I’m going to have to depend on the Xanax to get me through most days until I stabilize on the Prozac. I’d like to be able to start yoga/meditation/exercising but I have little motivation to do anything. My family and the friends that I do have have been very supportive, which has been really helpful and reassuring. I also see a therapist who has been trying to give me techniques to help reduce my anxiety. As far as my Psychiatrist, he believes that what I am feeling right now is a return of anxiety and not from withdrawal, which I do not agree with after reading numerous posts on this website. I think most of this is debilitating withdrawal and a small percentage is a return of anxiety. At this point I am looking for any suggestions or support from those who have and are going through similar experiences. It is not easy finding people who are, and talking to those who have never gone through this just don’t understand what it’s like so it’s hard to relate. I’d like to think there is light at the end of the tunnel for me, but it feels like I will never reach that point. And one day I’d like to be off of ADs for good, but right now that doesn’t feel like an option for me...😢
  3. Hello All, I am a college student who has been on 400mg of Wellbutrin for 5 months and 10mg of Lexapro for a bit less than six weeks. I didn't want to be put on Lexapro. I had been experiencing mild anxiety but for the most part, I was doing really well. (Sleeping and eating better, more energy, basically what one hopes for when being put on antidepressants.) In late November, my doctor insisted that I needed to start Lexapro. I pushed back and he insisted further - basically almost threatened to drop me as a client unless I took this medication but never gave a clear reason as to why. This whole thing was so suspicious that I actually researched him to see if there was any connection he may have had to the pharma industry. (Couldn't find anything.) Now, 6 weeks later, I'm not doing well at all. My anxiety hasn't decreased at all and I've been experiencing headaches and extreme fatigue. I went from sleeping 7-8 hours a night to 11 hours a night in addition to an early evening nap. I feel like a zombie. Basically, I'm very convinced this is medicine is not for me. I told me doctor all of this in an email and he essentially refused to even consider me stopping the medicine. He said that if I wanted to even discuss the subject, I needed to come in for an early appointment (I would be charged extra $50). He refused to give me any details on how to taper off Lexapro. I really don't want to see him again. Therefore, I was hoping some of you may provide me with some advice on tapering off Lexapro. Beginning in early December I took 5mg for a week and then 10 mg since then. Therefore, I've only been on 10mg for a bit over a month. I feel like tapering off by 10% every 3 weeks is a bit too extreme for my case - seeing as I've only been on it for a bit. I was considering doing a week of 7.5mg, a week of 5mg, a week of 2.5mg and then nothing. If you tapered off lexapro after being on it short term I would love to hear your advice, experience, and side effects. Thank you very much! Also, I get my Wellbutrin from my PCP so no worries about losing that prescription.
  4. Relieved to find this forum. I usually do not join things like this, but I need the support and after 10 years on Lexapro it doesn't have the same effectiveness. I have been told by my doc to cross taper to Trintillex and am too scared to start so I am going to slowly taper off.... so happy I found your history!! I tried to go from 20 to 15 to 10 mg and got really sick so I am currently at 15mg of Lex and will stay here until I am adjusted. I get stomach aches, nausea, and just feel up and down.
  5. Hello. I am new here I’ve been on antidepressants often on for several or for at least 25+ years I’m doing fairly well. my current psychiatrist wont taper me off in Annti depressants despite being on the meds for so long I’ve been through different psychiatrist over the years most not too good I found myself a natural path or holistic doctor and she help me taper off Lexapro over. A period four months but with some difficult mainly anxiety. The naturalopath has me taking supplements and cbd oil which is good for mood. I would like to get over off of my other two anti depressants but I’m gonna wait on that until I find a MD that specializes in tapering of Anti depressants I was wondering how I can find a list of good MDs that do help patients taper off I live in St. Louis Mo region thank you
  6. Hello, I'm new to the forum. I've been having a lot of trouble with sleep. This started 2 years ago (Nov. 2011) after my father passed away. I started waking up panicking every time I would start to fall asleep. I was put on 20 mg of Lexapro and 5 mg of Zyprexa. Everything stabilized and was good for 2 months until I developed a rash on my legs. I was told to stop taking the Lexapro immediately. I stayed of of it for 1 1/2 months and wasn't taking any medications. Then I started having fever like symptoms, extreme anxiety and just felt horrible. A psychiatrist introduced Zoloft to me at 50 mg. It drove me out of my mind with anxiety. At this point I was put back on 20 mg of Lexapro and my sleeping problems began again. I was given Xanex to take as needed. Every time I would start to relax and fall asleep I would become shaky, panicky and my heart would race. For the next 3 months I had no natural sleep. I was put on Seraquil, Lithium, Elaville and Trazadone. I had the startling, shaky, panicky heart racing feeling anywhere I tried to sleep except for the spare room. I stayed on 20 mg of Lexapro for quite a while, it was put up to 30 mg but it didn't help so after a few weeks I came back down to 20 mg. Then wellbutrin was introduced, that also made the anxiety terrible so that was discontinued. At this point I decided to wean myself off of the Lexapro dropping 2 1/2 mg every 2 weeks. I got down to 2 1/2 mg in March of 2013 and my anxiety became unbearable. I went back up to 5 mg of Lexapro. I was put on Prozac, stayed on it only a few weeks because of increased anxiety yet again. I remained on the 5 mg of Lexapro until October 2, 2013. At that point I hadn't taken any sleep medication in about a year. I still could only sleep in the spare room without the panicky feeling when I started to fall asleep. 10 mg of Propranolol was added 3 times a day and I dropped from the 5 mg of Lexapro to 2 1/2 mg. The panicky feeling went away when I was relaxing to fall asleep. I decided to drop down to 1 1/8 mg around Nov. 2. Things were getting better, I was able to sleep in my bedroom with my wife again without the panicky feeling when going to sleep. I was feeling great! 6 weeks into that last drop all that changed. My anxiety is horrible, I can't sleep at night without medication leaving me feeling drugged the next day. I'm back to sleeping in the spare room but I even get that startling, panicky, shaky feeling in there now. My heart pounds so hard it makes my hand go numb. Last night was horrible, I had to take 50 mg of Elaville and 50 mg of Trazadone. This is left over from the 3 months of sleeping without natural sleep when they tried so many medications to try to put me to sleep. I'm extremely upset about the progress I feel I've lost with my sleep because now I feel like I'm right back to where I've started. I just don't know what to do about my central nervous system that is triggering the fight or flight response every time I try to sleep. The only thing that works to take away that panicky feeling is xanex but I don't take it that often because I don't want an addiction problem. Thank you in advance for your ideas to help.
  7. Hello everyone! I'm sorry to have been a lurker until now. Your advice and support of each other has been a great comfort to me during my own tapering journey. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression about 2 years ago. It came out of nowhere during my menopausal years, with no personal or family history of depression, and it went undiagnosed for a few months because doctors couldn't figure out why I was so severely physically exhausted (my first and primary symptom). Every test showed I was physically healthy and fine, but obviously I wasn't. A naturopathic doctor even insisted I should take hormones, which made no sense to me since during menopause your body already can't process your natural hormone load. My mental state got worse and worse. I won't go into details, but I'm sure many of you know the kind of thoughts that road leads to. Finally I got a fantastic doctor who took time to listen. He said I was showing all the classic signs of severe depression, and said he didn't know what the root of my problems was but that the depression had to be treated NOW, and fast. I went on escitalopram (Cipralex) that same day. It was a very long and very hard pit to dig myself out of, but eventually I got there. Cipralex is a tough drug to get used to, as I imagine all antidepressants are. But I was lucky and didn't have to try various ADs to find one that worked. I know many, many people are not so lucky. It took about a year to get and stay stable, to the point where my doctor and I agreed I could start tapering off the Cipralex. I was taking 15mg daily. He suggested a 1-month reduction with alternating dosages and said Cipralex was one of the easier SSRIs to taper down. Fortunately I had discovered this site a couple months earlier 😁 and had read a lot about tapering safely. I decided to try the self-made liquid suspension method since liquid escitalopram isn't available here in Canada. The first couple of 10% tapers went well, so well in fact that I got overconfident and thought I could speed it up a bit. Big mistake of course! I crashed hard about 5 - 6 weeks into the larger reduction. I decided to ride it out, knowing from this forum that things WILL get better and that it would take my body a while to recover. It wasn't fun. Once I finally felt stable, I stayed at that dose for an extra month before trying to reduce again. Once I got to 10mg, I stopped and held there too for awhile. I started my taper a year ago at 15mg. I am down to 7mg now. I reached 7mg a few months ago and decided to hold again, because the winters here are difficult for me with the short days and little sunlight. I feel very stable though and will start another reduction in February. I plan to hold again for awhile once I get to 5mg. When I start a reduction, the effects don't kick in until 3 - 4 weeks later. This seems to be my pattern. So I reduce every 6 - 7 weeks instead of the usual 4 weeks. I still have a long way to go. I'm not in any rush, it just seems strange to need such an incredibly long time to come off a drug. I have to keep reminding myself how these drugs work and WHY it takes so long. 😐 Fortunately my doctor support this tapering plan and agrees that some people are just more sensitive to these drugs, if this plan works for me then I should keep doing it.
  8. Hello everybody. I was on lexapro 20mg for 20 months due to a high stress situation. after months of therapy for stress management I decided to come off lexapro as I felt I had dealt with the issues. Both my therapist and doctor came up with a 6 week taper method . I am now 6 1/2 months off and I am suffering dearly with severe anxiety , fear , depression , and a very odd depersonalized state , plus other symptoms. I know now I tapered way too fast and I am very much past the window for reinstatement. I've had to quit work and can barely function at all. I have noticed that everyday seems like it's getting worse. I used to get windows that were half of a day long , but those have stopped two weeks ago. I'm looking for hope and encouragement as I have a little girl who needs her daddy to be alive. I fear that I'm going to die or become severely disabled for EVER. I'm trying to accept that this will take a very long time to heal from , but I am very very scared that I'll never be the same. I don't take any other drugs , but I do use an ecig with only 1 mg of nicotine. which is about 5% of a regular cigarette. Is it normal to get worse after 6 months off ? Will it get even more worse later ? Does it reach a peak and then get better ? I am very grateful for this site. I only wish I found it before I chose to come off.
  9. Good Morning Everyone, I need some confidence despite knowing what I am going through must be withdrawal. My history; I was put on Lexapro (escitalopram) in October of 2012 after the birth of my wife and I's first child. It was a stressful delivery and that coupled with the normal stress of a first time parent and starting a new business, it sent me into anxiety and panic attacks that I had NEVER experienced before. Anyway, after speaking with our friend/family MD he recommended Lexapro. I started in October of 2012 at 10mg. After a month I began to feel better and then in Feb 2013, my MD bumped to 20mg because that was the 'normal' dose for a 28 year old, 185lb man. I obliged because I was feeling better but still not great. By mid March of 2013 I felt back to normal, better than normal actually. June of 2013 I started to feel VERY shaky and weird. It felt like it was just too much. So per the MD's advice I weaned back down to 10mg over 6 weeks time and felt fine. I had few withdrawal effects but not many for a few weeks. I stayed at 10mg from July of 2013 to April of 2014(10 months or so) and felt like 'normal'. I decided in April that I was over the weight gain, the lack of emotions, the lazy attitude and the tiredness. I felt like my anxiety was under control and the small bouts of depression I had were few and far between. I spoke with my doctor and asked if he would call in a script for Liquid Lexapro. I had read a few articles here and at PP about withdrawal and that the Liquid would make it easy to taper. He obliged and at the end of April I began to taper 1mg every 2-3 weeks. This was after my doc said I should go faster and I thought 1mg every 2-3 weeks would be a slow enough taper. (I did not know about the 10% of the previous dose every 3-6 weeks). Anyway, I tapered over 5 months or so and Oct 1 of 2014 I was done. I really didn't have many withdrawal effects while tapering. I felt a little worse the lower I got but nothing I couldn't handle. The first 8 weeks off were not awful. I had dizziness and gastro problems the first few weeks but those went away. Then, the end of Nov and Dec started and holy moly I have been hit with the worst anxiety of my life, shaky, terrible intrusive thoughts, doom and gloom even when I know everything is ok. I can cry at any moment over nothing and terrible irritableness and rage feelings. I still can't shake it. The anxiety is crippling both physically and mentally. My old anxiety before meds I could talk myself out of, this just pounds on me no matter how calm and accepting of it I am. Sleep is getting worse and I can't sit still to save my life. From what I have read, this sounds like WD but I am scared and miserable here. Any words of encouragement, success stories, similar experiences are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
  10. Hey Everyone I am knew to this group and trying to find some understanding in what is going on with me. I recently went off Lexapro 3 months ago (was on for 6 years) I started getting very random heart flutters when I started it and that’s the main reason I went off of it. Now im experiencing weird brain crap and not just zaps. It seems to happen at night when im trying to fall asleep. It wakes me up and scares me it scares me. Some are brain zaps, some are like fireworks, some are weird sensations or noises- I feel like im loosing my mind. Any help or experience would be greatly appreciated.
  11. Hello. I am twenty years old and had been on antidepressants since I was ten. From then on through my teenage years, all I knew was I needed to take my medicine . Once I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, my pediatrician referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist then put me on respiradone and strattera. I don't remember if I had any behavior problems or not, but my neurologist told me I would have to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I stayed on those two meds until I got into high school. My first two years of high school, I couldn't stop crying. I cried day and night. My neurologist put me on celexa. When that didn't work, my neurologist told me he could no longer help me and referred me to a psychiatrist. I saw the new psychiatrist my junior year of high school who told me I had depression and anxiety that needed to be treated. I was taken off respiradone and strattera and put on pristiq and adderall. When pristiq wouldn't work, I was switched back to celexa. So it went on, switching back and forth between antidepressants. There were so many different ones I can't remember many of them. Every time I asked my psychiatrist if the next time it would work, he assured me it would. There was no chance to talk when I saw my psychiatrist. It would result in a new prescription every time. During my senior year, I helplessly slept through every class, sometimes falling out on the floor asleep. I had a good school counselor who allowed me to pass because she knew it was the medicine and I got plenty of sleep. I also cried uncontrollably almost every day in front of everyone and it was very humiliating as I would stir up a lot of attention. My senior pictures of me showed a person with a puffed up and swollen face. I was switched to lexapro again and stayed on it my whole first year of college. Then the crying returned. During my second year, I was switched to Abilify for depression. I still trusted my psychiatrist as he again promised me it would work. Out of all my experiences with antidepressants, there is nothing that could ever have compared to this. As soon as I took the first dose of Abilify, my brain signaled to me something was very, very wrong. I began receiving no sleep. My psychiatrist put me on trazadone for that, but when I took it, my body fell completely limp, my heartbeat slowed down to almost nothing, and I went numb while my body shut itself down. I stopped it after two nights. Meanwhile, with abilify, I began spending all my time obsessing over things I would normally never touch. I believed I was an alien hybrid sent from outer space to save the planet. I also believed the human race are all aliens in disguise. Then I started going mad. I didn't want to be a human anymore. I wanted to be a supernatural creature with otherworldly capabilities. This was all extremely terrifying to me, but I couldn't stop myself. I lost my common sense as I believed these nonsensical theories. My mind was overpowering me with racing thoughts such as these listed. I couldn't think clearly. I was almost always in a state of rage. Reasoning had left me. For reasons I do not remember, I stopped Abilify by myself cold turkey. My psychiatrist had told me before that I never needed to worry about tapering because the antidepressants I took were all in the same family. He never mentioned stopping completely. Withdrawal symptoms didn't show up until a week later. My psychiatrist told me they would last 15 days. They were relatively minor, and I didn't worry much about them. However, nothing could have ever prepared me for the horror I underwent next. Every horror I could have never imagined bestowed me over the course of a month. I received no sleep. I was very lucky if I got one hour. The nights soon got from bad to worse. I developed REM sleep disorder. I was unable to tell the difference between being awake and asleep. As my mind was drifting, I jumped up in the air, screamed, swung at the air, and thrashed violently all over. In addition, my head would suddenly snap up and I would shout melancholy indistinguishable language and suck in sharp breaths. I was aware of everything, but I had no control over it, and it was very disturbing to me. Then came the uncontrollable muscle movements. My lips drew up on the sides, my mouth gaped open, my lips puckered and pouted, my teeth bared, my tongue stuck out, my neck extended, my eyes bulged, my eyebrows rose and lowered, my hands flapped, my arms swung, my knees jerked, my head jerked side to side, and my fingers extended. Shouts, grunts, moans, and gasps escaped my mouth. Several weeks went by as more horrendous symptoms appeared. Every day I was a zombie. I could only do basic human activities. I had no awareness of the passage of time. At night while drifting off, a dark shadowy presence swept over me. I was aware of where I was in real time while drifting, but I sensed a sudden danger. I jumped up alert every time. I heard a voice I believed to be God's telling me why I was like this and what I needed to do. It spoke to me relentlessly for days. When this occurred, an otherworldly and overwhelming sense of peace filled my every being. But it was always soon replaced by a terror so surreal I could not function. During this time, I could "see" my brain and I believed I was in control of what I allowed to be let in. After four days of this, I ordered the voice to "Get out!" It did and did not come back. Right after this, a veil suddenly covered my mind and I was disengaged from reality. I had no sense of where I was and I had no connection with my parents. I was always mad, crying most of the time, and my head was always jerking. I saw my psychiatrist for the last time two months ago. The doctor who had been nice to me all this time suddenly turned mean. He told me he refused to see me unless I got on medicine. By this time, I had found this site and many other websites about withdrawal. I knew I wanted to try living a better life and I was not backing down. I never took the newly prescribed anti psychotic he prescribed me. A week later, my parents, exasperated with how I was doing and on their last straw, called my psychiatrist. My dad told the psychiatrist I had read on the internet how long the withdrawal really is and the doctor spoke with me on the phone. My psychiatrist told me that the withdrawal symptoms I was describing were "all in my head" because the medicine would already be out of my system now six weeks later. He told me I needed to get on medicine right now because "I needed help". He told me my quality of life was not as good without the medicine. I was in another rage episode by this time, and unlike me, I confronted him. I said "Well why are a lot of these the same symptoms I experienced during the so-called withdrawal time?" He said he didn't know and preceded to ask me was I on drugs. I was in disbelief that anyone would ask such a thing. I have not spoken to that psychiatrist since. I am dealing currently with a lot of physical and mental symptoms but none I would describe as severe as that horrible nightmare of a month. (That month just happened to be timed perfectly with my Christmas break.) My mouth, head, and fingers jerk, but never as exaggerated as they were the first month. I dealt with extremely numb fingers, feet, and ankles up until two weeks ago. My ankles at times felt like they were hanging by a single nail. My feet, bluish-green, were so numb and swollen I had no feeling and shooting pains shot up my legs. I was extremely dizzy for so long. My gp told me I have low blood pressure. I started having panic attacks. Anxiety crept over me for no apparent reason. I cried a lot. I felt hopeless. I am dealing with apathy, anhedonia, akathisia, and cognitive problems. My memory has not been well during this whole time. I am not aware; I'm just wherever I am. I have lost perception of sight, hearing, and touch. I do things I'm supposed to do because I know that's what I've always done. I cannot connect feelings to memories; I have to rely on pictures and journals from over the years. I had to look back in my journal to refresh my memory of this whole experience which I happened to write down. I have been disconnected with myself...it was worse in the beginning. I would look at pictures of myself and couldn't connect that it was me. The whole first month of withdrawal my face was so puffed up I thought my skin would fall off. Sometimes things look bigger or smaller than they appear. My thinking ability is limited. I went to my gp again three weeks ago and I was low on vitamin D. I am currently on iron medicine, vitamin d supplements, allergy medicine, and multivitamins. Although the numbness has gone away, I am extremely faint and have weak tremors every day. At night I'm miserably exhausted. My heart is always beating fast and hard. I get chills and my body tenses up. I'm not sure if I should be concerned about any of this. I cold-turkeyed Abilify four months ago. I have managed to keep my grades up in college since then and so far have maintained a perfect attendance. Some days are harder than others, but I try to count my blessings as I've heard stories far worse than my own. I am only beginning to understand what I am dealing with. The last thing I would want is to ever take another antidepressant and hinder this process. I feel like I have a real sense of myself now and I feel more in control. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will ever go away but I try to maintain a positive attitude about it as things slowly get better. I have faced the fact that I can't change my past but I can certainly shape my future. I apologize for the long story. It is difficult to get my thoughts together.
  12. Hello, I am new to this site and not sure how it works. Need some info and perhaps some reassurance.; I've been having a history depression and anxiety since my teenage years, I am 49 years old, which I have been able to manage it more or less. I attempted to use the antidepressants but also had an adverse reaction that I was not able/ready to put up with. Yet, living with the depression isn't easy either. In short, yet again, I started taking Lexapro last October in order to deal with the painful state of depression, and did seem to work in the past. I increased the dose very slowly from 2 mg and started feeling much better in January, at the 7 mg. At the same time I started some problems with my memory (to the point of a few seconds of blackouts) , persistent fatigue and lingering morning anxiety, and problems with the night sleep. The psychiatrist dismissed my memory problems, attributed my fatigue to the depression and decided to see if my sleep would approve. He also told me to increase my dose slowly aiming for 15 mg at some point. However, when I reached 8.9 mg, I could hardly function: feelings of being very unwell and under the weather allowed me to function only until lunch time, after which I would need to recline somewhere for the rest of the day. I started tapering on the 24 Mars and today is the 2nd day of 4.25 mg of Lexapro. I didn't follow the 10 per cent protocol, and my doses were fluctuating within 0.5 - 1 mg depending on my physical and emotional symptoms. However, in the last 10 days I've started having a strange heavy sensation in my head, it's difficult to describe, They are not brain-zaps, just uncomfortable feeling: a mix of resembling kind of heaviness, fogginess, slight headache and feeling/sensation. I have put this down to cutting down sugar and change in my diet (transitioning to being vegan). However, this sensation 8 days later is still there. In addition, I have got muscle ache at the minimum effort, have been unable to jog and do much of the physical activities for the past 3 days: stopped exercising, want to isolate, difficult to concentrate and get on with my daily activities. I do have "waves" when I do feel better for an hour upon awaking and yesterday, after I spent 3 hours on the sofa! We are in the process of moving , also need to book a holiday but I am feeling incapable of doing anything. So frustrating! Emotionally, I am not depressed though.... In addition, feeling rather scared, is it due to the antidepressants and will my brain heal and gets "remodeled" back? Have I got some other serious medical condition? In ideal world I would like to get off this drugs that do not work well for me and find some ways of dealing with the anxiety and depression, unfortunately, I did manage in the past to taper off the meds without too many problems only to get depressed 4-9 months later and be back on them. If this is what I feel are withdrawals, I am quite surprised why I had not experienced them in my past tapers? I would really welcome and would greatly appreciate any feedback and input! I also would like to know, if I should wait it out and stabilise on 4.25mg of Lexapro or need to updose it? Thank you in advance F47
  13. Looking for advice. Quit Lexapro (20 mg/day) cold turkey at the beginning of the year after 11+ years. I should have known better, as I unsuccessfully attempted to quit in 2014 with a fast taper (10 mg for two months, 5 mg for two months, 5 mg every other day for 2 months, then stopped). Dealt with brain zaps initially, maybe some other minor symptoms, but nothing debilitating. About 5-6 months later, however, acute emotional symptoms set in very abruptly. The first time it was triggered by smoking weed for the first time in a while. This time I went to bed feeling relatively normal, and woke up early in the morning feeling awful. Severe anxiety, depression, dysphoria, apathy, some brain fog. I never felt like this before going on the medicine, and I now doubt I was ever depressed before the medicine. I am trying to decide if I should reinstate or ride it out from here. My quality of life is very low currently. Days and weeks are just slipping by. I dread getting out of bed every day and am getting pleasure out of nothing. I am about to turn 31 and am not thrilled at the idea of losing the rest of my early 30s to this withdrawal. The more I learn about ADs, the less I want to be on them, but if a slow taper will get me off them without feeling this way, I think that is the way to go. However, if there is a good chance that I slow taper, and then still have to go through this process at the other end, I will feel I have wasted that much more time in addition to doing further damage by being on the meds for more time. What are the chances that A) I am close to a breakthrough (it seems that most people are dealing with this issue for MUCH longer), B ) that a slow taper is successful at mitigating withdrawal symptoms . I know no one can answer these questions with certainty, but I am interested in any and all advice. Something’s got to give, this is no way to live.
  14. Tapered from 15mg Lexapro starting in May 2019, completed withdrawal from that in September 2019, then began withdrawal from 300 mg Welbutrin and now down to less than 100mg. No zaps or other acute symptoms at all, but some GI pain I'm managing with an integrative wellness doc with the object of regenerating the gut biome to normal/optimal. Some days I'm OK, but more often quite lately am super irritable and depressed -- much moreso than when I first started this stuff 30 years ago. Does this sound like withdrawal or relapse? I hate the idea of going back on this stuff and willing to stay the course but would love some advice on how long it might be before I feel OK. THANKS!
  15. I’m new to this site, I’ve noticed many of your posts to be extremely helpful. I haven’t posted my question/story yet; not knowing what I will get back. I was hoping you could post my questions on the best forum for advise/guidance. My timeline is below. Unfortunately found this site well after I CT 7 years of Lexapro. I’m just past my 3rd month mark and feeling extremely unstable, down and overall irrational. The last three weeks have been brutal; my urge to go back to Lexapro have been popping up. I feel like I’ve broken myself…when on AD I wasn’t broken. If you have time here are my questions: Will thing start evening out? I know this is an unfair question but I’m grabbing at straw at this point. Do you recommend the Magnesium? Do you recommend reinstating at any point? Does ‘stability’ exist without AD? 2009-Citalpram 20mg 2010-Citalopram 30 mg 2013-10mg Escitalopram 2015-20mg Escitalopram 2016-30mg Escitalopram 2017-2019-20mg August 2019-0
  16. Alexi319

    Alexi319

    Hello! Glad this resource exists. I am a 29 y/o female. I have a stable job I’ve held for the last 7 years. Very health conscious. Work hard on self care, mindfulness, meditation, therapy, etc. I have complex trauma, as many people do, that I’m currently working through with my therapist. I was an anxious child. I had intense separation anxiety, panic attacks, stomach aches. I was in talk therapy from the age of 8 to about 13-14. I struggled with paranoia and the fear of people not liking me, talking about me when they really weren’t, etc. I wasn’t put on medication until my freshman year of college. I went to my GP complaining of issues concentrating, brain fog, problems with visually focusing and anxiety. Some depressive episodes as well of feeling very down. Started on Celexa for “imbalanced brain chemistry”. Lol. Stayed on that for about a year, didn’t feel a significant effect. More life events later, was put on lexapro. Had issues with substance abuse and went to treatment for a catatonic depressive episode with suicidal ideation. Was put on Zoloft in treatment. Terrible drug. Lost libido, felt like a zombie, gained weight. 300 mg/gabapentin 3 times per day was added to the mix after a couple of months. Stayed on gabapentin for about 6 months then tapered off - worst withdrawals ever. Then another GP put me on Prozac (10 mg) and Wellbutrin 150mg XR. I have been on that combo for about 1.5 years now. Currently I am experiencing high anxiety, paranoia, fear, irritability and rage in some instances. Surprisingly, no insomnia. I feel like I am constantly preoccupied. It won’t stop. When I asked my GP about getting off of the Prozac, he told me to stop taking it for a couple of days and see how I felt. I’m sorry, that sounds like a TERRIBLE IDEA. I am struggling. I can’t be present for life. I would like to eventually be off both of these drugs, but definitely Prozac first. Thanks for listening. 2011-2012 - 20 mg/Celexa. No tapering. 2013 - 2014 - 20 mg/Lexapro. No tapering. 2016 - 2017 - 20 mg/Zoloft - 2 months. Added 300mg/gabapentin 3x per day in addition to the Zoloft. 2018-tapered off of gabapentin. Then changed to 10 mg/Prozac and 150 mg/Wellbutrin XR. Tapered off of Zoloft. 2019 - still currently taking 10mg/Prozac and 150 mg/Wellbutrin XR.
  17. Hi I increased my escitalopram 6 weeks ago from 10mg to 20mg with good effect initially. For the last few weeks I have been terrible though! I need to drop down ideally to 15mg, at least to start with. Can anyone advise if it would be safe to just drop down overnight, escpecially since Its only been 6 weeks in. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks
  18. HopingForRelief

    HopingForRelief

    Hi there, I am new to this site after trying to find an explanation for the symptoms I was/am experiencing after a CT from Paxil at 30mg. I want to thank all of the frequent posters in these forums as many of the success stories and positive encouragement have helped me through this horrific experience so far. My story (I apologize if it is long): I started taking Lexapro (10mg) in 2012 (when i was around 18 years old) for continuing panic attacks and debilitating anxiety/OCD. I needed the medication to function at that point and within a few months I was back to myself and living a happy life. Throughout my entire time on Lexapro, while still having some presence of anxiety, I was definitely "normal" and living a happy life that I currently wish I could go back to. Around Nov 2018 I was switched from Lexapro to Paxil at what I now know was a way too fast change and heavy dosage amount (I just stopped taking the lexapro one day and started on Paxil 30mg the next day). The Paxil worked for my anxiety, but it also caused these weird body jerks as I would attempt to go to sleep that scared the crap out of me. Also worth noting: I take my AD before bed, and I would experience a weird sort of brain zap and "cold brain" whenever I exercised the next day, but this would go away when I would take my next pill. Obviously these symptoms really scared me (mainly the body jerks at night), so I foolishly stopped the Paxil CT in May 2019 and said enough was enough. The next few weeks I experienced mainly brain zaps and flu-like symptoms, but nothing unbearable and I had an idea that was to be expected. These went away and for the next three months, aside from heavy dreaming at night, I was totally fine. Then, in September, I got hit like a truck with crazy unexplainable symptoms. These symptoms are: waves of panic that feel different from my original anxiety/panic, OCD about symptoms and thoughts, feeling disconnected from the world around me, phantom smells (it is always the same burning smell), insomnia, vivid and whacky dreams, horrible ringing in my ears and head (almost feels like an electric current), weird burning/shivering of my brain, and more. These were so debilitating to me I left my job and am currently unable to function. They have now relentlessly continued for over a month, and I am not experiencing any "windows" where I feel better. Maybe I will get relief for minutes/to hours of one day over the course of a week. I have tried reinstating (per my doc) a different AD, Luvox, at a low dosage of 25mg and have been taking this for 3 weeks, but I have not noticed a difference one way or the other in my symptoms. What can I do next to help me? I was not experiencing any terrible W/D symptoms for 3 months so by then it was apparently too late for reinstatement to work. Now I also feel like I am "stuck" on the Luvox that is not helping as I have taken it long enough for my body to get accustomed to it. I am not functioning and am taking a huge toll on my mother who is taking care of me currently. We cannot continue financially at this rate with me no longer taking in an income, but I literally cannot work in this capacity. She also believes that I need to take a higher dosage of AD to help myself, so she will not continue supporting me unless I do so. I understand her stance as she doesn't want to see me in this state and doctors tell her that is the "cure" to all of this. I am at a loss on what to do. Would there be any hope if I tried reinstating Paxil? Am I stuck like this forever? I cannot continue ruining my life and living in my house like this. Please, any help would be much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
  19. Hi everyone, I am new here and I would greatly appreciate your help! I am sorry for my long story (with possible errors) but I just can't find anyone who can answer my questions and I desperately seek recognition and advice. If you do not want to read this long story please scroll to my questions and fears? I'm Renske, 46 years old, and I'm from the Netherlands. I have been taking 20 mg of Seroxat aka Paxil for a very long time (since I was 19) because I was diagnosed with a compulsive disorder. Seroxat worked very well for me for a long time. Mainly because I gradually gained weight (more than 25 kilos), and kept gaining (with no obvious reason, such as eating a lot or something like that) and everything was checked; bloodwork, thyroid etc , I decided a few years ago to try to phase out Seroxat. Because I already knew how difficult that would be, I did it VERY slowly, with a suspension. I was busy with this for a year. Throughout the year I was particularly affected by huge irritations and hostility. It seemed as if I had absolutely no patience and I was constantly angry. I have been very sad about this, because I was particularly unkind and impatient towards my children (8 and 11). Not physically thank God, but extreme irritation and impatience is of course also very bad. This made me feel very guilty. The phasing out eventually failed, the moment I took almost nothing anymore, because I became extremely anxious and because the obsessive thoughts came back. Because I didn't have a back-up plan, after all the effort 😞 I quickly rebuilt to the full dose. It didn't work properly anymore; so i went up to 30 mg. Still didn't work properly. What I found remarkable, though, was that the aggressive / irritated feelings greatly decreased. In consultation with a psychologist and psychiatrist I recently decided to switch to Lexapro (escitapram) although I realize that it is a matter of trying, because many SSRIs work the same (with the risk that it would not work properly again) and that they often have the same side effects (weight gain). I noticed that I had developed some sort of aversion to Seroxat, because it is apparently the most difficult drug to phase out and because it is the biggest culprit among the SSRis when it comes to weight gain. The current situation: week 1: Seroxat (paxil) I went from 30 mg to 20 mg, week 2; 20 mg of Seroxat, week 3; 10 mg Seroxat and 5 mg Escitalopram (lexapro), week 4; stop Seroxat and 10 mg escitalopram. Afterwards; continue with 10 mg escitalopram. I understand that 10 mg of Lexapro (escitalopram) is approximately equal to 20 mg of Seroxat. I am now at the beginning of week 5. During these past weeks I have had the so-called and famous brain zapps, and huge sweat attacks. But the worst thing is that I am AGAIN so terribly irritated and hostile. I recognize this as a withdrawal from Seroxat, I am almost certain that this is not a side effect of building the escitalopram. Ironically, I don't have a lot of trouble with my compulsion, but all the more with my very short temper. Discussed it with the psychiatrist; she indicates that if this is a withdrawal phenomenon, it should be over in a few weeks, according to the pharmacist who makes the product. Of course I said that that is the biggest bullsh*t and that there are so many people who suffer from these symptoms for a longer period of time. She didn't really have an answer for that. She indicated that maybe it was my personality that came back. But that is nonsense; I was always gentle and kind to others. this is also not ordinary irritation due to stress or something, but it really seems like something physical that really engulfs me, just like that She suggested perhaps adding some Seroxat again? The reason why I do not believe in this is because in the past I have phased out the Seroxat very slowly and then I also had such symptoms. Why would that be different now? My questions and fears: Does anyone recognize the symptoms of irritation, impatience and hostility of phasing out the Seroxat / Paxil? How long can this take? Was this passing on? Is there anyone with whom this went away as a new drug started to work properly? I am afraid that this withdrawal phenomenon will continue to exist for a long time due to the withdrawal of Seroxat, while the Lexapro may work, can this coexist? Or is that far-fetched? I know that all anti-depressants must be phased out gradually. Would it make sense to take a little more Seroxat next to the Lexapro, so that I would phase out slower, despite using Lexapro at the same time (within safe margins of course)because the (very) slow reduction has not diminished the feelings of irritation in the past, and I am now inclined to finally stop completely with Seroxat and switch completely to Lexapro. I would be so grateful if I get some responses from people who recognize things. Again, sorry for my long story. Thanks so much in advance. Renske
  20. Hi, I wrote a big introduction, maybe that’s why I did not get many responses. I’ll try again. I’m Renske (46) from the Netherlands. I suffer from ocd. therefore i can hardly do without medication. Currently I’m switching from Seroxat to Lexapro. Seroxat didn’t work properly any more en in gained an enormous amount of weight. I tried tapering off Seroxat before, very slowly. It took me a year and I experienced I became very irritable and angry during the entire time. It failed, Now i’m trying again: this time i’m crosstapering to Lexapro. I’m experiencing the same withdrawal symptoms: I’m very irritable, angry and impatient. This troubles me a lot, especially because I hurt my children with my behavior. I take lorazepam daily, just to try to be Less aggressive. I’m afraid this won’t pass. Had anyone had the same experience? And did this pass? I’m worried. Thanks in advance.
  21. Hello! I’m new to this forum so any advice or encouragement would be great! I was on 20mg of lexapro for three years and four months ago began a taper. I’m now down to 1.25mg with three days in between. It has truly been awful. My anxiety was through the roof, and now I’ve been depressed and fatigued over the last week. I want to quit everyday. It’s hard for me to pay attention and be present with my kids. My appetite is all over the place. Ugh. This is miserable. Does anyone have any advice. Acupuncture hasn’t really been helping. Thank you in advance!
  22. Wookie

    Wookie :)

    Hello just a quick intro as I am new to the site. I was referred to someone from a facebook group and am happy I came across it! I have been on Lexapro since July 2018 and am going to try and taper soon. I tried to before but the withdraw symptoms were too much to bear after 3 weeks and I started back on 5mg. I had some symptoms but not bad enough to take a Xanax so I am hoping I stabilize soon. I hope to learn everyones experience and hopefully next time I try, have an easier taper no matter how long I have to do that for.
  23. Mort81

    Mort81

    Hello everyone glad I found somewhere to find good information and support . I'll just give a little introduction. I've been off Ciprelex 30mg for 6 months now after being on the ssri for 7 years.The side effects were far out weighing the benefits. My doctors seemed clueless when it came to the tapering, from what I know now as well as the withdrawal I am currently feeling . I tapered fairly fast from what I read on this forum.My main symptom at first was abdominal pain,panic, discomfort and very poor digestion. I lost 30 lbs in the first month and I know for some people that's good but for my build, not so good. Most of my symptoms at first were digestive related and my doctors didn't suggest withdrawal. Has anyone in here experienced horrible digestive issues right away ? So I had a million tests run, which came with months of worrying about every disease in the book. My tests came back clean which was good. However I am still feeling alot of discomfort, sensitivity in the stomach(feels like I'm bruised) coupled with fatigue, vivid dreams and insomnia. I have been experiencing all this while working a Fulltime job, which I love. I have missed more days than I wanted to for the obvious reasons. However I've decided to ask for time off because my body hasn't recovered and I feel the only way for a better recovery is to get away from my schedule and take extra time for myself. I see two different doctors. The one I saw today wants me to start a pain med and believes my stomach pain is related to migraines I used to get, which at times still show up. I am so scared of all medication but want this stomach pain to go away. I have improved over the 6 months so I'm leaning towards staying the natural course. Does 5HTP help for withdrawal?? After all the suffering I have gone through in the last 6 months you would think my doctor would give a note to go on sick leave,but apparently that's like pulling teeth. They just see a healthy young man complaining . Either way I need time for myself and recovery and sorry if I'm ranting. I'm glad to be hear in this forum and look forward to have a place for support and information because I feel my doctors are out too lunch on this topic. Mort
  24. Hi all, I recently completed a taper of Valium over the Feb - Sept 2019 time period via a daily liquid microtaper (sooo glad to be done with this!), but from my siggy, you can see I am also currently on Lexapro and Mirtazapine (both of which I have been on now for around a year). I would like to taper off of both of these (not the same time, but lexapro first, mirtazapine second) over the coming months and am just looking for more information from those who have successfully walked this path before me. If anyone is tapering a benzo, I am an open book regarding my experience and what has helped me (fish oil and kefir are the two supplements that helped me the most, by a mile). I am wondering if there is a way I can taper my antidepressants in a similar manner - very very slowly, gradually, and consistently, but also a pace that is based on symptoms / experience as opposed to a pre-set path. Thankfully, none of these are controlled substances, and I have a doctor that is very supportive of working with me, so I am all ears to this community and look forward to joining and learning in advance of my remaining tapers. Thanks, Jim
  25. I was recently directed to this site from someone who has gone through a withdrawal journey. I figured it would be helpful to gain more support and get some feedback on this process In April 2018 I experienced severe panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, and suicidal thoughts. A routine doctors appointment describing my panic attacks and my high heart rate landed me in the ER and an overnight observation. Prior to being discharged I was seen by a psychiatrist who recommended me starting Effexor. Immediately I panicked and discussed it with my mom who is a lexapro user and my husband. My husband isn’t a fan of medications and typically I am not as well but I couldn’t imagine going through my days with the constant thoughts and fears. I decided to give the lexapro a try. It took me 3 months to adjust to being on lexapro, it was a horrible period of thoughts, feelings, and depression but my family and therapist helped me through. Since January, I’ve been feeling less anxious and more like myself. Less thoughts and feeling as though I could overcome my anxiety and depression with exercise and therapy. In June I had an appointment with my primary doctor whom took control of my lexapro following my hospitalization. He has always supported me coming off of the drug and trying natural vitamins, exercise, and therapy. In June I went from 10 mg to 5 mg for 4 weeks. Then in July I went from 5mg every other day. August began 0mg. Now throughout the titrating process I felt great, minimal anxiety and intermittent thoughts but I was coping well. As of September 5th, four weeks of no lexapro I began experiencing increased irritability, a massive panic attack, depression, fear. Last week I started having big periods of crying, which I have never experienced. This past week it has gotten worse, whole days of crying spells and severe anxiety with fear of thoughts and dread. My mom is away in Europe for 2 weeks leaving me to care for my dad, I’m off on PTO. I feel so horrible. My husband is between our home and my parents house. I’m trying to stay busy by exercising and playing video games but the feelings just come back and it’s frightening. Now I’m experiencing increased nausea and difficulty sleeping. I recently stopped therapy two weeks ago, I’ve decided to seek help from a new therapist in two weeks. I have a doctor appointment Thursday in which I’m hoping to get some answers, mainly that this is withdrawal and I will get through it but it is harder than I thought. Any help or advice during this time would be so appreciated
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